Betsy Wolfe, who starred as Mary Singleton in the American Conservatory Theater’s 2011 world premiere of the Tales of the City musical is back in town this coming weekend for the debut performances of her first-ever cabaret show, All Bets Are Off. While Wolfe will sing versions of songs from many shows she’s been a part of—most recently Waitress, on Broadway—she realizes that San Francisco audiences wouldn’t be satisfied without a rendition of “Paper Faces”, her big solo turn from Tales, composed by Jake Shears (of Scissor Sisters) and John Garden.
It’s a song that, as sung by Wolfe, the New York Times called “goose-pimple inducing”, adding that “It’s so good that you want to hear it again as soon as the last chord dies out.”
Armistead Maupin, author of the Tales novels remembers the first time he heard Wolfe perform the song, which describes the false fronts and misrepresentations people sometimes turn to in desperate pursuit of love: “There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.”
Maupin will be in the house at one of this weekend’s shows as, no doubt, will be many of the local theater folks who took part in the A.C.T. production.
Meanwhile, as Wolfe was preparing to embark on her first solo tour, she was spending some of her leisure time binging on the latest project of another Mary Ann Singleton. “Laura Linney is amazing,” says Wolfe of the actress who played the character in two PBS miniseries. “I’m loving her in Ozark on Netflix.”