Walking Tour
Curran Lobby

Following a 2-year renovation, step inside the Curran. Discover its celebrated past and glimpse into its innovative future.

  Celebrate a storied past and explore a bright future.

The Curran is one of the preeminent live theaters in the world and a reigning example of Beaux Arts architecture in 20th century America. Join Tony Award-winning producer, Carole Shorenstein Hays on this unique and immersive Detour. Carole has recently led the most extensive and celebratory renovation and restoration the Curran has had since it was built in 1922. Come celebrate our extraordinary history with an inside look at the renovation as the Curran begins a new era.

"One of our goals for Descript (the Mac app that powers Detour) is for it to be the go-to tool for telling great location based stories. We're excited to partner with a San Francisco landmark like the Curran as we move towards that."
- Andrew Mason, founder and CEO of Detour App

While you’re with Carole, you’ll go backstage, underground through hidden steam tunnels, to dressing rooms, the “fly wall” and center stage while hearing from legendary stars who have played the Curran, including James Earl Jones, Carol Channing, Tommy Tune, Kristin Chenoweth and Patti LuPone. You’ll hear from the renovation team, stage managers, stage hands and learn about historic moments with Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe and the filming of the Academy Award-winning film, All About Eve. Most importantly, you’ll hear about the Curran’s new mission and how it’s maintained its reputation over the course of its life as one of the greatest venues in North America.

This tour is unprecedented, being one of the first special project tours ever outsourced and developed externally using Detour’s Platform software, Descript, a Mac app (currently in private beta) for content producers to create audio tours by combining maps, writing and audio production in one tool.

Andrew Mason, founder and CEO of Detour said, "One of our goals for Descript is for it to be the go-to tool for telling great location based stories. We're excited to partner with a San Francisco landmark like the Curran as we move towards that."

The Curran Detour was co-produced with the Curran and Ninna Gaensler-Debs, a radio producer and writer based in San Francisco.


  • Don't forget your headphones!
  • Be sure to bring an iPhone (Android support pending) loaded with the Detour application. You can download it from Google Play or the iTunes App Store.
  • For those who do not have an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, a limited number of devices will be available to use.
  • The 45 minute tour is offered once a month when the theater is dark. Due to capacity, sign-up is required. The largest party that can be accommodated on a single tour is 8.
  • Tours begin in 15 minute intervals. Please expect to depart at the time that appears on your ticket.
  • This tour goes up and down three flights of stairs without elevator access. Please be advised: a short portion is outdoors in the Curran's stage door alley. Please wear warm clothes and bring an umbrella if needed. There is no coat check.
  • Please arrive at the Curran’s lobby 5-10 minutes before the tour.

If all instances of Detour events appear to be SOLD OUT, the full version of Detour is closed for the month of January. An abridged 5 minute tour is available for all Curran ticket-holders - to be taken before, after or during the intermission of any Curran show - including FUN HOME!


Narrator: Carole Shorenstein Hays

Producer: Ninna Gaensler-Debs

Project Coordinator: Jaron Caldwell

Engineering: James Rowlands

Featured Voices: Jed Ellis, Gracie Hays, Aaron De La Cruz, Noah Cowan, Jack Isaacson-Brewster, Ray Gin, Carol Channing, Tommy Tune, James Earl Jones, Kristin Chenoweth, George Oldham, Patti LuPone, Alison Bechdel, Lisa Kron


State Overture - Rodgers & Hammerstein

[Ghost Dance - Kevin MacLeod] (

All About Eve Overture - Alfred Newman

School of Rock (Teacher's Pet) - Andrew Lloyd Weber

Before the Parade Passes By - Jerry Herman

Call the Papers - Judy Garland

Popular - Stephen Schwartz

76 Trombones - Meredith Willson

Ring of Keys - Jeanine Tesori (sung by students from Oakland School of the Arts)

[Light Thought var 4 by Kevin MacLeod] (

Carnival De Brazil by Doug Maxwell

Image Credits

Cover photo: Little Fang Photography

Old lobby: Drew Altizer

Old tools: Travis Driscoll

Homer Curran: Courtesy of the Curran

Marilyn Monroe: Courtesy of All About Eve

Women in side alley: Courtesy of All About Eve

Jack Isaacson-Brewster in School of Rock: Jim Norrena

Chandelier: Little Fang Photography

Special Thanks: Ken Kleiber, Avi Glijansky, Matt Hettich, Elizabeth Pepin Silva, Travis Driscoll, Wally Hays, Jeffrey Hays, Casey Waits, Mark Luevano, Juliet Hinely, Patrick Galvin, Angela Johnston