Rob McClure, the very funny Broadway performer who is playing the lead in the touring production of Something Rotten!, which recently completed its brief run at SHN's Orpheum Theater (see my review here), had a less than stellar stay in San Francisco this time around. He took to Facebook on September 12, as the show was closing, to say to the city, "I hope you know that I love you. I really want to talk about Cable Cars and Alcatraz. Bridges and Bays. Muir Woods and Angel Island. Full House and Mrs. Doubtfire. The majesty that is you. But I can't right now. Because, I worked in the 'Tenderloin' every day."
McClure describes the sometimes violent, mostly disturbing obstacle course he and his wife co-star Maggie Lakis had to endure getting to and from the theater every day, which included "countless needles in arms, public nudity, urination, defecation and masturbation," as well as attempted purse snatchings, a beating, and at least one dead body. He also mentions that one of the dressers at the Orpheum was bitten, and the drummer in the show's orchestra was "violently grabbed on the face by a crazed woman," and the latter incident, when it was reported to the SFPD, the cops reacted saying, "Oh, that's Sharon. She does that."
Sounds about right!
Much like many San Franciscans who fall to the left of the socio-political spectrum of those who would like to see the city's street's systematically cleansed of all poor, addicted, and indigent folk, McClure admits he doesn't have a solution, he was just horrified. (The New York he's coming from, after all, doesn't really have a slum of circus-y proportions like the Tenderloin anymore.)
"These people are so far gone, ravaged by addiction and mental illness, that I genuinely don't know what to do with them," McClure writes. "How do you help those whose hearts and minds are set on self-destruction. I don't want them to simply get pushed to some other dark corner of America, but they shouldn't be in such a hub of tourists, families, and children either." He adds, "I know there are millions of problems facing us at the moment, but I hope we can shine some light on this ASAP."
Commenters, care to shine a light for him?