Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney Chair Gala For TALES OF THE CITY 6/1

Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos
Wednesday, June 1, 2011; Posted: 12:06 AM - by BWW News Desk

American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.)'s Opening Night Gala celebrating the world premiere of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City will take place today, June 1, 2011.

The black-tie event begins with a cocktail reception and gala dinner in a tented Union Square, followed by the performance at the theater and a dance party with the cast and special guests at Ruby Skye nightclub after the show.

The gala is 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 is chaired by A.C.T. Trustee Marilee K. Gardner and Barbary Lane Committee Chairs JaMel Perkins and Roselyne C. Swig.

Honorary chairs include Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney, who both starred in the television miniseries adaptation of Tales of the City on PBS, and author Armistead Maupin. For more information and to purchase tables or tickets, please visit or call A.C.T. Manager of Special Events Luz Perez at 415.439.2470.

"A.C.T. has brought us amazing stories for more than 40 years, and I can think of no better place to stage this musical production of Tales of the City," says celebrated author Armistead Maupin. Longtime A.C.T. supporter Marilee K. Gardner adds: "Tales of the City is the quintessential San Francisco story, and we want to celebrate this production with a classic San Francisco party. Attendees will experience this once-in-a-lifetime event beginning with dining in a tented Union Square, then attending the amazing production, and finally celebrating our success into the night. All proceeds go to support American Conservatory Theater-the quintessential San Francisco theater company."

In addition to those who purchase tables and tickets to the gala, members of The Tales of the City Circle, an exclusive group of theater lovers who have already contributed more than $1 million to bring this momentous new musical home to San Francisco, will be A.C.T.'s special guests at the gala celebration. Chaired by Ambassador James C. Hormel, A.C.T. Board Chair Nancy Livingston, and trustee Lorenzo Thione, the Tales Circle has provided vital support for the development of the production and the world premiere of the musical based on Armistead Maupin's celebrated books. A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff speaks to the resources needed to bring an ambitious project like Tales of the City to life: "This new musical is going to be an extraordinary valentine to our entire community, and it will take the support of the entire community to make it happen. A.C.T. is a nonprofit organization, and we are shouldering a considerable financial risk by taking on this enormous and truly thrilling new production. But we believe that Tales will be a major addition to the American musical theater canon, as well as the theatrical event of the season in the Bay Area. Supporters will get a wonderful inside look at the unique and complex process of bringing a new musical to life, as well as the opportunity to celebrate our city by giving Armistead Maupin's moving and hilarious stories new life for new generations. We hope you will all join us on this adventure!"

With their tax-deductible contributions, Tales Circle members will get a chance to revel in the spark of the creative process, going behind the scenes to witness the creation of an epic theatrical event. Exclusive benefits include invitations to attend rehearsals-all leading up to a thrilling walk down the red carpet as A.C.T.'s honored guest at the opening night gala celebration. Those who give $1,200 or more will be recognized in the performance program and enjoy numerous other benefits, including a ticket to the opening night gala. The Tales Circle gives A.C.T. supporters a unique chance to get inside access to the creative process of a production truly conceived in celebration of San Francisco, where, as Maupin reminds us, "everyone-gay, straight, and traveling-has learned to recognize . . . the infinite possibilities of humanity." For more information and to join The Tales of the City Circle, visit

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 takes over the American Conservatory Theater May 19-July 3, 2011. The press and subscriber opening for Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City will take place Tuesday, May 31, 2011, at 8 p.m.

A.C.T.'s production of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City is sponsored by American Airlines, The Fairmont San Francisco, Foggy Bridge, the Koret Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Kenneth Rainin Foundation. 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, Lorenzo Thione and David Palmer, Jack and Susy Wadsworth, and Carlie Wilmans; choreography sponsors Stephen Belford and Bobby Minkler, Marilee K. Gardner, Jo S. Hurley, Byron R. Meyer, Mr. Milton J. Mosk and Mr. Thomas E. Foutch, David and Carla Riemer, Laila Tarraf, Larry and Robyn Varellas, and Nola Yee; and casting sponsors Lucia Brandon, Carlotta and Robert Dathe, Jerome L. and Thao N. Dodson, Drs. Caroline Emmett and Russell Rydel, Mr. and Mrs. Kirke Hasson, Toby and Sally Rosenblatt, Frank Stein and Paul May, Bert Steinberg, Jack Weeden and David Davies, and Beverly and Loring Wyllie. A.C.T. would also like to acknowledge its 2010-11 season company sponsors: Ray and Dagmar Dolby, 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, Kathleen Scutchfield, 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.

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