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Noah Works South African Audiences Before ‘The Daily Show’

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In this photo taken Oct. 27 2009 South African comedian Trevor Noah is photographed during an interview. Trevor Noah, a 31-year-old comedian from South Africa who has contributed to "The Daily Show" a handful of times during the past year, will become Jon Stewart's replacement as host, Comedy Central announced Monday March 30, 2015. Noah was chosen a little more than a month after Stewart unexpectedly announced he was leaving "The Daily Show" following 16 years as the show's principal voice. (AP Photo/Bongiwe Mchunu-The Star)

In this photo taken Oct. 27 2009 South African comedian Trevor Noah is photographed during an interview. Trevor Noah, a 31-year-old comedian from South Africa who has contributed to “The Daily Show” a handful of times during the past year, will become Jon Stewart’s replacement as host, Comedy Central announced Monday March 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Bongiwe Mchunu-The Star)

CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA, Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Trevor Noah walked onto the stage and bantered with the South African audience, which whooped in appreciation. That was a cue for the next host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” to launch into a slick riff on the absurdity of high-pitched shrieks of delight.

“When did we get to the point where we stopped using words?” Noah mused. Whooping, he said, was “not a natural black sound” because it “sounds eerily similar to a police siren.”

Noah is on a roll, performing sold-out shows in a 1,800-seat Johannesburg theater ahead of his Sept. 28 start in a job held by Jon Stewart since 1999. It’s a big leap to the big leagues or maybe a jump off a cliff for Noah, a South African who is not widely known in the United States. That’s just comic grist for Noah, who also makes fun of romantic relationships, obsessive cellular telephone use and even South Africa’s era of white minority rule in his stand-up routines at home.

The big question is whether his brand of humor will translate in the anchor’s chair at the parody newscast on the “The Daily Show,” where Noah has already appeared as a mock correspondent. Stewart lampoons American politics, media and culture, and international events are also on his menu. Noah, who built a career in South Africa and has toured internationally (he was in Dubai when he learned he would succeed Stewart), looks forward to broadening his appeal.

“I have to become more global,” he said this month on South Africa’s Radio 702. “I don’t ever dispute that South Africa is my home and that there is news coming from there, but now you have to really go, ‘What is globally newsworthy?'”

It helps that 31-year-old Noah, born to a South African black woman and a white, Swiss father during apartheid, comes across as a chameleon-like figure with a firm grip on all kinds of accents in his routines. An Associated Press reporter attended a recent show at the Montecasino entertainment complex, where Noah hit some topics that, while they might qualify as low-hanging fruit in a comic repertoire, have universal appeal.

“The older you get, the more you start to realize that you can’t win an argument in a relationship,” he said. “You can’t win a fight with your woman. Because if you lose, you lose. And if you win, you lose.”

Noah leaves for a North American tour that has yet to sell out after his five-week run in South Africa, which ends in early July.

In Johannesburg, he worked the audience for one hour and 45 minutes without an interval, and without a momentum-breaking lull. Some humor was physical: silly walks and gestures and bumbling behavior that other comics such as Rowan Atkinson, who played the character Mr. Bean, have used to great effect. Noah’s act was cheerful and generally wholesome, with little sign of the graphic humor noted in some of his past tweets.

Noah was self-deprecating about his new job, casting himself as a new kid on the block, an awkward extra in the glitzy world of superstars. He got a lot of material out of an invitation to the New York Met Gala, where he mixed with Beyonce, Rihanna and other celebrities he said he had “idolized” for years.

“I don’t know how to let loose when I’m dancing to the music and the people that made the music are watching me,” Noah said of a post-gala party. “I’ve never felt so much pressure in my life.”

He let rip on subjects that vex a lot of South Africans, including persistent electricity cuts and a scandal over state spending on the private home of President Jacob Zuma. In the South African parliament last week, an opposition lawmaker who was angry about the scandal complained that ruling party members in the chamber laugh “as if we’re in some Trevor Noah show.”

Some South Africans say Noah’s success will elevate their country’s image abroad. In the Radio 702 interview, Noah said he is heading into uncharted waters as host of “The Daily Show.”

“I’m not even ready for what people will say about me,” he said. The key, he said, is to “just keep doing your thing.”

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Art

Richmond Art Center Announces Trio of Winter Exhibitions

Community members can check out Art of the African Diaspora Jan. 18 through March 18 in the RAC’s Main Gallery, with the opening reception being held Saturday, Jan. 21 from 2 – 4 p.m. The exhibition will spotlight the work of more than 120 artists of African descent “through representation, professional development and building a creative community,” per the RAC.

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The Remembrance Project (left). Caption 2: Amanda Ayala Ancestor Wheel 2020 (center). Fulfillment by Cynthia Brannvall, 2021 (right). Images courtesy of the Richmond Art Center.
The Remembrance Project (left). Caption 2: Amanda Ayala Ancestor Wheel 2020 (center). Fulfillment by Cynthia Brannvall, 2021 (right). Images courtesy of the Richmond Art Center.

 

By Kathy Chouteau | Richmond Standard

The Richmond Art Center (RAC) has announced its lineup of three winter exhibitions, including Art of the African DiasporaConnected Always and The Remembrance Project, on display at its galleries Jan. 18 through March 18, 2023.

Community members can check out Art of the African Diaspora Jan. 18 through March 18 in the RAC’s Main Gallery, with the opening reception being held Saturday, Jan. 21 from 2 – 4 p.m. The exhibition will spotlight the work of more than 120 artists of African descent “through representation, professional development and building a creative community,” per the RAC.

Artists Derrick Bell, Cynthia Brannvall, and Pryce Jones will be featured in the exhibition and community members can find the Art of the African Diaspora print catalog at the center for info about open studios and satellite exhibitions off-shooting from the RAC event. Learn more about the exhibition https://richmondartcenter.org/exhibitions/art-of-the-african-diaspora-2023

Amanda Ayala’s exhibition, Connected Always, will take place in the RAC’s South Gallery Jan. 20 through March 11, 2023. An opening reception is set for Saturday, Jan. 21 from 2 – 4 p.m., while a free Ancestor Wheel Workshop and artist talk open to everyone will be held by the artist Saturday, Feb. 18, 12 – 2 p.m.

Connected Always will see Ayala — who identifies as a Xicana indigenous visual artist — explore our ancestral connections through her latest works. The interdisciplinary Santa Rosa artist runs workshops “that combine artist liberation and social justice for people of all ages,” per the RAC, and will have one as part of her continuing Ancestor Wheel project during her RAC exhibition. Find out more about Ayala’s exhibition at: https://richmondartcenter.org/exhibitions/connected-always/.

The third winter exhibition, The Remembrance Project, will be shown in the Community Gallery Jan. 18 to March 18, with the opening reception being hosted Saturday, Jan. 21 from 2 – 4 p.m. The Remembrance Project Workshop will be held Saturday, Jan. 28 from 2-4 p.m. and a book talk with Sara Trail will happen on Saturday, March 4, from 1-2:30 p.m.

The Remembrance Project is not only “a cloth memorial of activist art banners commemorating the many people who have lost their lives to systems of inequity and racist structures,” per the RAC, but also two special events for community members — the aforementioned workshop and book talk.

The Social Justice Sewing Academy is presenting the cloth memorial, which has been created by volunteers nationwide “to help educate and inform communities about the human impact of systemic violence,” said the RAC.

The community can coalesce with others fighting for social justice and remember those lost to violence, while also learning about the academy’s work, through two related special events. A workshop on Saturday, Jan. 28 will blend craft, art and activism, while the founder of the academy, Sara Trail, will give a talk and book signing of her work Stitching Stolen Lives on Saturday, March 4. The events are free and available to community members of all ages. Learn more about The Remembrance Project at https://richmondartcenter.org/exhibitions/the-remembrance-project

The RAC is located at 2540 Barrett Ave. in Richmond. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; the exhibitions and events are free and open to the community.

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Bay Area

Parade Planned to Honor Historic Pinole Valley High School Football Season

The Spartans football team captured its first ever state title last fall, defeating Mendota High 34-21 in the Division 7-AA California State Championship. The victory marks the first time a West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) school has earned a high school state football title.

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Photos courtesy of Pinole Valley High School.
Photos courtesy of Pinole Valley High School.

By Mike Kinney

A parade is being planned to celebrate the Pinole Valley High School football team’s historic championship season, Principal Kibby Kleiman said. School officials are considering holding the parade on Feb. 4, 2023, although an official date has not yet been confirmed.

Photos courtesy of Pinole Valley High School.

Photos courtesy of Pinole Valley High School.

The parade will start at the Pinole Valley Park and will proceed to the Pinole Valley High School football field. The high school’s marching band, cheerleading squad and color guard will participate, along with clubs and service organizations connected to the school.

“It will almost be like a mini homecoming event,” Kleiman said.

The Spartans football team captured its first ever state title last fall, defeating Mendota High 34-21 in the Division 7-AA California State Championship. The victory marks the first time a West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) school has earned a high school state football title.

Photos courtesy of Pinole Valley High School.

Photos courtesy of Pinole Valley High School.

The Spartans earned their bid to play in the state championship after defeating Justin-Siena (Napa) 7-0 on Nov. 25, 2022, capturing their first North Coast Section title in 43 years.

Kleiman noted the team will also be recognized in a ceremony at Pinole City Council in February.

“We could not be prouder of the level of support coming from the community and the school,” he said. “It is wonderful to feel valued and honored. We are extremely proud of our Spartan football team!”

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Activism

PRESS ROOM: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Set for Jan. 16 in San Leandro

The event commemorates the birthday of this great American leader and his lifelong work toward equality and peace. This year’s event will be held at the Marina Community Center, located at 15301 Wicks Blvd., and includes live entertainment and student performances for the oratorical contest. Light refreshments and crafts for kids will also be provided with free admission for all those who wish to attend.

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The event commemorates the birthday of this great American leader and his lifelong work toward equality and peace.
The event commemorates the birthday of this great American leader and his lifelong work toward equality and peace.

SAN LEANDRO, CA —Mayor Juan Gonzalez and the San Leandro City Council are pleased to invite the community to attend the City of San Leandro’s annual celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, beginning at 10:30 a.m. The event commemorates the birthday of this great American leader and his lifelong work toward equality and peace. This year’s event will be held at the Marina Community Center, located at 15301 Wicks Blvd., and includes live entertainment and student performances for the oratorical contest. Light refreshments and crafts for kids will also be provided with free admission for all those who wish to attend.

San Leandro students in 3rd through 12th grades are invited to participate in the oratorical festival and poetry slam. Students can win gift card prizes in their grade category ($100 first place, $50 second place). Prizes are made possible by the San Leandro Optimist Club.

For more information, contact Liz Hodgins at 510-577-3473 or ehodgins@sanleandro.org.

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