Ga-ga for Go-Go’s in giddy Head Over Heels

Apr 19

Ga-ga for Go-Go’s in giddy <i>Head Over Heels</i>

Taylor Iman Jones as Mopsa (center) and the company perform “We Got the Beat,” the opening number of the new musical Head Over Heels, which features songs by the Go-Go’s. (below) Peppermint (center) is Pythio, The Oracle of Delphi, in the number “Vision of Nowness.” Photos by Joan Marcus My love for the Go-Go’s began with my first Sony Walkman...

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Hello, love: Hedwig slams her Angry Inch in our faces

Oct 06

Hello, love: Hedwig slams her <i>Angry Inch</i> in our faces

Hedwig and the Angry Inch launches its first Broadway national tour with the power of a barbecue fired with jet fuel. An explosion of rock, lights, humor and heart, this show is a rarity among rarities: a quirky late '90s off-Broadway hit that inspired a devoted cult following that seemingly peaked with its big-screen adaptation in 2001. Over the years, however, Hedwig's tragic tale of rejection and transformation has traveled around the world and created an international league of Heheads.

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Don’t wanna see no more American Idiot

Jun 14

Don’t wanna see no more <i>American Idiot</i>

The inevitable homecoming is upon us. The Broadway musical version of Green Day's American Idiot, which had its world premiere in 2009 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, has returned to the Bay Area as part of the SHN season.

As an employee of Berkeley Rep at the time of the show's premiere, I was deeply immersed in the world of Green Day, big Broadway producers and a world of expectations riding on the shoulders of this 90-minute rock 'n' roll extravaganza. It was a blast to have an inside seat for the creation of such an exciting show. But my vantage point also prevented me from really seeing the show with fresh eyes.

There were things I liked about it and things I didn't. The Green Day score, especially as orchestrated, arranged and supervised by Tom Kitt, was by far the best part. Kitt succeeded masterfully in capturing the rock pulse of the music and then finding ways to infuse it with range and emotion it didn't have on record.

I had trouble connecting to the bare-bones story of three 20something friends battling their apathy in the suburbs...

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Green Day at Berkeley Rep

Mar 30

Berkeley Repertory Theatre is rocking and rolling with Green Day. After the success of Stew’s Passing Strange, it seems Berkeley Rep can’t get enough of the rock. Already announced for the 2009-10 season was the world premiere of Girlfriend, a stage adaptation of Matthew Sweet’s album of the same name. Today comes official word that Berkeley Rep...

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Review: `Spring Awakening’

Sep 08

Opened Sept. 7, 2008 at the Curran Theatre, San Francisco   Kyle Riabko and Christy Altomare are Melchior and Wendla, the doomed lovers in Spring Awakening, the Tony Award-winning musical that launched its national tour at San Francisco’s Curran Theatre. Photos by Paul Kolnik.   Sex, violence and rock ‘n’ roll: `Spring Awakening’ jolts...

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Director address: Michael Mayer on `Spring Awakening’

Sep 04

Michael Mayer, the Tony Award-winning director of Spring Awakening, remembers people looking at his show and saying things like: “You can’t be unconventional.” “That’s choreography?” “This is a musical?” And Mayer is just fine with those questions. “We didn’t set out to break rules,” Mayer says....

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