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We've got the airwaves (and I'm ready to give them back)

posted by Terence Keane on Fri, Nov 7, 2008
in Our shows

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Phew! What a week. No one could accuse me of slacking off at the moment.

Wednesday was opening night for Joe Turner's Come and Gone, so -- as I described in an earlier post --all of us were rushing around getting ready for the big event. Many of my friends in the media stay for the post-show party, so I was here late into the night chatting. (OK, I was also hovering over the buffet provided by Tomatina and admiring the new history display in our upper lobby, which was a hell of a lot of work for our department.) Whatever the cause, I didn't get out of here until after midnight.

I slept in the next morning, but it was another long day nonetheless. I took Delroy Lindo to an afternoon interview on KGO-AM with Rosie Allen and Greg Jarrett. Then we fought rush-hour traffic coming back, and I scoured the web looking for reviews. Although you don't see them in the newspaper until Friday, usually you can find them online on Thursday afternoon. And, while the myth that actors don't read reviews during the run of a show is generally true, everyone else at the Theatre is eager to find out what the critics say.

I'm thrilled to report that, in this case, all of the reviews are quite good. Here are some excerpts:

  • “A gripping search for love and identity… How far we’ve come. Wednesday’s post-election euphoria was running high before the opening of Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s production of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Two and a half hours later, the high of President-elect Barack Obama’s victory had gained deeper resonances from August Wilson’s dramatic depiction of the lives of African Americans just a few generations ago.” — San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Riveting… a full scale spiritual tsunami… Mysticism and pragmatism collide head-on across the dining room table of a small boarding house in the Pittsburgh Hills District of 1911…The play is beautifully produced [and] the acting is outstanding.” — Contra Costa Times

  • “A stirring revival of the playwright’s masterpiece… In the wake of Tuesday’s historic election, the plays of August Wilson sing with a renewed sense of urgency. It’s the heartbreaking sound of history crying out to be remembered… Delroy Lindo, who was nominated for a Tony for his portrayal of Herald Loomis in the original Broadway production, here directs the play with a sure sense of the musicality of the text.” — San Jose Mercury News

Today we were at the Claremont Hotel so that Bob Redell could interview Delroy for NBC's Morning Show. And tomorrow morning, we're right back at it. I pick up Delroy at 7:30 AM so that we can drive into SF to appear on KRON-TV with Jan Wahl. Then we pop across town for a live interview with Dave Padilla on KCBS-AM before zipping back to Berkeley for two other interviews -- one with a print reporter and one with a professor who is working on a textbook that includes a chapter on Joe Turner. How's that for a Saturday?

Next week is more of the same:

  • Brent Jennings, who plays Bynum, will be interviewed by C.S. Soong on KPFA's Against the Grain at 12:30 PM on Monday.

  • On Tuesday at 11 AM, Teagle Bougere (who plays Herald Loomis) will tape a 30-minute interview with Marcy Solomon for KUSF's Words on Theater -- and I guess I'll have to clone myself, because Delroy will be in Berkeley at the exact same time taping a 30-minute interview with Richard Wolinksy for KPFA's Cover to Cover. (You can hear both of these interviews on Thursday, the former at 7 PM and the latter at 3 PM.)

  • On Wednesday morning, Delroy will be on KBLX at 8:00 AM. Luckily, that's a phoner, so I can listen from the comfort of my nice, warm bed. Good thing, too, because I'm one of many people staying late that night for the final dress rehearsal of The Arabian Nights.

  • On Thursday, Sam Hurwitt is coming by to interview Les Waters about next year's premiere of In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) for an upcoming edition of Theatre Bay Area -- and I'll be sifting through hundreds of images from the previous night's photo shoot looking for the shots that best capture the play.  

  • Finally, on Friday, Barry Shabaka Henley (who plays Seth) will tape an interview with Alan Farley for KALW at the NPR studio in San Francisco.

You might think it would be time to rest at that point... but you'd be mistaken. Because we open another show the next week, and the madness begins again.

I think I speak for all of us at the Theatre when I say, I can't wait for Thanksgiving!

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