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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Take a Self-Guided Tour of the Original Hats Used in Beach Blanket Babylon

Posted By on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge The Silver San Francisco Skyline Hat - RICK MARKOVICH
  • Rick Markovich
  • The Silver San Francisco Skyline Hat

Beach Blanket Babylon, the longest-running musical revue in America, has entertained audiences at over 15,000 performances since its debut at Club Savoy Tivoli in 1974.

Created by the late Steve Silver, Beach Blanket Babylon is a satirical, pop culture reference-infused musical featuring iconic characters such as Glinda the Good Witch, James Brown, and Oprah.

Even if you've never seen it (which is a shame, go see it!) you're likely familiar with Beach Blanket Babylon's elaborate hats. Since its inception, performers in the show have consistently worn enormous, extravagant hats, such as the 29-foot-tall Silver San Francisco Skyline Hat, which currently holds the record of largest hat ever worn on stage.

And so it's only fitting that to celebrate Beach Blanket Babylon's 40th anniversary with its signature headwear. More than 20 of the iconic hats will be on display at various locations around the Bay Area this spring and summer. Aside from the Silver SF Skyline Hat, the featured hats include the Banana Carmen Hat at SFJAZZ Center, the World Hat at the de Young Museum, and the New York City Hat at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

If you take a selfie with any one of the hats when you go and post it with the hashtag #BeachBlanket40, you could win a 40th Anniversary gift basket including a BBB baseball hat, a chocolate bar, and a pair of tickets to the show itself; 40 winners will be randomly chosen on Friday, June 20, so make sure you go to one of the exhibits before then.

Also, the show will publicly celebrate its 40 years at City Hall on Friday, June 6, 2014 at noon. Join Mayor Ed Lee, former Mayor Willie Brown, and many other S.F. officials and citizens in tipping their hats (pun very much intended) to what has become one of San Francisco's most iconic theatrical performances.

Check out the complete list of which hats will be where and on which dates. And happy anniversary, Beach Blanket Babylon.

For events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF, Mollie at @MollieM10, and like us on Facebook.

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Jessica Nemire

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