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The Composer is...loved!

posted by Karen McKevitt on Thu, Dec 16, 2010
in At the theatre , Our shows

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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:

I thought that it was fun, and recommended it to friends who were musicians. An excellent choice for this season.

I love the variety....the occasional traditional, much of the innovative…the productions seemed more creative and unique than earlier years. I especially loved the incorporation of puppets and music in your productions.

I have been a Berkeley Rep subscriber for many years. I applaud the consistent quality theatre you offer each season. I also want to acknowledge and applaud the unique and challenging theatre you occasionally present. Berkeley Rep (for me) is consistent in the quality of the actors, the sets (always something to talk about and admire), the music. I do enjoy (and in fact look forward to) your introduction of new plays (world premieres) and playwrights, along with traditional (Our Town) work within a given season. On my score card you a batting a solid 700. As always, my wife and I look forward to “what’s next?”

Amazing. I loved the interaction with the video and the beautiful marionettes. It was truly a unique performance.

Great, imaginative, cutting edge theatre.

I really enjoy the emails you send before, and now following, the show. Good marketing! Everyone there was friendly and helpful, and the posters of the people behind the scenes in the lobby are a nice touch. Regarding the show, the marionette orchestra was incredible, and the accompanying sets were spectacular. The production overall was fantastic, and the host did a fabulous job. I was disappointed it was so short, and that part of it was a film, though perhaps that was the joke, or the whole production being live was too ambitious.

This show was a wonderful event for our children - they loved it!

I loved this show! The first part was perhaps a bit long - I wondered if the whole play was going to be this one person with some gimmicks. How wrong I was! It was inventive and original and completely delightful. The children within my hearing really enjoyed it too. I kept thinking my grandchildren would love it.

The set is very imaginative, whimsical and unexpected. When the show opens it seems a very sparse set and then builds to a very complex one. The story is sweet and great for any age.

Lemony Snicket is unique. We are long time subscribers to Berkeley Rep and I continually marvel at the overall quality of every production, whether I’m enamored with the subject or not. Lemony Snicket portrays the enormous breadth and depth of Berkeley Rep in so many theatrical dimensions.

On every occasion I’ve been to the Berkeley Rep, I have thoroughly enjoyed myself. The Composer is Dead was not as funny as I had anticipated, but the show was so intriguing because of the skillful integration of film, puppets, and human interaction. I exited totally fulfilled and stimulated.

This is a fabulous show, appropriate for almost all ages. I came not expecting very much and left really wowed by the experience of the show.

Fun show at Berkeley Rep -- Lemony Snicket’s The Composer is Dead. Only downside was that we were not accompanying our grandkids. If you live in the Bay Area and have kids, this is not to be missed!!

I’m pleased to see you try things that are different and creative. I can see the old chestnuts anytime elsewhere, but at the Rep I get variety, emotional and intellectual involvement, something that almost always makes me think, and as much adventure as you can have sitting down.

This was a wonderful presentation. I would have tweaked the film part a little but it was very clever. The puppets were fab and the actor as well.

My son, three nights later, is still discussing with me WHO killed the composer and why (or why not). He’s down to the woodwinds, the conductor (but it’s not his fault he makes some mistakes in the music!), or nobody. A funny show surprisingly engaging for a seven year old. Thank you! Next we’re going to the library workshop....

Thank you again for all your comments! We want you to have excellent, thought-provoking, and imaginative experiences at Berkeley Rep, and your feedback helps us do that.

Photo of Geoff Hoyle by


Count me among those who loved this show! Amusing and enlightening on so many levels, and Geoff Hoyle is a magical performer.

David Gans | Thu, Dec 16, 2010

I love puppets, and if done skillfully, which from this blog I can tell it is, I would definitely have to check it out myself with my son. Thanks for the post!

Simon | Sun, Dec 19, 2010

Hi David,
We're so glad you loved the show. Thanks for your comment!

And, hi Simon,
Hope you and your son have a fabulous time!

Karen | Tue, Dec 21, 2010

Berkeley Repertory Theatre is commendable for bringing some enlightenment to the current situation in Afghanistan. If you are interested in Barry’s war, interested in knowing about the reactions of the people involved in the fighting, then you would be interested in Berkeley Rep’s current production of The Great Game: Afghanistan. The overall work comprises three plays. Part Three: Enduring Freedom presents vignettes largely unrelated to each other, except through the binding tissue of the war.

mobile applications development | Tue, Jan 11, 2011

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