'52 Man Pick-up' Has Regional Premiere at Brava Theater, 2/14-3/3


After a successful artistic year filled with many financial ups and downs, Brava will have Desiree Burch come to the Brava Theater with her sensationally raucous, provocative, truthful and above all, hilarious solo show, 52 Man Pick-Up.  Semi-autobiographical in nature, the narrator takes us on her journey of many loves shortly after losing her virginity at the ripe age of 25.  It tells the stories that the first year of adult virginity (and the losing of it) entails: from genital lovers to foolish ones. Written and performed by Desiree Burch directed by Isaac Byrne, the work is more than a charming one-person staged reading – it is a place of deep comfort for sexually uncomfortable issues.

“I saw this project two years ago at the New Orleans Fringe and knew immediately after the show, that I wanted Desiree to come to Brava.” says Artistic Director Raelle Myrick-Hodges. “I am still the one theater person not convinced that solo theater is ‘theater’, but this show has opened my eyes”.  This piece is not character driven, but ‘Desiree driven’. Like a jazz master, Burch effortlessly mixes riffs, rants, anecdotes, audience participation, uproarious comedy and devastating poetry, serving up the freshest and hilariously true tales about sexuality – and all through a deck of cards. 

“San Francisco is the first city I ever fell in love with.” Says Desiree. “I can't wait to get back and make sweet, sweet love to its mind.” A writer, comedian, actress and educator Desiree Burch, masterfully mixes lush, evocative language, a bold stage presence and epic perspective to create an evening of theater that’s “pretty damn funny and pretty damn good.” (Yale Herald) This “fast-paced, unrelentingly funny and terribly honest” (--L Magazine) performance blends Burch’s work as a writer/ performer in Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind (New York Neo-Futurists), and as the host/curator of the NC-17-Rated Literary series, Smut (Galapagos Art Space).  Her comedy has been seen at Caroline’s on Broadway, Gotham Comedy Club, Joe’s Pub, P.S. 122, on MTV, VH1, Comedy Central and NBC.

Desiree Burch is a New York-based solo performance artist, comedian, writer, actress and producer.  Desiree investigates raw humanity – from the mighty to the mundane – through psychologically charged performances that combine humor, sex, guts, poetic intimacy and audience participation.  As a performer, she always seeks the truth from herself, her work and her audiences, revealing the beautiful truth behind humanity’s many false faces.

Desiree’s earned a B.A. in theater from Yale University in 2001, and continued her theater education in New York, performing at such venerable downtown venues such as Dixon Place, P.S. 122 and The Atlantic Theater. Incorporating her natural comedic and writing abilities, Desiree honed her cabaret emcee performance aesthetic as the host and curator of the weekly alt-performance series SMUT (“Art that should carry a Parental Advisory label, with some of New York City’s best writers and performers” –New York Times) atGalapagos Art Space from 2004-2007.  Since 2004, Desiree has also been a weekly writer/director/performer with the New York Neo-Futurists in Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind. She has performed atCaroline’s on Broadway, Gotham Comedy Club, Highlights (UK), and on the stage of Saturday Night Live, as well as in videos for MTV, VH1’s “Best Night Ever,” Comedy Central, Comedynet andNBC.  She was featured in New York Magazine’s “Ten New Comedians that Funny People Find Funny” and has written for The Huffington Post.  She was also listed in the New York Post’s “Killer Jokes” (2008) alongside Roseanne, Chris Rock, Jackie Mason, Emo Phillips, Marc Maron and Louis C.K. 

Desiree’s previous full-length solo performances include Greatest Hits, Careless and The Sit Down Show, which were performed at The Estrogenius Festival, The Midtown International Theater Festival and theMae West Fest.  Her hit solo piece 52 Man Pickup has visited Joe’s Pub, 59E59, Ars Nova, the Black Comedy Experiment and the International Fringe Festivals in New York, New Orleans, Camden (UK), Hollywood, and The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest Fringe Festival on the globe.  Her multi-faceted experience with, and approach to comedy inspired her to create The Hysterical Festival, a new festival for women in comedy, which debuted in October 2008 and featured Maria Bamford, Corey Kaheney, World Famous Bob, Murray Hill, and drag sensation Hedda Lettuce.

Isaac Byrne (Director) has directed the NY Innovative Theater Award-winning To Nineveh, Green, Something True, I Used To Write On Walls, Diane and The Jessica, and the staged reading of Miss Lily Gets Boned (The LARK)—all by Bekah Brunstetter.  Other directorial work includes Fresh Kills (59E59), The New Normal and the cowboy is dying (Coyote Rep), True West (Curious Frog Company) and Desiree Burch’s 52 Man Pickup. He is the former Artistic Director of Working Man's Clothes, the current Artistic Director ofTheatre 4the People and a teacher at New York Film Academy.

Brava Theater is a professional arts organization committed to producing, presenting and cultivating live art celebrating the intersection of feminism and multiculturalism that ignites social change and empowers community. Located in the beautiful Brava Theater Center in the heart of San Francisco’s historic Mission District, we are now entering into our third decade of thought-provoking theater, music and educational programs. In Brava’s past three seasons, they have produced/presented more than 32 projects including 9 world premieres, 7 regional premieres and several new works that have gone on to production at the Edinburgh Festival (Scotland), New York Fringe, New York Musical Theater Festival.

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