INDULGENCES – The Soiled Dove

By Guest Contributor




Vau de Vire Society at The Soiled Dove Dinner Theater in San FranciscoPhotography by Marco Sanchez

Vau de Vire Society at The Soiled Dove Dinner Theater in San Francisco




The Soiled Dove

By Karin Conn




San Francisco’s own avant-cabaret, circus theatre Vau de Vire Society presented “The Soiled Dove”, a lascivious, circus-infused, immersive dinner theater set in San Francisco’s notorious Barbary Coast. First run of shows sold out but “The Soiled Dove” is scheduled to return this March to InnerMission (CellSpace), a multi-level custom-created-to-theme venue in San Francisco.


“The Soiled Dove” is an adventure that will charm your every sense.  As soon as you enter the renovated brothel/saloon you instantly become part of the experience. Mingling and interacting with the performers, guests are surrounded by non-stop entertainment and original mood-invoking music from Jazz Mafia, Realistic Orchestra, Squid Inc, and Shovelman. It’s a world for those in search of an adventurous escapade into SF’s scandalous history.


Set amidst a thematic backdrop inspired by the gold rush, guests can expect an engaging evening filled with danger, decadence, world-renowned performance and an innovative culinary extravaganza worthy of royalty.  All guests are treated like VIPs and enjoy Work of Art Catering’s gourmet cuisine theatrically presented by the most enticing courtesans. They offer crab fritters, crisp salad served in Chinese to-go boxes, to a pewter plate with wild bison short ribs, muffin, potatoes, roasted corn and asparagus. Dessert tables are boasting an assortment of beautifully displayed tortes, bouchons, profiteroles, cookies and fruit.


Producer Mike Gaines says, “Moving to San Francisco 12 years ago I became enamored of its surreal history and infatuated by the crazier-than-fiction daily life of those during The Barbary Coast days. My wife Shannon and I were determined to create an immersive dinner theater experience reflecting that period, a place where performers and guests meld as one creating the scene while re-creating the era.”  


Guests are encouraged to immerse themselves in the revelry by putting effort into their attire – styles that cover Victorian, Edwardian, ‘49er, Harlots, Crimps or their most stylish period couture. 


“The Soiled Dove”, a benefit for Zaccho Dance Theatre, takes place at InnerMission (633 Florida Street, San Francisco, California). Ages 21+. For photos, videos and information about its March 2015 run, visit:  


Vau de Vire Society, founded in 1997 by Mr. Gaines and his wife Shannon, is an avant-cabaret community consisting of classically-trained dancers, acclaimed acrobats, aerial artists, sideshow acts, fire-performers, thespians and beautiful circus freaks. VdeV co-produces The Edwardian Ball, New Bohemia NYE, and co-creates Lagunitas Beer Circus, Hell In The Armory (Halloween Haunted House), plus it has worked with Cirque du Soleil, San Francisco Symphony, Outside Lands, Bumbershoot, Download Festival, Symbiosis Gathering, Lightning in a Bottle, Exprescion on Alcatraz, Burning Man and Super Bowl ’08.  The VdeV ensemble performed shows for Bassnectar, The Dresden Dolls, Calvin Harris and The Madd Vibe Orchestra, James Brown, Primus, 50 Cent, Wyclef Jean, Velvet Revolver, The Cure, and other international artists. 


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