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Set List - Comedy Without a Net - Hits Throckmorton Theatre

UK production company films innovative comedy show at theater Tuesday and Wednesday, with comedians given their topics as they walk onstage.


For the next two nights, our very own may just be the center of the comedy universe.

The downtown arts and entertainment hub is playing host Tuesday and Wednesday to Set List, an innovative and acclaimed comedy show in which well known comics are given a never-before-seen list of topics to cover as they’re walking to the microphone.

The Set List producers, who include The Aristocrats director Paul Provenza, are mum on who is participating in the Throckmorton shows. But the likes of , Greg Proops, Drew Carey, Rich Hall, Margaret Cho and Dana Gould have performed in past Set List shows.

The Mill Valley shows – two each on Tuesday and Wednesday – are being filmed by a British production company, who have transformed the Throckmorton into a huge TV studio. Set List is in the midst of a slate of international shows that includes the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal.

Lucy Mercer, the Throckmorton’s founder and executive director, says she’s thrilled at the opportunity to to showcase some incredible artists and invigorate the community.

“It’s great for the theater and it’s great for the community to be a part of something like this,” Mercer said.

Set List is designed to put even the best comics on their heels. Each is given a list of five or six topics. Using each of those topics in succession, the comic must improvise a 15-minute set.

They’re the latest in a series of events in which outside production companies have been attracted to the intimate theater to host events. For instance, the Throckmorton hosted a trio of shows by spiritual author Eckhardt Tolle last month for a show being filmed by another British production company. Mercer said one production had led to the next.

“It continues to be a more and more popular use for the theater and it’s wonderful for us,” Mercer said. “You start to create a use and develop things that are exciting for our community to be a part of.”

The 411: Set List is holding two shows apiece on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 16-17 starting at 8 p.m. at 142 Throckmorton Theatre. Limited tickets are available through the Throckmorton’s box office at 415-383-9600.


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