Stage AE Hosts Social Distortion; ‘Mr. Burns’ Opens at 12 Peers Theater Co. (Thurs., 8/3/17)

1) Social Distortion, an American punk rock band which formed in 1978 in Fullerton, California, plays Stage AE tonight. Frontman Mike Ness started the group with Dennis Danell in high school. After their debut album, 1983’s Mommy’s Little Monster, things almost fell apart—the band went on hiatus while Ness entered rehab. He and the other members persevered and released Prison Bound in 1988.  “Ball and Chain” and “Story of My Life,” two hits from their self-titled third album, remain immensely popular 27 years after their initial release. Danell died in 2000, and Ness remains the group’s sole original member. (Drummer David Hidalgo Jr. is the son of David Hidalgo, guitarist and singer for Los Lobos.)  Their last record was Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes. It was released in 2011, but Social D often perform new songs on tour, so enjoy some early listens. Jade Jackson open. Doors open 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (RH, CM)

"Excellent" is what the animated Mr. Burns would probably say at this moment in 'The Simpsons.' The plot of the 12 Peers play 'Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play' centers around a "Simpsons" episode. photo: Madison Hack

“Excellent” is what the animated Mr. Burns would probably say at this moment in ‘The Simpsons.’ The plot of the 12 Peers production ‘Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play’ centers around a “Simpsons” episode. photo: Madison Hack

2) What if the apocalypse comes and Western culture is kept alive mainly by a group of survivors who can re-enact, from memory, an episode of “The Simpsons”? Specifically, the “Cape Feare” episode, which parodies the remake of the 1962 movie Cape Fear? And what if the practice of re-enacting gets passed along to future generations, mutating as it grows to enlighten the post-apocalyptic world? There you have the plot of Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play. Adding to the intrigue are these odd facts: New York playwright Anne Washburn and a team of actors devised the initial concept in an empty bank vault deep under Wall Street. And, while Mr. Burns is a comedy, critics have praised it for its levels of serious meaning, upon which they have commented at some length. The play premiered in 2012 in Washington, D.C. Locally, 12 Peers Theater is performing Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play in the Studio Theatre deep in the basement of the Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland. 8 p.m. Continues through August 20. (MV)

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Rick Handler

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