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When: Oct. 29-Dec. 5 2010

With a hard, steely face and a long, wiry frame that seems imminently changeable, David Cale is a compelling solo performer. He can play against age or gender, inhabit any body, and reveal complexities of character in small ways ñ like a hand gesture. His writing works much the same way, favoring concise descriptions and an economy of detail. Such attributes come to bear in CaleÕs new one-man show, Palomino, about a Central Park carriage driver who falls into a lucrative side gig as a gigolo for well-heeled society matrons. Cale wrote, directed, and stars in the show, which is based partly on his Margaret Mead-ish exploration of the coachman industry in New York. He took up carriage driving for a month in order to research a part for a low budget film, and found the job had a lot of unexpected perks. Cale managed to filter the experience into a ninety-minute script, told from several different points of view. Video projections by Rich Takesshow the treetops of Central Park, from a palominoÕs perspective. Through December 5 at Aurora Theatre (2081 Addison St., Berkeley).

— Rachel Swan


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