Hats off to Beach Blanket at 40

May 28

Hats off to <i>Beach Blanket</i> at 40

I've had the privilege of covering three Beach Blanket Babylon anniversaries for three different newspapers: the 20th for the Bay Area Reporter, the 30th for the Oakland Tribune and now the 40th for the San Francisco Chronicle. Steve Silver's extraordinary show just keeps going and seems to get stronger and faster with time (hey, it's the bionic musical revue!). For this anniversary, I talked to the boys in the band and some longtime and famous fans. The story links are below.

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Beach Blanket still defying gravity

Apr 24

<i>Beach Blanket</i> still defying gravity

There's no big anniversary, but there's still something to celebrate. Steve Silver's Beach Blanket Babylon is going on 36 years old and is brighter, fresher and funnier than ever. Members of the press were invited to come check out the show recently, and it's easy to see why producer/co-writer Jo SchumanSilver and director/co-writer Kenny Mazlow are eager to spread the word that the country's longest-running musical revue is in tip-top condition.

At this point, Beach Blanket is a reliable brand. You know you'll get a few things when you head to the Club Fugazi, nestled cozily in bustling North Beach. You'll get broad comedy (often delivered by comic broads), maniacally merry music from every era (Bill Keck is the musical director), fantastic (in every sense) costumes topped by towering hats and the precision popping of popular and political culture. As much as the show changes to accommodate current events and personalities, some things never change. Snow White looks for love and, in the end, turns into Madonna – complete with Jean-Paul Gaultier boob cones – and flies over the audience.

The current edition of Beach Blanket, in addition to some hilarious and timely skewering, finally lands on a way to make that Madonna makeover relevant.

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`Beach Blanket’ awards scholarships

Jun 13

Last week, Jo Schuman Silver, producer of Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon, awarded the annual Scholarships for the Arts from the Steve Silver Foundation and Beach Blanket Babylon, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this season. From nine high school senior finalists — three in each category of dance, acting and voice — three were selected...

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Theater review: `SF Follies’

Apr 17

The cast of John Bisceglie’s SF Follies hustles through the ’70s ABBA style. The hit revue continues through April 26 at The Actors Theatre. The show may return in a new-and-improved form in the near future. Photo by Ryan Montgomery Local laughs, groovy tunes highlight Bisceglie’s `SF Follies’««« At first glance, John Bisceglie’s...

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Politics `Beach Blanket Babylon’ style

Sep 12

Leave it to the country’s longest-running musical revue –34 years and counting — to nail the political atmosphere. Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon, always updating characters and songs to keep up with current events, has added Barack and Michelle Obama, John and Cindy McCain and Sarah Palin to its roster. (all photos by Kevin...

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High schoolers win big `Beach Blanket’ bucks

Jun 09

After San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom took his foot out of his mouth (he made an inappropriate comment about gay marriage), and after former SF Mayor Willie Brown introduced a film clip, and after the Beach Blanket Babylon cast throttled a song from Wicked, the Beach Blanket Babylon Scholarship for the Arts competition got under way and did what it has been doing...

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