Bay Area Theater Community To Dim Its Lights In Honor Of San Francisco's Own Carol Channing

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The Bay Area theater community will honor the life and career of theatrical legend and San Francisco local treasure, Carol Channing, with the dimming of the lights on Friday, January 18, 2019 at 7:45 p.m. PST for one minute. This will echo Wednesday's dimming of the lights of Broadway theaters in New York. American Conservatory Theater, Curran, Feinstein's at the Nikko, and Lowell High School will participate, and with Theatre Bay Area and its 300 theater company members, other theaters throughout the Bay Area will pay tribute to Channing throughout the day, shining a light on her marque performances over social media.

Having grown up in San Francisco, Channing first began her life in the theater at the stage door of the Curran, where she helped her mother deliver newspapers. She then went on to perform in Hello, Dolly! on the Curran stage in 1978, and once famously shared, I want to be buried between the Curran theater and the Geary theater. In November 2014, Channing had her final stage performance on the Curran stage, alongside Tommy Tune in Time Steppin,' an evening of conversation, song, and dance.

Carol Channing epitomized everything great and important about the American Theater, said Carole Shorenstein Hays. She made our business so fun, exciting, and endlessly entertaining. She would do anything whatsoever to engage audiences early morning weather report, school marching band majorette, and on and on. Her talent and dedication were unrivaled, and it was always a particular thrill to see her on stage here in her hometown. With sadness and deep gratitude, we say, Goodbye, Dolly!

The Bay Area's theater community mourns the passing of one of our own, the great Carol Channing, said Brad Erickson, Executive Director of Theatre Bay Area. Carol grew up in San Francisco and cut her theatrical teeth at Lowell High School the school's theater is named after her. We will always remember her unforgettable voice, but even more, the joyous generosity of her spirit. We are honored to remember Carol together.

We are saddened over the passing of the legendary Carol Channing, said American Conservatory Theater Executive Director Jennifer Bielstein. The Geary Theater and the Curran were where she fell in love with theater as a child and often joked that she wanted to be buried in the alley between the two. As part of our Master of Fine Arts graduation, one student who displays excellence and professionalism in the field of acting is awarded The Carol Channing Award. She will be greatly missed, but her incredible legacy will be felt throughout San Francisco and at American Conservatory Theater through the continuation of this award.

The Curran's official reopening in 2016, following an extensive, two-year, top-to-bottom renovation, became one of the most widely discussed and covered cultural happenings in San Francisco. A key component of the national movement to renovate and revitalize America's great culture palaces from coast-to-coast, the Curran's impact has resonated far beyond the seven square miles of its hometown.

The Curran's impact extends to the Bay Area's education system, with a strong emphasis on student-focused initiatives and programming, including hosting student performances of HEAD OVER HEELS, ECLIPSED and THE ENCOUNTER, as well as presenting the first ever amateur performances of Andrew Lloyd Webber's SCHOOL OF ROCK: THE MUSICAL, which were performed entirely by the students of Oakland School for the Arts.

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