Wachowski’s Sense8 shooting at Pride

I hope everyone’s enjoying Pride Weekend out there in the sun. Don’t forget to drink water. Seriously. We’ve all got to do our part in this awful drought, but drink a lot of water.

The Matrix filmmakers, The Wachowski Siblings, were back in our neighborhood shooting for their upcoming Netflix series yesterday. The series includes a diverse cast from all over the world, including a transgender blogger, which may be the connection to Pride. Though from what we see here it looks like they’re highlighting two cisgender women, so maybe not? I’d hope and assume the Wachowski’s would give a trans role to a trans person. (Correction: Jamie Clayton is trans, thanks, Andy. Did some searching and somehow didn’t find that.) They certainly seem to be willing to work with the communities that in which they’re shooting, Mission Local has an article about production collaborating with CAMP to shoot in Clarion Alley.

Cristiano Valli caught some good shots of them at work during Dykes on Bikes.

Andy Wachowski on set.

Jamie Clayton getting direction from Lana Wachowski.

Jamie Clayton and Freema Agyeman taking a selfie in character.

Lana Wachowski in the zone.

Bird Haunters

Snappy answers

Last week Allan asked me to interpret some gross crap on a bathroom wall. Inspired by Al Jaffee‘s Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions, I gave it a crack.

When I was a kid I got the little paper back collections from MAD Magazine, and one of my favorites was Jaffee’s, both because they were hilarious, and also because they offered the opportunity for me to put my own punchlines in.

Insert your own here.

Some originals from Jaffee’s book, with my adolescent-mind additions, after the jump.

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Drama Talk & Drinks: “We are left with a dun dun dun di di di dun di di”

This week, Katie & Brittany went to see a musical based on a movie that sparked a romance that turned into a Broadway show and then came to our little town. Here’s their report:

Remember the 2006 movie Once? I know it was a long time ago but we still remember getting “Falling Slowly” stuck in our heads.

So we were really excited to check out the stage adaptation of Once last week. The musical was nominated for 11 Tony awards and won 8 of them. Between the critically acclaimed movie and all the awards, needless to say, we went into this show with extremely high expectations.

Katie: What I’ve noticed about going to SHN shows is that the production value is so high and the actors are so talented that even if it’s not an amazingly written show it’s always really entertaining. Always.

Brittany: It’s true. Once is so interesting. It was more like real life, which means depressing. At the end I definitely was left saying “Wait that’s it? That’s the end?” No happy ending here. Which I guess is refreshing because most Broadway shows are tied up in 2 hours.

K: Yeah, tied up in a pretty bow with a happy ending and we are left with a dun dun dun di di di dun di di. Not Once. But what beautiful music and amazing talent.

B: It’s really music anyone would like. I would listen to it with someone who didn’t like show tunes and I wouldn’t be embarrassed.

K: One thing that I struggled with was the format of the show. The fact that the set was a pub, but even though we are in a realistic pub setting it’s used mostly as other locations, like the vacuum shop, the music store, his house. It would have worked better for me if the set was not a specific place. I thought they were going to be a little more creative with turning this movie into a musical but instead they grabbed moments from the movie and threw it awkwardly on a stage designed as a pub. Luckily the actors and the music were so good that was enough to make it work. But for me I don’t think it was an example of great writing or a well constructed musical.

B: They really did themselves a disservice by having such a detailed set behind them which made it harder for your imagination to transform it into other things. It was a beautiful set though.

K: Really beautiful, really detailed. Just not needed. I thought they were going to take the story and the music from the movie and present it in a different, a very creative, theatery way, which didn’t exactly happen.

B: I’ve never seen the movie so I didn’t come in with certain expectations or context. It took me a little bit to get into the staging, but they were good enough actors that midway through the first act it worked for me. I did really like the stylized movement.

K: I just feel that they should of taken it further. I mean there is already a movie. I can sit in my living room and watch the movie. What is going to make me want to see this on stage? And it’s that, it’s the stylized movement, it’s the musicians – who did a really good job – that’s why I’m going to want to see it live.

B: And I think when they went there it was really good. All of the musicians were amazing. I do wonder how I would be feeling if I saw the movie.

K: I think you would have had a different perspective. The production was really well done though. It was a concert with a story. The lead girl was so good. Her voice was almost like a violin. So beautiful. Loved how the lead guy would get crazy on the guitar. The music definitely makes it worth going.

The Verdict:
Once is a great night out. The actors are super impressive. As always SHN brings through a tour with Broadway level sets and production values.

The Drama Talk:
While some of us struggle to walk and text at the same time, these actors act, sing, play the accordion, change the set and dance in front of an audience of 100′s all without skipping a beat. If you haven’t seen the movie, wait. The play doesn’t elaborate as much on the film as we may have liked, so if you can keep the plot a surprise, you may enjoy the show more.

Drinks:
This production offers a special opportunity to go onstage before the show and during intermission to have a drink, so we did just that. Brittany had a beer and Katie had a chardonnay. As we were sipping our beverages, that were served in a plastic SHN sippy cup, actors came onstage and started playing music . . . right next to us . . . in arms reach. A really cool experience worth the really expensive unremarkable drinks. You don’t need to get a drink to be on the stage though, just get to the theater early since they limit the number of people allowed on stage at a time.

Once runs through 7/15 at the the Curran Theatre, and tickets can be purchased through their website. Ticket prices vary from $65-$210 depending on where you sit.

Wheeeeeler

We Built This City spotted this dude on 17th and Mission today.


[link]

From One Day in SF

On April 26th over a hundred local filmmakers took their cameras to the streets to document life in San Francisco over a 24 hour period. It was part of a new doc series from the people who made the feature length documentary One Day on Earth. One Day in SF was produced by local filmmaker Winnie Wong, and on the same day filmmakers in ten other cities around the US were participating simultaneously. I was out there with the BAYCAT crew, interviewing people in front of the Roxie and at The Secret Alley. The One Day on Earth team is putting all the pieces together for a 3-part documentary series that we’ll be hearing more about later in the year. You can see the locations of everyone’s videos and watch them on the interactive map, and I’ve included some selections below, mostly Mission-based.

Riding along with an ambulance for the night. Great night shots, and nice profiles of the EMTs:

Kind of has a perfect opening line:

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Drama Talk & Drinks: Pen/Man/Ship

Katie & Brittany saw the new show at the Magic, and it sounds pretty compelling. Also, good title.

PEN/MAN/SHIP
by Christina Anderson
directed by Ryan Purcell

1896: the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. A father and son board a ship heading for Africa on a mysterious mission with an opinionated young woman. On the open sea, an unexpected detour resurrects family secrets and reveals true intentions, fundamentally changing the course of their journey and their lives forever. Magic is delighted to celebrate the return of playwright Christina Anderson, “whose work will be transforming America’s Stages for decades to come” (American Theatre Magazine) after her term as our 2011 Playwright in Residence.

Despite our weariness when it comes to trekking to the Marina, we keep going back to Magic Theatre at Fort Mason because they consistently produce inventive and professional shows. They might not always be to our taste, but they are always in good taste. As we overheard another patron say as we entered “Magic Theater is where you go when you want to see real theater.” The world premiere of Pen/Man/Ship by Christina Anderson stayed true to this trend.

Katie: I was entertained, I was invested in the characters, I wasn’t blown away, but I liked it. It was an intense story that was on the sad side, but it was really well done.

Brittany: I liked it too. It felt a little long though, especially the first act. It’s funny because most the time when shows don’t have an intermission it bothers me and I’m like “Ahh, give me a break, I need a break.” This is a show I feel like could have been cut down with no ill effect and done without an intermission. We lost a chunk of audience members at intermission, which is too bad for them because I thought the second act was really strong.

K: Yeah, It had really slow start but it picked up at the second act. The second act was intense. Overall, they cast really great actors and had an amazingly inventive set, lighting design and costumes.

B: It was set in an interesting time period, during the time of Jim Crow laws, after the emancipation of slaves, but slavery is still really fresh in a lot of people’s minds. The show took an interesting look at the hierarchy within the African American community, which doesn’t often get talked about in theater. Although it was definitely a show grappling with the African American experience, a lot of the themes and family drama it explored told a universal story too.

The Verdict: If you love drama this show doesn’t hold back in that department. Go see it, and stay for the second act. It takes a while for the story to warm up, but once it gets going it gets powerful.

The Drama Talk: Overall an entertaining, intense, well told story about a different time. As usual Magic doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to design. An impressive set, lighting and sound give the small cast just enough to set the scene, without distracting from their raw performances, especially the knockout performance by Adrian Roberts who played Charles.

The Drinks: If you haven’t been to Fort Mason’s Off the Grid on Friday nights this show is a great excuse to check it out. Grab a bite before the show and a drink and do some skee ball after the show. It really makes for an entertaining Friday night out. The night we went was pretty chilly, it’s almost Summer after all, so we both got warm spiced wine and stood under a heat lamp (of which there were plenty) while discussing the completely different world and time we just experienced.

Pen/Man/Ship runs through 6/15 at the the Magic Theatre, and tickets can be purchased through their website. Ticket prices vary from $20-$60 depending on where you sit.

And in a drought like this!

UPDATE: KTVU has more on the story of a truck smashing into a fire hydrant and “one man whose shoes and feet got soaked during the brief flooding.”

Jeepers Treepers

Drama Talk & Drinks: Mr. Irresistible

Interview edition! Here’s Brittany and Katie’s report:

A few days after Brittany attended a Jazzy-Hip-Hop dance class at City Dance, a review request came across the DT&D desk (aka email) for a new musical, Mr. Irresistible, by D’Arcy Drollinger & Christopher Winslow. Still sore from all the booty-popping, Brittany recognized D’Arcy’s name as her fabulous dance instructor. We decided this would be the perfect opportunity to do a pre-show chat and get our groove on. So we donned our spandex and leg warmers, and went to D’Arcy’s Sunday Skool Sexitude dance class. After an hour and a half of sexitudeiness, we sat down with D’Arcy to get the scoop on his new show Mr. Irresistible that opens tonight!

Brittany: How did Mr. Irresistible come to be?

D’Arcy Drollinger: When I first moved to New York, I had a dare going with my friend. She was going to write a novel in 45 days, and I was going to write a full musical in 45 days, and so that’s actually when I started writing Mr. Irresistible, early in ’98. Flash forward to about a year ago, I had been talking with the artistic director at ODC, and I told her about this show I had never completed, and she liked the idea, so I began an artist residency at ODC. At the time I was also working on a different piece with Christopher Winslow, the composer of this show, a musical parody of Flowers in the Attic. So I asked him if he wanted to take a break from that and work on Mr. Irresistible. We spent six months tearing apart the old show, rewriting the songs and putting it back together. After readings at ODC, La Mama offered us a two week workshop in New York, which sold out, then we got a letter from SFAC that we got a seed grant to produce the show here and add in a lot more of the video elements, so we started looking for a theater.

Katie: Tell us a little about the show.

D’Arcy: This show starts as a real traditional musical, and then about ⅓ the way through it, it turns into a horror musical, when Mr. Irresistible starts killing everyone because he doesn’t understand metaphor. At the end, it turns into The Terminator, an action thriller with laser fights. It gets a little dark and heavy, but it’s still a happy ending.

K: I hate to be the person who asks this, but are there “concessions”?

D’Arcy: There are drinks, people can can buy booze before the show, and during intermission. Unfortunately it can’t come into the theater.

B: You’ve worked and lived in NY and SF, but made SF your homebase, how’s it working out for you?  Is this a viable place to make a career as an actor or artist?

D’Arcy: I was born in San Francisco, and then in junior high we moved to Nevada City, so I grew up there. I came back to SF for college at SF State, then a few years after college I was transferred to New York for work. New York is such an industry. I was missing the lifestyle here. The food, the mellow pace. I love New York, especially for the theater and the dance, but it has been better for me to be a Bay Area local artist. I have a community here that rallies around what I do. I think that’s the great thing about San Francisco audiences, they really rally around things. I’ve been making a decent living here making theater, which is CRAZY. If I didn’t know anybody here, I don’t think this would be the first place I would come to do theater. As I’m sure you know, in the last couple years this place has become so expensive and so many small venues have had to close. But there’s a lot of community support that’s hard to get like somewhere in New York.

K: What do you think about the future of theater and arts in San Francisco?

D’Arcy: I wish places like Google and Twitter would invest in more nightlife experiences for people that work for them that aren’t just bars. To keep this as a first class city we can’t destroy the downtown underground arts scene, and only have the big touring shows and a bunch of bars and nothing in between. People want hip stuff to do. I did a lot to make Rebel into a cabaret space, because there wasn’t anything like that, and now someone bought the building and is turning it into condos. I’m working very hard with some partners to create a cabaret space within a bar, where we can have a little more security knowing the building won’t be sold out from under us. But we need more viable nightlife, and a place for smaller productions.

B: What is your hope for Mr. Irresistible next?

D’Arcy: I’ve done nine musicals, and in a way this feels like my most commercial venture. It’s wacky, it has the love story, the thriller aspect, you’ve got your gay characters, you’ve got your drag queens, you’ve got Joey the Exterminator who the straight guys can identify with, it’s got the Sci-Fi aspect so all the Sci-Fi nerds can geek out on that. I could see this being a fun regional show. Start with a bigger production here, and then tour it, but with San Francisco roots. I can’t wait to show it to everyone. I feel so fortunate.

 

Mr. Irresistible runs June 4 – 8, 2014, Wednesday – Saturday at 8:00 pm and Sunday at 7:00 pm at the Alcazar Theatre (650 Geary St. in SF). Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased on the Mr. Irresistible eventbrite page. There are also half priced tickets available on Goldstar. Even if you can’t make it out to this show, make sure to check out one of D’Arcy’s incredibly fun sex-positive dance classes, or another one of his many upcoming shows.

Show love for your Bay Area actors, and do your part to keep SF a first-class arts city.

 

 

Ariel Dovas

Posts: 692

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.