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975 Howard

May 4, 2007

Exciting things happen in garages in the Bay Area. There's an entire mythology that's grown up around stories about Hewlett Packard and Apple Computer starting in garages. Now, San Francisco has a new performance space that's evolved out of a garage on Howard Street in the South of Market (SOMA) area of the city.

I caught a show at 975 Howard for the first time a few days ago. The space is small and cramped and very shoestring. It's drafty and the seats are uncomfortable. You can hear the sound of sirens and revving engines from the street outside. It would take very loud music to drown those noises out.

But there's something special about going to see work at this venue. It fosters a strong sense of community and you enter through the door thinking that something unlikely will happen to you on the inside. The house beer and wine served in the tiny vestibule/cafe/gallery area at the front of the garage is also of a higher quality than you find in most underground theatre spaces in town. And they let you take your drinks to your seats.

The venue seems to be focusing on dance productions though it amazes me that dancers want to perform in the space as it's so small. I saw a production of Beckett shorts by local company Performers Under Stress. It wasn't a bad venue for Beckett though it was hard at times to tell whether the sound effects were coming from the stage or the road outside. I am looking forward to returning to this garage in the future.



  • Chloe, you should check out the Red Poppy Art House with me sometime. It's not a garage, but it sounds like a similar venue, usually for music. Jazz, Tango, Cuban, etc. They also sell beer and wine and food that you can take to your seats!

    By Blogger Kristin Tieche, At May 4, 2007 at 9:41 PM  

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