My name is Glenda Glayzer and I am your host. I am one of the original cast members of Beach Blanket Babylon Goes Bananas, the bedrock upon which Steve Silver built his fortune. The streets of North Beach are littered with the ghosts of performers who gave their sweat and tears and talent to build his dynasty.
The Beach Blanket Babylon franchise began before Goes Bananas in 1974 at the Savoy Tivoli, and continues today at Fugazi Hall in North Beach of San Francisco. Beach Blanket Babylon is, to date, America’s longest-running musical revue.
We were never allowed to tape our performances. Indeed, some of the performers never saw tapes of the shows. Steve Silver, however, did record some videos. These are unprofessional, cheap and grainy, but they are all that remains of the years when the show was about silliness and nostalgia – when we all contributed songs, ideas and bad comedy on behalf of the “team” – believing that’s what we were.
This used to be closed group, by invitation only, with membership granted upon screening and/or at the individual’s request. Why? Because we suffered from “oldest child” syndrome, and those who came into the show later didn’t experience the same treatment. We had no understudies, and no paid vacations. We had to run up to the third floor to go to the bathroom during performances, as there was no bathroom backstage on stage level. We were sorely underpaid, our mail was stolen and management did everything possible to keep us from getting other jobs.
All those “middle children” who complained because I left you out now have full access. Yes, THIS is MY show and I can write what I want, say what I want and I still make the rules. (stamping foot and pouting)