Two FREE Tickets to TOUGH! July 22 2014, 0 Comments

As a sponsor of TOUGH, Chris Black’s one-woman show about the meaning of strength, Butch Basix will co-host, along with Kipper Clothiers, a reception on Saturday Aug 2nd after the 8 PM performance located at Z Below in San Francisco. We'll be posting more details about the reception soon.

In the mean time, would you like to WIN a pair of free tickets to the August 2nd performance and reception? Then subscribe to our Butch Basix email list here (by July 25th) and we’ll enter your name in a drawing for a pair of FREE tickets. We’ll announce the winner on July 26th.

Or you may purchase your own tickets here. The show opens this Thursday, July 24th and closes August 9th.  As a sponsor of TOUGH, our friends get to use the coupon code “TOUGHQ” to obtain discounted tickets.  Be sure to enter the code when purchasing your tickets online. For more details about TOUGH and the talented Chris Black, see below.

TOUGH opens 7/24 and runs through 8/9 at 8pm, Thursday – Saturday at Z Below 


When: Thursday – Saturday, 7/24-8/9, 8pm

What: TOUGH – Chris Black’s one-woman show about the meaning of strength

Where: Z Below, 450 Florida Street, San Francisco 94110

Tickets: $20.00 - $25.00 at Z Space


Chris Black puts her recent site-specific choreographic work behind her in order to segue to the stage at Z Below with a one-woman performance inspired by the life of the famed boxer John L Sullivan. Traveling throughout the US from 1881 to 1892, Sullivan would signal his arrival and willingness to mix it up with "My name is John L. Sullivan and I can lick any son-of-a-bitch in the house.”

While Sullivan’s background, rise to fame, dominance and decline motivate TOUGH, Black’s real interest lies in what means “to be strong” and tapping into the special something that both performers and athletes harness in order to become extraordinary. As well as how they confront what she calls “the onset of can’t” that occurs in the career of every athlete and dancer when relied upon talents and endurance begin to flag. “The piece doesn't have a linear narrative, although parts of John L’s story will be told,” says Black. “I'm really trying to swallow him, to use him as source material to express the way he is contained within me already. This isn't Hal Holbrook doing Mark Twain—I'm not trying to look like him. I haven’t cut my hair.”

The Isadora Duncan and Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Award winning Black—whose work runs the gamut from serious to funny and poignant—will begin TOUGH by throwing her hat into the ring accompanied by the announcement of ring rules, all while enjoying some good whiskey and sporting a custom suit designed and produced especially for the performance. While circumventing notions of drag, Black also knows that “clothes make the man,” thus the suit is a theatrical device that allows her to incorporate the five foot ten, two hundred and twenty pound hell raiser into her own five foot one, one hundred and five pound frame. “It’s about the bodily experience of preparing for a performance,” says Black. “And how it changes your emotional state, image of yourself and sense of your abilities.”

TOUGH also looks at the lone figure, the hero who somewhat ironically relies on having an audience supply the context and metaphorical oxygen required if he or she is to thrive. “I’m interested in both the consistency and the discrepancy between what is projected to and perceived by the outside world versus how one might be feeling on the inside. John L was all about physical strength, which I see as a metaphor for being able to seize control of your own destiny.”

Chris Black’s suit for TOUGH was designed with the idea of giving a nod to the late 1800s by Kipper Clothiers, a San Francisco company that specializes in well-cut menswear for the LGBT community. "To give Chris the authentic look of the late 1800's,” say Kipper founders Kyle Moshrefi and Erin Berg, “we decided to pair a three button blazer with a high lapel stance with cuffed trousers. As traditional tweed would not have given her the mobility or breathability necessary for her performance, we opted for a mid-weight worsted wool."

About Chris Black Chris Black has been choreographing and performing in San Francisco since 1992. She has won an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Best Choreography and been nominated twice for Best Performance. She has also received two Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards for Best Choreography. She is the recipient of multiple commissions from the San Francisco Arts Commission and has been in residence at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, ODC Theatre and the California Academy of Sciences, the first performing artist to be so named.