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The Rep's Good Rep


Photography by Kevin Berne

How about a big Best of the East Bay shout-out to Berkeley Repertory Theatre? The musical Passing Strange, which premiered at Berkeley Rep in October 2006, nabbed seven Tony nominations, including best musical, for its Broadway run. The outrageous show by Stew and Heidi Rodewald follows a rock musician through Los Angeles in the 1970s and Amsterdam and Berlin in the ’80s. It’s been a smash at the Belasco Theatre in New York since February.

Any Tony win at the awards ceremony June 15 will add another trophy to Passing Strange’s already crowded cabinet; the play also won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical and three Drama Desk Awards.

Strange is another in a string of national notices Berkeley Rep has received of late. The New York Times Arts & Leisure section recently featured the theater, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last season, noting that artistic director Tony Taccone has assembled a “striking body of work.” Taccone, the Times mentioned, has sent many plays to New York and has produced works by acclaimed playwrights such as Tony Kushner and Anna Deavere Smith.

Berkeley Repertory Theater, Photograph by Kevin Berne  Meanwhile, the hits keep happening. The Rep’s 2008–09 season includes Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, directed by film and stage star Delroy Lindo; The Arabian Nights, directed by Tony Award–winner Mary Zimmerman; and The Vibrator Play, by acclaimed playwright Sarah Ruhl.

Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley, (510) 647-2949, www.berkeleyrep.org.

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