Tales of the City began previews May 10 and first extended prior to its official opening on May 31 at the American Conservatory Theatre. Critics were encouraging in their reviews on the musical that has a book by Whitty and a score by Shears and Garden. Performances will now continue through July 31.
Tony Award nominee Jason Moore (Shrek, Avenue Q, Steel Magnolias) directs the musical based on the first two novels in Maupin's series, which trace the intertwining lives of colorful San Francisco residents in the 1970's.
Tony Award winner Judy Kaye (The Phantom of the Opera, On the Twentieth Century, Souvenir) leads the cast as enigmatic pot-smoking landlady Anna Madrigal, with Betsy Wolfe (Everyday Rapture, 110 in the Shade) as Ohio native Mary Ann Singleton, Mary Birdsong (Martin Short Fame Becomes Me, "Reno 911") as the free-spirited Mona Ramsay and Wesley Taylor (Rock of Ages, The Addams Family) as Michael "Mouse" Tollivar.
Tales of the City also features Tony Award nominee Manoel Felciano (Sweeney Todd) as Norman Neal Williams, Patrick Lane as Brian Hawkins, Richard Poe (Cry-Baby) as Edgar Halcyon, Kathleen Monteleone (Legally Blonde) as Dede Halcyon-Day, Andrew Samonsky (South Pacific) as Beauchamp Day, Josh Breckenridge (Scottsboro Boys) as Jon Fielding, Diane J. Findlay as Mother Mucca and Alex Hsu as Lionel. The ensemble includes Keith Bearden, Kris Cusick, Kimberly Jensen, Stuart Marland, Pamela Myers, Julie Reiber and Josh Walden.
The production has scenic design by Douglas W. Schmidt, costume design by Beaver Bauer, lighting design by Robert Wierzel, sound design by John Shivers, orchestrations by Bruce Coughlin and arrangements by Steven Oremus. Carmel Dean serves as music supervisor, with Cian McCarthy as music director and conductor. Choreography is by Larry Keigwin.
Here's how ACT bills the work: "On the bustling streets of 1970s San Francisco, neon lights pierce through the fog-drenched skies, disco music explodes from crowded nightclubs, and a wide-eyed Midwestern girl finds a new home — and creates a new kind of family — with the characters at 28 Barbary Lane. 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 comes home as a momentous new musical."
"Tales of the City" has also been adapted into several television miniseries featuring performances by Olympia Dukakis, Laura Linney, Chloe Webb, Parker Posey, Marcus D'Amico, Donald Moffat, Thomas Gibson, Barbara Garrick, Nina Foch, Paul Gross, Stanley DeSantis and Philip Moon.
For tickets call (415) 749-2228 or visit ACT-SF.