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Silicon Valley News Notes

Live From First Street

Over the years, San Jose Stage Company's annual political-theater event, Monday Night Live, has gotten less vicious in its political satire while amping up sex humor and punctuating skits with F-bombs.

Last year, library porn filter champion Pete Constant achieved notoriety by donning a kinky S&M ball-gag. Constant bravely returned to the scene of the crime on Monday with another, slightly less risqué, dominatrix-themed skit. But his aide, Jim Cogan, a council candidate himself, showed the lengths to which aspiring officeholders will go for public attention. The tatt-sporting Cogan donned a leotard, tights and size 13 tranny pumps for a wacky dance number that sent other 18th-floor regulars running. "I'm not wearing no [bleep]ing leotard," expletized Pierluigi Oliverio.

Kansen Chu had a "scheduling conflict." Dave Cortese called in a no-show without explaining why. Luckily, Team San Jose CEO Dan Fenton proved that he's a team player and filled in for Ash Kalra, who had to leave town at the last minute to attend to a cancer-stricken family member. Fenton joined Cogan as a dancing girl, and, trust Fly on this, neither looked half as good in a Lycra as curvy S.J. Stage player Alison F. Rich —or her six-packed colleague, C.J. Blankenship, for that matter. The evening's entertainment began to look more like a commercial for the South Bay Labor Council than in years past, taking potshots at Tom McEnery while screening a soft-shoe movie trailer based on the upcoming Public Enemies, featuring union boss Neil Struthers in the Johnny Depp role, Councilmember Nora Campos as his hot girlfriend and Mayor Chuck Reed in a curiously self-deprecating minor role as some copper, with labor chieftain Cindy Chavez in a cameo. Show-stealing District Attorney Dolores Carr showed that she can tapdance literally as well as politically, as only a labor-cozy Republican crime-fighter can. Recent cuts to the local arts community, including San Jose Stage Company itself, supplied the underlying subject for an at-times-hilarious Weeknight Update report by Stage players Lisa Recker and Keite Davis. Recker, a 20-year veteran of the company, chided the power players present for cutting the company's funding: "Look at yourselves ... this is the worst show we do all year, and still you're laughing your asses off."

Our Man in D.C.

Fly is pleased and amazed to report that a writer for a former incarnation of this humble column will be joining the Obama administration. Journalist and college board member Hal Plotkin, who was Metro's chief political writer back in the late 1980s, will be resigning as vice president of the Foothill–De Anza Community College District Board of Trustees to work as a senior policy adviser in the U.S. Department of Education. There, he'll work with Martha J. Kanter, the chancellor of the Foothill–De Anza district, who was recently appointed Under Secretary of Education. He'll be stepping down as a trustee after six years on the board, which will fill the vacancy for his term, which expires in 2011. It is unlikely that he'll get much of a chance in his new job to use the occasionally vicious wit that he honed in his gig as Fly's precursor—but Fly wishes him the best anyway.


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