TWO SOLO SHOWS: Karen Penley and Alexandra Tatarsky

The Emerald Tablet is thrilled to present two solo shows on Saturday, September 13 at 7:30 pm: Feral Girl by Karen Penley, and Sign Felt! by New York’s Alexandra Tatarsky!

Feral Girl doesn’t know how to be with other people so it feels good so she be’s by herself. and Oldman. who is shoes. they put on a show. for Pirates and Housewives. whirling necklaces, made-up songs, flowered chiffon, bowler hat, petticoats and torchy chanteusey.

Karen Penley by Cliff WarnerKaren Penley makes up stuff so life feels fun. It’s also a good outlet for her pent-up frustration and anger. She wrote, directed, and performed in two text-driven circuses, each with a cast of 7 performers, singers, and dancers, and live music by the bands 20 Minute Loop and Bill Horvitz (Circus Proboscis: A Sneeze of Freaks and Not the More Lovely: A Circus Sideshow). Proboscis won a TBA Cash Grant, and the SFBG said this of Not the More Lovely, “this glad, jagged-toothed mockery of human folly comes fast, fresh and unexpected.”  Penley just finished her first solo theater piece, Feral Girl, which you will see tonight. Plus she’s got this other work which she calls ‘humor’, which is words and songs, and a title is ‘People, People Who Need People’. She wants to perform them both, around. a lot.
Sign Felt! (a show about nothingness) is a brand new improvisational show based on Goethe’s classic novel of young angst and artistic striving Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship! A comic exploration of despair, fugue states, word plays, the associative logic of the loony, language falling apart, the Devil in the details, quarter life crisis, the abyss. A bildungsroman for an idiot.

AlexAlexandra Tatarsky is a performer from New York City. She has worked in bars, vaudevilles, and other strange places from Oregon to Eastern Europe. Most recently, she starred in Truant Art’s Chaos and Other Worldly Possessions and Frankenstein for the Public Theater’s Under the Rader Festival. She has lectured on the strange psalms of Russian poet Genrikh Sapgir and adapted the absurdist vignettes of Daniil Kharms for the stage. Her solo work is inspired by ventriloquism, sacred tongues and the Puerto Rican Day Parade. She was famous on the Internet for two days as Andy Kaufman’s daughter. Her show, Beast of Festive Skin, was commissioned in 2012 by the Poetry Electric series at legendary downtown NYC theater La Mama E.T.C.

You can read a recent interview with Alexandra here, and here’s a video about not being Andy Kaufman’s daughter.

I found Tatarsky’s performance to be endlessly entertaining. She is charming and cozy every minute she’s on stage.   She’s not afraid to be silly or completely absurd. She’s not afraid to be silent either. There are moments of just expressions and gestures that are hysterical. Not everything works, there are bad puns and jokes that fall flat but Tatarsky’s commitment to her characters makes up for all of that. Selena stands out among them. This character is like an extra limb to Tatarsky. Sassy and funny, she poses on stage with one shoulder forward and a hand on her hip telling us about her crazy family. Tatarsky is a beast on stage and she pulls on and peels off layer after layer of the festive skins of her characters. It is a lot of fun to watch.’ 

– of her previous show, Beast of Festive Skin, from

And here’s Karen doing her thing:

You can get advance tickets below:

TWO SOLO SHOWS: Karen Penley and Alexandra Tatarsky
Saturday September 13th 2014. 7:00 pm doors, 7:30 pm show.
The Emerald Tablet, 80 Fresno St, San Francisco, CA 94133 (map)
$10-20 suggested donation, sliding scale. Nobody turned away for lack of funds. All door donations go to the musicians! Delicious complimentary food. Drinks by donation.

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