Fear and loathing on Folsom

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I was sandwiched between two of my friends in a tiny cement box called the New Langton Arts Theatre, on Folsom Street, in San Francisco. They had no idea I was incredibly out of my mind, although my swaying and unintelligible ramblings should have given me away. I’m sure I reeked of alcohol and cigarettes, and was probably stumbling around like an idiot, but the cops never really bothered me in the city. They knew I was just a tourist… a schmuck out for a night of fun, and that I would be back to my normal, boring life in a short while. I agreed with them. I was there to see Single Entendre, a sketch comedy group, and before the night was over, I would be back in my little town far, far away.

The chairs upon which we sat were cheap, flimsy things with cloth coverings to fool us into thinking they were cushioned. I was not pleased, and I could tell that before the end of the show, my bum would be angry with me. One thing my bum couldn’t be angry about was the constant stream of Oingo Boingo playing from the weak speakersaround the room. On one wall, bleachers ascended upward, which is where we sat. On the other wall, a square of black cloth was hung from the ceiling. I could only assume this was the stage.

The lights dimmed, the Oingo Boingo stopped (it was beginning to annoy me anyway), and the show began.

A voice came over the speakers, introducing the members of Single Entendre: Misha Frenklak, Chad McComber, Dan Morgan, and Reymundo Zegri. Amidst the introductions, various jokes were made, lightning flashed, and thunder cracked. Soon there was silence, and the hilarity began.

There were sketches about mail-a-kids, DEA agents and their shady habits, and racist Texans in aprons. The scary voice over the speakers made a couple of appearances during the show, even starring in a sketch of its own. It was called “The Letter,” and it reminded me of an old radio show program, complete with cheesy sound effects and a “to be continued” at the end. An intermission soon followed, announced (more accurately, screamed) from behind the curtain by one of the four comedians, I couldn’t tell which.

During the break, the girl on my left went to smoke and the girl on my right went to get food. I remained, waiting for my ass to stop tingling and the show to start again. I noticed how good the lighting in this tiny theatre was, and how the sound, even though it was of a weak volume, was actually quite good.

People smelled like beer.

Speaking of which, a very strange bald fellow was calling out “buy beer” to the audience, running in and out of the backstage area. He was wearing an orange sweatshirt and flitted around like a bee.

At this point, I suspected the people around me knew I was press. I kept looking down at my notes, scribbling this and that down, looking up at the people walking by. I caught them glancing at me.

After a long intermission and the return of my friends, the show continued (as shows normally do post-intermission).

After more jokes about farts and butts and nasty things, the show was over. After hanging around, meeting comedians and joking with friends, we piled into the cluttered Toyota Corolla we came in. The night was over, and if there was a highlight to the show, it had to be the massive, dangling disco ball used for the finale. Disco balls make any show worth watching.