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Berkeley Repertory Theatre

Cultural Imperatives

George Heymont | Posted 09.24.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

Whether one is searching for a window of opportunity, hoping to ride a groundswell of support, or participating in an established grassroots movement, the importance of seizing the moment and making the most of its potential can never be underestimated.

Singular Sensations

George Heymont | Posted 07.12.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

On January 29, 1966, when Sweet Charity opened on Broadway at the Palace Theatre, the song which became one of the show's biggest hits was "Big Spender." The number featured a lineup of bored, jaded, and cynical taxi dancers offering their bodies to prospective customers.

A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to Surgery

George Heymont | Posted 06.25.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

I felt as if I had landed in a science fiction film. There I was (just like Keir Dullea in 2001: A Space Odyssey), propped up in a sitting position, surrounded by silence and staring at a soothing green wall with a sense of idiotic wonderment.

Sweet Clarity

George Heymont | Posted 05.07.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

One of the hardest tasks for theatre companies is to find a way to make classics of the dramatic literature accessible to modern audiences.

That's Edutainment!

George Heymont | Posted 05.23.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

As someone who was raised in a family of atheists (and whose father taught high school science), I often find myself standing on the sidelines as hordes of true believers abandon all objectivity and embrace a new technology, a cherished sport, or a form of corporate mythology with gusto.

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.

Football's Joys and Agonies Get a Thorough Dissection in Berkeley Rep's Dramatic X's and O's

Leo Stutzin | Posted 03.28.2015 | San Francisco
Leo Stutzin

The course of ardent love needs to involve pain, and sometimes even agony or tragedy, doesn't it? That's the formula in theater, if not always in life.

With Eyes Firmly Fixed On Political Targets

George Heymont | Posted 03.21.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

Few people would deny that politics is highly theatrical. Whether in film (The Candidate, All The President's Men, Lincoln) or onstage (The Best Man, Frost/Nixon, All The Way), conflict is easily found and ripe for dramatization.

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.

Vamping and Camping

George Heymont | Posted 02.20.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

Like a religious deathbed conversion, wretched excess may be the antithesis of everything a person stood for in his sane, tightly disciplined life. But there comes a time when giving in is a better option than merely giving up.

Finding the Right Gimmick for Your Art

George Heymont | Posted 02.03.2015 | Arts
George Heymont

Ever wonder how lesser talents continue to survive? The answer can be found in this brilliant musical number composed by Jule Styne (with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim) for Gypsy: A Musical Fable.

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,...

Center Stage: The TBA Awards

Emillio Mesa | Posted 01.14.2015 | San Francisco
Emillio Mesa

In San Francisco, the first ever, theatrical presentation on record was held on June 22, 1849. It took place at the police headquarters, the performance-by "Jeemes Pipes of Pipesville.

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...

Monsieur Chopin, Alive and in Concert at Berkeley Repertory Theatre

Pamela Feinsilber | Posted 11.15.2014 | Arts
Pamela Feinsilber

You don't have to be a classical music lover to enjoy this show, though it's hard to see how you could depart inured to Chopin's glorious music.

It's About the Music, Stupid!

George Heymont | Posted 10.11.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

With so many people listening to music through earbuds, I frequently wonder if any of them have a library of music resting within their memory that they can access without the help of an electronic device.

Silence Is Not Always Golden

George Heymont | Posted 08.30.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

A charming six-minute short film by Chaitanya Gopinath titled Lunch with Yoshi (which was screened during the 2014 San Francisco International Film Festival) follows a blind woman around Bangkok as she shops, rides the city's mass transit, and prepares lunch for a visiting friend.

Cartoons, Chaos and Commedia, Oh My!

George Heymont | Posted 07.16.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

The mind works in mysterious ways. During one week I had some bizarre experiences in dreamland that covered sights and sounds quite different from past adventures.

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.

Hindsight Is 20/20

George Heymont | Posted 06.15.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

With choreography by Paloma McGregor, The House that Will Not Stand is the kind of magical theatrical experience that seems wonderfully old-fashioned.

Turkey Lurkey Time

George Heymont | Posted 05.18.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

Marga Gomez is back at The Marsh with a new one-woman show (her 10th). Unlike previous monologues which were primarily autobiographical, Lovebirds is a beautifully written piece of fiction whose protagonist is a photographer named Polaroid Phillie.

Anarchist Brings Loads of Laughs, Moral Indignation to Berkeley Rep

Leo Stutzin | Posted 05.17.2014 | San Francisco
Leo Stutzin

For the current staging of Fo's internationally acclaimed Accidental Death of an Anarchist, director Christopher Bayes tilted heavily toward the goofy side, with spectacularly hilarious results.

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.

Some Like It Raw

George Heymont | Posted 03.01.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

It's easy to reach a point where one no longer wishes to attend performances of The Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, Handel's Messiah, or Hansel and Gretel because repetition has dulled the thrill.

To Be Young, Gifted and a Classical Musician

George Heymont | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
George Heymont

Some writers like to reflect on modern history from the distance of a decade or a generation. Others prefer 25 or 50 years as appropriate reference points. Very few stop to think about how our lives have changed over the most recent third of a century.