Fine af first outing from the indomitably male Sylvan Productions—at least on stage, shouts to Alyssa on tech. Live from PianoFight (and every month hereafter) the infamous revelers put together a fleet-footed collection of video and irl sketches about Nothing. Mimes and magic tricks, ghost hunters and existentialism. Everything got a laugh, sometimes big, at times scattered, from the crowd or from the performers (or everyone). The Show’s charm embodies Sylvan Productions’ vibe: party dudes making each other laugh in a way both exclusive and inviting, hilarious yet natural, unfettered good times unrefined.
Eyebrow-raising levels of commitment pushed through surprisingly well-received silliness, like the runner of wallets, keys and cellphones comically (and inconveniently) tethered to a wall, and less successful bits, like a human-dummy-spamming-the-word-”cunt”, with consistent audacity. Sometimes pieces were clearly a rough draft, an outline, fleshed out in improvisation (and bravado). Other bits, like my personal favorite, the fire-fueled TSA shakedown, felt ready for primetime. Any missing polish or detail never felt unprofessional, rather, punk, purposeful. And whether something hit or grazed, the show just rolled out the next thing, never pausing to allow you to take pause.
Sylvan’s massive collection of talent has it in spades. There were a lot of sketches, a lot of ideas. The interdependencies of 10+ artist creating a thing, anything, especially as entertaining as The Show, is noteworthy. Speaking from personal experience, managing the disparate tastes and energies of the group is tricky, exhausting; the immense amount of cat-wrangling to employ SylvanHouse’s glut of writers, performers, and filmmakers became increasingly impressive as our night progressed. The Show being a monthly endeavor makes the premise (and commitment to it) encouraging and harrowing. I look forward to the good work keep up.
The next edition of The Show occurs March 5th, 10:30pm at PianoFight in San Francisco. More information: here.