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Vau de Vire and Oakland Central present The Soiled Dove

A circus-infused dinner theatre set in a reincarnation of Barbary Coast’s red light district // September 28th to November 17th, 2018

Wednesday, July 25, 2018 —

Taking Place Under the 12,000 sq ft Tortona Big Top in Downtown Oakland

Oakland, CA – From The Vau de Vire Society, co-creators of the world renowned Edwardian Ball, Lagunitas Beer Circus, Phantasm Halloween, New Bohemia NYE and a decade of The Bay Area’s most creatively outrageous nightlife events, comes an immersive, circus-infused, scandalous and historic dinner-theater experience that will titillate your every sense. The Soiled Dove graces Downtown Oakland September 28th, with shows every Friday and Saturday evenings through November 17th…under Vau de Vire’s massive 12,000 sq. ft. Italian Big Top. Yes, that’s a 12,000 sq ft Big Top, Circus tent erected in heart of Downtown Oakland for 2 months.

To enter The Soiled Dove, is to step back into another world, inspired by the Bay Area’s notorious Gold Rush & Barbary Coast era. A fully built-out 19th century outpost of decadence and delights, a replica of a 19th century Oakland saloon and dancehall, replete with all its characters and misfits. An evening filled, with decadent culinary creations served alongside world-renowned performances accompanied by a 10 piece live orchestra with surprise musical-guest cameos each evening.Director/producer of The Soiled Dove, Mike Gaines says, “The Soiled Dove features over 40 performers and musicians collaborating to help transport guests back to the Barbary Coast circa 1890.”

Gaines explains how he and wife Shannon (Vau de Vire Society choreographer) found the Tortona Big Top, “After literally scouring the world high and low for exactly the right fit, serendipity led us to the Italian countryside where we discovered the beautiful and magical Tortona – a 12,000 square foot circus tent with ultimate charm and pizazz.  Inside we’ve built an intimate and exciting depiction of a happening saloon & Dance Hall set in Oakland circa 1890. The venue is adorned with multiple performance stages, a 50’ ceiling offering the canvas for an array of aerial feats, a tent-wide gallery of local artisans, sprawling lounges, craft vendors and a spansive libations bar perfectly designed for illicit escapades.”

The Soiled Dove guests are treated like royalty by the most enticing courtesans on the Barbary Coast serving up an innovative 4-course food experience by the Bay Area based, produce-foused Work of Art catering collective. Work of Art’s forward thinking and sustainable menus will be paired, with bespoke tantalizing libations at the Soiled Dove Saloon.

Every night The Soiled Dove welcomes guests to depart from the mundane, enjoy and explore a scandalous and sexy chapter in Bay Area history. Attendees are encouraged (but not required) to submerge themselves in the revelry by putting a little (or a lot) of effort into their attire…styles that cover Victorian, Edwardian, 49er, Harlots, Crimps or one’s most stylish period couture.

About the Vau de Vire Society

Founded in 1997 by husband and wife team Shannon and Mike Gaines, the Bay Area-based entertainment company Vau de Vire has been titillating crowds around the world with its unique brand of interactive and thematic art, dance and circus productions while the performance ensemble, Vau de Vire Society consists of classically-trained dancers, some of the nation’s most acclaimed acrobats, aerial artists, sideshow acts, fire-performers, thespians and beautiful circus freaks. The group has been cross-pollinating genres by collaborating with an eclectic variety of world-renowned musicians and DJs in the creation of original stage shows. Notable collaborators include The Edwardian Ball (SF & LA) Cirque du Soleil (Corteo), San Francisco Symphony, Bassnectar, The Dresden Dolls, Calvin Harris and The Madd Vibe Orchestra…with live support performances for James Brown, Primus, 50 Cent, Wyclef Jean, Velvet Revolver, The Cure and many other highly respected international artists.  In addition to producing the annual SF/LA Edwardian Ball since 2005 and SF’s premier NYE event New Bohemia NYE, Vau de Vire is most widely recognized for their numerous music and arts festival commissions, having curated live-music stages and multi-day variety entertainment amidst their custom built environments. Past and ongoing festivals include: Symbiosis Gathering, Outside Lands Festival, Bumbershoot Festival, Download Festival, Lightning in a Bottle, Exprescion on Alcatraz, Burning Man and Super Village at Super Bowl XLV.

About Jazz Mafia

Providing the musical genius throughout the night are virtuosic Oakland natives Jazz Mafia. Led by musical director Adam Theis, dance/musical liaison Shaina Evoniuk, and lyricist Dublin.  Theis has produced and co-written music for notable artists such as Lyrics Born, Zion-I, Rebelution, Latyrx, Galactic, Ledesi, Blackalicious and many more. As a sideman, Adam and his horn section have created eclectic collaborations with a wide range of top level artists including: Bobby McFerrin, Roy Ayers, Chali 2na, Booker T. Jones, Spearhead, Zigaboo Modeliste, Zap Mama, Eric Lindell, Dead Winter Carpenters, KRS One, Wax Tailor, The New Master Sounds, Peter Rowan, Coultrain, J Boogie’s Dubtronic Science, The Velvet Teen and dozens more.  Jazz Mafia provides the musical means for audiences to travel back in time to when the streets of San Francisco were covered in dirt, mud and sometimes, a bit of blood.

About Oakland Central

Oakland Central is the lifestyle and destination marketing campaign of the Downtown Oakland and Lake Merritt Uptown District Associations. It is designed to promote Downtown Oakland as a destination and support local businesses and attract patrons to Downtown Oakland’s Central Business District. To learn more about Oakland Central visit  and to learn more about the work of the associations please visit:  Oakland Central Presents is the events production side of the Oakland Central marketing campaign that produces 3rd Thursday at Latham Square, and will support the production of The Soiled Dove. To learn more about Oakland Central Presents, visit

About Work of Art: San Francisco-based green catering company Work of Art will shape an integrated, experiential culinary event. Joining visionary forces with Vau de Vire society, WoA will create an immersive adventure that encourages guests to participate in the 4-course dinner-theatre performance from the Barbary Coast era. The Soiled Dove VIP guests experience the chaos of the times with creative delectable dishes festively presented by charismatic food hawkers.


What: Vau de Vire and Oakland Central present The Soiled Dove

TaglineAn immersive, circus-infused culinary extravaganza set in San Francisco’s notorious Barbary Coast red light district.

When: Every Friday & Saturday, September 28th through November 17th, 2018, 7:30pm (Dinner & Show) & 9:00pm (Show)

Where: Tortona Big Top in Downtown Oakland, 1911 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94612

Tickets: $53 Show to $137 Dinner & Show (includes 4-course dinner) – Ages 21+

Photographer: Leori Gill


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Photographer: Eric Gillet


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Videographer: Nick Kasimatis

Videographer: Mark Day

Videographer: Nick Kasimatis

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