Happy 100th performance to The Wild Bride!
Yep, last Saturday marked the first triple-digit performance of this smash hit show. OK, technically that counts the performances in the UK too, but hey, at least Kneehigh's awesome artists get to celebrate with us!
And, in case you haven't heard, The Wild Bride has been extended to January 22! Yep, it's officially one of the hottest -- if not the hottest -- theatrical events of the season. Come on down! Audiences are totally loving this spectacular show.
Photos by Mary Kay Hickox
There’s nothing like a good ol' fashioned office holiday party. Garlands on the water cooler. Secretaries in short skirts. Drinking so much egg nog that you start dancing on your boss’s desk to Ke$ha’s "Tick Tock"…
Thankfully, the Reptiles celebrate the holidays in a far less cliché style. This year’s festivities were themed Ho-Ho Holiday Hoedown, which meant plaid shirts, denim jackets, and a whole lot of Jack Daniels.
By Darcy Davis, Acalanes High School, Teen Council Membership chair
Teen Night attendees enjoy Phil's Sliders before the show! Thanks to Phil's Sliders for the delicious food!
Finally. It was here. The Wild Bride. The ad campaign alone had Teen Council clamoring for tickets, and after months of images of colorful dancers whirling through stage lights, Teen Night had come.
It's not every day you get to write a script for Rita Moreno.
Perhaps you've heard of her? Before her star-making turn in "Bring your Entourage to Berkeley Rep," Ms. Moreno appeared in a handful of smaller films like West Side Story, The King and I, and The Ritz. OK, I kid. Obviously, Rita was a huge star well before we talked her into appearing in our video, but now I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's back up.
Here at Berkeley Rep, we have this amazing program that no one's ever heard of. It's called Entourage. Here's how it works: if we've got a show that you want to share with 10 or more people, we'll send you a discount code for 20% off. You don't all have to come on the same day, and we'll even waive everyone's service fees. Even better, if you can get 15 or more people to come, we'll give you a free ticket to a future show. Basically, you help us spread the word, and we'll make sure you and your friends save big. Win-win.
Or, if you prefer your information in cheesy, black-and-white video format:
Sounds awesome, right? We here in the marketing department were bummed that no one seemed to know about the program, so we decided to make a video to get the word out. We gave ourselves a comfortable schedule to make a storyboard, write a script, and look for filming locations...and then someone suggested asking Rita Moreno (who was here performing Life Without Makeup) if she'd like to make a cameo. Miraculously, she said yes. But since her show was ending in two days, our two-week timeline was out the window. If it was going to happen, we had to do this thing today.
And that's how I ended up writing a script to pitch to an Oscar winner in 15 minutes. Once that was done, we went to the theatre, grabbed as many "volunteers" as we could find, and knocked on Rita's dressing room door.
Boy, was that a terrifying moment. Here I am, some nobody, asking the great Rita Moreno to perform in some ludicrous scene that I wrote. I'm not a screenwriter! I'm not even a regular writer! And then, as if that wasn't frightening enough, I had to act in the scene with her. Look, I was a drama major in college, and I used to dream about this kind of opportunity. But you never expect it to happen with so little warning. I mean, shouldn't I have gotten a few weeks to prepare myself for this? Shouldn't I at least have brushed my hair?
Naturally, it took about three seconds for me to ruin the first take. Mortified, I tried again...and this time Rita tripped over her lines, made a joke about it, and just like that the tension broke. (Stars: they're just like us!) After that, it was just fun. She was an incredibly good sport, as were all the other Berkeley Rep staffers we coerced into performing. The whole thing was over in an hour.
At the end of our adventure in filmmaking, we were left with this little gem. Check it out, and if it sounds like something you might want to do, why don't you get in touch? (I promise I'm not quite as, uh, effusive in person.)
The reviews are in and critics love The Wild Bride! It even got a "wild applause" from the Little Man. What can we say? Kneehigh totally rocks!
Here's what the critics are saying:
“The Devil is at the crossroads, a girl is in peril and love is gloriously indestructible in the exhilarating The Wild Bride… A feast of timeless story, irresistible music and wildly imaginative theatricality… Bride is a gift that keeps on giving.” – SF Chronicle
“The Wild Bride will steal your heart from start to finish… An ingenious marriage of dance, theater, puppetry and music… Once upon a time has rarely been so intoxicating.” – Bay Area News Group
“Devilishly entertaining … Anyone who believes in magic should see it!” – SF Examiner
“Without question, the great treat of the holiday theater season!” – Chad Jones’ Theatre Dogs (Love the caption, Chad!)
So, tickets are already going fast, so don't wait, reserve your seats now before shows sell out!
We'll see ya real soon!
Some offices do “casual Friday.” Clearly, Berkeley Rep is too unique to partake in such a trite ritual. What do we do instead? Fancy you should ask! Every Friday morning no matter which campus our ducklings find themselves on, we all have one thing in common: temporary tattoos.
Like all good ideas, it began in the costume shop. On a weekly trip to the local Target for Popov, Oxyclean, and environmentally friendly detergent, we trolled the ever-popular dollar section. That day there was something magical in the air, because those bins were stocked to the brim with temporary tattoos depicting hipster animals — octopus DJ! Raccoon bandits! Boston Terriers in cute baseball caps! Clearly, for a dollar I needed to buy three packs and find their purpose later.
The Berkeley Rep staff is all giddy with anticipation about tonight’s official opening night of Kneehigh’s The Wild Bride -- seriously, it’s like we all have major crushes on these talented artists from Cornwall. The show’s been in previews all weekend and earning some awesome word of mouth, and sales are picking up fast. (By the way, y’all know to reserve your seats early to get the best ones at the best prices, right?)
Here’s a fabulous extra:
Today marks the one week-iversary of the British Invasion at Berkeley Rep. After only six days spent with our friends from across the pond, I have begun to understand Paul Revere’s panic. Why, you might ask? Because we were vastly unprepared for their impeccable, edgy sense of fashion, and of course their ridiculously confusing costume vocabulary.
So, today, let’s play catch-up and learn to dress for the queen.
To dress like a character of The Wild Bride, one will require:
Earlier this week, Kneehigh Theatre -- the same group of insanely creative artists responsible for the Broadway hit Brief Encounter -- touched down in the Bay Area with The Wild Bride in tow. We're pretty stoked to have them here at Berkeley Rep, and to present the American premiere of the show that's earned raves across England. The first performance is tonight, and the show officially opens next Wednesday!
Learn a little more about the show and its creator Emma Rice in the interview published in the SF Chronicle yesterday. And if you haven't seen the video trailer yet, check it out. Right now tickets start at $29, but prices are based on availability, so your best bet is to buy early. Hope to see you at the Theatre!
Éva Magyar in The Wild Bride. Photo by Steve Tanner.
Hey, there's a famous cartoonist lurking in the depths of Berkeley Rep's box office! And another one of his works is featured in this week's issue of the New Yorker. (Yeah, the magazine's published like eight of his cartoons.) Check it!
Plus, he has two more in the magazine's Cartoons of the Year 2011. Congratulations, Tom!