The American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco (A.C.T.) has made a switch involving the last production of its current season, replacing Some-Kind-of-a-Wind-in-the-Willows with the "wickedly popular junk opera," Shockheaded Peter.
The musical staging of Shockheaded Peter which is based on a 19th Century German children's tale, "Struwwelpeter" ("Slovenly Peter"), will begin previews at A.C.T. June 8. The official press opening will be June 14 and the show is scheduled to run through July 16.
In a statement, A.CT. artistic director Carey Perloff said that Improbable Theatre co-founders Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch will direct the show.
Perloff said that Shockheaded Peter will conclude A.C.T.'s season with something "rich and wonderful for a multigenerational audience." Described as a comically gruesome work reminiscent of Tim Burton or Edward Gorey, the musical staging of the play premiered in 1997 at West Yorkshire Playhouse. The production sold out 19 weeks at London's Lyric Hammersmith Theatre and sold out again at the New Victory in New York and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In early 2000 the show will be visiting Australia, Canada and Israel before returning to the United States.
Created and performed by Julian Bleach, Anthony Cairns, Graeme Gilmour, Tamzin Griffin and Jo Pocock, Shockheaded Peter also features music by the Tiger Lillies -- Martyn Jacques, Adrian Huge and Adrian Stout. The production was designed by Julian Crouch and Graeme Gilmour and costume designer Kevin Pollard and lighting designer Jon Linstrum. Tickets for the A.C.T. production of Shockheaded Peter run $11 - $55 and are available at the Geary Theatre Box Office, 405 Geary Street in San Francisco. For info call (415) 749-2228.
-- By Murdoch McBride