Writing Dungeon

Here be where the Princess’ former writings for the weekly Artsopolis eSavers live out their days, archived in the writing dungeon. More and more added each week until they are all there. All 200.

Artful Adieu
Life is unexpectedly amazing. Take the human body for example. A body is in a constant state of subconscious cellular renovation. Skin cells are replaced every two to four weeks, all by themselves. Red blood cells are automatically refreshed in just four months. Even your bones get a total do-over every twenty years or so. Given the approximate renewal rates for each part of the whole, biologically speaking, at the end of seven years you’re a vastly different person than you were at the beginning. All this to say, it’s the natural order of things to cycle through various stages of life, repair and transform. Yes, all good things must come to an end and this week it’s the end of the road for San Jose Stage Company’s production of Lolita Roadtrip. This complex story of choices, creative journeys, redirection, and ultimate closure is one with a tremendous amount of subtext as well as heart and soul. Which brings us back to cells. Heart cells were originally thought to be irreplaceable. We now know that while the majority of the heart you’re born with will remain the same throughout your lifespan, a little less than half of it will indeed, regenerate anew. While there is no scientific data to support the theory that a soul regenerates, it’s a little known fact that the closely related princess cell is able to reinvent herself overnight as a result of extreme enviromental change. This occurs every six years, eleven months and three weeks, or after the completion of exactly two hundred eSavers introductions. Artsopolis, embracing change while saving you some on a vairety of wonderful arts experiences.

Recreational Hazard

The desire to be like my older brother was perhaps never more fervent than when it came to scouting. I can’t remember a time that I wasn’t eager to have camping adventures and earn merit badge accolades of my own. My brief experience with Brownies was, however, a far cry from my brother’s exciting tales of canoeing, archery, and cooking over a campfire he’d built by himself. Instead, my grand scouting encounter consisted of learning to sew a coin purse, a sleepover under the protective not-at-all-exotic roof of the Brownie house, and cooking on an electric stove, something I had mastered practically in uteros. Perhaps, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Warren G. Harding can better convey the disappointment (and okay, the humor) of shattered expectations as you watch their own camping trip go terribly awry. Bus Barn Stage Company’s production of Camping with Henry and Tom may only depict a fictional disaster, but I’m sure the story is just as fit for the stage as ghost stories are for the campfire. Not that I would know anything about that. Because ghost stories apparently might give Brownies nightmares. Artsopolis, scouting out great discounts with which to pitch your Arts and Cultural tent.

True Story

So there I was, typing in my office when who should waltz in unannounced? George Clooney, dressed like a cop. “I was just in the neighborhood and I thought I would bring you some dessert?!” he said, and he hands me a 24-karat gold ramekin of lavender crème brulee. My favorite! “Let’s run away together, right now!” and he popped open a bottle of expensive champagne and simultaneously wrote a check for a million dollars to the Princess’ Three-Legged Cat Rescue Fund. “Look, George” I said, trying not to choke on the crème brulee (which was awesome, by the way), “That’s real swell of you, but I’m going to have to decline; I’m in the middle of eSavers.” I could tell he was a bit hurt, but he tipped his hat, hopped on his giant magenta gryphon and, before you could say Justin Bieber, was gone. I know what you’re thinking. I made that story up. And, you’re right, I totally did. And if you liked that, or actually, even if you didn’t, you’ll enjoy the Five Play Improv cast as they perform at the grand opening for the Made Up Theatre in Fremont. Artsopolis, George Clooney-approved Arts and Cultural events at prices even better than Crème Brulee. Honest.

Double Dose

Cough. Sneeze. Cough. Sniff. Sigh
Even a Princess gets sick
Tissues her best friends

In one way, funny
In another, quite tragic
Two sides to each tale

Like Ouroborus
Performed one way, Comedy
In reverse, Drama

Pretty trippy, eh?
That’s just what the Princess thought
Were cold meds to blame?

You be the judge, then
Go see it twice for half-price
Then review it HERE
Artsopolis rocks
Awesome arts and awesome deals
Any way you look

In An Art Beat

Your heart has four chambers. These chambers are like little musical rooms for your emotions and loved ones. Fish hearts only have two chambers, which must mean they love less. Or, maybe their love is just smaller. Frogs have three chambers, so it would stand to reason that their love is odd. For the first twenty-one days of your life, while you’re busy growing a heart of your own, your mother’s heart beats for you. Thanks, Mom. Your heart will beat approximately 100,000 times today, unless, you’re a hummingbird, in which case it will beat 1.7 million times (or roughly 1,200 per second). I wonder if that means hummingbirds fall in love faster? If you’re an earthworm, I am sorry to inform you, you have no heart. You do have something else, though, that serves the same practical purpose, so I wager you’re just as capable of love. Interestingly enough, the electrical field of the human heart is approximately fifty times stronger than the brain’s and can be measured eight feet away from your body. When two bodies are next to each other, the heart rhythms of one individual can be measured in the other’s. This, I think, is both awesome and sexy. Also awesome and sexy? Margaret Wingrove Dance Company’s Heartbeat… Songs From the Soul. And, at half-price, it is off the awesome and sexy charts. Artsopolis, we’ve got the pulse of Arts and Cultural happenings at prices that won’t have you skipping a beat.

Save Yourself Some Evergreen!

Artsopolis! Artsopolis!
We bring the Arts right to thee
Artsopolis! Artsopolis!
At rates reduced considerably
This week we have some comedy
As well as dance in January
Artsopolis! Artsopolis!
Oh, don’t forget the symphony!
Artsopolis! Artsopolis!
Ensure your Solstice is merry
Artsopolis! Artsopolis!
Don’t get your sister potpourri
The Princess thinks she’d rather see
Some theatre tix under the tree
Artsopolis! Artsopolis!
Your shopping just got easy

Clucking Hysterical

In most species, the males are the gender endowed with eye-catching natural accessories with which to woo the opposite sex. Antlers, horns, brilliant markings, manes … the dudes of the animal kingdom are seriously tricked out with a variety of genetic bling. Even your common barnyard rooster sports a wicked hair-and rump-do for operation Attract-A-Hen. Not always the case with humans. You boys may not be rockin’ impressive tail feathers (and if you are, you should really get a doctor to take a look at that) but you can still strut your stuff for the birds by getting your rooster on in Sunnyvale this Sunday. Your Rooster T. Feathers, that is. You see, when paired with a great bargain, laughter is hotter to us chicks than any crest, tuft or tassel. And, headlining comic Sadiki Fuller has totally got the funny covered. Just think, with the extra money you save, you can even buy your lady-friend her own cocktail. Artsopolis, sprucing up your Arts and Cultural events with prices that are nothing to balk at. What are you waiting for? Chicken?

An Ode to Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven, your untamed locks endure
Their drama matched only by your musical mastery
Quintessentially classic, remarkably romantic, harmonies (and hair) raw and pure
They no doubt should have paid you way more salary
Ever prodigious, not even deafness halted composition
The Palo Alto Philharmonic, yes they know your worth
They honor you this week with Victor Romasevich on violin
An Overture, Concerto and Symphony inside a single feat of ambition
Artsopolis, turning up the “Beet” in your arts and culture mirth
At prices that are best when termed, for the win.

It’s A Maize Thing

December. Seriously? How is that possible? I have no comment … other than to say that nothing could ameliorate this unexpected (and by unexpected I mean, yeah, it happens every year, but I’m pretty sure the earth is spinning a lot faster and we got to the end of the year way quicker this time) situation. Absolutely nothing, I say! Nothing that is … except a tamale-making class. Oh my gosh, my pre-holiday wish has been granted! It’s a miracle! And the angels sang (though, that may have been my stomach growling.) It’s true, this ghastly paced passage of time can be made sweeter and yes, more yummy, with a wonderful hands-on Tamale Making 101 workshop brought to you by CasaQ. Christmastime and tamales go together like the Princess and 3-legged cats, which is to say, it might sound crazy but there’s nothing more natural. So, learn, cook, eat, bond with other culturally-culinary inclined people and celebrate that — even though you only have to pay half-price — you can eat all your tamale dinner! Artsopolis, stuffing arts and cultural events into the last bit of 2010 at prices that are muy caliente! And that’s a wrap.

Indecent Proposal

Yes. It’s true. Prince William has proposed to his girlfriend. I know what you’re thinking. “Prince Harry was just days away from proposing to you! How could William upstage his brother like that? That ring was destined for another’s finger!” And, in truth, I have to agree with you, but you can’t place the blame entirely on Will. I don’t want to go all Beyonce on you but, Harry did drag his feet. Which leads me to the unfortunate duty of confirming the other rumors you’ve no doubt heard. Harry and I have broken up. But, don’t worry, I’m fine. It’s ultimately for the best. Even if it was dreadful timing with the big event this weekend and all. No, the British don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, silly. I’m talking about Abraham Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party at City Lights. Admittedly, it would be terribly gauche to show up alone to a soiree such as ALBGDP. No matter. There are other princes in the sea and, as it turns out, there are some half-price tickets so we can all attend together. Who’s sorry now, eh? Artsopolis, marrying arts and culture to prices that won’t leave you bitter. Really. Not at all.

Plane and Simple

Sometimes, I think. A dangerous pastime, I know, but I can’t help it. Today, I thought about planes and what a crazy idea that was. And awesome. But initially, that was some crazy pioneer-like thinking going on right there. Also crazy? Multiple transatlantic solo flights in 1932. Who does that? I’ll tell you who. Amelia Earhart does. Earhart? That’s kind of like “heart air.” I wonder if that might’ve had something to do with her love of aviation. That, and those killer bomber jackets and goggles. I gotta get me some of those to wear around the office. But, there I go thinking again. This week, you can do more than think; you can be your very own explorer with Amelia Earhart – Flights of Fancy presented by the California Theatre Center. This is just the adventure to propel all the little aviatrix in your lives into the worlds of Theatre and History, so no solo flight required! Artsopolis, circumnavigating the Silicon Valley arts scene for events that will make your spirits soar while keeping your wallet in the fully upright and locked position. Well, sort of.

A Sinking Feeling

Imagine this… You’re tired. Hungry. You arrive home after a long week, barely conscious. You make your way to the kitchen. You open the cabinet. Shock. You see nothing. Nothing at all. Is someone eating your dishes? Or something? You slowly glance to your left, and there they all are, sitting in the sink. Filthy. Mocking you. There’s no way out. Horror. You try your best to stay composed. What if you washed one plate? Just one. It won’t kill you, right? Right?! You reach for the faucet. The water sputters, then steadily flows. You scrape off the remnants of who-knows-what and watch it ooze and disappear down the drain’s abyss. You reach for the disposal switch and… then… the garbage disposal comes to a grinding halt. The room starts to spin. All is lost. Or, is it? Just then you remember that the Dragon Theatre sells coffee and cookies at their production of Henry James’ classic suspense-filled thriller The Turn of the Screw. It’s brilliant! Screw the dishes! You’re an adult now, and that means you can have dessert for dinner! With restored hope and an unexpected spring in your step, you triumphantly head to Palo Alto. Maybe while you’re out getting cultured, the cats can fix your disposal and do the dishes for a change. And, if not, the coffee and sugar will likely keep you wired long enough you’ll do it yourself. Artsopolis, unclogging your week with Arts and Cultural events at prices that won’t send shivers down your spine.

Slide On Up To Giant Savings

The last three days have been quite the blur. A veritable series of monumental events has subsequently landed me under a pile of To Do’s from which I can only hope to be dug out. I guess it’s just hard to believe the orange of October is over and we find ourselves looking square in the mouth of the holiday season already. And, speaking of the throes of winter, it’s been so wild, I might just give myself a break and walk myself over to Foothill College and catch The Winter’s Tale. I hear your skepticism. You fear the Bard. But trust me, Shakespeare was no rookie (not that that’s a bad thing, of course). Sure, at first glance one might think the coupling of a Prince and a shepherd’s daughter is a complete misfit, but this Most Valuable Playwright almost never struck out with his audiences because Bill knew exactly how to pitch a plot. You see, first, you serve up some wickedly base characters, second, have them all get in a Huff, you know, raise a little Cain, third have someone cry foul and then bring it on home with a happy ending worthy of a parade, Posey’s and all. With Shakespeare, the odds are 4 to 1 you have a hit on your plate. It’s such a steal, you can even lineup another production the same week and make it a double play. Artsopolis, loading the bases with winning Arts and Cultural events while keeping the contents of your wallet safe.

What’s in a Name?

Blithe. Fruition. Superannuated. These are words I love, and, by “love,” I mean I would buy these words a drink and send them a thank-you card if I could. There are words in the English language (and let’s be honest, every word in the Portuguese language) that are so panoptically melodious to my ear and so admirably trenchant that I actually feel sorry for all the other words. Take “drowsy.” What a supremely onomatopoetic vocable. And “chaperone.” That’s just delightful, no? Imagine my rapture, then, when I discovered Woodside Community Theatre’s production of The Drowsy Chaperone in this week’s offers. Drowsy Chaperone. What a paradisiacal appellation. Much better than, say, The Woozy Governess. Heaps of improvement over The Tipsy Surveillant. An immeasurable upgrade when compared to The Phlegmatic Escort. And, when “half” and “price” are applied, the evening is tantamount to bliss. Now, all someone has to do is produce a show entitled The Quixotic Defenestration of the Balmy Chancellor Cahoots and they will have cornered the market on words that the Princess adores. Artsopolis, stringing together the consummate combination of Arts and Cultural affairs with diminished expenditure for your aggrandized euphoria.

You Know What to Do

Has it been A Hard Day’s Night? Work been a bit Helter Skelter lately? Searchin’ for some Rock and Roll Music? I’ve Got a Feeling that We Can Work It Out. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite, Mean Mr. Mustard, Eleanor Rigby, Sexy Sadie, Maggie Mae, The Fool on the Hill, Some Other Guy, Another Girl, and Nobody I Know, and With A Little Help from My Friends over at Broadway San Jose, we’ve Come Together to bring you a half-price Ticket to Ride — I mean ticket to Rain. If you like the Beatles, this show will make you Glad All Over. That’s right, From Me To You, I’m going to Help, Carry that Weight. So, Don’t Let Me Down, Come and Get It, Because, Yesterday there was Too Much Monkey Business and Tomorrow Never Knows. Don’t Wait, jump in your Yellow Submarine or Drive My Car, but get to San Jose for this Octopus’s Garden of awesome. Don’t know the way? Your Mother Should Know. All Together Now, Artsopolis, Fixing a Hole with Arts and Cultural discounts Eight Days A Week, so You Never Give Me Your Money. Baby, You’re a Rich Man.

Her Majesty, Susannah, Princess of Artsopolis

Snuggle up to the Arts

About this time each year, autumn enters with a crisp cool breeze and decides it’s time to drop leaves and force us to drag out our cute boots and coats. Sure, it’s cold and rainy, but on the upside, it’s blanket season, and there’s just nothing better than tumbling into a soft pile of yummy plushness at the end of the day. You know, I always thought the Arts were like blankets. A certain piece of music, for example, can bring back childhood memories like the colorful patches of granny’s quilt. A good play can give you warm fuzzies like the downy comforter at that cabin you and your honey like to sneak off to. And, even better, your cat can’t upchuck a hairball on your Arts. Nope, you never have to dry clean your Arts. What? Really? It’s 90 degrees outside? Well, that’s just great. There goes a perfectly good metaphor. Clearly, I need to get out more. And, speaking of getting out more, South Bay Musical Theatre’s production of The Music Man is closing this week and if you haven’t gotten out to see it, judging by the fact that it is number one on our top ten, you probably ought to get on that. Or there might be Trouble. In River City. Iowa. Where this whole seasons-and-blanket metaphor would have totally rocked. Artsopolis, wrapping up your Wednesday with Arts and Culture at prices that won’t send you to the cleaners or ruin your metaphor.

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream – Keep it Down, Would You?

Thirty-one offers
My fingers hurt from typing
So many flavors.

Dance, Theatre, Music
Let’s not forget comedy
And, what’s this I see?

An ice cream heir, too?
Coincidence? I think not.
A month full of arts.

You’ve buying to do
I’ll let you get on that,
then Artsopolis, yeah.

Shanghaied

People of Artsopolis,
We have your Princess. If you ever want to see her again you will place one million dollars in unmarked bills inside a totally cute and uber trendy, furry pink duffle bag (lined with peanut brittle) and bring it to the San Jose International Airport, Terminal C. After much consideration, in lieu of cash, we will also accept your arts patronage. Might we suggest The Shanghai Quartet at Le Petit Trianon this Sunday? Although The Princess remains strung up until the ransom is received, due to a totally unforeseen mix-up by one of our bumbling Princess-napping team, we were unable to capture the half-price deals in eSavers this week. Therefore, we feel it is only fair that you bring with you a minimum of one other person to the arts event of your choice. Failure to comply will result in the untimely demise of your beloved Princess.

– The really-scary-and-tough-but-somehow-handsome-and-misunderstood Princess-nappers.

Confection Perfection

My grandfather was a brain surgeon. He also had a sweet tooth, a sweet tooth that has been undeniably passed down to me through the miracle of genetics. Grandpa Greenwood observed, throughout his professional career, that an inordinate number of people who were highly regarded for their brainpower suffered from a continual craving for saccharine. Although, this smart = Smarties theory was never fully explored scientifically, you have to admit it’s a pretty crafty way to justify cake for dinner. I was reminded of this slick hypothesis as I looked over this week’s offers and read FLANmenca instead of FLAMenca, and I thought to myself, what could be better than dessert AND dancing? Those are two of my absolute favorite D words! And then, of course, I realized that although there would not likely be dessert at this flamenco concert, my other favorite D word, discount, would be! Artsopolis, treating you to Arts and Cultural events at prices you don’t need to be a genius to recognize are sweet.

Never-Ending Art

My computer crashed. My three-legged cat needs to go for a walk. I forgot I needed to wear “grownup clothes” and I don’t have time to go home and change. These are the honest-to-goodness excuses that prevent me from making that 8pm curtain at times. But, not this week. No sir. No pesky lunch stain on my shirt or dubiously upgraded version eight -point -whatever is going to get in my way this week! ZERO1 – The Art and Technology Network has seen to that. As just a few of the dozens of awesome events that make up the 2010 01SJ Biennial, they have been thoughtful enough to include not one, but three midnight concerts to accommodate even the most urgently ambulatory kitty or laundry situation. Artsopolis, proving sleep is overrated and Art and Culture can happen anytime, even at half-price.

Invertebrate Treasures

Of all the sea creatures, the mollusk phylum definitely wins first prize for best attitude. Ever the consummate Pollyanna, when something irritates an oyster or a clam, they turn lemons into lemonade. Well, to be accurate, they make pearls from little bits of sand or silt trapped in their mantle folds. I’m envious, really. If only such lovely results were possible when a stray sesame seed landed in my navel, I’d spend all weekend on the couch eating crackers. But alas, unable to produce anything of value from my belly button, I’m compelled to leave the non-pearl-producing-prostration of the sofa for more exciting endeavors. What better way to motivate me thusly, than San Jose Repertory’s production of Black Pearl, which sets sail this very week. And, you can bet your sweet calcium carbonate, with a character named Susannah, this is one cultured play. Artsopolis, depositing Art & Cultural gems each week at prices that are only semi-precious.

You Don’t Joe What You’re Missing

It’s been a long week. How do I know? Because it’s only Wednesday. And it’s already Wednesday. I’m not sure which is easier to cope with. I had to pour myself an extra cup of Joe this afternoon (um, okay, you caught me, evening) just to get this paragraph written. And speaking of Joe, my pre-coffee haze had me thinking I was seeing triple! Everywhere I looked it was Joe, Joe, Joe! But, make no mistake, Joe-fest is on! It is a veritable Joe-O-Rama out there, people. Bus Barn’s got a Smokey Joe, Renegade’s got a Killer Joe, and the Improv’s got a Joe Wong. And, just in case you were wondering, there’s nothing average about Joe, Joe and Joe. From musical, to experimental, to comical, there’s a Joe for everyone, and then some. And, since Joe is half-off of Joseph, I decided all these tickets would be half-off too. Artsopolis, getting you closer to the end of a long week with great Arts and Cultural events at abbreviated prices.

Pockets of Change

It was the most amazing thing. I was doing laundry (amazing, yes, but not THE amazing part) and — as I was checking all my pants pockets for loose change — guess what?! I found a $7,400 bill! I know, what are the chances, right? I didn’t even know they MADE $7,400 bills. Anyway, I ran downstairs to look for a way to immediately spend it all. As it turns out, I live a stone’s throw from the Improv Comedy Club and they were open! “Give me 900 tickets to your funniest shows in September,” I said, and I handed him the $7,400 bill. The guy looked at me. Then he looked at the bill. Then he looked back at me. Then he called in a manger and handed him the bill. The manger asked “Well?” Oblivious to the problem I responded, “Well, what?” to which the manager replied, “Do you want your tickets printed or held at Will Call?” “Oh, they aren’t all for me,” I said. “That would be silly. They’re for 13,000 of my closest friends!” Then I realized I didn’t have any money to do my laundry. And, just like that, my dreams of treating you all to some really great comedy were over. Or so I thought! As he handed me back $7,400 in quarters, he said, “Tell you what. I’ll hold on to these tickets here and your friends can pick them up for half-price.” And he threw in a dryer sheet as well. What a guy. Artsopolis, unbelievable Arts and Cultural deals at prices that are so shrunk to fit, you’d think we had laundered them!

The Strange and Wonderful

Here at Artsopolis, we like to celebrate originality. Being pro-quirk, in a way, helps explains our substitution of Director titles for ones that sound like Princess and our claim that flips-flops are perfectly suitable, professional-level footwear and should in no way be mocked. It’s this desire to praise the unique that has our water-cooler discussions gravitating towards topics like the tickling of a Slow Loris, amazing scientific advancements such as bionic legs for house cats, and the fact that Wall Drug in South Dakota has been offering free ice water to thirsty travelers for over fifty years. This week, the inaugural Silicon Valley Film Festival and Awards celebrates entrepreneurship and innovation in Cinema and, while there may not be films on the Loris at Saturday’s screening, I wager you’ll find some fascinating films by some creative cinematarians. Or is it cinematologists? Artsopolis, bringing you extraordinary Arts and Cultural events at prices even a bionic cat can afford.

An Artsopolis Sing-Along

Sung to the refrain of Anything Goes by Cole Porter. Click here to start your Artsopolis Sing-Along experience!
This week the Princess shares with you her pick opting to use a bit of Cole Porter shtick, yes, a cheap trick.
A musical delovely as a rose,
it’s audience, away it blows,
So she chose Anything Goes.

If seeing romance you like,
If fun dance you like,
If high seas you like,
If cute shes you like,
If Half-Price you like,
that sounds nice (you like?)
With 4 plus stars, it glows.
Foothill’s show let you forget all your woes,
buy quick for it’s the last week
before its close
Anything Goes

Shofar, So Good

The college I attended had an unfortunate habit of burning down. Three major fires in its past had forced the school to adopt a very strict fire code, read: no candles in the dorms and random fire inspections with fines for violations. Nowadays, I would welcome firefighters knocking on my door at random, but at the time, not so much. The exception to the No Candle Rule was, of course, if you were Jewish, in which case you could light a Menorah. My roommate was, and let’s just say it was Chanukah every night. Speaking of breaking the rules and presents, Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad makes its special one-night-only debut at the Theatre on San Pedro Square this Thursday. There’s no doubt that these Challah-back girls will have you laughing so hard, kugel will be coming out your nose! Artsopolis, Arts and Cultural bargains delivered to your inbox each week… now, if only we could figure out how to deliver eBagels.

Going Up?

It’s not every day I run into a cute guy in the elevator, let alone one in awesome shoes. I’m sorry I didn’t introduce myself, Cute Elevator Guy. I’m even more sorry I didn’t compliment your awesome shoes. I was caught off guard, but believe me they were AWESOME. Most of all, I’m sorry I looked like a dolt as I exited on my floor and went the wrong direction, forcing me to double back in front of you as you waited for the doors to close and take you to the 9th floor. Again, not thinking and very sorry. My co-workers tell me that kind of awkwardness is charming. I’m pretty sure you were laughing inside, but not because it was charming. But that’s okay. I appreciate the use of your inside-laughing voice out of what was surely respect for a bungling redhead’s feelings. This week, everyone (even you Cute-Awesome-Shoed-Elevator-Guy) can laugh using their outdoor voice at comedian Sugar Sammy as he performs at the San Jose IMPROV. Sugar may not be as cute or have shoes as awesome as Elevator Guy, but he’s sincerely a lot funnier than the uncoordinated silence of this Princess. Artsopolis, bringing you cute and awesome Arts and Culture at prices that really are charming. For reals.

Well Albee

I bet you all were expecting wit and uplifting sarcasm here, weren’t you? Well, guess what? Sometimes life isn’t going to spoon-feed you the double rainbows and kitten videos, okay? As the wise old sage Mick Jagger says, you can’t always get what you want, and I, for one, cannot risk spoiling you people, no matter how nice and deserving I know each and every single one of you to be. Not this week. So, I’m sorry you’re just going to have to go directly to the awesome half-price offers without the Princess’ droll anecdotes that somehow magically segue into featuring some great arts event to attend like Seascapeat the Dragon Theatre in Palo Alto. You’re just going to have to live without knowing, in advance of clicking that link below, that this play by Edward Albee has humans playing giant lizards (and that alone in my book is reason enough to go see it, even if it didn’t have another redeeming quality about it, which it most certainly does). Artsopolis, giving you great deals on Arts and Culture, but in no way supporting unrealistic expectations. Seriously.

14 Lines for 14 Offers

Haikus no more, to sonnets we now move,
which now I much regret, it’s rather hard.
Methinks I now know why “move’s” rhymed with “love.”
That Shakespeare guy was such a clever bard.
And speaking of that crafty Mr. Bill
Shakespeare Three Ways, this week, is in your reach!
The show opens anon, so get your fill,
and here’s the rub, these acts use modern speech!
Few antiquated words to make you feel inadequate of mind or non-astute.
And half the price doth make it quite the steal,
for which (fear not) we shall not prosecute.
Artsopolis, in all things Arts, your friend. And extra points for reading to the end!

Dancing on the Ceiling

There are some things that just don’t mix. Spam and caviar. Stilettos and capture the flag. Fireworks and cats. I’m reminded each 4th of July of this last pairing when I have to peel my cats off the ceiling. Clearly, the inventor of the firecracker did not have felines or dreams of ever getting a security deposit back. No matter, fireworks have been used around the world since the 7th century to celebrate births, coronations, military victories, or to totally impress a 3rd date. My cats have suggested that, if you’d like to celebrate any of these occasions, you might try something just as colorful and brilliant, but a bit quieter, less traumatic, and significantly less flammable… something like Azahar Dance Foundation’s Zahara in Mountain View. Flamenco has a complex international history dating as far back as the 15th century and, at half the price, this dance concert is sure to impress most any date while ensuring the neighborhood kitties don’t take to doing impromptu bat impressions. Artsopolis, PETA-approved Arts and Cultural events with prices that will put a spring in your step!

Type Artsopolis Positive

Everywhere you turn these days it seems there’re Vampires. Frankly, I think it bites. Vampires are humble, modest creatures who, in reality, are quick to avoid the spotlight. Honestly, when was the last time you caught a vampire looking at themselves in the mirror, huh? Okay, so maybe they don’t use mirrors because they don’t have reflections. And, it’s possible they abhor the spotlight because it burns their skin. Still, I say, give the poor bloodsuckers a break. This week the Northside Theatre Company serves up a Thursday twilight option that doesn’t require you to stand in line until midnight for a ticket. They’ve swapped Vampires for cheerleaders, traded Team Edward for the Tigers, and exchanged veins with Vanities. What’s not to get pumped up about? Artsopolis, transfusing live Arts and Culture into your week with prices that won’t eclipse your finances.

Kung Pow Performance

And now, your Wednesday poetry fix.

StirFry Theatre stirs.
Falsettoland extended!
Almost all 5 stars.

Musical on AIDS
not to be confused with Rent.
Love. Loss. Family.

Wok on the wild side.
Confucius say, eSavers…
makes price twice as nice.

Artsopolis, putting the fortune back in your Arts and Cultural fortune cookie!

A Texas Toast

Looking at this week’s offers, I thought of my dad. It’s not just because it’s Father’s Day on Sunday, either. (You’re welcome for the reminder.) My dad’s in that special group we native Californians like to call “Texan.” Although he’s been known to experience BBQ withdrawal and will drive ten hours in a single day to get his Rodeo fix, he’s by no means a country bumpkin. In fact, if you’ve ever heard my dad tell a story, you’d be led to believe that the art of spinning a yarn must surely have originated in Texas. This week, San Jose Stage plays homage to good old Texas storytelling in their comical third installment of the Tuna trilogy, Red, White and Tuna! Like my dad, there’s really no way to adequately sum up this production; you just have to see it for yourself. Be aware that, although you will find tickets for this show for half price (which my dad fully supports), my dad is not performing in this show. He will, however, be playing the Greenwood dining table all week – with or without a proper audience. Try the ribs and don’t forget to tip the waitress (she’s my mom). Artsopolis, passing you great Arts and Cultural deals and the potato salad.

Art Attack

This past April, we had plenty of rain. As you know, April showers bring May flowers. However, what very few people know, is that with May flowers comes giant alien plants that feed off the blood of abusive dentists. I’m serious. This is not a result of global warming or El Nino. This is not even the result of me making random stuff up. Just ask the Bus Barn Stage company. They were going to do a nice little production of The Odd Couple, but due to this life-imitating-art-type-invasion, were forced to put on Little Shop of Horrors instead. It’s okay, though, I hear there are safety in numbers. Plus, it’s a gem of a show. And the alien plant is totally harmless, the way they have it restrained. Virtually no chance of it eating any of the audience. Unless you’re an abusive dentist. Then, I’d sit in the back. Artsopolis, feeding you arts and cultural events with prices that won’t bleed your budget.

Hello, Goodbye

Did you hear that? That was the sound of May leaving the building. It was a bit abrupt, wasn’t it? I don’t know what’s gotten into her that she’d leave in such a rush. Must just be her time of the month. No matter. Hey, what’s that sound? Why, it’s June! She’s here. Already? Wow. June. Well, now that she is here and is looking swell all decked out in the summer weather, it’s only fair to greet her with open arms. Which reminds me( for painfully obvious and deliberately orchestrated reasons), this is the final week to catch South Bay Musical Theatre’s production of Hello Dolly. I know you hate goodbyes, but everyone loves a good buy and that’s just what you’ve got in this week’s eSavers. Artsopolis, say hello to Arts and Cultural events at prices that will keep your wallet busting out all over with savings.

Mystery Meat

Sometimes a little mystery is a good thing. Take chorizo, for instance. I’m perfectly at peace with the fact that its presence makes eggs taste doubly awesome without knowing the exact components that make up this exquisite sausage. Over the years, I’ve come to terms with the fact, hypocritical as it may be, that if I were to examine chorizo too closely, it most definitely could psychologically alter my enjoyment of its future consumption. I know… meat is murder. Speaking of a little murder mystery, The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie, is the longest continually running play in modern history. Unfortunately, it’s only playing for a short time during California Theatre Center’s Summer Rep in Sunnyvale, so you should get your tickets to this vegetarian-friendly production right away! Artsopolis, clueing you into great Arts and Cultural events while solving the mystery of how to keep more in your wallet!

Pain in the Glass

I had a gentlemen caller today. Now, don’t get too excited, it’s not at all what you think. Don’t get me wrong, he was all kinds of courteous and well-mannered; that wasn’t the problem. And, the distinguished and appealing quality of his voice together with his well practiced (albeit a tad persistent) discourse certainly weren’t at fault. No, in the end, I had to hang up on him because, honestly, I did not care to attend a seminar on the investment potential of real estate in the Florida Everglades. Of course, I was slightly disappointed, but I’m not the only one who has to deal with that burdensome creature: despondency. Take Laura, for instance, from Tennessee William’s Glass Menagerie — now playing at the Pear Avenue Theatre. She knows all about getting her hopes up and then having her dreams crushed. And her mother… well… you’ll just have to see for yourself. And, at half-price, you can even take a gentlemen caller with you. It just so happens I have one’s number on Gentlemen Caller ID, should you want it. Artsopolis, honest delivery of Arts and Cultural events at prices that won’t shatter your wallet.

Arts and Cultural Sommelier

Well, it’s just about that time of week… the time when I grab a nice glass of medicinal Pinot Noir and toast the awesomeness that is Wednesday. Nothing like a sweet and flirtatious bouquet to compliment all the fantastic midweek, Arts and Cultural experiences! And, speaking of sweet bouquets, follow your nose to Viva La Musica’s Spring Bouquet concert this weekend. From Respighi’s complex Ancient Airs and Dance to Vivaldi’s smooth Credo in G major, this concert promises to be a blend of classical varietals with substantial legs and a solid finish. Artsopolis, never dry, features sparkling, full-bodied Arts events at half-bodied prices!

Half of Nothing

Although, I was a “super mathlete” in Junior High, I kind of stalled around freshman year in terms of my mathematical abilities. As demonstrated by the fact that my idea of a vacation included roughly 3,000 miles and countless hours of driving through dangerous mud, jungle and desert, it would be accurate to state that the realm of math is perhaps no longer my strongest suit. That being said, even I know that half of nothing is zero. Along with the regular half-price offers this week, and in celebration of the kind of math everyone can excel at, we are also reducing the price of all the free events found on the right hand side of your eSavers. That’s right. All of the free events are now, free. I know. You are speechless. Now this frees up so much more of your budget for other events, many of which are right here. Artsopolis, calculated Arts and Cultural experiences, at prices you don’t have to be a genius to know are awesome.

Blonde Ambition

As a Redhead (assuming my hair hasn’t been bleached by the African sun), I’ve dedicated a large amount of my time trying to disprove the theory that Blondes have more fun. Since the government has yet to actually fund my studies, I don’t have any evidence that would hold up in court. I am, however, still on vacation, and you better believe that my photos and stories will go into my uber-official findings folder… which, as it just so happens, is bright yellow with glittery stickers. I’m pretty sure I’ll have nearly enough data collected to go public next week, but there’s just one challenge I’m still coming up against. That darn Mae West. I think she might have had more fun than me. San Jose Stage certainly presents the facts convincingly enough in their production of Dirty Blonde. Maybe if I can prove she wasn’t really blonde? Artsopolis, provider of great Arts and Cultural deals at half the price so you can have more fun no matter what your true colors are.

I’m Stalin Africa

Dmitri Shostakovich’s music was officially denounced twice, in 1936 and 1948, and was periodically banned by the Stalinist bureaucracy. My puns about penguins, I hear, have been officially denounced twice just in the last two weeks, so I feel Shostie’s pain. Maybe even more so, since he’s been dead for thirty-five years and, as far as I’m aware, barring any Hippo-related incidents prior to the publishing of this week’s eSavers, I’m alive and well. Shostakovich’s music is intensely symbolic of the desire for freedom. I wager I’ll listen to the dramatic Festive Overture, Opus 96 at least once on my Ipod as I embrace my current state of freedom this week, traversing the Okavango Delta by dugout canoe. Luckily, experiencing your own sense of freedom, in an environment requiring far less mosquito repellent and more opportunity for frequent bathing, is just a click away. The Redwood Symphony’s concert featuring both Shostakovich and Bartok is sure to bring out a sense of adventure, pride and liberation. Artsopolis, releasing invigorating Arts and Cultural events into the wilds and freeing you from half the price!

It’s No Mirage

This week, barring any run-ins with a pride of lions or the likes, I’m in the Namibian Desert, where the weather is expected to be in the 90s. I expect, if I had to actually write this in the heat of the sun, I’d keep it short. Depending on how long I’d been wandering the desert, I might be praying for rain. Or, perhaps, a hit musical performed by a cast made up of adult performers — many of them Children’s Musical Theatre San Jose alumni, many of whom are working professionally — would hit the spot. Wait, what’s that I see on the horizon? Singin’ in the Rain, performed by a cast made up of adult performers — many of them Children’s Musical Theatre San Jose alumni, many of whom are working professionally. Wow, uncanny. What are the chances? Artsopolis, your Arts and Cultural Oasis, with prices that will quench your thirst for savings.

Expect the Unexpected

Right about now, I’m making my way to see some penguins in Africa. Oh yeah, you read that correctly. Penguins. In Africa. It doesn’t seem right, does it — penguins hopping about in 75 degree weather? And yet, I think, there’s nothing more perfect. It’s like those Penguins said, “Hey, we may be flightless, but you aren’t the boss of us, and you can’t tell us we can only live in Antarctica.“ Those penguins didn’t let anyone pigeon-hole, I mean, penguin-hole them into a single geographic fate. Indeed, we have a lot to learn from these tuxedoed Sphenisciformes. Of course, Shady Shakespeare already knows about this type of rebellion first-hand! This week they present Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead in San Jose. Who says you can’t rewrite the tragedy of Hamlet to better serve two of its “lesser” characters? They have writes too! Artsopolis, taking the best Arts and Cultural events and rewriting the prices, because you aren’t the boss of us.

Oh Behave!

Even a Princess needs a break from being little Miss Bossy McBoss Pants sometimes. Always being prim and proper can be a detriment to one’s health and the health of those around you. It is therefore, with this greater good in mind, that I temporarily vacate the kingdom under the Authorized Frivolity & Required Insanity Check Act or A.F.R.I.C.A. Don’t be alarmed though, Artsopolis is in good hands at home and abroad. I shan’t be indulging in any activities unbecoming of my station as a pillar of the community and an Ambassador of the Arts. Speaking of Ain’t Misbehavin’, since you will not fit in my suitcase, and I feel a tad inhospitable about that whole situation, why don’t you head over to San Jose Rep and enjoy some others that Ain’t Misbehavin’. Proof that business is usual… tickets are half-price. Artsopolis, staking our reputation on outrageous Arts and Cultural opportunities at respectable prices that won’t shock your wallet.

Vocal Challenge

Be grateful your eSavers is not an audio file. This week the laryngitis is taking its toll, but not in the way you’d probably expect. You’d think my coworkers would rejoice in the temporary respite from bad jokes with the Princess incapacitated. Please, I grew up in a big family, doing theatre and team sports… it takes a lot more than swollen cords to stop me from talking… or trying to, at any rate. The Marge Simpson/Harvey Fiersteinesque squawks of verbal Morse code that I emit hardly deter me. The office is split 3-1 between personally removing my voice box with force if necessary and hiring Ventriloquist Dan Horn to assist me until I regain my silky smooth tone. Dan is at the San Jose Improv next week and out of sympathy for my altered vocal state, they have offered you $7 tickets (that’s more than 50% off) to see him do the talking for his hilarious cast of characters, none of which will, in fact, be me, much to the disappointment of team Artsopolis. Artsopolis, hacking prices to great Arts and Cultural events, allowing your wallet to have more of a voice.

Lucky Charms

I was hanging with Declan the Leprechaun earlier this week, throwing back a few Guinness, as you do. He was a bit down on his luck, you see. There’s been significant downsizing in his part of the world. This would be bad for anyone, but for wee people, you can’t get much smaller, so you can imagine it’s made a huge impact. As a result of the smaller Leprechauns, the pots of gold are smaller. And, these days, the demand for gold is way up. But I told him, it’s all about the spin. Everyone I know (my Artsopolis peeps), they still manage to find the entertainment gold at the end of the Arts and Cultural rainbow every week with eSavers. This week, for instance, in celebration of St. Paddy’s, we’re giving you half off your RENT. Well it’s not your rent, but it’s Palo Alto Players’ April production of RENT. So you see, Declan, sometimes an excuse to celebrate comes early… and, in this case, weekly! Artsopolis, keeping your wallet only half empty so your Arts and Cultural pint can be full and magically delicious.

Let Me Count the Ways

Ive been secretly seeing someone. Actually, thats not entirely accurate. Ive been seeing something. His name is Gnocchi, and hes just the most delicious thing imaginable. Delicate yet robust, simple yet exhilarating, Gnocchi is smooth, a bit saucy and yes, rich. What more could a girl want? At first, it was hard for me to accept that this gentle dish didnt want anything from me. He is always there to comfort me and enchant me with feelings of utter fulfillment. He is silent and steadfast and asks for nothing in return. Admittedly, I struggled with these feelings of unworthiness for some time. I even wrote about these feelings in my Sonnets from the Pastaguese. Upon reflection, our romance is not unlike a chapter out of lives of Robert and Elizabeth Browning. Coincidentally, San Jose Stage hosts Sleep to Wake Robert Browning Remembers Elizabeth, for one week only. Maybe now that my secret has been professed, Ill be able to venture out in public with my precious Gnocchi after six years of clandestine courting. It has been a great relief to share my happiness with you. This new emotional freedom makes me feel as if I might achieve the impossible, that I might take flight, or gain a whole hour of precious time back on Sunday. The day seems longer, having confessed my heart’s true love. Artsopolis, passionately bringing you Arts and Culture, at prices youll want to let the world know about!

Back in Black

About this time of year, for a period of a few weeks in the Silicon Valley, the weather turns dark and gloomy. As a tried and true coping mechanism, many of us turn to the seasonal impulse purchase and subsequent consumption of Girl Scout cookies. While the act of devouring cookies (usually a box at a time) acts as a momentary mood-enhancer, the resulting caloric intake, sadly, is no miracle when it comes to the retention of my girlish (stop your laughing) figure. These are the days when I repress my ultimate desire to wear pajamas to the office (for a change) and, instead, slip into the slimming effects of freshly laundered, black colored clothing. This long-favored trick of the trade is synonymous with Northside Theatre Companys production of The Woman in Black. For one final week, you can catch this thrilling play at prices that have been slenderized for your enjoyment. Artsopolis, all the taste of great Arts and Culture, at prices that won’t have you loosening your purse strings.

From Russia With Love

The Olympics bring out the competitor in me. Okay, the competitor in me, admittedly, doesn’t need a whole lot of coaxing. To tell you the truth, I can make yoga competitive. But, honestly, I miss the days of good old-fashioned, superfluous, global rivalry. Since glasnost, the U.S. hasn’t really had anyone to direct their misguided testosterone-fueled machismo toward. Quite the opposite, in fact. In the ultimate goodwill gesture, San Jose has even lent our beloved Sharks goalie, Evgeni Nabokov to the Russian Olympic hockey team this year. Now, THAT, is brotherly love. Or is it sisterly love? Either way, there’s a whole lot of reason to Russian get your tickets to the Moscow Sister County Commission’s Celebration of Russian Arts. This Red-hot fundraising event not only makes nice with mother Russia, it makes awesome, with a silent auction and multiple local Russian performers. Artsopolis, saving you oodles of rubles on Arts and Cultural events by Putin together the KGB (Keen Green Bargains) every week. And, that’s no Bolshevik.

Party Arty

Valentines Day, Presidents Day, Mardi Gras. As if we werent partied out already, today is my cat Lincolns favorite holiday, Are You Calling Me Fat? Wednesday. This is traditionally celebrated by me leaving the apartment to see an arts event at half price. Lincoln (no relation to the 16th U.S. President) likes AYCMFW, not only because the evil laser light monster that plagues the apartment seems to disappear when Im gone, but because the money I save using eSavers usually goes straight to his tummy in the form of treats. This week, San Jose Stages production of Rock N Roll is phat with political debate, Syd Barrett, and an extensive history lesson about the former Czechoslovakia, all things feline Lincoln thinks are almost as intriguing as whatever I happen to be eating. Artsopolis, making every day a holiday by emancipating Arts and Cultural events from half their prices.

Wicked Mad Scales

With the possible exception of the armadillo and the three-legged cat, I find no animal to be more fascinating than the crocodile. First off, they can hold their breath for up to 5 minutes, an ability I would relish whenever I find myself stuck in the elevator with sweaty-just-worked-out-guy or miss-spilled-the-whole-bottle-of-perfume-on-herself. Equally impressive is that crocodiles can survive in hibernation for up to two years during severe drought. Now, who of you is going to tell me thats not an attribute you wish you could have called upon for most of the ’80s? And, I dont need to tell you how much money my parents would have saved in orthodontics if Id been able to replace my entire set of teeth 45 times during my life as a crocodile does. Yes, predating the dinosaurs by 135 million years and out-surviving them by a mere 65 million makes the creatures some of the most amazingly adaptable in history. Though, none so adaptable, perhaps, as Lyle the Crocodile, who lives in a Victorian house with the Primms family. This tea-loving croc will be visiting Mountain View courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre, but unlike these amazing reptiles, he will be around this weekend, only. Artsopolis, assimilating scintillating Arts and Cultural events, at prices you can sink your teeth into.

Green Mile Savings

And now, in honor of Dead Man Walking at City Lights, Death Row haikus.

Moral dilemmas
Sister Prejean struggling
Who’s side are you on?

Innocent? Guilty?
Controversial play asks if
Penalty fits crime?

What did you just say?
Death Row Haikus in bad taste?
Judgmental are we?

Dead Man Walking
No denying its appeal
Tix. Quick. Gasp. Times up.

Artsopolis, finding great Arts and cultural deals at killer prices, despite the bad execution of poetry.

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

It’s time for a little girl talk. Guys, if you could leave the room for just for a moment, please. Thanks. Girls, Valentine’s Day is coming up soon. No doubt you’ve made plans, or for the passive-aggressive of our gender, dropped exceedingly obvious and obnoxious hints to that special man as to what you want to do for the big date. Yes, somehow, this celebration of love has been warped into a subversive contest to see which girl can get her guy to spend the most money on a night out that wouldn’t rank up there on his top ten. Sure, they get to see us all dressed up, glowing with excitement at the romance of it all, but come on, admit it, it’s kind of a girly holiday. There are no tractor pulls, blood sports or strip clubs on Valentine’s Day. At least, not on my watch there aren’t. But, what if you could combine an elegant Arts experience with a rugged appeal that your date could really get excited about? Ladies, I give you the Kurosawa Piano Music Foundation’s Monster Piano Concerts. Four little words; Twelve. Pianos. Playing. Simultaneously. Celebrate your love early, this Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! It’s one part fancy-shoe-wearing excuse, one part jaw dropping testosterone-infused power and all parts, say it with me, awesome! Artsopolis, putting the heart in arts at a price that will tickle your ivories. Okay, boys, you can come back in now.

Jacked Rabbit

This stormy weather has brought on some seriously messed up dreams. Seriously. Messed. Up. It’s like a cross between Alice in Wonderland and a post-apocalyptic video game, rated M for Mature, if you catch my drift. I’ll spare you the details, but, needless to say, between the rabbit holes and fox holes, it’s got me a smidge jumpy. Speaking of rabbit holes, Palo Alto Players’ production of the award-winning play, Rabbit Hole opens this week. With dramatic plot twists and dark humor, you might think you’ve accidentally stepped into one of my nocturnal delusions, but don’t worry, I have it on pretty good authority the show doesn’t normally result in cold sweats or mild paranoia. There’s always a first for everything, I suppose. Artsopolis, your second pair of eyes for Arts and cultural needs. We’ve got your back, with prices that won’t push you over the edge.

Extra-terr-spe-cial

Sometime around 221 BCE, a pear-shaped, four-stringed instrument called the pipa mysteriously started showing up in China. Now, if you’re like me, you’re thinking “Why only four strings? And why pear shaped?” Think hard. Who has just 4 fingers on a hand? Who’s head is pear shaped? Aliens, right?! It’s all a bit too Area 51 if you ask me. But, why would aliens bestow such an instrument on the human race? The answer might just be hidden in the amazing Stanford Lively Arts commissioned piece, Yin Yu Tang: A Chinese Home, a staged work with video for string quartet and pipa. And, while the Kronos Quartet may sound like they’re from Alderon, I assure you, if they are aliens, they all have 5 fingers. Artsopolis, searching out Arts and Culture and identifying prices that are nothing short of UFO’s (Unprecedented Frugal Opportunities.) Conspiracies not included.

Nine Was Fine, Ten Is In

I know you’re sad to see 2009 go, but it’s been nearly a week now, and you need to get over it. 2010 is kind of upset that you still insist on exclaiming, “I can’t believe it’s already 2010.” Believe it. Between you and me, the quip “aren’t we supposed to have flying cars by now?” is not only getting old, but it’s hurtful to 2010. Sure, you celebrated with champagne and noisemakers (those that didn’t fall asleep before midnight, anyway) but now that the party is over and done with, 2010 is feeling a bit, well, unwelcome. Maybe you should take 2010 to Downtown Ice. This way you can spend some quality time with this year, while secretly reminiscing about the winter holidays of 2009. And, after you skate, maybe buy 2010 a drink to warm him up at the Improv while you chuckle together at the quirky comedy stylings of Jay Larson. I know you didn’t ask, but I think you owe it to 2010. Artsopolis, bringing you closer to the Arts and 2010 at prices that will have you saying “2009 who?”

Nice List

So, I was hanging at the pub the other night with Santa and his helpers, throwing down a few pints, chatting about the “big day” and how time flies faster than Rudolph on Red Bull. Now, I suppose it could’ve been the peppermint schnapps talking, but jolly ‘ole Saint Nick swears that 2010 is the new 2009. Between you and me, apparently it’s going to be all the rage for the next 356. Yes, before we know it we’ll be saying goodbye to an entire decade. Kind of like Riverdance, which ends its amazing 15 year toe-tapping tour with a stop in San Jose for one week only! And, because I happen to have house sat for Blitzen back in 2004 during his stint at a facility for “extreme exhaustion,” I’ve got you covered for a wonderful New Year’s Eve at half-price. Artsopolis, naughty or nice, we think you should be Y2K+10 ready. Thanks for supporting the Arts! Happy Holidays.

Festive Fare for Little Fare

Okay, so ever have one of those days? Or… maybe weeks. Quite possibly, months. Years, if you think about it, really. Anyway, times where you’re like… I don’t know… where, like, your thoughts… or you just can’t…. It’s like you can’t finish…. It’s like all this stuff, and things, and so much stuff and things, just all, you know, or maybe you don’t. What I’m trying to say, I think, maybe uuuuummmmm… So, there are like lot of…. Wow…. I don’t know what. This time of year, it’s like, just all over the place. Kind of. So, pretty much, in a nutshell, I think my point is, go see The Seafarer at San Jose Stage Company. Yeah. And maybe buy yourself a cookie at intermission. Or a beer. Might help. Or not. Artsopolis, making sense of your Arts and Culture so you can focus on other things. Clearly. You know what we mean, right?

Recipe for Awesome

While intensely procrastinating last night, by way of the all-important spice cabinet reorganization, I came across this recipe for Holiday Cheer and thought I would share.

Start with African drums
Combine with traditional
Dreidel song
Stir in Christmas Carols
Add in 12 years experience as an all-woman’s choral group Reduce by half price
Serve to the Art-lovin’ masses and enjoy! Artsopolis, your gourmet Arts and Cultural guide to reductions you’ll rave about!

Artsopolismas

Dear Santa,

This year for Christmas I would really like to see Hillbarn Theatres’ production of Christmas, My Way. And, since I’ve been a really good girl, could you maybe deliver it early, like, this week? You know, I’ve been especially helpful this past year, and I don’t want to appear immodest, but I really deserve to kick back to the smooth Sinatra mainstays and holiday classics for half-price, if it’s not too much trouble, that is. And it would be super neat if I could see it opening weekend before anyone else. Oh wait, what’s this email here? (reads eSavers) Scratch that Santa, bring me an iPhone instead. Artsopolis, it’s like a holiday delivered to your inbox every week.

Thanks Giver

When the pilgrims gathered around that bountiful first Thanksgiving feast, their initial expression of gratitude went something like this. “Man, am I glad we are off that flippin’ boat! Can you imagine if we were still on that thing? How much would that suck?“ Documents verify that their next offering of thanks was loosely translated as “Wow, what better way to give thanks to our new found freedom and celebrate our good fortune than to eat until we feel like puking. Oh and maybe we can get a paid four day holiday weekend in there too. We should totally get on that, like pronto.” I have it on good authority that following that, they all high-fived each other and went to see a great Arts event at half-price. And thus the tradition of discounted entertainment was born from the very gut of patriotism. As my way of thanking you for being loyal subjects and Arts patrons, I’m giving you 12 wonderful half-price offers, a whole day early. No need to thank me. Really. Artsopolis, stuffing your inbox with Arts and Cultural yummy, without having to put your budget on a diet. Happy Thanksgiving.

Pen Revolution Recipe

Yesterday, while preparing for my 5 hours of requisite beauty sleep or attempt thereof, I found three pens in my hair. Three. In my hair. I frequently will have a one or two-pen hair day, but three is, I’m afraid, a desperate state to be in. It is on these Bic and Paper Mate mutiny days that I find it is best to take part in immediate PRAYER (Princess Restorative Arts YEs Regimen. ) Luckily this week Morocco’s Restaurant fits the bill with a mini-vacation that is music to your ears, stomach, and your soul. Morocco’s warm, intimate atmosphere sets the perfect stage for belly dancing and live musicians, guaranteed to repair peace of mind and banish even the most stubborn of wayward writing implements from the would-be sanctuary of your lofty locks. Artsopolis, cooking up Arts and Cultural deals to thwart the small wallet as well as the occasional office supply uprising!

Knot Your Average Savings

Whether it’s eloping to Vegas, or an extravagant well-planned ceremony, weddings are an artistic reflection of a couple. From the flowers and the dress to the place settings and the invitations, there’s hardly an art form that can’t be incorporated into a ceremony. Personally, I count any time I get to eat mini-quiche and sip free champagne as a good day. As long as you remain steadfast in the knowledge that, despite the dance-enhancing qualities of said free champagne, the Electric Slide will never, ever be cool, it’s safe to say you can’t get much better than a wedding. Unless it’s FOUR weddings! It just so happens that I have a limited number of invitations for The Tabard Theatre Company’s production of A Taffeta Wedding, in which all four of the Taffeta sisters tie the knot with their singing beaus-to-be. Champagne is extra, but you can sip while you watch, and that’s not a bad place to be on a Friday or Saturday night. Artsopolis, marrying great Arts events with perfect discount prices, till death do us part.

Satellite Savings

The Moon. What’s not to like about it? It’s consistent, bright, solid, dependable, and even inspires poetry. Now, I know what you’re thinking, and yes, just the other day, as a matter of fact, while in the grocery store, someone tapped me on the shoulder and said “Moon?” Actually, I was a bit offended, to be honest. I’m not nearly as old as the Moon, nor round enough, and those are chicken pox scars, not impact craters, thank you very much. No matter, I suppose there are much worse celestial objects to be mistaken for. Heaven help the person who mistakes me for Uranus. This week, The California Theatre Center celebrates the moon and the 40th anniversary of man’s first moon mission with their production of Apollo – To the Moon. It’s certain to be out of this world and perfect for kids who weren’t around for the lunar landing. Artsopolis, setting you up with the perfect Arts and Cultural atmosphere, with discounts that won’t eclipse your wallet!

You Give Me Fever

Well, fancy meeting you here. I hope you’re excited about Halloween. I’m sure many of you will dress up and be attending parties this weekend. Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz always seems a popular choice, but I, myself, prefer the Cowardly Lion. No doubt, among the scariest costumes represented this year will be Swine Flu. Oh, hey, speaking of parties and cowards and fevers, The Pear Avenue Theatre invites you to Hay Fever by Noel Coward. This play centers around an actress throwing a party, which, when you think about it, is kind of what a play is. Artsopolis, scaring up arts and cultural deals, at day-after-Halloween sale prices!

All in One – You Can Count Them

Something went terribly wrong today while attempting to prepare your eSavers (an issue full of Classic Treasures). You see, somehow I was sucked into another dimension. There I was at my desk ,and the next minute, a Groundswell sucked me into a Deepak dark strange place. I was there for hours and it was looking more tragic than Romeo and Juliet if I didn’t think of something fast. Resigned to make My Prison, My Home as my predicament got more heated than the SF Women’s Comedy Competition, I was shocked and relieved when out of nowhere, Rick Steves threw me a Lifeline made of Emerson String. As I climbed, the pit became a mountain and I got to wishing I was French. French Women Don’t Get Fat and this would be much easier if I were more in The Shape of Things. Once atop the mountain it was as if Scott Clark from Pixar had come and animated me himself. I caught my breath and oddly enough stumbled upon a flower shop! I grabbed 5 lovely Steel Magnolias but was advised by the mountain-top florist, a very Brave Irene, that they were Cheaper by the Dozen. She threw in a 13th bud as a Halloween Extra and then she disappeared. I’d have been doomed if not for the fortuitous arrival of 3 wise people. “Hi, I’m Barbara Ehrenreich and this is Sebastian Maniscalco and our dog Sylvia! We’re on our way to a Choir Invitational. Want to join us?” “Fantasticks!” I cried ! “But I just have to get eSavers out first!” And poof, there I was, back at Artsopolis, providing high Art and Cultural adventures, and leaving nobody behind except half the prices.

Autumn Conspiracies

Ah, October. Time for trees to shed their leaves and the Christmas decorations to come out en masse at department stores. Time also for my cat Paxton to decide that the apartment is entirely too cold after the 3 degree seasonal temperature change, and thus he must fashion himself into a heat-stealing, combination sleep scarf and pillow. One might see this sleepy-time cranial cat cushion as an attempt to strangle me in my slumber, but as Paxton hasn’t learned to use the can opener yet, I figure I’m safe. Speaking of pillows and murder, San Jose Stage’s first production of their 27th season, The Pillowman, offers a darkly comic look at an author’s bedtime stories gone terribly, terribly wrong. At these amazing prices, I could even take Paxton, but I don’t want to give him too many ideas. You know, just in case he works out that whole opposable thumb or prehensile tail thing. Artsopolis, finding the Arts and Cultural events of your dreams, with killer discounts.

Plan B

I decided in 8th grade that I wanted to be Jacques Cousteau. Well not BE him, but be LIKE him, occupationally speaking. Short of becoming a mermaid, a Marine Biologist was the next best thing, and from what I could ascertain, a bit more obtainable than mermaid. This was my steadfast calling for exactly one semester of oceanography. Right up until the fieldtrip when I discovered that not only do I get seasick, but I’m highly sensitive to anti-seasick medication. This muscle-twitching, hallucinatory, and lest we forget, nauseating episode, was not in my opinion a particularly auspicious beginning to one’s calling. This unfortunate discovery also led to the realization that while sharks, lion fish, and the infamous Chironex fleckeri don’t scare me, I was terrified of dying of boredom in a research lab doing math for the rest of my life. Thus, I became a Princess. Tim Lee knows a little something about Plan B. Tim secured his PhD in Ecology & Evolution from UC Davis, just before determining that he’d much rather be a comedian than a practicing scientist. Don’t believe me? Catch his PowerPoint-filled, wickedly smart comedy show this Thursday (at half price of course), and you’ll have your proof. Q.E.D. Artsopolis, always your Plan A for great arts and cultural deals!

Easy Being Green

In an effort to be more environmentally friendly and to thwart my computer’s oh-so-hilarious attempts to make my head explode by randomly shutting programs down while I am trying to use them, I’m asking you to recycle last week’s paragraph. That’s right, just reuse all that sass and then jump straight to the goods by clicking through to this week’s eSavers. Just like coffee cups and grocery bags, this issue has old stuff and new stuff mixed in to make one lightweight yet durable, and ever-so-pleasing vessel for Arts and Cultural deals. Artsopolis, saving you green by reducing the prices, so no seats go to waste!

Arts Posturing

Have you ever slept odd and woken up in the morning, afraid you might break in half? Crick in the neck, out-of-joint hip, twinge in the shoulder, pain in the… well, you get my drift. No pillow, position, support, or stretch seems to get you back in whack. I feel your pain. Actually, Richard III of England had some alleged back problems, so he feels your pain too. Unfortunately, as one of Literature and History’s most manipulative monsters, he doesn’t care about your pain, unless he’s inflicted it. But the experts at Shady Shakespeare do care, and, this week, if you find yourself in need of a little TLC (Theatre Loving Chiropractic), you can exchange your normally free lawn seat for a more upstanding post. Yes, I have a hunch you and your friend will feel right at home perched on thrones, sipping wine, while you watch Richard’s spine-tingling villainy. Artsopolis, aligning your arts and cultural events with your budget for a more ergonomic and economic experience!

Take a Bough

The Scottish are known for their red hair, whiskey, and frugality. It should surprise none that your very own Princess of Artsopolis can claim such ancestry and is appropriately proud of it. I’ve even made a pilgrimage to the highlands in search of the castle on heather-kissed moors that I was convinced I would one day magically inherit. I’m still waiting for the castle. Still waiting for kilts to come back into style, too. While I’m waiting, how about a little music? The Sunnyvale Parks and Recreation Department present the Celtic music group Golden Bough this Saturday night. At half the price, if you haven’t a clan of your own to call home, you qualify as an honorary Scot! Artsopolis, taking the high road to Arts and Culture so your wallet can take the low road.

Making Waves

Siblings are like water. Sometimes they have the soothing effect of a warm bath, and, other times, they overpower with tsunami-like force. The key is to learn to ride the current instead of fight it, even when we feel like we are drowning. Understanding where the river that carves out paths through granite mountains originates will help one to see the strength instead of the destruction. Okay, right about now, I sense some of you are checking to see if you opened a fortune cookie instead of your eSavers. I assure you, my waxing philosophical is no mistake. The Memory of Water at The Dragon Theatre in Palo Alto is a perfect demonstration of this journey to recognizing balance, and this week your budget will be balanced too, with tickets at half the regular price. Artsopolis, providing you the paddle of Arts and Cultural deals so you and your wallet aren’t left up a creek without one.

Idol Worship

While on a coffee date last week, it was confessed by my potential suitor that he actually keeps all my eSavers. As I graciously tried to change the topic, he allowed as how he actually prints each one out. And scrapbooks them. And that he has the Artsopolis Twitter updates texted directly to his phone, in real time, so he doesn’t miss a single Princess related post. He also mentioned he has the entire Artsopolis Blog memorized. About the time he pulled out his banjo and started playing a song about the new Artsopolis Radio Player, I suddenly remembered my three-legged cats needed shampooing. Immediately. Nice fella, but I just have to draw the line at candles and incense. It would be different if I could easily distinguish sincerity by chronology. You see, it totally doesn’t count as stalking if you knew someone BEFORE they became famous. This is where The Summit Idols Benefit Concert in Los Gatos this Saturday could come in handy, for all levels of aspiring groupies. By attending local artists’ performances and chumming around with them now, you can prevent those awkward, zealot-like encounters years later when they become A-listers. Artsopolis, your biggest fan when it comes to great Arts and Cultural deals.

If the Shoe Fits

My affinity for unrestricted footwear has, no doubt ,been made abundantly clear. No laces, zippers, no buckles, hooks or snaps. Velcro is even pushing it. The ease and low impact style of the slip-on shoe saves time, money, precious footwear materials, and makes me a lot less sad when the shoes are worn out and can no longer be considered appropriate foot coverings. Though the flip-flop is my pied de resistance, there are times when a more formal shoe is certainly desired, but a true Princess never has to sacrifice her fundamentals for the sake of society. The glass slipper is chic, practical, and void of cumbersome restraints. If you ask me, Cinderella totally had the right idea. Speaking of Cindy, the Children’s Repertory Theatre of Fremont’s performance of Cinderella is just around the corner. Not unlike my take on the modern shoe, this show promises to be unique, fun, and of course, frugal. Artsopolis, your Arts and Cultural fairy godmother, insuring you and your wallet a perfect fit every time.

Heaven Scent

On a warm day, when the wind blows just the right direction, the divine aroma of Gilroy garlic can be detected miles away in downtown San Jose. Forget that fancy body spray, the appealing aphrodisiac qualities of fresh garlic can make a girl all giddy. Unparalleled by any paltry synthetic imposter fragrance, perhaps the only thing sexier and more alluring to me than the smell of garlic is a young Russian Flamenco guitar virtuoso. It just so happens (freaky coincidence, I know!) that the Historic Gaslighter Theatre in Gilroy will turn up the heat this Saturday with acclaimed Russian Flamenco guitarist Grisha Goryachev. Nothing like a little “guitarlics” to spice up your evening, I say. Artsopolis, great arts and cultural experiences at the prices you gotta clove, I mean love.

Flippin’ Fantastic Forest Funnies

When I was about eight my older sister brought home a small frog she’d rescued from the pool. She named him Fremont and, before releasing him back to the woods of Woodside, he stayed for a month in a fish bowl on the kitchen counter. Many a scuffle broke out over whose turn it was to feed the unlucky caterpillar sacrifice from the garden to Fremont and many a squeal of delight was heard when he snapped it up with his cute little tongue. Looking back, I kind of regret having not tried to kiss the little guy. Things might have worked out a whole lot differently for this Princess if I had. What? Is that weird? That’s weird isn’t it? Anywho, I got all “croaked” up this week when I saw that Theatre in the Woods was offering tickets to see their production of The Frogs in Woodside. Although this production stars humans and was written by Aristophanes, well before Fremont’s time, I’m pretty sure my flippered friend Fremont would “toadally” support the idea of wandering the forest trails while enjoying a classic Greek comedy. Artsopolis, amphibian-friendly arts events with prices that won’t leave your lily pads in a bunch.

The Text Files

Schmoopy, work’s running l8 again, can u pick up cat food on your way home please? Don’t w8 on dinner 4 me. Oh, and can u get tix 2 something fun this weekend? Oh wait, LOL, it takes longer 4 me 2 text this than it does 2 buy tix on Artsopolis. I’ll pick up a pair for A Girls Guide to Chaos @ the Dragon Theatre in Palo Alto. U focus on cat food, I got the entertainment under control. What would a busy girl like me do without Artsopolis? TTFN!

Go with the Grain

My choice of location for higher education was a cornfield. It was a lovely, enlightened, liberal arts cornfield, but essentially, when surrounded by that much corn, you are in a cornfield. So, after 4 years amidst this crop, you could say I have some kernel knowledge. I am also somewhat of an authority on elephants, having somehow convinced a mahout in Thailand to let me “drive” Somjit, the 7 foot elephant, through a Thailand jungle for nearly two hours. So I can tell you that corn does, in fact, grow as high as an elephant’s eye. What in Chiang Mai does this have to do with anything? Find out by grabbing your friends and family (no need to go silo) and heading to Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of Oklahoma. Artsopolis, stalking down “aMAIZEing” arts and cultural deals at half the price so you and your wallet can reap the benefits. What? Too corny? Well, shucks.

Contagious in the Good Way

Do you know someone that seems to be at the opposite end of “in-the-know” when it comes to arts and culture? Someone who hasn’t seen a single arts or cultural event since the Y2K fiasco? Someone who awkwardly changes the topic to sports or politics when party chat turns to the Arts? Sounds like you know someone who suffers from Arts Deficiency Disorder (ADD). But don’t be alarmed, there is hope, and you are looking at it. It’s likely these afflicted persons may not even know where to find art, let alone culture, but by forwarding this issue of eSavers to them or by taking it upon yourself to attend an arts event with your newly sponsored ADD-sufferer, you can help reverse the effects of this silent, and let’s face it, totally boring disease. Perhaps the Stanford Jazz Workshop’s Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet presentation is a good place to start. A little music, a little history lecture, and Wayne is a local, so he understands how it is. He won’t judge, he’ll just heal with the power of the arts. Artsopolis, arts amelioration at a curative cost.

Park It Here

In honor of the unexpected combinations and the final weekend of San Jose Stage’s The Great American Trailer Park Musical, ladies and gentlemen, a pair of trailer park haikus:

roadkill, stripper pole
tuneful trailer harmonies
embrace inner trash

Beer sold at halftime
Git a goin’ already
tears if missed, go cheap

I think you get my point. Artsopolis, we make cheap sound like a good thing.

Celebrity Status

This morning’s two-block commute started off as expected. Upon exiting my downtown penthouse (3rd floor walkup in need of new carpet and paint), I sifted through the crowds of paparazzi (light rail riders), signed autographs (credit card receipt), caused traffic jams (walking, not my forte), tweeted about it (while walking? What part of “not my forte” did you not understand?), all the usual Princessy things. Between my caviar and champagne brunch (coffee and stale croissant) and arriving at work, I was approached by a Broadway producer, a book publisher, and a reality TV show executive (no seriously, I was, honest) who all wanted me to sign on the dotted line, promising the nation a much desired glimpse into the life of an American Princess. Their pleas and contracts were met with a simple statement, one I have prepared for just such occasions. “Who do you think I am? Seth Rudetsky?!” They looked at each other and agreed, I am no Seth Rudetsky. You can even ask Seth himself when he plays for one night only in Newark. With a radio show, multiple Emmy nominations for his writing credits on The Rosie O’Donnell Show, and his MTV reality show appearances, you’re certain to get that behind-the-scenes entertainment you’ve been yearning for. Artsopolis, treating you like the Arts and Cultural VIP that you are.

Father Knows Best

The father-daughter bond is a prodigious relationship that’s made even more so if you happen to wear the prestigious title of “World’s Most Awesome Dad.” How awesome, you ask? For starters, my dad always supported my love for the Arts, even when it meant sitting through decades of concerts, plays, and recitals. What’s even more impressive is that my dad is from Texas, and although he’s never articulated such thoughts, I’m sure he wouldn’t have been terribly upset had my passion been bull-riding or chili cook-offs. How must it feel to be as awesome as Mr. Greenwood? Lucky for you, you don’t have to wonder much longer. I’ve decided to let you experience what it’s like to be him by providing you the opportunity to do exactly what he will be doing in celebration of Father’s Day. That’s right. In addition to how to drive a manual transmission, my dad taught me the art of shameless self-promotion and the importance of frugality. It is no coincidence that all three of these parental teachings can be represented by visiting Northside Theatre’s production of Luv, a quirky comedy in San Jose that just happens to feature my dad’s favorite daughter. Artsopolis; it’s like giving you the car keys with no curfew on a school night.

Arts Aroma

While driving the jeep down the freeway this week, I cruised past a fast food place. I’m not sure exactly where the quick-meal establishment was located, but I could definitely smell it. And, as the fragrant vapors enveloped my nostrils, it got the conspiracy theorist,uh, I mean marketer in me thinking. Is the wafting scent of french fries that floats about for miles an intentional, manufactured device intended to tempt the would-be-passer-byers to the doorstep? And then I started thinking, what do Art and Culture smell like, and how could I get every city to buy a bottle of Ode D’Art to lace their parking strips with? There you are, walking by a museum or a theatre and BAM, the sweetly scented goodness of entertainment and sophisticated arts patronage permeate your olfactories. While my mad scientists work on that, you might be interested in what Katie Tamony, Editor in Chief at Sunset Magazine has to say about her own backyard grocery growing experiment that exploded into a something quite unexpectedly extraordinary. Artsopolis, half price tickets to plenty of Arts and Culture, right under your nose.

Bon Voyage

Each year about this time, my feet start to itch. No, it’s not the fungus from the locker room at the gym. We all know I never step in there.No, I’m talking about itchy travel feet. A girl’s got to have an adventure every now and then, and for me, it usually requires weeks and months of research, saving, and inoculations. It also usually involves large bugs, painfully abnormal stretches without proper toilet facilities, eating things I’d rather not know the English name for, and brief, unintentional brushes with death. If you seek a Transatlantic caper, but staying in Pacific Standard Time and sleeping in your own bed this weekend is far more appealing, perhaps California Theatre Center’s production of Rough Crossing is just the ticket. You can keep the Dramamine at home for these high-seas shenanigans and, even better, this production launches the first of four great shows that comprise CTC’s Summer Repertory Season! Artsopolis, helping to create your exciting arts and cultural itinerary, without voting your wallet off the island.

SPF (Savings Princess Factor) Awesome

While aisle-hopping at the drugstore last week, I chanced upon the sunscreen section. As the red-headed human equivalent of an otter, I spent a lot of time in the water of my native California, and thus, an inordinate amount of time slathered in sunscreen. During my stint as Aquaman’s sidekick-in-training, SPF 45 was about as high you could get. Today, they have mastered the technology (or more likely the marketing) of SPF 100.Upon seeing this, I thought, that’s not entirely unlike wrapping a black hole around you, is it? In fact, that stuff might very well turn you into a vampire. With that kind of advertised protection, it better block you from pyramid schemes, bad boyfriends, and anything else liable to burn you. But, perhaps I’m just too thin-skinned for this topic, which leads me to The Pear Avenue Theatre’s production of The Way of the World in Mountain View this weekend. Per the requisite for the genre, this Restoration play has plenty of exposed skin, roasting of egos, and smoldering repartee. And, just like my sunscreen, this play has a modern, updated twist. Artsopolis, your answer to a healthy arts and cultural glow for a price that won’t burn a hole in your wallet.

Cop Out

Ever have one of those days where anything, from answering the phone to eating lunch, is honestly just asking too much? Well, welcome to my Wednesday. This is the kind of day where you wish this paragraph would write itself. And I find myself asking how do 150 little words of unsolicited sass, something arguably subconscious and so second nature, get the better of me? And then I say, wait. Wait just one creative-blocked second. I’m already 80 words in. I’m nearly done? I’ve virtually succeeded without even trying? And then as if by magic, I see that wonderfully random but oh-so-perfect tie-in that eluded me just minute ago. This week, Hillbarn in Foster City is offering half-price tickets for their show How to Succeed in Business Without Even Trying. And then, just like that, all I need is a tagline and I’m done. Artsopolis, making it easier than you think to get exactly what you want.

Age of Enlightenment

This week marked my 5th anniversary as the Princess of Artsopolis. Research shows that the first 5 years are crucial in making you who you are. Cognitively, the first 5 years see you go from humble linguistic beginnings, populated with grunts and babble, to asking your parents very embarrassing questions at top volume in very public forums. I took an aggressive approach, both in life and at Artsopolis, committing to an early and incessant strategy of embarrassing parents, coworkers, and even myself. Physically, from 0-5 you gain an average of 35 pounds. While this hasn’t been my experience during my half decade here, I would like to state for the record that if people don’t stop bringing peanut butter candy to the office, we may see an undesirable parallel to early childhood development. In honor of being this many (holds up five fingers) I thought it appropriate to bring to your attention Candide, presented by the talented teenagers at Children’s Musical Theatre San Jose. Love, drama, civil (or not so civil) disobedience, and loss of innocence. Oh, and sarcasm. Lots and lots of sarcasm. Sound familiar? As they perform this timeless, satirical, literary adaptation from our past, this next generation of American idols make some wise-beyond-their-years commentary on our present and our future. And, all in a very entertaining package for half the regular price. Artsopolis, bringing you stages for all ages to fit your wages. To the next five years.

Musical Domaine

I am the proud owner of an acoustic guitar, keyboard, mandolin, banjo, djembe, upright piano, and a lyre, and, while I don’t possess a drum set, I do, for some inexplicable reason, own a pair of drumsticks. Sadly, the only instrument I can actually play is the champagne flute. Had I practiced more as a child, no doubt I would have been a virtuoso, but I’m told there are laws against that, so now, I just collect these melodic conversation pieces in the hopes of luring musicians back to my apartment. This week, the Mission Chamber Orchestra promises to actually play their instruments, not just hit on men with them, as they present their Made in the USA concert. The uncorking of not one, but two world premieres along with a musical toast to several musical genres will indubitably blow you Moët, I mean away. Artsopolis, filling your glass with arts and culture and keeping your wallet half full.

Shell Shocker

The weather’s hot, but the air conditioning is on inside the palace, which creates a catastrophic climate for one as circulation-challenged as myself. To combat this unsatisfactory chill, I’ve donned my stuffed armadillo slippers which I keep under my desk for just such an environmental emergency. Now, don’t go calling PETA; they aren’t real armadillos. They’re just shaped like armadillos. But this got me to thinking about my favorite Xenarthra and their unselfish (albeit likely unintentional) contribution to the music world. Did you know that after the Spanish Conquistadores landed in South America, the native people of what we now call Bolivia liked the Spanish guitars so much that they fashioned their own instruments out of armadillos shells and called them charangos? Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the South Bay Guitar Society was presenting the Alturas Duo this weekend in San Jose. Uncanny as it may seem, these guys play viola, guitar, and charango. But, don’t get your armor in a bunch, the duo’s more modern charangos are 100% armadillo-friendly, just like today’s cozy choice of footwear. Artsopolis, banding together to find you great arts and cultural events at half the price.

Calculated

Here at Artsopolis I’m making daily decisions that quite honestly, save lives. You’d be utterly shocked at the kind of moral and ethical dilemmas I encounter regularly at my desk. What color post-its to have ordered? What to blog about? Whether to order Taco Tuesday on Thursday? One wrong move and the effects could be devastating. I could tell you more but then I’m afraid I’d have to kill you and I just don’t want to have to kill again. It wears you down and besides, the office totally isn’t big enough to hide any more bodies. Someone else who certainly understands this kind of burden is the father of modern computer science, Alan Turing. Alan was responsible for creating a machine that deciphered German code which resulted in an ally victory of World War II. But there were other things that…oh that’s the phone, no doubt another crucial decision I have to act on. While I’m busy changing the planet with the next words I utter, feel free to continue learning about Alan’s choices and the impacts they had by getting a ticket to Bus Barn Stage Company’s production of Breaking the Code in Los Altos. Artsopolis, no mathematical genius or Top Secret security clearance required to see that half price on numerous arts and cultural events can revolutionize our lives in ways we never knew.

In the Eye of the Beholder

I get asked a lot “why Princess?” This inquiry is often met with something like you can’t deny your birth right no matter how imaginary it may be to others or, I’m completely crazy you probably shouldn’t be standing so close. Sometimes a person asks me which Princess from History or Literature I associate with most closely. Though a more scientific answer to this question no doubt could be found by completing a quiz on Facebook, when put on the spot I’ve likened myself to Sleeping Beauty right after she wakes up. Yeah, her. If I’d just been woken up from what was probably a really great dream after 100 years, I’m sure I wouldn’t look or feel like much of a superstar. No shower for ten decades has got to do a number on you, not to mention that I’d probably be more than a little weirded out that some dude I don’t know just kissed me. While I was SLEEPING. Not the basis for a solid relationship and a recipe for all sorts of cranky if you ask me. Which brings me to the non-cranky part of this week’s eSavers. GrooveLily’s new CD Sleeping Beauty Wakes is being played live as part of a family-friendly TheatreWorks benefit concert this Friday only in Palo Alto! This fantastic music group’s songs explore what I find to be the very probably scenario of Beauty awaking to find herself in a contemporary sleep disorder clinic. Take that Prince creepy. Artsopolis, awakening you to greats Arts and Cultural events for half the price, so you and your wallet can stop fretting and start getting some beauty rest.

Can You Hear Me Now

Rememer when you used to be able to use a phone on a plane? Back then if you were willing to pay the price ($200 and your right arm I think was the going rate) you could subject the rest of the plane to your very important call. Now adays, although you can rejuice your cell at charging stations and even buy a new phone from a vending machine at the airport, you can’t actually use them on your flight. Not that I’m complaining. Actually, I find few things more irritating than people who undo their seatbelt and start blabbing at full volume even before the plane has fully stopped. I’m sure your significant other or bernie the limo driver can wait 5 more minutes for you to call with your ETA once you are actually off the plane. And I really don’t care what your having for dinner and I’m sure 23F doesn’t either. Sometimes I’d like those people to disappear. And that’s where Magique Bazaar comes in. Majinga the Magician’s illusions will delight as will the fact that we’ve made half the regular price disappear! Now, if I can just get him and his lovely assistant Genii to work on those impatient cellphone junkies we’d be set.

Shock Agua

The world is saturated with conflict. The act of taking sides is no longer reserved for just sports or politics. Now you have to be a cat or a dog person, overtly declare your cola of choice, and pledge your unwavering consanguinity to the MAC or PC. For better or worse this long-standing tradition of usually synthetically manufactured competition pits one against another resulting in drama we then thrive upon. Take the most beloved grudge match of all time; big verses little sister. As an example, at first you might see Rosannah’s insistence to repeatedly bump into her younger sister Bette and proclaim “What was that? It must’ve been a patch of hard air” as harsh, unwarranted punishment. But when it’s revealed that Rosannah has been tortured by Bette’s incessant infringement on her social circle and that Rosannah’s attempts to teach Bette the valuable lesson of “when not to butt in” is met with a totally unfair grounding for the rest of the day, you may find yourself adjusting your allegiances in favor of Rosannah. Then again you may find that Teatro Vision’s production of Water and Power explores the family rivalry dynamic more intensely than the above totally-made-up-and-in-no-way-autobiographical scenario. Brothers, cultures, and forces of nature clash in this dark and satirical play that has sparks and spit flying every which way. Artsopolis, on the side of awesome so the only thing you have to choose is which events to attend and who to bring.

Postcards from the Edge

The postcard. Genius really. Cheaper to buy, less expensive to send, only enough space to write a paragraph so there’s no pressure to be brilliant and who doesn’t like happy pictures of scenic views showing up unexpectedly in their mailbox? So what if the sender is on some tropical island enjoying high adventure and fruity drinks with tiny umbrellas and you aren’t? We can be happy for them can’t we? At least they took time to think of us between their beach massage and their hike up ancient ruins to watch the sunset. That was nice of them. I mean living vicariously via a postcard is a great way to cram a spontaneous mini-vacation into 60 seconds without having to extract sand from unwanted crevices if you think about it. Then again, for some of us it takes a bit more than 5 x 7 snapshot to transport us to paradise. That’s where Sunnyvale Community Players comes in this week with their production of Once on This Island. Romance, music, a tropical setting, and all for half price. It’s so lovely you might just feel compelled to send me a postcard afterwards. Artsopolis, “wishing you were here” and helping you to get there. Tiny umbrella drinks not included.

Chop Chop

Don’t run with scissors. Universally solid advice I’d say. Yet I never actually recall my mother telling me not to run with scissors. In fact I’m pretty sure the most common requests of me were to lower my voice, put some shoes for the love of Bob, and go play in traffic. These parental gems no doubt helped to shape the model citizen and paragon of common sense that I appear to be today, but appearances aren’t everything. Yes, I admit I’m a closet thrill seeker. I’ve been known to jaywalk, leave the house without an umbrella, and even use a white wine glass for Pinot Noir. It a wonder I’m still alive really. Given this risky side to my personality it should come as no surprise that my eyes were drawn to the Pear Avenue Theatre’s production of Pick Up Ax this week. As a matter of fact, I’m suggesting that you run, not walk to see it. I know it goes against my overwhelmingly responsible reputation, but this play’s cutting wit equals sheer enjoyment and per the usual arrangement this offer includes a pretty nice slice to the regular price. Artsopolis, keeping you on the cutting edge of the local arts scene.

Arts Afoot

I experienced a transportation crisis the other day. Mid stride my flip-flop up and busted on me in a most irreparable way. With no duct tape on my person or glue gun to speak of, I was left to hobble down the sidewalk, dilapidated shoe in hand. Down the street I tottered and in doing so jostled a curious thought loose. When you have a flat tire someone like AAA comes to fix it, but what happens when your entertainment goes flat? Then it occurred to me that eSavers is just like AAA (Auxiliary Arts Assistance). What a relief to know that emergency or not you can access your eSavers, buy tickets, and go about your Arts and Cultural way entirely unimpeded. If only it were that easy to summon a mobile cobbler in his “toe truck” to remedy my PEDicament. Speaking of great feats this week Ballet San Jose is offering tickets to their program of world-premieres, Hidden Talents. This shoe-in for a fantastic evening is of course half-price, so there’ll be plenty left over to purchase replacement footwear should you need it. Artsopolis, your roadside service for Arts and Cultural breakdowns on the information highway.

Simple as an Arctic Apple

I’m a busy Princess and to be perfectly frank I don’t have time to waste deciphering things like the marketing lexicon of product labels. Like “angel whisper” scented candles. Raise your hand if you know what an angel whisper smells like. Or any whisper for that matter. And what exactly is the difference between cherry and Brazilian cherry? I have no idea if that’s fruit or wood. Honestly people, it might as well be called unicorn spit. I shouldn’t have to phone a friend from the grocery aisle to ask them these things unless I’m going to win the million dollars. This week UpMarket Productions brings you a show that will permit you to leave the almanac at home, though I would suggest you phone a friend to go with you. Fountain of Youth, A New Musical Comedy. There will be music. There will be comedy. And it’s new. Just as the title suggests the Fountain of Youth will be quite profoundly involved in the central plot. Artsopolis, removing the mystery and half the price from your arts and cultural encounters.

Suspect Sentiment

As many of you are probably already aware, we are fast approaching a very special holiday. A day when some of us celebrate the solid bonds of adoration that we have established over the years and others chose to reflect bitterly on what went wrong in our History, dwelling only on the negative. Yes, Presidents’ Day can be an emotional roller coaster for many. Whether your heart overflows with love for presidents old and new or you scoff at this grossly over-commercialized holiday, boycotting its Washington shaped chocolates, and red, white & blue flower bouquets, I think you’ll find Northside Theatre’s The Unexpected Guest a perfect way to address whatever feelings you may be encountering. Betrayal, justice, resolution, shock, anticipation, and suspense, this Agatha Christie murder mystery has everything to make your Presidents’ Day as special as you want it to be. Artsopolis, your Lincoln to great Arts deals.

I Got Your Impact Right Here

$166.2 Billion. According to the Arts & Economic Prosperity III study, released in 2007, that’s the estimated amount that nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences (that’s you) generate in economic activity every single year in the United States. How about 5.7 million? That’s the number of jobs they support. What about $30 billion? Yup, the resulting local, state, and federal government revenue generated every year. In these challenging times the oft heard words bankrupt, layoffs, and bailout are indeed ominous. They also all have two syllables, but I think that’s probably just a coincidence. What isn’t coincidental is why I’m inundating this message with statistics. With this level of impact, clearly the arts are not immune to the temporary economic slump we find ourselves in. But I’ve done the math and surprisingly $10.50 a week from everyone in America is all it takes to keep our thriving arts, well… thriving. To help you do your part (and be entertained in the process) we have 28 offers in this issue of eSavers, and 14 of them are happening THIS WEEKEND. That’s kind of like trying to pick your favorite vital organ. As always these offers are half-price, which means you’re just going to have to take twice as many people with you or go see twice as many events to do your part. Artsopolis, showing the economy who’s boss one performance at a time.

Don’t Have a Cow

The ox in the Chinese zodiac is said to represent prosperity through hard work. This week we’ve done all the work so you can prosper culturally! So don’t ox twice, just grab that oxy lady or bull-headed friend of yours and hoof it on down to the San Jose Center of Performing Arts to see The Spring Festival of Silicon Valley. This extravaganza will include Chinese dance, music, comedy, and even Shaolin Kung Fu demonstrations. What a perfect way to welcome the year of the ox. Artsopolis, working like an ox to steer you in the direction of great arts and cultural deals, and that’s no yoke.

Quick Fix

Things break. Computers, cars, sinks, you name it, it’s just what stuff does. Here at Artsopolis we recognize that sometimes even your Art gets broken. How do you know your Art is broken? Ask yourself the following: 1) Do you find yourself at home consuming mass quantities of marshmallow fudge ripple instead of taking in a local music concert? 2) Do you channel surf for hours, unsatisfied with the choices presented to you, yet unable to drag yourself to undeniable stimulation waiting for you at a Museum? 3) Do you allow the multiple phone calls of friends trying desperately to get you to join them at a comedy club, to go directly to voicemail? If you answered yes to one or more of these, you my friend have a broken Art. Our suggestion: put the ice cream down, walk away from the T.V., and make sure your cell phone is on silent as you settle down in the audience for Renegade Theatre Experiment’s production of A Clockwork Orange. And just like that, no more broken Art. Now, orange you glad you have Artsopolis to help your Art run like clockwork?

Greene Bird or Greenwood?

One day in 1987, the future Princess of Artsopolis went to school decked out in her brand new bright yellow turtleneck sweater dress with matching black and yellow checkered bandana, black tights, and jelly bracelets. At the very moment her classmates saw her bee-like rock star outfit of awesomeness, they did what you probably just did. They laughed. And at this precise moment of laughter the Princess-in-training decided quite dramatically that if the world gives you lemons and you’re kind of dressed like one, you should make lemonade. But make it with a twist and call it something sexy. You’ll likely have this same epiphany if you see the Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of Gooney Bird Greene in Mountain View this weekend. You may also notice that though names and facts were slightly altered to protect my identity, this charming story about a red-haired, freckled, elementary school girl with questionable fashion sense is clearly the result of the my phantom biographer. Speaking of which, you’ll excuse the absence of a proper tagline for this paragraph, as I must attend to matters concerning other life events of mine that may have inadvertently been made into children’s plays.

Gearing Up

Welcome back to January. It’s been 11 months since you last encountered this month, but January is like riding a bicycle, once you get back on it, it’s easy to remember how to ride it out. Speaking of bikes, my orange mountain bike Poppy, was cruising eSavers this week and came across an offer so intriguing, she nearly shed her pedals. As self appointed Arts and Cultural spokesbike, Poppy will of course tread softly around the sharps and flats that will be present at the San Jose Chamber Orchestra’s program Ah,Youth, but she is all bells and streamers about the Youth Orchestra joining in on this concert. These kids really raise the handle bars when it comes to fine musicianship. Artsopolis, helping you shift to 2009 with plenty of great arts deals. No helmet required.

Out With the Old, In With the New

All good things must come to an end, and as we greet the final weeks of 2008, I encourage you to consider your IRA (Insanely Reduced Arts) opportunities that grace this last issue of eSavers for the year. Perhaps you want an aggressive plan, something that pays off right away? For those looking for instant gratification, TheatreWorks in Palo Alto has tickets for this weekends performances of Long Story Shot – A Musical Romance, at a 70% discount! Not ready to make a commitment before fully settling into 2009? Not a problem: if you’re seeking a slow-growth, flexible plan that will afford you a steady, long-term infusion of Arts, take a look at the offer from City Lights Theatre Company in San Jose. They’ve discounted their already reduced City Passports of 6 admissions to any of their shows by an additional 50%! Artsopolis, helping you retire early and often into the seats of the Silicon Valley’s greatest Arts and Cultural events.

East Coast Swing for East Coast Weather

It is with much sorrow that I share with you the disconsolate fact that it is too cold for my trademark flip-flop footwear this week. But there is light at the end of this unwelcome wind tunnel. It just so happens that this atrocious California cold spell coincides with the 1st Annual Winter Ball at the beautiful Landmark Ballroom of the San Jose Women’s Club. Instead of being glum (my toes will be forced to moonlight in oppressive “grown-up” shoes until the thaw), I can swap the flops for the hops and head to the ball in fancy dancing shoes. Headlining is Royal Crown Revue, and besides the name (which certainly suits my position), their swing-era sound couldn’t be more appealing to my frost-fussy feet. I can keep warm with a night of Jitterbugging and even Charleston off the excess holiday candy as an extra bonus. Cinderella eat your heart out. Artsopolis, cutting prices so you can cut a rug!

Collective Thinking

A gaggle of geese, a pride of lions, a pod of dolphins. These things keep me up late at night. Sad, I know. Who was in charge of creating those phrases and why are there not official collective nouns for the arts? Luckily I have a poetic license, a magic wand, and entirely too much free time. Poof! Just like that, the world is a more specific and defined place. Now your suite of Nutcracker neophytes, your fugue of choral concert countrymen, and your giggle of comedy-catchers can refer to each other properly this weekend, while taking in great performances from San Jose Dance Theatre, Viva La Musica, and the Improv. And rest assured, no matter how you decide to congregate this weekend, you are all part of the great hand-crafted yogurt of Artsopolites! Yogurt you ask? Because it’s made up of artisan cultures.

Consider Yourself Warned

Plenty of good ideas didn’t actually start off that great. Take coffee. Who knew that picking a berry and peeling, fermenting, drying, roasting, grinding, and filtering it through water would actually result in something that tastes good, gives you energy, and accounts for more than 7 million tons in exports worldwide each year? And then of course there are the ideas that sound great and end up being in a category of purgatory all to themselves. Like holidays with the family. This week Artsopolis is giving you two chances to reconsider any extended time you’re planning to spend crammed in a two bedroom house, with 23 cousins you hardly know, your in-laws that you know all to well, and your sister’s eardrum-piercing Pekingese. Bus Barn Stage Company’s Season’s Greetings and Center Stage Production’s Squabbles will serve as light-hearted reminders that although it’s time to be thankful for many things, there are indeed alternatives to family get-togethers in December.

Arts and Cultural Renewal Notice

I discovered at 4 that I didn’t like eggplant. I went through life comfortably shunning this purple vegetable for quite some time without a second thought. Time passed and I got to wondering if my youthful taste buds were perhaps too harsh in their initial judgment? So I tried baba ghanoush and discovered to my surprise that even mashed, I didn’t like eggplant. Just recently I tried “the best eggplant dish ever made” according to my friend Bob, and you know what? It tasted like feet. I just don’t like eggplant. Not even if you call it aubergine. And that’s okay. My point is this; when was the last time you actually made sure you knew what you liked? Has the statute of limitations on your arts and cultural taste expired? Instead of heading right for that comedy you’re always drawn to, what about checking out the symphony instead? And before grabbing up those chamber concert tickets, what if you took in a drama or a dance performance? Artsopolis is giving you 17 chances to try something different this week so you can be sure of what you like, and hopefully have more success than I’ve had so far with eggplant.

Fruit of Labor

It’s been said that life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. Personally, I prefer the pomegranate analogy. Life is like a pomegranate, tough and kind of weird looking. It tends to be significantly messier than you think it’s going to be, not to mention it’s done with way too soon. Despite the immense effort that’s required to get to the good bits and the inevitable permanent stains that will result from said effort, life and pomegranates are indisputably revered. Indeed there are many moments of juicy goodness you can extract from this fruit called life. Similarly, a play about a 4 year old girl with an imaginary friend plagued by anger management issues and unsavory addictions, might seem to be a tad messier than you like your arts. Still, just like life and the pomegranate, after one taste of the savagely hysterical Mr. Marmalade presented by Renegade Theatre Experiment, you may find yourself going back for more of its unique flavor. And at half the regular price, it’s like handing you a delicious antioxidant-rich arts and cultural smoothie.

Rocking the Halloween Vote

My position as Princess of Artsopolis was admittedly self appointed, so you may not think me the most appropriate candidate to speak about the political choices that currently face the nation. So I won’t. I’ll talk about Halloween. How great is a holiday where you get to run around collecting free candy from your neighbors? Then again, those Halloween promises are broken all too often when chocolate is replaced by toothpaste, walnuts, and raisins. Even so, where else can you pretend to be something you’re not and go around scaring people? Actually, maybe Halloween and politics have a lot more in common than I thought. No matter, be it All Hallows Eve or Election Day, time is of the essence and this weekend is your very last chance to see Theatreworks’ production of August Wilson’s prize-winning political play Radio Golf. And don’t worry, there’s nothing scary about these prices!

Deals on Decorum

I’m no Emily Post, but as a Princess, I’ve certainly learned a fair share of etiquette over the years. I’ve found that by following a few simple guidelines one can make any dining experience more pleasant for oneself and those around them. Important feasting rules include: chew with your mouth closed, keep your elbows off the table, and never try to have an affair with your sister’s husband. Not during the soup course at any rate. This week, these and many more rules are broken as Santa Clara Players hosts the ultimate in suppertime antics with Table Manners. And while you’re minding your P’s and Q’s, you won’t be left with a bad taste in your mouth after forking over the big bucks. Artsopolis has put the “cents” back in “decency” so you can order a second helping of Arts and Culture!

Hook, Line & Sinker

Our office fish, Puck was looking at eSavers this week and nearly lept out of the tank from excitement when he saw all the fish-friendly offers. Between Greater Tuna at Palo Alto Players, Rupa and the April Fish presented by the Sunnyvale Parks & Recreation Department, and Northside’s Over the River and Through the Woods, he could hardly keep his fins from shaking. He’s usually kind of koi when it comes to expressing himself, but it was clear there was no need to bait him for an opinion this week. He said that whenever the snails in his aquarium have him feeling like a fish out of water, taking in the arts is a great way to relieve the pressure. And with such great discounts, the lure was just too tempting to pass up. Then he asked me if I would mind driving as his stingray was in the shop. It was then I realized that if I was talking to a fish, maybe the pressure in my own life was tipping the scales. So I took his advice, just for the halibut, and got myself some tickets. Artsopolis, schooling you in great arts and cultural deals so you don’t have to fish for them.

Goodbye Black Monday, Hello Green Wednesday!

Here at Artsopolis we are doing our part to ensure your Arts and Cultural future is secure, literally. With the Princess’ Arts Resilience Table (PART) we are giving you enough blue chip events to diversify your entertainment portfolio for not just one week, but TWO. That’s right, rather than suspend our email campaign, we have advanced you next week’s offers in this week’s eSavers. No waiting for the government to bail you out, and no need to wait until next Wednesday; you can take stock of the numerous opportunities featured here and save for the next two weeks right now. Option overseas interests with Lyric Theatre’s The Rose of Persia, or invest some time with domestic favorite Branford Marsalis (presented by Stanford Lively Arts). No matter where you choose to allocate your recreational dollars, Artsopolis is your personal index to great Arts and even greater savings. You can bank on it.

Out of This World Ballet

Sometimes we forget that fame is a bit territorial. Take Sir Jimmy Shand for example, we might not consider him a household name in America, but he was possibly the most famous Scottish accordion player of the 20th century. And though I doubt many of you know Jose Manuel Pelaez, he starred in Mañana Te Cuento, the most widely seen movie in Peru in the last 10 years. And then there’s Stephen Ogonji Tikolo from Kenya, widely regarded as one of the best batsman in the sport of cricket, but I’m not even sure I know the difference between cricket and a grasshopper, let alone the sports’ all-stars. Fame may be relative, but the renowned Liaoning Ballet of China is coming all the way to San Jose next week, giving you an opportunity to see what all the buzz is about. Their program The Elegant Ballet Galaxy not only transcends nations, but with a title like that, I wouldn’t rule out universes. And of course what’s the point of fame if you can’t use it to help others? Rubbing proverbial elbows, or “eBows” with the celebrity Princess of Artsopolis in this instance, will save you the cost of that pricey flight to Asia and half-off admission to the performance. Now if I can just get the paparazzi to stop camping outside my apartment…

Get Your Fuse On

Have you ever noticed the fusion factor? This trend that two is better than one. I mean, why address people by two separate names when you can just call them “Brangelina”? Why just have cola when you can mix grenadine in it and call it a “Shirley Temple”? You can even take ice hockey and merge it with shuffle board and get a whole new sport called “curling.” Okay, maybe not the best example, but you get the idea. This week, Induz creates a coalition of cool that combines world music, dance, film, and a visual art auction, all to raise money for arts programs for underprivileged children. There’s so much going on at this event they had to call it Kria, which translates to “action” from Sanskrit. And, as if you needed any more incentive to inspire your own action, we’ve fused great events with half-price offers.

Oh Happy Day

People love holidays. And why not? If you want to celebrate Teddy Bear Day
(September 9th) or National Chocolate Milk Shake Day (September 12th) who am I
to stop you? And although some of you may be celebrating TV Dinner Day today, we
are currently stuck in the 59 days between Labor Day and Halloween with no
official Holiday. Well, Second Wind Productions is giving you a chance to
celebrate Flag Day (June 14th) at the Theatre on San Pedro Square in San Jose
this weekend. You may not get a day off of work for Flag Day, but you
will get half off of your ticket price to this timely, stirring, and darkly
comic exploration of racism in the U.S. Artsopolis, your excuse to  celebrate the Arts 365 days of the year.

Say Cheese!

Some things are more alike than you’d think. Take for example art and cheese. Both cheese and art can be sharp and tasty, or stale and stinky. Both are processed to varying degrees, and of course both art and cheese have a lot to do with cultures. If you’re looking to add some flavor to your weekend, the whizzes over at Renegade Theatre Experiment have a solution. There’s room for art and cheese in their whey-cool production of The Book of Liz. This comic play by Amy Sedaris is “grated” PG-13 and promises to be lactose tolerant. Artsopolis, providing you the discount crackers for your arts consumption. And that’s Gouda for you, any way you cut it.

Booty, Anyone?

So there I was in my office, typing away, preparing eSavers like I do every week, when a rowdy band of pirates came rushing in and stole eSavers! Just like that. Luckily my big yellow sailing ship was docked right out side so I grabbed my coworkers and we chased the buccaneers all over the Bay. We finally caught up to them in a little cove near Skyline and there was mighty battle with lots of pirate lingo being slung back and forth between cannon blasts. It was very exciting and quite unexpected, even for a deadline day. Sadly, in the end, Wednesday was lost forever, but I did manage to salvage some great offers that will save all ye Arts lubbers a few pieces of eight. Among the booty is Shady Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors, which coincidentally, is set in the Caribbean, complete with pirates. You may want to check it out, but mind your valuables, you don’t want a repeat of yesterday. Arrrrrrrtsopolis, unearthing the Arts and Cultural treasures so you don’t have to dig.

Back for the Future

It seems everywhere you turn there are base and disreputable events occurring. Hollywood has its stories of starlets in rehab. Washington has its daily political upsets. If you dug deep enough and back far enough I bet you every city would reveal its darker side. Take unsuspecting San Leandro for instance. Did you know that in 1971 San Leandro was considered one of the most racist cities in America? Author and actor Brain Copeland knew it, and he turned his experiences growing up with intense racism in these contiguous suburbs into a play. Brian’s entertaining and educational performance of his one man show, Not a Genuine Black Man in San Jose this weekend is heartbreak and humor all in one, and a revealing look at the scandals in our own backyards. As Ben Sweetland says “We can not hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening our own.”

Music to Your Follicles

Hair. It’s what makes us mammals. Well, one of the things anyway. Like the Arts, hair has become a way to express one’s self. Long, short, on your head, on your face, there seem to be an endless number of ways to wear it. We even pay people exorbitant fees to cut and coif it for us, but City Lights Theatre Company’s production of Hair is one hair you won’t want to cut and won’t cost you a fortune. In fact this could be just the hair product you need to get you out of that work week “dreadlock.” Any way you style it, it’s a deal you can’t brush off.

Take That

We take exams, we take out food, we take seats. But what about giving? It’s a bit harder isn’t it? Let’s get you started. This week I’m giving you the opportunity to purchase tickets for an evening of food and family friendly entertainment (emceed by yours truly) in San Jose. Yes, you read that correctly, a night of music, sketch comedy, and dance performances plus dinner, and to make it extra generous, I’m giving it to you for half price. Additionally, you have a chance to bid on some great auction items, including art by local artists. But wait, there’s more! You will even get a free raffle ticket just for coming to The Cat’s Pajamas on August 16th. And, get this, by taking what I’m giving you, you’ll be giving homeless cats a second chance at life — all proceeds benefit Maine Coon Adoptions and their local cat rescue efforts. A night of art and auction for a great cause — meow, that’s a whole lot of giving for the taking!

Slugged

Traumatic experiences shape us. When I was four, I stepped on a snail. I remember beginning to sob uncontrollably as the realization that I had killed an unsuspecting mollusk washed over me. Horrified at the slimy carcass left clinging to my bare sole, I hobbled inside to seek solace, but no matter how many times I repeated, or at what volume or speed I spoke, my desparate declaration “I ‘tepped on a naidy” brought no comfort. My tearful confessions seemed to produce only confused expressions from my mom. There’s something to be said for the progress I feel I’ve made with regards to speech, despite these significant childhood setbacks. This week the Azahar Dance Foundation presents A Traves de Sus Ojos in Mountain View and though you won’t see the snail epic reenacted, perhaps the crucial and cruel moments of a woman’s life explored through flamenco will be even more healing for you than this personal sharing has been for me.

Do You Feel Lucky?

I’m not an especially graceful land mammal. I spent my formative years in the water swimming, and most of my college years in the air travelling, which produced more of a duck I’m afraid, than a gazelle when it comes to basic perambulatory skills. So you can understand why I might identify with a particular producktion that has landed it in eSavers and the Artsopolis top 10 this week. Los Altos Youth Theatre has hatched an outing for all the ducklings in your life this week with the musical Lucky Duck. But you better take advantage of this bill-saving offer quickly, before it flies south for the winter! No one wants to be a silly goose.

Princess Susannah and the Flip Flops

Impersonators, cover bands, even TV spinoffs all pay homage to original greats. I can only hope that one day little red-headed girls, with flip flops and tiaras, will take to sassing the masses each Wednesday in adulation, alerting the e-community to great Arts deals all in my honor. Admittedly, I am reconciled that it could be some time before my personal tribute is in full effect. Therefore, until that momentous day arrives, why not attend a concert for someone who’s already earned such pageantry. Benny Carter was known as the King of Jazz (no relation to the Princess) and this weekend, The Stanford Jazz Workshop presents Mel Martin and the Benny Carter Tribute Band. After 85 years of contributions to the music world it’s nice to know Benny’s music lives on. Hey, that means only 81 more years of esavers to go.

Miss Independent

Dolly Levi, turn-of-the-century New York marriage broker and central character in Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker, might just be the original firecracker! How fitting that as we celebrate the nation’s independence this weekend, The California Theatre Center is celebrating its 27th summer repertory season with a production of this beloved classic. The sparks fly freely during this witty farce full of comic pyrotechnics, but don’t worry, this tourbillion is in no danger of getting confiscated! This legal theatrical display is non-flammable, has a low impact on air quality, and won’t require you to crane your neck or find a spot on the lawn three hours in advance.

A Predisposition for Preposition Propositions

Instead of hanging about inside, motionless, on top of your couch, in front of the TV, or lazing outside, underneath the sunburn-inducing rays this weekend, why not get away from the lounging, and try something new, like a play. Consider hopping in your vehicle of choice and heading toward Coastal Repertory Theatre during their final weekend of Over the River and Through the Woods. It’s up in Half Moon Bay (or down or across depending on what you’re near) and since Artsopolis offers tickets below full price (among the best deals around), none of your friends need to be left behind — you can take them along. Besides, 24 prepositions have never been wrong before.

Genius is as Genius Does

It’s a regular party conversation topic I’m sure you’ve encountered. If you could choose two people throughout time to be in the same room together who would they be? Normally you get answers like Hitler and Elvis. Me, I’d like to pit Peyo Spirou, the creator of the Smurfs against Vaclav Havel, former president of the Czech Republic. Or maybe, Anne Boleyn (right before she was beheaded) and Wyatt Earp (right before the gunfight at the O.K. Corral). Oh, or what about Einstein and Picasso? It’s the conversation that never was, but can be now, thanks to Northside Theatre Company’s production of Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Steve Martin’s play is witty, surreal, and of course, all relative.

Do the Math

If a theatre patron in a tiara and flip-flops leaves work early at 4:30pm from San Jose and heads north on an orange mountain bike averaging 9mph, and her friend (oh let’s call him Bob) leaves Palo Alto headed south by train at 6:38pm averaging 18mph before hopping on the #40 bus, which averages 22mph, will they a) make it to the performance of The Adding Machine at Foothill College in Los Altos for the 8pm show, b) have time to grab a vanilla latte beforehand and c) have enough money to purchase said latte. The answer is yes, because they got their tickets ahead of time for half price at Artsopolis, and they used alternative transportation, totaling just $4 in fares and nearly 1600 calories burned. Aaannnd pencils down.

Cross-stitches and Coordinates

I spend about 2.4 minutes getting dressed in the morning. To the horror of the fashionistas around me, those garments sometimes last me several days. This wouldn’t be nearly as unappealing a concept if my clothes could change themselves. Artist Barbara Layne may have the answer in her “Jacket Antics.” In this week’s offers, the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles’ exhibit, called Awareables, offers up some insight into Barbara’s electronic jackets that react to their wearer’s touch by spelling out words with LEDs. Just in time for The 2nd Biennial 01SJ Global Festival of Art on the Edge (which kicks off today in San Jose), Creating Conscious Clothing is a lesson in the next generation of haute couture.

Make it a Jedi Night

Movie-merchandising pioneer George Lucas forfeited a big directing check in exchange for the licensing rights to the Star Wars franchise. Now worth approximately $3.6 billion dollars, I’d say George either knows what he is talking about, or is one lucky wookie. Either way, I’ve got a good feeling about the Commonwealth Club’s interview in Palo Alto with David Anderman, Senior Director of Business Affairs at Lucas film Ltd. Find out how a movie made 30 years in the past is still a major force in the present and future of film. And the price? It’s no Jedi mind trick I assure you, these are the deals you are looking for, you can go about your business, move along.

Royal Endorsement

People often burst into song when I introduce myself. This was charming until about the 100th time I was forced to act amused when Oh Susannah was sung by someone who was completely tone deaf. Even so, a serenade is still one of the highest forms of flattery. From the minstrel in the moonlight with his mandolin, all the way to John Cusack with his boom box, the song has long been a most savory expression of one’s adoration and respect. In this week’s offers, Masterworks Chorale entices us with an entire program dedicated to songs composed for royalty. Their concert, “Crowning Glories,” will contain arias, and symphonies for Queens and Emperor’s alike. Tiara optional.

You Can Handle This Truth

1992, a time when old school was in fact new school, and people were just starting to “kick it.” Yes, the glory days of Disneyland Paris, Kentucky’s bicentennial, and the birth of reality television with the premiere of The Real World. 1992 also happens to be the year Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay (adapted from his own play) A Few Good Men makes him a Hollywood powerhouse. But you don’t need to go to LA or even your local video store to see this great story told. March on down to City Lights in San Jose where their production of this pivotal and pertinent play is sure to entertain as well as save you a few good bucks. Semper vilitas!

Mummies Day

I may be biased, but there’s nothing better than a story about a Princess. Even better if she’s in a messy love triangle with a slave girl and an Egyptian Army Captain. Throw in an award-winning score and I’m happier than King Tut. Sound good? Then get your cartouche off the couch, and head on over to Hillbarn Theatre in Foster City to see their production of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida. And at such a Pharaoh price, it’s about tomb you got moving! And don’t forget your mummy!

Join the Club

I’ve never been much for the club mentality. Unless we are talking sandwiches, I have a past full of failed club experiences. I could never finish the novels in time in my book club, I ended up with a Vanilla Ice CD after the music club fine print got past me, I get claustrophobic in night clubs, and I could never afford a country club. Or can I? It just so happens this week Dragon Productions in Palo Alto may be the answer to my feelings of club inadequacy. Membership to this club entitles you to watch The Country Club, by Douglas Carter Beane, with a select number of VIP’s (Very Important Patrons) at a special club price! Be aware there is no coat and tie required at this club, but the shoes and shirt policy will still apply.

Plug in, Tune On

Art and technology have had an intimate relationship in the Silicon Valley as far back as I can recall. True, they tried to keep it under wraps until it was accepted that their feelings for each other were not unnaturually forced by an eccentric minority. Until I discovered fonts, I admit the computer was just a lumpy science-based chunk of chips and electricity. Of course now I know better. Arts bargains through email are just one example of how art and technology are an obvious, natural union. Further proof that A & T have made a lasting commitment to each other is present in this weeks Pacific Rim of Wire concert, which joins 2 orchestras 6,000 miles apart. Celebrate the love affair of two very distinct disciplines by connecting your inner geek with your closet virtuoso, not to mention appeasing the inside of your wallet.

The Big Bad Woolf

“Schadenfreude” is defined as “pleasure derived from the misfortune of others.” Kind of ugly, no? Let’s face it, if this less-than-flattering trait didn’t exist, there wouldn’t be a word for it. So what if we are taken in by the anguish of others every now and then? If you’re secretly smiling right now in anticipation of watching severe dysfunction and feeling better about your own life as a result, I’ve got JUST the thing for you. Acerbic humor, malicious sparring, excessive alcohol, and blatant infidelity. No it’s not a weekend at the Kennedy compound, it’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, one of the juiciest and most dramatic plays to come out of the 60’s, and it’s opening this weekend at the Northside Theatre Company in San Jose. Don’t be afraid to enjoy this deeply twisted and sadistic recreation.

I Know You Are, But What Am I?

Mature is defined as being fully developed, completed, or perfected. Personally, I don’t think I really qualify as mature, at least I didn’t when I walked into a cafe in pigtails and flip flops last Monday. However, a pert “Thank you Ma’am” from the barista certainly made me question my perceived status. If you consider yourself mature, or were recently dubbed so by someone clearly not experienced enough to know the difference between a Miss and a Ma’am, it just so happens we have three offers this week that are appropriate for you and all your mature friends. Teatro Vision’s Hero, City Lights’ Lysistrata, and San Jose Stage’s Blade to the Heat are all for mature audiences. Unleash your inner adult and enjoy a night of topical, edgy, and thought-provoking theatre at a bargain price.

Friends Imaginary, Savings Real!

According to Wikipedia approximately 65% of children have had an imaginary friend by the age of 8. Some psychologists claim that invisible companionship is associated with genius-level thinking and advanced social understanding. In general, it’s agreed that these transparent comrades (be they humans, miniature talking doughnuts, or 8 foot purple squirrels), are nothing to be concerned about unless they start to interfere with everyday social interactions. When they do start to complicate reality, what to do is more than adequately addressed in Theatre Q’s production of And Baby Makes Seven playing one final weekend at the Dragon Theatre in Palo Alto. The visible get in for half price, the invisible get in for free, just make sure you ask if that empty seat is taken before you sit down on Hobee, the French tambourine-playing wolverine.

Finger Picking Good For You

We are on the edge of a health crisis. Localized Artis Hypochondriasis (LAH), generally described as the fear of missing out on a particularly awesome local arts event, has silently been on the rise for some time now. Left untreated, an LAH victim’s worst fears can be realized, resulting in missing actual awesome local arts events. However, there are preventative measures you can take. If you or anyone you know is at risk from this debilitating disease, please send them to San Jose this weekend for the South Bay Guitar Society’s 4th Annual Guitar Festival and related musical concerts. Artsopolis is committed to eradicating LAH and under the PPPP (Princess’ Preferred Patron Plan) you are eligible for a 50% discount off your arts prescription. Together, we can build a healthier, less fearful arts community, arts community.

Your Answer to Arts and Cultural Catastrophe

You insure your house, your car and your health. Heck my cats are even insured. What about your Friday night? What if there was such a thing as Arts and Culture insurance? With a little planning now, you could have 3 nights of premium theatre, for a very low premium. It just so happens that for one week only, California Theatre Center is offering season subscriptions to their Summer Repertory season. Think how much easier you will sleep knowing at least part of your summer is safeguarded from cultural loneliness, or even worse, rejection, as you are turned way from a sold out show because you weren’t prepared. We might not have a cute foreign lizard as our spokesperson, but we still stand by our claim to offer full Arts and Cultural coverage at half price. It’s a good policy!

Hyde and Seek

Today is my 33rd Birthday. Now on the good side, I’m still in the 35 and under bracket for online surveys. And 33 is a palindrome and alliteration and that’s pretty cool. On the not so good side, I am “older,” and though arguably wiser, still not old enough to retire, or even get a senior discount. I am still master of the killer segue though. Speaking of youth and discounts, this week the talented youngsters at Children’s Musical Theatre perform Jekyll & Hyde in San Jose. Celebrate youth as well as the good (Dr. Jekyll) side and not so good (Mr. Hyde) side to everything in this award-winning musical. You don’t even have to be a senior to get this discount. It was my birthday wish!

Philled to the Brim

There are days when the muses don’t want to play nice. Days when wit eludes me. Sometimes the simple task of writing a few sentences on the multitude of awesomeness that abounds in the local arts scene seems an unbearable challenge. It’s days like this when Phil Johnson and Roadside Attraction can turn the creative frown, upside down. With alternative rock ballads like Whale Blubber and Rumpalicious Booty Shaker, how can you not run down to Mission City Coffee in Santa Clara and cheer Phil on? And just because Phil is giving a concert on his birthday, you get to sleep in an hour longer on Sunday.

Wishing (Read: Complaining) Makes It So

I knew if I kept asking (read: complaining) long enough for extra hours in the day, eventually someone would listen. It looks like all the right paperwork got approved, and I’m happy to report that this Friday you get an entire extra day of February. I know, pretty amazing. Remarkable what you can do with the time space continuum when your headwear of choice is a tiara. Forget the conflict free diamonds, you can thank me by taking advantage of your Friday by using it for a Tuesday. Center Stage Productions’ Tuesday’s with Morrie in San Jose, reminds me a bit of the “Wednesdays with the Princess” that we share each week; touching, poignantly humorous, and economically accessible.

Sight for Sore Eyes

I’m tired of the excuses. After staring at a computer screen all day you claim the last thing you want to do is stare at performers and yet 10 to 1 you’ll go home and watch TV? You know why your eyes are sore and you miss all the fun? It’s because you don’t blink enough. The average person blinks 10-12 times a minute, but only 3-4 times a minutes during your “work” at the computer and TV watching. Brian Friel, playwright of Molly Sweeny which opens this week at The Pear Avenue Theatre in Mountain View, would probably agree with me when I say I think you are just a blinking underachiever. While writing playsm not watching TV during his 79 years so far, Mr. Friel has blinked approximately 1,993,0752,000 times (including a proper 8 hours of sleep each night.) You don’t hear him complaining do you? In fact Molly Sweeny is all about a woman who regains part of her vision after being blind. Maybe it’s because she saw more arts events. Artsopolis.com, the WebSIGHT that has you seeing double for your money!

Valentine’s Schmalentine’s

I bet you’re thinking I’m going to be toting two tickets to the Anti-Valentine’s show. You’re no doubt convinced (and who can blame you) that I’ll use my inch of copy and curmudgeonly powers of sarcasm to demand you see something unromantic, in the name of all the people without dates out there. Not so. Beneath my acerbic exterior is a cloying girlie girl who lives for candle-lit dinners and long walks on the beach. You didn’t know it, but this saccharine Princess actually counts down the days to Valentine’s Day all year long…as if. I totally had you going there didn’t I? Personally I don’t need to be told when to slap on a pair of heels, make dinner reservations, and check out an arts event, but if you need a date idea in a pinch, Viva La Musica’s Valentine with Viva might be just what you and your sweetie need. What better way to say “I love you” than with music, art, and chocolate included in the price of the admission? Half the admission price, but double the love from Artsopolis.com

Triple Take

Sam Shepard, Tom Stoppard, David Mamet. A veritable triumvirate of playwrighting gold is represented with the utterance of these three names. Between these kings of dialogue, numerous, nay, a plethora of Pulitzers, Tonys, Oscars, and Obies have been accumulated. This week we give you an opportunity to see work by not one, not two, but say it with me, all three of these amazing writers. True West at the Pear, The Real Thing at Bus Barn Stage Company, and Glengarry Glen Ross at San Jose Stage will have you flocking to see Shepard, stopping in to see Stoppard, and racing to see Mamet (rhyming expletive!) Now that’s what I call a triple threat.

Send in the Clowns

The irrational fear of clowns is known as Coulrophobia. It’s believed that as many and one in seven people experience some level of Coulrophobia at some point in their lives. That’s a pretty frightening statistic. The good news is that if you are disturbed by the likes of Bozo, Clarabell, or Krusty, there is help. If you aren’t reaching for the anti-anxiety meds just reading this, you have a pretty good chance of facing your fears and making that all important first step to recovery by simply attending Hillbarn Theatre’s production of A Thousand Clowns. Whether or not you harbor any ill will toward painted comedians, you should be made aware that the title is a bit misleading, there won’t actually be a thousand clowns on stage. It’s a whole lot cheaper than therapy.

Where the Stars Are

Did you know for a mere 20 million dollars you can buy yourself a seat on a rocket into space? If you’re like me, and are a little short for a real intergalactic vacation this week, you can still experience the final frontier up close and personal courtesy of Stanford Lively Arts. Be a cultural astronaut this week by exploring the Kronos Quartet and minimalist composer Terry Riley’s NASA commissioned Sun Rings. Throw in the Stanford Chamber Chorale and visuals by Willie Williams and you have the makings of a universal hit! One of many stellar events this week at astronomical savings brought to you by the heavenly bodies at Artsopolis.

Life Doesn’t Stop On Monday

To some people, Monday is a four letter word. A weekend of wonderful arts and culture is replaced with the monotony of phone tag, filing, and use of the email delete button. When you think about it, it’s no wonder Monday is the most popular day for employees to call in sick. But is it Monday’s fault? Why tarnish the reputation of a perfectly good day just because you have to go into work? This is an injustice! Embrace Monday, I say! Take it back in the name of the Arts! Who’s with me? The Commonwealth Club of Silicon Valley can help with just such an aim. This coming Monday they are presenting Chris Ford, Business Director at Pixar Animation Studios. Cartoons! Wow, Monday never had it so good!

The Last Laugh

Last is a lonely word. How many children have been scarred for life by being picked last for dodge ball? What good is the last piece of ribbon on the spool that is always too short to be of any use. And why is it no one ever takes that last hors d’oeuvre; why do they just let it sit there, drying out on the holiday platter? This week is the last eSavers for two whole weeks. These delightful, cultural temptations will have to last you all the way until next year. It’s also the last week to catch many of these events, but you saved the best for last didn’t you!? We think it only fitting that we point out Bus Barn Stage Company in Los Altos is in its final few days of The Last Night of Ballyhoo. Last but not least, the entire Artsopolis Team would like to wish you the happiest and healthiest of holidays. Thank you for supporting the Arts! We hope we have made a lasting impression.

Wait Lifting

Nowadays you hardly have to wait for anything. When Polaroids and then 1-hour photos just took too long, we invented the digital camera. When waiting in line at the airport slowed us down, Al Gore created the internet, allowing you to check-in online. You can drink instant coffee (though I wouldn’t personally recommend it), you can fast-track your bridge toll, and you can even have your bills sent right to your cell phone. And what are you doing with all the time you aren’t waiting? Killing it? That’s not very nice. I have a better idea. Make your “wait loss,” your cultural gain by watching others wait. Santa Clara Players’ production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot is a prime example of time and irony well spent. And you get to avoid waiting in line yet again by buying your ½ price ticket right here at Artsopolis. So, what are you waiting for?

Vitamin Tuna

After spending the last three days sick and staring at my ceiling, I was feeling a bit removed from the local entertainment scene. It’s times like these that we look to our best friends for support, so I asked my cat Paxton what the word on the arts and cultural street was. He’s an indoor cat, but paws down he chose San Jose Stage’s A Tuna Christmas as the event not to miss. I tried to explain to him the Tuna in the title referred to a town in Texas, not the fish, but he was unwavering in his selection. He said laughter is the best medicine, and we could all use a little cultural Echinacea to boost our immune system. For one as sick as a dog, a dose of Vitamin “T” was the prescribed cure. You heard it, straight from the cat’s mouth. Wait just a second. My cat can talk. Right. While you go take advantage of this and many other of this weeks excellent offers, I’m going to go check the label on my cold medicine.

The Secret Dirt

To gossip is human nature but secrets don’t last long these days, especially with the internet. Personally, I have enough trouble not using my outdoor voice indoors, let alone trying not to open my mouth in the first place. Here’s a little secret I have no problem telling you: Half Moon Bay has their own theatre company called Coastal Repertory. You knew that? Did you know that they are performing a production of The Secret Garden this weekend? Well, I bet you don’t know what I got you for Christmas!? Gift yourself tickets to a wonderful musical at half price right now. Monumental savings and instant gratification, taking the guilt out of gossip. But you didn’t hear it from me.

The Ghost of Thanksgiving Present

There are two sides to any story. Sometimes more. This one time in band camp there was a story that had no less than 7 sides to it. Honest. No matter the number of sides, it’s important in life, I feel, to look at everything from a variety of perspectives. Putting yourself in the shoes of the other person, or in my case, eleven months out of the year in the flip-flops, elevates your understanding of a situation and enriches your ability to form a more educated and often times more interesting opinion. This week we offer you an opportunity to not only put yourself in perhaps one of the most overlooked characters in literature’s footwear, but to put yourself in their chains, as well. If you’ve ever wanted to get the dish on Scrooge’s ghostly partner Jacob Marley, City Lights Theatre Company in San Jose can give you the supernatural back story you’ve been yearning for. And, speaking of sides and dishes, if you’re all chained up yourself with getting your own side dishes ready for Thanksgiving, don’t worry. All of our offers in this TWO WEEK issue will sustain you through Wednesday, November 28th. Two weeks in one and frightening savings. That’s something I wager even Marley and Scrooge would both be thankful for!

A Rockin’ Deal

Just about every week I am asked by someone “what’s so special about Morgan Hill?” What’s so special?! The killer mountain bike trails, the parks, the wildlife, and did you know Morgan Hill is the only place on the entire planet that we know of where Poppy Jasper is found? For those of you who slept through Geology 101, Poppy Japer is a really cool, rust colored rock that is thought in some circles to inspire a positive, joyful attitude and give one the motivation and energy to take creative action. It’s no wonder Morgan Hill has a film festival named after it. As a harbinger of creative ways to prevent the sedentary life, it’s no coincidence we are promoting the sedimentary life by offering the opening night Jurors’ Choice Screening and Reception of the Poppy Jasper Film Festival in this week’s eSavers. And you know why? Wait for it. Because we are gems.

The Ultimate in Daylight (or Nightlight) Savings

As the days get shorter, and colder, and let’s face it even in California rainier, I find there are two paths I am apt to take when it comes to my arts entertainment. The first is the dark and gloomy path, something that suits the mood put in place by the season’s weather. The other fork at the crossroads of decision aims to counteract this melancholy and leads me to expose myself to a bright and cheery presentation. It just so happens we have the whole spectrum for you this week. Explore torture and mental illness, if you like, at Calaveras Repertory’s production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest if that’s the way the pendulum is swinging. Or, take in She Love’s Me in Pacifica, if you prefer to score your weekend with a sweet love story and a tune to keep you humming through the doldrums. No matter what your mood, we’ve got you covered. We’ll even throw in an extra hour on Sunday for you. Free.

Word to Your Mother

In 1929 in Skopje, Albania, a girl was born. Well, lots of girls were probably born in 1929 in Skopje, Albania, but one girl in particular would grow up to be the most famous nun in the world. No, not the flying nun. No, not the singing nun. I mean Mother Teresa. Saint Mother Teresa, that is. Curious about how this woman who joined a convent when she was sixteen solved more problems than Maria? If so, pull up a pew (not really) at the Historic Hoover Theatre this week and take in Quo Vadis Theatre Company’s dramatization of the 1960’s interview heard around the world between British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge and Teresa herself. Consider this your calling.

Shakespearian Sleuthing at Sinister Savings

According to the Nielson ratings, CSI was the number one rated scripted series 4 years in a row. Clearly people like to watch crime investigations, a lot. Did you know that people also seem to REALLY like Shakespeare? The First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays sold for $5.2 million at auction just last year. Wouldn’t it be great if these two favorites could be combined? How awesome would it be to have Criminal Shakespeare Investigation: San Jose? It just so happens you don’t have to get out the ultraviolet lights or await lab results to see that the evidence in this weeks eSavers is definitely in your favor. That’s right, the people at Shady Shakespeare, (remember all that free Summer Shakespeare in Sanborn Park?) are giving you not one but three opportunities this weekend to catch some infamous literary baddies at their Shakespeare’s Most Wanted Fundraiser. Now if only we can find a way to combine Oscar Wilde with Iron Chef.

Misery loves company

There’s nothing better than a good book. Unless it’s a stage adaptation of a good book. Live, in your face, thrilling and suspenseful storytelling, all inside of 3 hours? Yes please. For a slow reader like myself, that’s better than a cookie. Actually, you can even get cookies at intermission. I am so there! This week why not take in the stage adaptation of Stephen King’s bestselling book Misery at Broadway West in Fremont? And bring a friend…you know what they say…Misery loves company.

You can be first!

No matter how nonchalant you may try to act, it feels good to be first.  Really good. Why do 8 Million people line up at midnight to be the “first” to buy a book? Or get a video game? Or see a movie? That’s right, I saw you in line. I know you like to be THAT person. Here’s an opportunity for you to be able to say “Saw that…loved it!”  without standing in line for 6 hours. The world premiere of The Sugar Witch, by well known playwright Nathan Sanders, is opening at Northside Theatre Company in San Jose this Thursday. That’s right, you could be first — you know, if that’s your thing.

“Someone’s boring me. I think it’s me.”

Welshman Dylan Thomas, the archetypal romantic poet once wrote, “Someone’s boring me. I think it’s me.” If this is the case…if you feel that you may be plagued with the same lethargy as Dylan certainly must have been when he wrote such a quote, then perhaps his inspirational words will lift your creative haze and reawaken your inner voice. But you need not be Welsh, nor a poet, to participate in The Welsh-American Society of North American’s evening with Dylan Thomas’ poetry. This evening of words, music, and food promises to be anything but boring!

Great stuff to do: the not-so-impossible dream!

Tired of watching reality TV? Sick of your Xbox 360? Finished the 7th Harry Potter book? Me too. It’s days like this when a little escape to another time and place would be welcome. Luckily there’s a world full of arts and cultural adventures just waiting for us to embark on this very weekend. For example, you can see Hillbarn Theatre’s production of Man of La Mancha in Foster City. Now there’s a play that sure beats jousting windmills. It just might be your cup of sangria. And at such an impossible price, it’s a dream come true!

One singular sensation, 17 great offers!

Ever want to know what it feels like to be at a real New York dance audition? Challenging tap combinations, scoping out the competition (and hoping they mess up), waiting with sweaty palms for your turn to shine, and hoping YOU don’t blow it? Well, here’s your chance to ride the ups and down of the show biz life without all the icky personal rejection. Watch as dreams are dashed and prayers are answered in the timeless musical A Chorus Line, brought to the intimate Bus Barn stage in Los Altos. This is an open call, no experience necessary!

Filling Entertainment

You’ve been active all summer right? The gym, yoga, pilates, and everything else under the sun. You’ve been really good, and we think you deserve to take a rest. How about serving yourself up a nice big helping of comedy from Pamela Mackenzie and the Crystal Springs Players? The no-carbs-barred humor of Fat is a 4 Letter Word might be just the thing to make you feel a little lighter. You know, they say that laughing just 10-15 minutes a day can burn up to 50 calories! I tell you, THAT’s a health plan I can get behind!

Tap into the Arts

As a native Californian, I have to say one of the highlights of living here for me has to be the great weather and the obvious abundance of Arts and Culture. The only thing that could make me happier is an event where I could wander around downtown San Jose, hear super bands play, get a bunch of free giveaways, get some tasty food on a stick, and help out a great non-profit with its Arts education programs. Oh wait, that sounds just like the Tapestry Arts Festival! Hey, isn’t that THIS weekend? And Monday too? How much do I love Silicon Valley right now? But why is a free event on eSavers? Because half of zero is a whole lot of awesome!

Shake up your weekend!

I’m going to let you in on a little secret — you don’t have to be (or even call yourself) a princess to get treated like one sometimes. As if free Shakespeare isn’t enough of a perk, Shady Shakespeare has upgraded their Macbeth and The Tempest performances for one lucky couple this weekend. If you’re looking to add a little pomp to your play-going experience, The Royal Treatment might be right up your alley. Make it an elite evening with wine, snacks, thrones to sit on, and a bevy of commoners making a huge to-do over you. It’s good to be the Princess. Now you can be one too!

Whet your dramatic Appetite!

I’m a big fan of appetizers. It’s like eating a lot of very small meals. But the ability to sample a variety of offerings isn’t just for food. This week, Foothill Drama Department brings you 8 new short plays as part of the 3rd Annual New Works Festival. A cornucopia of drama and comedy-encrusted appetizers centered around “The Office Breakroom.” Now that is some food for thought. Bon Appetit!

Your Sippy Cup runneth over!

Move over Wiggles, the hip Sippy Cups are here and they are ready to rock! The official word from my four year old niece is “The Sippy Cups are great!” This group of local parents of pre-schoolers is guided by the motto of “Milk, Music, and Mischief.” With songs like Magic Toast, and Little House of Jello how can you possibly go wrong? And what’s almost as good as happy kids? Happy adults! With musical influences such as The Beatles, The Ramones, and The Velvet Underground, the days of rolling your eyes at the repetitive tunes of a big purple dinosaur are gone. So grab the little ones in your life and head over to the Mountain View Center for Performing Arts for this fantastic family friendly concert.

Shows at a steal!

Interesting things going on up at Dragon Theatre in Palo Alto. They just opened Juvie, which is a series of vignettes and monologues from underage law breakers on one night in the detention center. We’re hearing good things about the show; strong acting by a mostly teenage cast. Reviews coming out in the major papers up there as well. And discounted tickets in eSavers! Make sure you check out the cool dragon sculptures in the lobby of the theatre!

The hills are alive!

Mount Hamilton is a very LARGE hill, right? We know it’s a stretch, but we’ll push the limits for a good (bad?) pun. The important thing is that Mount Hamilton will presently be alive with even more than music. Heavenly bodies align for two nights in August when astronomy meets music at the Music for the Spheres concerts. Wind your way up for a spectacular view of the bay, have a nice picnic dinner, learn about the cosmos with professional lecturers, and top it off with a peek at the heavens through the Lick Observatory Telescope. Take your pick between a string quartet or great Jazz. And remember to bless those lucky stars that you have these sweet offers from Artsopolis!

Mystery, Music, and Mad Women Oh My!

It’s been said that you can’t please everyone all the time. I happen to think this week we can get pretty darn close. Three different shows from the California Theatre Center offer you the choice of an exhilarating ghost story (The Woman in Black), a charming romantic musical (They’re Playing Our Song), and a socially relevant comic classic (The Madwoman of Chaillot). But hurry, time is running out to see these shows in Sunnyvale. Try one or try them all! A little something for everyone!

Now playing: you!

Ahh, I remember singing in the chorus in Elementary School. The feeling of peace and joy that comes from the harmony of voices is an experience I think everyone should have in their lives. Although my musical career was very short lived (ending somewhere not long after my first solo), that feeling is attainable today, with other voices even more passionate than a 3rd grader’s. In fact, Schola Cantorum has not one, but two more opportunities this summer to sing along with them. Bach or Vivaldi, take your pick. It’s easy; just show up. Music is provided on loan and you can even sing a solo! Give it a try!

Stanford in the Spotlight

As I was walking about the Stanford University campus this past weekend, I found myself thinking how lucky I am to have such a world class college in my backyard. Lucky not just for the beautiful campus and a surplus of knowledgeable folks to fix my computer, but because with an institute of higher learning comes exposure to first-rate Arts and Cultural programs. One of them, The Stanford Jazz Workshop, has not 1 but 3 great concerts at bargain prices to tide you over through the 4th of July weekend and beyond. I’ve seen multiple musical events at Dinkelspiel Auditorium, and each one of them was educational and entertaining. And the acoustics? Awesome.

6 minutes to show your stuff!

As a long time fan of standup comedy competitions (I saw Don McMillan win the San Francisco International Stand-Up Comedy Competition in 1991), I have to say the competition format is a great way to be exposed to a variety of funny talent. The San Jose Improv puts the humor into your Tuesday with their 2007 Comedy Competition. Dozens of comics, each with 6 minutes to show off their best material, try to capture your “favorite” vote! Great for newcomers to the comedy club scene as well as all of you comic connoisseurs!

“For in spite of all temptations…”

“For in spite of all temptations to belong to other nations, he remains an Englishman.” If you’re a Gilbert & Sullivan fanatic, you know that I’m quoting a line from one of their most famous productions, H.M.S. Pinafore. The ship has docked in San Jose, at downtown’s Lyric Theatre for a short run (only until June 24th). The folks at Lyric promise a rollicking good time, with smart lyrics and silliness to spare. Just the lifeboat of laughter you may need for a stressful week!

Save Some Greenbacks!

Why stay on your lily pad this weekend when it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump to A Year With Frog and Toad at the Bus Barn Stage Company in Los Altos! The Frog and Toad books were some of my favorite stories growing up. I can still recall the wonderful illustrations of the ever upbeat Frog and cantankerous Toad, and although this amphibious odd couple often disagreed, they always remained friends in the end. Bus Barn’s presentation of the musical adaptation may be just the ticket for people who already love the story, and a great way to introduce these beloved characters to new ears.

Sweet Deals!

Grab your honey (or your friends) and swarm down to San Jose Stage for the opening weekend of the feel good musical Beehive!Let the shoo-be-do-wop-wop sound of the 1960’s girl groups drown your blues! And speaking of drowning, be sure to avoid that sting of being turned away for sold out shows by getting your tickets in advance for Dragon’s production of As Bees in Honey Drown, a classic and comic battle between good and evil. Don’t forget you can see what all the buzz is about by checking the reviews and then make a little of your own by reviewing any of the shows you see on afterwards.

Expiring Minds Want to Know

So, get this. I ran into Punxsutawney Phil last night at the pub. I know, weird, right? So, I asked what caused him to emerge from his hole in the ground a full week early? Phil proceeded to chug his entire pint of stout and then allowed as how it was the only way to take the edge off. Apparently, knowing millions of people are waiting for your prediction is more than a little woodchuck can chuck. The sweat on his brow and the fear in his beady rodent eyes said it all. I could see exactly where this was headed if I didn’t step in. To avoid any woodchuck upchucking, I intercepted his next beer and calmly explained that lots of people actually like suspense and plenty of folks genuinely enjoy predicting what’s going to happen and yes, some people really are quite fond of the colder, darker side of things. Case and point? Arclight Repertory Theatre’s production of The Zahsman Murders. Clearly a little dark, plenty of suspense AND you get to predict at intermission who the killer is. And with that, P-Dawg’s demeanor went from strung-out to chilled-out. Between you and me, I think maybe he just needs to get out more often. Artsopolis, six more weeks (and then some) of Arts and Cultural events at prices that won’t cast a shadow over your budget.

Super Dog Bowl

It’s Wednesday again and I know what y’all are thinking. Well, about half of you anyway. Half of you are thinking, hurry up Sunday, I’m ready for some football. Which is funny because this week Bus Barn Stage Company tackles the play Sylvia, which happens to be about a guy who is smitten with a dog while his wife is not so much. Just like the Super Bowl, this production has a defensive lineman (the husband), a halftime (sans The Black Eyed Peas performing or cost-prohibitive advertising opportunities) and a tight end (in the form of firm closure at the conclusion of the play.) And, at half-price, this date night is sure to get you that extra point for all the quarters you get back. Artsopolis, passing Arts and Cultural events on to you at prices that are such a steel, you can pack the green back into your wallet penalty-free.

Less is More

Less is more. Except, of course, when more is more. Some would argue more is always better. I would tell those people they’ve never found themselves in a room with no doors and no windows with a hive of angry wasps and a tendency toward anaphylactic shock. Sure, more doors would be better, but less wasps would be way better. Okay, so maybe that wasn’t the best example. I would tell those same people that they’ve never lost the Olympic gold medal for the 1500 meter freestyle by .03 seconds. A little less time to swim the event could have landed you that Wheaties commercial, right? Or, more of a lead, perhaps? My point is I’m giving you the opportunity to take more friends to see South Bay Musical Theatre’s production of A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum for less money. Plus, there are 18 more Arts and Cultural opportunities at half-price in this week’s eSavers too. So then, more is more and better even when it’s more of less? I’ll get back to you on this. Artsopolis, awesome, more or less.

String Theory Quarktet

Music Theory and Theoretical Physics. It might seem the two reside at opposite ends of the spacetime continuum, but musics and physics are closer than you’d think. For example, to date, there have been five major string theories developed in quantum physics. That puts team science just one theory shy of a major sixth. Very musical, indeed. One look at musical notation and it’s clear to see the parallels… which brings me to this week’s featured string section. You might not know him from atom, but Dr. Brian Greene is one of the foremost science writers and superstring theorists. Next Wednesday, he’ll give an accessible and entertaining presentation about parallel universes and the deep laws of the cosmos. If you’re overwhelmed by the gravity of this topic, never fear, you can check out some of our other super strings including the Daedalus Quartet, Ives Quartet, Trio Nobilis, and the Palo Alto Philharmonic. Whether its Lydian modes or gravitons, augmented triads or Fermi-Dirac statistics, Artsopolis is unparalleled in providing the masses with fully-dimensional Arts and Cultural experiences at half-diminished prices that won’t leave a black hole in your pocket. Now, excuse me while I go make sure my brain didn’t catch on fire.

Working for the Weekend

Prior to assuming my position on the Artsopolis throne, I had some highly unprincess-like jobs. These experiences taught me many important things about myself. For example, being a receptionist for a rodeo apparel company taught me that I didn’t want to answer phones for people who never wanted to take calls, but that I was pretty good at assisting a post-it note with achieving its primary purpose. Being a clerk for a pharmacy taught me that making people feel better ranks high up on my list of things I enjoy, but if there’s a way to help without having to hear what part of one’s body is leaking, that’s definitely the preferred option. Being a video game demonstrator taught me that I get motion sick from staring at 3D animation for hours at a time, but that Zombies (imaginary or otherwise) have no place is civil society and must be destroyed, whatever the cost. This week Foothill Music Theatre presents the humorous and educational musical Working, which will no doubt bring back fond memories of your own humble professional beginnings. Artsopolis, earning our living by saving you yours.

Shoe In

For a girl who’s spent an inordinate portion of her life refusing to wear shoes, I find it interesting, and yes, a bit upsetting that I own an obscene amount of them. We’re talking Imelda Marcos quantities here, people. But, this discovery got me thinking, and here’s the thing about shoes; the new leopard stilettos give you just as much of an adrenaline rush as your worn-out, odiferous tennies. Old or new, sexy or rugged, the fact remains, you’re bound to have an adventure in them, either way. Which, of course, got me thinking on things much bigger than shoes, like the Arts – and how some of the best experiences I’ve had have mixed the comfort of the practical classic with the exciting unexpectedness of
the contemporary. And, wouldn’t you know it, this week the Quartet San Francisco is joining forces with the San Jose Chamber Orchestra for a concert that does just that. Slip into some familiar jazz, try some tango for size, and then get ready for them to sock you with some new works and other surprises. Sounds like a perfect fit. Artsopolis, arts support so good Dr. Scholl’s endorses it at prices so low the clearance racks are jealous.

Lucky You

And now, in honor of the South Bay Guitar Society’s Guitar Solo and Ensemble
Festival
, an original limerick and totally true story:

A Princess who liked saving dough
Thought she’d give the guitar a quick go
Though she longed to shamrock
Even snakes rose to mock
So she thought, best leave this to a pro

Artsopolis, your Arts and Cultural Leprechaun, leading you to a rainbow of local entertainment, without spending all of your precious pot of gold.

Horsing Around

The profound love that humans share with pets is a topic near and dear to the heart of your Princess. There are those however, that take their affection for their animal-friends further than what is considered socially acceptable in most circles. It is important to remember that you can love your pets, you just can’t LOVE your pets. This is sound advice that clearly was not repeated or enforced stringently enough for Alan Strang. As you will witness if you attend Equus at City Lights Theatre Company, the line between healthy, furry companionship and psychologically twisted, is sometimes not a fine line. Like,
at all. Sometimes, it’s a huge line. Giant in fact. At this time, I feel compelled to point out that any parallels between the Princess and Alan Strang in Equus are not only utterly absurd, but just plain wrong. The Princess vehemently defends the fact that her two, three-legged cats came to her already missing appendages and she can happily provide the paperwork proving such to anyone who thinks contrary. Artsopolis, rounding up Arts and Culture at prices that are stable, healthy and totally void of ridiculous speculation, thank-you-very-much.

Father Knows Best

Being the Father of Modern Science comes with a substantial amount of responsibility and pressure. Being the Father of Modern Science and also the father of two daughters is a different sort of challenge altogether. Ask any dad with daughters, and he’ll likely tell you they are puzzles, surrounded by conundrums, wrapped in enigmas. If you asked Galileo, he’d probably say “Publicly supporting unpopular heliocentric views of the universe and being tried and convicted of heresy is nothing compared to trying to understand my daughters.” Only, his response would be in Italian. Because he was. So, it would sound a bit different. But, you get it. Also “different” but something you can still totally get? The Tabard Theatre Company’s production of Inferno Theatre’s Galileo’s Daughters. This fascinating look at the mysteries of science, religion and those wonderful phenomena we call daughters is a conversation starter for sure. And, you can get tickets at half-price, so you can even take your daughters with you. Artsopolis, at the center of your Arts and Cultural universe, presenting prices that will have you seeing stars.

Plea Deal

Deception, scandalous love triangles, shifty lawyer types making extravagant courtroom gestures, murder, fame, and hot dance numbers with lots of jazz hands. Yup, just another day in the life of a Princess. Oh, wait. No it’s not. I’m totally getting that confused with Children’s Musical Theater San Jose’s production of the Tony Award-winning musical Chicago. My bad. As a way of apologizing for all that inappropriate, misplaced drama, I’ve got some half-price tickets for you. But grab them up quick, before the judge finds us out of orders! Artsopolis, defending your right to attend Arts and Cultural events at prices that almost make us plead guilty. Almost.

Recreational Hazard

The desire to be like my older brother was perhaps never more fervent than when it came to scouting. I can’t remember a time that I wasn’t eager to have camping adventures and earn merit badge accolades of my own. My brief experience with Brownies was, however, a far cry from my brother’s exciting tales of canoeing, archery, and cooking over a campfire he’d built by himself. Instead, my grand scouting encounter consisted of learning to sew a coin purse, a sleepover under the protective not-at-all-exotic roof of the Brownie house, and cooking on an electric stove, something I had mastered practically in uteros. Perhaps, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Warren G. Harding can better convey the disappointment (and okay, the humor) of shattered expectations as you watch their own camping trip go terribly awry. Bus Barn Stage Company’s production of Camping with Henry and Tom may only depict a fictional disaster, but I’m sure the story is just as fit for the stage as ghost stories are for the campfire. Not that I would know anything about that. Because ghost stories apparently might give Brownies nightmares. Artsopolis, scouting out great discounts with which to pitch your Arts and Cultural tent.

Bee Plus

Ah, the sun has come out and spring is finally upon us. Even the bees have emerged to do a smidge of belated pollination which, of course, makes me wonder what they were doing for twenty-seven of the last forty-two days that it rained. No doubt they do what most of us do when we’re holed up in our hives waiting for it to dry out; Scrabble. Yes, I’m sure they set up a game – rose bud (or rose bud light) in one hand, fresh slice of honeycomb in the other – and rode out the storms just hoping for a sweet triple word score to open up so they could play quartzy. (Yes, it’s a word. Look it up. And, in case you were curious… 82 points. Minimum.) Which brings me to this week’s feature offer: the fantastic musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, performed by West Valley Light Opera. Talk about a winning score! This show’s so funny, you may throw your thorax out of whack from laughing so hard. But I drone. Go see what all the buzz is about for yourself. Artsopolis, racking up your arts and cultural tiles at prices that don’t sting!

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