by Hans ten Cate (special thanks to the Esalen Institute, Serena D'Arcy-Fisher, Megan McFeely, and Patsy Northcutt for the information and artwork)
Friday, 6 February 2004

John is the highlight of three Bay Area benefit events February 10, 11, & 13 [click image to enlarge]

John Cleese will be the guest of honor at three benefit events being held in the Bay Area of California next week, raising funds for one of John's favorite educational centers, The Esalen Institute.

Each evening, entitled John Cleese's Life and Times, will feature an on-stage interview with John Cleese by a local San Francisco journalist and personality. Michael Krasny, of public radio KQED's Forum will host the evenings at The Rafael and Herbst Theater while David Kipen, from the San Francisco Chronicle, will do the honors at the Spangenberg Theater.

All three events are open to the public. If you are in the Bay Area, the Esalen Institute and John cordially invite visitors to PythOnline and Python fans to attend.

While John has done the 'evening with John Cleese' format before, this is the first of its kind and magnitude. The primary goal of the evening is, of course, to entertain, with John providing stories, musings, and his perspective on life. Depending on the event's success... who knows, other such evenings could follow in the future!

Each night will also feature clips from some of John's most memorable TV and film projects, including: Monty Python's Flying Circus, Fawlty Towers, A Fish Called Wanda, The Life of Brian, The Human Face, and more. And of course time will be made available during each performance for audience participation and questions.

Ticket prices are $30 and $50 and $150 (the latter are VIP tickets and seating, which includes a private reception with John immediately following the performance - the event is, after all, a fundraiser). For ticket availability go to: or call (415) 392 4400. Here is a summary of the dates and locations:

John Cleese's Life and Times

  • The Rafael Film Center, San Rafael: Feb 10th, 2004 at 7:00 PM
  • The Herbst Theater, San Francisco: Feb 11th, 2004 at 7:30 PM
  • Spangenberg Theater, Palo Alto: Feb 13th, 2004 at 7:00 PM

The Esalen Institute located in Big Sur California was founded in 1962 by Michael Murphy and Dick Price and is a non-profit alternative educational center devoted to the exploration of human potential, fostering personal and social transformation. John Cleese and his wife Alyce Faye have been long-time supporters of the Esalen Institute, having participated in a number of their invitational conferences over the years. For additional information go to