Come on I wanna Leia: Fisher lands on Broadway

Another week, another Berkeley Repertory Theatre show going to Broadway.

Carrie Fisher’s autobiographical solo show Wishful Drinking, directed by Berkeley Rep artistic director Tony Taccone, will open in October at — where else? — Studio 54, where it runs through Jan. 3. The show is produced by Roundabout Theatre Company in association with Jonathan Reinis, Jamie Cesa, Eva Price, and Berkeley Rep.

This is the fourth show to head from Berkeley to Broadway in the last four years: Sarah Jones’ Bridge & Tunnel (2006), Stew’s Passing Strange (2008), and Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) (2009). It’s also the 12th show in as many years to make the West to East transition. The list includes Danny Hoch’s Taking Over (2008), Ruhl’s Eurydice (2007), Tony Kushner and Maurice Sendak’s Brundibar (2006), Naomi Iizuka’s 36 Views (2002), Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses (2001), Hoch’s Jails, Hospitals & Hip-Hop (1998), Anne Galjour’s Alligator Tales (1997), and Philip Kan Gotanda’s Ballad of Yachiyo (1997).

“This is the culmination of a long process,” Taccone said in a statement. “Berkeley Rep has a history of developing new work and, with our commissioning program, continues its commitment to bring fresh ideas and alternative viewpoints to the stage. I am pleased with the success of this project, and honored to collaborate with all of the people involved to bring this show to Broadway. It has been truly gratifying in recent years to see our shows reach a wider audience in New York, Los Angeles, London, and other cities.”

Visit for Wishful Drinking ticket information.

Berkeley Rep cancels `Yellow Face,’ tours Hoch

The 2008-09 season hasn’t even begun and already changes are afoot.

Berkeley Repertory Theatre announced yesterday that it will postpone David Henry Hwang’s Yellow Face, which was to have concluded the season.

Here’s from the press release: ” The theatre hopes to present the show in the fall of 2009 and then tour its production to other cities. (Tony) Taccone is now selecting a new script to conclude the 2008/09 season.”

The same press release — in much bigger and brighter language — also announced that Danny Hoch’s solo show Taking Over will tour. The Taccone-directed show, which had its world premiere in January, will head to Los Angeles (Mark Taper Forum, Jan. 23 – Feb. 22, 2009), Montreal (July 8, Just for Laughs Festival) and New York City (Public Theatre, fall 2008). This is the third work (after Sarah Jones’ Bridge & Tunnel and Tony Kushner and Maurice Sendak’s Brundibar) that Taccone has sent to New York in as many years and the fifth in Berkeley Rep history.

Said Taccone: “I’m proud of this piece and pleased that it will travel. By examining gentrification in his own neighborhood, Danny is grappling with issues that affect cities everywhere. Audiences at Berkeley Rep loved it because of his insight and humor, and I look forward to sharing it with a wider community.”

For information visit

Quoting Taccone

Berkeley Repertory Theatre artistic director Tony Taccone, now in his 10th season with the theater, is the subject of an excellent new article in Theatre Communications Group’s American Theatre magazine. The author is actor/writer Ellen McLaughlin, the original angel in Angels in America, which Taccone originally co-directed with Oskar Eustis at San Francisco’s Eureka Theatre.

This has been quite a year for the 55-year-old Taccone. He took
Maurice Sendak Tony Tacconeand Tony Kushner’s Brundibar to New York.
He took Sarah Jones’ extraordinary Tony Award-winning show Bridge & Tunnel to Broadway, and he continues in his collaboration with Culture Clash after last season’s world premiere of Zorro in Hell.

The whole article is worth reading (check it out here). Or at the very least, check out a couple of Taccone’s quotes below:

“Every theatre in America talks about risk. It’s on every brochure. Everybody wants to say they take risks, and nobody wants to live with what happens if you actually take them. I say to our audience, “I don?t love everything we do, but I respect everything we do. This theatre is big enough, confident enough and responsible enough to deal with ideas and feelings that challenge us all.”

“Lately, working with Sarah Jones and Culture Clash, I find myself moving more toward life-affirming performances because I think the world needs it. I think I need it. It’s just too hard sometimes to weather what’s going on in the world without some primordial experience of release, some need to reconnect with each other.”