San Francisco prepares for Peter Pan

April 5, 2010 8:12:23 PM PDT
Crews raised the roof Thursday on what promises to be a spectacular stage production. Peter Pan will have its U.S. premiere in San Francisco following a successful world premiere in London.

The show will take place inside a 100-foot tall tent in Ferry Park across the street from the Ferry Building.

It is the world's first 360 degree tent and will feature 12 large screen projectors. The performance is scheduled for an 18-week run beginning in May, but could be extended through October.

The San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau expects the show to draw massive crowds from not only the Bay Area, but throughout the United States and beyond.

Matt Stiker with the Convention and Visitors Bureau would not estimate how much revenue the city could generate in tourism dollars, but said, "If you look at the success of [the play] Wicked or Beach Blanket Babylon, it can absolutely be significant."

The city's cash-strapped Recreation and Park Department also stands to make money from leasing the park.

But with the positive, comes controversy. Some neighbors are not happy about the loss of open space and the potential for noise.

"It will take place from 7-9 every night and they are worried about the sound, the amplified sound," neighborhood activist Ernestine Weiss said.

The show's producer thought he had everyone on board.

"As we educated them about the project, they became very supportive and felt this was a good use for the park," Robert Butters said.

But Phil Ryan, chair of the Golden Gateway Tenants Association, says there was not adequate notice to neighbors and worries about traffic congestion.

Mayor Gavin Newsom says there has been outreach to the community, along with several public meetings and while some people are concerned, Newsom says he is excited about the Peter Pan production.


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