Words: Darren Scott
Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City – based on characters from the iconic novels – sees Mary Ann Singleton return to 28 Barbary Lane, and be reunited with Anna Madrigal, 20 years since leaving the city to pursue her career.
The new series, set in modern-day San Francisco, aims to be reflective of today’s diverse world.
Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis have both previously been announced as reprising their roles from Tales of the City (1993), More Tales of the City (1998) and Further Tales of the City (2001).
Ellen Page will play Shawna, Mary Ann’s daughter.
It’s been announced that Barbara Garrick will return as DeDe Halcyon Day, alongside Paul Gross, who reprises his role of Brian Hawkins from the original adaptation. Looking’s Murray Bartlett has been cast as Michael ‘Mouse’ Tolliver.
Barbara Garrick, Paul Gross and former 'Looking' star Murray Bartlett
The series features LGBT+ people both in front of and behind the camera: Original series producer Alan Poul returns to the franchise as Producing Director and Executive producer alongside Showrunner/Executive Producer and writer Lauren Morelli, the Co-Executive Producer and writer for Orange Is the New Black.
They’ve assembled an entirely queer writing team – Andy Parker, Patricia Resnick, Marcus Gardley, Jen Silverman, Hansol Jung and Thomas Page McBee – and brought on board talented directors who are also part of the LGBT+ community including Silas Howard, Sydney Freeland, Stacie Passon and Kyle Alvarez.
Newcomer Josiah Victoria Garcia, a non-binary trans actor, plays Jake – a transgender man who is Anna Madrigal’s caregiver. Jen Richards, who wrote, produced and starred in the Emmy-nominated web series about dating a trans woman, Her Story, stars as a young Anna.
Josiah Victoria Garcia, Jen Richards and Daniela Vega
Daniela Vega, lead of the Academy Award-winning film A Fantastic Woman, will play Ysela – a trans woman who plays a pivotal role in Anna’s life.
Other cast include Charlie Barnett as Mouse’s boyfriend, Ben Marshall, Juan Castano as Ben’s co-worker Flaco Ramirez, May Hong as Jake’s long-term girlfriend Margot Park.
Charlie Bennett, Juan Castano and May Hong
Also appearing are Michelle Buteau as Brian’s best friend, Wren, Matthew Risch as Mouse’s ex-boyfriend, Harrison and Michael Park as Mary Ann’s husband, Robert.
Michelle Buteau, Matthew Risch and Michael Park
The new stories will include a queer polyamorous married couple, Eli and Inka, played by Benjamin Thys and Samantha Soule.
Benjamin Thys, Samantha Soule and Dickie Hearts
DeDe will have a housekeeper, Mateo, played by Dickie Hearts from Grace & Frankie.
New residents to Barbary Lane will include Ashley Park and Christopher Larkin as twins Ani and Raven.
Ashley Parker, Christopher Larkin and Caldwell Tidicule aka Bob The Drag Queen
Also joining the cast is Caldwell Tidicue – otherwise known as Bob The Drag Queen – playing Ida Best. Ida is the manager of a burlesque club where Mary Ann’s daughter, Shawna, works alongside Margot.
Production on the 10-part series Tales of the City is currently underway and is due to make its debut on Netflix in 2019.