The brunch unicorn

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A Drama Talk & Drinks special: The future of SF nightlife

Ignoring The Space Between Windows
[file photo by Ariel]

As a passionate theater and event-goer, Brittany went to a forum on the future of SF’s nightlife amid recent closings due to economic and cultural shifts in the city, as well as neighbor complaints. Here’s her report:

Empty Sign
[file photo by Ariel]

People are moving into cities for a reason. We endure small apartments, high prices and the discomfort of living on top of each other to gain access to the inspiration and entertainment that comes with being surrounded by crazy creative people. Arts and culture are the lifeblood of what makes any city unique, particularly San Francisco.

I review theater here because I want to shine a light on one element of what makes our city so great (even if I don’t always love what I see). So when I heard CMAC (California Music and Culture Association) was hosting a “Supervisor Nightlife and Entertainment Forum” allowing Supervisor candidates to “discuss their visions for the future of nightlife and culture in San Francisco.” I wanted to hear what they had to say.

Something About The Elbo Room
[file photo by Ariel]

With the SF Bay Guardian closing announcement happening earlier in the day, the conversation about what will happen to SF if our arts and culture can’t make the rent seemed more urgent than ever. Which is why it was disconcerting that only three candidates — Supervisor Scott Weiner, Supervisor Jane Kim, and Juan-Antonio Carballo — out of six who were invited to participate even made it to the event.

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Drama Talk & Drinks: SO MUCH BLOOD!

Katie was busy, so Brittany brought a friend from the theatre world to a crazy, bloody, sexy, puppety show that sounds like a lot of fun. Here’s their report:

Katie is a bit of a buzz-kill when it comes to Halloween (sorry Katie). She hates dressing up, doesn’t like scary movies and gore makes her queasy. Brittany, on the other hand, has her requisite costume box in the closet and grew up on Tales From The Crypt. So when we got the press release about Thrillpeddlers Shocktoberfest 15: The Bloody Debutant and Katie was busy, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to call in our friend Michael St. Clair, a lecturer in the Theater and Performance Studies department at Stanford who’s been known to wear a costume even outside of Halloween reverie, to come along and review the show.

Brittany: So Michael, for your introductory Drama Talk & Drinks review, what did you think about the show?

Michael: It was brilliant. It was at least 50% more fun than I expected it to be.

B: That was, in my opinion, absolutely delightful.

M: If you don’t like comedy/sex/violence, or lots of gore, of fake blood, or demon summoning, or things flying in your face, it’s not the show for you. But if you like those things . . .

B: And like kinky fetish stuff . . .

M: Spiced up with a bucket of blood and terrible things . . .

B: SO MUCH BLOOD!

M: . . . Then you’ll love it.

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Drama Talk & Drinks: Are you okay with tangents?

Last month I saw Old Hats at ACT. Bill Irwin is amazing. It was a really fun show, but I think that title would keep younger audiences away. If the theatre wants to get a new generation coming out, and they need to, they should really adopt a more modern naming convention, as this does this column. Katie & Brittany recently saw The Late Wedding, and while the title may not get you out of your chair, they say the play is worth it. Here’s their report:

[photo by Pak Han]

About a year ago Katie read a play called The Hundred Flowers Project by Christopher Chen in Theatre Bay Area magazine. She liked it so much she told Brittany “Whenever another Christopher Chen play is produced, we need to go”. That time arrived. Crowded Fire Theater Company commissioned the world premiere of Chen’s new work, The Late Wedding, and it’s now playing at The Thick House.

Katie: I really enjoyed the freshness of the format and devices Chen used. It really brought the audience into the story, and I liked that. I thought the staging was really neat, and the set was awesome. It was so inventive and the use of the space was creative, just that alone is worth seeing.

Brittany: I was continuously interested. At times I felt like the play was throwing me around, but it was fun how the playwright acknowledged it. I loved the asides to the audience, where they said, “That was weird huh, this is why” or “Relax and just go with it”. In the opening monologue we’re told to “trust the play and let it take you somewhere”, so after that I was open to it taking me anywhere, even though I didn’t always know where it was going.

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Gearing up for Halloween?

Hoping for some sweet haunted houses in the neighborhood this year. I know Adobe Books is building one as we speak.

Christopher F. Smith spotted the above evidence on Mission Street last night. Hopefully it was purchased for a joyful reason.

Drama Talk & Drinks: “I’m all about the orgy”

Katie & Brittany saw Pippin, yes Pippin, and really liked it! It sounds pretty sweet. And while we’re (they’re) speaking (writing) of Bob Fosse and Ben Vereen, check out The Jazz Singer, the final scene is one of my favorite in all of cinema. Here’s their report:

An over-educated privileged youth graduates college and desperately searches for something meaningful to do with his life. He tries war, drugs, casual sex, Burning Man-esque orgies, social revolution, religion, and even farming, but still feels unfulfilled. This may sound like every millennial we love to hate, but this time the youth is a prince, the son of Charles the Great, the Ruler of the Holy Roman Empire, and his ennui is the driving coming-of-age story behind the 1972 hit musical Pippin, which won the Tony for best revival in 2013. This lesser known Broadway classic has oddly been Brittany’s favorite musical since she was a little kid (maybe she identified with the privileged angst), so when we found out the tour was coming through SF, Drama Talk & Drinks had to go.

Katie: Wow, so I had no expectations walking in. It’s a musical I’ve heard nothing about, aside from what you’ve told me. So the whole time I was like WHAT! There was a lot going on, and I was a bit overstimulated, but not in a bad way. It was a lot of fun. A real spectacle. It was spectacle spectacle spectacle until the end, and even that was spectacle. I kept trying to guess what the original was like.

Brittany: AWESOME! Yay, I’m glad you liked it. I come into this show with the craziest bias, because I’m pretty sure I’m one of the only people under the age of 30 for whom this is a favorite musical. I watched the movie of the original with Ben Vereen in it at least 100 times. So whereas you were trying to figure out what was revival what wasn’t, I was thinking, “Okay, that dance is the same”, “WHOA, that’s different”, throughout the whole show. It was great seeing what a fresh take on this show can be, and I liked it!

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What would you do with Fleet Week’s million?

On last week’s Roll Over Easy my fellow Mission Mission contributors Luke and Chris talked about the joys of watching the Blue Angels buzz the city during Fleet Week. They pointed out that there are always complaints about the noise and rattling windows. But there have also been complaints about the cost. Last year KQED suggested that it costs about $1 million to fly the planes over SF. Luke and Chris thought they brought a lot of joy to people, with no specific cost to anyone who wanted to watch (excepting residents’ tax money). Beyond that, I would assume that they’re meant to sustain excitement and support for our military might and justify its spending.

[photo by John 'K']

Personally, I’ve never been a fan of the Angels. Their skill is impressive, but it’s not my thing, and I agree that the noise is annoying in that it’s not opt-in. So, I invite you here to speculate with me about what we could do with one million dollars that would still not really accomplish anything, but would bring joy to all kinds of people around the Bay Area, with no added cost to them.

What would you do? What would you like to see?

Here’s my stab at it: a life sized At-At standing with the Oakland cranes shooting It’s Its all over the Bay Area. Now, I know there are people out there who aren’t Star Wars fans (I’m not), and people who can’t tolerate ice cream (I can’t), but even so, how cool would this be??

 

Behold, the 538 Burrito Bump

As you most likely know, earlier this week Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight proclaimed the Mission’s La Taqueria to be the makers of the best burrito in the country (and world?). Here is the line today.

[photo by Gene Goldstein-Plesser]

Drama Talk & Drinks: A well, a swimming pool and a chicken coop

Here’s another experiential theater piece that I wish I could go to with Katie & Brittany. It’s one night only, this Saturday, so they did a pre-interview with the producer:

When Brittany and I saw the announcement for PianoFight’s production of Roughin’ It III: Theater. On. The. Rocks that is being performed in a “forest setting where audiences, who are encouraged to pack a picnic and BYO-Libations, will enjoy fresh BBQ, cold beer and award-winning theater, comedy, music and dance while being taken on a journey into the woods and beyond” we were more than intrigued. Since it’s one night only we wanted to get the DL from the show’s producer Emma Rose Shelton before we attended to get a feel for what we are getting ourselves into.

Katie: So this show is made up of many pieces, how was that process?

Emma: We reached out beyond the San Francisco community and got a ton of submissions, close to 100 submissions from all over the US. It was crazy. Way more than we had anticipated. We read a bunch of scripts. We gave everyone specifications of what the property had – there’s a well, a swimming pool, and a chicken coop – these are things you can use to your advantage and please do. And so writers were able to tailor pieces to that.

K: Can you sum up the experience for us?

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TK riffs on SF Weekly’s 90s point of view

[via Tom Tomorrow]

After coming across SF Weekly’s online archive, TK over at 40 Going on 28 gives a modern perspective to their 1990s take on the local food scene.

There’s lots of fun stuff in there, but I’m enjoying reading the restaurant reviews, mostly because almost every restaurant reviewed no longer exists and because the prices listed for the food seem hilariously low.

Anyone remember Paella La Movida, on 16th between Guerrero and Dolores?  I don’t.  I guess it was where Mozzeria is now.

La Movida is the latest snappy addition to a corridor of 16th Street between Dolores and Mission that has lately been blooming with boho chic. These days the neighborhood, with its slightly seedy glamour, seems a lot like the East Village in New York, or Earls Court in London.

More here.

And I agree, R.I.P. Dave Eggers’ Smarter Feller.

[h/t Burrito Justice]

Ariel Dovas

Posts: 705

Email: ariel (at) missionmission.org

Website: http://www.flickr.com/photos/eviloars/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/eviloars

Biographical Info:

This guy moved to the neighborhood from his hometown of Santa Cruz in '93. Now he makes movies and does a bunch of other weird stuff.