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Silicon Valley stereotypes meet musical in ‘South of Market’

Poor Alex. The young TechFeed journalist at the heart of “South of Market: The Musical v2[1]” wants to write serious stories that hold companies accountable for ignoring diversity and neglecting product safety hazards. But listicles like “Top 10 Colleges for Aspiring Founders to Drop Out Of” and “13 Ways Alexa Was a Basic Bitch” always get more traffic than “boring” articles on equal pay.

“Count me out of page views,” the idealistic Alex declares early in the 90-minute show. “Going rogue!” Parodies of the tech world aren’t new, of course — see HBO’s “Silicon Valley[2]” as the best-known example. But this one’s done through song and tap dance.

As the cast croons about venture capitalists and billion-dollar valuations, you half expect Erlich Bachman[3] to pop up with jazz hands. The show, which runs through Oct.

22 at San Francisco’s Marines Memorial Theater, romps through a world of nap pods, treadmill desks, “robust self-driving data sets” and launch parties with robot strippers but no actual product to show off yet. The play follows Alex (Alex Akin stands out in the role) as she investigates hot startup ai.ai, which represents “the dawning of the great singularity, the great singularity” (sung, amusingly, to the tune of “Aquarius” from the musical “Hair”[4]).

Along the way, she may have found love, or at least a nice bearded guy to hang out with. James Seifert (left) and Will Letzler play ai.ai executives in “South of Market: The Musical v2.”

Anna Gravilov

The show is now in its second year, with all new topical material. Anyone with internet access will recognize tropes like incessant selfie-taking and hashtagging.

Tech professionals will also appreciate the jargon, acronyms and send-ups of oversize Silicon Valley egos. “Believe in yourself,” the cast sings in the finale, “but not too much.” The show does hint at weightier themes, like some companies paying lip service, but not much more, to equal pay.

Then there’s the song “All the Feelings,” which runs through the pat Facebook reactions available in a complex world of political turmoil and natural disasters: “like, love, haha, wow, sad, angry,” the chorus goes. “Part of the premise of that song is that these six reactions … are supposed to be sufficient to interact with the news we’re seeing about the world today,” says Tareq Abuissa, who wrote the music and lyrics. “There’s irony there that they can’t actually capture what we’re observing.” A number of the show’s team members have backgrounds in tech or media.

Samantha O’Keefe, co-producer with Pat Blute, is head of startup programs at Google Cloud, and Wall Street Journal reporter Rolfe Winkler, who covers startups, plays the clicks-obsessed millennial TechFeed editor who represents everything Alex despises. But the team also sought input beyond its ranks. “We went outside of our own team, running lines or scenes by individuals in the community and getting their feedback, both for their reaction and also for authenticity,” O’Keefe says.

South of Market, to those who don’t hang around San Francisco, refers to an area of the city known for its abundance of startups. I’m writing this from SoMA right now, though not from a sensory-deprivation-desk tank like some of those lucky TechFeed reporters have. If you’re not anywhere near SoMA and can’t catch the show, the team is having it filmed and says it will be available for streaming.

Now, back to my story on 10 ways the internet uses cat videos to steal your identity. (You won’t believe No.

7!)

Technically Literate[5]: Original works of short fiction with unique perspectives on tech, exclusively on CNET.

Star Wars at 40[6]: A look at the cultural phenomenon that’s been thrilling fans since the first film in 1977.

References

  1. ^ South of Market: The Musical v2 (www.somamusical.com)
  2. ^ Silicon Valley (www.tvguide.com)
  3. ^ Erlich Bachman (www.vanityfair.com)
  4. ^ “Aquarius” from the musical “Hair” (www.youtube.com)
  5. ^ Technically Literate (www.cnet.com)
  6. ^ Star Wars at 40 (www.cnet.com)

LEGO 60080 City Space Port

It’s launch day at the LEGO City Spaceport. Load the satellite into the space shuttle and use the powerful, mobile launchpad to slowly maneuver it to the launch site.

  • Mobile Launchpad features driver’s cab and a beacon, accessories include two helmets, mug and a wrench, eject the external fuel tank and boosters
  • Place the satellite into orbit, space shuttle measures over 4 inch (12 cm) high, 10 inch (27 cm) long, and 7 inch (19 cm) wide
  • External fuel tank measures over 1 inch (4 cm) high, 11 inch (28 cm) long and 1 inch (4 cm) wide
  • Each rocket booster measures over 10 inch (26 cm) long, and under 1 inch (2 cm) wide and 1 inch (2 cm) high
  • Mobile Launchpad measures over 4 inch (11 cm) high, 7 inch (20 cm) long, 6 inch (17 cm) wide, service car measures over 2 inch (6 cm) high, 3 inch(9 cm) long, 1 inch (5 cm) wide

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Digital Trends Unveils Winners of Annual Smart Home Awards: GE, Samsung and More

PORTLAND, Ore., October 14, 2017 – Digital Trends[1], the leading independent technology publisher, has announced the winners of its annual Home Awards[2], celebrating the best in smart home technology produced for 2017. Digital Trends bestowed awards in six categories, spotlighting products for every room and function of an active household. Editors tested this year’s nominated products at the company’s test facilities in Portland, OR and Seattle, WA.

After using these products in real life conditions and spending weeks debating the winners, the company crowned its favorite products for Cooking, Entertaining, Home Security, Grooming, Sleeping, and Home Care “We wanted to showcase the products and technology that were the most functional — and the easiest to integrate into our busy lives,” said Digital Trend’s Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Kaplan. “We paid special attention to how quickly we were able to adapt to life with a smart home product in a situation where most of us still rely on analog tech. The Home Awards are a great example of our larger editorial mission of introducing people to tech for the way we actually live.”

Editors judged award entries on technological advancements, accessibility, and overall experience. Click each category for a full review of the winners and the nominees. The following are the official winners of Digital Trends Annual Home Awards.

To highlight the Awards, Digital Trends’ in-house creative team, DT Design, created a custom layout to showcase the winners. To view the full coverage, please visit https://www.digitaltrends.com/2017-home-awards/[3].

About Digital Trends Digital Trends is a leading consumer technology publisher helping people navigate an increasingly digital world. With easy-to-understand product reviews, entertaining news and videos, Digital Trends serves more than 30 million unique visitors each month.

Digital Trends reaches 90 million tech influencers through their own media network, and its syndicate partners include Yahoo!, FOX News and more than 200 broadcast news stations. Digital Trends is headquartered in Portland, OR with offices in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Chicago. For more information, visit www.digitaltrends.com[4].

Contact:

Pete Jacobs, [email protected][5], + 1 (503) 946-9942

References

  1. ^ Digital Trends (www.digitaltrends.com)
  2. ^ Home Awards (www.digitaltrends.com)
  3. ^ https://www.digitaltrends.com/2017-home-awards/ (www.digitaltrends.com)
  4. ^ www.digitaltrends.com (www.digitaltrends.com)
  5. ^ [email protected] (www.digitaltrends.com)

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