Phyllis Filiberti Butler
Author / Journalist / Editor
butler-phyllis@att.net
Phyllis
Phyllis Filiberti Butler

Phyllis Butler was Executive Editor of Celestial Artsí Les Femmes Books and worked with Wallace Stegner as Editor of 20-20 Vision.

She also was Feature Editor for Toni Mayís Les Gals Magazine. Currently a freelance book editor for top Bay Area authors.

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Phyllis has recently returned to an early love, reviewing books and plays. Here's an excerpt from a recent review for CurtainUp.com -- for which she'll be covering the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre scene on a regular basis.
Mind over matter: Palo Alto Times Review
A Palo Alto physicist presents his view of extrasensory perception
By Phyllis Butler

"The Reality of ESP: A Physicist's Proof of Psychic Abilities" by Russell Targ; Quest Books, Wheaton. Ill.; 306 pages; $20 "If facts alone can convince a skeptical investigator of the reality of ESP, this book should do it." So declares Palo Alto physicist Russell Targ, author of this book ó and eight others on the fascinating subject of mind, matter and paranormal abilities. As Targ points out, these abilities have many names: Psi, metaphysics, clairvoyance, and most familiar, extrasensory perception.... See Full Review

Radical Chapters: SFGate Review
By Phyllis Butler
Michael Doyle began his book "Radical Chapters" in the 1980s when, as a young reporter for the Palo Alto Weekly, he wrote about the multiple cultures and characters that intersected at Kepler's Books in Menlo Park, and the moral force behind it all...... See Full Review
Golden Dreams SFGate Review
By Phyllis Butler

We all know about the conformity of the '50s and the culture wars of the '60s to come - especially those of us who grew up in those fabled years. But who besides Kevin Starr could cover the entire social, economic, political and artistic history of California during the era and somehow extrapolate it into an engaging, dazzling account of the emerging American Century.

In this, the eighth volume of Starr's monumental chronicle of California, collectively titled "Americans and the California Dream," the meticulous cultural historian exhaustively presents five major themes: Suburban Assumptions, Urban Perspectives, Politics and Public Works, Art and Life, and Dissenting Opinions. The last theme encompasses the eventual rebellion against unrestricted growth and wanton destruction of the natural environment, the political activism of the late '50s, and the rise of "Cool" - the Zen-like anti-establishment attitude that as Starr points out culminates nationwide "in the cool, ironic, detached style of Jack and Jackie Kennedy."

For the complete review go to: Golden Dream Review

CurtainUp San Francisco Bay Area Review
"Gem of the Ocean" San Francisco Premier Performance.
By Phyllis Butler

With his death last October, August Wilson, the greatly honored and award-winning dramatist of the African-American experience, is ever more secure in his place as an icon of the American theater. American Conservatory Theaterís new San Francisco presentation of his penultimate play Gem of the Ocean opened last week to a standing ovation.

Much of what Laura Hitchcock wrote in her review of Gemís 2003 opening in Los Angeles holds true, but this reviewer, who so appreciated Wilsonís "Ma Rainey" last Fall at Ashland, felt overloaded with historical explanations and perhaps too many plot devicesóno matter how necessary their dramatic intent.

For the complete review go to: Gem of the Ocean

CurtainUp San Francisco Bay Area Review
The Haunting of Winchester, a Musical Play
By Phyllis Butler

For their 25th Anniversary season, San Jose Repertory Theatre has chosen the city's best known landmark and most sympathetic citizen to celebrate with the world premiere of a musical play that's both historical and fanciful. Daring to defy a charge of provincialism, Sarah Winchester and her famous San Jose haunted house were selected by Bay Area composer/musician Craig Bohmler and playwright/ Mary Bracken Phillips as their subject.

Commissioned by Artistic Director Timothy Near, and five years in the making, The Haunting of Winchester is in keeping with the Theatre company's stated mission to reflect the Silicon Valley community. Interestingly, its not only a ghost story, but a love story that takes place at the so-called Winchester Mystery House--perhaps the most famous haunted house in America and a San Jose landmark visited by millions.

As widow of William Wirt Winchester, heir to the famous gun manufacturing fortune, Sarah (Tamra Hayden) has become the undeserving subject of a family curse that led her to escape the East Coast and come to California and to the building of the "Winchester Mystery House." The play starts with a boom . . . a threatening storm that brings forth a band of ghosts, just as the widowed Winchester Rifle heiress is moving into the original eight room Victorian house in San Jose. We first meet a little girl ghost, Marisa, perfectly played by 12-year-old Lizzi Jones who's more angel than spirit and the only one who can fly. Her reason for being there is never really explained, so I chose to envision her as Widow Winchester's long lost, deceased child come to protect her.

For the complete review go to:
The Haunting of Winchester, a Musical Play

A CurtainUp San Francisco Bay Area Review
The People's Temple
By Phyllis Butler
Dreams, Death and the Aftermath. -- The Jonestown Tragedy

The play opens with the pitch perfect Gospel
voice of Miche Braden singing "He's Able...
friend to the friendless. . .he'll carry you
through. . . "
This spiritual song to God has
immediate double meaning for those of us who
know the tale of the duplicitous Reverend Jones
who in 1978 led a huge band of believers to their death in a Guyana jungle.

For the complete review go to:
The Peoples Temple Review

Valley of Santa Clara
A Guide to the Heart of Silicon Valley
Information

Valley of Santa Clara



Endorsements of Butler's Books
Valley of Santa Clara
A Woman's Guide to San Francisco
By Phyllis Butler

Every Woman's Guide to Political Awareness
by Phyllis Butler and Dorothy Gray


20-20 Vision
In Celebration of the Peninsula Hills
by Wallace Stegner
Edited by Phyllis Butler

Selected Articles by
Phyllis Filiberti Butler:


San Jose Mercury
Popularity of Formentera Goes Back to the Ancients

San Francisco Chronicle
From Hoover to Rice, Stanford's Politically Active Campus community faces growth issue

San Francisco Chronicle
Miramar's Bach makes magic with music, wine on coast

San Francisco Chronicle
Palo Alto's architectural Treasures

San Jose Mercury News
Wallace Stegner Remembered

San Jose Mercury News
Those Genteel Bohemians

SF Chronicle
Los Gatos's Small Town Charms
Phyllis Butler was Executive Editor of Celestial Artsí Les Femmes Books and worked with Wallace Stegner as Editor of 20-20 Vision. She also was Feature Editor for Toni Mayís Les Gals Magazine. Currently a freelance book editor for top Bay Area authors.
Editor Resume


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Schedule of Classes and Speaking Gigs by Phyllis


11/18/04 presentation