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'Tales of the City,' With Music by Scissor Sisters, Is Most Expensive Show Ever Produced by ACT

Famed chronicler of 1970s San Francisco, Armistead Maupin created some of the most iconic residents of North Beach -  fictional, but as integral to the city as fog and gay men and Ghiradelli chocolate. Fresh-faced Cleveland transplant Mary Ann moves to 26 Barbary Lane in the summer of 1976, where she finds neighborhoods bustling with hippies and socialites and a readymade family of oddballs.

Now getting the musical treatment, Tales of the City is the product of a five year collaboration between the Tony-winning creators of Avenue Q and the glam-rock Scissor Sisters, who penned the music on a tour bus between gigs with Lady Gaga. A $2.5 million dollar extravaganza, it's the most expensive show ever produced by American Conservatory Theatre, with a company of 21 actors playing dozens of characters in 200 costumes.

To live in San Francisco is to love it - otherwise, offering up a kidney on the black market to make the rent would make no sense. So Tales of the City is for us, a love letter to our fog-enshrouded streets and the ebullient quirky spirit that lives on. 

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May 18-July 10. American Conservatory Theater, 415 Geary Street. Tickets are $35-98 at 415-749-2228 or act-sf.org.