Show Was a Bitter Disappointment

RECEIVED Thu., Dec. 5, 2013

Dear Editor,
    The Chronicle's review of the Hideout Theatre's A Bedtime Gorey was way too generous, at least compared to the show that I saw during WaffleFest [Exhibitionism, Dec. 6]. I absolutely love the Hideout's improv shows and almost always leave their shows in awe of the patience, sharp wit, and storytelling abilities of their improvisers. The caliber of improv that I see there is fantastic, especially from troupes like Parallelogramophonograph (their 500th show was mind-blowing). My respect for the Hideout is exactly why I was bitterly disappointed and angry when I left the Gorey main stage show. Though filled with seasoned improvisers, it felt like a beginner's show. The entertainment of the forced theme was over in the first 10 minutes, and the actors spent most of the show coming up with different names for boobs and genitalia, devising drawn-out, pointless games, and not developing any sort of interesting conflict or storyline. I strongly agree that the shadow-play portion was an "unfortunate miscalibration." Their mime was basic and sloppy, and the mechanics of light and shadow were not understood nor utilized in any interesting way. The narration by the butler was excellent to a point, but there was far too much pressure on him to completely carry those sections of the show. The only person who maintained any sort of cohesiveness to the show was Kaci Beeler, though the "yes, and" nature of improv dragged down even a performer of her caliber. I'm not saying I never laughed or didn't enjoy parts of it, but overall, it felt like a complete waste of my time and money. I highly respect the owners and the performers at the Hideout Theatre, and I sincerely hope that they continue to raise the bar for great improv and not sink into cheap themes and crude humor.
Sarah Eshelman
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