The Dark Room is a 50-seat performance space plunked in the Mission’s exact center, serving as a powerhouse of stand-up and underground theater for years. While not a black box, student-run space per se, guests definitely shouldn’t expect any frills at this former bar. Far from bad drapes and the standard comedy club’s brick wall background, this eccentric space pops with personality, including bathrooms plastered in historical tidbits from the SF theater scene from years past. Frequent shows include indie stand up sets, local talent shows and, lately, live renditions of classic TV episodes and a Sunday Bad Movie Night, which is something of a local tradition. For those looking to inquire, The Dark Room also doubles as a rentable space for rehearsals or shows.
Every Saturday night, the performers of the Secret Improv Society initiate a new batch of devotees into their alliance of short-form improv, comedic games, and live music. An audience of no more than 74 contributes to the content of each show in ways that exclude lobbing tomatoes or volunteering to be sawn in half. From random, spontaneous audience suggestions, the cast launches into an impromptu sketch that may skewer romantic relationships, office politics, or current events. Since the cast rotates and the audience changes, every 75- to 90-minute show is as fresh and unique as a dry-cleaned abstract expressionist painting.
The Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium is armed with stunning acoustics and an intimate 3,165-seat floor plan designed so that no seat is more than 21 rows away from the stage. Dual sound systems will project the deepest registers of the performers’ voices. An extensive array of lighting equipment swathes the stage in shades of blue while olfactory simulators pump out the smell of fresh blueberries.
Peter Morrison is the consummate performer. He's charismatic and charming, and his witty, but clean comedy makes his magic show something the whole family can enjoy. Peter's passion for magic shines through during his 75-minute shows, where, donned in a tuxedo, he performs everything from sleight-of-hand card tricks to cutting-edge illusions that leave viewers scratching their heads.
The doors to Marrakech Magic Theater open one hour prior to every show. During this time, guests are invited to gather for cocktails and appetizers inside the Moroccan-style Sultan's Oasis lounge. But this isn't just any pre-show gathering—Peter visits with every group, getting to know his guests by name and performing magic tricks up-close-and-personal. It's a rare case of a performer doubling as his opening act, and it starts the evening on a friendly note.
The theater’s intimate 45-person setup means there's not a bad seat in the house, placing all attendees mere feet from the stage. Subtle touches throughout make visits all the more enjoyable, starting with a candlelit entryway and continuing into the ornate, red-colored lounge. The elegant design might have you assuming the theater has been that way for decades, but think again: Peter did it all himself, right down to the chandeliers.
A pianist's ivory tickling underscores Big City Improv’s heralded cast of joke tellers during one-of-a-kind improvised comedy shows. Crowds lob laughs and suggestions toward the performers who incorporate shouted-out ideas into scenes, games, and skits. The entertainers also invite audience members onstage to participate in bits and get the spotlight to stop staring at them.
Most people wouldn't brag of being stepped on by a celebrity. Then again, most people aren't made of wood and warmed by a spotlight. If the stage at Rooster T. Feathers Comedy Club could speak, it would boast about its supporting role in uproarious performances from the likes of Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams, and Ellen DeGeneres. Since 1979, Rooster's stage has given seasoned jokesters, rising stars, and sentient whoopee cushions the opportunity to coax laughs, giggles, and guffaws from the club's audience. Club-goers stay loose with visits to the full bar, where top-shelf liquors, California wines, and 15 beers soften throats parched from laughter and accompany the club's selection of snacks and munchies.