‘Beach Blanket Babylon’ Venue Club Fugazi Is Getting A New Show
The quintessential San Francisco musical Beach Blanket Babylon ran for 45 years, most of them at the North Beach venue Club Fugazi. That club has since sat empty since Beach Blanket Babylon closed for good on December 31, 2019.
But BrokeAssStuart.com has learned that a new show is in the works at Club Fugazi, though opening dates are still impossible to predict amidst the COVID-19 crisis.
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THE NEW SHOW AT CLUB FUGAZI
We’re acting on a tip from the Telegraph Hill Dwellers email announcements, one of SF’s oldest neighborhood associations at the ripe young age of 67. You can read the full announcement here, which had this to say in a Tuesday night, 7 p.m. email:
We’ve just heard! And, we thought you’d want to hear, too!
Danny Macchiarini on behalf of the North Beach Business Association, has just announced that “North Beach Club Fugazi will be the home of a New World Class Circus here in San Francisco!”
Returning to their San Francisco roots, Gypsy Snider and David Dower are part of a team behind a project now taking shape to reopen Club Fugazi with “a new circus-themed entertainment venture designed to draw audiences to North Beach from the moment performance returns in the City.”
Many thanks to Supervisor Peskin, NBBA, Danny, and all those who’ve worked so hard to make this happen!
The show’s proper name is not disclosed, nor are any opening dates. The email merely states that a “circus-themed entertainment venture” is coming to Club Fugazi, which has not hosted any performances since Beach Blanket Babylon closed on December 31, 2019. We have reached out to Sup. Aaron Peskin’s office and the North Beach Business Association, both of whom are named in the email, and will update this post with any response.
‘A NEW WORLD CLASS CIRCUS’
The announcement mentions that “Gypsy Snider and David Dower are part of a team behind a project now taking shape to reopen Club Fugazi.” We took a look into who these folks are, and their credentials are impressive.
Gypsy Snider is best known for choreographing a circused-up Broadway revival of Pippin that won a Tony award for Best Revival in 2013. She co-founded a theatrical troupe called The 7 Fingers in 2002, which incorporates elements of circus, acrobatics, and musicals. She was born into the circus, as her parents founded a local 1970s circus and juggling troupe called the Pickle Family Circus that performed across SF, and appeared briefly in the 1980 Robin Williams version of Popeye.
David Dower has been in the Boston area for the last eight years as the artistic director of Emerson College theatrical arm ArtsEmerson, but has strong local roots. Here in SF, he’s been a founding artistic director of the Mission District’s Z Space, and has directed five of Josh Kornbluth’s monologue shows.
A Boston Globe report from last September says that “Dower, 63, said he is moving to San Francisco to become executive producer of the US operations of The 7 Fingers, a circus-theater troupe whose frequent performances at ArtsEmerson have been among the highlights of his tenure.” This indicates that The 7 Fingers may be what’s coming to Club Fugazi.
WHEN CAN WE ATTEND INDOOR SHOWS AGAIN?
Yeah, about that. As of yesterday, San Francisco is back in the red tier. This does allow for some limited indoor movie theater seating. According to the announcement from Mayor Breed, “This action allows San Francisco to reopen and expand some indoor activities such as dining, museums, movie theaters, and fitness on a limited basis.”
Notice how that announcement says movie theaters. Live theater onstage is a whole other matter, requiring a large cast and crew. Yes we have seen some outdoor theater, but it is anyone’s guess when even limited indoor live theater can resume.
And how long is this “circus-themed entertainment venture” scheduled to run? Will it be a permanent residency at Club Fugazi? That’s unclear, but Beach Blanket Babylon’s record of 45 years in a row will be pretty tough to break.