SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – An end to an era and San Francisco staple.
The show “Beach Blanket Babylon” will close its curtains for good on New Year’s Eve after more than 17,000 performances over 45 years.
It’s the longest-running musical revue in the world and a huge tourist destination in the city.
“Magical icon. It’s like the Golden Gate Bridge or Coit Tower. It’s in the fabric of the city,” John Camajani said.
It’s become a San Francisco tradition over the last 45 years.
“Beach Blanket Babylon” started as a street performance and found its home at North Beach’s Club Fugazi since opening day on June 7, 1974.
Decades later, they’re closing the curtains for good with its last show on New Year’s Eve.
“That’s a real big deal. There isn’t anybody else in the world, Broadway, London, you know we’ve been to London and nobody has surpassed us,” Camajani said.
John Camajani has been with the show for 40 years as its stage manager and says the show is dubbed the world’s longest-running musical revue.
Creator, Steve Silver, passed away in 1995, but his wife Jo continued to run the show.
Earlier this year, she told us they’re not closing for financial reasons.
“It’s really a labor of love and we all feel for it. I just always knew I would know the right time and that the show would go out on top, which it deserves to go out on top. It’s that fabulous, we’re all sad. There’s gonna be a lot of tears on New Year’s Eve. I know me included,” Jo said.
The show’s known for its crazy costumes and hats and its spoofs on political and pop culture.
“Changes daily, monthly, weekly. If you see something in the newspaper in the morning, it’s gonna be on stage that night,” Camajani said.
It’s made every show different than the last.
With more than 17,000 performances, Beach Blanket Babylon was seen by 6.5 million people.
“I’m sorry to see it go and I wish it would last forever but nothing lasts forever. Those people that got to see it, you are the lucky ones,” Camajani said.
The cast will perform for its last audience on Tuesday.