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San Francisco Fringe 2019

That’s Not How It Happened

Colleen Hindsley (Brooklyn, NY)

Genre: Solo Performance

Venue: Exit Theatre


Low Down

“NYC singer/storyteller performs songs and stories inspired by her upbringing in an Irish Pub. Featuring unsupervised toddlers, creepy clowns, show tunes, unreliable narrators, questionable boyfriends, family legends, spiritual healers and just maybe even a little bit of truth.”


Colleen Hindsley tells a series of vibrant anecdotes and stories linked together by the family and Irish bar her family owned. They are an Irish American first generation family of six and Hindsley starts her show with the time she was born and the different reactions from people who see her for the first time. Inevitably this not only includes family members but also customers from the pub. It seems that many of these customers think of this pub as their second home, Hindsley tells us!

One day a young Hindsley in 6th grade waits for her aunt and gets up to mischief. Details of stories at this age with her sister include sweet details – leg warmers, Rick Springfield, and flashes of zippy music from the time. Hindsley is an accomplished singer and she sings several excerpts of songs, “On a clear day…” and from Irish songs, sprinkled through the one hour show.

She puts on a short black apron that servers wear – while narrating a story – tucking a cloth behind at the waist to wipe tables, she has done this so many times she does not miss a beat! Hindsley is authentic and charismatic in her performance and a very compelling storyteller. Her stories are comedic and she has excellent timing and builds a rapport with the audience quickly. She fast becomes friends and we all feel that we are in a warm welcoming environment, like a pub where everybody knows our name.

As the family grows up their interests change and stories include details about Jane Fonda and Cosmo Quizzes. Hindsley shares fascinating quirks of family life, rituals and traditions. Things happen and we all grow up, and so does Hindsley’s family.

Hindsley tells her stories with humor, charm and a genuine enthusiasm to perform. She is a natural performer with a strong presence, expressive gestures and direct eye contact with the audience. The crafting of her show is detailed and builds well with effective transitions in tone and mood. What is special is how Hindsley is resourceful – according to her story – and how she overcomes the unexpected and finds the positive in everyone. This show is entertaining and uplifting – with a very moving and meaningful end.