Our thanks to the many positive customer reviews “Absolutely San Francisco” has seen posted to various web sites. In the modern, internet marketing age, this electronic word-of-mouth is the life blood of small theaters like ours. We salute all of you! (Wherever possible, I have linked the review – ed.)
***** (Goldstar.com) When’s the last time you saw an original musical with one actress only, who sings the roles of half a dozen female/male characters? Never? Well it was surprisingly fun and effective. The lead (well only) actress was personable and energetic, her portrayals were at once amusing, truthful, and touching. The plot is centered around San Francisco, it’s landmarks and characters, so should be of interest to visitors and the locals who love this City. The music is sprightly and sometimes you get to clap along! The backdrop has city sites projected on it and so provides a constantly changing panorama. Lastly, the Alcove Theatre is a charming, pleasant, comfortable, and welcoming venue in a good neighborhood. I overheard that the musical may go on hiatus at the end of this year. So if you want to see it, now is the time. I think it would make a great Holiday outing. Written on Dec 19 2011 (SF Raconteur)
**** (Goldstar.com) I loved the intimacy of the theater, the tables between the seats and the wine, water, cookies, etc. Most of all, I LOVED the comedy. The actress whose name is escaping me was exceptional, a truly gifted actor [Anne Doherty, ed.]. I also loved the interaction with the audience. It was such fun and though I’ve lived here over 30 years, I really enjoyed the bits of history stewn throughout not to mention how the pieces of the puzzle came together at the end. Kudos from start to finish! Written on Dec 13 2011 (Goldstar Member)
***** (Goldstar.com) totally entertaining view of San Francisco with a twist…. Written on Dec 12 2011 (Goldstar Member)
**** (Goldstar.com) Well-acted… great interweaving of the story and characters. If you’re new or visiting SF, this would be the first show I would see to get an wonderful overview of the city by someone who really loves being here. Written on Dec 12 2011 (Austin Nation)
***** (Goldstar.com) The show was refreshing with great comedy blanketing social commentary. I was impressed by the actor’s impression of the characters, and the clever way in which she brought them to life. I would recommend this show to anyone who wants a thought-provoking, heart-felt story conveyed through a jovial and witty performance. Written on Dec 09 2011 (Goldstar Member)
**** (Goldstar.com) Very clever artistic showcase. We laughted at the frankness of the show and completely enjoyed the creativity of the production. It is a demonstration of true artistic expression in a comfortable intimate setting. BRAVO! Process Comments: Everything went well. We were welcomed as Red Velvet Gold Star customers and were given priority seating. Written on Dec 09 2011 (Donovan Craig)
***** (Goldstar.com) OH MY GOD!!!! You gotta see Mary perform. She is AWESOME! Lots of fun. Written on Dec 05 2011 (Crispy)
***** (Goldstar.com) This is a wonderful San Francisco experience. Love songs of San Francisco, warm, empathic vignettes – right on!!! Actress tour de force performance. Lyrics are clever, quirky, and insightful. The music struck just the right key. Process Comments: Great! Written on Nov 21 2011 (Goldstar Member)
***** (Goldstar.com) A cast of characters that every long-time San Franciscan knows and sites we have all seen wrapped in a fun and non-offensive package by a single talented performer in a convenient, intimate, and welcoming venue. Written on Dec 05 2011 (Goldstar Member)
**** (Goldstar.com) Fascinating to watch an extremely talented actress play multiple roles convincingly. Witty and fun and entertaining. Enjoyable way to spend Sunday evening in the city. Written on Nov 21 2011 (Goldstar Member)
***** (Goldstar.com) She is amazing. With each character change you felt like you were totally seeing and listening to which ever person she was speaking as. I would see it again! Process Comments: Services were great. Easy to buy tickets on line and our names were on the register when we got there. Written on Nov 08 2011 (Goldstar Member)
**** (Goldstar.com) Wonderful entertainment. Very talented performer. Writer and stageing were terrific. Lyrics and music kept us alert and attentive, and amazed at the breadth of talent displayed by the performer. Great entertainment for locals and for visitors. Process Comments: Treated like Red Carpet members; very nice to be recognized. Written on Oct 17 2011 (Peter Gleichenhaus)
***** Absolutely WONDERDFUL show! Planning on taking others to see this amazing one woman musical comedy. San Francisco in a nutshell! A must see! Process Comments: Everything was perfect! Bought the tickets last minute and we had a wonderful experience. Written on Sep 12 2011 (Goldstar Member)
***** “Really enjoyed this well written and entertaining show.” – Reviewed August 18, 2011 (TripAdvisor.com)
I’m a 3rd generation San Franciscan and really enjoyed everything about this play and the playhouse. Wine, videos, very energetic performance, extremely well written, some very catching songs that we couldn’t stop singing for the next few days. A wonderful atmosphere to see a play. Very friendly. She brings the entire audience together for an enjoyable 100 minutes or so. Sunshine is a breath of sunshine. We highly recommend this for native San Franciscans or any tourist who wants to learn more about San Francisco and get a feeling for the people and history. (Michael D) Visited August 2011
***** Absolutely San Francisco – Aug 13, 2011 (SFGATE and TripAdvisor.com)
“Absolutely San Francisco“! Not to miss!
We had the delightful experience of seeing Karen Hirst in “Absolutely San Francisco” August 1, 2011. My wife and I and six others drove to San Francisco from Los Angeles to see the sights and take in a few plays. Karen was superb in the range if her voice and the depth of her portrayal of the many characters she played. If you have a trip to San Francisco planned, and want some great entertainment, I would highly recommend “Absolutely San Francisco“! (Jayfaye)
***** Written on Aug 07 2011 (Goldstar.com)
For a fantastic evening of fun, laughter and sheer joy do not miss this performance..unbelievable performance by one person…and to boot they served free wine before the show and during the intermission.
Process Comments: The process was excellent no problem… (Cynthia A.)
**** “Very Good!” – Reviewed July 27, 2011 (TripAdvisor.com)
A well concieved and well performed one woman show. It’s certainly worth going to see.
I am sure you will enjoy it. – Greg Hearn Visited July 2011
***** Written on Jul 25 2011 (Goldstar.com)
It was most entertaining. A great show to take friends or family who visit from out-of-town. Nice, friendly atmosphere. Lots of fun.
Process Comments: No problems, whatever. (Goldstar Member)
***** Written on Jul 22 2011 (Goldstar.com)
Absolutely outstanding!!! A brilliant, beautifully performed one woman show…felt like numerous different characters…each one very unique… Captured the whole spectrum of the San Francisco experience…great show for the locals and visitors from different parts of the globe…This gem is brilliantly written and the original music was wonderful…Highly recommended…
Process Comments: Great! With my Red Velvet membership, I was treated like royalty. (Goldstar Member)
***** “A wonderful experience for locals and tourists!” – Reviewed July 20, 2011 (TripAdvisor.com)
Being a relatively new resident of San Francisco, this show was not only highly entertaining, but educational as well. The references and humor are well crafted so that tourists and SF veterans can both have a good laugh. The Alcove theater is beautiful and intimate. Every seat has a good view. As soon as my parents come to town, I’m taking them to this show! Visited June 2011 (SanFranciscoPam)
***** Written on Jul 19 2011 (Goldstar.com)
Absolutely San Francisco is absolutely so fantastic. Echoing the near unanimity of all comments preceding, Yes, agree! We have an attractively well-appointed, intimate little theater here; a warmly welcoming, gracious staff; a great “off-off-Broadway” downtown location where all the amenities are, where urban sophistication jumps. We have a fabulous non-stop musical that has a terrific book; a dynamically simple presentation, set with stunningly beautiful, tie-dyed panels that recall the ambience of an era, and keenly integrated video images carried by the projection screen; music that discerningly conveys kaleidoscopic moods . . . and characters. (!) Wearing many hats as everybody, literally, and as Sunshine, this is a fabulous tour-de-force starring the wonderful and wondrous Mary Gibboney.
But this is way more than merely an evening’s after-dinner diversion, an afternoon’s winning entertainment to fill a happy weekend. For in theater, the truly good shows are not only well-crafted in their words and music, but they also must be, first and last, resonant at all levels, relatable for every kind of audience. Brilliantly written and directed by Anne Doherty, Absolutely San Francisco stands among the best of these, a spectrum of the beguilingly and deceptively frivolous and flighty, crazy and crass, to the pithy and sardonic compassion that addresses sober, existential issues. Where such sensibilities are even half-awake, the lines sneak up on you. Words pregnant with meaning. Triggering those deeper stirrings. Hitting fast and sudden. Bam, bam, bam! The ending’s surprise, as mentioned earlier by other commenters here.
In these decaying yet transformative times, Absolutely San Francisco is no mere “bread and circuses” exercise, but contains real meaning hidden in plain sight within all the fun. This is musical theater that is deeply, yet lightly, unobtrusively, non-presumptuously, ‘spiritual.’
Dare I use such a loaded word?
Not coincidentally, I see that Jesus Christ Superstar is again playing around here. And a new friend I’ve met produced and directed a well-noticed production of same, many years ago. Absolutely synchronicity. I’m not a religionist, nor is religiosity at all the show’s intent in the least. However, yes, Absolutely San Francisco IS spiritually relevant, and gratefully so. A sign of the times. Gives the thoughtful something to really chew on. Brava, Mss. Doherty and Gibboney, and the entire team!! (D. Cha’n Moriwaki)
[“tom43082” was kind enough to rate the show twice! Thanks, Tom! – ed.]
**** Absolutely San Francisco – Jul 18, 2011
Educational Parody (SFGATE)
This play was very intersting and not what I expected. It not only includes playful details about city but gives them context from people who live here. This was absolutely san francisco. (tom43082)
**** “Educational Parody from People who live here” – Reviewed July 18, 2011 (TripAdvisor.com)
This show displayed some comical, yet completely accurate depictions of the city that had a heavy dose of education mixed in. For those who live in San Francisco, the elements shown are more true than the commercial stereotypes. Defintely a good value for those who want to see the “real san francisco”. This theater is independent and sometimes hard to find…so walk into the space next to Ruby Skye and go up the elevator to the 5th floor.
This theater is independent and sometimes hard to find…so walk into the space next to ruby skye and go up the elevator to the 5th floor. Visited July 2011 (tom43082)
***** Written on Jul 16 2011 (Goldstar.com)
What a wonderful show! I had no idea what to expect, but I guess I thought it is a group of people, singing and dancing. Instead: it was a show for one woman, one shopping cart and 14 hats! The lady (Mary Gibboney) did a great job. It was almost like she did not act, but lived her character… A bunch of nice songs; I particularly loved the up-beat “Bay bridge baby”! Would love to hear it again. Alas, I don’t think it is on You tube yet… It was definitely worth’ seeing, and I will check out other productions in the future…. (Tim)
***** Written on Jul 15 2011 (Goldstar.com)
What an enjoyable fun evening. The show was really good and the acting was fabulous. It is a small theater and there is audience interaction which added to the enjoyment. It is a piece of San Francisco. If you love SF you should see it. (Renae Buckser)
Absolutely San Francisco – Jul 11, 2011
Absolutely San Francisco. Absolutely Not to be Missed (SFGATE)
There are very few theatrical productions these days that I would say qualify for the praise”not to be missed.” The not Quite Opera company Alcove Theater production of “Absolutely San Francisco” is, however, without a doubt a not to be missed gem. I laughed. I sighed. I almost cried. But most of all I was entertained by the action and stimulated to reflect on the culture of a great city where permission to be free and be yourself can come into conflict with the practical necessities of life, like having a home other than the street. I was captured by the story of a journey of a disparate and fascinating cast of characters ranging from a homeless person, to a hippie billionaire, to a Chinese shopkeeper (who sells junk to be able to support her son) , to a gay wine merchant, an empathetic cable car conductor and an Indian engineer. The message is clear and very relevant to these troubled times, times where an increasing conflict among the factions of our society is tearing apart the soul of our land: We are all searching for acceptance and it is this search that ties us all together. Thanks, Not Quite Opera Productions for an evening of entertainment and enlightenment! (ssloane)
***** “Absolutely San Francisco is absolutely fabulous” – Reviewed July 8, 2011 (TripAdvisor.com)
Karen Hirst was absolutely fabulous in her various characters. Time went by very quick. I loved her Narayan and Sunshine characters the best. A great performance and so many true facts about living in San Francisco. I loved it. Visited July 2011 (GilaB)
**** Written on Jul 04 2011 (Goldstar.com)
Enjoyed the event. Talented performer. Held our interest. The wine and beverages were a nice touch and the hosts were very accommodating. Definitely worth going to! (Goldstar Member)
***** Written on Jul 04 2011 (Goldstar.com)
Enjoyed the entire event, especially having grown up in San Francisco & lived through the changing eras. (Noryne Turner)
***** Written on Jul 01 2011 (Goldstar.com)
Wonderful and unique performance that captures the absurdity and diversity of our beloved city by the bay. Funny and yet it makes you think. Awesome performance and intimate setting. GO NOW and see it. (Wendy Byrnes)