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Justin Vivian Bond
Photograph: Courtesy Tammy ShellJustin Vivian Bond

The Tales of the City musical will have a one-night stand on Broadway

By
Adam Feldman
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Armistead Maupin's beloved Tales of the City, a soapy and racy depiction of life and (mostly gay) sex in the heady days of late-1970s San Francisco, began as a killer serial in the San Francisco Chronicle before returning in nine novels and three TV miniseries. But it has also been adapted into a stage musical, which has yet to be seen in New York City. That will finally change for one night only on March 27, when the Tales of the City musical will be presented in concert at Broadway's Music Box Theatre.

Written by Scissors Sisters frontman Jake Shears, his erstwhile bandmate John Garden and Avenue Q book writer Jeff Whitty, the show had a developmental reading at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Music Theater Conference in 2009, and premiered at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater in 2011. The concert will feature many cast members from the A.C.T. production: Betsy Wolfe as Midwestern transplant Mary Ann Singleton, Mary Birdsong as her neighbor Mona Ramsey and Wesley Taylor as their gay pal Michael "Mouse" Tolliver, plus Josh Breckenridge, Kathleen Monteleone and Dianne J. Findlay. Joining them will be downtown trailblazer Justin Vivian Bond—as bohemian, pot-smoking den mother Anna Madrigal, the landlady of 28 Barbary Lane—as well as Jose Llana, Jeffrey Carlson and Maupin himself. Travis Greisler will direct.

Tickets range from $62 to $402, and can be purchased at Telecharge. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the O'Neill Center, which champions new theater work, and the Trevor Project, which provides crisis and suicide-prevention services for LGBT youth.

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