Posts Tagged ‘play’

ASSIGNMENT DESK: Ask People Who Use the Golden Gate Park Panhandle Playground to See If It’s Really “Failing”

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Per this bit on SocketSite, SFGov thinks it has 50 “failing” playgrounds. Does that means that all of them get an “F” grade, that they’re all basically worthless?

For instance, let’s take a look at the Panhandle Playground. It has 4.5 Yelp stars. Isn’t that a pretty high rating for a “failing” anything?

If you polled people who actually use the place, the grade you’d come up with is “A,” or possibly “A-,” something in that area.

I think what SFGov / RPD / all those people with clipboards from that big non-profit what’s run by the wealthy, white and wizened actually mean is that the Panhandle Playground isn’t brand-new. What they mean is that it hasn’t kept up with the latest trends in playgroundom the past decade or so due to the fact that it hasn’t been replaced the past decade.

In other words, what they’re saying is that the Panhandle Playground isn’t “world-class.”

Oh, what’s that, Parks Alliance, there were more than 2.5 pieces of litter per square meter or whatever on the day that you dropped by with your clipboards? OK, so don’t you mean that the RPD is failing then?

Oh, what’s that, Parks Alliance, you’re concerned about the health effects of “x.” You know, I don’t think you want to go there, Parks Alliance. Cause then you’d have to look at the other stuff RPD is doing lately, like, say, the Beach Chalet soccer fields. Now I’ll tell you, I’m 90%+ sure that all the things people are worried about with the new artificial turf aren’t going to turn out to be a problem, but that’s not an absolutely assurance. You could say the same for whatever it is that makes you say that four dozen playgrounds in SF are “failing.”

You know, I could take my clipboard and go up to somebody’s 2004 Honda Accord with low miles and I could say, “Oh, no sat nav – minus five points. And oh, dirty windshield – minus three points. And oh…” And then I could put the car on my list of “failing” commuter vehicles, even though the person who drives it every day M-F thinks it’s a great ride and even though it passes its smog test every year or two and even though it starts up every time without fail. Who, oh who will appoint me chairman of the “Failing Hondas Task Force?”

(Oh hey, you know what RPD is disappointed about? It’s bummed out that the Maude Flanderses and the Reverend Lovejoy’s Wifes of the 94117 haven’t formed something like the Friends of the Panhandle Playground to raise $800k or so to give to RPD, you know, the way things worked with Presidio Heights and Mountain Lake. Oh well. Sorry RPD.)

In any event, a big bag of money fell from the sky and SFGov is going to spend it the way it wants. IMO, SFGov spends too much time focusing on the aesthetic concerns of millionaires who appoint themselves to the boards of the non-profits they create.

IMO.

So, go for it, send a reporter over to the Panhandle to check things out, to see why SFGov wants to spend months and months tearing out a perfectly good playground, to see why SFGov wants to scrap a Honda Accord with low miles, and a dirty windshield…

Free Kool-Aid, after the jump, drink up, it’s free, well, not really, but you’re going to end up paying for it anyway, so might as well.

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“The San Francisco Dungeon” Opens – It’s the Newest and Spookiest Addition to Fisherman’s Wharf – What People Are Saying

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Here it is, the San Francisco Dungeon up at 145 Jefferson St. between Mason and Taylor in Fisherman’s Wharf – it’s the newest and spookiest addition to Fisherman’s Wharf. Check it out. It’s opening Thursday, June 26th, 2014.

And that makes it the ninth Merlin Entertainments Dungeon in the world. The roster:  Berlin DungeonHamburg DungeonAmsterdam Dungeon, the Blackpool Tower Dungeon, the Edinburgh Dungeon, the London Dungeon, the York DungeonWarwick Castle and now San Francisco.

Beth Spotswood of SFGate says she “screamed bloody murder.

And here’s Annie Sciacca’s take

And here’s San Francisco Bay Guardian skeptic / Harvard-boy David Kurlander’s bit. He dropped by last week and wrote a lot about the dungeon. He says, “…the Dungeon transcends a lot of the more toxic elements that drag down other Jeffersonian locales.” I guess that’s a compliment.

And here are the Yelp reviews.

I’m thinking that if you’re part of a fun group and you’re in the mood to have good time, then the SF Dungeon just might be for you.

Here are some scenes:

Colonel Jack Gamble welcomes victims (guests) to the San Francisco Dungeon in San Francisco, California

Nikko, of Shanghai Kelly’s Boat Ride, claims his victims (guests) in the San Francisco Dungeon in San Francisco, California

Underground boat ride? Mmmm… Maybe I’ll make it up there someday. (It seems a lot more appealing than any wax museum, just saying.)

All the deets, after the jump.

See you there!

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The Best Thing Ever: 2014-2015 American Conservatory Theater to Feature “Mr. Burns – A Post Electric Play” – Feb 18th, 2015

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

San Francisco’s Premier Non-Profit Theatre Company announced their 2014-2015 season a while back, but I missed it.

So I’m just finding out about the best idea ever for a play. Presenting “Mr. Burns – A Post Electric Play”

“A.C.T. presents the West Coast debut of the outrageous and enthusiastically acclaimed new comedy by Bay Area–born playwright Anne Washburn. The story begins in a dark dystopia, where a group of surviving strangers bond by recreating from memory an episode of The Simpsons. As the story moves decades later, their recollection becomes an almost religious-like fable, elaborately staged for adoring crowds through live theater and opera. A marvelously meta tribute to the pop-culture phenomenon The Simpsons and a paean to the power of storytelling, Mr. Burns is an ingenious exploration of how we share recollection, memory, and truth.”

There’s no way this can’t be great.

“One of the Top Ten Plays of 2013. Downright brilliant”—The New York Times

“Wonderfully clever”—The Wall Street Journal

See you there!

Today’s Google Doodle is a Virtual Rubik’s Cube – How Many Moves Will It Take You to Solve?

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Go here, if you want.

Myself, I have no idea how to do these.

All the deets.

The Google Shopping Express Car, Complete with Antlers – Add It to the List of Google Vehicles

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

This is a Google Shopping Express car, complete with antlers, seen in the 94117 during Christmastime 2013

Click to expand

Now enjoy a trip down memory lane:

Well, here it is, the current generation Google Maps Car. (A Subaru, judging by the Pleiades icon on the nose – for some reason, Google stripped the badges from the rear of these cars.) Are there cameras and SICK laser range finders and WiFi detectors and whatnot on top of this Subie? Who knows…

Click to expand

And here’s what these rides looked like before they got wrapped:

And this was the first generation Map Car, seen getting busted by the Federal popo in the Presidio.

(I’ve heard from four people who suppor contradictory stories (so that’s four people promoting two completely different tales) on why this particular Googler got busted, or not busted as the case may be. Oh well. Did the Presidio Trust tell the Google to get a permit? And did Google ignore that request? Don’t know.)

And the Google Bikes:

And the Google office:

And the Google Kitchen – it’s just like a 7-11 except shoplifting is encouraged:

And here’s the concomitant G-Toilet – it costs $700, it has over 20 buttons for its full operation, it’s made in Japan:

So that’s Google’s world.

San Francisco’s Most Anticipated Play of 2013: A.C.T.’s “Black Watch” – A Must-See – Runs Through June 16th

Friday, May 10th, 2013

This is it. This is your San Francisco Theatre Performance of the Year.

It’s Black Watch from Scotland.

It’s down in the Armory, in the Mission. If you show up late, they won’t let you in. 110 minutes, no intermission. And, oh yeah, all the tickets cost $100.

But everyone seems to love it. 

Get your tickets now if you want to go.

Look, it’s getting attention already:

Chad Jones of the San Francisco Chronicle

Karen D-Souza of the San Jose Mercury News

Georgia Rowe of the San Francisco Examiner

A shot from yesterday’s press preview at The Drill Court:

By  Brenden Mendoza – thanks!

All right, see you there!

Handy Guide: How to listen to Scootish People.

Here’s where it’s at:

The Armory Community Center
333 14th Street (between Mission and Valencia)
San Francisco, CA 94103

View a larger map and get directions

Use the Bay Area’s 511 TakeTransit Trip Planner to get public transit information.

For more information about public transportation and parking lot options please visit the Black Watch show page.

All the deets: 

National Theatre of Scotland’s Black Watch

May 9–June 16, 2013
A Revolutionary Theatrical Event

by Gregory Burke
Directed by John Tiffany

Performing in the Armory Community Center, located in San Francisco’s Mission District at 333 14th Street (between Mission and Valencia).

THERE WILL BE NO LATE SEATING!
Please plan appropriate travel time when making arrangements.

Running time:
1 hour and 50 minutes with no intermission

The internationally acclaimed hit—named “#1 Theatrical Event of the Year!”
by the New York Times
After transfixing audiences across the globe and receiving unanimous critical acclaim worldwide, National Theatre of Scotland’s revolutionary production of Black Watch makes its highly anticipated Bay Area premiere. Inspired by interviews with soldiers who served in Iraq with Scotland’s nearly 300-year-old Black Watch regiment, this hauntingly powerful depiction of war is so inventive and groundbreaking in scope that it demands a completely unique performance venue—and will take over the long-dormant Drill Court at San Francisco’s historic Mission Armory. Splicing together exquisitely deployed stagecraft, from choreographed marches and Scottish ballads to searing video news footage, Black Watch captures the layered state of being at war, from moment to gripping moment. A transformative theatrical event you don’t want to miss, Black Watch delivers a visceral, unforgettable experience.

Performances of Black Watch will take place in the Armory Community Center, located in San Francisco’s Mission District., located at 333 14th Street (between Mission and Valencia). Click here for directions.

“Thrilling . . . a necessary reminder of the transporting power that is unique to theater.” —The New York Times

“A genuine spectacle that revels in its own theatricality and comes replete with music, marching, explosive effects and its own piper.” —Chicago Tribune

“Magnificent” —New York Observer

“Enthralling” —Washington Post

“★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ! The world must see this play. Immediately.” —The Herald (Scotland)

“★ ★ ★ ★ ★! Fierce, passionate, and unguarded” —The Guardian

“A landmark event” —The Independent (London)

“A glorious piece of theater—raw, truthful, uncomfortable, moving, graceful and dynamic” —Scotland on Sunday

“Stirring and absorbing” —The West Australian

“A pulsating epic” —Daily Mail

If You Go to the Baseball Game, You Probably Ought to Watch the Baseball Game, Non? Giants vs. Rockies

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

At least the good parts, anyway:

Click to expand

[Hector Mode = OFF]

OMG, It’s “War Horse” at Our Curran Theatre – A Spectacle – Positive to Enthusiastic Reviews – Ends Sept. 9th

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

I don’t know what you’re looking for in a play, but how’s this?

2011 Tony Awards:
  • Best Play
  • Best Direction (Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris)
  • Best Scenic Design (Rae Smith, winner)
  • Best Lighting Design (Paule Constable, winner)
  • Best Sound Design (Christopher Shutt, winner)

In addition, Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones of Handspring Puppet Company won the Special Tony Award for War Horse.

So yeah, War Horse at our SHN Curran Theatre is a puppet show based on a children’s book, but it looks amazing.

Speaking of which, here’s SFPD horse “Hammer” meeting SHN horse puppet “Joey” the other day in Golden Gate Park – check the video:

Click to expand – more deets on this equine experiment from Kavin Fagan here

And, the reviews:

Miracles abound in the electrifying “War Horse per Robert Hurwitt of the San Francisco Chronicle

A theatrical coup” per long-time San Francisco critic Janos Gereben

It’s “spellbinding” per Karen D’Souza of the San Jose Mercury News

War Horse earns its stripesper Ken Marks of KQED

War Horse is the one touring show that shouldn’t be missed” per Cy Ashley Webb of the Stark Insider

Four stars out of five per Albert Goodwyn, SF Performing Arts Examiner

It’s a great show. You (and your kin aged 12 and up) ought to go see it.

And oh, BTW, if you don’t already have tickets for The Book of Mormon, you know, the Best Musical of the Century (already!) per the New York Times, well, it’s time to start freaking out. You can’t buy tickets now because the only way to do that is to get a subscription for the 2012-2013 season (you know, Lion King, Wicked, etc.) but here’s the catch: SOLD OUT, baby! Already. So you’re going to need to move move move when individual tickets go on sale, whenever that will be. BoM, which is, fundamentally, a “love letter to religion written by an atheist,” however foul-mouthed it may be, will only be here for five short weeks. Every last show will sell out, just saying.

OMG, Les Miserables Debuts, Once Again, at the Orpheum Theatre – Standing Ovations – A Really Big Show

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

The debut of the 25th Anniversary production of Boublil & Schönberg’s LES MISÉRABLES was a huge success at our Orpheum Theatre last night.

Man, this show is big.

(So, as I said yesterday, get your tickets at SHN now - they’re not getting any cheaper and this musical leaves us on August 26th, 2012.)

Now here’s Emily L’s review from the Orchestra Section’s Row U:

“Extraordinary musical! Les Miz is a beautiful story of a man’s life struggles, portraying bourgeois issues such as poverty, child abuse, prostitution and other political corruption in 1800 France. I was instantly enthralled from the very first scene of the show. This cast is amazing and captivating in every way. The voices went with each characters’ every movement and the visual sets were stunning. The orchestra seating was a special treat as the sound resonated throughout, spot on with the actors. In 2 hours, Les Miz will bring out smiles, pains, laughs, cries, ‘aww’s, and cheers – it’s a roller coaster ride definitely worth riding at least once!” 

So there you have it.

Les Miz reminds me of that other famous, long-running show, Phantom of the Opera, in a way. But guess who says Les Miz is “far superior?” It’s Steven Winn of the San Francisco Chronicle:

Vive ‘Les Miz’: Pop opera returns to S.F.”

Now let’s hear from Food Fashionista Mika Takeuchi, who also caught yesterday’s debut:

“Les Misérables @shnSF. Entire cast deserved standing ovation, but WOW -Javert @AndrewVarela525 & Jean Valjean @Peter_Lockyer - mesmerizing!”

And here’s Diane Dwyer of NBC Bay Area:

“Just saw #lesmiserables‬ @shnsf at the Orpheum – perfection – standing ovation .. Highly recommend it!”

All right, see you there!

“Cameron Mackintosh presents a brand new 25th anniversary production of Boublil & Schönberg’s legendary musical, LES MISÉRABLES, with glorious new staging and dazzlingly reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo. This new production has been acclaimed by critics, fans and new audiences and is breaking box office records wherever it goes.

Based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel, LES MISÉRABLES is an epic and uplifting story about the survival of the human spirit. The magnificent score of LES MISÉRABLES includes the classic songs “I Dreamed a Dream,” “On My Own,” “Stars,” “Bring Him Home,” “Do You Hear the People Sing?,” “One Day More,” “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables,” “Master Of The House” and many more.

For more information, visit: www.lesmiz.com.”

This could be you:

 

OMG, the 25th Anniversary Edition of LES MISERABLES Debuts at the Orpheum Tonight! Sneak Peek Right Here

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Get your tickets at SHN now.

“Cameron Mackintosh presents a brand new 25th anniversary production of Boublil & Schönberg’s legendary musical, LES MISÉRABLES, with glorious new staging and dazzlingly reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo. This new production has been acclaimed by critics, fans and new audiences and is breaking box office records wherever it goes.

Based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel, LES MISÉRABLES is an epic and uplifting story about the survival of the human spirit. The magnificent score of LES MISÉRABLES includes the classic songs “I Dreamed a Dream,” “On My Own,” “Stars,” “Bring Him Home,” “Do You Hear the People Sing?,” “One Day More,” “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables,” “Master Of The House” and many more.

For more information, visit: www.lesmiz.com.”