Ten performers get up to seven minutes each to do anything they want, from sketch comedy to dramatic readings to dance. (Well, almost anything. No pyrotechnics, no glitter, no expression of bodily fluids, and... no stand-up comedy.)
All ten slots already filled up by the time you arrive? Sign up for the CHARISMA ROUND! Charisma Round performers get THREE minutes each. (Are you SURE you don't want to perform? If you change your mind during the show, you'll have a chance to jump into the Charisma Round after all the signups have gone!)
"I'm pleased to have encountered a night in which I didn't know what to expect, and was, every time, genuinely surprised and always entertained." -L.A. Splash
King of Meats
Producers - Aaron Francis
Logo Design - Curt Bonnem
Logo Photography - Mandi Moss
Model - Leigh Wulff
- Sacred Fools Company Member
The Triumphant One Night Only Return of Ten Tops at Sacred Fools
Ten performers take the stage for seven minutes each to sing, dance, recite or read original material to a Los Angeles audience who, most likely, has been exposed repeatedly to mediocre improv theater. It is sometimes painful and often predictable. I'm pleased to have encountered a night in which I didn't know what to expect, and was, every time, genuinely surprised and always entertained. I haven't come across a variety show that tops the Sacred Fools organized open mic night for format or content. The participants in the December 6th One Night Only Return of Ten Tops deserve wild applause. I hope for the One Night Only Return of Ten Tops to return for one night only again and again.
Each performer for Ten Tops signs up prior to the event either via the Sacred Fools website or when they walk in the door the night of the show. Several members of the evening's cast were old friends from old times, and previously affiliated with the Sacred Fools Theater. The Ten Tops, "One Night Only Return," was a sort of reunion show for visiting host Jenifer Hamel, who recreated Yoko Ono's "Cut Piece" for her seven-minute portion of the program. Ms. Hamel also assured me that the "One Night Only Return" might mean they'll see how it goes and decide if they can do it again. Ten Tops ceased to exist with any consistency when it became glaringly obvious that the number of willing performers greatly outweighed the number of eager audience members. The small Sacred Fools Theater was nearly full for Ten Tops, and the fourteen pieces were each well received. More than ten people made it to the stage, but I think the form is to be loosely followed. The point here is the creative material. The floor is open, and as the woman at the ticket counter said, "We don't have programs because we don't know what's going to happen."
An original rap happened. Hilarious monologues concerning Catholicism and Kinko's happened. The improv group Actual Size sang a happening tribute to karaoke. A man brought his dog on stage and demonstrated her well-trained tricks. A woman spread towels on the floor and read from a trashy romance novel. Another woman sang a Weird Al Yankovic song. Listing these pieces in a printed program would certainly detract from the joy of having them unfold spontaneously on a bare stage.
Ten Tops is both a forum for goof-offs and for purveyors of serious performance. It's possible that Ten Tops success on its one night return might have to do with its infrequency. Performers aren't as stretched as they might be if they had to produce and deliver on a regular basis. Maybe the notion that this Ten Tops could be the final Ten Tops lends itself to the enthusiastic spirit infecting everyone in the room. I was in the room and discovered a lively gang of talented performers sharing their art with a supportive crowd. I suppose that can happen in a room where anything is encouraged to happen - before the buzzer goes off, of course.
-- Amanda Page
© 2004 L.A. Splash
Americans believe with all their hopeful heart that they have talent. All they need is a platform to display what they have and undoubtedly the world will be a better and enriched place to live. The wonderful people at Sacred Fools Theater like to give those individuals a chance to showcase their talents. Think of it as the NBC hit America's Got Talent the stage version. As the saying goes, you have to see it to believe and even then, it is incredible what is seen.
Ten Tops returned to Sacred Fools on Monday, July 24 with the intention of turning ordinary folks into stars, at least temporarily. The dynamic team of Pogo Saito and Jenifer Hamel hosted the evening's theme, "A Picnic of Performance." Along with watching ten acts, which varies from dance, song, acting and whatever else god gave them the gift to do, Saito and Hamel provided cool slices of fruit, a choice of cucumber or egg salad sandwiches and homemade fans for comfort. Ten brave souls get 7 minutes to shine. A kitchen timer carefully monitors them.
Hamel steps up first doing free style poetry depending on what an audience member picks from her bag of tricks. She makes a witty ode to "Hello Kitty" when a piece of fur is chosen and does a song about Kleenex when tissue is picked. From then, the audience becomes the star and anything goes.
Frequent performer Richard Levinson played a little guitar while singing the patriotic ditty, Winner of the Middle East War. Actress Teresa Willis performed works from her one-woman show on various topics. She spoke about the day she discovered her then boyfriend was a racist, tells the awful truth about Hollywood living and a personal favorite for women and some drag queens, can relate to about beauty supplies.
There were some interesting acts like the guy who did a stand up on e-mails, the Italian who casually tossed dollar bills on the ground while his buddy translated that cash does not rule. Okay, sure. Hostess Pogo did a loving tribute to her grandmother Ardella, who lived for country music and beehive hairdos, and the all time favorite was the guy who played a mute Jesus on the cross. I'm not kidding. It is one of those things you have to see to believe and even then, you will doubt it.
Fresh from his role in the play Hercules on Normandie, spoken word artist In-q delivered two of the most best rhymes, God Doesn't Make Mistakes and a an updated spin on the nursery rhyme Jack & Jill. His strong command of wordplay is the most original and best ever I heard. Whenever you speak from heart as he did, the audience cannot help but to fixate their attention on this talented artist.
Sometimes you don't have to talk to be heard. The comedic duo Ten West brings back the classic vaudeville act to the new century. Jon Monastero and Stephan Simon performed various entertaining skits, a throwback from the gold ol' days when comedy ruled. They heavily used their facial expressions and body to speak. The results were laugh-out-loud funny until your sides hurt.
Ten Tops makes a return appearance on Monday, October 30 in time for Halloween with a new theme: "Be Real Scary." The performance event takes place once every three months which you aspiring talents have time to polish, or not, your seven minutes of fame.
-- Mary Montoro
Ⓒ 2006 SoCal.com