Short, Sweet 

The one-acts are back

7/25-7/27

Masquers Playhouse in Point Richmond has made a habit -- a welcome one -- of promoting the lost art of one-act plays. The theater company's Envision 2003 program continues its dedication this weekend with An Evening of One-Acts, a trio of short but pithy stage plays. Susan Glaspell's Trifles, directed by Marilyn Kamelgarn and featuring C. Conrad Cady, Dory Ehrlich, Pat Nelson, Jerry Telfer, and Stephen McLaughlin, takes the audience to a farmhouse where a murder has recently been committed. The Shock of Recognition by Robert Anderson comically examines men's self-image in the 1960s; it's directed by Nikki Nahmens Gage and stars Evelyn Binder, John Dunn, Jerry Johnson, and Phil Goldsmith. Anderson's I'm Herbert, directed by and starring Eddie and Theo Collins, wrestles with identity -- but don't we all? The trio of shorties, staged by production manager Joyce Hughes, enjoys three performances: Friday, July 25 and Saturday, July 26, both at 8 p.m., and a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday, July 27. Tickets are $10. Masquers Playhouse, 105 Park Pl., Point Richmond. Reservations: 510-232-4031. -- Kelly Vance

WED 7/23

Meter Meet

When it comes to slam poetry, the Berkeley Slam is a lyrical leader. A member of PSI (Poetry Slam, Inc.), the weekly event is where performance poets vie for spots on the Berkeley Slam Team. The team always makes a respectable showing at the national level, but if you want to be a part of it, you've got to slam by the rules: no props, no costumes, and no music, and each poet gets three minutes per poem, with a ten-second grace period. If you think you can survive rigorous judging at the hands of five randomly chosen audience members, then bring three pieces to the Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck Ave.). Sign-up starts at 7:30 p.m. Call 510-841-2082 for further information. -- Stefanie Kalem

7/25-7/27

Diabolical

Gounod's Faust, in English

We're hearing a lot of operas about Faust these days (and why is it that the devil always gets to sing the most seductive arias?). Sandwiched between the SF Opera productions of Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust and Busoni's Doktor Faust is Charles Gounod's more accessible and poignant Faust, staged by the Berkeley Opera at Berkeley's Julia Morgan Theatre. This production, in English, uses Gounod's original 1859 "opéra comique" version with spoken dialogue, rather than the later fully-sung version. Tenors Pedro Rodelas and Percy Martinez alternate in the role of the doomed protagonist, while Marta Johanson and Jillian Khuner alternate as Marguerite. Richard Goodman and Cifford Romig share the role of Mephistopheles. Directed by Ann Woodhead, conducted by Jonathan Khuner. 8 p.m. Sat. and Sun., 2 p.m. Sun. BerkeleyOpera.org or 925-798-1300. -- Sarah Cahill

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