We had intended to see the San Francisco Mime Troupe‘s new show, “Godfellas,” on Independence Day, but we ended up at the hospital with Jeff’s dad that day. Julie had been encouraging us to see it, and Peg and her family had really enjoyed it when she was visiting around that same time, but we hadn’t gotten our act in gear to go see it. This weekend was the troupe’s last performance in San Francisco (they’re still performing throughout Northern California this month, though, if you haven’t seen it), so we made plans to go today.
We took BART downtown from Daly City and stopped at Burger Joint (or, as the window proclaims, “bj”) for cheeseburgers and fries. Jeff had seen a segment on a local cooking show about the hamburgers there, and GQ had pegged their burgers as the 16th best in the country (and the best in San Francisco).
It was a good burger, to be sure, though I wouldn’t say it was the best I’ve had; it truly was nice, though, to be able to get a burger cooked a little on the rarer side, something not so easy to find these days. And the fries were fantastic (I think I care more about good fries than good burgers); I really love fresh, thick cut fries that still taste of the potato.
Afterwards, we walked the few remaining blocks to Mission Dolores Park, where we met Julie around 1:00–she had gotten there earlier in order to get a good place to put down her blanket–and we sat with her for the live music beforehand and the show itself. I’m so glad we went; it was a terrific piece of political satire (for those who aren’t familiar with them, the troupe’s name is something of a misnomer, as they’re not engaged in traditional mime; rather, they write and perform political satire musical theater).
The premise has Angela Franklin, an idealistic former social studies teacher–along with her smitten colleague, Todd, let go from his job as an art teacher in a Catholic school–lose the center she’s set up to give students exposure to subjects–art, civics–schools no longer are teaching, when a gospel preacher from New Orleans–the Rev. C.B. DeLove, the front man for a Catholic, Jewish and Evangelical “syndicate”–takes over the space as his San Francisco storefront for a campaign to get a “Mandatory National Day of Prayer” amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Ms. Franklin, a Thomas Paine afficionado, decides to take on the syndicate, to save the U.S. from a tyranny of religious leadership and the loss of the separation between church and, as the minister and his co-hort won’t say the word, “dat other ting.”
The satire is spot on, and the performances–a half-dozen actors create the illusion of a cast of two to three times that–first-class. I told Jeff and Julie that I left with a crush on both Angela and Todd. At one point in the show, the Thomases Paine and Jefferson show up and Jefferson also is quite smitten with the African-American Angela.
Making the day even better, the weather was glorious, at least in the Mission; when we crossed the San Francisco/San Mateo County border on the ride home, it was as though the fog had been stopped on the Daly City side, for lack of the proper papers, but had gathered reinforcements there in the meantime. It was still cold and gray at home, but at Mission Dolores Park it was beautifully sunny; our jackets went unneeded in our backpacks, and we soon were stripped down to our t-shirts. A few men took advantage of the nice weather to sunbathe shirtless; one particularly adorable guy who did so was sitting just to our right.
We hit Starbucks on the way home, where they’ve just replaced their summer banana/coconut line of coffee drinks with their fall-only pumpkin spice drinks, a particular favorite of Jeff’s. After they initially got both my name–apparently, I’m now “Ton,” pronounced “tahn” rather than the 2,000-pound weight–and my order wrong, we eventually left with the correct pumpkin spice frappucinos–and the pumpkin spice iced latte they had first made instead. Yum. There’s another reason autumn is my favorite season.