Laughfest spreads to Petaluma, Guerneville

“Laughter is a uniquely human thing,” said Brooke Tansley, founder of the Sonoma Laughfest comedy series and the upcoming Laughnights comedy show at Petaluma’s The Big Easy on Jan. 29. “Telling jokes,” she said, “finding the funny in not-so-funny things, turning a random remark into a gag — it’s what our species does and there’s…

Reviews: ‘Stage Kiss’ and ‘Emilie’

Love, sex, acting and mathematics. It’s all a messy business. Two new plays explore the sloppy intersection of sexual attraction and artistic (and/or scientific) pursuits. In Lauren Gunderson’s surreal 2010 drama Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight (Marin County’s Ross Valley Players), the real-life du Châtelet, an 18th-century physicist and sometime lover of French…

Review: ‘Becoming Dr. Ruth’ delivers intimate, funny, heartbreaking surprises at Main Stage West

‘Good sex is like downhill skiing,” says Dr. Ruth Westheimer early on in Main Stage West’s engaging, surprise-packed solo-show Becoming Dr. Ruth. “Both require instinct, good movement and a willingness to take risks.” That description, apparently, applies to Westheimer herself. Throughout the unexpectedly rich script by playwright Mark St. Germain, the true details of Dr. Ruth’s…