Archive for June, 2007

A Great Performer’s Great Benefit for a Great Cause

If you've ever seen local writer and solo performer Anne Galjour onstage, then you know that she's a deep and magical theater artist. Her masterpiece of a monologue, Hurricane, drawing both on her Louisiana upbringing and on her close affinity to the vicissitudes of nature, took on extra relevance in the tragic aftermath of Katrina. And now -- in collaboration with another local theater great, Ellen Sebastian Chang -- she's got a new play, Bird in the Hand. It's about people and birds in migration, and it's currently running at the Berkeley City Club. For more info and tix, you can click here or call 510-558-1381.

Tomorrow's performance is going to be a special benefit for The Z Space, my wonderful artistic home for the past decade. Tix for the show (at 8 p.m.) are $50, and will include what is being billed as "an intimate post-show reception" with Anne. Trust me, spending time with Anne is like being in the presence of some incredibly cool holy person -- she herself is a force of nature. So if you have the dough, I think you'll have a great time. To purchase tix for this benefit, call Clay Lord at The Z Space: 415-626-0453, ext. 104. (If you think of it, ask Clay why someone as ridiculously young as himself can be so mature -- I've been wondering.)

A couple of years ago, Anne took my wife and son and me (among several others) on a little bird-watching expedition along the San Francisco Marina. We've never forgotten it. I bet this show will be a blast.

June 27th, 2007

Call for Feedback

Very coolly, both episodes of The Josh Kornbluth Show submitted this year for consideration were nominated for regional Emmys. Sadly, both lost out to our wonderful sister show at KQED, Check, Please! Bay Area (even after I had Check, Please host Leslie Sbrocco on my own program -- oh, the ingratitude!). So I know I need to pick things up a notch or two. And I'd love to get your ideas: Guests? Topics? New and exciting hairstyles for the host?

Also, if you dug our first-ever broadcast in front of a live audience -- I had a blast! -- let me know if you'd like to see more of those.

Please share your ideas in the comments section below.

Thanks!!

4 comments June 27th, 2007

Annie 1, Annie 2, Annie 3 …

By my count (and I did horribly at math in college, so take this with a grain of salt) tonight's show (at 7:30) -- featuring interviews with photographer Annie Leibovitz and actress Helen Mirren -- is being broadcast for third time. Which is cool, as this is probably the episode that I get the most positive feedback about from people on the street. Mostly, I think, that's because folks (rightly) love the work of these two amazing artists. But I also feel like I connected a bit with each of them (a particular challenge in Dame Helen's case, as we only had about five minutes to talk). I also have especially fond memories of shooting the "Wandering Josh" segment, as it was produced by my beloved series producer Lori Halloran, who recently left our show to spend more quality time with her baby daughter.

Maybe one day I'll be able to talk about the rollicking conversation I had with Annie before we started taping. But, um, not yet. (It was intense, though.)

June 25th, 2007

The Warriors Lost, Eventually

During the unbelievably exciting first two rounds of the NBA playoffs, I was following our Golden State Warriors' great success with little blog items reporting on the outcome of each game.

Then I got kind of distracted getting my one-man show going. Well, that's my excuse, at least. So for those readers whose only interaction with the Bay Area sporting world is through this blog (a small group, I suspect), let me just mention that, after taking down the mighty Dallas Mavericks 4 games to 1, the Warriors fell to the oxymoronically named Utah Jazz by an identical margin.

But not before Baron Davis's mighty dunk, in game 3, over Jazz shot-blocker extraordinaire Andrei "AK-47" Kirilenko -- which you can watch here. (Note that Baron celebrates his feat by lifting up his jersey and showing the crowd his tummy -- which is something that I would consider doing after a strong performance, if only I could get my "core" a bit tighter.)

The tantalizing question burning up the fan blogs right now is whether the (reasonably named) Minnesota Timberwolves will trade their All-Star power forward Kevin Garnett to our Warriors -- which would make us (yeah, I know: "us"! -- but can't a levitationally challenged hoops fan use that term for "his" team?) instant contenders for a championship. Anyone out there who might be tight with KG (by all accounts, a great guy), could you put in a word? Thanks.

June 22nd, 2007

Something To Tilt At

Next week I'll begin my formal (and, I suppose, informal) duties as a new member of the Berkeley Energy Commission. If there's anyone out there with experience in government (or with energy ideas), I'd appreciate hearing from you in the comments section (with do's and don'ts).

On Tuesday afternoon, at 1:30, I'll be attending a groundbreaking ceremony for a wind turbine being built at the Shorebird Nature Center (right by the Berkeley Pier) -- there's a nice little article about it in today's Chron.

On Wednesday evening at 6:30, at the North Berkeley Senior Center, I'll attend my first commission meeting as a commissioner myself (my son and I dropped in on them a couple months ago). Apparently at the start of the session I'll be sworn in -- or, as my son refers to it, "coronated." I'm somewhat nervous about being up to the challenge -- about having the patience to work through the incremental processes of fighting global warming at the local level (among other energy issues) -- but I'm excited to be getting involved.

On a beautiful day in Berkeley like today, it seems almost surreal to imagine that there's a climate crisis. I keep thinking of what my little heal-your-own-back book (and my chiropractor) says: it's especially important to work at prevention when nothing seems to be wrong. (I understand that this spine-to-global-warming analogy is quite flawed -- but if you have a wonky back yourself, you probably understand how the topic tends to work its way into disparate conversations.)

By the way, as far as I know the public is welcome at commission meetings. At one point, late in the meeting I attended as a civilian, the commissioners came to a point in their agenda where they were supposed to ask for public comment. They all turned to me, as I was the only member of the "public" in the room. After an awkward moment I just shrugged and said, "Um, the public's cool with everything so far."

June 22nd, 2007

A Direct Mailing That Would Make More Sense If I’d Ever Learned To Drive

From AIG Auto Insurance (verbatim):

Why is Josh Kornbluth eligible for a Free Quote on these special auto insurance rates when many other CA drivers aren't?

Out of 21,623,793 drivers in California, Josh Kornbluth is one who qualified.

1 comment June 21st, 2007

Why Michael Can’t Reed

My guest on tonight's show -- a repeat of the first episode of our second season -- was Michael Tilson Thomas, leader of the San Francisco Symphony and (more importantly) a recovering oboist.

MTT -- as he suggested I call him (I didn't ask him to call me JK -- didn't want to come off as being imitative) -- started out on that noblest (or at least quackiest) of all double-reed instruments. But faced with the daunting challenges of the "ill wind that no one blows good" (cf. Danny Kaye), he made the wise choice to instead slack off and become a world-class conductor, composer, and TV-series host. The series -- Keeping Score: Revolutions in Music, right here on our very own public television -- is a marvel: concise, moving, accessible.

As I move forward with my own (decidedly amateurish) efforts at oboe-playing, I can take comfort at this tenuous link with a great musician -- though I admit, as connections go, it's a slender reed to cling to. ...

June 18th, 2007

Commish!

I've been appointed by Mayor Tom Bates to the Berkeley Energy Commission!

More to come shortly. ...

June 16th, 2007

Stripper Names

The word on the street is that you get your stripper name by combining the name of your first pet with the name of the first street you lived on.

I'm "Fred East 7th Street."

You?

4 comments June 15th, 2007

Citizen Josh Extended Through June 17

Just wanted to mention that my new one-man show, Citizen Josh, has been extended a week -- through Sunday, June 17. It's at the lovely and historic Magic Theatre, at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Info here.

Also, if you happen to attend tomorrow's matinée (at 2:30), you can hang out afterward for my onstage "Democratic Dialogue" with USF politics professor Brian Weiner, who's one of the heroes of the piece.

June 9th, 2007


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