iOS app Android app

Berkeley Rep

Disgraced at Berkeley Rep: A Dramatic Triumph, Confronting Issues That Our Times Can't Avoid

Leo Stutzin | Posted 11.17.2015 | San Francisco
Leo Stutzin

Could any work of dramatic art be more timely, more provocative, more ripe for debate right now than Ayad Akhtar's Disgraced, which is receiving a sterling production at Berkeley Rep? That would be hard to imagine.

Imported Pirates Makes a Merry Splash on Intimate Stage at Berkeley Rep

Leo Stutzin | Posted 10.26.2015 | San Francisco
Leo Stutzin

The Hypocrites, a Chicago-based troupe that's esteemed for its unique approaches to classics, obviously knows how to make a reviewer look up and take notice, even with a fussy old operetta like Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance.

Amélie at Berkeley Rep: A Spirited Musical Adaptation of the Beloved French Film

Leo Stutzin | Posted 09.14.2015 | San Francisco
Leo Stutzin

I would be remiss to say that the show's leads, its stagecraft and its tunefulness make it worth a look. The Amélie you see next week probably won't be a carbon copy of the one I saw a few days ago.

Keep 'em Laughing, and Laughing and Laughing: One Man, Two Guvnors at Berkeley Repertory Theatre

Pamela Feinsilber | Posted 06.10.2015 | Arts
Pamela Feinsilber

I watched the Tony Awards on TV for the same reason I always do: the performances. Every year seems to bring fewer awards and more entertainment -- yes, sometimes bombastic snippets from overblown musicals but sometimes real gems.

Fierce Trials of Family and Faith in Berkeley Rep's Stunning Head of Passes

Leo Stutzin | Posted 06.20.2015 | San Francisco
Leo Stutzin

After a short while, it turns into a deluge that pours through the roof in volumes that buckets can't contain; and finally, as lights flicker and thunder roars, it brings down the house. Literally. The roof crashes, floors and walls tilt, and flood waters rise. On Berkeley Rep's Thrust Stage.

Tartuffe in Berkeley: Dark Undercurrents Dominate Moliere's Timeless Assault On Fraudulent Piety

Leo Stutzin | Posted 05.22.2015 | San Francisco
Leo Stutzin

Every successful satire has teeth, though most often they're employed lightly, nipping at common foibles and quirks of character. Moliere's Tartuffe, in the hands of Berkeley Rep, has fangs, fiercely tearing into greed and cruelty.

X's and O's: America's Obsession With Football at Berkeley Rep

Carla Escoda | Posted 04.15.2015 | Arts
Carla Escoda

Ballet to the People came equipped to X's and O's, the Berkeley Rep world première of a play about violence in American football: she brought an interpreter, a former quarterback from the great state of Texas, to the docudrama subtitled, with gentle irony, A Football Love Story.

10 Things I Learned About Molly Ivins

Elizabeth Ann Thompson | Posted 03.15.2015 | Arts
Elizabeth Ann Thompson

Kathleen Turner is one of my favorite actresses and Molly Ivins was a hero. I had the pleasure of seeing Kathleen Turner in Red Hot Patriot the Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins at the Berkeley Rep. Here are 10 things I learned.

Kathleen Turner as a Red Hot Patriot: Turning Anger Into Wit

Leo Stutzin | Posted 01.28.2015 | San Francisco
Leo Stutzin

Turner as Ivins: exuberance, laughter and crusading journalism Photos by Molly Ivins lives! Seven years after her death, the fierc...

Kathleen Turner on Molly Ivins, Hollywood and Acting

Greg Archer | Posted 01.23.2015 | San Francisco
Greg Archer

There she is: The incomparable Kathleen Turner in a pair of fiery red cowboy boots and an oversized denim button-down shirt. She sits on the floor,...

10 Things I Learned About the Black Panthers From Viewing Party People

Elizabeth Ann Thompson | Posted 12.28.2014 | Black Voices
Elizabeth Ann Thompson

Party People is playing at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre now until Nov. 16. It is the story of the Black Panthers and the Young Lords told by Univer...

Meow Meow and Her Audience: A Vibrant Pairing at Berkeley Rep

Leo Stutzin | Posted 11.15.2014 | San Francisco
Leo Stutzin

She's bawdy and brash, tender and vulnerable; she's graceful and klutzy, commanding and helpless. She's a singer who hits every vocal nuance, whether serious or satiric; a high-energy dancer who could probably double as a contortionist; a comic who draws roars from pratfalls, subtle glances, punchlines and sensuality.

Felder as Bernstein in Maestro: Fine Fusion of Biography, Music

Leo Stutzin | Posted 08.10.2014 | San Francisco
Leo Stutzin

Felder handles the story's many moods with grace and versatility, usually sitting at the piano and blending his words with virtuosic playing of pieces by Beethoven, Mahler, Wagner, Grieg and others, and naturally by Bernstein.

Kushner's Epic Guide in Berkeley: Edgy Portrait of Family's Turmoil

Leo Stutzin | Posted 07.27.2014 | San Francisco
Leo Stutzin

Given the sharp characters, bright dialogue and ambitious conception, I have to hope that Kushner and company can pull all the pieces together into a drama that engages the emotions as well as the mind. It's not there yet.

Seeing Double in Berkeley: Two New Theaters, Two Compelling Shows

Leo Stutzin | Posted 06.28.2014 | San Francisco
Leo Stutzin

Episodes of cruelty, humiliation, struggle and resilience punctuate the narrative, delivered most often with the innocence and bewilderment of a child, and generating laugh after laugh, before reflection.

Man in a Case at Berkeley Rep: Chekhov, Baryshnikov and Love

Leo Stutzin | Posted 03.31.2014 | San Francisco
Leo Stutzin

Any tale of love by Anton Chekhov is bound to be a sad tale. Adapt them for the stage and present them with grace, invention and deep humanity, as Mikhail Baryshnikov and a small company of actor-dancers are doing in Man in a Case, and sadness assumes an unusually compelling allure.

A Musical Theater Startup Telling Bay Area Stories

Shoshana Greenberg | Posted 02.16.2014 | Arts
Shoshana Greenberg

Developing and producing new musicals in San Francisco, as in many cities outside of New York, does not often happen without the support of the New York City theater scene.

Kneehigh Returns to Berkeley Rep With a Dazzling Tristan and Yseult

Leo Stutzin | Posted 02.02.2014 | San Francisco
Leo Stutzin

Ingredients for a love story? Certainly. But one with a multitude of twists and complications, the most crucial being that the King has chosen Yseult to be his bride, not knowing that she and Tristan have already connected, emotionally and physically.

Exquisite Performances Highlight One-Person Shows in SF, Berkeley

Leo Stutzin | Posted 01.23.2014 | San Francisco
Leo Stutzin

Two plays, two consecutive nights, two explorations of Jewish experience, two virtuoso performances in which one actor fills many roles: Together they offer proof that the art of storytelling is not only alive but very healthy in the age of Apple, Android and Netflix.

A Hilarious Opener for Berkeley Rep: Christopher Durang's Antic Vanya

Leo Stutzin | Posted 11.30.2013 | San Francisco
Leo Stutzin

You don't need to know Anton Chekhov's melancholy classics to giggle and guffaw at Vanya and friends, though some familiarity doesn't hurt. All you really need is the ability to laugh at human excesses, foibles and vanities.

My Bay Area Falls Arts Preview (Next Three Weeks)

Pamela Feinsilber | Posted 11.03.2013 | Arts
Pamela Feinsilber

In San Francisco, tradition has it that the fall arts season begins with the gala opening nights of the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Opera.

Pinter's No Man's Land Receives Stunning Revival With Name Cast

Leo Stutzin | Posted 10.15.2013 | San Francisco
Leo Stutzin

Fine Scotch whisky flows freely in Harold Pinter's No Man's Land, always consumed straight, or as the British would say, "as it is." Even the sharpest of memories would turn fuzzy under such influence.

Berkeley Rep's Elizabeth Explores Affection Between Esteemed Poets

Leo Stutzin | Posted 08.03.2013 | San Francisco
Leo Stutzin

Comparisons with the likes of Dear Liar, the sparkling dramatization of epistolary sparring between George Bernard Shaw and the actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell, or Love Letters, A. R. Gurney's amusing and tender fiction, are almost inevitable. As theater, Dear Elizabeth isn't in the same league.

Quirky, Flamboyant Stagecraft Propels Pericles at Berkeley Rep

Leo Stutzin | Posted 06.22.2013 | San Francisco
Leo Stutzin

Wing-Davey and company -- including a three-piece ensemble that provides all manner of terrific musical and sound support -- have turned this Pericles into a showcase for quirky stagecraft. If that sounds like your dish, have at it.

Berkeley Rep's Fallaci Offers Taut But Thin Sketch of Famed Journalist

Leo Stutzin | Posted 05.19.2013 | San Francisco
Leo Stutzin

Oriana Fallaci was a larger-than-life personality -- outspoken, idealistic, pugnacious, passionate, contradictory -- whose work often revealed as much about herself as it did about her subjects.