A Good Ride

Some stereotypes about surfers are true: They forget to attend college, don’t talk when they eat nachos, quit Pizza Hut when a swell hits, and practice a bullshit spirituality, one tenet of which is punching strangers in the ocean. Of course, this only applies to certain SoCal surfers, a select breed that is captured ably in Point Break, the movie. Although Swayze and Co. put their own bleached stamp on the subculture, they’re cousins to the real knuckleheads wandering shirtless around minimarts, looking for Bubble Yum, stoned from here to El Segundo. Even better than the movie, though, is Point Break Live!, the high-energy, interactive play that has washed over delighted audiences in Seattle, New York, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and, last year, S.F. (“a most excellent theatrical spoof,” wrote SF Weekly theater critic Chloe Veltman at the time). Created by Jaime Keeling in 2003 and now returned to the city, the play is loaded with innovative bits – animation, sports bras, skydiving, and stealing from the audience – but the master stroke is how it casts Johnny Utah, the role played by Keanu Reeves. To find someone as wooden as the actor, the cast pulls someone from the audience, every night, to play the lead role; he (or, weirdly, she) gets his lines via cue cards, just like the master himself.
May 1-June 30, 9 p.m., 2009

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