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Written by Dan Carbone

Directed and Designed by John Sowle

Masks by Nina Barlow

with John Baumann, Erica Blue, Vince Camillo, Dan Carbone, Paul Gerrior, Russell Pachman, Dawn Walters and Marin Van Young

Stage Managers - Joe Graham and Bill Parker

Opened April 25  at EXIT Stage Left, San Francisco, CA

Part of the EXIT Absurdist Series 2000

3 SF Bay Guardian Upstage Downstage Awards

(Erica Blue: Great Performance and John Sowle: Great Director & Great Scenic Design)

Backstage West Garland Award (Honorable Mention)

(Playwriting: Dan Carbone)

An SF Gate e-Pick!

"Astonishing, a 'paranoiac-critical hallucination' to rival Dali's own ... For anyone who saw his brilliant solo piece Up from the Ground, it would take little inducement to join Dan Carbone on another expedition into the netherworlds of his imagination. His latest work, Salvador Dali Talks to the Animals in the Heaven on Top of Heaven, is now premiering at EXIT Theatre as part of its Absurdist Season. It unites Carbone with a cast of seven actors and designer-director John Sowle in a surrealistic meditation on Dali's life and work ... The cast is excellent, particularly [Erica] Blue as the superbly fiendish Gala, and Carbone with his blustery, randomly accented Dali. [Paul] Gerrior is sharply comic, and Vince Camillo is hilarious as the apotheosis of a hippie Jesus. Sowle gets the evening's madcap but mournful tone just right, his versatile sets creating dreamlike transformations with minimal means, and Nina Barlow's marvelous masks and prognathous Dalian mustaches add to the show's zippy texture. Carbone is one of the Bay Area's most original voices, and this show takes you places you've never been."

Brad Rosenstein, San Francisco Bay Guardian

John Baumann (Jeffrey Mbutu) & Dan Carbone (Salvador Dali)

Erica Blue (Gala Dali)

"Nearly made me fall out of my seat! ... Carbone has got to be the oddest fish in our pond of experimental theater. Shaped like a turnip, with a greedy boyish smile and a furze of gray hair, he looks nothing at all like Salvador Dali, but that doesn't restrain him. The play's first half shows the ghost of the old Spaniard in heaven, fielding questions from a cultured cow. After the talk show, Dali's ghost does a sitcom (I Love Dali), goes on a tiger hunt, and appears as the Easter Bunny in the scatological dream of a cow as scripted by the writers of a children's program. My God, is it weird. Then, in the second half, Dali rejects his TV family for Earthly memories of Gala. The discipline of realism is good for Carbone, and his impressions of Dali at various stages of life -- young and in love, middle-aged and successful, decrepit and cuckolded -- improve with John Sowle's costumes. Unreal scenes still erupt into the story, but the events of his life need no embellishment by the end. The best scenes show Gala cruising for boys in the back of her limosine, and flirting with the lead of Jesus Christ Superstar, Jeff Fenholt. (True story.) Of course Fenholt looks like Jesus. And when they join the king and queen of Spain -- the queen with a brace for her arm, so she can wave -- who out-foul-mouth a couple of hip '60s art types, it's clear that Carbone has found his way into a new kind of strangeness ... Erica Blue plays an icily enigmatic Gala, Marin Van Young is ideal as Twinkle Ann, Paul Gerrior is strong in all his roles, and Vince Camillo makes a good hippie. Director John Sowle has done a valiant job in stringing it all together ... Steve Winn's amusingly ill-informed article last month on fringe theater in the city suggested that the '60s, '70's and even the '80s were more adventurous times for playgoing here than the '90s. That might well be true. But how would he know? The Chronicle critic makes a point of missing most local experimental stuff. (He held up Teatro ZinZanni as a 'deconstruction,' but he doesn't seem to have heard of Art Street, Unconditional Theater, or Kaliyuga Arts.) ... Although our '90s scene could be larger, the evidence from this show suggests that experimental theater is doing just fine."

Michael Scott Moore, SF Weekly

Dan Carbone (Salvador Dali) & John Baumann (Senor Traite)
Marin Van Young (Twinkle Ann) & Paul Gerrior (Pope John Paul I)

"A CRAZY FANTASY ... The play brings deceased Spanish painter Salvador Dali back to life during a television talk show, and then careens wildly through an eccentric, disorderly, and subjective retelling of the painter's life, filtered through Carbone's offbeat, satiric imagination. Director John Sowle and a tireless cast give the performance everything they've got."

John Angell Grant, Back Stage West/Drama-Logue

Dan Carbone (Dali) and Vince Camillo (Jeff Fenholt)
Marin Van Young and Russell Pachman

"There are a lot of folks in these parts who pride themselves on creating pieces that are edgy, in-your-face, and daring; but Carbone is one of the few truly idiosyncratic visionaries in Bay Area performance."

Kerry Reid, East Bay Express

Vince Camillo (Jeff Fenholt), Erica Blue (Gala Dali) & Paul Gerrior
Russell Pachman (Tony Chirco) & Erica Blue (Gala Dali)

Dan Carbone (Dali)
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