For Immediate Release - October 21, 2001


Previews Nov 30 - Dec 8, 2001
Performances Dec 12 - 31, 2001


Final production at "PERFORMANCE WORKS"

(San Francisco, CA) --George Coates Performance Works celebrates its 25th Anniversary season with a new play with music, The Crazy Wisdom Sho, opening at Performance Works, 110 McAllister (at Leavenworth) in San Francisco. The "crazy wisdom" inspired performances of the extraordinary Nigerian actor and musician Babatunde« Garaya and virtuoso comedienne singer Sara Moore upend our understanding of the world using trickster myth, ancient Zen teachings and a humorous perspective to examine recreational panic, complacency and other twisted perspectives on knowledge and human behavior. The production features characters who to some might be appear to be clowns or fools, but to others seem to possess great wisdom. The production is under the music direction of Sue Bohlin. The Crazy Wisdom Sho opens on Wednesday, December 12, 2001 and performs on Fridays and Saturdays, December 14, 15, 21, and 22. Holiday week performances are Dec. 26, 27, 28 and 29. Previews begin on Friday, November 30 and run December 1, 7 and 8. All performances are at 8 p.m.

The new production is supported by the Rockefeller Foundation Multi- Arts Program (MAP), which encourages new approaches to the arts by supporting original work.


Performance Works, Coates' unique theatrical venue, opened as the companyŐs resident facility in San Francisco's Civic Center in 1990 and is scheduled to close for a building-wide fire, life-safety renovation and seismic retrofitting in early 2002. To fully upgrade the facility an additional 3 million dollars in capital improvements (beyond the seven hundred thousand dollars raised by George Coates Performance Works in 1989) is needed to restore the facility for public use.

"We are launching the Crazy Wisdom Sho as a production that will tour while our Board conducts a search for office and rehearsal facilities to continue our annual production schedule in San Francisco," said Producing Director George Coates.

George Coates Performance Works took possession of an abandoned neo-gothic cathedral space on McAllister and Leavenworth in 1990 and undertook its renovation becoming the companyŐs resident performance facility following the Earthquake in 1989. From its earliest productions in 1977, George Coates Performance Works operated as a touring company until 1989, when a major co-production with The American Conservatory Theater, Right Mind, was destroyed by the collapse of the Geary Theater roof in the Loma Prieta earthquake two weeks into ACTŐs 24th annual season. One year later, on the first anniversary of the earthquake, Coates opened his first show in the companyŐs current location with The Architecture Of Catastrophic Change and has since continued to produce annual productions bringing thousands of patrons to San Francisco's Civic CenterŐs east side.


The Crazy Wisdom Sho marks the company's return to touring following 10 years as a resident theater company at Civic Center and 25 years producing original stage works in San Francisco, New York and throughout the world at international theater festivals in Japan, South America, and Europe.

During the spring of 2001 Coates brought New York audiences the East Coast premiere of Valerie Solanas' long-lost comedy Up Your Ass, which played at Performance Space 122 and won critical acclaim and great audiences. Time Out New York's David Cote hailed the show as one of "the sassiest, most enjoyable shows around" and continued to praise it as "high-octane" with "one of the funniest and best-singing casts in New York" (2/16/01). Time Out New York gave the production its Critic's Pick. The Village Voice's Alisa Solomon described the production as "staged in all its guttural, glittery glory," and "ahead-of-its time... in its critique of gender roles and sexual mores, " (2/27/01). The theater world's Applause! Applause!'s Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens stated, "George Coates does an outstanding job with this production" (2/09/01). The New York Post's Chip Deffaa exclaimed, "Éin this show we vividly feel [Solanas'] presence and we like her" (2/16/01).


Among the cast of The Crazy Wisdom Sho are Babatunde« Garaya, the multitalented singer, actor and performer from northern Nigeria who is the leader of the popular high life band, African Rhythm Messengers. Garaya performed with Zulu Spear in Coate's production of The Architecture Of Catastrophic Change in 1990. Sara Moore, a graduate of The Barnum and Bailey Clown College, is a professional actor, singer, and filmmaker. In her first assignment for George Coates Performance Works she created the leading character of Bongi Perez in Valerie Solanas' Up Your Ass in San Francisco and New York. For her performance in the New York premiere, Time Out New York raved, "She rules the stage..."


Preview tickets for The Crazy Wisdom Sho, are $16. Admission to performances of The Crazy Wisdom Sho are $18 to $28. Student and group discounts are available.

For tickets and information please call City Box Office at (415) 392-4400. Tickets will also be available at the Performance Works box office immediately preceding each performance.

The Crazy Wisdom Sho is supported in part by grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, San Francisco Grants For The Arts, and The California Arts Council


110 McAllister Street (at Leavenworth), San Francisco

The Crazy Wisdom Sho
Created and directed by George Coates

All performances at 8 p.m.

November 30; December 1, 7, and 8

Wednesday, December 12, 2001 - opening performance
Fridays and Saturdays, December 14, 15; 21, 22.
Christmas week performances are Dec. 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31.

Tickets: PREVIEWS: $16 PERFORMANCES: $18 - $28

For tickets and information please call City Box Office (415) 392-4400

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George Coates Performance Works, 110 McAllister St., San Francisco
For ticket information and to order tickets, please call
CITY BOX OFFICE (415) 392-4400