Tales of the City Musical Will Star Judy Kaye, Betsy Wolfe, Mary Birdsong and Wesley Taylor

By Adam Hetrick
18 Mar 2011

Judy Kaye
Judy Kaye
Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Tony Award winner Judy Kaye, Betsy Wolfe, Mary Birdsong and Wesley Taylor have been cast as the eclectic denizens of 28 Barbary Lane in the world-premiere musical adaptation of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City, which will debut at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco May 18.

Based on Maupin's beloved 1970s San Francisco-set literary series, Tales of the City features a score by Scissor Sisters band members Jason Sellards (music/lyrics) and John Garden (music), and a book by Tony winner Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q). It will have choreography by Larry Keigwin. The stage adaptation centers on the first book of Maupin's series.

Tony nominee Jason Moore (Shrek, Avenue Q, Steel Magnolias) will direct the musical that will officially open May 31 and play an extended engagement through July 10.

Kaye (The Phantom of the Opera, On the Twentieth Century, Souvenir) will portray pot-smoking landlady Anna Madrigal, with Wolfe (Everyday Rapture, 110 in the Shade) as Midwestern transplant Mary Ann Singleton, Birdsong (Martin Short Fame Becomes Me, "Reno 911") as the free-spirited Mona Ramsay and Taylor (Rock of Ages, The Addams Family) as Michael "Mouse" Tollivar. Both Wolf and Birdsong have been part of Tales of the City since its early development during the 2009 Eugene O'Neill Theater Center Musical Theater Conference.



The premiere cast will also include Tony Award nominee Manoel Felciano (Sweeney Todd) as Norman Neal Williams, Matthew Saldivar (Grease) 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 will include Keith Bearden, Kris Cusick, Kimberly Jensen, Stuart Marland, Pamela Myers, Julie Reiber and Josh Walden.

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. Tony winner Betty Buckley appeared as Anna in a recent workshop of the musical but is not moving forward into the world premiere.

For tickets call (415) 749-2228 or visit ACT-SF.