Recommended Theater: DEAR SAN FRANCISCO: A HIGH-FLYING LOVE STORY (7 Fingers at Club Fugazi)

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by Tony Frankel on May 18, 2023

in Concerts / Events,Theater-San Francisco / Bay Area



The cast of Dear San Francisco

Club Fugazi — the former home of Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon — has become the site of a brand-new theatrical experience from the world-renowned circus and arts collective, The 7 Fingers. The intimate and immersive resident production, created by Bay Area natives and The 7 Fingers co-founders Gypsy Snider and Shana Carroll, pays homage to the stunning beauty, storied characters, and astounding resilience of the City by the Bay. Performances of the new production, Dear San Francisco: A High-Flying Love Story, began September 22, 2021, survived COVID, and is now selling tickets through December 31, 2023 (following a brief hiatus in August). For more info, visit Club Fugazi.

Kyran Walton (top) and Oliver Layher

I was first introduced to 7 Fingers 10 years ago with their production of Traces in Hollywood. In my review, I said: “Traces is a terrifically tantalizing titillation by seven convivial yet streetwise twenty-somethings who serve up a panoply of pulsating calisthenics that will leave you tickled pink … This is an intimate circus with an inner-city flavor that harks back to the street performances in Montreal, the ones which inspired the original Cirque du Soleil movement.”

Shengnan Pan

Powered by exhilarating acrobatics, choreography, spoken word, video projections, shadow play, and original music, Dear San Francisco invites locals and visitors alike on a heart-stopping romp through both the essence and the myth that has San Francisco indelibly etched on our collective imagination. From the Gold Rush and 1906 earthquake to the beat poetry and the mysterious fog, San Francisco comes vividly to life through a series of tableaus (acts)—including hoop diving, Chinese pole, Korean plank, hand-balancing, juggling, and “hand-to-trap” (a form first created by Shana Carroll)—performed by an international cast of world-class acrobats including Isabella Diaz (United States), Melvin Diggs (United States), Devin Henderson (United States), Ruben Ingwersen (Australia), Kalani June (United States), Jérémi Levesque (Canada), Natasha Patterson (United States), Enmeng Song (China), and Junru Wang (China).

Since its inception in 2002, the Montreal-based The 7 Fingers has become one of the world’s leading contemporary circus troupes and has been seen by over seven million people in 672 cities in 54 different countries. The 7 Fingers was founded in 2002 by seven Montreal-based artists with the goal of making circus a transformative experience for audiences, and of developing shows in a collaborative creative process that nurtures new generations of circus artists. The company’s name Les 7 Doigts de la Main is a twist on the French idiom “the five fingers of the hand,” used to describe distinct parts united tightly, moving in coordination towards one common goal. Their work is characterized by the combination of traditional acrobatics with elements of theater, skateboarding, basketball, and more.

The cast of Dear San Francisco

Circus arts have a long and rich history in San Francisco, starting in 1974 with the founding of The Pickle Family Circus where Carroll and Snider both had their first foray as performing artists. The iconic Bay Area troupe is credited with being a pillar in the founding of what is now known as San Francisco’s Circus Center. Both organizations were pivotal in the contemporary circus movement that took place throughout the United States and expanded globally. In the late 80’s, Master Lu Yi was brought in by The Pickles and the school to introduce the community to traditional Chinese acrobatics. His work continued to establish his legacy as a world-renowned instructor who has inspired, trained, and championed a generation of circus artists. The heritage of his work is honored in Dear San Francisco.

Chloe Somers Walier

Club Fugazi had a major renovation to make room for this immersive production. A curated menu of bites and beverages featuring some of the City’s most well-known purveyors is available for purchase during each performance.

Sereno Aguilar Izzo

The regular performance schedule for Dear San Francisco is as follows: Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 7:30pmSaturdays at 2 & 7:30; and Sundays at 1 & 6. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit Club Fugazi or call 415-273-0600. Prices subject to change without notice.

Kyran Walton

photos by Fishshapes

Kyran Walton and Oliver Layher

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