Taylor Mac's 24-Decade History of Popular Music Plays the Curran Theatre
Mac's epic song cycle was a 2017 Pulitzer Prize finalist.
The San Francisco premiere of A 24-Decade History of Popular Music from gender-bending multi-hyphenate Taylor Mac (Hir) recently began its limited run at the Curran Theatre. Performances began September 15 and are scheduled to continue through September 24. Check out photos in the gallery below.
The piece is presented in four six-hour chapters. The two chapters already performed were on September 15 (1776-1836), and September 17 (1835-96). Still remaining are performances on September 22 (1896-1956) and September 24 (1956-the present). Mac is the creator, writer, performer, and codirector of the piece. It is codirected by Niegel Smith and features music direction by Matt Ray, costumes by Machine Dazzle, dramaturgy by Jocelyn Clarke, scenic design by Mimi Lien, and lighting by John Torres.
A 24-Decade History is Mac's multiyear effort to chart a subjective history of the United States through 246 songs that were popular throughout the country — and in its disparate communities — from 1776 to the present day. In performing the work, Mac is joined by an orchestra — led by music director Matt Ray, who created new arrangements of all 246 songs — plus an ensemble of "Dandy Minions" and a variety of local special guests, including members of the audience cast as colonial needleworkers, World War I soldiers, and Yum Yum from The Mikado. The Curran presents the piece with Stanford Live, Magic Theatre, and Pomegranate Arts.