Sunday, September 10, 2023

San Jose Stage Co.'s West Coast Premiere of BALD SISTERS

SAN JOSE STAGE COMPANY Announces Cast & Creative Team for
West Coast Premiere of
By Vichet Chum

Directed by Jeffrey Lo
September 13 - October 8, 2023

SAN JOSE, CA (August 29, 2023) – San Jose Stage Company (Randall King, Artistic Director and Cathleen King, Executive Director) is pleased to announce the full cast and creative team for The Stage’s upcoming West Coast Premiere of the powerful family saga BALD SISTERS by Vichet Chum. Directed by Jeffrey Lo, BALD SISTERS will run from September 13 – October 8, 2023 at San Jose Stage Company (490 South 1st Street, San Jose, CA, 95113). Tickets range from $34 - $74 and can be purchased through the Box Office at (408) 283-7142 or online at For more information, visit

Vichet Chum’s captivating new play BALD SISTERS revolves around two sisters who have been at odds since their birth. Now, tasked with the responsibility of organizing their strong-willed, quick-witted mother's affairs, they must also come to terms with their family's Cambodian heritage, intricately woven into the complexities of their American present. Through a mix of irreverent humor and heartfelt moments, the story delves into the bonds formed by history, spirituality, and the power of laughter.
“Funny, Powerful, Stunningly Good [by] a rising playwright gaining national renown.” - Bill Esler,
“The Stage is excited to kick-off its 2023/24 Season with the West Coast Premiere of Vichet Chum’s BALD SISTERS. The story originated from its development at the prestigious Steppenwolf Theatre, where it received its world premiere during an extended run in early 2023.  We are honored to present the West Coast Premiere,” remarks Randall King, Artistic Director. “Vichet Chum’s exceptional new work deeply resonates with our search for the power of connection, the freedom that comes from embracing our individual personal stories, and a wonderful celebration our shared human journey.”
“BALD SISTERS is equal parts hilarious, heartbreaking, and uplifting,” says Jeffrey Lo, Director. “This celebration of the Cambodian-American women in playwright Vichet Chum’s life is an astounding work that taps into the beauty and struggle of creating human connection while wrestling with the mortality of ourselves and our loved ones."
The cast of BALD SISTERS will feature Nicole Tung* as “Him”, Rinabeth Apostol* as “Sophea”, Keiko Carreiro* as “Ma”, Will Springhorn Jr.* as “Nate” and Zaya Kolia* as “Seth”.
In addition to Jeffrey Lo+, the creative team includes Christopher Fitzer (Scenic Design), Becky Bodurtha^ (Costume Design), Maurice Vercoutere (Lighting Design), Steve Schoebeck (Sound), Spenser Matubang (Video Design), Patrick Chew (Dialect, Language and Cultural Consultant) and Alexa Burn (Stage Manager).
*Member of Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers.
+Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, the union professional stage directors and choreographers .
^Member of United Scenic Artists, the union of professional designers.
Through powerful, provocative and profound theatre, San Jose Stage Company (The Stage) seeks to expand community, forge creative partnerships and challenge individuals in order to illuminate the human condition.
San Jose Stage Company is recognized as the South Bay’s leading professional theatre company, having earned a reputation for artistic excellence through imaginative and edgy theatrical experiences that spark ideas and dialogue with the audience. The Stage is dedicated to the presentation and development of new works, with a concentration on American literature scripted by modern playwrights that speak to the conditions, hopes and fears of humanity. With the farthest seat in the house no more than 15 feet from the three-quarter thrust stage, the connection between actor and audience is profoundly visceral.
The Stage is a multi-award-winning theatre company, including the 2018 Paine Knickerbocker Award for continued contributions to Bay Area theatre from the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle. The Stage has produced over 200 productions, including 20 world premieres and 50 new works and is ranked as the 2nd largest professional theatre and 8th largest performance arts organization in Silicon Valley (Silicon Valley Business Journal).
Attracting over 30,000 patrons to downtown and employing more than 150 local artists annually, San Jose Stage Company continues to be a vital force in the region’s economic and creative landscape.
Single tickets to San Jose Stage Company’s 2023-2024 Season may be purchased online at

To continue our safe return to in-person performances at The Stage, we have updated our Covid-19 Safety Policies in accordance with guidelines provided by the State of California and Santa Clara County:
  • Vaccination checks will no longer be required of patrons before entering the theatre.
  • Masking is strongly encouraged but no longer required for all patrons and staff while inside the theatre and lobby area.
  • San Jose Stage Company remains a fully vaccinated company, i.e., artists, staff, and crew are vaccinated.
  • Concessions will be permitted in the theatre and lobby area.
  • We have upgraded our air filters and increased air flow in the theatre.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be provided throughout the theatre and lobby area.
  • Performers will not be masked.
  • All tickets will be e-tickets for touchless check-in.
  • Digital playbills will be available by QR code and website link. Physical playbills can be provided upon request.
  • Patrons will not be allowed to wait for performers in the lobby after the show, but are welcome to wait in the courtyard.
  • The theatre, backstage, and lobby areas will be sanitized after each performance.
The Stage is constantly monitoring state and county guidelines and these policies may change and evolve over time. We appreciate your cooperation in maintaining safety at The Stage. These policies and procedures are in place to keep our doors open for live performances. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our policies, please contact us via email at

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Picnic by the lake with Senator Dave Cortese - Sep 30th at Hellyer County Park in South San Jose

Sen. Dave Cortese is hosting an inaugural "Picnic by the Lake" multicultural festival and resource fair in South San Jose. Everyone is welcome. Firefighters will be grilling up beef and veggie burgers for visitors, and unlike many things in life they will be completely free. There will also be a pumpkin patch filled with free pumpkins (while supplies last) and raffle prizes.

For the kids, there will be inflatables, face painting, and rock climbing. Entertainment includes performances from Folklorico Nacional Mexicano, Viet Steps dancers, and others.

Attendees can also get free flu shots and COVID vaccines. Up to 100 resource booths will also be there as well to promote other city resources.

The event will be Saturday, September 30th from 10am to 3pm at the scenic Hellyer County Park.

Source: San Jose Spotlight

Friday, September 8, 2023

380 North 1st apartment project moves forward in North San Jose

A seven-story apartment project at 380 North 1st street is moving forward to environmental review. The proposal is an infill project that will replace a two-story commercial building at the edge of Downtown San Jose (5 minute walk to St. James Park).

The apartment building will have 118 homes, 18 of which will be designated as affordable units. There will be 74 parking spaces at the ground level using a car stacking system that will stack up to three cars on top of one another. There will also be parking for 30 bicycles and a bike cafe. An amenity deck is situated on the third floor and a clubroom with a balcony on the sixth floor.

Overall it's a significant upgrade from what was there before and is close to both Light Rail and transit lines (Buses 72 and 73 stop across the street).

Source: SF YIMBY

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Reimagining of Oakridge Mall in South San Jose as suburban village with two high-rises

There has been a lot of discussion around Santana Row on X recently, but other concepts similar to it have been in the works for a long time in the San Jose metro.

The architect behind a new apartment project (380 N. 1st Street, more on that tomorrow) also created an interesting concept for Westfield. Imagine what Oakridge mall's gigantic parking lot could be turned into. The renders below look very similar to a slightly small Santana Row that is directly attached to the mall.

The concept has two high-rises and several mid-rise buildings with 1,500 apartments, a hotel, 250,000 SQFT of office space, 25,000 SQFT of new retail space. Macy's would be turned into an industrial innovation center with maker spaces for artists.

It would be interesting to see Oakridge as a mixed-use destination. This would certainly give South San Jose a stronger sense of place as no high-rise projects exist there today. There are a few mixed-use proposals such as this one, but nothing of this scale.

Right now it is just a concept, but given Valley Fair's immense success in their last expansion, perhaps this is something that could see the light of day.

Source: Silicon Valley Joe from Skyscraper City

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

TikTok has close to 1,000 San Jose job openings with generous salaries

Silicon Valley's demise has been greatly exaggerated. Despite migration to Austin and other cities, the San Jose metro still has the highest proportion of tech jobs and the best salaries for tech in the US. The unemployment rate is near an all-time low and tech companies are beginning to ramp up hiring again post-pandemic.

TikTok's US headquarters are located in San Jose at 1199 Coleman Ave (also known as the Coleman Highline). They have a whopping 987 job openings. That's probably because they are hiring everywhere, right? Nope. Their San Jose openings make up 23% of all of their job openings globally. TikTok has access to far less expensive workers anywhere besides here, but they are continuing to aggressively hire in San Jose.

Examples of job opening are: 
  • Senior machine learning engineers with a base salary of $187,040 to $280,000
  • Lead graphics software engineer with a base salary of $187,040 to $358,000
  • Lead machine learning engineer with a base salary of $210,000 to $358,000
Those are base salary ranges without bonuses, incentives, restricted stock units, or benefits. A top performer could earn double that range. Also, those aren't even managerial positions. 

If you're just starting out, don't worry they also have internships available at $45/hr.

TikTok is also hiring 178 people in Mountain View and 18 in San Francisco. So again, even within the Bay Area they are focused on the Capital of Silicon Valley.

Source: SVBJ

Photo by Abhishek Monangi

Photo by Abhishek Monangi

Photo by Abhishek Monangi

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Viva CalleSJ: Calle >> Matsuri (San Jose's Japantown, Kelley Park, and Tamien Park)

Viva CalleSJ is back for it's 3rd event of the year! Miles of city streets will be completely shut down to let people walk, run, dance, bike, unicycle, skateboard, or hoverboard down the streets of San Jose. 

Calle >> Matsuri features three activity hubs which are festivals-within-a-festival that highlight the local area. This time the activity hubs will be at Japantown, Kelley Park, and Tamien Park. You can expect live music, vendors, food, activities, bike parking, and good times at all of the hubs. In between the activity hubs you will still find all sorts of interesting stops, hydration stations, and stores. Watch the video below to get a feel for the event if you've never done one.

As an added bonus, Happy Hollow Park and Zoo will be providing free admission for anyone participating in the Viva CalleSJ. This is the first time I remember this happening, so it's worth taking advantage of--especially if you're going with your family.

The event takes place on Sunday, September 10th from 10am to 3pm (streets are closed until 4pm). There is no beginning or end and the traffic flows in both directions. It's completely free and you can use the handy map below to locate the routes and festivities. For more info, head over here.

Monday, September 4, 2023

San Jose housing project upsized in "Uptown"

The site of the former Century 24 domed movie theater at 741 South Winchester Blvd. is destined to become an affordable housing project. The developers SyRes Properties LLC is increasing the number of units to 264 in a seven-story residential building.

The project would have 35 studios, 113 one-bedroom apartments, and 116 two-bedroom apartments. 20% of the units units would be considered affordable, which allow the complex to qualify as a housing development for very low, low, or moderate-income households. This designation allows the developer to apply for a "builder's remedy" which not only accelerates the project through city planning but enables to builder to add more units to the project.

The project would also include a community room, a 3rd floor outdoor space, a gym, and co-working spaces for residents. However, the biggest draw might be that is is just blocks away from Santana Row and other development projects around the Winchester Mystery House.

Source: The Merc