Taxing Affairs 

Bedded but indebted at BRT

WED 8/20

Love & Taxes , Josh Kornbluth's latest look at life, examines how he learns two important lessons: You can't have everything, and you can't take it with you. Kornbluth blossoms from stage successes (Red Diaper Baby, Haiku Tunnel) to Hollywood film studio interest, into serious money and a love match, only to find his pleasure garden wither in the looming shadow of the IRS. Weedlike, the federal agency that must be obeyed springs up into an enormous tax bill that threatens to choke love, livelihood, and every last penny from him, and we find out what happens when the Kornbluthian perspective confronts Kafkaesque surreality. Following an acclaimed world premiere run at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco, Love & Taxes begins a limited four-week engagement at Berkeley Rep's Thrust Stage this Wednesday and continues through Sunday, September 14. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 and 7:00 p.m. Ticket prices are Wednesdays $25; Thursdays and Sundays $35; Fridays and Saturdays $40. Tickets from the Berkeley Rep box office, 2025 Addison Street, one block from the downtown Berkeley BART station, from 510-647-2949 or 888-4BRT-TIX, or ZSpace.org -- Pat Katzmann

SUN 8/24

Flip Side

As part of the grand tapestry of ethnic groups in the US it could be argued that Filipinos have been woefully unrecognized. Except that Filipinos are almost never woeful -- playful is more like it. If you don't believe that, stop by Kimball's East (6005 Shellmound St., Emeryville) Sunday at 8 p.m. for Pull My Finger , billed by its promoter, SF's Cocojam Productions, as the first ever Filipino-American standup comedy showcase, with a lineup of comics hosted by Al Manalo (above). $12 from 415-334-8840. -- Kelly Vance

8/21-8/23

Victorian Fairyland

Topsy-turvy in Walnut Creek

"Spurn not the nobly born/With love affected!/Nor treat with virtuous scorn/The well connected!" W.S. Gilbert's lyrics are just as apropos today as in 1882, when G&S's Iolanthe opened in London with its tuneful tale of fairies, half-mortals, and stuffed-shirt government officials. Lamplighters Musical Theatre is well aware of the aged musical's satiric value -- but they also simply like to prance around in costume and warble Sir Arthur Sullivan's delirious ditties. Its latest venture into topsy-turvydom makes its East Bay swing beginning Thursday (8 p.m.), when it opens for a three-day, four-show stand at Walnut Creek's Lesher Center for the Arts. Lamplighters.org or 925-943-7469. -- Kelly Vance

THU 8/21

Visitation

Iranian drama in Berkeley

In the wake of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, Shahrnush Parsipur was arrested because of her sister-in-law's diary. She was in an overcrowded prison for four-and-a-half years, and when she came out, she was a writer, an occupation that got her imprisoned twice more. One of Parsipur's novels is The Guests , which illustrates the universal need for human contact via the interweaving of a traditional Iranian folktale, about a lonely old woman who shelters a menagerie of animals, and a more modern parable of a jilted woman who chooses love over family. Opera Piccola asked the now-US-based author to adapt her timely story for the stage, and you can see the result tonight (7:30) at the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, 2640 College Ave., Berkeley. The Guests is the final installment in Opera Piccola's twelve-year-old Folk Tale Cycle, and the musical drama mixes contemporary American styles with Persian instrumentation. 925-798-1300. -- Stefanie Kalem

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