Berkeley Rep Blog

December 2010

Cookies for check-ins

posted by Cari Turley on Thu, Dec 30

Do you use Foursquare? It's a fun little app for your phone that lets you "check in" at various locations, which is handy for finding nearby friends and sharing helpful tips about your favorite places. And, even better, sometimes you can unlock special prizes for checking in at certain places. Pretty cool, right?

We here at Berkeley Rep sure do love prizes. And we also love you, our patrons. So starting today, when you come to one of our shows, just check in on Foursquare and we'll let you pick out something from our concessions counter for free! It's really that simple. Check in, show the concessionaire the special offer that pops up on your phone, and grab yourself a beer. Or a cupcake. Or a Diet Coke. Whatever you want! The hardest part is going to be picking just one.

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We're making the lists...

posted by Karen McKevitt on Wed, Dec 29

  CO3_lr …the year-end lists, that is! We’re stoked that several of our shows appeared on theatre journalists’ best of 2010 lists.

Compulsion appeared in the Chronicle’sBest of Bay Area Theater” top 10 list. Says theatre critic Robert Hurwitt, “Virtuosic, compelling performances from Mandy Patinkin and Hannah Cabell drove Oskar Eustis’ sleek, multifaceted staging of the semifictional tale of a Jewish writer’s obsession with safeguarding what he sees as the real story of Anne Frank’s diary.”
The Real Americans by Dan Hoyle, which played here as part of the Fireworks Festival last summer and has had extended runs at The Marsh, also made Robert’s list.

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Amy Potozkin celebrates 20 years with Berkeley Rep

posted by Karen McKevitt on Wed, Dec 22

Encore_amy Congratulations to our casting director, Amy Potozkin, who celebrates 20 years with Berkeley Rep. Check out the cool front-page feature that appeared in the December 16 Berkeley Voice. Here's a quote:

"The experience of going to theater for me as a child was transportive," Potozkin said. "It took me to a place that was magical. Through some periods of time in my childhood that were difficult, being taken to the theater was my absolutely favorite thing to do. Drama was my favorite activity. I loved the whole world."

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The Composer lives on!

posted by Karen McKevitt on Tue, Dec 21

The Composer lives on! Berkeley Rep’s irreverent holiday show -- Lemony Snicket’s The Composer is Dead -- has proven so popular that we've added performances in January. Now this deliciously silly new show will continue entertaining local audiences through January 16. Families in particular have embraced The Composer, so Berkeley Rep has added matinees on the final weekend: tickets are now on sale for 2pm performances on January 15 and 16. See what the fuss is about!

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The Composer is...loved!

posted by Karen McKevitt on Thu, Dec 16

CDpre2_lr Lemony Snicket’s The Composer is Dead garnered some terrific reviews from critics, but we thought we’d shine the spotlight on our audience’s comments as well. So, check out the comments, and then buy your seats before they’re gone.

This first comment was from Mary Ellen, who posted it to her East Bay neighborhood Yahoo list. What's more, her post was forwarded and forwarded until it ended up with one of our board members who lives on the Peninsula. Way to start the viral marketing, Mary Ellen!

Dear Neighbors,
Last evening Miles and I were in the audience at Berkeley Rep’s holiday production, Lemony Snicket’s The Composer is Dead, and I want to urge all of you, especially those with youngish kids or grandchildren, to make it part of your holiday fun. It’s amazingly creative, inventive, funny, even educational, and it will appeal to adults as well as children. Our own Geoff Hoyle is the only live human on a stage filled with astonishing marionettes, and there’s even a movie! Do yourselves a favor and go see it! (Am I on the staff of Berkeley Rep? No.) --Mary Ellen

Awesome! Thanks so much for sending your comment to us. Here are some more that came from our post-show survey:

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Names on the board!

posted by Megan Wygant on Tue, Dec 14

Remember when getting your name on the board used to mean something bad?

These days, in my world, it means something good.

 AN board 1

This is the Theatre's travel board. It’s more than five feet tall, and serves as company management's primary tool for tracking and sharing information about travel for any artists who will be visiting the Theatre in the coming weeks.

In any given season, Berkeley Rep hosts about 75 artists-in-residence for a period ranging from two weeks (the designers, here for tech) to three months (the actors you see on stage, between first rehearsal and final performance). Their schedules are as varied as their jobs, and The Board is how we track them all. Basically, if their name isn’t on The Board, to company management, they don’t exist.

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Sock it to 'em

posted by Rachel Steinberg on Thu, Dec 9

“We should take a picture of this now,” someone said as we all admired our surroundings. We were in the Helen C. Barber upper lobby of the Roda Theatre, standing amidst an array of Tupperware containers filled with buttons and foam; brightly colored yarn, gingerly placed; scraps of fabric from the costume shop in neat piles; and bowls of vibrant pom-poms all carefully arranged atop five tables covered in crisp, white paper. It was Saturday, just before one o’clock, and we were about to launch Berkeley Rep’s first-ever Sock Puppet Palooza.

Puppet and sign 

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Critics rave about Lemony Snicket's The Composer is Dead

posted by Karen McKevitt on Tue, Dec 7


We had a terrific opening night last Thursday for Lemony Snicket's The Composer is Dead and received some great reviews to boot. Check out reviews, then see the show for yourself!

“It's a movie. It's a vaudeville act. It's a concert. It's a puppet show. Actually, it's all of the above and something all its own. Lemony Snicket's The Composer Is Dead, a new work that opened Thursday at Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s Roda Theatre, isn't quite a play but a curiously engaging concoction of theater, film and musical elements as a genially offbeat arts primer. As performed by master comic Geoff Hoyle and a magnificent ensemble of marionettes and all kinds of other puppets, it's a funny and often ingenious children's entertainment.” – San Francisco Chronicle

“Fun for whole family… A delightful piece of theater… An opportunity for all of us to laugh our clenched bottoms off as we excuse the hour-long show as a delightfully clever introduction to classical music… As wildly funny as it is perverse. Bay Area comic treasure Geoff Hoyle is the only human being on a stage populated by an assortment of strange puppets.” – Contra Costa Times / SJ Mercury News

“Run across the bridge, any bridge, to get to Berkeley Rep, which here means "a theater company willing to take risks certain to destroy the world as we know it," in order to catch the fantastic World Premiere of Lemony Snicket's The Composer is Dead. –

“I sat enraptured for the entire 85 minute exhibition. Lemony Snicket’s The Composer is Dead is unlike anything I’ve seen before, and is an unusual and silly holiday treat.” – Stark Insider

“Part Monty Python's Flying Circus, part Cirque du Soleil, and part Tim Burton, The Composer Is Dead is a damn impressive amalgam of puppetry and theater, with a lovely symphonic soundtrack to boot… Anyone looking to spend a swell hour reliving a child's wonder by way of some extraordinarily life-like and expert puppetry, get your tickets now.” – SFist

Hilarious characters, visual delights, stage magic and loads of laughs…. It's a perfect family show for the holidays.  And I loved it.” – KGO 810AM

And we're glad they loved it too!

Photo of Geoff Hoyle and the conductor by

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American Idiot earns Grammy nom

posted by Karen McKevitt on Fri, Dec 3


Congratulations to Billie Joe Armstrong and Green Day for their Grammy nomination for the Broadway score of American Idiot! The band scored two Grammys for their original album, so wouldn't this be a nice one to add to the collection?

This is the second time in two years that a Berkeley Rep show was nominated for a Grammy. Last year, Carrie Fisher was nominated for the audio book of Wishful Drinking.

In related American Idiot news, Billie's joining the Broadway cast on January 1 for another turn as St. Jimmy.

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Outlandish new trailer for Lemony Snicket's The Composer is Dead

posted by Karen McKevitt on Thu, Dec 2


  Screencap for cd
Our new trailer for Lemony Snicket's The Composer is Dead racked up more than 8,900 views on YouTube in less than a week! Check it out for yourself -- and share with your friends.

And yep, the show launches with what else but a movie! Says Tony Taccone, the show's director, "In order to introduce you to a live event — the magic of living, breathing theatre — we’re going to show you a movie. Right? It makes absolutely no sense, except it absolutely does makes sense in the world of Lemony Snicket, who is completely eccentric, wildly imaginative and clever and hysterically funny."

Read the entire interview with Tony on the making of the movie, The Magic of Living, Breathing Theater, here.

Hey, tonight's opening night! If we don't see you tonight, we hope to see you soon. Purchase your tickets now!


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