Drama Talk & Drinks: The King and I – “If Rodgers and Hammerstein are your jam…”

After a week of post-election depression we decided to see if some Broadway magic could brighten our outlook on life. Hamilton had been our post-election playlist, but since that’s not coming to SF until next year, we decided to check-out the classic The King and I which is currently playing at the Golden Gate Theater.

The King And I

Brittany: You would think a week after election day would be a great time to go see a Broadway musical, because it would take your mind off all this stuff.

Katie: (laughs) Right, that’s what you’d think. We need singing and dancing. But gosh this is probably one of the worst musicals for people, especially women, to see to make them feel better about what’s going on in the world.

B: Right, it’s like let’s be a little racist, let’s throw some Western exceptionalism in there….

K: …and some misogyny.

B: Oh yeah, you can’t forget to add a lot of misogyny! And just kinda laugh about it. I don’t know, maybe we’re way off base. I understand that at the time this play was written (ed. note: in 1951) acknowledging that Taiwanese people are not barbarians was probably a revolutionary statement, even if it’s done while perpetuating Asian stereotypes. I’m sure having a single women stand-up to an Emperor in any way must have seemed so progressive.

K: But when Anna would stand up to the King, it was like one step forward and three steps back. She’d say “No I won’t be treated like this!” and then five minutes later she’d be like “Oh, NBD, I’m just a women. I’m probably overreacting when I yell that you should not whip one of your many slave-wives for running away because she doesn’t want to be married to you. It’s cool, sorry I was upset.”

B: And that whole refusing to give her a house thing.

K: Yeah! She’s all like “I’m putting down my foot and won’t stay here if you don’t pay me what was promised and give me my house.” Then the story fast forwards to a year and half later and she’s singing in the classroom with his wives and kids still without the damn house! Really, Anna? What happened this last year and a half? WHY ARE YOU STILL THERE!

B: This is just our liberal elite bubble Katie, we are out of touch with The King and I.

K: I guess so. This show is for somebody, but it’s poor timing for us.

B: I mean it was a beautiful looking show, the sets were amazing. It was a great production.

K: People did seem to be enjoying themselves. The women who played Anna, was just awesome. What an actress. What a voice! She really owned that stage. I couldn’t stop watching her. It’s just a very old-timey type of musical. I personally don’t like Broadway classics as well as more contemporary musicals, they’re a bit too corny for me. The King and I  just doesn’t feel very relevant anymore. It’s just not exciting.

B: Yeah it is a Rodgers and Hammerstein. Which, when you feel like Hamilton, is a bit of a let down. (laughs) But if Rodgers and Hammerstein are your jam…

K: True, if you’re looking for nostalgia, and you like this kind of musical you’d probably love it.

The Verdict: Beautiful production, and well sung Broadway standards, but unless you love this play already it may be better to pick another piece of theater to get you out of your post-election funk.

The Drama Talk: We personally don’t think this show ages very well, although this production was well done. If you’re a huge fan of Broadway classics, and are better at appreciating this play in the context of when it was written than we are, you may love it.  The sets are really amazing. There are some really impressive dance numbers, and some great renditions of well loved songs. But, if you’re not into musical theater, and as fed up with casual racism and misogyny as we are, it’s probably not a great pick for you.

The Drinks: Monarch’s The Emperor’s Drawing Room seemed aptly named for this show, so we decided to check it out for post-show drinks. While not the most ideal venue for a quiet post-show conversation, a good strong classic cocktails seemed the best way to dull the heartache.

The King and I runs through December 11th at the Golden Gate Theater. There are $40 both virtual and in-person rush tickets available. You can check-out the SHN website for rush instructions. Goldstar also currently has tickets for $50-75 (normally priced $65-150).

Drama Talk & Drinks: Our Enemies: Lively Scenes of Love and Combat – “It was refreshing”

Golden Thread Productions has been on the DT&D radar for a while, but bad timing has stopped us from reviewing one of their shows…until now. They’re wrapping up their 20th season with a West-Coast premiere of Our Enemies: Lively Scenes of Love and Combat by Egyptian-American playwright Yussef El Guindi, so off we went to Thick House theater in Potrero Hill for a night of Drama Talk and Drinks.

James Asher as Gamal (left)  and Kunal Prasad as Mohsen (right)

James Asher as Gamal (left) and Kunal Prasad as Mohsen (right)

Katie: Wow. What a great story. A good set, good lighting, good acting, and good writing that was deep but also funny. It’s cool to have a theater company focused on stories from the Middle East. I feel like this play offered a well rounded and balanced perspective that often doesn’t get onstage.

Brittany: I agree. It was refreshing to have a show give voice to so many nuanced and authentic perspectives, while still being entertaining. It would be easy for a play that’s dealing with frustration about the way Arab-Americans are represented in American media to get preachy or pedantic. This play stuck to good storytelling and somehow avoided that. I thought that it was a really honest play.

K: I loved the actress who played Noor (Denmo Ibrahim). She was so authentic and in the moment. It was great to watch her find so many discoveries in all her lines. There were moments when she was onstage and I forgot I was watching a play.

B: I loved her too. I also really liked the character of the Sheikh’s son, Hani (Salim Razawi). His monologue emails back from visiting his family in Egypt were really lovely. Overall a pretty strong cast.

K: There just isn’t a reason not to see this show.

B: And it’s cool that it’s Golden Threads 20th anniversary. It’s entertaining, and engaging…

K: It’s unpredictable.

B: It isn’t a perspective you necessarily get to hear a lot either. People should absolutely go see it.

The Verdict: Go see it! It’s a smart, refreshing, and all around engaging night at the theater.

The Drama Talk: This is Golden Thread Productions 20th anniversary year. They are the first American theatre company who is dedicated to focusing on the Middle East and producing “passionate and provocative plays… that celebrate the multiplicity of its perspectives and identities.” Our Enemies does just that. By focusing on three intersecting storylines the show shares the struggle of the Arab American community as it tries to define itself. Families fight and sometimes those who are most like us can be the most frustrating. The heartfelt and multidimensional characters in this play show us how we can sometimes be our own worst enemies.

The Drinks: As is often the case when we go to a show at the Thick House, we decided to head up the hill to Blooms Saloon for great city views and cheap drinks. If you’re looking for a nearby place to get into the spirit of the play though, consider hitting up Pera before the show for some awesome Turkish food. They close too early to be a good post-show option.

Our Enemies: Lively Scenes of Love and Combat runs through November 20th at Thick House. Tickets are $34 for general admission and $24 for students and seniors and can be purchased on their website.Tickets are also available on Goldstar on select nights for $17.

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Drama Talk & Drinks: The Lion King – “I have some great feedback but apparently so do the speakers”

The Lion King was my favorite movie as a kid. I’ll admit, I even performed it in the back yard with my brother and sister. So when the stage musical version hit Broadway in 1997 I desperately wanted to see it, but it wasn’t until this week that I got the chance. Not only was it a musical of my favorite Disney movie but it was being directed by my favorite director Julie Taymor, who was the first woman to win a Tony for Best Direction. Brittany couldn’t make it so I had my star back up guest reviewer, Garrett, attend with me.

 Lion King Musical
Garrett: Well, I have some great feedback but apparently so do the speakers.

Katie: Ooohhhh, good one.

G: It was a bit jarring to experience sound and technical difficulties so severe that they had to stop the show, but after I got over that the show was great.

K: I’ve never experienced that level of technical difficulties at a professional musical. A first for me for sure.

G: I thought the show was incredible though, especially the costumes. What I didn’t love were the filler songs. The songs that were not in the movie that they added to fill out the show. It was fun to see the characters from the movie that I loved so much.

K: This show really had me at the opening number, so many actors in elaborate animal costumes killing the “circle of life”. But there was such a high in the first 30 mins, and then with the disruption of the technical difficulties, I never really got that high back. It was still an amazing piece of theater, but I might have gone in with too high of expectations.

The Verdict: While there were some technical difficulties in the production we say, this is still a must-see for anyone who loved the Lion King movie. The nostalgia is so worth it. It’s like watching the movie but better.

The Drama Talk: The costumes, set design and the amazing original songs make this show special. It’s no mystery why it won Tony awards for best costumes and set design. However, not every part of this adaptation of the film is award winning. The added filler songs were mediocre and due to sound issues it was sometimes hard to understand who was speaking and what exactly they were saying. Also, the stage version really loses momentum in the second act. Luckily the first act makes the whole show worth it.

The Drinks: We headed to our go-to post Orpheum spot with good cocktails Dirty Water. There we had plenty of space to have a drink and take a long walk down The Lion King memory lane.

Drama Talk & Drinks: Shocktoberfest 17: Pyramid of Freaks – “Let your freak flag fly”

Halloween season is here! That means it’s time for another year of Thrillpeddlers’ annual Shocktoberfest; a festival of Grand Guignol horror theatre. Shocktoberfest 17: Pyramid of Freaks promises an evening of ‘terror and titillation’, all in the Thrillpeddlers purpose-built horror theatre the Hypnodrome. Never wanting to miss a night of titillating theater, off we went to SOMA for a night of drama talk and drinks.

Pyramid of Freaks

Brittany: I don’t know if I have just been to Burning Man one too many times, or have seen enough Thrillpeddlers shows that I’m a little jaded, but it was so much less shocking than I thought it was going to be. Yes you had some sodomy, some penises, a little bestiality, but it was much more tame than I remember last year’s Shocktoberfest.

Katie: I didn’t see last year’s Halloween show, but I did see another one of their regular season shows, and it was a lot more rated X than this one. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed this one either. This time I was just super entertained, even if some of the acting was a little rough around the edges, the vignettes were short and sweet and kept me engaged.

B: So true, they didn’t go too far this time, and I think it made it a stronger show.  It’s so fun how much the audience gets into it too. That’s what I love about every Thrillpeddlers show. It’s not just the actors having fun, the audience is having a blast . It’s easy to forgive some pacing issues, and a few too many scene changes, when everyone is having a great time.

K: It’s a great show to see for Halloween. I’m not a fan of horror movies, and don’t love a lot of gore and blood, but even I still had fun. I did have to look down a couple of times, like when he was ripping people’s hearts out literally, but even during the lights out spook show at the end it never went so far I felt uncomfortably creeped-out. It was just a cool different experience.

B: Thrillpeddlers does a great job creating an experience. From the moment you enter the door of the Hypnodrome and hear the pre-show band playing you feel like you enter a different world.

K: It sounds odd, given the subject matter, but I got this warm and fuzzy feeling about the whole show. It’s such a great community. This free spirited attitude of let your freak flag fly, do what feels good, be in costume, sing, dance, hoot and holler, be whoever you want to be. It makes me happy there’s still a community of avant garde San Francisco artists around to put on a fun night of spooky, bawdy, sexual, twilight zoney, old school San Francisco theater.

The Verdict: Looking for something to do this Halloween? Go see this show! Definitely not for kids, or for your friend who can’t sit through a rated R movie, but a great night of sexy scary fun theater.

The Drama Talk: Thrillpeddlers does a great job creating fun, sick, sexy and twisted worlds. Done in the style of Grand Guignol  Pyramid of Freaks is made up of four vignettes with a black out spookshow finale. Great costumes, cool lights, neat special effects and lots and lots of fake blood make for some memorably spooky scenes. Although there are some strong actors and singers, this show is more about the experience than it is the quality of the performances. While all of the vignettes had some good moments, the second one in the series, The Hellgramite Method, written and adapted for the Thrillpeddlers by William Selby, the original writer of the Twilight Zone episode by the same name, stood out as the one that will give you nightmares. In the same way a haunted house can bring people together, by making you grab your friends hand in terror, Shocktoberfest creates community by letting people share in a ridiculous evening of gory sexy Halloween inspired inappropriateness.

The Drinks: The Hypnodrome isn’t near much, so we decided to go back to the Mission to the Armory Club, to continue the night of spooky sexiness. Katie got the Zombie Princess  and Brittany got the Bawd Rye, and we toasted to San Francisco and the wonderful freaks and artists that still make this city great.

Thrillpeddlers Shocktoberfest 17: Pyramid of Freaks runs until November 19th, with shows Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm. Ticket are available on their website and are $30 for general admission or $35 for the front row or one of the specially decorated “Shock Boxes”. There were tickets on Goldstar, which have now sold-out, but it’s worth checking to see if more become available when you go to purchase.

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Drama Talk & Drinks: Hedwig and the Angry Inch “a wild interactive rock concert with heart”

When Hedwig and the Angry Inch was on Broadway in 2014 with Neil Patrick Harris as Hedwig, we had friends who flew to New York just to see it. These aren’t super theatre nerds either, just people who love this show. So when we heard it was coming to SF with Darren Criss and Lena Hall, we knew we needed to see it. Unfortunately for her, Brittany caught a nasty cold and couldn’t make it the night we had tickets. This gave Katie the opportunity to invite her Aunt Deirdre, an actress whom Katie credits for originally instilling in her a love of the theatre, to join her for some Drama Talk and Drinks.

Photo by Joan Marcus

Photo by Joan Marcus

Katie: So, what did you think?

Deirdre: I thought it was unexpected. I have to admit I liked it way more than I even thought I would. The audience participation was great. It was almost more like being at a comedy club than a broadway musical. I loved all the San Francisco references, it made people feel even more part of it. You feel like you aren’t seeing the same show that you would see in Chicago. At first I wasn’t very sold on Lena’s part (Yitzhak), but I loved her by the end and wanted more of her. I thought Darren (Criss) was truly amazing. His physical abilities, vocal abilities, his humor, his timing. Fantastic.

K: Agreed! He (Darren Criss) carried the show so well, but I just couldn’t take my eyes off Yitzhak (Lena Hall). Even though her part isn’t the center of attention, she was fascinating to watch. I also loved the set, especially the use of the scrim that came down during the song “Origin of Love”. The projections of the animations were freaking incredible. I felt like I was watching the most awesome hour-and-a-half music video.

D: The most powerful moment for me was Hedwig’s last song, where he took off the wig and costume. When he was done, and the lights came up, not one person broke the silence, he did it so well. The whole audience was so taken by that moment; we didn’t clap and it was silent for at least 30 seconds and then the guitarist started playing and they started singing again. Such masterful direction. It was an incredibly touching moment to have that huge audience so moved that they couldn’t clap, they just had to be present in the moment. Amazing.

K: This show went by so fast for me and I love that it had no intermission. I want to see this again with Lena Hall as Hedwig!

D: I got it, here is my tagline for you: “It’s a wild interactive rock concert with a heart, and an amazing pair of gold shoes!”

K: Nice! We can use that.

The Verdict: One word “wow”. This show is moving, funny, beautiful. Get your tickets now. This show is worth every penny.

The Drama Talk: Hedwig and the Angry Inch was all around spectacular. From the story, to the actors, to the direction, to the band, to the set and lighting design, it was truly an amazing show. Literally everyone should go see it, because everyone who was in that audience (which was a pretty diverse audience) seemed to have a great time. It’s not your typical Broadway experience. In fact, at times it feels more like a rock concert or a cabaret comedy show, but the ridiculously talented actors, and amazing production totally live up to Broadway quality. Darren Criss’ Hedwig couldn’t be better, and it’s so clear why Lena Hall won the Tony for this. It’s worth every penny, despite the pricey tickets.

The Drinks: We headed up the street a block to another theatrical venue Pianofight, because we didn’t want the theatrical night to end. We had some wine and listened to an accordion playing duo as we beamed about the show.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch runs through October 30th at the Golden Gate Theatre. Tickets range from $50 – $212 and are available through the SHN website. They are doing in-person AND mobile $40 rush tickets, which is pretty cool (Click here for more info). There are also currently some tickets on Goldstar selling for $50-$70.

 

Drama Talk & Drinks: The Brothers Size “There was a lot of yelling”

We love seeing theater that challenges the norm and we had a feeling that Theatre Rhino’s production of The Brothers Size, which is a play about two brothers, the Louisiana bayou, and West African mythology, would do just that. So we headed to the outskirts of the Financial District to the Eureka Theatre for some Drama Talk & Drinks.

Pictured left to right: Lakeidrick S. Wimberly as Ogun, Gabriel Christian as Oshoosi, and Julian Green as Elegba. Photo by Steven Ho.

Pictured left to right: Lakeidrick S. Wimberly as Ogun, Gabriel Christian as Oshoosi, and Julian Green as Elegba. Photo by Steven Ho.

Katie: I’m dying to hear your thoughts.

Brittany: It’s a cool play. I think it is highly likely that those actors did exactly what they were told to do. It was just so slow and so indulgent. They tried to milk every single second of drama out of the play to the point that it was no longer dramatic.

K:  I feel like I was yelled at. The actors stayed at one level of intensity most of the play, and when that happens it really turns me off.  I feel like I lost a lot of the story, which was a beautiful story.

B: Yeah, there was a lot of yelling. The stakes were so emotionally high the whole time it didn’t give the play anywhere to go. I don’t think they were bad actors, I just think they were not given good direction.

K: There was also a lot of huffing and puffing, a technique that actors often over use to indicate they are frustrated or angry, that really drives me crazy.

B: I did really like the movement and physicality of the actors, they were definitely present and focused. Also, the set and sound design were cool. The two brothers had a really lovely moment at the end where I really felt like wow, you guys really care about each other, I felt that emotional connection. But that was just one moment in what should have been a much more moving play.

K: I agree, so many aspects of this production didn’t hit the mark, so for me it makes the whole production meh.

The Verdict: Beautifully written play. Such a great story, just not told in a way that let us fully take in its glory. However, if you are hungry for a show that isn’t the typical narrative, we would say this piece is worth checking out.

The Drama Talk: We wanted to like this show so badly. A cool play, important themes, diverse actors, and a theater company with a great mission, but this production of The Brother’s Size fell short. While there was some good physical work, and a few touching moments, most of the time the actors were acting so hard that they ended up losing the beautiful language given to them.

The Drinks: Since this piece was set in the bayou, we thought some New Orleans-inspired cocktails would be appropriate. Luckily we found that only 3 blocks away on the embarcadero at Hard Water.

The Brothers Size runs through October 15th at the Eureka Theatre. It’s one hour and 40 minutes with no intermission. Tickets can be purchased through their website and range from $15-$40. Right now there are tickets on Goldstar from $0-17.50.

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Drama Talk & Drinks: The Shipment “Laughter is a place to start”

It’s not often you hear about a hilarious black identity-politics play. So when we heard that Crowded Fire Theater was doing the Bay Area premiere of Korean-American playwright Young Jean Lee’s play, The Shipment, we knew it was time for a night of Drama Talks & Drinks.

William Hartfield and Nican Robinson open Crowded Fire’s THE SHIPMENT with gravity-defying choreography. Photo by Pak Han

William Hartfield and Nican Robinson open Crowded Fire’s THE SHIPMENT.
Photo by Pak Han

Brittany: I thought it was good. The opening was so energetic. From a theater-history standpoint the script was fun too. All the different vignettes were nods to different types of performance, from minstrel shows, to stand-up comedy, to Brecht, to a modern tv show. When viewed together they critiqued the way African Americans have been and are portrayed, but it did so without forcing the audience to sit through a history lesson.

Katie: I liked the different pieces individually, but despite some strong performances, I don’t think it flowed very well between them.

B: You’re right. It took me a minute to get into each piece. Once I got into it, it was great, but those transitions felt abrupt.

K: I constantly felt like I was playing catch-up when a new section began, because you had to get used to a totally different style of theater and different characters. An impressive feat for the actors. There were a lot of layers in there, which made it interesting, but I felt like I was missing a lot. I wish I had read the script first.

B: I do too, it was definitely a smart play. It left me more contemplative than emotionally impacted though. I appreciate that the final piece made the audience confront implicit biases, but I wish there had been a call to action. Laughter is a place to start, but I don’t think it pushed the audience far enough given our current news cycle.

K: Crowded Fire is doing cool new works though, and I appreciate that. It’s important that they’re supporting writers of color, actors of color, directors of color, and bringing in more diverse audiences. This play hit all those marks, and I enjoyed it.

The Verdict: Go see it! It’s an interesting play, with strong performances, and an important message.

The Drama Talk: While some of the messages in this 2009 play may not feel as revolutionary as they did when it originally premiered, it’s still a smart play which reminds us of the long history of racial bias in the media and thereby in our culture. It was an interesting and thought provoking night at the theater.

The Drinks: Crowded Fire’s theater tends to get pretty warm. Warm enough that the night we went they had fans on everyone’s seats.  After the show we needed a refreshing drink to cool us down so we headed up the hill to Bloom’s Saloon for great views and cheap gin and tonics.

The Shipment runs through October 15th at The Thick House theater. Tickets range from $15-30 and can be purchased on the Crowded Fire website.

Drama Talk & Drinks: Interview with Lena Hall of Hedwig and the Angry Inch (aka Katie’s new girl crush)

A rock musical about a genderqueer East German singer named Hedwig is coming to town, and we think you should know about it. If you were a moody aughts theater kid like us, you probably saw the movie Hedwig and the Angry Inch when it came out about 15 years ago:

What is extra exciting about this tour is the leading actors, Darren Criss (made famous by Glee) and Lena Hall (Tony Award Winner for her role in Hedwig and recent guest star on HBO’s Girls), are both San Francisco natives.

Katie was lucky enough to have a phone chat with Lena Hall before she headed to SF to kick-off the tour. We learned that she grew up in the Haight, was raised by parents who were dancers, attended Ruth Asawa School of the Arts in Diamond Heights, is a fierce supporter of arts for young people and is Katie’s new girl crush.

Lena Hall in her Tony Award winning role of Yitzhak in Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Lena Hall in her Tony Award winning role of Yitzhak in Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Katie: How have you seen the arts scene change in San Francisco since you were a kid?

Lena: I feel like the arts scene is very different from when I was growing up, in fact I think it’s a lot less (art) than when I was growing up, which is unfortunate. A lot of it has to do with the rising prices of rent. I grew up in the Haight-Ashbury, Upper Haight, and it used to be so colorful and different. Now it’s starting to lose its soul. Part of what made, and makes, San Francisco so great is that it has so much culture; but that culture is starting to get squandered by money. The arts are what makes the city appealing, the arts are what make a city viable and interesting. I hope there will be the desire to focus on that and emphasize the arts in San Francisco.

K: What is making you excited to perform Hedwig here in San Francisco?

L: I’ve never done a big production in SF, so this will be my first big show home coming. I get to perform the role that I won the Tony Award for, which is really cool, but what is really, really cool is that I get to play Hedwig! It’s like the year of the woman, we are just as badass as the guys are and guess what? I’m doing both roles in the same production, and will do both roles on the same day. I’m so in love with this show, and it’s such an honor and opportunity to play both roles. I’m beyond grateful for it.  I’m just so excited to bring it home and do this in our home town.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch opens next week!  If you want to see some homegrown celebrities rock it in a very San Francisco musical go out and get your tickets now.  Right now there are still tickets on Goldstar for opening night or you can get tickets on the SHN website. Drama Talk & Drinks will be seeing the show and reporting back. If it’s half as great as Lena, it’s going to be fabulous!

*If you want to see Lena make history being the first female to play Hedwig in a major Broadway tour, make sure to go on the following days: Sunday, October 9 at 7pm, Wednesday, October 12 at 8pm, Wednesday, October 19 at 8pm, and Wednesday, October 26 at 8pm.

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Drama Talk & Drinks: The Ice Cream Sandwich Incident – “someone ate my goddamn ice cream sandwich”

We try not to miss our chance to see a show at PianoFight, after all what’s better than food, drinks and theater all in one place? We are particularly glad we didn’t miss The Ice Cream Sandwich Incident, a new play by Barry Eitel (head writer of Boxcar Theater’s 2014 production of Speakeasy) that looks at what happens when you put together a crew of four oddballs on experimental space mission….to nowhere. If you haven’t experienced a Faultline Theater show at the PianoFight venue, this is the show to do it.

icecreamsandwich

Brittany: That was fun.

Katie: It was really fun. I love that the play was a walking, talking social experiment. Super entertaining and well done. My only criticism is the scene transitions could have been a little tighter.

B: Yeah, they definitely had some trouble with transitions. I think a lot of the problem was the lighting design. There were a few times I noticed the lights, and you really aren’t supposed to notice the lights. People didn’t even know it was intermission, and people only knew it was the end of the play when people started bowing.

K: Exactly, the ending didn’t feel like an ending. The lighting really threw me off.

B: I thought it was a creative concept though. Exploring what happens when four people share a small “space station” is surprisingly relatable, at least if you have had roommates. Somebody eating all the ice-cream sandwiches can totally create a month long drama. It’s so ridiculous, but so feasible at the same time. I would be pissed if I was stuck on a “space station” and I was looking forward to dessert all week and someone ate my goddamn ice-cream sandwich.

K: Me too! I thought there were a lot of clever moments in this piece. Those blue rope lights tho… so college dorm room.

B: I agree, but if the worst thing is the lighting design that’s a pretty good show.

K: True, and if you are wanting more after this show you can hit up the 9:30 show and after that you can hit up the 11:59 improv show and just theater your face off. Or just sit in the bar, eat, drink and listen to the live music. Not a bad night.

The Verdict: Refreshing, fun and clever. If you like seeing shows that have ridiculous relationship drama, but also hilariously reflect real-life, this is the night out at the theater for you.

The Drama Talk: Faultline Theater reliably pulls together talented people to put on interesting plays; The Ice-cream Sandwich Incident is no exception. Good talent, good set, good costumes, all around well produced (except we didn’t like the lighting design). The playwright’s ideas about how-to mediate conflicts in space are funny and fantastic. With such activities as a “space ballet” dance-off, a mock talk-show, and a reality TV style “chamber of emotions”, the play explores realistic roommate drama in hilarious ways.

The Drinks: We love PianoFight, because it’s a one stop shop for food and drinks and entertainment. If you haven’t made it to this venue yet you really should! Great food (OMG their fries), cocktails (the Goldrush is delicious and dangerous), two  theaters and a cabaret stage with live music. Sometimes it’s nice to only have to go to one place, and this night we did just that.

The Ice Cream Sandwich Incident runs through August 27th, with shows at 7:30 Thursday – Saturday, and 6pm on Sundays. Tickets range from $25 for VIP front row tickets, to $15 for general admission, or $10 (The Double Date) for groups of 4+, and are available through the Faultline Theater website.

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Drama Talk & Drinks: Need a Date Night? Beautiful – The Carole King Musical

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical is coming back to San Francisco! We saw it here before it went onto Broadway victory, winning two Tony’s and a Grammy. We have to miss it this time around but that doesn’t mean you have to! Need a date night? Go out for drama talk and drinks!

 

Here’s the summary of our review of this musical back when we saw in Fall 2013:

Are you a huge fan of 60s/70s pop music? Are you into music history? You should totally go see this show! Don’t care about music from that era? You’ll probably be disappointed with the brevity of the story, even though it’s an endearing one. Just like most shows put up by SHN, this one doesn’t fail to dazzle with the production. Beautiful sets, talented actors, overall a great spectacle. The only thing that fell short was the play, which choose hits over substance.

Here is the entire review.

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical runs from August 9th – September 18th at the Orpheum Theatre. Tickets range from $45-$212 and can be purchased through the SHN website. Right now there are some orchestra and mezzanine tickets available on Goldstar for $55-$70.

 

 

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