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Night Howl
By Karen Reardanz

Kvetsch Me If You Can:
Sharp-witted monologist Josh Kornbluth joins other comic artists for a night of rabbi-approved comedy at Temple Beth El

SPENDING THE EVENING with a hairy monologist who has a penchant for caffeinated beverages and a flair for bringing humor to life's little inconveniences sounds like a mighty fine way to kill a few hours. Stage genius Josh Kornbluth obliges this silent request when he and a host of other comic storytellers gather for Kosher Comedy Night.

A master of the one-man act, Kornbluth began his laughable line of work once his predestined career as "the greatest mathematician of all time" didn't quite go according to plan. So he scrapped a life of numbers and went for a career in journalism. But even that didn't quite satisfy Kornbluth, so he combined everything he knew and took it to the next stage.

Wry, humorous and very contemporary, Kornbluth manages to nail all of his topics with confidence and chutzpah.

The coffee-swilling Bay Area guy, author of Red Diaper Baby--a compilation of three of his funniest monologues--appears with TV's Family Secrets star Sherry Glaser, local storyteller Erica Lann Clark, comedian Rita Wadsworth and emcees Diane Grunes and Rabbi Rick on Saturday (8pm) at Temple Beth El, 3055 Porter Gulch Road, Aptos. Doors open at 7pm for a little pre-show schmoozing and drinking. Tickets cost $25 in reserved seating and $17.50 general admission. For more info, call 479-3444.

A for Effort

Ariel paid the Actors' Theatre a visit on Thursday night, playing to an almost full, very enthusiastic crowd. While it seemed that a large portion of the audience was comprised of her peers and family friends, there were a sizable few who seemed new to the songbird's works but were fans nonetheless, letting out audible sighs of admiration at the end of each song.

Ariel possesses a strong, beautiful voice, carrying it to new heights and bringing it deep into the trenches. It's obvious she strengthened those chords with years of a cappella training with her former group, Mayim. But while the lady's talent is evident, it's also quite obvious that someone's been listening a little too closely to those Tori Amos albums. I understand emulation is a form of flattery, but when it encompasses every aspect of another's musical being--from facial expressions to the vocal lilts to the way Ariel side-straddles the piano while singing her little heart out--it takes flattery a little too far and hides the woman's true graces.

There were a few songs where the imaginary Tori left the stage and Ariel came out in full force--and those were the show's highlights.

Ariel's a mere 20 years old and she's been in the biz for years, but she's hasn't been a solo artist for very long. She definitely has the goods to back up her act, and she also has a flair for promotion and performing. Once she settles into her own niche, she just might end up a force to be reckoned with.

FutureThink

Lackadaisy plays a show on Friday at What Is Art?

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From the Nov. 13-19, 1997 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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