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Friday, September 4, 2015

Matt Besser Talks About the SF Improv Festival

Posted By on Fri, Sep 4, 2015 at 11:00 AM

matt_besser_1.jpg

San Francisco is a “crazy great” town for improv, at least as far as Upright Citizens Brigade co-founder Matt Besser is concerned. It’s why, along with his fellow mainstays Matt Walsh and Ian Roberts, and occasionally fourth member Amy Poehler, the group has appeared at music festivals like Outside Lands and remains a staple feature of the annual Sketchfest celebrations. Besser will return to the city to join other improv heavyweights for the 11th Annual San Francisco Improv Festival, Sept. 10-19.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Rob Schneider Gets Real

Posted By on Tue, Jun 2, 2015 at 8:00 AM

Rob Schneider - NEIL VISEL
  • Neil Visel
  • Rob Schneider

Actor-comedian Rob Schneider thinks that criticism of Native American stereotyping in The Ridiculous Six, the Adam-Sandler-for-Netflix-movie, in which the comedian co-stars, is, well...ridiculous. And he has choice words for anyone offended by any of the alcoholism jokes, women characters named "Beaver’s Breath" and "Sits-on-Face" and the Apache woman peeing outdoors while smoking a calumet. Not to mention the media who report these stories

"I think the media will make something out of nothing," he says. "The truth of the matter was, nobody walked off the set. Three people didn’t show up the next day. And I really would say to anyone who’s offended by the term "Wears No Bra" as Native American, you probably have other issues that are more important than being offended by that." Rob Schneider knows a thing or three about this sort of thing, having been accused of ethnic stereotyping, himself, in films 50 First Dates, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.  SF Weekly chatted with the San Francisco native about the oversensitivity epidemic; his hilarious, new semi-autobiographical show Real Rob; and what he will and won't do at his upcoming Punch Line Comedy Club dates.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Annie Elias, Director of The Chairs, Talks About the Complexity of This Tragic Farce

Posted By on Wed, Mar 6, 2013 at 12:14 PM

The Old Woman (Tamar Cohn) requests that The Old Man (David Sinaiko) enact the months of the year in Cutting Ball Theater's The Chairs. - PHOTO CREDIT: SARAH ROLAND
  • Photo credit: Sarah Roland
  • The Old Woman (Tamar Cohn) requests that The Old Man (David Sinaiko) enact the months of the year in Cutting Ball Theater's The Chairs.

Oddly enough, Annie Elias, the director of Eugène Ionesco's tragic farce, The Chairs, says she sees a parallel between this play, which is about an elderly couple telling each other stories and playing games, and the last production she directed for the Cutting Ball Theater, Tenderloin, a documentary-style piece about the neighborhood and the people who live there.

"I think a lot of people have not the experience of really being listened to, so it was a profound experience for the actor and the person being interviewed, and that's the main thread of The Chairs," she said. "There are two old people and no one is left to listen, and they just want someone to hear their story. It's like, 'I want to give my message. I'm a unique being on the Earth.' I do see the two projects as connected in that way of telling your story and having someone receive it."

Elias says The Chairs has a lot of complexity.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Un-Scripted Theatre's Act One, Scene Two Unites Improv and Playwrights

Posted By on Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 4:15 PM

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Act One, Scene Two, the new Un-scripted Theater Company show at SF Playhouse, might be one of their most challenging productions yet. The company solicited local playwrights to submit the first scene of an unproduced script, one for each night of the run.

Then, in the first half of each show, Un-scripted opens with a cold read of one scene from one play, as well as an interview with the playwrights to learn more about their vision. The company then finishes the play, completely improvising a second scene. It's a unique blend of scripted and improvised theater.

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

3 for All in Town for Two Shows: the Improv Troupe that Looks Like a Jazz Trio

Posted on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 3:00 PM


Improvisational sketch comedy is supposed to be about the unexpected, the unscripted. Yet there are certain things that an audience does, in fact, expect from an improv theater crew: youth, a somewhat manic approach, and clothes that can kindly be described as "versatile." Those all go out the window the minute you see 3 for All, who appear this weekend at the Zeum Theater They look more like jazz musicians or characters from a Raymond Chandler story than comedians, wearing vests, wide shiny ties, and hair gel or pomade (well, two of them, anyway). Their approach is much more measured than manic, and their subject matter is as diverse as the words and phrases from audience members that shape their skits.

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"