Fans of Armistead Maupin may recall that his novel “Tales of the City” began life as a daily serial in The San Francisco Chronicle in 1976. Since then, Mary Ann and her Barbary Lane crew have journeyed from the page to the small screen (a PBS series) and back again. Beginning May 18th, ACT brings “Tales of the City” to the stage with a new musical. We get a preview of the production. Were you in San Francisco in the 1970s? If so, how has the city changed?

Armistead Maupin, author of nine novels including the "Tales of the City" series and his latest, "Mary Ann in Autumn"
Carey Perloff, artistic director for American Conservatory Theater (ACT)
Jeff Whitty, Tony Award-winning playwright and author of the libretto for the musical "Tales of the City"

  • Mary

    I grew up in SF and have fond memories of my family sitting around the breakfast table with the Chronicle reading Tales (and Herb Caen) aloud. Also recall an impromptu group conversation on muni (i road for .05 cents!) amongst ‘strangers’ about Mrs. Madrigal & Dee Dee. I was a kid and didn’t understand much of the story, but came to understand it deeply as I read and reread. My biggest sorrow now is that so many of us cannot afford to live there and I think fewer and fewer Monas Maryanns and Michaels are staying. Cannot wait to see the production. Tales captures great friendships and the best city in the world with truth and artistry. Thank you Mr. Maupin!

  • Jenn

    Tales of the City started my love affair with San Fran when I was a senior at Santa Clara university in 2000. So intimate it’s like following a stranger off the bus – a glimpse of something familiar in a city so diverse. It brought me on a journey as a young woman.

  • Jbsiri

    I was 9 in 1976 and remember the elegance of the LOL’s shopping in Union Square as well looking out the window of our station wagon at the leather men on Polk Strasse and the series really captures the diversity that was and still is San Francisco. I’ll be back to visit and definitely see the play.
    John in Mexico City

  • bibsy

    10 novels surely?

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