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Pearls Over Shanghai , 2011
The Hypnodrome
San Francisco, CA
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Pearls Over Shanghai , 2011
After playing for nearly two years, PEARLS OVER SHANGHAI must close on April 9, 2011.  The remainder of the run is sold out except for the Closing Night Gala performance and party on Saturday 4/9.  Coming to The Hypnodrome in April 22!  VICE PALACE:  The Last Cockettes Musical.  Tickets are now on sale at brownpapertickets.com.

Note:  On-line ticket sales end two hours before curtain time.  If you would like to check on ticket availability after that time please call 415-377-4202.  Ticket refunds and exchanges are only available for four hours after the original ticket purchase.

About SEATING OPTIONS at Thrillpeddlers' Hypnodrome:
Our intimate venue seats only forty-five guests, so we do recommend purchasing your tickets in advance.  "General Admission" seats are filled on a first-come basis and we A encourage patrons to arrive early (the doors open a 1/2 hour before show time).  For couples seeking privacy and an extra jolt during the "Pearls Over Shanghai" blackout "OPIUM TRIP," the Hypnodrome's signature "Shock Box" seats are well worth the higher ticket price of $69 per couple.  Winner of SF Weekly's "Best of San Francisco 2008" Award for "Best Bonus Theater Experience" Hypnodrome's "interactive audience-invading" Shock Boxes are themed loveseats (Heaven and Hell, The Pharaoh's Tomb, and The Asylum of Shock), that offer the same opportunity for illicit trysting that was once a feature of the Parisian Theatre du Grand Guignol - thanks to a sheer curtain that can be drawn to conceal the goings on inside each private booth.  A "Shock Box" couple can see the show, but the show cant see them!  In our "Turkish Lounge" for two, couples may bask in decadent languor and kick back among oriental carpets and silken pillows while enjoying the show.


Thrillpeddlers proudly presents the second production of their 2009 season, Pearls Over Shanghai, an original musical by Link Martin and Richard Scrumbly Koldewyn. This show is the centerpiece of our second annual Theatre of the Ridiculous Revival, and will mark the 40th anniversary of the formation of The Cockettes, a gender-bending theatrical troupe who not only originated this show, but also exerted a profound influence on the culture of our times, from the phenomenon of midnight movies to glitter rock stars and their outrageous fashions.

Based loosely on John Colton's scandalous 1926 Broadway play The Shanghai Gesture (later transformed into a deliriously decadent art deco film noir by Josef von Sternberg in 1941), Pearls Over Shanghai is a comic mock-operetta about white slavery and miscegenation set in the colorful world of 1937 Shanghai, China. Link Martin parts the bamboo curtain, his politics swept aside by his love of the mystery and intrigue of the Orient. Placing his story at the crossroads of good and evil, his exotic old sin town is filled with singing sailors, witty whores, foolish immortals, handmaidens and henchmen, all taking their places in streets teeming with a mix of foreign aristocrats, opium addicts, and gangland slave-trade czars

Originally produced as a Nocturnal Dream Show and performed at midnight at the old Palace Theatre in Chinatown, Pearls Over Shanghai was the fabled and fabulous Cockettes first and best original showpiece. This musical became the crown jewel of The Cockettes' repertoire, enjoying three revivals in two years, including a notorious and infamous run at New Yorks Anderson Theatre in 1971.

Although Pearls Over Shanghai had long been germinating in the fertile mind of Link Martin, it struck the trend-setting, gender-bending theatrical troupe as extremely fortuitous when the real Peking Opera played the same stage at the Palace Theatre.  At the time, much was made over a missing trunk of sequined kimonos and props that seemed to vanish. However, the items were not lost and did reappear, some months later, spawning Pearls Over Shanghai Two, Three, and Four. For the Thrillpeddlers' production, original Cockettes Tahara and Billy Bowers will lend their considerable talents to our resident costume mistress Kara Emry in order to create original designs reminiscent of the opulent 1930s Orient as well as the psychedelic splendor of 1960s San Francisco.

Stage Director for Pearls Over Shanghai is Russell Blackwood, and original Cockette and composer Richard Scrumbly Koldewyn will serve as Musical Director. The cast includes Veronica Klaus, Katya Smirnoff-Skyy, and Leanne Borghesi alternating in the role of Petrushka, first created by disco diva Sylvester in the original productions. With a supporting cast of twenty, costumes a-plenty, and a score of some two dozen songs, this production promises to be the most eye-popping and toe-tapping in The Hypnodrome's history, with the scent of intoxicating perfume, poisonous flowers, opium, and sex oozing from every scene.


The Hypnodrome
575 10th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
United States


Arts > Performance
Arts > Theatre
Social > LGBT

Minimum Age: 18
Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: No


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