Today, two shows born at Berkeley Repertory Theatre nabbed six nominations for theatre’s most prestigious and coveted prize: the Tony Award. Green Day’s American Idiot, the thrilling rock opera that made its world premiere in Berkeley before bursting onto Broadway, netted nominations for three Tony Awards including Best Musical. In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), the comedy Berkeley Rep commissioned from Sarah Ruhl that became a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and marked the Broadway debut of Associate Artistic Director Les Waters, also received three nominations including Best Play. The winners of this year’s Tony Awards will be announced June 13 on CBS.
Combined with Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking – another show developed at Berkeley Rep which found its way to Broadway – these popular productions have also received five nominations for Drama Desk Awards, five nominations for Drama League Awards, four nominations for Outer Critics Circle Awards, and one nomination for the Astaire Award.
"Local folks have long known that Berkeley Rep is devoted to developing adventurous new work," remarks Tony Taccone, the Theatre’s artistic director. "We are pleased that a much wider audience has had an opportunity to see and appreciate our work in the last several years, and naturally we’re honored to see these shows nominated for so many prestigious awards. We are grateful for the trust placed in us by the many partners who helped bring American Idiot, In the Next Room, and Wishful Drinking to Broadway."
American Idiot (seen in the photo above courtesy of mellopix.com) earned the following nods from the Tony nominating committee:
In the Next Room has garnered its share of attention during awards season as well. Today, the play pulled in three nominations for the Tony Award:
In the last eight years, Berkeley Rep has helped develop six Broadway shows: American Idiot (2010), In the Next Room (2009), Wishful Drinking (2009), Passing Strange (2008), Bridge & Tunnel (2006), and Metamorphoses (2002). The Theatre has helped shepherd these successful plays to several prominent awards:
Passing Strange – which made its world premiere at Berkeley Rep – went on to win the Tony Award for Best Book, three Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical, four Audelco Awards including Best Musical, two Obie Awards including Best New American Theatre Piece, two Theatre World Awards, and the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical.
In 2006, Sarah Jones won the Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event with Bridge & Tunnel, which was staged by Artistic Director Tony Taccone and workshopped at Berkeley Rep before its Broadway run.
Mary Zimmerman won the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play with Metamorphoses, which made its West Coast premiere at Berkeley Rep on its way to New York. The show also earned four Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding New Play, three Lucile Lortel Awards including Outstanding Play, the Drama League Award for Best Play, the Obie Award for Direction, and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Direction of a Play.
And Berkeley Rep received the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1997.
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