Beach Blanket Babylon
|Beach Blanket Babylon|
30th Anniversary poster
|Productions||San Francisco 1974–present
Las Vegas 1999
Steve Silver's Beach Blanket Babylon is the world's longest-running musical revue. The show began its run in 1974, at the Savoy Tivoli and has since moved to the larger Club Fugazi in the North Beach district of San Francisco.
The show was created by Steve Silver (1944–1995) and continues under the direction of his widow, Jo Schuman Silver, 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.
Beach Blanket Babylon 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, 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. In 2015, the show added a new song featuring a man in drag (Stephen Brennan) as Caitlyn Jenner; the song is a parody version of Peggy Lee's "I’m A Woman, W.O.M.A.N."
Awards and accolades
- Curt Branom
- Stephen Brennan
- Kelly Brandeburg
- Shawna Ferris
- Jacqui Arslan
- Renee Lubin
- Tammy Nelson
- Doug Magpiong
- JM Appleby
- Derek Lux
- Ellen Toscano
- Albert Hodge
- Lauren Howard
- Misa Malone
- Malinda DeRouen
- Kirk Mills
- Christopher Goodwin
- Rena Wilson
Current production team
- Steve Silver (Creator)
- Jo Schuman Silver (Producer, Writer)
- Kenny Mazlow (Director, Writer, Choreographer)
- John Francis Camajani (Stage Manager)
- Tom Schueneman (Sound Designer, Audio Engineer)
- Jayne Serba (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
- Michael Benbrook, 1986–1993 (performer) – King Louis XIV
- Nancy Bleiweiss, 1974–1977 (performer) – Carmen Miranda, Opera divas, Glinda the Good Witch
- John Bush, 1980–1981 (Performer)
- Val Diamond, 1979–2009 (performer) – Alexis Carrington Colby, Gidget, Mahatma Gandhi, Queen Elizabeth II, Jewish mother, Marie Antoinette, French whore, "San Francisco" Finale Chanteuse
- Teresa Leonard, 1980–1981 (performer)
- Chris March, 1990–2000? (costume/hat/wig designer; performer) – Elizabeth Taylor, Wonder Woman, Monica Lewinsky
- Ellyn Marie Marsh, 2002–2003 (performer) – Barbra Streisand, Britney Spears, Hillary Clinton, Pineapple Princess
- Tony Michaels, 1974 (performer) – Beach Blanket Babylon at Club Olympus
- Tony Michaels, 1975–1978 (performer) – Beach Blanket Babylon Goes Bananas!
- Jeff Robertson, 1980–1981 (performer)
- Rick Roemer, 1977–1979 (performer) – Beach Blanket Bablyon Goes to the Stars!
- Jill Shutt, 1989–1992 (Val Diamond's understudy)
- Ledisi Young, 1990–2001 (performer)
- Glenda Glayzer, 1975–1979 (performer) – Am I Blue
Two tours were produced, in London and Las Vegas, Nevada, 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.
- Linda Bulgo (performer)
- Chris Giroux (performer)
- Ellen Toscano (performer)
- Gus Kambeitz (musician)
- Suzanna Perez (musician)
- Val Diamond
- Doug Magpiong
- Tony Stroh
- Erica Wyman
- Dana Adkins
- Tony Tripoli
- Renee Lubin
- Cristina VanValkenburg
- Lisa Burnett Bossi
- Stirland Martin
- Kenny Mazlow
- Barmann, Jay (2015-06-30). "Caitlyn Jenner Number Added To Beach Blanket Babylon". SFist. Retrieved 2015-09-29.
- Robert Hurwitt (April 29, 2010). "Hats off to 'Babylon' for steady musical laughs". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- Pursuant to City of San Francisco Resolution #1089-95: Renaming one block of Green Street to Beach Blanket Babylon Boulevard in honor of Steve Silver.
- Steven Winn (August 7, 2003). "Michael Benbrook – 'Beach Blanket' drag performer". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- Jesse Hamlin (August 1, 1999). "Nancy Bleiweiss' Post-`Beach' Travels". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- Edward Guthmann (December 30, 2008). "Val Diamond rolls with 'Beach Blanket' changes". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- Sylvia Rubin (January 13, 2008). "Chris March's gown fit for a prom queen". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- Joshunda Sanders (July 7, 2002). "Ledisi's voice is so big, it works without a deal". The San Francisco Chronicle.