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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Gene Wilder Revisits Young Frankenstein at Castro Theatre March 19

Posted By on Tue, Mar 4, 2008 at 1:06 PM

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The legendary actor from several Mel Brooks classics makes a visit to SF this month. Gene Wilder will be at the Castro Theatre on the 19th to field questions from all you comedy dorks, but only after a screening of Young Frankenstein. Get your tickets now, and remember -- it's pronounced, "Fronk-en-steen." Click 'More' for the release. -- ASD Staff Report


Evening to Include Screening of "Young Frankenstein" and Onstage Conversation with the Legendary Actor/Writer/Director

February 29, 2008 - SF Sketchfest, the San Francisco Comedy Festival, is thrilled to present an evening with Gene Wilder at San Francisco's historic Castro Theatre on Wednesday, March 19. The classic Mel Brooks comedy Young Frankenstein will be screened and Wilder will participate in an onstage conversation with moderator Paul Gilmartin, followed by an audience Q&A. Wilder will also be signing copies of his latest novel, The Woman Who Wouldn't, which will be released by St. Martin's Press on March 18.

Gene Wilder has been acting since he was thirteen. He was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for his role as Leo Bloom in The Producers, which led to Blazing Saddles and to another Academy nomination, this time for writing Young Frankenstein. Wilder has appeared in 25 feature films, and a number of stage productions. His memoir Kiss Me Like a Stranger was a national bestseller and he is now the author of two novels, My French Whore and The Woman Who Wouldn't. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Karen.

SF Sketchfest, the San Francisco comedy festival launched by David Owen, Cole Stratton and Janet Varney in 2001, celebrated its 7th year in January, featuring such acts as The Kids in the Hall, Upright Citizens Brigade, a reunion of the cast and creator of "Freaks and Geeks" and much more. The festival, which simply began as a way to give exposure to the trio's comedy troupe Totally False People and other local acts, has grown to attract high caliber nationally known acts year after year.

"Each of our 7 years doing SF Sketchfest has brought us some truly incredible comedy legends, and we've been really lucky to honor many of our favorite writers and performers," says cofounder Janet Varney. "You'd think we'd be used to these occasions by now, but when the opportunity arose to work with Gene Wilder, we almost couldn't believe our good fortune. He is easily one of our biggest heroes, and to have him associated with our festival is tremendously thrilling. He is one of the people who inspired us to work in comedy and the arts."

* * *

About The Woman Who Wouldn't

Wilder's second novel, set in 1903, stars a young concert violinist named Jeremy Webb, who one day goes from accomplished adagios with the Cleveland Orchestra to having a complete breakdown on stage. If he hadn't poured a glass of water down the throat of a tuba, maybe he wouldn't have been sent to a health resort in Badenweiler, Germany. But it's in that serene place that Jeremy meets Clara Mulpas, whom he tries his hardest to seduce. Clara is so beautiful that Jeremy finds it impossible to keep from trying to find a chink in her extraordinary reserve and elegance. He finds himself reflexively flirting to get a reaction—after all, a tease and a wink have always worked before, with women back home. But flirting probably isn't the best way to appeal to a woman who was married to a dumb brute and doesn't want to have anything more to do with men. Jeremy isn't sure how to press his case—but he won't give up.

Wilder's prose is elegant, spare and affecting. But it's his romantic's eye for the intense emotions that animate a real love story that makes The Woman Who Wouldn't an unforgettable book.

* * *


What: SF Sketchfest Presents a Salute To Gene Wilder

Date: Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Time: 6:30 PM

Where: Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St, San Francisco

Tickets: $25, available at

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