Opening Gala for ARMISTEAD MAUPIN'S TALES OF THE CITY Raises $950,000
American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.)'s Opening Night Gala celebrating the world premiere of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City took place on Wednesday, June 1, 2011, and raised $950,000 to support the production and A.C.T.'s educational programs. The attendees, including many San Francisco philanthropic luminaries along with author Armistead Maupin, Laura Linney (who played Mary Ann Singleton in the television miniseries adaptation of Tales of the City on PBS), Jake Shears of the glam-rock band Scissor Sisters (who composed the music for the show), and Mayor Edwin Lee, walked down the red carpet for a cocktail reception and gala dinner at Union Square in a clear tent elegantly designed in deep purples and reds by Stanlee Gatti, followed by the performance at the theater and a dance party with the cast at Ruby Skye nightclub after the show (sponsored by ABSOLUT). The gala, chaired by A.C.T. Trustee Marilee K. Gardner and Barbary Lane Committee Co-Chairs JaMel Perkins and Roselyne C. Swig, was the culmination of A.C.T.'s two-year effort to bring Armistead Maupin's famous San Francisco stories to the stage as a new musical. The Opening Night Gala Honorary Chairs included Olympia Dukakis, Laura Linney, and author Armistead Maupin. The Revelers were entertained by members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and wildly dressed cast members from the Thrillpeddlers's production of Vice Palace during the cocktail reception. The presentations during the dinner included an exclusive, one-time performance of a Beach Blanket Babylon show created by BBB producer Jo Schuman Silver specifically to honor Tales of the City and Armistead Maupin, as well as Maupin's acceptance of a surprise gift-a framed copy of his first Tales of the City column in the San Francisco Chronicle-from Chronicle editor Ward Bushee.
The world premiere musical production of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City features a book by Tony Award-winning writer Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q) and music and lyrics by Jake Shears and John Garden of the glam-rock band Scissor Sisters; is directed by Tony Award winner Jason Moore (Avenue Q and Shrek: The Musical); and is choreographed by Larry Keigwin. The world premiere production has been breaking sales records for the company and has just been extended again through July 24, 2011. For tickets and more information, please visit act-sf.org/tales or call 415.749.2228.
A.C.T.'s production of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City is presented by AT&T. The world premiere musical is sponsored by American Airlines, The Fairmont San Francisco, Foggy Bridge Winery, the Koret Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, with additional support by Pillsbury Winthrop; The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Fund for New Works, an endowed fund of The Next Generation Campaign; and ValueAct Capital. Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City is also made possible by commissioning sponsors Priscilla and Keith Geeslin, Ambassador James C. Hormel and Mr. Michael P. Nguyen, Nancy Livingston and Fred Levin, The Shenson Foundation, Kathleen Scutchfield, and Jeff and Laurie Ubben; production sponsors Ray and Dagmar Dolby, Burt and Deedee McMurtry, and Susan A. Van Wagner; music sponsors Lesley Clement, Michael G. Dovey, Ken Fulk, Nion McEvoy, Lorenzo Thione and David Palmer, Jack and Susy Wadsworth, and Carlie Wilmans; choreography sponsors Stephen Belford and Bobby Minkler, Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein, Marilee K. Gardner, Jo S. Hurley, David ibnAale and Mollie Ricker, Byron R. Meyer, Mr. Milton J. Mosk and Mr. Thomas E. Foutch, David and Carla Riemer, Anne and Rick Reiley, Laila Tarraf, Larry and Robyn Varellas, and Nola Yee; casting sponsors Anonymous, Paul Angelo, Lucia Brandon, David and Carla Crane, Carlotta and Robert Dathe, Jerome L. and Thao N. Dodson, Drs. Caroline Emmett and Russell Rydel, Kirke and Nancy Hasson, The Reverend and Mrs. Alan Jones, John Osterweis and Barbara Ravizza, Carey Perloff and Anthony Giles, Toby and Sally Rosenblatt, Gerald B. Rosenstein, Jeff and Maria Spears, Frank Stein and Paul May, Bert Steinberg, Jack Weeden and David Davies, and Beverly and Loring Wyllie; scenic sponsors Jacqueline and Christian Erdman, Robert Spoor, Brian and Ayn Thorne, Dr. Damon M. Walcott, and Tim M. Whalen; and supporters Anonymous, Lloyd and Janet Cluff, Julia and Kevin Hartz, Jason M. Surles, Mr. and Mrs. Bruce White. A.C.T. would also like to acknowledge its 2010-11 season company sponsors: Priscilla and Keith Geeslin; Ambassador James C. Hormel and Mr. Michael P. Nguyen; Nancy Livingston and Fred Levin, The Shenson Foundation; Burt and Deedee McMurtry; Patti and Rusty Rueff; Mary and Steven Swig; Jeff and Laurie Ubben; and Susan A. Van Wagner. Development of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City was supported by the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center during a residency at the National Music Theater Conference of 2009.