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Going Off The Rails In A Crazy Train (Station)

Muni Street Theater seemed to be on hiatus for a while, but the other day we had a new performance art troupe set up shop at Powell Street.

Recently I took on a client that required me to be on site for a short term basis over in the east bay, which has meant I have to get up rather early to get out to Lafayette by 7:30am. So, I find myself going through at least two downtown BART-to-Muni stations daily, which is great because as we all know, all Bay Area mass transit agencies work together to ensure a seamless travel day and get you on your way. Oh, did I mention the crack they sell on the BART really helps make the ride smoother?

But back to Muni Street Theater. I decided (foolishly) to get off BART on the way home at Powell St. instead of my usual stop for some unknown reason. As I got up the escalator I could hear noise. Then yelling. Then LOTS of noise and yelling. I had to see what was up.

We saw two players in Muni Street Theater. Our Lead Actor was an angry young man who was trying to play guitar for money and was having it out with Our Lead Actress an angry young woman who was also a street musician. The shrieking was an art form, echoing in the cement canyon of Hallidie Plaza and all throughout the station.

But quickly I realized that this was in fact, Street Theater, because you see, the fight was not a duel of musicians and their skills. It seemed that some patrons of BART at the ticket machines impinged on the musical skills of Lead Actress, and she was giving them a "dose of 'tude" like nobody's business. But Lead Actor didn't realize this, and automatically assumed he was the target of the young woman's wrath, and started yelling at her.

This was a great scene, especially since at first, Lead Actress was trying to yell at the BART patrons AND explain to Leading Actor why she wasn't yelling at him. But after some choice words involving each characters' lineage, personal habits, and general musical ability, it was a verbal brouhaha. The transit police were elsewhere so the Muni Street Theater was allowed to continue as I walked on and chased after a fleeing N-Judah train.

Dollar for dollar, Muni Street Theater is your best bargain for raw, uninhibited entertainment. Forget AsiaSF - if you want something that's truly unique to San Francisco, make sure you pay attention when Muni Street Theater comes to your bus or station.

And bring your aspirin.

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