The many ways & means of temptation

  • by Richard Dodds
  • Wednesday October 25, 2017
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The dragon is still on the loose, having breathed fire in Scotland, Los Angeles, and all over the Bay Area. The plan is to bake the Big Apple, but "Deal With the Dragon" is having one more San Francisco run, beginning Nov. 10 at New Conservatory Theatre Center, before its anticipated move to New York.

Kevin Rolston is the author of and only performer in the multi-character study of temptation and the justifications used to succumb to it. First seen at the SF Fringe Fest in 2014, the solo show was most recently presented in August at TheatreWorks' New Works Festival. "We discovered a new, much stronger ending given everything going on nationally and globally," Rolston said in announcing the NCTC production. "We found it just in time to share it with the kind of audience I had hoped to reach when I first conceived the play."

That would be an LGBTQ audience, even though the play is not strictly focused on an agenda of sexual orientation. Rolston plays three characters in the show (developed with and directed by M. Graham Smith) about a struggling artist with an overly solicitous live-in patron and a rival artist who's a self-described "skinny queen" with a brutal wit and a history of drug addiction. Rolston thought he was writing "for a very specific audience of middle-aged or older gay men," and was surprised to find the piece striking a more universal note. "It's essentially speaking to anyone struggling with behavior they're not happy with."

"Deal With the Dragon" will have weekend performances through Dec. 3. Tickets are available at (415) 861-8972 or

Party like it's 1999

The world was on drummed-up tenterhooks as the second hand pushed its way into 2000, but if Y2K calamities never arose, the anticipation was the cause of creative celebrations. Among those was "Cyberotica! A Low-Tech Rock Musical About a High-Tech World," staged in 1999 at the long-departed Transmission Theatre. It was meant to be revived by the more recently departed Thrillpeddlers, but has now found a home at Oasis, where it opens Nov. 2.

With a book by Kelly Kittell, music by Peter Fogel, and lyrics by both, "Cyberotica!" opens with Electra, the Goddess of Technology, introducing three intertwined love stories: an Internet newbie hungry for cybersex, a genetic engineer and her cloned baby, and a transgender trio eager to change the world. The show climaxes with the inevitable countdown to Y2K, where surprises await.

The cast includes several members of the Thrillpeddlers company, which also revived Kittell and Fogel's 2000 musical "Club Inferno," and among the recurring players are Noah Thompson, Peggy L'Eggs, Zelda Koznofski, Crystal Why, and Carol Ann Walker. Allen Sawyer has taken over the direction of the rebooted musical, with musical direction by "Club Inferno" alum Steve Bollinger.

A co-production between D'Arcy Drollinger and the Tuck 'n' Roll Players, "Cyberotica!" will run through Nov. 18. Tickets are available at