Monday, April 22, 2019

Beach Blanket Babylon

Beach Blanket Babylon meets Beach Blanket Bingo! 

After 45 years, the musical revue extravaganza that is Beach Blanket Babylon is closing at the end of this year. I was somewhat heartened to read that the the imminent closure was not as a result of a massive rent hike, but rather that the show's head felt it was time to end things. 

HRH the Queen, Mary Martin (Peter Pan), Tony Bennett & Steve Silver, the show's creator 

I first saw the revue with my mother sometime in the late 70s. My hazy memories of the show include Snow White looking for love, massive head pieces worn by the performers that would make Carmen Miranda groan, and a cast of characters pulled from both political and popular realms. The last time I saw BBB was in the late 80s and I want to say that they sent up both former SF mayor Diane Feinstein and Michael Jackson. 

Charles and Camilla on stage with cast

Some of the cast and crew have been with the production for decades. I would imagine that they are reeling at the news. These performers have been blessed with a steady gig and great benefits like paid vacaction, paid sick leave, and health insurance. What will they do next? There aren't many shows in this town for local performers to sink their teeth into over the long haul and there certainly aren't any other shows like Beach Blanket Babylon here at all. A sensational piece of San Franciscana is going the way of the dinosaur come New Year's Eve and how unfortunate it is. 

18 comments:

  1. Not a show I had ever heard of.
    How I wish the phrase 'all good things must come to an end' wasn't so often true. I also wish that the good things lasted longer than their antithesis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a hardcore local institution. However, I did read that it toured both NYC and LDN. Pretty fancy. :)

      Delete
  2. Another institution gone . . . . so sad.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've heard of the Queen and I've heard of Tony Bennet, but that's about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Charles and Camilla showed up a few years back as well!

      Delete
    2. I had to enlarge the shot to find Camilla. Dressed to blend, she was.

      Delete
  4. That's sad. I guess it's the end of an era.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Had never heard of it and it really had been going for ages. Hopefully something else will replace it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had read that the show's creator thought BBB would have a six-week run, or so, way back in 1972. Boy, was he wrong!

      Delete
  6. I saw that show once and my sides hurt from laughing so hard. It was an extravaganza and it was wonderful. So sorry it is going to be no more because there is nothing like it anywhere. It certainly had a good run, and was always changing with the times. And oh those hats!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a tremendous show. And, you're right, there is nothing like it anywhere. Its closure is a huge loss for the city.

      Delete
  7. Wow! What a long run! Sure is rare in that business. Wish I could have seen it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I'm hoping to catch it again before the lights go out.

      Delete
  8. I've never heard of the show, but sadly all good things have to end at some stage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I suppose you're right. BBB is such an extravaganza of kookiness. -shame to see it go.

      Delete

A piece of your mind here:

Cash, check or charge

Friday was a scorcher--86F/31C-- so I took myself to one of only two outdoor public pools that I know of for a dip. This particular pool fac...