‘Pulse Beat’ Entertainment News, ‘Flicker Bit’ – “Hilarious Domestic, Import” at Balboa

by Buzzin' Lee Hartgrave on April 27, 2007

FLICKER BIT: DOMESTIC IMPORT

Heartwarming “Domestic Import” now playing at the Balboa Theatre is a timely tale that is smartly crafted and impeccably acted. It’s a Family comedy that everyone can enjoy. Marsha McMillian is a very disorganized housewife (Cynthia Preston) who rescues stray animals and is always doing do-goodie stuff for everyone. With a new baby on the way – the house has turned into a real disaster. Ålong comes her busy body mother (Mindy Sterling) who insists that her daughter needs a housekeeper. She knows someone who can get her one cheap. Marsha’s husband (Larry Dorf) is a successful Lawyer, but a bit of a cheap skate. Actually, he his more than a bit of a cheap skate, but has lots of charisma.

So they engage Sophia (Alla Korot) who, shall we say, has been around the block a few times? She leaves her ten-year old daughter with her mother and family in the Ukraine to come to America to work. But, her real mission is to bring her entire family to America. And, she proceeds to do exactly that. One by one, she sneaks them into the big house where she is the housekeeper. You’ve never seen a housekeeper like Sophia. She dusts wearing exotic clothes. She constantly gets phone calls from men who answer her ad that she has placed to find a rich husband – and she even entertains them in her employee’s house without their knowledge, all the while shuffling her many relatives to different parts of the home to conceal their presence. Alla Korot is sensationally sexy is this breakthrough performance. The Husband at the house (Larry Dorf) remarks: “She looks like a homecoming queen from an S & M High School”. Dorf is an astounding actor and has some of the best lines in the film. Sophia’s various outfits are a real hoot, and so much fun that you practically gasp every time that she enters the room.


San Francisco Actress Alla Korot stars in Domestic Import

The cast is so terrific and joltingly believable. You’ve seen Mindy Sterling in Austin Powers as Frau Farbissina. Who could forget Howard Hesseman for his role on WKRP. Larry Dorf as been on Desperate Housewives and in ‘Cold Case’. Cynthia Preston (Sophia) has been on Two and a Half Men and CSI. Alla Korot has been on CSI-NY, 24 and Alias. She lives in San Francisco. Stephanie Patton has been on Cold Case and The District. Lauri Johnson has been on Cold Case and Six Feet Under. Richard Riehle (The Mailman) has been has been in many films such as Midnight Clear and Spinning into Butter and of course, Domestic Import.

RATING: FOUR BOXES OF POPCORN!!!! – trademarked – (highest rating)


Steven Culp and Jessi Campbell star in Blackbird. Photo Kevin Berne

BUZZIN’S PULSE BEAT ENTERTAINMENT ‘HOT OR NOT’ LIST

THE BLUE DOOR AT THE BERKELEY REP. TOO LONG, CONVULTED STORY …DIFFICULT TO FOLLOW. NOT!

THE BRICKHOUSE ON SUTTER STREET. SOME GOOD MUSICAL TREATS…BUT EVENING SUFFERS BY NOT HAVING AN INTERMISSION. SOMETIMES HOT – SOMETIMES NOT!

‘Marilyn Forever Blonde’ at the Dayton Ohio Art Institute Theater. Checked it out in Hollywood before tour. Fascinating and HOT!

FLICKER: “The Hoax” starring Richard Gere: Plods along at a snails pace. Acting is O.K. – but film is way too long for a simple story of a con-man writer. NOT!

MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG AT THEATRE WORKS. ROLL OVER THIS ONE. SONDHEIM HAS BORROWED FROM SOME OF HIS OTHER SHOWS FOR THIS LESS THAN STELLAR BROADWAY MUSICAL. FIRST ACT IS NUMBING. NOT!

TERRE HAUTE AT THE NEW CONSERVATORY. THIS TWO MAN PLAY ABOUT A SUPPOSED MEETING BETWEEN WRITER GORE VIDAL AND BOMBER TIMOTHY MC VIEGH CAPTURES YOUR MIND WITH INTRIQUING POSSIBILTIES. SEXUAL SPARKS FLY ACROSS THE ROOM. WHICH ONE HAS THE BIGGEST BALLS? YOU BE THE JUDGE. HOT!

OPENINGS THAT BUZZIN HOPES WILL BE ‘HOT’.

Step into the Big Top at Theatre Artaud. It’s Circus Baobab, a French trained, nouveau Cirque Company. They plan to excite you with their production of “Jumping Drums”. ´Every year the Festival presents a United States debut of sensational artists from around the world” – said Rhodessa Jones, Festival director.

SAVE THE DATE: FRIDAY MAY 11, “BROADWAY SALUTES ITS GUYS AND DOLLS”. IT WILL BE A TRIBUTE TO BROADWAY SHOWS WITH FEATURED ENTERTAINERS – THE ‘UPTOWN SINGERS’. THE EVENT TAKES PLACE FROM 12 NOON TO 2:30 PM. LUNCH, DESSERT , COFFEE AND THE SHOW IS ALL INCLUSIVE FOR $45.’’ TAX AND TIP INCLUDED. In the cast Dorthy Donell. Jorge Gomez, Kathy Holly, Leland Morine, Robert Roger…plus Musicians: David Miotke and Joh Moore. They will perform songs from Kiss Me Kate, Westside Story, Hello Dolly, Guys and Dolls and Duets associated with Nelson & Jeannette; Bocelli & Brightman.

Now here is a very interesting line-up. For the 2007-2008 season the Aurora Theatre is bringing the Greek tragedy “The Trojan Women”, The Mae West Comedy “Sex” (a sassy) new production starring Delia MacDougal. That will be followed with the off-broadway hit “Satellites” and a new drama “The Busy World Is Hushed’. They finish up the season with Hysteria (A Bay Årea Premiere directed by Joy Çarlin). Now, how much more interesting can that get?

Don’t forget that Maureen McGovern, that marvelous song spinner will be at the Commandants room at the Marines Memorial on May 6. McGovern is the high priestess of Jazz, Stage and Cabaret. McGovern will sing Gershwin, Richard Rodgers and other fab stuff from other composers. Tix– www.bayareacabaret.org. McGovern’s current CD is ‘Help is on the Way’ (in partnership with Broadway cares/Equity Fights Aids). To find out more about the CD – www.maureenmcgovern.com.

The Playhouse, on Sutter Street always comes up with interesting choices. Following in the great success of ‘Jesus Took The ‘A” Train’ – they will roll out “Aaron Loeb’s “First Person Shooter”. The play takes you inside ‘JetPack Games’, a start-up video game company where the hottest game is a violent one. Their success comes with this: Their game is blamed for a schoolyard shooting. Talk about timely news. This is right off todays headlines. But, this play was planned months ago and was written way before the Virginia incident. Debate about school shootings are part of “First Person”. Opens May 2. On a lighter note: Their 2007/2008 season will include Mrs. Bob Çratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge by Christopher Durang (A SF Premiere).

BLACKBIRD OPENS AT A.C.T…AND THE BERKELEY REP WILL OPEN WITH A NEW LOOK AT ‘OLIVER TWIST’. BOTH OFFERINGS STIR MY MIND.

AND THAT’S A WRAP…PULSE BEAT…PULSE BEAT…PULSE BEAT….

The Photo of Lee Hartgrave Boy Reporter is by Jim Ferreira – Film Noir & Hollywood Glamour. www.lafterhall.com.

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Buzzin’ Lee Hartgrave

Buzzin’ Lee Hartgrave is a longtime theater critic in the San Francisco Bay Area. His reviews appear each Friday in Beyond Chron.

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