Berkeley Repertory Theatre 2025 Addison St./Shattuck Ave., in Downtown Arts District. This Tony Award-winning company has established a national reputation for ambitious programming and dynamic productions. It is well known for presenting important new dramatic voices and fresh adaptations of seldom-seen classics. Multi-talented Rita Moreno, now a local resident, appears in some productions. Past productions have won 5 Tonys, 7 Obies, 9 Drama Desk Awards, 1 Grammy, and many other honors. Performances are held in two spaces: the 400-seat Peet’s Theatre, and the 600-seat Roda Theatre. A cafe provides a vibrant gathering space before curtain and during intermission; a simple snack counter is also available.
“It Can’t Happen Here” seems the perfect production at the perfect time. Written as a novel in 1935 by Sinclair Lewis at a time when fascism was rising in Europe, the book was adapted into a play by him in 1936 and Berkeley Rep has just made a new stage adaptation. It tells the fictional story of a presidential candidate who is a businessman with racist and anti-woman tendencies, and who runs against Roosevelt and wins. Sound familiar? Sound scary? Signs solicit audience reaction from the stage (applause and boos), adding to a sense of involvement. Runs through November 6, 2016, ending two days before the election. Coming next, “The Last Tiger in Haiti,” beginning October 14 in Peet’s Theatre.
view an interesting background slide show about "It Can't Happen Here" and the Federal Theater Project
|Trump Troll greets theater-goers at Berkeley Rep's opening of "It Can't Happen Here"|
|bar at Berkeley Rep in Berkeley, California|
|interior of Berkeley Rep's Roda Theater in Berkeley, California|
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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers