Venue Details

82 Star Starred
Actors Theatre of San Francisco
855 Bush St. San Francisco, CA 94108
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By Albert Innaurato

Directed by Kenneth Vandenberg

Gemini is an achingly funny coming-of-age tale that captures all the over-the-top flavors of South Philly in early 1970s. Harvard student Francis Geminiani is home for the summer. Peace and quiet are hard to come by in his loud and lively Italian-American, blue-collar neighborhood. All hell breaks loose when his two WASPy friends from school drop by to surprise him for his 21st birthday, triggering a hilarious chain of events that leads to an unexpected revelation. The Obie-award winning comedy touchingly explores working class values, ethnicity, sexual orientation, family ties and the quest for love and acceptance.

Albert Innaurato was only 25, fresh out of Yale Drama School, when he wrote Gemini. According to the playwright Gemini was born out of his affection for the rough good nature and earthy wisdom found in the backyards and narrow streets of South Philly, his native town. Innaurato’s unique style tends to examine subjects that are not ordinary: he’s interested in the manic, the exaggerated, the bizarre and the absurd. In 1977 Gemini transferred to Broadway for what would become a four-year run. Meanwhile audiences were flocking to see Innaurato’s other Obie-award winning play, The Transfiguration of Benno Blimpie. A critic called him the Shaw of South Philadelphia. ATSF produced The Transfiguration of Benno Blimpie during its first season in 1989-90, which led to several acting and production awards from the Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle.

In 1999, 22 years after its original opening, Philadelphia’s Prince Music Theater commissioned Innaurato and composer Charles Gilbert to turn Gemini into a musical. Many of the actors of the original Broadway production expressed interest and became involved in the musical version. Critics called the musical a fun, flamboyant, and impolite comedy with a big heart.

This ATSF production features an ensemble of actors including Jessica Coghill, Joe Madero, Hannah Marks, Daniel Montesano, Duncan Phillips, Denise Polt, and Niki Yapo.

About the Playwright:

Albert Innaurato is an internationally known writer and cultural observer whose works for the theatre include Gemini (performed for four years on Broadway, Obie Award), Passione (Playwrights Horizons and Broadway), The Transfiguration of Benno Blimpie (two off-Broadway productions; performed in Italy, Spain, Israel, and London; Obie Award), Magda and Callas, Coming of Age in Soho (two versions at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, both directed by Mr. Innaurato), Gus and Al (Playwrights Horizons), and Dreading Thekla (Williamstown Theatre Festival). In addition to The Idiots Karamazov, he collaborated with Christopher Durang on I Don’t Normally Like Poetry but Have You Read Trees and Gyp, the Real-Life Story of Mitzi Gaynor, while both were students at Yale. His other classmates at Yale included Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver and Wendy Wasserstein. Mr. Innaurato’s film and television credits include short pieces for PBS, Subway Stories, Verna the USO Girl (Emmy Award), two screenplays for Bette Midler, and rewriting the book and some of the lyrics of the Kurt Weill/Ira Gershwin/Moss Hart musical Lady in the Dark. He adapted Puccini’s opera La Rondine for Lincoln Center Theater and has contributed to the New York Times, Vogue, Vanity Fair, New York, Forbes, Newsday, Opera News, and the programs of Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. He has taught at several universities (including, currently, The University of the Arts in Philadelphia), and has lectured for the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Lincoln Center Chamber Society, and a number of other musical organizations.

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