KOLT Run Productions continues its "Revelations: 2012" season with comic writer Rachel Axler's dark spoof "Smudge." Axler, who won an Emmy Award writing for Jon Stewart's "Daily Show," also has written for the often hysterical television show "Parks and Recreation."
With "Smudge," Axler shows us a couple, Nick and Colby, who think they're having a baby but what they bring home defies description. Lisa Thew directs Barry Hubbard, Kelley Ogden and Eric Baldwin.
"Smudge" opens tonight at 8. Performances continue 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. May 13 and 20, through May 20 at the Ooley Theater, 2007 28th St., Sacramento. Tickets are $15 and $20. For information: (916) 454-1500 or www.KOLTRunCreations.com.
Jewish Jazz Festival
Anyone who saw trumpeter Avishai Cohen play with the SFJAZZ Collective last month at the Mondavi knows he is a remarkable young musician who happens to be Jewish. His cultural and religious heritage comes more to the forefront this weekend at SFJAZZ-sponsored Israeli Jazz Fest at the Jewish Community Center in San Francisco. Cohen will play with two of the three groups performing in the mini festival curated by his sister, saxophonist and clarinetist Anat Cohen. On Saturday the collective Third World Love performs with Avishai Cohen, Yonatan Avishai on piano, Daniel Freedman and drums and Omer Avital on bass.
Avital is a prodigious composer whose work is featured on the group's just-released album "Songs and Portraits," and his hauntingly beautiful release as a leader, "Suite of the East" also is out this week. Both records explore soulful jazz sensibilities infused with Middle Eastern moods and rhythms.
Drummer and composer Freedman also has a new record, "Bamako by Bus," which features many of his bandmates here, and recently completed sessions with Sting for a new album.
Saturday night's concert features the Three Cohens, as Avishai and Anat are joined by their brother, soprano saxophonist Yuval, in their adventurous family band. The Gilad Hekselman Trio opens this show. Earlier Saturday afternoon will see a duo performance by the tenor saxophonist Eli Degibri and pianist Kevin Hays.
Degibri gained notice several years ago with Herbie Hancock's band and never looked back. Hays has recently been heard in the duet project "Modern Music" with his high school friend Brad Mehldau. Third World Love, 8 p.m. Saturday. Eli Degibri and Kevin Hays, 3 p.m. Sunday. Three Cohens and Gilad Hekselman Trio, 8 p.m. Sunday all at the Jewish Community Center, 3200 California St., San Francisco. Tickets are $35 and $25; for information:israelijazzfest.org or www.sfjazz.org.