The new show in the former Beach Blanket Babylon venue opened at long last Tuesday night, with cameos from Breed and Supervisor Aaron Peskin, both of whom brought their senses of humor.
Apparently enough time has passed since San Francisco mayor London Breed’s partying indoors maskless at a nightclub brouhaha last month that she can joke about it in public speeches, and get a laugh at that. Her mask-dropping miscue, and subsequent defensive reaction, made national headlines and created fodder for late-night comedians. But Breed used the incident for a little bit of her own comic material Tuesday night, at the premiere of Dear San Francisco at Club Fugazi, where she surprised the crowd with an unannounced and unexpected introductory speech that right off the bat addressed her not wearing a mask in a nightclub.
“Just so you know, I checked with the director of the Department of Public Health, and he said I could speak without my mask on,” Breed joked in her introduction, immediately addressing the elephant in the room. The line got a good laugh, and she did not get booed. (Ed Lee probably would have been!)
And she did justifiably spike the football on reopening the city through patience, caution, and safety, rather than a Ron DeSantis-style damn-the-torpedoes approach. “83% of San Francisco is vaccinated. That’s why we’re here," she said. “This is a long time coming,” she added. “We’ve been in the house for more than two years.”
Breed did actually stay for the show. We know this because she inadvertently ended up in the spotlight when one of the show’s performers rode a unicycle across the table behind her. Why did they ride unicycles on tables? Dear San Francisco is just that kind of show, as we will explain further in our forthcoming review.
The district’s supervisor Aaron Peskin also took the stage after the show, remaining masked, and congratulated the venue on its first performance since Beach Blanket Babylon closed on December 31, 2019. That, of course, was right before the pandemic ravaged the city’s theater scene. “As you say in show business, timing is everything,” Peskin quipped.
In terms of COVID protocols, literally every audience member was masked for every second of the show. That’s because there was no eating or drinking at this performance, the promised locally sourced snacks and cocktail service are not yet up and running. Club Fugazi is also operating at limited capacity, and of course they are checking vaxx cards, so this is a commendably safe show to attend. That is, unless you have a fear of unicycles being ridden across your table.
Images: Joe Kukura, SFist