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San Francisco Fringe 2022

A Shrewd Idea

Impossible Thing Productions

Genre: Dramady

Venue: EXIT Theatre, San Francisco


Low Down

When AI tries to generate entertainment based on a user’s search history and body signals, things get a little… unpredictable .


Welcome to your AI experience we are told!

Written by Nicole Matthews who also performs in the show with a cast of three other performers, Matthews plays the first character on stage who is going to have the AI experience – as soon as all the voluminous paperwork with terms & conditions is read and signed off.

While Matthews sits to the side onstage during the AI experience, three other performers walk on and off stage in ever changing combinations performing several vignettes or skits based on each character’s lead about a topic important to them. Examples of topics explored in this show are gender, transitioning and non-binary characters.

What is fascinating about this show is that although there is a script, there are several parts that are improvised during the show at every performance, which means that each show may vary in topic, details or how it is told, which is always a risk but exciting for both the performers and audience!

The cast each share several gender stereotype stories from their character’s personal experiences, sometimes solo stories or with other cast members. A highlight is the fascinating solutions and interestingly named consumer products they come up with to solve everything, which are funny and creative!

Without giving too much away, stories include how a certain coffee shop always gets one’s name wrong, army combat, family obligations, girl scouts and about being 7 years old.

The scenes combine different strategies to get their points across such as storytelling, dramatic monologue, physical acting, voiceover, dance, non verbal acting and a gameshow!

Emotions range from witty, wry and humorous to poignant and moving. The show is compelling to watch and often includes banal moments that are very relatable.

The writing is fresh and unpredictable performed by the cast in an understated style with short scenes that follow each other seamlessly. While the volume of some dialogue was a tad soft at the performance I attended, this should smooth itself out as the run progresses.

This is an entertaining show about sensitive topics told through the interesting characters. We can also learn something about ourselves and others while watching and reflecting on each of the scenes and situations.