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SF's "Beach Blanket Babylon" to close after 45 years

"Beach Blanket Babylon" to close its 45 year adventure on New Years Eve 2019.
Photo credit:
"Beach Blanket Babylon" -- Facebook

The world's longest running musical revue is taking a final curtain call, San Francisco's  "Beach Blanket Babylon" is closing for good. 

The production announced the news in a Facebook post on Wednesday

"It is with a very heavy heart we announce that after 45 extraordinary years, Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon will give its final performances on Tuesday, December 31, 2019," they wrote. 

The pop culture musical satire was created by Steve Silver and opened on June 7, 1974, it has played to millions of people throughout its 17,216 performance run.

With its garish hats and show-stopping numbers, the show has become as much of a San Francisco landmark as the Golden Gate Bridge. When Mr. Silver passed away in 1995, his wife Jo Schuman Silver took over. 

Producers expressed their gratitude to the loyal followers who have made the show a success over the past four decades. 

"Thank you all for helping us to become an international phenomenon and the quintessential San Francisco experience," they wrote on Facebook. "Our hats are off to each and every one of you, and we so hope you’ll come and see us one more time!"

Many fans responded to the news with sadness, expressing their fond memories of the show and the people who made it happen. 

"My husband, Raymond Piccinini, supported Steve Silver’s dream when he was starting out, performing on street corners," wrote Pamela Piccinini. "What developed was a long, enduring and endearing friendship. They reveled in each other's successes and shared their love for our magnificent city. I hold both of these sweet men in my heart. This is indeed a very sad day for San Francisco."

Another even offered to take over the production in order for it to carry on. 

"I hope Jo Schuman Silver will reconsider her decision to close the show," wrote Stephen Silver. "I, for one, would be happy to take over the show and perpetuate Steve Silver’s brilliant vision. If nothing else, I have the right name for the job!

Of course, there are also those who are worried for the cast and crew who will be out of a job at the end of the year. 

"Ms. Silver is choosing to allow her ego to dictate her actions and she would literally let the staff of men and women - many who are at OR ABOVE retirement age - lose their jobs, lose their homes, and be displaced from the city where they have dedicated their lives in the service of arts and culture. This is shameful, and embarrassing, and above all, cruel."

One Beach Blanket Babylon employee chimed in on the above assertion, saying its closing will have an effect on him, but he's not blaming anyone. 

"Yeah, I'm one of those people," Kirk Mills wrote. "I've spent the last 20 of my 50 years in the show. I'm single and this is my only income. I have no idea what's next for me. But I'm not going to blame Jo for knowing that it's the right time to close the show. And I'm not going to blame her for being able to easily survive it. It's true that no one but her would know better what Steve Silver would have wanted. If something continued without her it would have to be something other than Beach Blanket Babylon. She kept the show running for 24 years after Steve's death. Cut her some slack."

Throughout the years the show went from being an impromptu street performance to playing before Queen Elizabeth II to appearing on the Oscars telecast in 1989.