Singin’ in the FOGG

A young theatre company in San Francisco, FOGG Theatre, is dedicated to Bay Area stories.

FOGG’s co-founders Aimée Miles (left), Carey McCray, Tony Asaro (Nicolás Rico Photography)

FOGG’s co-founders Aimée Miles (left), Carey McCray, Tony Asaro (Nicolás Rico Photography)

Founded in 2013 by Artistic Director Tony Asaro, Director of Education Aimée Miles, and Executive Director Carey McCray, FOGG stands for Focus on the Golden Gate, and was created to entertain the San Francisco Bay Area community with new musical productions telling locally relevant stories, using Bay Area artists.

After a well-received inaugural new musical last year, The Cable Car Nymphomaniac (based on the infamous story of Gloria Sykes, a 23-year-old Midwestern girl who claimed a head injury from a 1964 San Francisco cable car accident caused her to become sexually insatiable, and for which she got a major settlement from MUNI), FOGG Theatre is now deep into development of its second production: Bottle Shock, The Musical, written by James Sasser and Charles Vincent Burwell and directed by Kent Nicholson.

Charles Vincent Burwell

Charles Vincent Burwell

James Sasser

James Sasser

The musical is inspired by the true story of the famous 1976 “Judgment of Paris,” in which California wines beat French wines in a blind taste test for the first time ever. Bottle Shock follows one of the winning Napa wineries, Chateau Montelena, and the relationship between owner Jim Barrett and his son Bo. When English sommelier Steven Spurrier shows up in Napa looking for contenders for his “friendly and impartial competition” between French and American wines to be held in Paris, Barrett is skeptical. But at the urging of his son and the community, his Chardonnay is included, and history is made.  Bottle Shock celebrates a global victory for the Bay Area establishing Napa as the globally cherished “Wine Country”. The musical is based on the 2008 film of the same name starring Alan Rickman, Bill Pullman and Chris Pine.


I am already a fan of this creative team, having sat in on a rehearsal and seen a staged reading of their musical Cubamor at the 2014 New Works Festival at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley.  In an email exchange with the Director, Kent Nicholson, he revealed that James and Vince decided to write the piece mostly because they both grew up in the Napa/Sonoma area, so the movie resonated a great deal for them.  Knowing from personal experience how remarkable their complementary musical talents are, I look forward to hearing the songs inspired by this great story.

FOGG Theatre will present a developmental reading of Bottle Shock, The Musical in San Francisco on November 15th at 3:00 at a.Muse Gallery in the Mission featuring Broadway and Bay Area actors (including a reception featuring local wineries).  As a special benefit for the Napa Film Festival, FOGG Theatre will also present a sneak peek concert of the show on November 14th.  For more information and for links to buy tickets to either the Napa or San Francisco events click here.

FOGG Theatre’s emphasis on the development of new musicals nicely rounds out the scope of the Bay Area theatre scene.  Its focus on local artists and stories make it an even more welcome addition.



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1 Comment

  1. Ruth S.
    Nov 5, 2015

    This sounds like lots of fun, and more broadly, like a very cool new group. Thanks for letting us know about them. Interesting concept. I’ll tell my downstairs neighbor too, she’s a total musicals fan.

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