Drama Talk & Drinks: The SpongeBob Musical & We Are Moving to Instagram!

After almost 7 years of Drama Talk and Drinks, we decided it was time to do a bit of a refresh: We’re rebranding to: Making a Scene in SF

And we’re moving to Instagram: Follow us!!! @makingasceneinSF

We’re expanding the type of content and culture we cover: We’ll be reviewing shows, exploring The Bay, getting to know some of the incredible talent that comes through our amazing area, and inviting you in to more of what we’re watching and talking about outside of the theatre. 

Also, WE are Katie Cruz and Lisa Raphael, a couple of former-and-forever theatre nerds and pop culture obsessives.

There will still be drama talk. And there will still be drinks. 100% there will still be drinks.

In the meantime, here is our last post on Mission Mission, to give you a hint of what you can expect to see on @makingasceneinSF. It’s ironic this will be about The SpongeBob Musical… but such is life. 

Image result for the spongebob musical san francisco
PHOTO CREDIT: JEREMY DANIEL

HIGHLIGHTS?

Katie: Hmmm…. I would say, it was the creative use of sound effects, costumes, projections and lighting. 

Lisa: On stage, it was the general ENERGY. I loved the look and how they created the cartoon scenes IRL. I loved the sound effects and the guy on stage playing them. Incredible pipes on many in the cast as well. Off stage, the highlight for me was watching SpongeBob STANs react (freak tf out). It was a trip.

LOWLIGHTS?

K: The story…the songs…the realization that this cartoon was indeed turned into a Broadway musical and that there must be no more original ideas. 

L: The plot and some of the songs felt a bit generic (yknow, character skips around his beloved town in a sweeping, scene-setting song to open the show).

FAVORITE SONG?

K: Even with the star power of John Legend and T.I, there were no memorable songs.

L: It’s hard to watch anyone rap onstage after seeing Hamilton multiple times (not to brag) but I did think “When the Going Gets Tough” was really fun to watch. Katie is rolling her eyes rn 😝 Also Squidward’s eventual song, “I’m Not a Loser.” Also the sponge song… 

WHO WOULD YOU BE CAST AS?

K: Squidward, because I’m jaded and bitter. 

L: LOL ^^^ I can’t explain, but that one (sexy?) hamburger stole the show for me. I would want to be that hamburger — er, krabby patty?

WHO WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS SHOW TO?

K: Seven year olds or adults who LOVED SpongeBob as a kid. (You could probably guess I am neither of those demographics) 

L: People who LOVE SpongeBob, this is a damn must. People who LOVE edibles, you will also enjoy this pairing. 

EMOJI VERDICT?

K: 🤨

L: 🥳

The SpongeBob Musical plays at the Golden Gate Theatre through this weekend only. Tickets are still available on the BroadwaySF website

Keep in touch with us!

Follow us: @makingasceneinSF

Email us and invite us to your show: makingasceneinsf@gmail.com

Drama Talk & Drinks: Inked Baby – “needles and the thought of giving birth”

I’m always excited when a night out is at Crowded Fire Theater. I find that the shows they produce always leave me moved to thought. Seeing the west coast premiere of Inked Baby was no different.

Photo by Adam Tolbert
Photo by Adam Tolbert

Lisa: First I thought this is odd (referring to the first scene of the play where one of the characters is having sex with her brother in law because her sister in infertile) there is another way to do that which is above board. You can even DIY impregnating someone. Despite that hangup I really enjoyed it. I am starved for culture so at this point I can enjoy almost any show I see. However, I am very squeamish when it comes to medical things, can’t handle needles or the thought of giving birth.

Katie: Me too! But I thought that plot point of a community of color being taken advantage of was very relevant, I mean look at what is currently happening in the Bayview. Before they revealed the contamination of the community the characters live in, I didn’t get where the play was going and I felt that the tone and world of the play felt inconsistent. But, overall I found myself very interested in what was going to happen next. But at times the writing felt unnatural.

Lisa: I thought the play was really interesting and very thought provoking. I also liked the way the stage was set up and I liked the transitions. I wanted to leave the theater and understand what was real and what was not, which didn’t really happen for me, but that’s okay.

The Verdict: Thought provoking, disturbing and yet entertaining. Give it a watch. Leave time to process after. It’s a quick 90 minutes with no intermission.

The Drinks: We went to our favorite Potrero Hill dive bar, Blooms Saloon. Cheap drinks and expensive views. Great place to process a Crowded Fire Theater show.

Inked Baby plays through October 5th at Potrero Stage. Tickets are $15-$35 and be purchased on the Crowded Fire website.

Drama Talk & Drinks: Hamilton – “I never wanted it to end”

I can’t remember a musical phenomenon bigger than Hamilton: An American Musical. I know people of all ages and backgrounds who love this musical, while still claiming they are not “theater people”. This show is rare and special. Even though I had seen it the first time around, I could not miss a chance to see it again. So I grabbed one of the biggest Hamilton fans I know, and we headed to the Orpheum Theatre for some drama talk and drinks.

Photo by Joan Marcus.
Photo by Joan Marcus.

Katie: I am still in awe that even after listening to the soundtrack a million times and having already seen it, I was on the edge of my seat. This show moves fast, there are a lot of words and a lot going on in every scene. I think knowing the words and having seen it before, I saw things I didn’t see the first time. From the staging happening on the second level of the set, to the choreography. I never wanted it to end. This is a masterful musical-storytelling-experience.

Garrett: Having been my second time also, I continue to be impressed with everything about it. I forgot how beautiful the movement is of each scene as well as all the design aspects of the lighting and the set. The design of each scene seamlessly changes and there’s very minimal set designs, but they pull this off better than anything I’ve ever seen in that style. I forgot how good the second half was, it really brings everything together and allows the story to end on a truly emotional note. I think a highlight for me, was the actor who played Hamilton. He was so good! I think he stole the show. It really is a rock concert meets hip hop, meets Broadway, meets story telling and a history lesson.

Verdict: You haven’t seen Hamilton!? Don’t throw away your shot and go see this show! ;) You’ve already seen Hamilton!? It’s just as good, and I would argue better, the second time around.

The Drinks: We checked out a new Speakeasy a couple blocks away called The Pawn Shop. If you want the entertainment to continue this is a good place to go after a show.

Hamilton plays through September 8th at the Orpheum Theatre. Tickets can be purchased on the SHN website and range from $95-$325. They are also offering $10 tickets at each performance through a digital lottery. Here is the link to the app where you can enter.

 

Drama Talk & Drinks: A Bronx Tale – “this kind of show is polarizing”

Since Brittany hasn’t been able to go to shows with me lately, I needed an extremely well versed theater-goer to attend the next one. I immediately asked my Uncle Louis, who, along with my aunt, were the first people to ever take me to a musical. We have been to a ridiculous amount of musicals together over the years, our joint favorite being Rent. So off we went for some drama talk and drinks to see this play-turned-movie-turned-musical, A Bronx Tale at the Golden Gate Theatre.

Photo by: Joan Marcus
Photo by: Joan Marcus

 

Louis: I thought the show propelled itself with a lot of energy, but the vehicle for that energy was very formulaic. It became redundant, I’m not sure how many times “look to your heart” can be said in a song. We did see the best quartet of gangster singers in sweater vests that there has ever been. At least now I’ll never forget to look at my heart.

Katie: Not just look at your heart, the songs also told us that you need to follow your heart, listen to your heart, choose your heart. Talk about the ultimate filler songs! This movie did not need to be made into a generic musical. It was disappointing. I guess I thought it was going to be more interesting than it was.

L: What was very interesting was as we walked out the people around us were very quiet, there wasn’t a buzz like I’ve felt leaving other shows. I think this kind of show is polarizing because it is formulaic. Some people loved it because it was familiar, but others that were seeking a moving experience didn’t get that.

K: The things I did love was the set, the lighting, and the actors who did a really great job. The casting was on point. When the writing was specific, the actors were able to create some really nice authentic moments.

L: Overall, to me, it was a really well polished turd. Pretty to look at and the actors were so talented, but this show could have been any show and the songs could have been anyone’s songs. A show like this makes me angry at Jonathan Larson for dying because I think we just had a taste of what he was going to do with Theater. Right now we are left with this formula that, granted, a lot of people seem to love and I’m sure would disagree with me about this.

The Verdict: Our hearts were not moved, however, if you have a 13 year old in your life that you would like to impress, this is a great show for them, otherwise this is one to skip.

The Drama Talk:  A Bronx Tale’s story, based on a play of the same name, made for a popular 1960’s mob film but an awkward and generic musical. I think that’s all we really have to say about that.

The Drinks:  We hit up my go-to bar after a show at the Golden Gate Theater, which is PianoFight.

A Bronx Tale runs through December 23rd at the Golden Gate Theatre. Tickets range from $56-$256 and can be purchased on the SHN website. They are also doing in-person AND mobile rush tickets for $40, which is pretty cool. Visit this page to find link to the mobile app.

 

Drama Talk & Drinks: Cirque Du Soleil’s Volta – “I was mesmerized”

I haven’t seen a Cirque Du Soleil show in about 9 years and Garrett had never seen one. So this year I knew we needed to check out Volta. So off we went to the parking lot of AT&T Park to see what was going on underneath that huge tent.

volta

Katie: Having only seen a Cirque Du Soleil show about insects, I enjoyed the heartfelt, darker tone and mood of Volta’s storyline. I also liked that they explored themes of how technology can be a negative distraction and it can keep us from each other.

Garrett: Having never seen a Cirque du soleil show before, I was thoroughly impressed and entertained. I was mesmerized with what was going on. I liked some of the themes they explored but there were times where the story was hard to follow and didn’t really match was was happening in a scene.

K: Yeah, agreed, but overall I thought it was beautiful. The music, lighting and costumes were so great. The show feels like a concert, but also a dance show and also an exciting athletic event with acrobats and gymnasts.

G: Yeah, the vibe was really cool. The relationship between the performers and the audience is very unique, and different from anything I’ve seen. Everyone’s very encouraging because you understand that what they are doing is dangerous so there is applause when someone does something cool or when someone messes up they get love from the audience. Having driven past those tents hundreds of times over the years, it’s incredible to finally see what’s going on inside, and I like it. They create such a unique environment…you forget you’re in a freaking parking lot!

 The Verdict: Cirque Du Soliel shows are all about spectacle and Volta doesn’t disappoint. Bring a date, bring the fam, this show is for everyone.

The Drama Talk: Wow. How do they do it? You forget how difficult these things are because they make it seem so easy. Tricks off trampolines, with bikes and jump ropes, through hoops and in the air, there were like 100 athletic achievements being done and it was all pieced together with a story of a young man who has lost touch with himself because he’s different. The storyline has some cool, beautiful moments, but overall it didn’t quite feel cohesive. However, the incredible performers, music, and lighting make up for it.

The Drinks: There was free champagne at this performance as well as a bar so we decided not to venture, but if we did we were going to go to the Atwater Tavern since it’s pretty much in the same parking lot.

Volta plays through February 3rd under the Big Top at AT&T Park. Tickets range from $68-$290 and can be purchased on their website. Right now there are discounted tickets available on Goldstar.

 

Drama Talk & Drinks: The Golden Girls – “yay, for mindless television”

It’s holiday time again, which means it’s time for Golden Girls the Christmas Episodes! Since this was our 3rd year attending (we saw the 2013 and 2015 shows and loved them too) we thought it would be fun to bring some friends who hadn’t seen it. We were excited to experience this show with fresh eyes, so out we went for a night of drama talk and drinks.

Golden Girls Live 05 sm photo by Mr Pam

Rachel: I thought it was great, very entertaining. Dorothy and Blanche were amazing, but as a Golden Girls fan, Sophia and Rose fell short for me. I wanted their delivery to be a little more like the originals. Overall though, really fun and recommend seeing it.

Garrett: Love this show! Best SF drag show I’ve ever seen!

Sam: It was a fun show. It’s all novel to me, I’ve never watched the TV show. They have a lot of rapport. They all seem to like each other. I don’t know the characters they’re trying to embody, so for me it was fun to just watch some good drag performances. I have no idea how true it is to the original. At first thought it was fan fiction, but I guess these are real episodes?

Brittany: Yep, real episodes. I do think it’s interesting, because Rachel comes from knowing the show so well, and she didn’t like Sophia or Rose as well, but you said Sophia was your favorite.

S: Yeah, she was the funniest, she had the best timing.

B: It’s a fun night. If you really like the TV show, you’ll enjoy seeing these fun characters larger than life on stage. If you don’t know the show well, it’s still a funny show with a lot of talent.

S: You don’t need to know anything to enjoy it for sure. It’s got beautiful and talented drag performers, great costumes, a really detailed set, everything you need.  Loved that they went around selling Fireball shots! I would definitely say yes to Fireball again.

Katie: It was fun to see it again, this show is so consistent. You can count on a good time, it just makes you smile. It definitely takes my mind off of the horrifying things that are happening in the world.

B: Yay, for mindless television.

The Verdict: Need to take your mind off of the terrible things happening in the world? Then get to this show ASAP. If you know and love the Golden Girls show from the 80’s or not, this is fun, mindless holiday themed entertainment for all.

The Drama Talk: This is our 3rd year of seeing Golden Girls and it hasn’t disappointed yet. It has been consistently well produced, with extremely talented drag queens year after year. We do advise to get there at least 30 minutes before the show to ensure a decent seat and grab a drink at the bar before the line gets too long. Better yet, get a cocktail nearby before the show (we recommend Bond Bar) and then just get a beer since the cocktails are the theater are expensive and not very good.

The Drinks: We headed up to Valencia street to a bar we had been wanting to try called Holy Mountain. It’s above the thai hipster restaurant Hawker Fare so we didn’t know what to expect. It ended up being a pretty open room with plenty of booths and tables. It was a great place to get a fancy cocktail, sit and talk about the show.

The Golden Girls runs through December 23rd at The Victoria Theatre. Tickets are $30 and available at online at www.goldengirlssf.com.

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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).

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