The result of that five-year collaboration will make its debut in — where else? — San Francisco this month as a $2.5 million production that includes a company of 21 actors, nearly four dozen characters, at least two pairs of knee-high patent-leather go-go boots and more than 200 other costumes. (And God knows how much polyester.)
It’s the most expensive show ever produced by the American Conservatory Theater, whose schedule usually mixes classical revivals with more experimental pieces. Single-handedly producing new musicals isn’t typically part of its programming, but Carey Perloff, the theater’s artistic director, said that “Tales of the City” fit both the company’s mission of doing work about the Bay Area as well as providing a low-pressure environment for creators.
“It’s a nontraditional kind of piece — lots of characters, lots of story lines, lots of sex and drugs — and I think we fit what they were looking for,” said Ms. Perloff. “This isn’t a particularly ‘Broadway’ audience. This audience is very game for unusual musicals.”
Previews start May 18, and the show opens on May 31.
Director Jason Moore, librettist Jeff Whitty, and composers Jake Shears and John Garden, the creative team behind the forthcoming Tales of the City Musical, talk about how they were introduced to the book.
Scissor Sisters lead singer Jake Shears and musician and lyricist Babydaddy curated a Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit at the Alison Jacques Gallery in London. It's called "Nightwork" after their album, for which they used a Mapplethorpe photo as the cover.
Said Shears to CNN: "I really wanted to acknowledge those people and those creatives that had been through this world before us and had really paved the way for a band like us to exist -- because we were never the first people to do what we do, you know, there were plenty before."
Modern Tonic — a blog that highlights gay-approved pop culture gems — delivers a weekly music column on Towleroad. (The site is currently being re-designed and will re-launch later this spring.)
SPECIAL EDITION: 2011 WINTER/SPRING MUSIC PREVIEW
There's so much good new music coming down the pike we're splitting our 2011 Preview into two columns. Next week — a column just for LGBT next-big-things. First up: some sassy sisters, electric grooves for everything from dancing to moping and some quiet tunes for moments of reflection.
Adele — 21 (February 22): This superstar was chasing pavements on her debut 19, but at 21 — both her age and the title of her sophomore, Rick Rubin-produced release — she’s "Rolling In the Deep," a title that could reference both her soul and her limitless talent.
Anna Calvi — Anna Calvi (March 1): This English thrush counts Nina Simone, Ravel and Debussy among her influences, but throw in the vocal prowess of Florence Welch and the intensity of PJ Harvey and now we're talking.
Eliza Doolittle — Eliza Doolittle (Spring TBA): Eliza Sophie Caird is veddy British — what’s more English than naming yourself after My Fair Lady’s archetypal lead? But she travels well. Check out her Lily Allen-esque singles "Skinny Genes" and "Pack Up" from her U.S. debut, both big U.K. hits in 2010.
Kimberly Caldwell — Without Regret(April 19): This seventh place rocker from American Idol's second season channels Melissa Etheridge, Pink and — imagine! — Kelly Clarkson on her debut. As she puts it on last year's single, she’ll make a "Mess of You." (Stream the Digital Dog club remix of "Desperate Girls & Stupid Boys" in player.)
White Lies — Ritual(January 18): Gloomy U.K. modern gods of Goth up the ante with romantic anthems and stadium size choruses on their sophomore release Ritual. (Stream a remix of “Bigger Than Us” in player.)
Cut/Copy — Zonoscope (February 8): Australia synth-pop quartet follow-up the eerie dance pop of In Ghost Colours with the full-on radio hooks of Zonoscope, featuring the single "Take Me Over" (free download of a remix in player).
Natalia Kills — Perfectionist(March TBA): This U.K. singer/actress darkens up the electro-pulse of M.I.A., La Roux and Lady Gaga and wraps them all in slamming beats for her forthcoming debut. (Free download of Frankmusik's remix of single "Mirrors" in player.)
Jessie J — Who You Are (Spring TBA): The buzz is deafening for this English performer, already the recipient of the Critics Choice award at the BRIT Awards 2011. Is she all that? Single "Do It Like a Dude" out-snarks Ke$ha, and "Price Tag" is a slice of Adele-like soul. So, yeah, she just might be.
Dom — Sun Bronzed Greek God (February 15) Like the title of their E.P., this Worcester, MA quartet's fuzzed-out surf riffs sound like they've been sun-baked for days. And with their singer’s androgynous voice, they also recall Silversun Pickups riding the wave of '90s alt-poppers The Primitives.
Auditorium — Be Brave(January 18): Auditorium is one Spencer Berger, who grew up on the stage of the Met and now sings acoustic tunes that frame his quivering, unearthly voice. Be Brave may be stripped back and simple, but it’s got variety to spare from the glammy "Girls Will Love Your Lips" (free download in player) to the folksy dirge of "New York Sky."
Tina Dico — Welcome Back Colour(February 1): The seventh release from the Danish singer-songwriter's a double CD of five new tracks, her overseas radio hits and acoustic versions of well-loved cuts. Since many here don’t know her yet, this would be the place to start. (Free download of single "Love All Around" in player.)
Birdsong At Morning — Annals of My Glass House (February 1): These Massachusetts professionals — a professor, a business VP and a new media consultant — make gorgeous acoustic music. This collection of four E.P.s from 2009 and 2010 feature lovelorn originals ("Those Beautiful Words") and inspired covers (Blondie's "Dreaming" is a highlight).
Hercules & Love Affair — "My House" DJ Andy Butler’s NY house music project follows up Hercules' sparkling debut with this teaser single from their forthcoming Blue Songs release. And, honey, this dance jam's so hot it could melt the snow right off your L.E.S. tenement steps.
Penguin Prison — "Golden Train" The video's your standard performance clip with manipulated footage (slo-mo, pixilation, etc.), but Chris Glover aka Penguin Prison, with the help of Holy Ghost's Alex Frankel, is one funky white boy.
Discodeine feat. Jarvis Cocker — "Synchronize" Pulp’s unkempt frontman lends steely vocals to a bouncy dance track from Discodeine’s French DJ-producers Pilooski and Pentile. Note for the squeamish — the close-up of one lover giving another a homemade tattoo is, well, graphic.
Wolf Gang — "Lions in Cages" A gloomy, autumnal clip accompanies the dark, roiling dance-pop of England’s Max McElligott aka Wolf Gang. Debut Suego Faults is due mid-2011.
V magazine's New York issue featured Lady Gaga and Marc Jacobs on its cover. Inside the magazine is an editorial feature other New Yorkers, including this shot of Scissor Sister Jake Shears and Debbie Harry.