The residents of 28 Barbary Lane have returned, and they’re just as magical as ever. After 25 years, a new revival of “Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City” is coming to Netflix, starring old friends and a whole slew of fascinating new ones. Based on Maupin’s wildly popular serialized book series, the queer classic originally aired on PBS in 1994 for just one season, breaking countless barriers of what kinds of stories could be told on television. Original stars Laura Linney, Olympia Dukakis, and Paul Gross return for the second chapter, which released a behind the scenes featurette as well as first look photos today.
“Tales of the City” follows Mary Ann Singleton (Linney) as she returns to her home away from home in San Francisco after leaving behind a husband and child to pursue a career. All grown up and living in Mary Ann’s old haunt, her daughter Shawna (Ellen Page) wants nothing to do with her. As Mary Ann acclimates to a new generation of queer people, with all of their identity politics and social media performance art, she and Shawna team up to save Barbary Lane from the destruction of San Francisco’s rapid gentrification.
Dukakis returns as magical house matriarch Anna Madrigal, a role she originated although she is not a transgender woman like the character. As a way to offset the original casting choice, executive producers Lauren Morelli and Alan Poul have incorporated a pivotal storyline from her past told in flashbacks and starring out trans actress Jen Richards as Madrigal.
In this new featurette, we see for the first time Richards in costume as the beloved character, as well as “A Fantastic Woman” star Daniela Vega as her best friend. Their chapter revolves around a lost part of queer history: The Compton’s Cafeteria riot, the site of San Francisco’s own version of the Stonewall uprising, that has been forgotten and is in danger of being demolished. Occurring in 1966, the Compton’s Cafeteria riot preceded Stonewall by some three years.
Netflix will release “Tales of the City” on June 7, just in time for Pride month. Check out the exclusive featurette and first look photos below.
And here are the first photos of Richards and Vega, looking spiffy in their period garb and hairdos.
Alison Cohen Rosa/Netflix