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All hail, Nero!

posted by Terence Keane on Fri, May 22, 2009
in Our shows

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They love me! It's probably not wise to snicker at an emperor every night, but that's what we're doing here at Berkeley Rep. The reviews are out, and the critics have crowned a new comedic king: all hail You, Nero!

Here's what they have to say about our latest show:

  • "Two hours of almost uninterrupted delight... You can't help loving that despicably cute monster Nero. Not the way Danny Scheie personifies him in a tour de force of murderously comic, canny and catty derangement... Scheie rules the stage in leopard briefs, flipping in an instant from preening prima donna to bloody tyrant, charming artiste, cutting critic or sensitive egomaniac... Nero is a romp, but one that works on many levels, leavened by some serious concerns about the politics of art." – San Francisco Chronicle

  • "The togas hit the fan in You, Nero, Amy Freed's gleefully apocalyptic comedy about the fall of the Roman Empire. [It] revels in gloriously madcap juxtapositions of period and theme that land the laugh as well as make the point. The Pulitzer-nominated Freed, who teaches at Stanford, walks the fine line between farce and philosophy... Her genius for marrying shtick and subtext gives Nero its over-the-topical depth charges of wit and warning. History is her playground, and here she throws the sand right in our short-attention spans... Danny Scheie's flamboyance as the title emperor fuels the outrageousness... He came, he saw, he conquered this production from start to finish. Half academic, half imp and all camp, Scheie lights up the stage like a fireworks display.” – San Jose Mercury News

  • "Wildly hilarious... The show will keep you riveted and laughing until the end with what is a tour de force performance by Danny Scheie, the popular Bay Area comic actor, for whom the title role was created. The part fits him like a gold lame glove, which would go well with the leopard-print trunks his tres fey character wears.” – Bay Area News Group (Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune, etc.)

  • "For the final production of its 41st season, Berkeley Repertory Theatre is presenting the funniest play that I've seen in years. It's the world premiere production of Amy Freed's hilarious romp, You, Nero, a campy, ridiculous spoof of ancient Rome... Believe me, this is my kind of humor, and I loved it. By all means, don't miss You, Nero. You'll laugh all the way home!" – KGO-AM

  • "Berkeley Repertory Theatre ends a spectacular 41st season with local playwright Amy Freed’s You, Nero... Effortlessly blending contemporary and classical, Freed’s comedy generates continuous laughter. Ott’s cast descends from comedy nirvana with Danny Scheie as Nero serving as lord and master of the merry mayhem... Childish, imperious, frightening and flamboyant, Scheie's energetic Nero is a one-man spectacle as he veers from giddy delight to tyrannical tempest to nearly genuine introspection. Though widely admired here in the Bay Area, Scheie emerges a true star in this play, and it's impossible to imagine You, Nero having future life without him." – Chad Jones’ Theater Dogs

Of course, I suppose it's possible that the critics were just afraid... I mean, as Nero notes in the show, you don't want to symbolically crucify the guy who can actually crucify you. But here on our blog, you're safe -- so let us know what you think.

Long live the king!


(sorry if this posted twice)

I saw the show this week and I agree its wonderful - But will ad my take on the Bad boy of Rome meets his opposite buddy,,, I love to suggest that this may be the first Buddy picture (play) set in Ancient Rome --
Its funny and he second act rocks ..

I hope the run sells out..


Vmedia Vince | Fri, May 22, 2009

Brilliant Absolutely marvelous. Such a Sunday afternoon delight. My kudos to the cast and director and playwright. Zona Roberts

Zona Roberts | Tue, Jun 9, 2009

I hate slapstick & wanted to leave after the first few minutes, but politely waited for the intermission. I am a season ticketholder. If Berk Rep wants to continue to produce this type of comedy, I would like to advance notice and be able to substitute another play from 2 additional plays that I do not subscribe to.

clee | Thu, Jun 11, 2009

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