Watch the First Episode of Silicon Valley for Free

Categories: Comedy, TV


If you're anything like me, you don't have a fancy HBO subscription. So when your friends chime away about how awesome the latest episode of such and such series was the night before, you plug your ears and recite the "La la la la," song until their voices drown out because you have to work your Google wizardry to find the show online. But when you finally do, of course you're an episode and a conversation behind. Thankfully, if you're reading this, chances are you have the Internet.

If you missed last night's premiere of Silicon Valley, there is no need to fear, ladies and gents: HBO made the pilot episode available to the public via YouTube, for free!

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"Wittenberg": A Play with Comedy and Heart

Categories: Comedy, Theater

Courtesy of Aurora Theatre Company
'Wittenberg' director Josh Costello

As the literary manager of the Aurora Theatre, Josh Costello reads a lot of scripts. And he fell in love with David Davalos' "Wittenberg," a tale of Hamlet as a university student suffering a crisis of faith and torn between following advice from his philosophy professor, Doctor Faustus, or that of Martin Luther, professor of theology.

"It's a combination of it being a very smart play with two other things -- there's a lot of really silly comedy that makes me laugh, and there's a lot of heart too," Costello says. "There are characters who care about each other and are striving for things."

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Extra Sparkle and Shine at the Ballet: Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

Photo by Sascha Vaughn

There was a time when ballet was the purview of Imperial Russia, when ballerinas Russianized their names from Lilian Marks and Hilda Munnings to Alicia Markova and Lydia Sokolova. Like a certain Norma Jeane Mortenson, the dancers knew their down-home monikers lacked the authenticating glamour of a Slavic pedigree. There was a time when every ballerina was a diva who radiated an individual gleam in the anonymity of the firmament. There was a time when balletomanes went to watch over-the-top personalities rather than over-the-puddle pas de chats. Bay Area audiences won't need to commandeer a time machine, to return to days of yore, when Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo comes to Zellerbach Hall on March 25.

Yes, they're an all-male comedy ballet troupe doing send-offs of classical ballets in full tutu-ed and pointe-shod regalia since 1974. But they are also, in the words of their artistic director Toby Dobrin, at heart a "dusty overblown Russian touring company that doesn't exist anymore."

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Where the Bears Are: Oh My!

They're beefy! They're hairy! They're bears! And they solve murders!

If you're a fan of Murder She Wrote and have a yen for big, hairy, gay guys, Where the Bears Are might be the show for you. Now preparing to shoot its third season, real life bear pals Ben Zook, Joe Dietl and Rick Copp are the stars, and the creative team behind this light, funny look at at three beefy LA guys who solve murders while they search for Mr. Right!

The guys engage in some of the wittiest banter this side of The Golden Girls. Co-star Rick Copp wrote many of the Bears' scripts. Copp knows a thing or two about comedy: his many credits include authoring the screenplay for The Brady Bunch Movie (1995). He even worked on The Golden Girls, which is one of Bear' influences. The Los Angeles resident chatted with SF Weekly about his furry offspring.

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Marga Gomez's Latest, "Lovebirds" Isn't Just for Lovers

Patti Meyer
Marga Gomez in "Lovebirds"

Marga Gomez remembers the 1970s as a time of experimentation and liberation.

"Everyone thought they were Salvador Dali, and you could fall in love every five minutes," she said. "Then you had Reagan and AIDS."

On the phone from Los Angeles, where she took an impromptu trip after the opening weekend of "Lovebirds," her latest solo show at the Marsh, Gomez says she wanted the audience to get caught up in that feeling of freedom and exploration.

In interconnecting stories, we meet a cabaret owner, Orestes, in love with a singer who can't sing. The singer has a husband who claims (through yawns) to only need 45 minutes of sleep a night.

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Final Tales: Q&A with Armistead Maupin on Concluding his Iconic San Francisco Series

Juan De Anda/SF Weekly
Armistead Maupin: Chronicling San Francisco one Tale at a time

Armistead Maupin refuses to be the old fart who bickers about San Francisco not being what it used to be, even after chronicling it for nearly 40 years.

What started off as a set of weekly installments in The San Francisco Chronicle in 1976, Maupin's Tales of the City series turned into an eight-novel series, three PBS television miniseries (based off the first three novels starring Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney), and a stage musical at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater in 2011.

Harper Collins

However, Maupin's work is more than just a popular fad of literature. It's a big-hearted portrait of a time, place, and people that were misunderstood, oversimplified, or simply ignored. Maupin was able to take a 1970s San Francisco that was the national mecca of sexual liberation/acceptance and depict in an endearing and humane manner.

Tales of the City chart the unexpected adventures of esteemed characters like Anna Madrigal, Mary Ann Singleton, and Michael "Mouse" Tolliver while simultaneously commenting and chronicling the changing times of San Francisco and the world at large.

Now Maupin has chosen to end the series after 40 years with last week's release of The Days of Anna Madrigal, a work that is less about departure than coming home. The book is an 270-page love note and elegy for the characters, their way of life, and to that place we and they call home: San Francisco.

SF Weekly had the opportunity to speak with Armistead Maupin on his literary trajectory, the changing nature of gay identity, writing plot lines and sagas over the span of decades, HBO's Looking, and saying good-bye to the residents of 28 Barbary Lane. Below is the full interview with some slight editing for brevity.

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G.B.F.: New Film Explores Gay Friendships With Humor

GBF: now playing at AMC Metreon

Darren Stein's new film G.B.F. (Gay Best Friend) won't be drawing comparisons to Will and Grace -- that fondly remembered sitcom was about a gay man and a straight woman who really were best friends. Stein's film is a comedy about high school cliques, where the queen bees use gay male friends as status symbols.

The performances are broad and the dialogue is often silly. Yet, G.B.F. has heart. Through it's humor it manages to make a fairly serious statement on the meaning of friendship and the importance of being true to one's identity.

Michael J. Willet and Paul Iacono are delightful as Tanner and Brent, two closeted gay nerds, best friends who might just be in love. That friendship is tested when bitch/diva Fawcett (Sasha Pieterse) decides to make Tanner over into the kind of hot, trendy, gay man she thinks he should be. Suddenly the invisible geek is the most popular guy at school.

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Will Gays: The Series Be Able to Compete With HBO's Looking?

They're Gay. And they have their own web series.

The show's title is simple and cuts to the chase: Gays: The Series is creator Peter William Dunn's self described "dramedy" web series.

Dunn, who is also the writer/director/co-star, describes Gays as being "about four twenty-something gay best friends navigating the tumultuous terrain of New York City. Growing up, screwing up, and screwing along the way."

And time will tell if New York-based Gays will steal a few viewers from HBO's San Francisco show, Looking.

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Stocking Stuffer: Enviromental Condom to Raise Awareness of Human Population Growth

Center for Biological Diversity
Use it or Lose It.

For the guys who still don't have the perfect gift for that special someone, maybe you're considering using your God-endowed gift? (After wrapping it up of course!) Here's another benefit of wrapping it up, according to the The Center for Biological Diversity, it can save the dwarf seahorse!

This holiday season, The Center is handing out 25,000 free Endangered Species Condoms in all 50 states. Why? The Center hopes to raise awareness of the devastating effects of human population growth and over consumption on endangered plants and animals. According to their press release:

"More than 200,000 people are added to the planet every day and, according to the United Nations, global human population could reach nearly 10 billion by 2050. As the human population grows, wildlife pays the price as wildlife habitat is developed, air and water are polluted and the climate crisis deepens."
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Anchorman 2 Writer-director Adam McKay Talks To Us About Anchorman 2, Obviously

Categories: Comedy, Movies

Adam McKay is being interrogated about Anchorman 2.

He slouches, throws one arm over the back of his chair, squints a little behind his glasses, chews his gum. He looks a kid in the back of the classroom who's just been called on because the teacher expects to trip him up -- but all the other kids expect he'll win the day with a wise-ass comment.

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