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“Good fun and laughs”
Review of BATS Improv

BATS Improv
Ranked #229 of 564 things to do in San Francisco
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Owner description: BATS Improv is San Francisco's most highly acclaimed and longest-running improv company and school of improv. Feed your imagination. Be surprised. Bust a gut. Join us this weekend and experience the one-of-a-kind blend of theatre, comedy, and spontaneity that is BATS Improv.
Reviewed January 23, 2014

We saw a recent Friday night "Theatresports" show and had a great time on our first night in town having flown in from the east coast for a long weekend getaway. We walked over to the Fort Mason area after having dinner near Fisherman's Wharf. There was a good crowd (about 2/3's full) -- I hear they sell-out on Saturday nights. Well worth the price of admisson with the show starting at 8 and ending a little before 10pm. A good sized theatre with comfortable seating. The two teams were enthusiastic and creative in their "competitive" rounds of improv. The teams involved the audience and gave people several chances to participate -- some even invited to join them on stage. No one was hassled or felt forced to join in -- clearly voluntary. We enjoyed the evening and highly recommend you stop in to see a BATS production if you're in town on a Friday or Saturday night.

1  Thank DadandFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 30, 2013

This was a nice break from the crowds. If you have not gone to an improvisational theater go check it out. Prepare to laugh! A very reasonable price to enjoy improvisational theater. The theatre is in a repurposed warehouse that one can reasonably walk to from the pier. Drinks and snacks can be purchased before the show and during the intermission.

Thank Comoxbox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2011

Surprising, hilarious, edgy evening of improvisational theater. Attended a Spontaneous Broadway show. The first half, the audience supplied suggestions for “the title of the best song to a musical never produced”. The cast then created six musical numbers with those titles. Audience members voted for which they’d like to see produced as a full show, choosing, “Tiptoe through the Graveyard”. The second half of the show presented the full blown musical of the same title, fleshing out the characters and themes , and of course reprising the originally improvised song,. It brought the house down! The show was hilarious, unexpected and fresh. Though, most of the singing wouldn’t merit Grammy nominations, the wit, heart and enthusiasm more than compensated. The show was so great, several audience members doubted it was truly improvised!

Friday evenings tend to be shortform, often Theatersports, a format devised by Keith Johnstone to provide a Sporting event like playoff challenge format of short skits for groups of improvisors, who sometimes ask audience volunteers to join them (no fears – you have to be willing, no one can volunteer you!) . Saturdays tend to long form, Spontaneous Broadway, Murder Mystery, Film Noir, Shakespeare. Unlike TV’s Whose Line Is it Anyway and Chicago and Toronto’s Second City theater (famous alums Dan Ackroyd, Gilda Ratner, Steven Colbert, Tina Fay), this company favors character and relationship based scenework, and does not use improvisation to develop sketch comedy. So though I laughed heartily, the humor here is a byproduct. As everything is totally improvised, shows can be uneven, ranging from over the top spectacular to just good. Also, advisory for young children, as the humor and scenes can be mature. BATS has won Best First Date Spot Award from the Bay Guardian, Best Comedy Troupe (SF Weekly). Sunday evenings offer student showcases. Shows run 8-10 pm with intermission (wine, beer, soft drinks and snacks available)

The BayFront Theater is intimate (200 seats), and located in the old army Fort Mason complex along the Marina Green which has been converted into a home for the arts and non profits (parking available). Right across from Greens (the famous vegetarian restaurant with a great Bay View), and a brisk walk from the lively Marina neighborhood, you can easily make a dinner and theater evening that will delight with a real flavor of San Francisco.

If you leave the theater bitten by the bug, and thinking, maybe I could do that, maybe you can! BATS also has a great school for improvisation , with occasional one day beginner classes or 4 day intensives.

1  Thank beardiegal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2011

we went here on Friday and saw the Theatersports line-up. It was hilarious. It was definately a nice change of pace on our last night from all the walking around we had been doing and it was very inexpensive.

2  Thank Megan0012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2011

Saw a theatresports show Saturday night and it was wonderfully entertaining. Actors were amazing and quick making scenes up on the spot. My girlfriend who's generally not an improve fan, couldn't stop raving about the show afterwards. Fun and a real bargain,

2  Thank Tejoavbizvjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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