Virtual Theater: TALES OF THE CITY, THE MUSICAL (American Conservatory Theater, Broadway On Demand)

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by Tony Frankel on June 1, 2021

in Theater-San Francisco / Bay Area,Virtual


Filmed during its original 2011 run, this 10th Anniversary event will stream during San Francisco Pride Week on Broadway On Demand’s National Theater Network

10 years ago this month, San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) presented the much-anticipated (and very sold out) musicalization of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City. The libretto (by Avenue Q’s Jeff Whitty) splices together the first two of Armistead Maupin’s famous books about a mélange of San Francisco denizens in the anything-goes sexual revolution of 1976. Celebrating the 10th anniversary of its world premiere, the musical will stream on Broadway On Demand’s National Theater Network during SF Pride for one week only — June 21–27, 2021.

Over three decades after Armistead Maupin mesmerized millions with his daily column in the city’s newspapers, detailing the lives and (multiple) loves of Mary Ann, Mouse, Mona, Brian, and their beloved but mysterious landlady Mrs. Madrigal, his iconic San Francisco saga came to life at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater. With music and lyrics by the Scissor Sisters’s Jake Shears and John Garden, choreography by Larry Keigwin, and direction by Jason Moore (The Cher Show, “Pitch Perfect”), the show became the highest-grossing musical production in A.C.T.’s history.

Seen for the first time in its entirety, the fully-staged production — captured during its original 2011 run with multiple cameras before a live audience — features a cast of 21, including Tony Award winner Judy Kaye (The Phantom of the Opera), Betsy Wolfe (Waitress, Falsettos)Wesley Taylor (Rock of Ages), Mary Birdsong (Reno 911!), Tony Award nominee Manoel Felciano (To Kill a Mockingbird), and Josh Breckenridge (Come From Away). Rounding out the cast are: Keith A. BeardenJessica CokerKristoffer CusickDiane J. FindlayAlex HsuKimberly JensenPatrick LaneStuart MarlandJeff McLeanKathleen Elizabeth MonteleonePamela MyersRichard PoeJulie ReiberAndrew Samonsky, and Josh Walden.

In addition to the online screening, A.C.T. is filming a special conversation with Artistic Director Pam MacKinnon and Mx. Justin Vivian Bond — who made history as the first actor who identifies as transgender to play a trans character on Broadway during the one-night-only 2017 benefit concert of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City, The Musical in the role of Mrs. Madrigal. The discussion will be free and available to ticket holders.

Tickets ($19, $29, $49) are available now by visiting A.C.T. or calling 415-749-2228. The $19 “Mary Ann” tickets give access to a 48-hour viewing window. Those purchasing the $29 “Household” tickets will, in addition to the viewing window, receive a digital download of the original show poster, while those purchasing the $49 “Pride Party” tickets will receive a digital download of the original show poster autographed by the cast and creative team.

The creative team includes Douglas W. Schmidt (Set Design), Beaver Bauer (Costume Design), Robert Wierzel (Lighting Design), John Shivers (Sound Design), Bruce Coughlin (Orchestrations), Carmel Dean (Music Supervisor), Stephen Oremus and Carmel Dean (Arrangements), Cian McCarthy (Music Director), Travis Greisler (Assistant Director) Ashley Browne (Assistant Choreographer), and David Caparelliotis (Casting).

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