Visitors are invited to tour the Curran, the 1922 theater that’s recently been renovated. (Courtesy Little Fang Photo)

Visitors are invited to tour the Curran, the 1922 theater that’s recently been renovated. (Courtesy Little Fang Photo)

Fun audio tour showcases refurbished Curran

San Francisco impresario Carole Shorenstein Hays is inviting audiences to check out the “new” Curran.

The theater owner is the delightful narrator of a free new audio tour being offered to the public this week, before the Curran officially reopens (with the hit show “Fun Home”) after a three-year renovation.

In the 45-minute tour (created for Macs by the mobile app Detour by Ninna Gaensler-Debs), Hays and her daughter Gracie Hays point out changes to the 1922, 1,600-seat Beaux Arts theater, including the restoration and cleaning of the sculptured ceilings and its gorgeous car-sized chandelier.

In the three-level journey that goes backstage, underground, to dressing rooms, the high-up catwalk and onstage, Hays tells personal stories and shares fun tidbits about the theater’s rich history, from its appearance in the movie “All About Eve” to how a basement wall was cut to accommodate the set of the wildly popular “The Phantom of the Opera.”

While publicist Jaron Caldwell lamented that an anecdote about Edith Piaf selling out her first major American performance there didn’t make the cut, stars who graced the Curran through the years — James Earl Jones, Carol Channing, Tommy Tune, Kristin Chenoweth and Patti LuPone — add their comments to the tour, as do behind-the-scenes professionals and artist Aaron De La Cruz, whose arresting, graphic mural fills up a lower level wall.

The wall is near the new. modern rest rooms; in the re-do, capacity tripled for women. (The lower level ladies room has 19 stalls.)

To sign up to go on the tour Wednesday or Thursday between 4 and 8:30 p.m., visit SFCURRAN.COM/shows/detour. After this week, tours will be offered once a month when the theater is dark.

Ticketholders who want a quick hit may take an abridged five-minute tour before, at intermission or after the show.

Curran tours
Where: 445 Geary St., S.F.
When: 4:30 to 8 p.m. Jan. 18-19 (every 15 minutes)
Admission: Free
Contact: SFCURRAN.COM/shows/detour (reservation required)

Carol ChanningCarole Shorenstein HaysCurranDETOURKristin ChenowethopeningTheaterTommy Tunetour

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

Former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs spoke to San Francisco’s new Guaranteed Income Advisory Group on April 16. (Courtesy SFGOV)
City launches task force to explore Universal Basic Income programs

San Francisco on Friday launched a guaranteed income task force that could… Continue reading

Muni’s K-Ingleside line will return six months earlier than previously announced. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
K-Ingleside train to return on May 15

Announcement comes on the heels of pressure from Supervisor Myrna Melgar

Demonstrators march from Mission High School towards the San Francisco Police station on Valencia Street. (Jordi Molina/ Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Vigil, march honors those killed by police

Deaths of Daunte Wright, Roger Allen and others prompt renewed calls for defunding

A Recology employee stands at the comapany’s recycling facility on Pier 96 in 2016. (Jessica Christian/2016 S.F. Examiner)
Nuru scandal: Feds charge second former Recology executive with bribery

A second former Recology executive is facing charges for allegedly bribing ex-Public… Continue reading

Skier Andy Padlo crosses a frozen Spicer Reservoir. (Courtesy photo)
Stormy weather tests skiers’ mettle on Dardanelle traverse

Overcoming challenges makes outings more rewarding

Most Read