SAN FRANCISCO: Earlier this week, arts leader David Dower (HowlRound, ArtsEmerson, Z Space) announced the launch of Club Fugazi Experiences, a new arts and culture venture conceived and created by a team of celebrated producers. Under this new venture, Club Fugazi—the former home of Steve Silver’s Beach Blanket Babylon—will become the site of a new theatrical experience from the world-renowned circus and arts collective, the 7 Fingers.
An immersive resident production created by Bay Area natives along with 7 Fingers co-founders Gypsy Snider and Shana Carroll will serve as “a love letter to the City by the Bay,” according to a press release. Performances will begin in the fall 2021, with additional details—including upcoming arts initiatives and events from Club Fugazi Experiences—to be announced at a later date.
“This project is a labor of love for all involved,” said Dower in a statement. “I launched my career in theatre here in San Francisco. Gypsy and Shana are native San Franciscans. To have the opportunity to reanimate a venue with such a rich history, at the very moment we are coming out from under this long, dense cloud, is a powerful and energizing privilege for us. Without optimism, there will be no recovery. We are proud to be injecting a burst of hope into the story of San Francisco’s resurgence.”
Added San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed in a statement, “The arts are part of what make our city special and are going to be a central part of San Francisco’s recovery from this pandemic. Club Fugazi has a long history of drawing residents and visitors from all over for a unique and fun experience in North Beach. I am so excited that this amazing venue is going to live on with these creative new performances. I can’t wait to go see the production when it opens.”
According a statement from San Francisco District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peski, Club Fugazi is “a storied venue with deep roots in North Beach and San Francisco. While it was bittersweet to see Beach Blanket Babylon shelve their hats after a glittering 45-year run, the stage at Club Fugazi will shine again! I am thrilled to welcome the acrobatic performance artists of the 7 Fingers and their creative vision to Club Fugazi.”
The still-to-be-named production at Club Fugazi will incorporate acrobatics, choreography, movement, and original music to pay tribute to the city of the Gold Rush, the 1906 earthquake, the Summer of Love, and the mysterious fog.
The production will feature nine internationally acclaimed acrobats, including five from the U.S. (Isabella Diaz, Melvin Diggs, Devin Henderson, Kalani June, Natasha Patterson) two from China (Enmeng Song, Junru Wang), and one each from Australia (Ruben Ingwersen) and Canada (Jérémi Levesque).
Since its inception in 2002, the Montreal-based the 7 Fingers has become one of the world’s leading contemporary circus troupes, seen by over seven million people in 672 cities in 54 different countries. The 7 Fingers have developed performances for a wide range of high-profile projects, including The Royal Variety Performance for the Queen of England, ceremonies for the Sochi, Vancouver, and Turin Olympics, the National Circus School end-of-year show, and much more.
Club Fugazi is currently undergoing a major transformation to make room for the immersive production. Further enhancing the patron’s experience, a curated menu of bites and beverages featuring some of the City’s most well-known purveyors will be available for purchase during each performance.
Located in the heart of San Francisco’s North Beach district, Club Fugazi—built in 1913—has a long and storied arts history. Under the ownership and management of the Italian Community Services, the venue has featured performances by everyone from Thelonious Monk to Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jack Kerouac, Alan Ginsberg, and the Grateful Dead.
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