Beach Blanket Babylon

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Beach Blanket Babylon
30th Anniversary poster
ProductionsSan Francisco 1974–2019
London 1994
Las Vegas 1999

Steve Silver's Beach Blanket Babylon was the world's longest-running musical revue. The show began its run in 1974, at the Savoy Tivoli and later moved to the larger Club Fugazi in the North Beach district of San Francisco.

The show was created by Steve Silver (1944–1995) along with sisters, native San Franciscans, Roberta and Nancy Bleiweiss. The three started on the streets of San Francisco. Nancy was the star of the show, created her characters and wrote all her own dialogue for all her characters for The Valentine Show (which preceded BBB at the Savoy Tivoli) in Beach Blanket Babylon and Beach Blanket Babylon Goes Bananas, Roberta was the show's manager, Associate Director, Promotion and Publicity Director, Box Office Manager (She made the original tickets for the show (that performed at the Savoy Tivoli) on a copy machine, cut them with scissors and sold the tickets for $2.50 from her home, as a make-shift box office. She then took the tickets to the Tivoli and sold tickets at the door before getting ready to also be a performer in the original show), procured sponsors for the original shows, did the accounting and wrote checks and also performed in the original shows at Savoy Tivoli, Olympus, Dance Your Ass Off and Club Fugazi.

The character of Snow White did not appear in the original shows. It wasn't until the two sisters were no longer in the show that the show title changed to Beach Blanket Babylon Goes to the Stars. [1][2] and continued since 1995 under the direction of his widow, Jo Schuman Silver,[3] with frequent changes and spoofs of pop and political culture. Performers wear disproportionately large hats/wigs and gaudy costumes while performing satirical renditions of popular songs.

On April 17, 2019, Jo Schuman Silver announced to the staff that the show would be closing on New Year's Eve.[4]

Plot summary[edit]

The original Beach Blanket Babylon (started in 1974) and Beach Blanket Babylon Goes Bananas (that started in 1975) evolved from the street group that Roberta and Nancy Bleiweiss and Steve Silver performed on the streets of San Francisco during the early 70s when street artists made a living performing.'Beach Blanket Babylon Goes to the Stars' did not start until the late 70s. It follows Snow White as she takes a fast-paced journey around the world in search of her "Prince Charming". Along the way she encounters a large group of figures from popular culture, who together perform satirical songs. Figures lampooned include politicians and political figures from the San Francisco, California and U.S. governments, film and television stars, famous singers and athletes, and others who have been in the news. Also present are long-running characters such as Glinda the Good Witch,[5] Mr. Peanut, Louis XIV, Oprah Winfrey, James Brown, Tina Turner, Carmen Miranda, Elvis Presley, a band of dancing French Poodles, and Snow White's tour guide, a female narrator who takes on several incarnations from an Italian pizza lady to a cowgirl.


The show was described as "A constant cascade of showstoppers" by the San Francisco Chronicle in 2010.[6]

Awards and accolades[edit]

In 1996, the 600 block of Green Street, between Columbus Avenue and Powell Street, was renamed "Beach Blanket Babylon Boulevard" in honor of Steve Silver.[7][8]

Final cast[edit]

Christopher Goodwin, in costume as a member of the Beach Blanket Babylon cast, at opening of the Tales of The City musical, 2011
  • Chave Alexander
  • JM Appleby
  • Curt Branom
  • Amanda Cleary Blatchford
  • Ruby Day
  • Jacqui Heck
  • Albert Hodge
  • Paul Hovannes
  • Renee Lubin
  • Shawna Ferris McNulty
  • Doug Magpiong
  • Misa Malone
  • Jennifer Posie Morrison
  • Lizzie Moss
  • Kirk Mills
  • Tammy Nelson
  • Brendon North
  • Scott Reardon

Final production team[edit]

Bronze bust of Steve Silver at Club Fugazi, San Francisco
  • Steve Silver (Creator)[9]
  • Jo Schuman Silver (Producer, Writer)[10][11][12][13][14][15][16]
  • Kenny Mazlow (Director, Writer, Choreographer)
  • Michael Anderburg (Stage Manager, Lighting Designer)
  • Tom Schueneman (Sound Designer, Audio Engineer)
  • Monique Motil (Costume Shop Manager, Additional Costume Design/Construction)
  • Mark Reina (Assistant Director, Choreographer)
  • Matthew James (Prop/Hat Construction, Technical Assistant)
  • Bill Keck (Music Director/Conductor, Musical Arrangements)

Former cast and alumni[edit]


Two tours were produced, in London[42] and Las Vegas, in celebration of Beach Blanket's 20th and 25th anniversaries. The show also has a smaller touring cast that caters primarily to corporate events and parties around the world.[43]


  • Val Diamond
  • Doug Magpiong
  • Tony Stroh
  • Erica Wyman
  • Dana Adkins
  • Tony Tripoli
  • Renee Lubin
  • Cristina VanValkenburg
  • Lisa Burnett Bossi
  • Stirland Martin
  • Kenny Mazlow
  • Robert Danielson (musician)

Las Vegas:

  • Jeffrey Scott Adair (performer)
  • Shelley Werk (performer)
  • David Reynolds (performer)
  • Kenny Mazlow (performer)
  • John Paul Almon (performer)
  • Robin Cohen (performer)
  • Patrick Reese (performer)
  • Richard Pardini (performer)
  • Robert Hempstead (performer)
  • Janice Sands (performer)
  • Joan Benson (performer)
  • Stuart May (performer)
  • Wanda Houston (performer)
  • Sylvia MacCalla (performer)
  • Holly Vonk (performer)
  • Clay Adkins (performer)
  • Jacqui Marshall (performer)
  • Diane Ellis (performer)
  • Richie Sacks (performer)

Beach Blanket Babylon, London, Restaurant[edit]

Named after the show, however not to be confused with the unrelated Beach Blanket Babylon, a London restaurant with branches in Notting Hill and Shoreditch.[44][45][46][47]


  1. ^ "Steve Silver, 51, Creator of Revue That Captivated San Francisco". The New York Times. 14 June 1995. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  2. ^ Staff, Times; Reports, Wire (16 June 1995). "Steve Silver; was an artist and a Producer. 'Beach Blanket Babylon' Revue". Retrieved 27 December 2016 – via LA Times.
  3. ^ "Hats off to Steve Silver's Beach Blanket Babylon - San Francisco History - Guidelines Newsletter". Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  4. ^ Janiak, Lily (April 17, 2019). "SF treasure 'Beach Blanket Babylon' to close after 45 years". Datebook.
  5. ^ a b c Hubler, Shawn (9 May 2004). "Call it the big fad by the Bay". Retrieved 27 December 2016 – via LA Times.
  6. ^ Robert Hurwitt (April 29, 2010). "Hats off to 'Babylon' for steady musical laughs". The San Francisco Chronicle.
  7. ^ "Resolution commending Steve Silver's work and philanthropy and urging the Mayor to urge the Directors of Parking and Traffic and Public Works to designate all of the 600 block of Green Street as 'Beach Blanket Babylon Boulevard'." City of San Francisco Resolution #1089-95, December 18, 1995, File 75–95–1.1. Journal of proceedings, the minutes of the Board of Supervisors, City and County of San Francisco, Sep.–Dec 1995, p. 897.
  8. ^ Rowe, Georgia (June 1, 2014). "Hats off to 'Beach Blanket Babylon'". San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  9. ^ "Babylon At Cypress Lawn - Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation". 4 August 2015. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  10. ^ "'Beach Blanket Babylon' stays true to its roots. Jo Schuman Silver sees to that". 2004-05-31. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Lillian Schuman". 1996-06-18. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  12. ^ "Lilli Ann plans to close ladies' garment factory". 1995-04-14. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  13. ^ "Bay Area Group To Buy Lilli Ann / Troubled clothing maker will keep business going". 1995-07-11. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  14. ^ "City aiding search for garment shop buyer". 1995-05-10. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  15. ^ "S.F. Taken to the Cleaners in Big Garment Firm Bailout". 2000-07-05. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  16. ^ "REJUVENATED CLASSICS NOT FOR THE TRENDY". 1996-03-07. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  17. ^ Steven Winn (August 7, 2003). "Michael Benbrook – 'Beach Blanket' drag performer". The San Francisco Chronicle.
  18. ^ Jesse Hamlin (August 1, 1999). "Nancy Bleiweiss' Post-'Beach' Travels". The San Francisco Chronicle.
  19. ^ "Lowell Alumni Newsletter Fall 2008". Issuu.
  20. ^ Lowell Alumni Association, Fall 2008: "Roberta Bleiweiss, Class of 1965 — Inducted 1992 Always described as a Renaissance woman, Roberta began producing and creating shows while attending San Francisco public schools. One of the original collaborators of Beach Blanket Babylon, she also marketed, managed, directed, and performed in the original hit shows. Other film, theatrical, and event credits include Indiana Jones, Tucker, Penn and Teller, Smuin Ballets/SF, Dame Edna, The Fantasticks, and countless others. Roberta revitalized the LAA, served as president from 1982–1987, and is a current member of the board of directors. Educator and head of student government, activities, GATE, and Visual and Performing Arts at San Francisco’s Wallenberg High School."
  21. ^ Edward Guthmann (December 30, 2008). "Val Diamond rolls with 'Beach Blanket' changes". The San Francisco Chronicle.
  22. ^ "'Beach Blanket' blows away royal couple". 2005-11-07. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  23. ^ "Ed Goldfarb Resumé". Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  24. ^ "PROFILE / Alan Greenspan / The headliner / Alan Greenspan creates showstopping toppers for 'Beach Blanket Babylon'". February 2002. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  25. ^ "'BABYLON'S MADCAP HATTER". 2004-05-30. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  26. ^ "Beach Blanket Babylon". 26 July 2009. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  27. ^ "Mouse Couture Sketch by Alan Greenspan for Beach Blanket Babylon -". Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  28. ^ "Talkin' Broadway Regional News & Reviews: San Francisco - "Steve Silver's Beach Blanket Babylon" - 3/23/06".
  29. ^ "At 21, This Show Must Be Doing Something Right". The New York Times. 6 August 1995. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  30. ^ "Hats Off to Beach Blanket - Theatre Bay Area". Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  31. ^ ""Babylon in San Francisco: Beach Blanket Babylon Is One of the Longest-Running Attractions of the City by the Bay. but Is It Gay? Well, Thereon Hangs a Tale" by Levy, Dan - The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine), June 22, 2004". Archived from the original on December 27, 2016.
  32. ^ "Beach Blanket Babylon - Oct 2016 - March 2017 show program". Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  33. ^ Sylvia Rubin (January 13, 2008). "Chris March's gown fit for a prom queen". The San Francisco Chronicle.
  34. ^ "Armistead Maupin – Curios". Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  35. ^ "Skye Bio". Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  36. ^ BWW News Desk. "Photo Flash: Steve Silver's Beach Blanket Babylon". Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  37. ^ "Robin Murray's Obituary on San Francisco Chronicle". Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  38. ^ Joshunda Sanders (July 7, 2002). "Ledisi's voice is so big, it works without a deal". The San Francisco Chronicle.
  39. ^ "All You Need Is L'Amour: Beatles Show Developing In Paris". Playbill. 14 July 1997. Retrieved 2020-10-27.
  40. ^ "Jen's Foam Wig Project - The Adam Savage Project - 10/22/20". TestedS. 2020-10-23. Retrieved 2020-11-26.
  41. ^ Ferriss, Tim (2019-05-08). "The Tim Ferriss Show Transcripts: Adam Savage (#370)". The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss. Retrieved 2020-11-26.
  42. ^ "History" (PDF). Retrieved 1 June 2023.
  43. ^ Lynn, Janet (1 June 1997). Beach Blanket Babylon: A Hats-Off Tribute to San Francisco's Most Extraordinary Musical Revue. Chronicle Books. ISBN 0811816990.
  44. ^ "Entrepreneur Fights Back". Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  45. ^ "Father and son banned for a combined eight and a half years - Press releases - GOV.UK". Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  46. ^ "Robert Newmark: King of Clubs -". 6 December 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  47. ^[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]