Venue Details

1659 Star Starred
A.C.T.
near the corner of Geary and Mason 415 Geary St. San Francisco, CA 94102
415-749-2228
Venue website Get directions
fogcitygal
The cookies that they sell for $2 each are completely hard and stale.
Old Hats info Sep 29 2014 star this tip starred
fogcitygal
You're wasting your money to sit in the balcony at this theater. The rack of lights attached to the front of the balcony blocks the view of those in the front row, so they lean forward at the edge of their seats to see action at the front of the stage. The balcony is VERY steeply raked, so when they lean forward, a ripple effect occurs where the people in the second row also lean forward to try to see around the heads of the people in the front row who are now blocking their view, and so on and so on. If those in the front row are inconsiderate jerks, they stay leaned forward through the entire show, and no one behind them can see. Absolute sightline FAIL. The lighting rig needs to be redesigned!!! The owners of this theater don't give a crap about screwing over balcony patrons. I politely asked the usher to ask the people in the front row to sit back, and he point-blank refused to do so.
Old Hats info Sep 29 2014 star this tip starred
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Reviews & Ratings

291 ratings
4.4 average rating
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Mr. Z Red Velvet
495 events
68 reviews
163 stars
attended Sep 29 2005

Excellent choreography to the music - like a Chaplin serial set to the classics - funny and dynamic.

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Mr. Z Red Velvet
495 events
68 reviews
163 stars
39 events
33 reviews
2 stars
attended Sep 11 2005

Outstanding & unusual performance. Without words or dialogue, the actors (or were they dancer?) communicated a world of emotion, drama, laughter & pain.
Our seats were great despite being in the 2nd balcony. We still saw the facial expressions...continued

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More Information

Quotes & Highlights

“A piece of bravura theater-making.” —Time Magazine
“It is, in a word, spectacular.” —Globe & Mail (Toronto)

Description

Created by Morris Panych and Wendy Gorling

Adapted from “The Overcoat” by Nikolai Gogol

Music by Dmitri Shostakovich

Dazzling and brawling, funny and sexy and sad, the international hit The Overcoat is a seamless integration of theater, music, and design. Based on Gogol’s wildly imaginative short stories and set to the music of Shostakovich, The Overcoat uses aesthetic inspiration from such revolutionary artists as Charlie Chaplin and Fritz Lang—as well as a cast of 22 actors and a set two stories high—to create an entirely fresh experience of music theater.

A deceptively simple story told on a near operatic scale, The Overcoat centers on a lowly office drone—relentlessly bullied by his fellow draftsmen, scorned by his secretaries, and doggedly pursued by an amorous and repellent landlady—whose life takes on a brilliant glow when he receives a fashionable new coat. But his desire to be accepted leads to the darkest of consequences and the furthest reaches of madness. A thrilling blend of Shostakovich’s lush music and Gogol’s compelling story, The Overcoat is performed without a single spoken word.

“The Overcoat is about a little man up against the bureaucracy of the world, a world that in Panych’s incredible theatrical imagination looks like Chaplin’s Modern Times,” says A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff. “The set is an enormous construction of moving wheels and sepia-toned monoliths, and the pace evolves like a silent movie brought to life with magical portrayals, dynamic movement, and incredible music. It is quite honestly unlike anything you’ve ever seen performed live. We are thrilled to continue to bring the world’s great theater artists to Bay Area audiences. The Overcoat joins recent A.C.T. productions such as The Black Rider, Urinetown, and Shockheaded Peter as one-of-a-kind theatrical experiences ideally suited for the Geary stage.”

A sprawling, startling, and comical theatrical event featuring a cast of 22 actors, a two-story mechanical set, and more than 85 costumes, The Overcoat has been hailed by Time magazine as “a piece of bravura theater-making [that] mixes Buster Keaton with Gogol and purrs like a Rolls Royce.” Panych, Gorling, and the original cast developed The Overcoat by challenging themselves to create a story that could be expressed primarily through the body, based upon techniques borrowed from Commedia dell’Arte and English pantomime. Working from Gogol’s short story of the same name, the creators matched the characters and plot to Shostakovich selections chosen by Panych.Arriving at A.C.T. after sold-out European and Canadian tours, The Overcoat has been praised by Time magazine as “a piece of bravura theater-making,” while Canada’s Globe and Mail raves, “It is, in a word, spectacular.”