“PEARLS OVER SHANGHAI” – Final Performance, April 9th

Pearls Over Shanghai has consistently been THE BEST SHOW IN TOWN since June 2009.”
—— Seán Martinfield, Editor

Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

THRILLPEDDLERS has announced that after an astounding and record-breaking 22 month run, its award-winning production of Pearls Over Shanghai, San Francisco’s longest-running Cockettes musical hit, will close on Saturday, April 9th, 2011. The show is a cultural and theatrical phenomenon that keeps on growing. Pearls Over Shanghai has consistently been the best show in town since June 2009. An original musical by Link Martin (book/lyrics) and Scrumbly Koldewyn (music), Pearls is the centerpiece of Thrillpeddlers’ 2nd annual Theatre of the Ridiculous Revival, and marks the 40th anniversary of the formation of The Cockettes a gender-bending theatrical troupe of the ’60s and ’70s.

Ste Fishell, Bobby Singer, Russell Blackwood, and Jim Toczyl
PEARLS OVER SHANGHAI – Production photos by David Wilson

The Cockettes not only originated this show, but exerted a profound influence on the culture of our times – from the shock of their outrageous fashions, to the phenomenon of midnight movies and the rise of glitter rock stars such as David Bowie and the New York Dolls. Pearls Over Shangahi is a psychedelic musical inspired by sin, soaked in Old Shanghai, and driven by the Busby Berkeley musicals of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Kegel Kater & Nancy French — Steven Satyricon & Eric Wertz


THRILLPEDDLERS have been performing their unique brand of horror and fetish theatre in San Francisco since 1991. Under the direction of Russell Blackwood, Thrillpeddlers are continuously engaged in translating, adapting and producing classic plays from the infamous repertoire of Le Théâtre du Grand Guignol and producing other works inspired by the Grand Guignol. The company’s SOMA performance venue, The Hypnodrome, is tailor-made for the specific needs of horror theatre, “lights-out” spook show spectacle, multi-act bills, and arts education programs for young people.  Inaugurating the performance space with Welcome to the Hypnodrome in 2004, Thrillpeddlers have gone on to produce wildly popular Grand Guignol bills including Blood Bucket Ballyhoo, Hypnodome Head Trips, Flaming Sin, Audacious Artefacts, The Torture Garden (2009), Hot Greeks, and Pearls Over Shanghai in both San Francisco and NYC’s HOWL Festival. Shocktoberfest!!, Thrillpeddlers’ annual pageant of terror and titillation, is now in its 11th year and has become a San Francisco Halloween favorite.

Russell Blackwood (center) with Eric Wertz, James Toczyl,
Kara Embry and Lanny Baugniet

Performance dates for Pearls Over Shanghai are:
MARCH: (Friday 8 pm / Saturday 8 pm) 11/12, 18/19, 25/26
APRIL: (Friday 8 pm / Saturday 8 pm) April 1/2, 8/9
The final performance on Saturday, April 9th, will be a special Gala with a post-performance reception with the Cast & Crew. Many performers who have been in Pearls will be in attendance. Tickets for the April 9th performance are $100 each.
Click here to purchase tickets on-line: Pearls Over Shanghai

Click on the video to watch my YouTube with director Russell Blackwood:

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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.

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