Tag Archives: Tony Taccone

Berkeley Rep’s ‘Ghost Light’ resurrects pain of the past

Ted Deasy (l) and Christopher Liam Moore (r) in a scene from Ghost Light. Photo: Jenny Graham/Berkeley Rep
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The San Francisco political establishment came to Berkeley Wednesday night for the opening night of Ghost Light, Berkeley Rep’s play about the life and legacy of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, whose life was cut short when Dan White assassinated him and Supervisor Harvey Milk in 1978.

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, flanked by earpiece-wearing bodyguards, former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, and Moscone’s widow, Gina, were all in the audience. Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, who once worked for Moscone, was there, too.

If those politicos came to see a play that recounted Moscone’s life and legacy, they were out of luck.  Ghost Light, which was written by the Rep’s Artistic Director Tony Taccone, and directed by Moscone’s youngest son, Jonathan, now the artistic director of the California Shakespeare Theater, is the story of an imagined Jon Moscone and his struggles to come to terms with the loss of his father 34 years after his death. It is a play within a play, for the narrative centers on the fictional Jonathan trying to direct a production of Hamlet. He can’t seem to decide what the ghost in that play should look or act like, in part because his dreams are haunted by the ghosts of the past who just won’t leave him alone. … Continue reading »

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Les Waters to leave Berkeley Rep for Kentucky post

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Les Waters, an Obie-winning Brit who has served as Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s assistant artistic director for eight years, is leaving the theater to take over as artistic director at The Actors Theater of Louisville, Kentucky.

Waters, 59, will assume the role in January, but will not take on fulltime duties until March, after he directs Berkeley Rep’s production of Red, the theater announced Tuesday.

“After eight years together, it is difficult to leave Berkeley – yet it is an honor and a privilege to take up the reins at Actors Theatre of Louisville, an organization I’ve long admired,” Waters said in a statement.

“I’ve had the opportunity to direct twice at Actors Theatre, and I was deeply impressed with the theatre, its staff, and the community at large. I am committed to making theatre there that is passionate and intelligent, funny and heartfelt, and look forward to leading Actors Theatre to new artistic endeavors.” … Continue reading »

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Rita Moreno’s life laid bare in ‘Life without Makeup’

Rita Moreno with Salvatore Vassello (left) and Ray Garcia in Life Without Makeup. Photo by Kevin Berne via Berkeley Rep
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When audiences entered Berkeley Rep’s Roda theater on Wednesday night, they passed by a table with a shiny display: an Oscar, a Grammy, two Emmy awards, a National Medal of the Arts, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The awards, of course, belonged to Rita Moreno, the legendary 79-year old actress who is one of the few people to have won an EGOT, a popular term that describes the winning of all four major American entertainment awards. Moreno accomplished this … Continue reading »

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What happened when Lonely Island trio visited Amoeba

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Back in April, three Berkeley boys made a return visit to their hometown. Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer are the threesome behind Lonely Island, makers of ‘digital shorts” (otherwise known as music videos) for NBC’s Saturday Night Live.

The trio visited Amoeba on National Record Store Day to promote their latest album, Turtleneck & Chain, and chat with their fans, some of whom could not contain their excitement (as in much screaming and one hug request directed … Continue reading »

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‘He’s so hot’ — aka, the Tony Taccone adulation society

Tony Taccone
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It seems the Artistic Director of the Berkeley Rep has something of a “following”. In fact, read the comments on a story we ran about him last week, and it becomes clear a certain group of fans is positively smitten with Tony Taccone, speaking with more than a little hyperbole of his brazen attractiveness, his warm personality, handsome features — even his prowess as a lover.

Berkeleyside has reason to believe these people might know … Continue reading »

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Arts

Berkeley Rep’s Taccone: “three shows from the abyss”

Berkeley Rep artistic director Tony Taccone
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Tony Taccone, artistic director of the Berkeley Repertory Theater, had a particularly engaging and revealing interview with KQED’s Dave Iverson on this morning’s Forum program.

Under Taccone the Rep has established a strong record of originating works that go on to great acclaim in New York, including the current double-Tony winner American Idiot. In the interview, Taccone spoke frankly about the Rep’s constant struggle to focus on its local audiences rather than the lure of New … Continue reading »

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Downtown

Berkeley Rep’s Great Game is powerful

Jemma Redgrave in Bugles at the Gates of Jalalabad
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The New York Times ran a front-page story Saturday that said Iranian officials had been slipping money secretly to Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The Iranians wanted to try and counter the influence of the west – and make sure they had a foothold when the Americans depart.

This comes as no surprise to those who attended Berkeley Rep’s all-day Friday marathon of Great Game: Afghanistan, a three play production of the history of Afghanistan. For almost 200 years, … Continue reading »

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News

Berkeley Rep ‘roasts’ Susie Medak

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Susie Medak has served as Berkeley Rep‘s Managing Director for 20 years. In this video produced by the theater company — more of a roast than a celebration — artistic director Tony Taccone compares his relationship with Medak as akin to the one between Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton from The Honeymooners. They were famously combative. Rita Moreno, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, and State Senator Loni Hancock also share their thoughts.

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Arts

American Idiot rocks Broadway

American Idiot on Broadway
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“American Idiot” opened last night on Broadway to rave reviews. The New York Times called it  “thrillingly raucous and gorgeously wrought.” USA Today declared it the “feel-good musical of the season.” The Washington Post called it “dazzling” and said the musical had “coolly aggressive dance steps and exhilarating songs.” And the Chicago Tribune said American Idiot “delivers a thick gorgeous head rush of a musical soundscape without current Broadway parallel.”

A group of about 10 … Continue reading »

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Arts

Berkeley Rep play heads to London

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We reported yesterday on Berkeley Lab’s broad economic impact. But pound for pound, Berkeley’s export powerhouse seems to be Berkeley Rep.

Tiny Kushner, the series of short plays directed by Rep Artistic Director Tony Taccone, is transferring to London’s Tricycle Theatre in September, with original cast and design team intact. The Tricycle has long been one of the more innovative theaters in London, known particularly for staging highly topical, political works. The Great Game: Afghanistan, is … Continue reading »

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Arts

Steve Jobs, Chekhov and Afghanistan

Steve Jobs
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Artistic Director Tony Taccone today announced the 2010-11 season for the Berkeley Rep, which includes plays about Steve Jobs and Afghanistan, Anton Chekhov’s The Three Sisters, world premieres from Daniel Handler (better known as Lemony Snicket) and Rinne Groff, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Ruined by Lynn Nottage, and a new play by Taccone written for Berkeley resident Rita Moreno.

Speaking to Continue reading »

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