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. 

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