Live From First Street

Over the years, San Jose Stage Company’s annual political-theater event, Monday Night Live, has gotten less vicious in its political satire while amping up sex humor and punctuating skits with F-bombs. Last year, library porn filter champion Pete Constant achieved notoriety by donning a kinky S&M ball-gag. Constant bravely returned to the scene of the crime on Monday with another, slightly less risque, dominatrix-themed skit. But his aide, Jim Cogan, a council candidate himself, showed the lengths to which aspiring officeholders will go for public attention. The tatt-sporting Cogan donned a leotard, tights and size 13 tranny pumps for a wacky dance number that sent other 18th floor regulars running. “I’m not wearing no [bleep]ing leotard,” expletized Pierluigi Oliverio. Kansen Chu had a “scheduling conflict.” Dave Cortese called in a no-show without explaining why. Luckily, Team San Jose CEO Dan Fenton proved that he’s a team player and filled in for Ash Kalra, who had to leave town at the last minute to attend to a cancer-stricken family member. Fenton joined Cogan as a dancing girl, and trust Fly on this, neither looked half as good in Lycra as curvy SJ Stage player Alison F. Rich—or her six-packed colleague, C.J. Blankenship, for that matter. The evening’s entertainment, began to look more like a commercial for the South Bay Labor Council than in years past, taking potshots at Tom McEnery while screening a soft-shoe movie trailer based on the upcoming Public Enemies, featuring union boss Neil Struthers in the Johnny Depp role, Councilmember Nora Campos as his hot girlfriend and Mayor Chuck Reed, in a curoiusly self-deprecating minor role as some copper, with labor chieftain Cindy Chavez in a cameo. Show-stealing District Attorney Dolores Carr demonstrated that she can tapdance literally as well as politically, as only a labor-cozy Republican crime-fighter can. Recent cuts to the local arts community, including San Jose Stage Company itself, supplied the underlying subject for an at-times-hilarious Weeknight Update report by Stage players Lisa Recker and Keite Davis. Recker, a 20-year veteran of the company, chided the power players present for cutting the company’s funding: “Look at yourselves… this is the worst show we do all year, and still you’re laughing your asses off.”

The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.


  1. I sincerely appreciate Dan Fenton for being a gamer and subbing in for me at the last moment.  I heard he performed as admirably as one can under the circumstances and given the task at hand.  For the record, I have been attending to my ill father.  However, thankfully cancer is not and has not been the concern.  I am very appreciative of the kind thoughts and prayers of my family, friends and colleagues, but don’t want any unnecessary alarm to be caused.  He should be out of the hospital and back home in San Jose in a day or two.  Thanks, Ash

  2. Fly stands corrected on the medical diagnosis and is thankful that it’s apparently less serious than we initially reported.

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