SF Theater Pub Presents Boozy Local Shorts

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You're back at school. You've already locked eyes with a pretty little thing over the beer pong table at a frat party. You want to know more. Being morally above the ritual of casual anonymous hook-ups, you need an idea for a date.

Thankfully, the San Francisco Theater Pub is there to help. Their "Pint Sized Plays Festival," showing in the crowded setting of the Cafe Royale at 800 Post Street, is just what the doctor ordered. But only the sort of doctor who gets embroiled in malpractice suits for promoting liver damage. As its title would suggest, the show consists of a series of short plays each designed, in theory, to last as long as it takes to drink a pint of beer.

What better setting for a first date? Something that says, "I'm cultured, but want to get you liquored up before the show's over and I actually have to talk to you."

Wait. Let's all stop for a minute and think about the ingenuity of this idea: Free theater, reasonably-priced beer. It seems strange to try and critique a show or a company devoted to such a noble cause. So I won't. The short plays are by local writers, for better or for worse. Don't go expecting a Tony-worthy performance, do go expecting to drink beer.

Highlights of the evening included short play "Hot or Not" by Jeremy Cole, directed by Claire Rice. A simple concept of two people arguing over the relative hotness or notness of a third rendered hilarious by the enthusiastic acting of Tea Toplak, John Caldon and Kurt Cotton.

Nearing the end of the night, "Pint Sized Plays" had descended - or perhaps ascended - into a no-holds-barred celebration of, well, beer, reaching something of a climax in "Pigs" by Elana McKernan. Directed by Meg O'Connor, this scene consisted of actor Rob Ready stalking into the middle of the pub, spitting repeatedly, chugging a pint of beer, and marching off stage after cursing about "pigs." Cheers shook the building.

In "Pound It" by Bennett Fisher, directed by Alex Curtis, actors Cooper Carlson and Joe Scheppers rounded off the night in an over-the-top exuberant dialogue concerning, well, beer. Things were a little fuzzy by that point.

Although talent varied between them, all actors proved their impeccable technique in chugging beer--they appear to have been trained in the rowdiest of fraternity parties. What's more, the SF Theater Pub crew are equal-opportunity drinkers, granting equal access to their gullets for any and all brands of beer, from Red Label to Guinness.

Since the whole bar serves as a stage, seemingly random people spring up at the start of each scene and reveal themselves as actors. It's impossible to spot them even by their stage makeup, hidden amongst those San Francisco youths who worry that people won't be able to find their eyes unless they are solidly demarcated by a centimeter of eyeliner.

What's more, the pub's setup guarantees that wherever you decide to sit or stand, you will have at least one amazing view of a performance, and you will miss at least one performance entirely. Luckily the pub offers other amusements to tide you through the less visible acts.

Should you deem your liver hardy enough to attend a showing of "Pint Sized Plays" - and should you decide to try and drink a whole pint per play, as the challenge goes - make sure to arrive more than a half hour early to the Cafe Royale at 800 Post Street to secure a seat. Lord knows you'll be needing it by the ninth act.


Spit repeatedly and chug a pint of beer with Hannah at [email protected]

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