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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A note to readers

Mar 28

After three months on hiatus, Theater Dogs is once again back in action! I was in Sacramento working for an excellent newspaper, but now I’m back in San Francisco and happily on the theater beat once again. At the risk of sounding sappy, can I just say how much I missed it? Oh, I saw some good theater: August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean at Sacramento...

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SF witches announced for `Wicked’

Dec 17

Some members of the Los Angeles company of Wicked (seen above) will be hopping the broomstick north when the production lands at San Francisco’s Orpheum Theatre in January. Photo by Joan Marcus The Wicked Witch is coming, so keep an eye on your little dog, too. SHN/Best of Broadway is bringing the hit Broadway musical Wicked back to San Francisco, the city...

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When Sarah Palin went `Wicked’

Oct 03

Not that we’re getting political, but this is just too funny: a mix of presidential politics and show tunes — an unlikely combo. And the thing is that whoever is singing this re-written ditty from Wicked certainly knows what she’s...

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`Wicked’ witches swarm Union Square

Sep 27

Green-faced fans of all kinds swarmed San Francisco’s Union Square on Friday, Sept. 26 – Wicked Day in San Francisco, according to a proclamation from San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom – at a party celebrating Wicked’s return to the city that gave it birth next January. Photos by J. Lynne McVey   San Francisco has often been compared to the Emerald...

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`Wicked’ witches head west, Taylor Hicks follows

Sep 15

Wicked, the hit musical positively rolling in green, had its world premiere at San Francisco’s Curran Theatre before heading to Broadway ‘s Gershwin Theatre, where it has broken the house record 18 times and regularly grosses more than $1.4 million each week. Now one of the most successful shows in Broadway history (3.6 million people have seen it on...

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