Tag Archives: Berkeley Playhouse
By Ross Stapleton-Gray
The production of Guys and Dolls that opened at the Berkeley Playhouse this past Saturday is very good. But you should see it so that you’ll be able to say (and odds are 8 to 5 that you will), “I saw Sarah Mitchell’s Miss Adelaide (in a very good production of Guys and Dolls).”
I had seen Mitchell once before, as Mayzie La Bird in the Berkeley Playhouse production of Seussical, and she was quite good in that rather small role, As Adelaide she steals the show.
Miss Adelaide and her fiancé of 14 years, Nathan Detroit, are the secondary romance in the show. They’re the comic counterparts to the central love interests, the missionary Sara Brown and the gambler Sky Masterson, but it’s easy to see the two couples as sharing the limelight equally. … Continue reading »
By Elisabeth Woody
In honor of Valentine’s Day, Berkeleyside is celebrating love in by looking at how one Berkeley couple met and fell in love.
Kimberly and Patrick Dooley are prominent figures in the Berkeley theater world — she is a director at Berkeley Playhouse and he is the founding artistic director at Shotgun Players. Their life and love are grounded in Berkeley. They shared their first kiss on the benches of what was then Ozzie’s Soda Fountain in the Elmwood. Patrick wooed Kimberly with cherry cornbread scones from the Cheese Board, and their favorite dates include long walks around their neighborhood and up in the Berkeley hills.
Kimberly and Patrick first met in 2000, when both were working at the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts on College Avenue. Each had come to Berkeley in their early 20s in search of a vibrant, tight-knit theater community. After brief stints in larger theater cities (she in L.A., he in New York), they quickly realized that Berkeley was the perfect fit. … Continue reading »
Berkeley Playhouse’s new production “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” directed by Elizabeth McKoy, is an entertaining and touching show that will appeal to kids and adults alike.
Based on Roald Dahl’s classic book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” it follows young Charlie as he finds a rare golden ticket hidden in a bar of chocolate. With this ticket, he gets the opportunity to meet the famous candy connoisseur Willy Wonka and tour his remarkable factory. With a standout performance by Vernon Bush as Willy Wonka, creatively bold sets and costumes, and an enthusiastic cast of professional actors and children, this production measures up to the many past screen and stage adaptations.
The show begins with Bush, dressed as Wonka in a vibrant, sparkly outfit and elevated in the air, alone on stage singing the beloved classic “Pure Imagination.” His smooth and soulful voice resonates throughout the playhouse and invites the audience into the wondrous world of Willy Wonka.
As the play goes on, Bush’s spirited and confident performance steals the show. Reminiscent of Johnny Depp’s creepily friendly rendition of Wonka in Tim Burton’s 2005 adaptation, Bush is intriguingly nonchalant. This comes across for instance in his blasé attitude towards slightly gruesome events, for instance when a young boy is sucked away into a pipe of chocolate. The mature complexity that Bush displays will interest an adult audience members, yet his carefree attitude will draw in children more than Depp’s unsettling rendition. … Continue reading »
Berkeley Playhouse’s lastest production, “Narnia”, based on the first book in “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis, is a feast for the eyes and lives up to the high professional standards set by the Berkeley company.
Highlights include the stage sets by scenic designer Nina Ball, and the ensemble’s uniformly superb acting skills. “Narnia” is directed by Jon Tracy — who most recently directed the Playhouse’s productions of The BFG, The Wizard of Oz and Planet Z — and features a musical score with music by Thomas Tierney and lyrics by Ted Drachman.
“Narnia” runs trough April 3rd at the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts. For more information, visit the Berkeley Playhouse website.
“American Idol” singer to appear in Berkeley Playhouse’s “Cinderella” [Playhouse]
Haas sports business lecturer Sandy Alderson to lead New York Mets [UC Berkeley]
French new-music group Ensemble Zellig to play UC Berkeley Sunday [Chronicle]
Man arrested after allegedly robbing several UCB frat houses [Daily Cal]
Susanna Barrows, UCB professor emerita of history, dies in Berkeley at 65 [UC Berkeley]
Photo: Keoki Seu.
When the cast of Berkeley Playhouse’s “Aladdin” took their final bows yesterday at the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, it was meant to be the production’s final curtain call.
But, after an unexpected invitation from Gene Abravya at the Spreckels Performing Arts center in Rohnert Park some weeks ago, it turns out the lively musical is going on tour — a first for Berkeley Playhouse.
“It’s very, very exciting and very humbling to know that our work, … Continue reading »
The show features 30 kids, mostly from schools around Berkeley and Oakland. Nandi Drayton is wonderful as Oliver, and Katie Corbus is great as the Artful Dodger.
“As the title character, Nandi Drayton is the uncontested star of this production,” Gwen Kingston wrote in the Daily Californian. “Her strong … Continue reading »
It promises to be a delight, with excellent singing, great dancing, and a wonderful sense of fun.
How do I know, when I haven’t seen the production? Because I have loved every other performance this Berkeley group has done.
From Seussical to Once on This Island to Peter Pan and others, Berkeley Playhouse, led by artistic director Continue reading »
If you are looking for something to do with your children this weekend – or you enjoy musicals – check out The Wizard of Oz at the Julia Morgan Theater on College Avenue in Berkeley.
This energetic production from Berkeley Playhouse combines terrific music and scenes with extraordinary costumes and some fantastic special effects. The production by Jon Tracy reinforces Berkeley Playhouse’s reputation for giving a fresh spin to familiar plays.
A surprise favorite in the show is … Continue reading »