Theatre Rhinoceros
John Fisher, Executive Director

Theatre Rhino in 2007-2008

The Rhino’s Thirtieth Anniversary Season:

September 20, 2007 – July 27, 2008

We're thirty! And still going strong!

A history of The Rhino onstage, a queer classic, the incomparable Marga Gomez, a Bay Area Premiere and a World Premiere. What more could you want for your thirties?

Last year we took you to the edge. This year we'll show you the ropes.

Let the most experienced queer theatre on the planet show you how it's done.

And while we're on the subject: Where were you when the Rhino came out in 1977?

Think about it… We start off the season with a trip down memory lane - thirty years of The Rhino.

Our first show is a song and comedy retrospective of the highlights of th ree decades of queer theatre. Next we offer you a queer classic given the Rhino touch.  You loved our productions of Bent and What the Butler Saw, you won't want to miss our latest.

Next it's Marga time - join her, her gay comedy friends, and the whole Rhino family to ring in the New Year at The Victoria Theatre.

In 2008, the season continues with the Bay Area Premiere of David Mamet's Boston Marriage - a very funny play about queer life. And finally John Fisher's Ishi, about San Francisco's most famous Indian, takes the stage to round out thirty years of gay and lesbian theatre.

We're called Theatre Rhinoceros because the rhino is a gentle, loving animal… until provoked. That's what we were thinking in 1977. What about you?

Read more in our Press Release (pdf format)
Read more in our Press Release (Word format)

Queer Theater for the
Queer in Everyone

Rhino Logo

Theatre Rhinoceros
2926 -- 16th Street
at South Van Ness
San Francisco

 

 

Shark Bites

Written and performed by Jeffrey Hartgraves
Directed by Libby O'Connell

October 4 - 14, 2007
Revived January 17 - February 9, 2008

From Death's Door to the Stage Door

Featuring: David Bicha, P.A. Cooley, T.J. Lee, davidmahr, and Drew Todd

Public fears go private in Shark Bites (a very nearly solo show).

This auto-biopic piece, by local theatre veteran Jeffrey Hartgraves, is his first performance since being diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma (bone cancer).

With the help of an Individual Artist CA$H Grant from Theatre Bay Area, he has returned to the stage for a very limited engagement of a new comedy/drama chronicling his own life. Ninety-minutes of humorous humiliations and personal epiphanies, explaining how FEAR is the most basic human motivation.

Shark Bites isn't "about" cancer (Jeffrey is actually a Virgo), but it doesn't shy away from the real or imagined fears that fill our lives from beginning to end.

Come for an evening of laughter and revelation.

While his cancer is currently in remission, this is Jeffrey's only scheduled performance of 2007. Seating is limited.

2007 Press Release (pdf file)

The Bay Area Reporter feature interview with Jeffrey.

San Francisco Bay Guardian Review

Click the pictures below for larger versions

Jeff Hargraves in Shark Bites at Theatre Rhino
photo by Kent Taylor

Shark Bites poster

Theatre Rhinoceros: The First Thirty Years

A Musical Retrospective

Conceived and Directed by John Fisher
Dramaturgy by Matt Weimer
With Laurie Bushman, Kim K. Larsen, Mike Vega, and Matt Weimer

September 22 through October 14
(Previews September 20 and 21)

Thirty years of comedy, sex, politics and fun onstage in a single evening. Theatre Rhinoceros: The First Thirty Years celebrates all the fun with a show of original songs and scenes from three decades of new theatre about the love that not only speaks but also shouts, sings and dances its name.

Press Release (pdf file)

Press Release (MS Word file)

Reviews

"Brisk and Enjoyable!" Bay Guardian
"See 30 Years Now!" Bay Times
"Ribald and Lighthearted" Bay Area Reporter

 

Mayor Newsom Salutes the Rhino

Photos by Kent Taylor. Click on image for uncropped, high-resolution version.

Laurie Bushman, Alice Pencavel
Laurie Bushman, Alice Pencavel

Bushman, Michael Vega, Pencavel, Matt Weimer
Bushman, Michael Vega, Pencavel, Matt Weimer

Vega, Pencavel, Bushman, Weimer
Vega, Pencavel, Bushman, Weimer

Vega, Weimer, Bushman, Pencavel
Vega, Weimer, Bushman, Pencavel

Vega, Weimer
Vega, Weimer

Vega, Weimer
Vega, Weimer

Weimer, Kim Larsen, Bushman, Vega, Pencavel
Weimer, Kim Larsen, Bushman, Vega, Pencavel

Vega, Bushman, Larsen, Weimer, Pencavel
Vega, Bushman, Larsen, Weimer, Pencavel

Weimer, Larsen, Pencavel, John Fisher, Vega, Bushman
Weimer, Larsen, Pencavel, John Fisher, Vega, Bushman

Weimer, Larsen, Pencavel, Fisher, Vega, Bushman
Weimer, Larsen, Pencavel, Fisher, Vega, Bushman

Top Row: Larsen, Fisher; Middle Row: Vega, Pencavel; Bottom Row: Weimer, Bushman
Top Row: Larsen, Fisher; Middle Row: Vega, Pencavel; Bottom Row: Weimer, Bushman

Vega, Weimer
Vega, Weimer

 

Click for PDF of postcard image (below)

Theatre Rhinoceros: The First Thirty Years

Where were YOU when Rhino came OUT in 1977?

Tuesday, October 16th from 6 - 10 pm
Levende Lounge
1710 Mission St. at Duboce

The Rhino's Annual Fundraiser — 30th Anniversary Edition!

Come OUT and join RHINO and Friends to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the longest ongoing GLBT Theatre in The World!

Great Food & Drink, Fun, Entertainment, Surprises, Silent Auction, and Disco Dancing at one of the hippest joints in the Mission — reserved exclusively for our celebration!

70's Dress is Encouraged but not Required!

Theatre Rhino's October 16th Fundraiser

artwork by Ronald Duculan and P. Chop

Levende Lounge

Up in Avery's Room

A Reading at The Rhino

by Jack Sharrar
with Matt Weimer, Aaron Martinsen, Libby O'Connell, 'Drew Todd, A.K. Conrad, Scott Gessford, and Valerie Weak.

ONE PERFORMANCE!
Monday, October 29 8:00 pm
(Reception with the playwright and cast to follow)

It's 1924 and playwright Avery Hopwood, the toast of Broadway, is at the apex of a career spent writing popular (and scandalous) comedies. But he also struggles to cope with his own demons as John Floyd, his alcoholic lover and protegee, makes his life miserable while Hopwood braves an interview for his alma mater's newspaper.

Hilarious, sexy, touching, and based on real people, Up in Avery's Room opens a window on a Broadway lost, but emotions still current.

Press Release (pdf file)

Press Release (MS Word file)

A portrait of Avery Hopwood by Florine Stettheimer
Courtesy of The Hopwood Program

A portrait of Avery Hopwood by Florine Stettheimer/Courtesy The Hopwood Program

Staircase

Staircase at Theatre Rhino

By Charles Dyer
Directed by John Fisher
Dramaturgy by Matt Weimer

Performances:
November 15 - December 16
Wednesdays - Saturdays at 8 pm
Sundays at 3 pm (except 7 pm November 18th)

Can this marriage last? Charlie and Harry have been together forever and no one cares. Except the police! But it's 1966 and the times, they are a changin'! Will they change fast enough?

Predating even The Boys in the Band, this hysterical comedy was one of the first gay plays to tackle Broadway and the big screen. Join this cuddly but bitchy middle-aged couple for a dark night of the soul, peppered with many laughs. It's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, but gay!.

Press Release (MS Word)
Press Release (pdf)

Press Photographs

Click on an image below for a full-size, uncropped version.

For captions: the man in the red scarf is Donald Currie; the one in the bandages or tupee is Joseph Tally.

Photographs by Kent Taylor

Donald Currie and Joseph Talley in Staircase

Donald Currie and Joseph Talley in Staircase

Donald Currie and Joseph Talley in Staircase

Donald Currie and Joseph Talley in Staircase

Donald Currie and Joseph Talley in Staircase

Donald Currie and Joseph Talley in Staircase

Donald Currie and Joseph Talley in Staircase

Donald Currie and Joseph Talley in Staircase

Donald Currie and Joseph Talley in Staircase

Donald Currie and Joseph Talley in Staircase

Marga Gomez’s New Year’s Eve Spectacular

7:00 & 9:00 PM, December 31, 2007
Victoria Theatre

Marga makes her stand-up return to the Bay Area. Last Christmas there were seven weeks of sell-out Cochinas, this year there will be only two Marga shows. These shows will sell out so reserve your tickets today. As a subscriber you will also get preferred seating. Ring in the New Year with the hottest show in town!

GLAAD Award winning comedian MARGA GOMEZ returns to ring in her fifth Rhino New Year with special guest comic ALI MAFI - gay, Muslim and an Iranian president's worst nightmare. Expect down, dirty, and smart laughs as Gomez and Mafi take on 2007 in the queerest comedy event of the year. TWO SHOWS ONLY!

Opening for Marga is Ali Mafi

I'm gay, fat, and Muslim.

Ali Mafi

I'm one minority trait away from getting a handicapped sticker!

DJ O'DJ added to the Show!

DJ O'DJ -- a last-minute addition to Marga's New Year's Eve Show!A special addition to Marga's New Year's Eve is DJ O'DJ who has been getting Bay Area crowds on their feet since 2005.

DJ O'DJ will be dj'ing before and after – and perhaps during – the show. 

DJ O'DJ has created original music and sound design for several Theatre Rhinoceros productions including Marga Gomez's Intimate Details and The Twelve Days of Cochina.

Scenes from a earlier New Year's Eve Show

Press Release (MS Word)
Press Release (pdf file)

Click on image for large, uncropped version.

Photos of Marga and Ali are by Kent Taylor

Marga Gomez - Photo by Kent Taylor

Marga Gomez New Year's Eve poster

Marga Gomez with Ali Mafi

Marga Gomez with Ali Mafi

Marga Gomez

Marga Gomez

Marga Gomez with Ali Mafi

Marga Gomez with Ali Mafi

Theatre Rhino Presents...

A Staged Play Reading

Groucho: a Queer Loca

Groucho: a Queer Lorca

Written by Tina D'Elia
Directed by Mary Guzmán
Dramaturgy by Enrique Urueta

Two performances: Monday and Tuesday, February 4th and 5th at 7 pm

Tickets: $10 at the door

Groucho: a Queer Loca is a mixed-race butch/femme Latina vaudevillian screwball comedy. Tina Rivera-Muccino wakes up after a night of debauchery and discovers that legendary comedian Groucho Marx has taken residence, splitting her personality in two.  And if Groucho isn't enough, Tina has to join her family for dinner, come out to her grandparents, and introduce them to her butch Girlfriend!

Groucho: a Queer Loca is in development with The Playwrights Foundation.

The Shawl

Written by David Mamet
Directed by Libby O'Connell

With Will Brown, Jeanette Harrison and Matt Weimer

February 21 to March 1

In conjunction with our Main Stage production of David Mamet's Boston Marriage, The Rhino presents Mamet's other queer play, The Shawl, about a hustler, a medium, and the woman they scam, or try to.

A medium with a talent for hucksterism and his ruthless student meet with a woman who wants advice about her deceased mother's will. They plot to relieve her of the entire estate, but she tricks the medium into revealing what a charlatan he is. During the shock and pain of this moment, the medium experiences a revelation so profound that it changes the course of each character's life.

Press Release (MS Word)

Press Release (pdf file)

In the San Francisco Chronicle

In the San Jose Mercury News

Click on an image for a full-size, uncropped verion
Featured are Jeanette Harrison and Matt Weimer
Photos by John Fisher

The Shawl with Matt Meimer and Jeanette Harrison

The Shawl with Matt Meimer and Jeanette Harrison

The Shawl with Matt Meimer and Jeanette Harrison

The Shawl with Matt Meimer and Jeanette Harrison

The Shawl with Matt Meimer and Jeanette Harrison

Boston Marriage at the RhinoBay Area Premiere!

Boston Marriage

Written by David Mamet
Directed by John Fisher

February 7 to March 2 EXTENDED to March 9

David Mamet as you've never seen him before. Join Anna and Claire and their crazy maid for this same-sex romp.

You won't want to miss it when the king of macho insult lets the lesbians outwit the men.

Press Release - MS Word document
Press Release - PDF file


The Chronicle applauds!"David Mamet’s 1999 lesbian drawing-room comedy finally receives its long-overdue Bay Area premiere in John Fisher’s scintillatingly witty and hilariously, self-consciously arch two-hour staging, performed with expert comic timing by Alexandra Creighton and Trish Tillman.

...The sharp humor of Mamet’s homage to Oscar Wilde makes for delightful entertainment."

— R. Hurwitt
San Francisco Chronicle


Behind the Scenes at Boston Marriage

Director John Fisher interviews stars
Alexandra Creighton and Trish Tillman in this revealing clip.

 

Cast includes Alexandra Creighton, Pamela Davis, and Trish Tillman.

Click on a photo for a full-size, uncropped version ready for print.
Actress in purple costume is Alexandra Creighton as Claire.
Actress in black costume is Trish Tillman as Anna
Photos by Kent Taylor

Alexandra Creighton and Trish Tillman

Alexandra Creighton and Trish Tillman

Alexandra Creighton and Trish Tillman

Alexandra Creighton and Trish Tillman

Alexandra Creighton and Trish Tillman

Alexandra Creighton and Trish Tillman

Alexandra Creighton and Trish Tillman

Alexandra Creighton

Trish Tillman

Trish Tillman

Click on graphic for a full-size poster by David Wilson

Boston Marriage at Theatre Rhino February 7 to March 2

Click on a photo for a full-size, uncropped version ready for print.
Production photographs by John Fisher
The actresses in the pictures, from left to right, are Alexandra Creighton, Pamela Davis and Trish Tillman.

Boston Marriage on stage

Boston Marriage on stage

Boston Marriage on stage

Boston Marriage on stage

Boston Marriage on stage

Boston Marriage on stage

Theatre Rhino presents John Fisher's

Art Commission

A Staged Reading

Written and perfomed by John Fisher
Dramaturg: Matt Weimer

Art Commission by John FisherONE NIGHT ONLY!
Friday March 21, 8 pm on the Main Stage

The Plot: The Middle East, The Sudan, A Screwed Up Empire, A World Leader at a Loss: It's all happened before.

This production a Co-Presentation of the San Francisco Arts Commission in fulfillment of a Cultural Equity Grant.

Click on the QuickTime arrow below and see the Video!

The Butterfly Effect

An All-Star Gala Benefiting the Jeffrey Hartgraves Cancer Fund

One Night Only!
Sunday, April 20th, 7:30 pm

Press Release (pdf format)

Press Release (MS word format)

The Butterfly Effect

Well-known Bay Area talents Veronica Klaus, Matthew Martin, Connie Champagne, Leigh Crow, Trauma Flintstone and many other familiar faces will gather on Theatre Rhinoceros’ main stage Sunday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m., for “The Butterfly Effect: An All-Star Gala Benefiting the Jeffrey Hartgraves Cancer Fund.”

Frequent Hartgraves collaborators Leon Acord and P.A. Cooley will host the evening, in collaboration with The Rhino.

Jeffrey Hartgraves, “a deeply valued veteran of Bay Area theater as a playwright, director, and actor” (Bay Area Guardian), was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2005.  Following a year of remission -- during which he wrote and starred in his critically acclaimed “very nearly solo show” Shark Bites at The Rhino and published a collection of essays entitled Bone Matters – Hartgraves is now back on another round of painful chemotherapy, making it difficult to make ends meet.

Acord is also co-producing the evening.  Acord and Hartgraves co-produced and co-starred in 2002’s hit Carved in Stone at Eureka Theatre, among many other collaborations, before Acord moved to LA in 2004. 

“Jeffrey has given me the greatest moments of my stage career.  I’m really thrilled to repay him for his generosity, inspiration and friendship.”

"It was dirty, it was silly, it was a swell $10-buck-a-seat party, and bravo, James Judd."
— Leah Garchik
San Francisco Chronicle



"Who the hell is this guy and why am I laughing so hard?"
— Will Harper
SF Weekly


"Engaging and hilarious... packed house"
— Richard Dodds
Bay Area Reporter

In the Studio!

7 Sins

Written and performed by James Judd

April 4 to April 26   Extended to May 17th!

James Judd presents his life of envy, greed, gluttony, pride, lust, sloth, and wrath.

7 Sins7 Sins is a collection of hilarious and true stories from the life of writer/comedian James Judd. It chronicles his early ambition to win his 5th Grade book report competition with My Search for Patty Hearst, and his first job when his working mother paid him to watch The Young and the Restless and then reenact it for her.

He relives his varied careers as a forgotten employee of AT&T, where he did nothing for a year, an even shorter-lived career as a dot.com journalist (which led to an insane night in a Chinese bordello), and as an under-prepared criminal defense attorney representing a tiny but extremely violent teenage girl.

"Judd is Paul Lynde for the new millennium. His show is off-the-wall and out-of-the-ballpark entertaining. To miss it would be the eighth and deadliest sin of all." - Toronto Star.

"He's David Sedaris on a pot of coffee." - Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.

"Judd's jokes are hyper-funny, making the show a witty, sophisticated breeze." Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

7 Sins is not poignant! It 's not inspirational! It's just 75 minutes of FUNNY

Press Release (pdf format)

Press Release (MS word format)

Click for a full-size poster

Ishi: The Last of the Yahi

Written and Directed by John Fisher" ... a wildly ambitious, frequently fascinating work..."
Bay Area Reporter

July 3 - 20, 2008
(No performance July 4)

World Premiere!

The epic play of San Francisco history. A tale of love, war, and ruthless ambition in the City by the Bay. Professor Alfred Kroeber finds the West's most famous Indian starving in the woods and the two embark on an adventure that will shape the future of California and uncover the secrets of our blood drenched past.

Ishi: The Last of the Yahi

Press Release (PDF format)

Press Release (Word document)

Read an interview with Ishi's writer and director, John Fisher, in the Bay Area Reporter.

Ishi: The Last of the Yahi

Full-size poster

All photos below by Judi Price

Michael Vega and Chris Libby in "Ishi: The Last of the Yahi" by John Fisher; Photo by Judi Price

Michael Vega and Chris Libby. Photo by Judi Price.

Ishi:The Last of the Yahi

Michael Vega and Chris Libby

Kevin Clarke and Jeanette Harrison

Kevin Clarke and Jeanette Harrison

Ishi cast

Michael Vega and Kevin Clarke

Michael Vega and Kevin ClarkeMichael Vega and Kevin Clarke

Left to Right: Kevin Clarke, Jeanette Harrison, Michael Vega, George Detroit Dunwood

Left to Right: Kevin Clarke, Jeanette Harrison, Michael Vega, George Detroit Dunwood

Jeanette Harrison and Kevin Clarke

Jeanette Harrison and Kevin Clarke

Ishi:The Last of the Yahi

Finding Ways...

A New Comedy written by Snehal Desai
Creative Team: Snehal Desai, John Fisher, Amanda Spooner, and Jon Wai-keung Lowe


FIVE SHOWS ONLY!
August 13 (Wednesday) through August 16 (Saturday) at 8:00 pm
matinee Saturday at 3:00 pm

Finding Ways To Prove You’re NOT an Al-Qaeda Terrorist When You’re Brown (and other stories of the gIndian) is a funny, strange, and often heart-breaking look at the struggle to reconcile the rules of society with the undeniable power of personal desires.

As we make our way in the world, constantly reshaping our identities, how do we choose which part of ourselves to carry with us and which to bury along the way? Is it possible to forge a different path from those who came before you without losing your heritage? How do you recognize when you are finally at home in your own skin and in your own country?

After a hit run in New York City, the new comedy about Gay-Indian self-identity and angst makes its West Coast debut at The Rhino.

Before you can make the journey to self-enlightenment, you’ll need to prove you aren’t carrying a bomb.

Press Release (PDF)

Press Release (MS Word document)

Photos by Erik Pearson
Click on an image below to download larger, unedited version

Finding Ways with Snehal Desai

Finding Ways with Snehal Desai

Finding Ways with Snehal Desai

Finding Ways with Snehal Desai

Finding Ways with Snehal Desai

Finding Ways with Snehal Desai

Black and white version of head shot

 

Presented at the New York International Fringe Festival

Schönberg

Written by John Fisher, Executive Director of Theatre Rhino


Sunday, August 17 @ 4:15 PM
Tuesday, August 19 @ 7: 30 PM
Wednesday, August 20 @ 5:45 PM
Thursday, August 21 @ 2:45 PM
Friday, August 22 @ 9:30 PM

A play about the friendship between genius composer Arnold Schönberg and Hollywood funny-man Oscar Levant, set in Los Angeles during World War II. "Humorous and heady!" says the San Francisco Chronicle.

Press Release (PDF)

Press Release (MS Word document)

Photos by David Wilson
Click on an image below to download larger, unedited version

John Fisher in Schoenberg
John Fisher as Arnold Schönberg

Schönberg
John Fisher as Arnold Schönberg

Schönberg
John Fisher as Arnold Schönberg

Presented on the mainstage by Square MaMa

Bad Habits

Written by Terrence McNally
Directed by Randy Warren


August 6-30, 2008

Terrence McNally's screwball comedy about two competing medical retreats, each using radically opposite approaches toward helping patients deal with their bad habits.

The NY Times wrote that Bad Habits "goes to prove that laughter is the best medicine."

Cue called it "inspired madness of the highest order."

Bad Habits on the Rhino Stage August 6 - 30

Debut Presentation

I Am Not Japanese

A One-Woman Show by Noriyko Tate

Two Shows ONLY
Friday, September 5th & Saturday, September 6th at 8:00 pm

In her first one-woman show Noriyko Tate charms the audience with a humorous and poignant account of her experiences growing up in a North Bronx housing project with brown skin, a Japanese name, a family of devout Jehovah's Witnesses, her two little sisters, neighbors who helped old school style, and an epileptic mom obsessed with Asian culture.

Noriyko brings several different characters to life on stage telling their own pieces of the story. In this must-see debut, Noriyko shows the audience that there are no monsters in the closet and leaves them with hope and a smile.

Noriyo Tate in I Am Not Japanese



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