[via Doc Pop]
Just a reminder early birds, Pops Bar has the longest happy hour in San Francisco: THIRTEEN HOURS OF HAPPINESS! Bacon Bloody Mary’s, Irish Coffee, Mexican Coffee, Fresh OJ Mimosa, Pabst…Pops Bar gets your morning going every day at 6am and keeps happy hour going until 7pm! So Rise N Shine, then kick back and unwind, Pops is your official starting point in the Mission.
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So says an email update from Golden Gate Ferry this morning. Here’s the rest:
With the recent winter storms and rainy weather, there is an unprecedented amount of debris floating in the San Francisco Bay. Maneuvering around this debris may cause some Golden Gate Ferry arrivals to be delayed, especially during the early morning and late evening commute trips when visibility is decreased due to darkness.
We will do our best to keep trips on time, but the safety of our passengers is paramount. We regret any inconvenience.
Wowee. Now go enjoy yourself a possibly slightly delayed budget yachting adventure quick before the government relaxes even more environmental regulations and the San Francisco Bay turns into a giant debris-filled tar pit!
DT&D always likes the work that local theatre company FaultLine Theater produces (past reviews here, here and here). They do a great job finding intriguing new works and bringing them to life. So when we heard they had a new show opening at PianoFight called Where All Good Rabbits Go we knew we wanted to check it out.
Katie: I don’t know what to say right now. I have very mixed feelings. The story was really interesting. I thought the imagery of Walter (Ed Berkeley) turning into a rabbit was really powerful, especially when they had a real rabbit on stage to show the transformation- very cool. But there were some things that just didn’t work for me. Like the transitions with the random ensemble actors, they took me out of it.
Brittany: Those transitions were rough.
K: Right?! They were kinda dancing, but none of them were dancers, so the choreography was out of sync. I don’t really understand the purpose either, aside from giving time for the main actors to do costume changes.
B: I totally agree. If they had been done really cleanly, they may have added to the show. As it was, all they did was distract from what was actually a lovely story. I thought the main actors were good though.
K: Yeah, I warmed up to them. As they got more relaxed, and you got deeper into their relationship, I really felt for them.
B: I really like the script. I think using the metaphor of turning into a rabbit as a way to explore the process of dying, death and how people cope was so clever.
K: Seeing him turn into a rabbit on stage, and to literally watch Julia (Charlie D. Gray) walk out with Walter as a rabbit, an actual fucking rabbit, was such an interesting thing to experience as an audience member. The way they cradled the rabbit and sat there with their arms around it, I honestly felt for a moment like Walter had actually become a rabbit. It was emotional.
B: It was! I was surprised too. When I saw rabbits in the playbill I was skeptical, but it totally worked.
The Verdict: If you can get past the wonky transitions and just appreciate the moving story Where All Good Rabbits Go is worth a watch.
The Drama Talk: We both really enjoyed the script. Exploring the idea of death as a transformation, by watching someone turn into a rabbit, is a very approachable way to deal with some deep subject matter. Also there’s a real rabbit on stage, so no matter what you get some cuteness. There were some opening night hiccups. The hazer they warned us about at the top of the show never hazed. The transitions were strange, and took us out of the show. Overall though, the story was strong enough, and the rabbit endearing enough, that it made for a worthwhile night.
The Drinks: Whenever we go to PianoFight we just end up staying at the bar to get drinks there. Why leave when you have good food, good drinks, and music all just outside the theater door?
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 along with SF’s favorite DJ Marcellus, they have another SUPER COOL SPECIAL GUEST in store for you! Come out and support your local music scene!
Check out this week’s full entertainment line up at Pops Bar:
We can’t believe it’s been 20 years since Rent became a thing, and it became a BIG thing. Your DT&D columnists were definitely both Rent-heads and obsessed with Rent in high school. We were so excited for this 20th Anniversary Tour! Brittany couldn’t make it to the opening, so Katie brought her go-to back up reviewer Garrett, who had never seen the show and was excited to see what all the hype was about.
Garrett: So, I know this is your favorite musical of all time. How did it hold up?
Katie: Well, 20 years later and this show still has me in awe. It held up really well for me. I struggled with my super-fandom, knowing every line and every single word was annoying because I would anticipate everything. But it’s still the innovative, touching, raw, beautifully belted musical that I fell in love with when I was 15 years old.
G: As a Rent first timer, I’m definitely impressed. I did enjoy the second act more than the first, because I was a little lost in the beginning. Not being familiar with the show, I was trying to figure out what I was looking at, and hearing! It was super emotional, very dramatic and well done in terms of the talent. Great actors tonight. The singing was beautiful and the show had a lot of energy. It definitely sucked me in and kept me entertained, which is always what I’m looking for. And it was really cool to see a show that explored important social topics, which are still relevant today.
K: Who was your favorite character?
G: Hmm, I guess If I had to pick one it would be Mimi.
K: Yeah, I really liked the actress who played Mimi (Skyler Volpe). She made some interesting choices that were more subtle and real. Speaking of choices, I could tell that there were a lot of “Rent-heads” in the audience who know the broadway cast recording like the back of their hands. They would acknowledge with a clap or laugh when an actor changed something from the original performance. I could tell the audience was feeling it.
The Verdict: Rent is the original Hamilton. A must see musical, period.
The Drama Talk: This won Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and best Original Score for a reason. It’s a brilliant 90’s rock opera that will make you laugh, think and cry. Tackling social issues, this musical grabs you immediately with its raw, fast paced style. With all of the dialogue sung rather than spoke, the style can be choppy and distracting at times, especially for someone new to the show. But don’t worry, you’re in good hands with this talented cast and rockin’ orchestra.
The Drinks: We stumbled upon a new bar called “BIIG” that hasn’t even officially opened yet. It’s just a block up from the theater and was quite bohemian chic. There thing is having no menu so we just told the bartender our choice alcohol and preferences and they create something unique. And unique felt like the appropriate drink experience after seeing this show.
Rent runs through February 19th at The Golden Gate Theatre. There are both $40 mobile and $25 in-person rush tickets available. You can check-out the SHN website for rush info. Goldstar also currently has tickets for $60 (normally priced $90).
The DT&D team has a soft spot for local San Francisco theater. We love the quirky, innovative, and rule-breaking companies that make our theater scene unique. So when we heard that the Hypnodrome, home of the Thrillpeddlers (and their classic Halloween-tastic show Shocktoberfest), was going to close at the end of February we wanted to know what was up. We asked Russell Blackwood, The Thrillpeddlers Company Founder and Director, to give us the scoop.
Brittany: We were so sad to hear about you losing the Hypnodrome space. The work you do is so unique and truly San Francisco.
Russell: I arrived in San Francisco in ‘89 and I remember in my first year here meeting people and saying “you’re the kind of person I came to San Francisco to meet”. Those experiences got me thinking; How do I become the kind of person that people came to San Francisco to meet? How do I make the kind of art people come to San Francisco to see? I think Thrillpeddlers has been a reflection of that without a doubt.
B: From hearing the story of how you got the Hypnodrome space originally, it sounds like a little bit of Bay Area love and luck went into starting the space. Can you tell us a little more about that?
R: Yeah, the space was offered to my husband within 5 minutes of meeting the gentleman that owned it. In the spring of 2004, my husband Jim Toczyl, was working the first day of his new mail route in Los Gatos. He was wearing a Thrillpeddlers “Sissies Stay Home” T-shirt under his open USPS shirt and struck up a conversation with one of the homeowners on his route about our theatre and the daunting prospect, even then, of renting a theater space in San Francisco. Right on the spot he volunteered; “We have building in San Francisco where you could do a show.” As it turned out, the space did make a perfect theatre. While the offer was just for 2 years originally, we’ve been able to stay for 13. I’ve gotten 11 years beyond what they offered so I’m happy with that.
B: Any ideas of where Thrillpeddlers will go next?
R: I believe that there are rental houses in town that would suit Thrillpeddlers well, and I believe that there are a few companies where a co-production might be a possibility in the future. We’re still assessing our options. As I watch rehearsals for Amazon Apocalypse (the final show slated for the Hypnodrome) I realize how – wow, well I might as well say it – smutty and rarefied our aesthetic might be and how it might not play to every subscription based company in the Bay Area.
B: Tell us a little bit about Amazon Apocalypse?
R: We’ve just added 3 more shows to the run. It will be a semi staged concert version of the show we had originally planned to produce in full in April. The show is set in Brazil over the period of about 100 years. The premise is that there is a prophecy that if the devil could come to earth, and enter the body of a human being, and put himself in a position to cum 7 times, there will be a thousand years on earth without conflict. So the show takes us to all kinds of locations in Brazil, through all kinds of periods in history, as the devil is entering the body of everything from an Italian opera singer, to an abortion doctor, to a children’s television superstar. It’s a nod to Brazilian sexuality, but also to the fragility of the rain-forest and the importance of that environment to the health of the earth. So it has both the touchy-feely and really raunchy going on simultaneously. This is a chance for our audience to get behind the work and hopefully see it to fruition at another venue eventually. This is also a great opportunity to workshop the piece.
B: The Hypnodrome is such a cool space, your sets and costumes are awesome. I heard you’re doing a rummage sale as you close down the space. Do you have any particular pieces that you are excited to see go to a new home?
R: Yes, there is very little that we are hanging on to, but I will confess to you now that we have made a decision to hold on to the guillotine, which is probably the one high ticket item that people have been inquiring about. Other than that, there is a lot of theatrical decor and fashion and special effects to be picked up. There are some severed heads that are particularly beautiful, and there are certainly some outlandish costumes from Cockette shows. Even ones that were designed and built by actual Cockettes. We have acquired a lot of things, much of it through the generosity and the altruism of others, so passing those things back out into the world at an affordable price is adding to the flow of karma that we have enjoyed for so long.
B: Aside from coming to the shows and to the rummage sale, is there anything else that people can do to help support Thrillpeddlers?
R: There is!. By buying tickets to our final shows, and of course donating to us through our website. Also, just by signing up for our newsletter, so we can keep in touch. In the future risking going to a new venue, that you haven’t been before, because we are there will make a big difference. Generally we need our community to keep holding the torch for this multi-generational freak theater company that doesn’t exist anywhere else.
The Hypnodrome closes at the end of February, so be sure to check out one of the Thrillpeddlers’ final shows on their home stage before they go. Amazon Apocalypse will be presented as a semi-staged concert for 7 nights February 8th-11th and 15th-17th at 8:00pm at the Hypnodrome (tickets $35 GA, $40 front row, shock boxes or Turkish Lounge). Thrillpeddlers are also hosting two Valentine’s Day benefit concerts and variety shows entitled Farewell to The Hypnodrome on Tues. Feb. 14, 2017 – 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm (it appears those concerts are sold out at time of publishing). Finally don’t forget to stop by in the final days to fill your requite costume bins at the Hypnodrome Rummage Sale Feb. 25th & 26th, Noon – 5:00 pm. More information and tickets can be found on the Thrillpeddlers website, where you can also donate and sign up to find out what’s next for the company.
Come join DJ Sonny Phono this Thursday as he curates a night of new and classic Independent/Underground California music. Friendly Fire is a new concept where the DJ plays music made by friends/acquaintances keeping the basis in Hip Hop/Rap/Funk, he’ll throw in some remixes of his own and some of the best DJ’s he’s built with over the years. Come by, you might just hear your original music in the mix!
Are you producing soul/funk/rap or hip hop? Contact email@example.com to submit your music for his set or to set up a live performance.
Check out this week’s full entertainment line up at Pops Bar: