He Wants to Run

Saturday, July 27, 2019
7 pm

$15 advance/$20 door

David Kleinberg’s latest solo theater work – “He Wants to Run” – is the story of a guy who hates running and doesn’t like dogs, but ends up running with his neighbor’s dog Butler for 13 years along the rivers and mountains of Sonoma, California, and what Butler teaches David about living and dying.

Kleinberg, who spent 34 years as an editor/writer at the San Francisco Chronicle, the last 14 years as editor of the paper’s Sunday Datebook magazine, will perform “He Wants to Run!” as a “world debut” at the San Geronimo Valley Civic Center as a 100 percent fund raiser for the center.

In “He Wants to Run,” both David and Butler are aging together, but as David’s friend is aging six times faster, the relationship becomes more problematic. At one point, David and Butler are running high above Sulphur Creek in Geysers Canyon, and David tells his friend, “Hey, Butler, we’ve been running together now for 12 years, and we don’t have one single picture of us.” And Butler seems to reply: “Dave, this has never been about Instagram.”

This is Kleinberg’s fourth solo theater work following his newspaper career. His last two one-man shows (both of which debuted at SGVCC) dealt with the Vietnam War. The first – “Hey, Hey, LBJ!” — charted David’s duty as an army combat correspondent in Vietnam in 1966.  And his last work — “Return to the Scene of the Crime” – followed Kleinberg’s return to Vietnam for the first time in 50 years to visit where his buddies died and try to perform “LBJ” under threat of arrest from the communist government.

Both Kleinberg’s Vietnam works received major runs at San Francisco’s prestigious Marsh Theatre, and several remarkable reviews: The Washington Post called “Hey, Hey, LBJ!” “as polished and moving a piece of theater as the Capital Fringe is likely to see (out of 119 shows).” And ex-Rolling Stone senior writer Mike Goldberg called ‘LBJ’: “Powerful, moving, must see.” David has also performed ‘LBJ’ in New York, Sydney, Australia and in Ho Chi Minh City.

Before turning to theater, Kleinberg spent 10 years as a stand-up comedian, and worked with Robin Williams, Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Richard Lewis and Saturday Night Live’s Dana Carvey.  “He Wants to Run” is directed by Mark Kenward and developed with David Ford, both prominent directors of the Bay Area’s Theatre scene.


       San Francisco Theater Blog critic Doug Konecky says “David Kleinberg is the kind of performer who makes you believe every word . . . a natural without a fake bone in his body.”

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