Skyler Cooper is one of the most beautiful women in the Bay Area. SFist has been vacillating between envy and infatuation since we saw her in the title role of Impact Theatre's (Full disclosure: A SFist staffer is deeply involved with Impact Theater) . How can someone who looks that good be so talented? It's enough to incite us to go to the Castro Gold's Gym, (where she works as a personal trainer) and beg her to teach us to walk in her footsteps, until we remember that there's probably hard work involved, and we're just not into that.

If you've forgotten the basic plot of Othello, it's traditionally the story of a black military genius in a largely white army, who makes makes the dual "errors" of marrying a white woman and promoting one of his underlings over the other, causing jealousy and rage to spin out of control in his life and the lives of almost all he touches. As with all things Impact, their take on Othello is a fresh one, in which Othello is a dark-skinned black woman, and her nemesis, Iago (Casey Jackson -- more on him later) is a light skinned black man. By changing Othello's gender and orientation (for Desdemona remains a white woman), Impact creates even more complex tensions than Shakespeare's original work, as Iago's contempt for Othello encapsulates not only the racial but enters into the territory of homophobia and misogyny. By making this simple switch in the character of Othello, Director Melissa Hillman makes Othello imperatively contemporary.

Othello photo from Impact's site