A theater for the ages – in Rheem


MONTCLARION: February 4, 2011

ALL THE BEAUTIFUL people gathered in Rheem this week for the California Independent Film Festival. I haven’t seen this many tuxes and pearls since I wandered through Macy’s at prom time.

It’s a big deal when a small town rolls out the red carpet. The classic Art Deco Rheem Theater beams as her patrons sip wine from local vineyards and dine daintily on crunchy bruschetta.

To say Moraga is idyllic is an understatement. Even the cows here are happy. They graze on velvety hillsides and moo in melodic tones that harmonize with the heavenly bells of the nearby Catholic college.

And while the film festival has come to an end, the Rheem Theater continues to operate. It may not have the biggest screens and most sophisticated sound system, but it’s quiet and comfy and there’s plenty of free parking. Just seeing the “old gal” continue to operate is a comfort to me.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Who knew Apple’s inside story was so “juicy?” The Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s play “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” is a tasty one-man show by performer Mike Daisey that details his obsession with Mac-made products. It’s hilarious and poignant as he shares what he’s discovered about the dark side of America’s insatiable appetite for all things Apple. You can see Daisey’s brilliant storytelling in this play and in “The Last Cargo Cult” through Feb. 27.

AROUND TOWN: It seems more solicitors

are setting up shop in the Village these days, and it’s an annoyance for a lot of us. Folks passing out fliers and free newspapers are one thing (they fall under free speech rights) but people asking for money need a permit, and the Montclair Village Association’s Roger Vickery says most folks don’t have one. He’s urging readers to report rogue solicitors to the city’s permit department at 510-238-3194.

E-MAIL BAG: I’m hearing from music lovers who saw my recent article on the Glenview’s new live music venue — Caren Armstrong’s songwriters’ showcase. Michelle DeRobertis says the timing of the article couldn’t have been better because it coincides with her New Year’s resolution to see more live entertainment. She says there should be a Facebook page for live music in Oakland and the area. Does anyone have time to start one? Let me know, and I’ll spread the word.

Meanwhile “… dispelling the myth that the Town Crier is perfect, Marc Seleznow points out that I made a mistake in my column recently: “I’m guessing you’ve already heard from the accuracy bugs amongst your followers by now, but just in case “… the Carvery went into LaSalsa’s space in the Village, and Kakui Sushi went into Jamba Juice’s space.” Thank you to everyone who tickled my inbox with this info.

ANIMAL TALES: You’ve heard of the owl and the pussycat? Well, reader Jim Smith says that turkeys and a kitty were interacting one day recently on the campus of Saint Mary’s College. The cat was a stray, no doubt looking for dinner when he crouched low in the grass and inched forward. The hens pecked in a pack, retreating, then realized they outnumbered the tabby and thus advanced. “This dance went on for quite some time,” recalls Smith, who also loves watching the Nature Channel (I’m guessing).

Got news? You can reach Ginny Prior by phone at 510-273-9418, by e-mail at ginnyprior@hotmail.com or on the web at www.ginnyprior.com.

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