“How We First Met,” a one-of-a-kind Valentine’s Day participatory improvisation show, will have a bit of a different twist in its 14th installment in The City.
This year, couples are invited to submit stories and photos about how they met — whether funny, romantic and/or strange — online at www.howwefirstmet.com by Feb. 7. Voters at the site will choose the tales they want to see acted out live by zany improv experts on Feb. 14 at the Marines’ Memorial Theatre.
Three winning couples co-starring in the show will be interviewed onstage by actors who will use their stories as the foundation for amusing improvised sketches and songs.
“How We First Met” creator and host Jill Borque says the show has evolved through the years, from its beginnings in 2001 at the Bayfront Theater at Fort Mason to a several-month stint at The Purple Onion comedy club in 2006 to its current theater district location. And it’s not just a San Francisco phenomenon, it’s been in New York, Toronto, Nashville, Miami, Thailand and Australia. This year, a Norway edition will be added.
Bourque, a comedian as well as the show’s producer, calls “How We First Met” the “perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day whether you’re on a blind date, going steady, or have been married for longer than you can possibly imagine.”
She says some couples have been attending for years — it’s how they “do” Valentine’s Day.
It’s also popular for prospective participants. The new 2014 online contest, with public judging, was started in response to the overwhelming numbers of romantic pairs eager to have their origin stories served up in the show.
IF YOU GO
How We First Met
Where: Marines Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Feb. 14
Tickets: $40 to $55
Contact: (415) 392-4400, www.howwefirstmet.com Note: Couples who want to be featured must post their stories online at www.HowWeFirstMet.com by Feb. 7.