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.



Drama Talk & Drinks: 36 Stories by Sam Shepard

Fun DT&D fact: Katie, Brittany and I work together at BAYCAT, and one of the most famous shots in cinema history, the hallway shot from The Right Stuff, was shot in the hallway right outside our door. Legend goes that Walter Murch (personal hero of mine) was editing right here in the Dogpatch’s Northern AIC building, and they needed a pick up shot of the astronauts walking in slo-mo to really capture the gravitas. I did a little comparison as “proof” back in 2006, with myself as a piss poor stand in for the mightiest of hero shots.

Anyway, Sam Shepard was nominated for an Oscar® for his role in that film, as Chuck Yeager, the first human to break the sound barrier. Last week Katie & Brittany saw the Magic’s newest take on Shepard’s works. Here’s their report:

Sam Shepard, playwright, actor, director and Patti-Smith-ex, is turning 70. As part of Magic Theatre’s “Sheparding America” festival (Shepard was a playwright in residence at the Magic Theatre in the 70’s), Bay Area theaters are producing a series of shows that celebrate this great American playwright. While other productions are honoring Shepard by performing his plays, Word for Word member Amy Kossow decided to do something a little different. Taking a year to sift through five of Mr. Shepard’s collections of short stories, Kossow created 36 Stories by Sam Shepard, which weaves together Sam Shepard’s shorts about America’s desert highways into a single piece about a writer’s struggle as he searches for inspiration.

Word for Word’s production of 36 Stories by Sam Shepard, at Z Below 5/21/14 through 6/22/14. L to R: Carl Lumbly, Rod Gnapp. Photo by Mark Leialoha

The Writer (Rod Gnapp) has a philosophical discussion with the spirit of the severed head (Carl Lumbly).

Brittany: It was artsy, so I liked it. But, I thought the way the piece was constructed was a bit problematic. It was essentially a play about about a writers’ struggle, but I didn’t care as much about the writer’s struggle, as I cared about the stories he was telling. All the actors were great, and I thought the piece as a whole was really well done. Rod Gnapp did an amazing job with a character I didn’t think was compelling. But it was a little hard to stay fully engaged when the stories kept switching. That being said, I thought it was a really good production, and some of the actors’ individual performances were really remarkable, especially getting to see their range as they played different roles.

Katie: The actors were great but that didn’t help me to care about what was happening. It just didn’t work for me. I don’t know Brittany….I guess I just don’t get it because I just don’t understand how this is entertaining…maybe I just don’t know Sam Shepard enough. The set and the staging were good though. The actor who played guitar was really good and really cute. They should have just turned Sam Shepard’s short stories into songs and he could of just been on stage the whole time singing. I’d be into that shit.

B: I would say if you are interested in seeing a very well acted series of stories, you should go.

K: I would say skip this one.

The Verdict: If you enjoy poetic language and are interested in seeing it very well acted out in a series of stories, this is the show for you. If you know, and like, Sam Shepard’s writing, this is the show for you. If neither of those things apply, this is not the show for you.

The Drama Talk: This is a Bay Area all-star cast. It was well staged, and well performed. Word for Word does plays word-for-word, this means reading stage directions as well, so be prepared for that. Although Shepard’s stories themselves are intriguing, the piece which is used to tie them together is not as strong as its parts.

The Drinks: Everything Sam Shepard writes is a little dark, so after an evening of All-American ennui, we decided to go in for some All-American fun and check out Urban Putt. Brittany got the Seasonal Shandy and Katie got a Calimocho (red wine and Coke, classy), and we watched the many revelers (who waited in line for over an hour on a Wednesday to play putt-putt) take in a Bay Area fantasyland.

36 Stories by Sam Shepard runs through 6/22 at the Z Below, and tickets can be purchased through their website. Ticket prices vary from $30-$55 depending on how close you are to the stage, but it’s a small theater so any seat is good. There are also ½ price tickets available on Goldstar.

Drama Talk & Drinks: The Habit of Art

Brittany & Katie went to a show at Z-Below, and they seemed to have appreciated it, though not quite to the point of actual enjoyment . . .

Pictured left to right: Tamar Cohn as Kay, Craig Souza as Carpenter, Donald Currie as Auden, Justin Lucas as Stuart, Kathryn Wood as George, and John Fisher as Britten in The Habit of Art by Alan Bennett, directed by John Fisher, a Theatre Rhinoceros production at Z Below
Photo by Kent Taylor.

Theater Rhinoceros, the (self-proclaimed) oldest queer theater in America, has a mission to “produce works of theatre that enlighten, enrich, and explore both the ordinary and extraordinary aspects of our queer community.” Although the description of Allen Bennett’s play The Habit of Art about British poet, W. H. Auden, and British composer Benjamin Britten, didn’t have us rushing to the box office, we were intrigued to see if the playwright who brought us The History Boys had an equally witty and enlightening take on what could be a very dry topic. So we returned to one of our favorite mission theater venues, Z-Below, to see what Theater Rhino had in store.

Brittany: It was very arty. The whole play within a play thing was interesting, but despite some strong actors, I don’t think they made the play within a play thing work. Some of my favorite moments were when they pulled back to the focus on the rehearsal, so I enjoyed it as a device, but they didn’t real nail it for me.

Katie: I really struggled through the first act, especially when they were acting like actors that didn’t know their lines and standing up there with scripts. I think the actors did the best with what they were given, but sometimes they would go in and out of their English accents and that was a little distracting to me. Jumping in and out of the play to the “rehearsal” gave me whiplash.

B: I think the other thing that’s hard is that the play they were rehearsing wasn’t a very good play, at least in my opinion. I really liked the woman who played the stage manager though (Tamar Cohn), she was great and her monologue at the end was really touching.

K: I wouldn’t say it was a bad production, I just feel that this show is for a theater person. If I sent my non-theater-going friends to this show they would never trust me again.

B: Yeah, some of the most charming jokes or scenes were the ones that were so specific that non-theater people wouldn’t get them. Definitely not a show for everyone.


The Verdict: If you’re a theater person, you’ll probably find the play within a play element of this show intriguing, and you’ll get all the rehearsal related jokes. If you’re familiar with W.H. Auden or Benjamin Britten, you’ll probably find this insight into their relationship, and their personal lives, interesting. Otherwise, skip it, this probably is not the show for you.

The Drama Talk: The play within the play is full of poetry, music and theatricality. An interesting story about two aging artists, no longer in their prime, and the young men who helped feed their artistic temperament (AKA male prostitutes and pre-pubescent choir boys). Jumping between the story found in the play, and the rehearsal of that play, made the emotional through line fall short (as Katie said, whiplash inducing). The rehearsal elements of the show, however, are some of the most endearing and are definitely where the humor is found. Despite some strong actors, and a well designed set that makes the sometimes cramped theater feel much bigger, this piece falls into the category of only-for-the-artsy-types.

The Drinks: We went to nearby Benders for their free afternoon Sunday BBQ. Brittany got a dirty martini (since they were drinking martinis during the show) and Katie got her usual rum and coke. What better way to unpack an highbrow play than with some lowbrow BBQ.

Tickets can be purchased here.

Drama Talk & Drinks: The Speakeasy

We’ve been running Katie & Brittany‘s after-show drama talk for almost a year and I had yet to accompany them for a performance. Last week I was finally able to tag along for The Speakeasy, a new experiential performance in the Tenderloin. Here’s our report:


[photo by Peter Liu]

We’d heard a buzz about a unique underground club and theater in the Tenderloin. The folks at Boxcar Theatre have been working on an immersive theater piece that places audiences in the middle of 1920’s San Francisco. Speakeasy has lots of intrigue surrounding it, from the undisclosed location, to the interwoven stories being performed by embedded actors throughout the space. It was enticing enough to get our fearless leader, Ariel, out with us for a night of Drama Talk & Drinks.

Ariel: I loved that it was a world you could be in and not just be a passive audience member. I think they did a really good job of taking me to that place. To go from seeing them on the stage to a space where you could see the behind the scenes drama . . . it was amazing, I just wanted to go back and forth all night. (Ed. note: there was a space where you could spy on the dressing room through a one-way mirror)

Brittany: It was very cool. It was the ultimate in FOMO though. I kept wondering what was going on somewhere else. “Oh my god, there’s a noise in the other room should I be over there?”.

A: Did that bother you? I liked that about it.

B: I guess it bothered me in that I thought, what if I’m not getting everything I’m supposed to get out of the show?

Katie: That is exactly how I felt and I would say that it did bother me. I was trying to enjoy what was happening in front of me but I couldn’t get out of my mind “What’s going on in the other rooms?” Then there was that moment where we were supposed to follow the girl in the red dress and everyone got up and tried to follow her, but since everyone did that there was a bottleneck and we couldn’t get into the other room because of all the people. And I’m someone who doesn’t like crowds.

A: What made me enjoy it more was that the world wasn’t just propped up for me to see but the idea that this world is all around me and I’m just in it. I feel like if I walked into the room and the other rooms went dark it wouldn’t have felt totally immersive. But the idea that I could walk away from you guys and see something else and you guys are seeing something that I’m not seeing . . . It didn’t bother me that I didn’t see the whole story, I liked that about it. It’s just like regular life, we all got our different part of the story.

K: I don’t know, I live “regular life” enough, sometimes I just wanna go to a show and fucking be entertained. I’m in life twenty-fo-seven, I gotta pay $60 to feel life’s disappointments – the 1920’s version?

B: But this life has cool costumes.

K: That’s true.


Drama Talk & Drinks: Hir

The subject of one’s Preferred Gender Pronoun is finally getting some mainstream attention right now. Facebook announced today that it will allow many more gender options for self identification in profiles, and late last year A-gender teen Sasha Fleishman bravely spoke out after their attack on a bus by a classmate. The Magic Theatre’s new show Hir (pronounced like “here”) tackles gender identity, and from the sound of it, a whole lot more. Here’s the report from Katie & Brittany:


When we saw that the Magic Theatre was putting on a show called Hir we were intrigued. Armed with little more than Magic’s description “Newly enlightened Paige is determined to forge a deliriously liberated world for her two wayward children: Isaac, on leave from the Marines under dubious circumstances; and Max, tender, jaded, and sculpting a third-sex gender identity for hirself.” We braved the rainiest Sunday in recent memory for some Drama Talk & Drinks.

Brittany: I think Magic Theatre likes to say “fuck you” to its’ audiences.

Katie: I agree, I left that show with less hope for life than I did walking into it.

B: Which is not to say it was a bad show. It was a very well done show. But it was SO depressing.

K: It was depressing, but at the same time refreshing. I thought it was fascinating to see how far they could go with a dysfunctional family. The writing was really good, and the show had good pacing.

B: The first act of the play was a little too wordy for me. I felt like I was in a gender studies class, but maybe some audience members need a gender studies class for the play to make sense.

K: Sometimes it did get a little preachy, but overall, good writing, well acted, and an amazing tragic ending. I’m struggling with finding words for it, because it was well executed, I was moved and entertained, but I don’t think I would want to go through that again.

B: In the Director’s notes they talk a lot about the similarities between Hir, and Sam Shepard’s Buried Child (which we reviewed at Magic earlier this season). I feel very similarly now, to the way I felt walking out of that Buried Child. I feel moved, which is to say disturbed, and impressed by what Magic was able to create. At the same time, I don’t know if I would tell everyone I know to go and see it because it is such an unsettling piece.

K: I felt like I was in good hands with those actors, and the director and writer. I don’t have any negative notes for them, I enjoyed the lighting, staging, pacing . . . everything.

B: The actor who played the father (Mark Anderson Phillips), was remarkable. All the actors were good, but his physicality throughout the show was so spot on. That was such a hard role, and to see him throughout the play so debilitated, and then at curtain call as a totally normal person was impressive.

K: I really liked the mother (Nancy Opel) too. I thought she was really complex. I could imagine her as a submissive Mom, who has now gone a little batty and become empowered. She handled that character really well. If there are people who want to see creative, reimagined theatre, that hits you in the face hard, this is a good play to go to.

B: People should definitely go see it, just be aware you might want to drink heavily afterwards.


The Verdict: Go see this show. Although we both left with a bleaker outlook on the world than when we entered, it’s the sort of bleakness that makes you think, which is what good theatre is all about.

The Drama Talk: Magic is correct when it identifies Taylor Mac as “one of this country’s most heroic and disarmingly funny playwrights.” This play is disarming. From lights up on a man in a woman’s night gown in clown make up, to an end that leaves you feeling despondent, this play breaks lots of new ground. Magic and its cast pull off this complex show beautifully.

The Drinks: We went to a 7pm show on a rainy Sunday night, so the first place we tried had actually closed early. We ended up at Bullitt Bar on Polk. Katie got bubbly, since they keep talking about drinking non-alcoholic bubbly during the show, and Brittany got a spicy margarita, so her mouth would hurt as much as her soul after seeing such a depressing play.

Hir runs through February 23, at The Magic Theatre in Fort Mason. Shows are starting to sell out, so if you want to see this show before it closes you should get your tickets soon. Tickets for Hir are available through the Magic Theatre online box office and range from $20-$60 depending on seating.

Drama Talk & Drinks: The Big, Buttery Sketch Show

As promised, here is Katie & Brittany‘s report from PianoFight’s new sketch show. This time they brought their boyfriends along:

After some changes in relationship status, and with Valentine’s day around the corner, we were looking for an opportunity to do Drama Talk & Drinks: Double Date Edition, and we finally found the perfect show. PianoFight’s female-driven sketch comedy group, Chardonnay, was premiering “The Big, Buttery Sketch Show”. With guest appearances from Uni and Her Ukelele and stand-up comedian Mary Van Note, we thought this estrogen filled evening would be a great place for a pre-Valentine’s day date night. After lots of drinks, and lots of laughs, here are all of our thoughts:

Garrett (Katie’s Date): So was Uni on the Ukulele the best part or was that just me?

Brittany: I think that was just you, Garrett. She’s super creative but it ruined the arc, I felt like she brought down the energy of the show.

Katie: Agreed.

Garrett: Well, it was more real than the rest of it . . . it was soulful and cute and engaging. I didn’t think the rest of the show was very well done. If SNL had the same concepts they would have delivered it better. The show was cute and fun but the execution wasn’t there.

Sam (Brittany’s Date): The execution is what got me – I was laughing the whole time. Even some of the sketches that were a little off, like that postman sketch, that was eventually hilarious. It just took a while to hit its stride. A lot of the scenes had to build up like that.

Katie: So was the guest comedian the best part of that show or was that just me? The sketches weren’t as funny as I was expecting . . . but I think I went in with too high expectations.

Brittany: I think the stand up girl was funny in a perfectly awkward way. But, the guy who played Putin and the DJ (David Lavine) was the funniest actor in the entire show. The comedy the ladies wrote for him was great, but his acting outshined the woman. The ladies had moments where they were hella on, but not one of them nailed a character like he did. I had a fun time, and that’s really what I’m looking for out of sketch comedy, so I’d say go.

Sam: The trick to good comedy – get drinks before, during and after the show.

The Score:
6.5 from Katie and Garrett
9.0 from Brittany and Sam

The Verdict: This show is a good time and a great (double) date night. They have two more shows, this Friday and Saturday. Although there are currently still tickets available, the show we went to looked sold out, so you probably want to buy these soon. Impress your date with your local theater knowledge and get your tickets for a fun-filled Valentine’s weekend date.

The Drama Talk: Get to EXIT Theater a little early so you can get drinks at the bar to bring into the theater with you. This is sketch, it’s better with a few drinks.

The Drinks: We took our dates just a block away to Mikkeller. They had a great beer and wine selection plus food, which was great because 4 drinks deep we felt like some french fries. Brittany and Sam shared a Saison Winter, Garrett ordered a Galaxy White IPA and Katie stuck with a glass of white wine.

You can check out the show this weekend, February 14 and 15, at 8pm at EXIT Theatre.
Tickets are $20 for General Admission, $12 for groups of 5+ people and $30 for VIP tickets, which include best seating and a special Chardonnay gift.

Comedy tonight from Piano Fight

The rad theater people over at Piano Fight, who recently successfully completed their ambitious campaign to build out their huge new space, are premiering a new sketch comedy show. “The Big Buttery Sketch Show” is performed by Chardonnay, a female-led comedy group, and opens tonight for a two weekend run at the Exit Theater. Check out the teaser below, then go laugh your belly off.

Chardonnay is premiering a compilation of original and scandalous sketches paired with local comedians and live music in “The Big Buttery Sketch Show” on February 7, 8, 14, and 15 at Exit Theater (156 Eddy St., San Francisco) at 8pm.

Tickets are $20 for General Admission, $12 for groups of 5+ people and $30 for VIP tickets, which include best seating and a special Chardonnay gift.

Expect the Drama Talk & Drinks review shortly . . .

PianoFight’s final push

The fine folks over at PianoFight invited our theater reviewers, Katie & Brittany, to a shindig in the space their working to convert into a theater with a bar and restaurant, here’s what they had to say:

We love supporting local theater. Invite us to the latest theater thing opening up, and we’ll be there with bells on, if we can find our bells. We may not always like what we see, but we write this blog because we think theater is important, and everyone should see more of it. We just hope to direct you to the more of it that’s worth seeing, so you don’t have a bad experience and then never want to go again.

We’ve been super excited to hear about the development of PianoFight’s new theater venue opening up in the TL (hopefully) in March. “An 8,000 square foot creative playground containing two theaters, a full restaurant and bar plus cabaret stage, rehearsal space, office space, and a film studio. PianoFight will be a landmark entertainment venue, a creative meeting place, somewhere to have a drink, see a show, or create art at the spur of the moment…”

On Tuesday night they hosted their first party in the nearly-complete venue, to launch their final Kickstarter. Free booze, fun sketch comedy and a new SF theater venue? Of course we went.

Our First Reactions:

Brittany: It looks like it’s going to be really awesome, and it’s a lot more space than I expected. It will be really neat to see what ends up getting created here.

Katie: It looks like they still have a lot to build, but I think it’s going to be a cool space once it’s finished. I don’t know how they’re going to manage acoustically with the bar/restaurant right next the theater. Let’s hope it means there are going to be some rowdy fun shows.

The Drama Talk & Drinks: There was PBR on tap, and the wine flowed freely. Once this space is completed it seems like it has a lot of potential, not just as a place to see theater, but as a place to create. The PianoFight crew has a little over 30 days to raise the last $120k they need to finish construction. Check out their Kickstarter if you’re interested in supporting them. Afterall, who doesn’t want Californicorn swag, and another cool theater and art space in the city.

Drama Talk & Drinks: The Golden Girls

Katie & Brittany are back just in time to review a true holiday classic, Golden Girls Christmas episodes performed live and in drag. If you ask me, that Sophia below looks pretty amazing. Here’s their report:

Haul out the holly and tack up the tinsel, Christmas has come to the Mission. When we agreed to check out the opening weekend of The Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes we had no idea what a following this show had. We arrived at the Victoria Theater to a line stretching almost to Mission Street of people hoping to snag a seat to the sold out show. Once inside the theater we were welcomed by a beautiful drag queen who offered us peach fizz shots. The merriness was palpable. The lights went down, the Golden Girls Theme song began, and the audience burst into song. We now know why everyone is going gaga for the Golden Girls.

Katie: If you like the Golden Girls you are going to fucking love this because those four drag queens nailed it! What an entertaining and fun show. The secondary actors should have been better, but what can you do.

Brittany: The ladies’ timing was remarkable. At first I was a little bit worried – were they going to honor the Golden Girls? Or were they going to make it too corny? I was pleasantly surprised that they found a perfect balance of the two. There were some missed opportunities, but overall a really fun night.

K: Yeah, it would have been great to actually see the commercials they played in between scenes and not just hear the audio. It would have been awesome if they were projected, or better yet if they had reenacted the commercials. That would have really upped the production value.

B: So true! They really captured the holiday spirit though, right down to the shopping frenzy. The audience was having a great time, it was full of Christmas sparkle.

K: And so much glitter, such great costumes. The gaudy Christmas sweaters and brooches, ahh so good.

B: At the end when the actresses came out to give the birthday people in the audience a lap dance the man sitting next to me turned to me and said “This is the strangest thing I have seen in my life”. I don’t know if I agree with that, but you sure don’t get to see a 90-year-old get a birthday lap dance from a drag queen dressed as Blanche everyday.


The Verdict: This is exactly how San Francisco brings in the holiday cheer. Drinking, drag queens, and reenacted Christmas specials from an ’80s TV show, what’s not to like? If you enjoy the Golden Girls you will definitely love this drag queen tribute.

The Drama Talk: The length was great. They did two episodes, with an intermission, in under two hours. This show is POPULAR, so be sure to get your tickets early, and get to the theater early. We were lucky and had seats Orchestra level. The balcony at The Victoria is steep, and far less comfortable, so get to the theater early to grab some seats and shots before the show.

The Drinks: The only way to cap off a night of drag queens in the Mission is with more drag queens, obviously. We headed over to Esta Noche for some post-show cocktails. We were not the only show-goers who thought this way, and there was quite the crowd who paid the $5 cover to keep the fun going. We got some margaritas and settled in for the 11:30pm drag show. Another successful evening of drama talk and drinks.

The Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes shows at the Victoria Theater on 16th Street and Capp, and runs Thurs-Sun until December 22nd, so you only have two more weekends to check out this show. Tickets are $30 (involving a two part purchase with $15 going over Eventbrite and $15 at the door- don’t ask us why) and can be reserved online.

Drama Talk & Drinks: Urge for Going

With Katie out of town, Brittany took a date and followed up with a commenter to see a new play last week. Here’s her dispatch from the press seats:

David Allen]

A Drama Talk & Drinks reader, connected to Golden Thread Productions, invited us via our comments section to their newest play, the west-coast premiere of Urge for Going, at Z Below in the Mission. Katie was out of town this weekend, but we didn’t want to let a show go unreviewed, or a comment go unanswered. So Brittany decided to enlist the help of a guest reviewer for this installment of Drama Talk & Drinks. Sam Clay, her boyfriend, grew up in a Ukrainian-Jewish household. He also has a theater minor. So who better to take to a show about a young Palestinian girl growing up in a Lebanese refugee camp?

Sam: I thought it was a good show. I thought the text was an excellent place to start, and I enjoyed the world the playwright created.

Brittany: There were definitely parts of the script I liked, but one of the problems with this play, is it was based around a teenager’s conflict with her parents. Part of that was good, because that  made it a more relatable story. What teenager doesn’t fight with their parents? This script placed that everyday conflict in a heightened environment which was interesting. At the same time it was a teenager arguing with her parents. Which is just annoying to watch.

S: It was a universal conflict, and I related to it. Also, on the Jewish side, they talk about all these same struggles, just from a different perspective, and hearing this perspective was interesting for me.

B: I thought the set was very well done. The sense of claustrophobia they were able create, because Z Below is such a small space, worked really well for this play. Definitely one the things driving the conflict between the characters is this sense of claustrophobia. Six people stuck living together in one small room, and they can’t get away from each other. It felt like there wasn’t enough room to breath. They created that atmosphere very well.

S: There was something I really liked about the interplay between the characters, particularly the father, Adham, and his brother Hamzi. It reminded me of my family. Getting a little personal, my family is a family of Jewish immigrants. I was the first to not have to live with three generations in the same apartment. So I saw a lot of parallels in the way the play’s family treats each other, which I enjoyed.

B: Yeah, when they were interacting as a family, despite a few line-hiccups, they seemed really believable. The relationships between the characters felt genuine, and you could tell they took time developing the back-stories between the characters, so it had a sense of history. When they broke the 4th wall and went into the chorus sections, I don’t think it worked.

S: I agree with you, I want to stay positive though, because overall I think it was good. I think it’s well done and an important story to hear. I would recommend it to anyone who asks.


The Verdict: Overall an interesting show. Strong believable relationships between the characters, combined with a well done set design, make the show engaging. Although some of the more theatrical elements, such as the chorus, don’t quite work. If you’re interested in seeing a play about a story rarely told, go check this out.

The Drama Talk: Although there are moments that the actors get indulgent, this play paints a vibrant picture of a family struggling to live together as they long for more. Although the conflict between the teenage girl Jamila (played by Camila Betancourt Ascencio) and her parents feels universal, placing this conflict in a Palestinian refugee camp makes it interesting. Golden Thread Productions “is dedicated to exploring Middle Eastern cultures and identities as expressed around the globe . . . [their] mission is to make the Middle East a potent presence on the American stage and a treasured cultural experience.” This play does a good job opening an audience’s eyes to the everyday struggles of a Palestinian family stuck in a country that doesn’t want them, with nowhere else to call home.

The Drinks: We tried to go to Trick Dog for drinks, which is a silly thing to try to do on a Friday night. So we ended up at Southern Pacific Brewing Company. Brittany got the California Blonde, and Sam got the Pale Ale, and cheered to a enjoyable night at the theater.

Urge for Going runs until December 8th, in repertory with 444 Days, a play written by Golden Thread Productions’ Artistic Director, at Z Below. Tickets range from Pay-What-You-Can on Thursdays to $35, with discounts available for students and seniors. You can also get a two play pass for $45. All available through the Golden Thread Productions website.