‘Point Break’ spoof returns to SF stage 

click to enlarge Point Break Live!
  • “Point Break Live!,” an interactive parody of the famed 1991 movie, is onstage at the DNA Lounge on a bill with “Terminator Too: Judgment Play.”
Thomas Blake wants to get young people more excited about theater. To do this, he creates shows with fake blood, water guns, a staged bank robbery, an actor who slides onto the stage on a zip line, and lots of audience participation.

Blake is the director and producer of “Point Break Live!” and “Terminator Too: Judgment Play,” which are onstage in a double bill at the DNA Lounge on the first Friday of every month.

The shows spoof the movies after which they are named. Lead actors — in the Keanu Reeves and Arnold Schwarzenegger roles — are always crowd volunteers, a gimmick that has made the plays cult favorites. These versions of “Point Break” (a hit in The City in 2008) and “Terminator 2” have toured all over the country, and this year, they became the first theatrical productions to appear at the Tennessee rock festival Bonnaroo.

“For these movies, the characters are thrown into these new worlds,” Blake says, “If people don’t know what’s going on, it works even better.”

Blake, who grew up in Wilmington N.C., and was a surfer, says he became obsessed with the surfing-themed crime caper film “Point Break” — starring Reeves and Patrick Swayze — when it came out in 1991.

A 2001 play written by Jaime Keeling came to New York City in 2006, and Blake became an actor in it. Later that year, he started directing and producing it. Today, “Point Break Live!” has its home in Los Angeles, which boasts the show’s longest running production.

Its popularity inspired Blake to write “Terminator Too” in 2012, in which he updated the movie’s original story to make Facebook the villain and Mark Zuckerberg the character who saves the day. But Blake adds, “Then [three years ago] it seemed kind of ridiculous. But now it seems like this could really happen.”

To add to the nostalgia factor of the era’s iconic movies, authentic 1980s and early ’90s props are in the shows, and the soundtracks are full of Guns N’ Roses and Journey. Blake also adds city-specific references for every city the shows play in.

“We were striving to make theater that didn’t take itself too seriously. We don’t try to hide the fact that we don’t have any money,” says Blake. “We always do it in rock clubs, so right away, that whole pretentious thing is out the window.”


Point Break LIVE!, Terminator Too: Judgment Play

Where: DNA Lounge, 375 11th St., S.F.

When: 7:30 p.m. ( “Terminator”), 11 p.m. (“Point Break”) Friday, Oct. 3, Nov. 7, Dec. 5

Tickets: $20 to $50

Contact: (415) 626-1409, www.dnalounge.com

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Chloe Johnson

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