Categories: Arts Theater

Curran announces music-filled 2018 season

Tony-winning “Dear Evan Hansen” is in the lineup of the Curran’s 2018 season.

Impresario Carole Shorenstein Hays held a party Wednesday with special guests on the stage of the historic renovated Geary Street theater to announce four music-oriented shows slated for the year: “Head Over Heels,” “Soft Power” and “Holiday Sauce” round out the programming.

“Head Over Heels,” opening April 10 in a pre-Broadway engagement, is a “mashup of posh and punk” with music by the Go-Go’s. Charlotte Caffey and Jane Wiedlin were in attendance, along with director Michael Mayer (Tony winner for “Spring Awakening”) who said the show’s 16th century romance and sex comedy of manners and 20th century pop music worlds “collide in the most hilarious way.” The creative team also includes writer Jeff Whitty (“Avenue Q”) and choreographer Spencer Liff (“Hedwig and the Angry Inch”).

David Hwang, with Carole Shorenstein Hays, brings “Soft Power” to the stage in June. (Courtesy Drew Altizer)

David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s “Soft Power,” onstage from June 20 to July 8, is what Shorenstein Hays called “a 21st century take on ‘The King and I.’” Tony winning playwright Hwang (“M. Butterfly”) said the show — which opens in present-day, then jumps 100 years into the future — “celebrates how China steps in, to lead the world, after the 2016 election.” His collaborator Tesori (“Fun Home”), he said, “set out to compose her most romantic score yet.”

Energetic and out-there performance artist Taylor Mac, who filled the Curran in 2017 with the wild “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music,” will be back in a similarly formatted “Holiday Sauce,” in late November, again collaborating with designer Machine Dazzle (decked out in glitter for the announcement) and music director Matt Ray.

“Dear Evan Hansen,” the 2017 Tony winning best musical, closes the season. Director Michael Greif, appearing on video, says the show has been such a hit because it has contemporary, sensitive music, complex main characters, a surprising plot, and is funny. Audiences see themselves in the show, and also experience a “real kind of redemption.” A choir of local youngsters performing “You Will Be Found” from the balcony drove the point home.

The season also offers a series of one-night onstage conversations with luminaries including Patti LuPone; director and producer George C. Wolfe; Hwang and Tesori; and actress-playwright Danai Gurira (“The Walking Dead,” “Eclipsed”).

Curran 2018 season
Where: Curran Theater, 445 Geary St., S.F.
When: April 10 through Dec. 30
Tickets: $116 to $744 for subscription packages
Contact: (415) 358-1220,

Head Over Heels: April 10-May 6
Soft Power: June 20-July 8
Holiday Sauce: Nov. 21-Dec. 1
Dear Evan Hansen: Dec. 5-30

Leslie Katz

San Francisco Examiner’s arts and entertainment editor Leslie Katz has been assigning, editing and/or writing news stories about the Bay Area’s rich cultural scene since 1997. Reach her at (415) 359-2727 or

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