SF Sketchfest

Jane Kaczmarek reads a story by Katherine Heiny at Selected Shorts: Too Hot For Radio at the Marines’ Memorial Theatre on January 26, 2018. (Photo courtesy of Tommy Lau

As a longtime listener of Symphony Space’s Selected Shorts, a short story reading radio program broadcast locally on KQED-88.5 on Saturday nights, I was thrilled to see that Sketchfest was bringing the show to the Festival for the first time ever this year. What made the live performance even more special and fun was that it promised to offer stories “too hot for radio” – ones that, for various content reasons couldn’t be read over the air during the regular program, but could be read to a non-broadcast, live theater audience. As an added bonus on top of that, as is typical with Selected Shorts, the stories would be read by famous, well-regarded actors. For “Too Hot for Radio” we were graced with Arrested Development regular and comedian David Cross, actors Lance Reddick (The Wire) and Academy Award nominee David Strathairn (an alumni of Larkspur’s Redwood High School), and actress and Symphony Space regular reader Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm in the Middle). The live show, held on Friday, January 26th at the Marines’ Memorial Theatre, didn’t disappoint, and more than lived up to my expectations.

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Annie Ellicott sings with Jeff Goldblum (on piano) and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra at the Marines’ Memorial Theatre on Jan. 28th. (Photo courtesy of: https://www.facebook.com/pg/goldblumofficial/photos)

For the third year in a row, SF Sketchfest fans were treated to the affable charm of actor and musician Jeff Goldblum, who brought his Mildred Snitzer Orchestra jazz band to the Marines’ Memorial Theatre last Sunday for a cabaret-style evening of jazz, movie clips, and a whole lot more. Goldblum’s laid-back and amiable presence is always enjoyable, and he seems to take just as much pleasure in his show and his audience interaction as his fans do. [read the whole post]

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The Deltas in front of their frat house.

The cast and crew from the classic movie Animal House assembled at the Castro Theatre for a panel discussion of the comedy classic in honor of its 40th anniversary. It is, as you may remember, vibrant with jokes that stand the test of time. The movie was groundbreakingly raunchy for its time, with sexual humor that seems tame now, but in 1978 challenged the ratings board, and caused the studio to resist its production until Donald Sutherland joined the cast. It was risque to show dildos on screen, and the gross out humor and blatant sexuality was new for the day. There were several scenes in which women, on a date, in a car, overlooking the city, were giving hand jobs in convertibles, expressing irritation and boredom at the laborious process of pleasuring their date, a scenario familiar to many adults. This was also one of the few jokes that seems to have been specifically penned for audience members who aren’t white men. “Is it supposed to be so soft?” asks the woman on their second encounter in the car. [read the whole post]

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Although it’s widely touted as a comedy festival, SF Sketchfest has a wide ranging program that meanders into film, television, literature and music as well. How fitting it is, then, that Rock Solid With Pat Francis is welcoming a guest with a long career doing all three. From his beginnings with mega-hit “Jesse’s Girl” to his years as Noah Drake on General Hospital to his critically acclaimed memoir of depression, Late, Late Night all the way to co-starring with Meryl Streep in Jonathan Demme’s final film, Rikki and the Flash, Rick Springfield has a career as interesting and varied as the rest of the programming at SF Sketchfest. When given the opportunity to talk to him about his Sketchfest appearance and his new blues centered album The Snake King, and told I would only have an hour to prepare, I jumped at the chance.

Rick Springfield was in his car on the way to Joshua Tree when he called. [read the whole post]

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June 6, 1944.

June 6, 1944.

Do you know what today is? Today is D-Day. Freedom isn’t to be for granted, especially these days.

Speaking of freedom, let’s talk about concerts. Here’s what we’ve got coming up this week in the Bay Area: tall people, people benefiting other people, and people doing things with the air.

So, let’s preview. Time to preview. It’s time to preview now, and now here are the previews.

Let’s preview now. Preview start. Time to preview the coming week and the time to preview is now. Let’s do it! Preview!

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Paco Romane is one of the greatest Bay Area comedians. In addition to doing stand-up all around the Bay all the time, he hosts the Sup Doc Podcast with George Chen. He’s also performing at the Outside Lands Music Festival this weekend, where he has curated a set of his favorite comics to open the Barbary tent, and will also be doing a “Hipster Chef Roast” at the Gastromagic stage on Friday. If you can’t make it out to Outside Lands on Friday, Romane is doing a warm up show at Plate & Camera Productions on Thursday Night!

We had the joy of chatting with Romane. Sorry that we didn’t invite you, but you can read a word-by-word account of this conversation below!
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SF Sketchfest Review: Mortified (The Extra Dirty Version), 1/23/16 at Swedish American Hall

February 3, 2016

That Mortified has been selling out shows for the past decade shouldn’t surprise me. What should is that this year was my first time getting to find out why. It was Sketchfest 2016’s final weekend (Saturday, 1/23, to be exact), and while I had booked myself back-to-back shows for the evening, I wasn’t concerned since […]

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SF Sketchfest Review: Bring the Rock with Greg Behrendt and guests Dana Gould, Andy Kindler, Kate Micucci and Janet Varney, 1/23/16 at Swedish American Hall

February 2, 2016

Sketchfest is always fun. It’s even better, though, when I get to see Greg Behrendt, and most of all when it’s for Bring the Rock, as was the case for the final weekend of Sketchfest 2016 at Swedish American Hall. It’s even sweeter than usual, though, because it marks my fifth anniversary with Spinning Platters: […]

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SF Sketchfest Review: Tribute to Sally Field, ‘Hello, My Name is Doris’ Screening and Q&A with Sally Field and Michael Showalter, 1/22/16 at Alamo Drafthouse

January 28, 2016

Okay, it’s taken me almost a week and I still haven’t been able to decide: do I want to call Sally Field “radiant,” or is “luminous” the right word? I swear, that’s a big part of the reason it’s taken me five days to publish my review. (It also doesn’t help that I’ve been as […]

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SF Sketchfest Review: A Tribute to Patton Oswalt: In Conversation with Boots Riley at the Marines’ Memorial Theatre, 1/16/16

January 22, 2016

Patton Oswalt, comedian and actor extraordinaire, isn’t sure why he’s getting a “tribute” from SF Sketchfest. Sure, he’s been touring the comedy circuit since ’88, has amassed millions of fans, exudes a remarkably conscious presence on social media, and generally is utterly recognizable in voice, manner, and his own creative palate — but is that […]

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