There aren’t a lot of sketch comedy events where one would expect to see someone take a bullet for the president of the U.S., only to be shamed afterward, or a piece where an author’s signing turns into a flirtation-by-way-of-ISBN numbers, or simply a sketch titled “Bi-sexual Ghost Support Group.” Then again, most sketch comedy shows don’t boast of their inspiration being “In Living Color” with a decidedly strong LGBTQ+ bent. 

That, however, is exactly what one expects from the collective aptly named ItsQwere. The company – which “highlight[s] Black and Brown queers, transgender and non-binary folks from all stripes of life” – has put on its “Mighty Real” sketch event since 2018. Now, after several delays by the ongoing pandemic, it returns to a live presentation Saturday at PianoFight in San Francisco for its fourth annual event.

Named after the 1978 disco hit by San Francisco singer Sylvester, the show is led by head writer Dom Gélin, who’s worked with Bay Area sketch troupes Killing My Lobster and Nice Tan. This year, Gélin leads a writing team that includes Dara M Wilson, Baruch Porras-Hernandez, and Sampson McCormick.  

Though performers had yet to be announced at press time, the event – for which a special invite-only preview was held through Zoom in August _ the writers once again are taking irreverent and over-the-top looks at race, gender, sexuality, virtue-signaling and more, with an emphasis on LGBTQ+ issues. During the preview, author Tony Taylor half-jokingly described It’s Qwere as “a place for [BIPOC queer writers] to meet outside of the bars.” 

In addition to sketch comedy, the one-night event also features spoken-word poetry, song and dance from Angelique Bates, Hilary Cruz Mejia, Ashley Jaye, Dana James and Karlina Covington. 

As an official statement from ItsQwere reads, “Whether it’s live music, stand-up comedy, author conversations, or a film screening — during those two hours, we want you to feel fully authentic and uninhibited.” 

The fourth annual ItsQwere’s Mighty Real: A Sketch Variety Show is at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 5 at PianoFight, 144 Taylor St., San Francisco. Tickets are $20-$30 at . 

Charles Lewis III is a San Francisco-born journalist, theater artist and arts critic. You can find dodgy evidence of this at The Thinking Man’s Idiot at