Theater & Performing Arts

What Just Happened?

When: Fridays, 9 p.m. and Saturdays, 8 p.m. Continues through May 22 2010

It takes guts to perform an hour-long stage set that's based entirely in the present tense or the immediate past (i.e., the past 24 hours). Playwright Nina Wise is one of the few people in her field who would submit to such a tall order. Wise's new solo show, What Just Happened?, is an ever-evolving diary entry about events that happened the day before. She avoids scripts, relying instead on a few jotted notes or a basic outline. Thus, the show has an impressionistic, stream-of-consciousness quality. Wise deals with world events of the last 24 hours only when they relate to her personal life, yet it's still interesting to experience the ups and downs of her quotidian existence. She has a knack for describing events with photographic recall. She quotes people from memory and gently ridicules them. She creates vast physical environments by offering a series of mental snapshots. Most importantly, she casts a weird eye on the banal, and in the process makes it worth talking about. Through May 22 at the Cabaret at the Marsh (2120 Allston Wy., Berkeley). $20-$35.

Rachel Swan

Price: $20-35

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