"Stuffed and Unstrung" Delights With Special Young Adult Event

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Last Friday night, young adults from around the Bay Area converged on San Francisco's Curran Theater to see the puppet-based improv show "Stuffed and Unstrung." But this performance was special - patrons between 21 and 35 received discounted tickets, and access to an exclusive reception before the show.

That reception, the latest in SHNSF's 21ThirtyFive series, included free drinks and plenty of schmoozing. The program happens regularly at SHNSF's shows, according to house photographer Damien Miller, and he said that it's always a great crowd. "At a lot of the arts and culture events here in San Francisco, you've got a lot of tourists, and you've got a lot of socialites," Miller said. "The fact that you can just hone down the demographic to 21-35 is really awesome because you can just mingle with people from all around the Bay."

Some 21ThirtyFive attendees came from farther away, like Noelle Bell-Copley of Santa Cruz, who received an e-mail before the show. "Their e-mail was very funny," she said, "and who doesn't love muppets and puppeteers?" Bell-Copley came with seven friends, and said that the addition of the 21ThirtyFive event to the show helped "seal the deal" as they decided whether to attend.

Bell-Copley left the performance happy, and particularly pleased with the 21ThirtyFive reception: "It's just a good excuse to get together with friends, and come to the big city."

The "Stuffed and Unstrung" performance itself was phenomenal. Six actors operated a wide variety of puppets in one improv scene after another, and each bit was funnier than the one before it. The theater was frequently hysterical with laughter, as the audience volunteered (and the MC accepted) the most ridiculous of sketch suggestions, including "mortuary prostitution" and "the revolution in Egypt." Which, as it turns out, is funnier than you'd think - it turns out that the people were primarily concerned with President Mubarak's bad taste in fashion...

Beyond the show itself, the 21ThirtyFive event made the evening even better by facilitating connections with the other theatergoers. Patrons mingled from around the Bay Area, and they all had different expectations for the show. The evening was full of fascinating conversations about improv comedy, and why each patron was excited for the show.

The delicious watermelon margaritas also contributed to the success of the event.

For some performances, the 21ThirtyFive receptions have featured cast members from the show. Miller said that the first such event was an after-party for the "Rock of Ages" production, featuring all of the cast members, which was a thrill for the patrons. "We'd just seen them rocking out onstage, and they were going crazy," he said. "It's almost like you got to meet Led Zeppelin right after the show. It was awesome!"

"Stuffed and Unstrung" continues its limited run at the Curran Theater next Thursday-Saturday, and tickets are available here. The next 21ThirtyFive event will be at SHNSF's production of Hair in October and November.

EBAC thanks SHNSF for access to this show.

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