Drama Talk & Drinks: Fun Home – “The real mixed in with the magical.”

If you follow theater in San Francisco you probably heard about the grand-reopening of the Curran Theater last week, following two years of extensive renovations (creating both more bars and more bathrooms – win!).  Our Drama Talk & Drinks crew was on the scene to see what all the fuss was about. As Jan Whal, KRON 4’s theater critic said “all the best people” were there.

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom kicked off the night honoring Carole Shorenstein Hays, the owner of the Curran who spearheaded the effort to revitalize this important arts hub in San Francisco. Noting in his remarks “In San Francisco we celebrate diversity, not just tolerate it” Gavin laid out one of the themes for the evening; San Francisco and its arts community are sanctuaries for all. It was a fitting introduction to the show of the night, Fun Home, a Tony award winning musical based on the graphic memoir (by the same name) written by lesbian cartoonist Alison Bechdel.

Fun Home Program Cover - by Alison Bechdel

Fun Home Program Cover – by Alison Bechdel

Brittany: That was a very cool experience. It’s neat to be out tonight celebrating theater, celebrating a play about being queer, celebrating freedom of expression. It feels more important now. It’s also a great story.

Katie: I liked it too. I was actually pleasantly surprised. I’ve listened to the soundtrack and wasn’t that into it, but now I know why. The songs really depend on the strong story, which you don’t really get listening to the CD.

B: It also helps that this production had great actors with great voices.

K: True! I also really appreciated how simple and stripped down the show was. It didn’t rely on big flashy Broadway ballads, but just simple, truthful songs. It was nice. The scene when Alison’s character is in college (played by Abby Corrigan) and has her first sexual experience with a girl was my favorite. It was charming, simple and full of discoveries. Just her, in her underwear, and her date asleep in the bed. It was refreshing to see such a human moment in a Broadway musical.

B: College aged Allison was just so perfectly awkward and innocent. My favorite song was the one with older Alison in the car with her Dad (Robert Petkoff). I loved it. You could just feel the tension between them, and so much love, and confusion, and pain, and excitement too. I thought that was a really great moment for both of them.

K: It was really nice to see a simple, edgy but relatable family story as a mainstream musical finally.  I really think we are there. I don’t need anymore huge generic Broadway spectacles. I want the real mixed in with the magical. That’s when I’m really moved. This show moved me.

The Verdict: The renovated Curran is beautiful, and Fun Home is the perfect play to welcome back this San Francisco artistic hub. Go check it out!

The Drama Talk: The cover of the program (above) has an audience member leaving Fun Home saying “That was exactly like my family! But totally different!” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. By showing an ordinary, yet still extraordinary, life on stage Fun Home helps all of us recognize the value in simple moments. During the pre-show red carpet we got a chance to ask Alison Bechdel what she wanted the audience to take away from the evening. She replied “I’m trying so hard to not be completely despairing right now. We are here, celebrating this thing, while the world is going to fucking hell. It’s very strange. What I would say is that it’s important for us all to keep doing our work. To keep doing the things we love and that are important to us. We have to keep doing that. It might seem trivial but it’s not.”  Theater illuminates, it heals, it helps us empathize, all things we’re going to need a lot of these next few years. Fortunately San Francisco has the Curran back in action ready to be a sanctuary for all.

The Drinks: A big part of the Curran’s renovation is the addition of three new bars  on each level of the audience. In honor of opening night bars stayed open after the show, pouring California wines, and giving the audience the opportunity to snoop around the new space. Fortunately for you, the Curran website says that this isn’t just a one-night thing. They plan to make a practice of keeping the doors open for post-show drinks. So no need to venture far for your drama talk and drinks.

Fun Home runs through February 19th at the Curran Theater. Tickets are available through the Curran website and range from $49-185 depending on where you sit. If you buy a ticket to Fun Home or Eclipsed, the next production slated for the Curran, you automatically become a Curran Club member. A Curran Club membership gives you special access to VIP events, ticket discounts and supposedly other dope deals, so one more reason to catch this show before it’s gone.

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Super Bowl Sunday at Pop’s Bar!

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This Sunday. It’s On. Live from Houston: New England Patriots vs. Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51. The Patriots are headed to their ninth Super Bowl while the Falcons are making their second trip. Will Tom Brady get his 5th Super Bowl ring? Will Matt Ryan and Julio Jones bring home their first championship title? But on to the important stuff…who will have the best commercial and what will Lady Gaga do during the halftime show? Catch every single moment on Pops Bar big screens with full audio of the game. Plus enjoy Pops Bar famous happy hour till 7pm!

This week’s entertainment line up at Pops Bar:

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Spin The Night

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Spin The Night at Pops Bar is a fun boozy filled evening showcasing the local heroes working hard to keep the music scene alive and well in San Francisco. No particular genre, just music that inspires us to party on. This Wednesday features Miss LonelyHeart. Come out and support your local music scene!

Check out this week’s full entertainment line up at Pops Bar:

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Bowie Birthday Bash!

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Two nights, TONS of Bowie, at the Chapel right here in the Mission. And it sounds epic. Here are the specifics on Friday night:

The world’s only Bowie Worship Band will perform the seminal 1972 concept album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars! Reverent Father Lysol Tony-Romeo and some of San Francisco’s most eclectic drag artists will tell the Parable of Ziggy with a theatrical Silversexual Spectacular performed to live music!

Doors open at 8:30pm with a DJ spinning glam rock gold!
With mirrors and a place for you to get in fabulous face! Confess your most sinful stories to a real Bowie Reverend in the Silversexual Confession Booth!

At 10:30 the First Church performs the complete Ziggy Stardust album with interpretive drag and theatrical performance!

Then at midnight, a special Blasphemous Mass bringing you Silversexual rites and rituals to live music! Get Blessed by Bowie!

Friday tickets here; Saturday tickets here.

Neighborhood NYE & First Responders Party!

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Let’s face it NYE is often amateur hour. Avoid the drama and spend New Years in the neighborhood with your friends at Pops Bar. We’ll have Resident DJ Sector ringing in 2017. The best part? This NYE party is free all night! Then as begin 2017, we open bright and early at 6am for all you first responders coming off your shift. You served all night, now we serve you!

This week’s entertainment line up at Pops Bar:

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Benefit for Oakland fire this Friday at Artists’ Television Access on Valencia Street

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Here’s the invite:

In light of our friends’ recent tragedy

ATA is holding a benefit for all who have been affected by the Oakland Ghost Ship fire. Please join us for a night of live performances, visual art, music and much more.

More details soon.

ATA is a timewarp into a different era of the Mission. If you’ve never been… RSVP and invite your friends!

Oakland Fire benefit party this Wednesday night at El Rio

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It’s called “Yours Truly, A benefit for the victims of the Ghost Ship fire,” it’s got lots of local talent, and it kicks off at 9pm, this Wednesday. Here’s the invite:

“Not everything has to be on the main road, sometimes you find paradise in the smallest places” – Frankie Knuckles

Fellow Dream Makers,
Our community has been struck by a tremendous loss this past weekend. We admire your resilience and honor your commitment to the collective magic. We are strongest together. Like many of you we are at a loss for words. We all find solace, however, in our community.

This Wednesday night Hard French and El Rio invite you to gather, embrace, share, be, dance, sing or just get some air with family while we honor our fallen primos in Oakland.

Featuring
DJs
Hard French with DJ Carnita and Brown Amy
Carlos Souffront
Vin Sol (Club Lonely , Soo Wavey)
Josh Cheon (Honey Soundsystem, Dark Entries)
More TBA

Bands
Thao (Thao +TGDSD)
Tender Forever
Scott Moore (Live Set)
Hot Lunch

RSVP and invite your friends!

And for other ways to help, KQED put together this helpful list of links.

New Years 2017 at Pops Bar

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Wondering what to do this New Years? We’ve got you covered. Stay local this New Years Eve and enjoy a party for the neighborhood with Pops Bar resident DJ Sektor. Take all the drama out of NYE and enjoy great party jams with us all night. Working this New Years Eve? We’ve got happy hour with our bacon bloody marys going for you at 6am on Sunday, January 1st 2017. A special First Responders Party for those of you who served all night. Now we serve you!

Check out this week’s entertainment line up at Pops Bar:

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Big Kids helping Little Kids

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This Saturday, Your ignorant party rap party “Champagne Campaign” will be collecting new toys for kids in the neighborhood at Pops Bar. Bring new wrapped or unwrapped toys to donate and stick around for the best party jams from local DJs Sake One & Baysik. DJ Sake One was recently honored in San Francisco’s Bay Guardian’s Best of the Bay 2016. A true veteran of the Bay Area hip hop and music scene, DJ Sake One is a born and raised renaissance man, known to doing anything from community projects to opening up for big acts such as Mos Def or Kanye West. Whether it’s soulful lounge tracks or bass-filled remixes, his talent and musical palate does not discriminate. So big mission kids, come out, dance all night and help out our neighborhood kids have happy holidays.

This week’s entertainment line up at Pops Bar:

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Scenes from a DEVO vs. Talking Heads party a couple weekends ago at El Rio

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The bands were killer (Suburban Robots, our local DEVO cover band, play December 9th at the Ivy Room in the East Bay between a Cure cover band and a Pixies cover band!!), the patio was packed and the weather was nice, and the whiskey was flowin’ (thanks to my pals at Jameson Irish Whiskey and all the Jameson Black Barrel they bought us as part of all the good work they do for the Movember charity!). Thanks, everybody! What a night!!

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Lots more pics after the jump…

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