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Welcome to Berkeley Playhouse's 10th Anniversary Season!
I'm excited to share a little about how we came up with this season and why these shows are special to us. Choosing a season is always a really complex group process. We consider a broad range of factors—from productions that engage and delight audiences across the age spectrum to shows that reflect the makeup of our community. Providing an inter-generational experience is core to who we are and what we do—there is nothing more thrilling than seeing three generations of audiences seated in the Julia Morgan experience a musical together. We also deeply value the idea of community and find that many patrons, students and actors find a deep sense of belonging here at the theater, partly, I hope, because we choose productions that speak directly to our audiences and our staff.
Every show this season has a QUEST FOR COMMUNITY at its core. Characters throughout are searching for "their place" or a place to fit in. From a convent in the 1990's to a dingy 1930's orphanage...from turn of the century New York City to a fantastical, giant PEACH... to a hand-jiving 1950's high school, this season will have you falling in love with incredible characters as they journey on their adventures to find community.
Producing Artistic Director
Celebrating 10 Years
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Celebrate 10 years, celebrate community
Music by Alan Menken Lyrics by Glenn Slater Book by Cheri Steinkellner and Bill Steinkellner
Additional book material by Douglas Carter Bean Based on the Touchstone Pictures Motion Picture,
written by Joseph Howard.
"Ridiculously fun! The only thing better than big, glitzy numbers? Big glitzy numbers. . . with nuns! Sister Act is off the charts and packed with goodies!" -
New York Post
From the composer of Little Shop of Horrors
and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
comes this toe-tapping, gospel-infused, feel-good musical based on one of the biggest film comedies of the 90s. When downtown disco diva Dolores Van Cartier witnesses a crime, she’s placed into protective custody in the one place she’s sure not to be found – a convent! Forced to trade in her nighttime habit of nightclubbing and disco dancing for a nun’s habit, Dolores finds newfound self-worth, confidence, and a community she never expected to be a part of, as she leads the church choir of sisters to heavenly new heights, transforming the church into a revitalized home of celebration, song, and community spirit. Filled with powerful music, outrageous choreography, and a moving story of unlikely friendships, Sister Act
will raise the roof of the Julia Morgan—can we hear an AMEN!
Book by Thomas Meehan Music by Charles Strouse Lyrics by Martin Charnin Based on Little Orphan Annie by permission of The Media Tribune Services, Inc.
“An unstoppable sunshine steamroller!”
- The New York Times
Leapin’ lizards! One of the most popular musicals of all time returns to Berkeley Playhouse in an all new production that’s going to “shine like the top of the Chrysler building!” In 1930s depression era New York, young orphaned Annie is determined to find the parents that left her on the doorstep of the New York City Orphanage, run by the soused and sour Miss Hannigan. When Annie is chosen by billionaire Oliver Warbucks to spend the holidays at his mansion, she leaves behind the only community she’s ever known, and her daily life of “hard knocks” and “maybe’s” turns into one of cinemas and Roll’s Royce’s. . . and an opportunity to discover the truth about her parents. Filled with adventure, mayhem, and the discovery of what family truly means, Annie
is a true Broadway classic.
Book by Terrence McNally Music by Stephen Flaherty Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens Based on the novel Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
“A triumph for the stage!”
- TIME Magazine
One of the most acclaimed American musicals of the last twenty years, Ragtime
is a sweeping epic of hopes and dreams in a changing America at the turn of the 20th century. Just beyond the gaze of lady liberty, the stories of three evolving and distinct communities in New York are woven together to create a fabric that blankets a new era in the land of opportunity. A Jewish immigrant seeking a new life in America is awakened to the possibilities of success; a mother from an upper-class suburban family sees that privilege and comfort may not be as desirable as she once thought; and a gifted African-American musician, prolific in the dissonant and romantic melodies of ragtime, learns that love and passion can spark the wheels of change. Peppered with great historical characters from Houdini to Henry Ford to Booker T. Washington, Ragtime’s
Tony Award-winning score draws upon the unique sounds of the American soundscape—heard from Harlem to the Lower-East-Side—to create a truly remarkable theatrical event.
Book by Timothy Allen McDonald Music & Lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul Based on the book “James and Giant Peach” by Roald Dahl
“Magical sweetness. . . something than can make the musical theater lover squeal with delight! A wonderfully touching show. . . filled with heart.”
From the Oscar-winning team that brought you the music of La La Land and the hit Broadway musicals Dear Even Hansen
and A Christmas Story
comes an all new adventured filled family classic based on the beloved story by Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
). Sent to chop down an old fruit tree by his devious aunts, young James discovers a magic potion that turns an ordinary peach into a massive, oversized GIANT! Finding himself at the center of this king-sized peach and surrounded by life size insects (with larger than life personalities), the peach falls from the tree, rolling into the nearby ocean—and these new cohabitants from very different communities must face even bigger problems—hunger, dangerous foes, and learning how to communicate when facing challenging decisions. A journey of epic proportions, James and the Giant Peach
is the lyrical, hummable, and fantastical musical for families of all ages.
Book, Music & Lyrics by Jim Jacobs & Warren Casey
'Summer Nights' never sounded so good
It’s 1959, and the kids from Rydell High are back from summer vacation for their senior year—and what a memorable one it will be! Good girl Sandy and leader of the pack Danny had a brief fling during their “summer nights”—but when Sandy shows up at Rydell as a new student, romance gets replaced with reputation, and musical theater’s most beloved couple must navigate sock-hops, slumber-parties, and social rivalries before finding their true selves, and that unique community one finds in high-school that realizes “we go together!” One of the most popular musicals of all time, Berkeley Playhouse audiences will be hand-jiving all summer long as the Pink Ladies and Thunderbirds take to the Julia Morgan stage for this rock-n-rolling 50s celebration of teen spirit.
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