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In the blue collar Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn sits a rundown neighborhood institution called The Alamo, the last great American bar. The owners, Munce and Carmen, along with some of their regulars, watched, from the roof, as the World Trade Center towers fell, taking down their relatives, friends, and neighbors. Today, with an aging clientele, the place is fighting to keep its doors open and the only hope seems to be the arrival of artists/gentrifiers who are moving into the neighborhood and wanting to adopt the bar as an entertainment hangout. Bay Ridge locals and Alamo regulars don't want to surrender their bar, much less their neighborhood, to these young neo-carpetbaggers without a fight. Touching on themes of nativism, racism, and war, The Alamo paints a humorous and dramatic portrait of eight working-class Bay Ridge natives who always seem to find themselves on the front lines of change in America.
Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning masterpiece finally arrives at Berkeley Rep in its entirety — directed by artistic director Tony Taccone in his 20th anniversary season! First staged 26 years ago and originally commissioned by the Eureka Theatre in San Francisco while Taccone was artistic director there, this fierce and astounding two-part drama is at once an epic exploration of American politics, gay identity, and mythology as well as a personal story of love and loyalty. In today's sociopolitical climate, Kushner's universal message of compassion and inclusion makes Angels in America as timely as ever.
Note: Tickets to performances of Part One: Millennium Approaches and Part Two: Perestroika are available separately as well as together in "Marathon Day" packages.
Scornful of men and the love they profess for her, Gwendolen Harleth is a beautiful but spoiled young woman, frustrated by her limited options in Victorian England. Daniel Deronda is an intelligent, handsome young man who has been raised by his guardian, Sir Hugo Mallinger, but knows nothing of his true origins. Deronda's search leads him into the world of 19th-century Zionism, a discovery that will alter the course of his life. This play has been adapted by Kate McAll from the George Eliot novel.
Amir has left his Pakistani heritage behind in an attempt to make partner at his corporate law firm, but his wife, Emily, doesn't share his negative feelings about Islam — she has encouraged Amir to help with the case of a controversial imam. When they throw a dinner party for Amir's colleague Jory and her husband Isaac, the hard truths revealed lead to the unraveling of their carefully constructed lives.
September, 1939. On the day England enters World War II, legendary psychoanalyst Dr. Sigmund Freud invites the young, rising Oxford don C.S. Lewis to his home in London. There, only weeks before Freud took his own life, they engage in a brain-teasing battle of wits on the subjects of love, sex, and the existence of God. Filled with humor, this deeply touching play explores the minds, hearts, and souls of two brilliant men addressing the greatest questions of all time.
The critically acclaimed story of Geronimo's life as a POW on the Fort Sill Indian Reservation. Starring veteran performer Rudy Ramos (The Enforcer, Defiance, Colors), helmed by respected actor and director Steve Railsback (Helter Skelter, From Here to Eternity, The X-Files), written by award-winning novelist Janelle Meraz Hooper (As Brown As I Want: The Indianhead Diaries), Geronimo focuses on the resiliency, humor, and genius of the great Apache leader, bringing him to life on stage in a dramatic recounting of a fascinating, largely forgotten chapter in American history.
"The white men will never tell the whole story. They control everything that is said about us in the newspapers and books. Even the maps favor the whites. They are dotted with each place we fought the white soldiers. Look closely. You will see: If the soldiers won, it was a battle. If we won, it was a massacre."
Stephen Karam's The Humans is an uproarious, hopeful, and heartbreaking play that takes place over the course of a family dinner on Thanksgiving. Breaking with tradition, Erik Blake has brought his Pennsylvania family to celebrate and give thanks at his daughter's apartment in Lower Manhattan. As darkness falls outside the ramshackle prewar duplex and eerie things start to go bump in the night, the Blake clan's deepest fears and greatest follies are laid bare. Our modern age of anxiety is keenly observed with humor and compassion in this new American classic that won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Play.
Note: No children under five are allowed at this show.
Theatre in the Merry-Go-Round!
Santa Monica Public Theatre brings a revolutionary new concept to the world famous Santa Monica Pier with its presentation of the original stage play, An Illegal Start.
Directed by visionary theater veteran Paul Sand, An Illegal Start spins the tale of an unlikely friendship borne between two young men who find refuge in a defunct rural amusement park after surviving a near-tragic accident. Their journey through subsequent years is an exploration of the bond between close friends and all of the joy, fear, jealousy, pain, and profound meaning that comes with it.
Humorous and heartrending, Ironbound spans 22 years in telling the story of Darja, a Polish immigrant getting by on a cleaning job, aggressive pragmatism, and sheer will. Through this wry drama, award-winning playwright Martyna Majok points out that sometimes survival is the only measure of success.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was hailed as an icon of style, grace, and strength, famous for her allure and piercing sensuality. Much has been written and said about the woman who was arguably America's most popular first lady — though one detail is usually omitted: She was human. From the creative team of Wiesenthal, award-winning playwright Tom Dugan's newest one-woman drama explores the life of America's most private public figure.
Diversionary Theatre is producing the San Diego premiere of Well and the San Diego revival of 2.5 Minute Ride, both by Tony Award winner Lisa Kron. The two plays are being presented for the first time in repertory.
2.5 Minute Ride, an inventive solo show, is a roller-coaster adventure through the playwright's family album, focusing on her relationship with her father, a Holocaust survivor. It swirls through three disparate yet strikingly resonant experiences: a trip to Auschwitz, a Brooklyn wedding, and an annual outing to an Ohio amusement park. A disarming story about the ties that bind a family emerges, as does a compelling portrait of an honorable man.
Well is a pioneering Broadway comedy that begins as a reverent study of the playwright's chronically ill mom and her extraordinary ability to heal a racially divided community despite her inability to make herself well. But when the playwright's carefully crafted characters start having opinions of their own, theatrical hell breaks loose and threatens to unravel the entire story. This uproariously funny and magical memoir reveals that the way we heal ourselves is not always the best medicine for those we love.
In Members Only, the long-awaited sequel to the groundbreaking Blade to the Heat, 20 years have passed since the original. It's 1982 in New York City: the golden age of boxing, the dying gasp of disco, and the flowering of identity politics. Pedro Quinn is well past 40 and still fighting, not only for championships but for the right to be himself on his own terms. He even has a protégé, a female boxer who reminds him of his own youthful fights in and out of the ring. But when a detached retina threatens to end the only life he knows and old frenemies Vinal and Sarita want to make a movie about the champion he killed in the ring 20 years ago, Quinn can no longer hide from the ghosts of his past. Nor can he protect those he loves from the specter of hatred, much less the looming onslaught of what will soon be named the AIDS virus. He can hide in plain sight no more, and his biggest fight is yet to come.
On a frozen Minnesota lake, the ice is beginning to creak and groan. It's the end of the fishing season, and two old friends are out on the ice, angling for something big — something down there that is pure need. Something that might just swallow them whole. Nice Fish is a sublimely reflective, profound, and funny play.
After enthralling audiences with Aubergine, Julia Cho returns to Berkeley Rep with a searing and touching play that tunes into the plight of "the other" in a country steeped in distrust and intolerance. Hiding sullenly in the back of the classroom, Dennis has his fellow students and professors on edge. But during an office visit, his writing instructor seeks to break through Dennis's silence and earn his trust — with shocking results. A deeply personal story of empathy and redemption, Office Hour explores otherness and paranoia while revealing our essential human need for connection.
Juliana Smithton is a respected neurologist whose life has recently begun unraveling. Her husband is leaving her, her daughter has eloped with a much older man, and she's even beginning to question her own good health. A compelling and acclaimed drama in which nothing is quite what it seems, The Other Place is an intimate mystery that blurs fact with fiction, past with present, and Juliana's perception with ever-elusive truth. An elaborately crafted theatrical work, this Outer Critics Circle Award nominee will likely keep you talking long after the curtain has closed.
Recommendation: ages 13 and above. Contains adult language.
Award-winning playwright-director David Mamet tackles America's most controversial topic in a provocative tale of sex, guilt, and bold accusations. Two lawyers find themselves defending a wealthy white executive charged with raping a black woman. When a female legal assistant gets involved in the case, the opinions that boil beneath explode to the surface. When David Mamet turns the spotlight on what we think but can't say, dangerous truths are revealed, and no punches are pulled.
One of the most acclaimed American musicals of the last 20 years, Ragtime is a sweeping epic of hopes and dreams in a changing America at the turn of the 20th century.
Just beyond the gaze of Lady Liberty, the interconnected stories of three evolving and distinct communities in New York are woven together to create a fabric that blankets a new era in the land of opportunity. Peppered with great historical characters from Houdini to Henry Ford to Booker T. Washington, Ragtime's Tony Award-winning score draws upon the unique sounds of the American landscape — heard from Harlem to the Lower East Side — to create a truly remarkable theatrical event.
In A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, which debuted on Broadway in 1959, the prospect of life insurance money from their late father offers life-changing options to the Youngers, an African-American family living in a cramped apartment on Chicago's South Side. However, competing visions of how to use the money — for the grandmother Lena, her son Walter (with wife Ruth and son Travis), and her daughter Beneatha — threaten to tear apart a family already facing a pre-civil-rights-era America.
Ray's swum his way to the eve of the Olympic trials. Pressure builds as he confronts the lure of a deal with Speedo, the perils of family, and the unforgiving weight of success.
A sharp and compelling play about swimming, survival of the fittest, and the America dream of a level playing field or of leveling the field yourself.
The beloved Kerri Shawn reprises her role as Shirley Valentine, a Liverpool housewife who makes chips and egg for her husband while talking to the wall. Where has her life disappeared to? An out-of-the-blue offer to accompany her best friend on a trip to a Greek island awakens the promise of her unfulfilled dreams of adventure — and a chance to find herself again. Called a "thrilling, cheer-raising piece of theatre," Shirley Valentine has been named "one of the 10 most influential British plays" of the 20th century.
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley continues its 2017-18 season with the regional premiere of Skeleton Crew in a coproduction with Marin Theatre Company. A makeshift family of auto plant workers navigate the possibility of foreclosure in this funny, tough, and tender American drama set during the Great Recession. Rising-star playwright Dominique Morisseau (Ain't Too Proud) creates a world in which ambitious dreams and corporate deception interweave, pushing friendships to the limit. Skeleton Crew is directed by Jade King Carroll (associate director of the Broadway revival of A Streetcar Named Desire).
In April 2010, British Petroleum gave orders to speed up production on its colossal drilling rig, the Deepwater Horizon. Despite the objections of many on the rig, safety measures were ignored or overlooked. On April 20, the Deepwater Horizon exploded. Eleven men paid the ultimate price, and thousands who call the Gulf Coast home found their lives irrevocably altered.
A Thousand Splendid Suns — the stage adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's international best-selling novel of the same name — returns to the Geary Theater. Set amid the war-torn streets of modern-day Kabul, A Thousand Splendid Suns is the epic story of three generations of Afghan women bound together by marriage, family, and a secret past. Strong-willed Laila, unmarried and pregnant, is forced to marry her older neighbor when her family and home are torn apart. In her new home, she forges an extraordinary and unlikely friendship with Mariam, her husband's first wife, and together the two women find the hope and strength to raise a new generation. Adapted for the theater by acclaimed Irish-Indian playwright Ursula Rani Sarma, this stunning production reunites many of the original cast members and, once again, features live music from renowned composer and saw player David Coulter.
It's 2008 and Hollywood A-lister Caroline Connors (Serena Scott Thomas), having recently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, braves her descent into an uncertain future while attempting to navigate her relationships with her ultra-conservative and less than politically correct husband Kevin (David Sessions) and her defiant and idealistic daughter Rachel (Laura Long).
Set in an affluent community near Silicon Valley in the months leading up to the financial crisis and the election, Two Fisted Love makes good use of its irreverent and original characters and artfully incorporates a blend of styles, ranging from, as Mr. Sessions puts it, "…a modern drawing room comedy to painfully dark conversations for mature audiences only…"
The best Tony-nominated musical nobody's ever heard of… Violet has wowed critics and audiences with its powerful story and energetic gospel, rock, country, and R&B score by Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home and Caroline, or Change). Set in the Deep South during the early days of the civil rights movement, this powerful musical tells the touching story of a young woman accidentally scarred on the face as a child. Hoping that a TV evangelist can cure her, Violet embarks on a long bus ride from her sleepy North Carolina town through Memphis to Oklahoma. Along the way, she meets two young soldiers who teach her about love, courage, and the true meaning of beauty.
When Heidi Schreck was in high school, she delivered speeches about the U.S. Constitution in American Legion Halls all over the country in order to earn money to pay for college. Today the witty Obie Award-winning performer radically reinvents the speech she gave at 15 and discovers the profound effect that this document has had on four generations of women in her family. What the Constitution Means to Me culminates in a fierce impromptu debate between Schreck and a local high-school debater over the future of our inalienable rights. Directed by the Debate Society's Obie-winning Oliver Butler, What the Constitution Means to Me is a moving and entertaining show.
Powerful and poignant, heartfelt and humorous, it's a special one-night-only engagement of film, television, and stage personality Stogie Kenyatta's NAACP Award-winning solo show about African-American artist and activist Paul Robeson, memorializing a great American hero. Robeson — internationally renowned actor, recording artist, concert singer, football player, all-American athlete, and Phi Beta Kappa Society laureate at Rutgers University — was witness to the artistic wonders of the Harlem Renaissance and the jazz-bebop era, the horrors of the slave trade, the shame of the Holocaust, McCarthyism, blacklists, racism, and oppression. His life's work celebrates our common humanity as he fought globally for social justice.