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The October Night of Johnny Zero

930 Tenth Avenue, San Diego, 92101
Age Limit: 18+
Cost: $18 - $40

Oh, what fun: Backyard Renaissance artistic director Francis Gerke has given us a brand new play that looks back at the ‘80s the way the ‘80s might have looked back at the ‘40s. You couldn’t set this story in the present, because then you’d lose The Phone: a tan plastic wall-mounted job — well, it used to be mounted — with a cord and cracked handset and a finicky way of not working when it’s needed. It’s damaged, this phone: the duct tape is enough to tell you that, along with the fact that it’s propped on the floor, not far from the stainless steel bowl that’s been set out to catch the drips dropping during the thunderstorm that has brought high school basketball star Johnny Grimes into the Pinnolini home. It seems Franky P. is his biggest fan — pictures on the wall and everything — so he’s happy to let Johnny call for a ride, as long as mother Barbara doesn’t catch them spending a quarter to call information first. Make that three quarters…and down comes Barbara, wondering what’s the fuss and where’s the Chablis.

Gerke has written a gangbuster part for his wife Jessica John, and she throws herself into it like a dog chewing at its leash, all frustration and funny, frenetic energy. Barbara is trapped trapped trapped: by her past, by her pain, by her poverty, by her motherhood, and oh yes, by that Phone, the one she’s been stuck waiting by for…well, let’s not spoil things.

And happily, it’s not just the Barbara Show: if she’s a dog on a leash, bad penny Franky is a puppy trying not to drown before it makes it back to the bank. He ain’t right, but he’s not wrong, either. And Johnny isn’t just the normie audience’s introduction to this domestic prison, nor even merely the catalyst for conflict. There’s a reason he can’t bring himself to just leave, even if the house is haunted. Maybe fun isn’t the precise word here, but there’s an undeniable element of entertainment in amid the pathos and pain.

When

Ongoing until Sunday, December 4, 2022

Hours

Sundays, 3pm-4:30pm
Mondays, 7pm-8:30pm
Thursdays, 8pm-9:30pm
Fridays, 8pm-9:30pm
Saturdays, 8pm-9:30pm
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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