Hey, it doesn’t get any better than this

The world is dim and cold and gray and dull. Welcome to January in Northern California. The grape harvest is over and the mustard has yet to bloom. The Beverly Beer Bellys are incommunicado and the Columbia Poison Oak Festival is months and months away.


These are the times that try entertainment booking agents’ souls. Performing artists are lethargic and audience enthusiasm levels are approaching flatline.

January is that misty month when theater managers grimly wrestle each other in the mud for the opportunity to book an alcoholic banjo band from Beans Ferry for just one precious weekend. It’s the time when, as if by magic, acrobatic squirrel circuses take on new meaning in the entertainment world.

Like I said – everything’s dim and cold and gray and dull.

Fortunately, we’ve still got UC Davis Presents and they’ve got, er, Frogz…

And now, so can you!

With an announcement guaranteed to make readers’ eyes slam open, UC Davis Presents is promising adventuresome audiences an opportunity to visit “mysterious, absurd and fantastical universes difficult to describe yet hard to forget…with a frog the size of a grown man and lizards the length of two.”

(Yeah, yeah, I know many of us had similar experiences in Berkeley in 1969, but this is now and that was then and there probably won’t be as much tear gas as you remember from those dear, bygone days.)

This doldrum-busting stage magic takes place in the Main Theatre at UC Davis on Saturday when a five-member troupe presents “Imago: Frogz,” further described by the zany folks at UC Davis Presents as ” a series of clever vignettes that move sinuously from screwball comedy to high drama to abstract movement and back.”

Screwball comedy? High drama? Abstract movement? Only the California Legislature and the Oakland Hells Angels put on a better show than this.

With “Imago: Frogz,” you get not only giant frogs, but king-sized larvae and penguins cavorting across the stage “to an original soundscape influenced by silent movies and circus melodies.”

And then there are the orbs. Hey, everybody loves orbs…

According to the folks at UC Davis Presents, the show is also “a cross between a circus, vaudeville and the zoo” as well as “hard to forget.”


Not only is “Imago: Frogz” probably a whole lot more exciting than the average Ukrainian girls’ puppet theater, but it possesses all four of the necessary elements of classical theater as promulgated by Aristophanes, to wit: giant penguins, orbs, larvae and lizards.

Hey, it doesn’t get any better than this, amigos…

Originally published January 20, 2002