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Fisher takes 'Wishful Drinking' on Tour

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After breaking box office records at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Carrie Fisher's WISHFUL DRINKING ended its extended run last week – but the party continues. Today the Tony Award-winning theatre announced a five-city national tour for the outrageous solo show staged by Artistic Director Tony Taccone. Presented by Tony Award-winning producer Jonathan Reinis and Berkeley Rep, WISHFUL DRINKING features Fisher – the best-selling author and Hollywood star – telling a hilarious and sobering tale about her Tinseltown hangover.

 
 "After several months in Berkeley, my moods and I are ready to fling my show on the rocks of unsuspecting audiences across this great nation," Fisher remarks. "I'm hoping people will actually come to my fun woman show… 'cause when they don't come, I end up talking about myself alone in the dark. And though I'm somewhat accustomed to being pathetic, I like to avoid it every so often."

 

During its extended run in Berkeley, WISHFUL DRINKING won critical acclaim, set box office records, and delighted theatregoers night after night. Now audiences across America can get Carried away:


·         June 18 - 22: Santa Fe, NM
Lensic Theatre / 211 West San Francisco St / 505.988.1234 / www.ticketssantafe.com

 

·         July 23 - August 2: San Jose, CA
San Jose Repertory Theatre / 101 Paseo de San Antonio / 408.367.7255 / www.sjrep.com

 

·         August 6 - 17: Hartford, CT
Hartford Stage / 50 Church Street / 860.527.5151 / www.hartfordstage.org

 

·         September 5 - 28: Washington, DC
Arena Stage at the Lincoln Theatre / 1215 U St / 202.488.3300 / www.arenastage.org

 

·         October 13 - 26: Boston, MA
Huntington Theatre Company / 264 Huntington Ave / 617.266.0800 / www.huntingtontheatre.org

 

Carrie Fisher is the life of the party in WISHFUL DRINKING. Onstage, she recounts a true and intoxicating story with the same strong, wry wit that she poured into bestsellers like Postcards from the Edge. Born to celebrity parents, Fisher lands among the stars when she's picked to play a princess in a little movie called Star Wars. But it isn't all sweetness and light sabers. As a single mom, she also battles addiction, depression, mental institutions, and that awful hyperspace hairdo. It's an incredible tale – from having Elizabeth Taylor as a stepmother, to wedding (and shedding) Paul Simon, from having the father of her baby leave her for a man to waking up one morning and finding a friend dead beside her in bed. After staging two completely different solo shows – the world premiere of Danny Hoch's Taking Over and Sarah Jones' Tony Award-winning Bridge & Tunnel – Tony Taccone takes audiences on another wild ride with WISHFUL DRINKING.

 

Entertainment Weekly calls WISHFUL DRINKING "drolly hysterical," and the Los Angeles Times dubs it a "Beverly Hills yard sale of juicy anecdotes." The San Francisco Chronicle asserts, "Fisher knows how to write wickedly comic material and, better still, how to deliver it." And the Wall Street Journal raves: "Addiction, mental illness, movie-star parents, bad marriages, really bad hair. Carrie Fisher, right? You got it: Princess Leia has recycled her nightmarish life yet again, this time putting it onstage in the form of an exceedingly clever one-woman show called Wishful Drinking. [She's] drop-dead funny about a string of personal crises so horrific that the only alternative to laughing at them is slashing your wrists in sympathy."

 

"Hurry to the box office as fast as you can and get your tickets," ABC radio proclaims. "You'll double over laughing at the skeletons in Carrie's closet." "Frank and forthcoming and, I'm delighted to say, occasionally filthy, Wishful Drinking is a theatrical memoir with a whole lot of kick," the Oakland Tribune concludes. "Fisher is hilarious, which is no surprise to anyone who has read her books… She has a brilliant mind and sharp comic timing."

 

Carrie Fisher has been a compelling force in the film industry since her feature film debut opposite Warren Beatty in the 1975 hit Shampoo. The daughter of Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, she became a cultural icon when she played Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy. Her star-studded career includes roles in countless films such as The Blues Brothers, The Burbs, Garbo Talks, Hannah and her Sisters, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, The Man with One Red Shoe, This is My Life, When Harry Met Sally, Austin Powers, Scream 3, Charlie's Angels, and Wonderland. Her next films – White Lightnin', Fanboys, and the remake of The Women – will be released this year. In 1987, Fisher's book, Postcards from the Edge, leapt onto the New York Times' bestseller list and netted her the Los Angeles Pen Award for Best First Novel. Three more bestsellers followed: Delusions of Grandma, Surrender the Pink, and The Best Awful. Fisher turned Postcards into a screenplay for the hit film starring Shirley MacLaine and Meryl Streep, and is currently adapting The Best Awful for HBO with producers Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks. Her writing has also appeared in Details, Harper's Bazaar, the New York Times, Travel & Leisure, Vogue, and many other major publications. Fisher's television credits range all the way from Laverne and Shirley to Sex in the City, with recent appearances on popular programs such as 30 Rock and Weeds. Her experiences with addiction and bipolar disorder – and her willingness to speak honestly about them – have made her a sought after speaker and respected advocate for these communities.

 

Tony Taccone is artistic director of Berkeley Rep, where he has staged more than 35 shows, including the world premieres of The Convict's Return, Culture Clash in AmeriCCa, The First 100 Years, Geni(us), Ravenshead, Taking Over, Virgin Molly, and Zorro in Hell. He commissioned Tony Kushner's legendary Angels in America, co-directed its world premiere at the Mark Taper Forum, and has collaborated with Kushner on six projects. Their latest piece, Brundibar, featured designs by beloved children's author Maurice Sendak. It debuted at Berkeley Rep and then traveled to Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven and the New Victory Theatre in New York City, where it sold out its run and was nominated for two Drama Desk Awards. Taccone recently made his Broadway debut with Bridge & Tunnel, which was universally lauded by the critics and won a Tony Award for its star, Sarah Jones. He also staged the show's record-breaking off-Broadway run, workshopped it for Broadway at Berkeley Rep, and directed Jones' previous hit, Surface Transit. In 2004, his production of David Edgar's Continental Divide transferred to the Barbican in London after playing the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, and England's Birmingham Rep. His other regional credits include Actors Theatre of Louisville, Arizona Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and San Francisco's Eureka Theatre, where he served six years as artistic director before working at Berkeley Rep.

 

Two talented designers are also on the wagon for Wishful Drinking. Alexander V. Nichols (scenic design / lighting design / projections) has created scenery, costumes, lights, and projections for dance and theatre companies across Amer­ica, including 16 shows at Berkeley Rep. His credits also include American Conservatory Theater, the Alley Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theater, Arena Stage, Baltimore Center Stage, Boston Ballet, California Shakespeare Theater, the Hartford Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Huntington Theatre Company, the Kronos Quartet, the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, the National Theater of Taiwan, ODC/SF, OSF, the Paul Dresher Ensemble, Pennsylvania Ballet, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet. Christina Wright (costume design) designed costumes for the world premiere of Philip Glass and Robert Wilson's Monsters of Grace, Bill Viola's Memoria and Quintet of the Astonished, Culture Clash's The Birds at the Getty Villa, and James Joyce's The Dead at Open Fist Theatre. Other productions include Jodi Long's Surfing DNA at East West Players, David Schweizer's Transformations, and The Mystery of Irma Vep and The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Tiffany Theater. The stage manager for the national tour is Daniel Kells.

 

Jonathan Reinis is the producer of over 150 plays, musicals, and dance performances including the Broadway productions of Jerry Springer: The Opera with Harvey Keitel at Carnegie Hall (2008), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2006-2007), Kiki and Herb: Alive on Broadway (Tony nomination 2006), Dame Edna (Tony Award 2000), Russell Simmons's Def Poetry Jam (Tony Award 2003), Bill Maher: Victory Begins at Home (Tony nomination 2003), and It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues (Tony nomination 1999). His off-Broadway credits include Room Service, Marga Gomez's Los Big Names, Josh Kornbluth's Love & Taxes, and Shay Duffin as Brendan Behan. Bay Area touring productions include Carrie Fisher at Berkeley Rep; Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues; Josh Kornbluth's Ben Franklin: Unplugged; Sam Shepard's The Late Henry Moss with Sean Penn, Woody Harrelson, Nick Nolte, and Cheech Marin; Dame Edna; Ennio; His Way; Sandra Bernhardt; John Leguizamo's premiere of Freak; Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde; and the national tours of Forever Tango, The Piano Lesson, and Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Reinis built and operated Theatre on the Square in downtown San Francisco for more than 20 years (1981-2002). His San Francisco shows include Talley's Folly, Jeffrey, Irving Berlin in Revue, Bubbe Meises, The Kathy and Mo Show, Shirley Valentine, Love Letters, Mass Appeal, Nehemiah Persoff as Sholem Aleichem, Biloxi Blues, I'm Not Rappaport, Curse of the Werewolf, and Phantom of the Opera by Ken Hill. He also presented Stomp, Riverdance – The Show, Fame: The Musical, and the national tours of Dirty Blonde and Guys and Dolls. Reinis is a member of the Broadway League and ATPAM.

 

Born in a storefront, Berkeley Rep has moved to the forefront of American theatre. Founded in 1968 by Michael Leibert, the Theatre quickly earned respect for presenting the finest plays with top-flight actors. In 1980, with the support of the local community, Berkeley Rep built the 400-seat Thrust Stage where its reputation steadily grew over the next two decades. It gained renown for an adventurous combination of work, presenting important new dramatic voices alongside refreshing adaptations of seldom-seen classics. In recognition of its place on the national stage, Berkeley Rep was honored with the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1997. The company celebrated by unveiling a new 600-seat proscenium stage in 2001, the state-of-the-art Roda Theatre. It also opened the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, the permanent home for its tradition of outreach and education programs. The addition of these two buildings transformed a single stage into a vital and versatile performing arts complex, the linchpin of a bustling Downtown Arts District which has helped revitalize Berkeley. In four decades, four million people have enjoyed 300 shows at Berkeley Rep, including 50 world premieres. The Theatre now welcomes an annual audience of 180,000, serves 20,000 students, and hosts dozens of community groups, thanks to 1,000 volunteers and more than 400 artists, artisans, and administrators. In the last two years, four shows seen at Berkeley Rep have gone on to New York: Bridge & Tunnel, Brundibar, Eurydice, and Passing Strange. Now America gets a taste of Berkeley with WISHFUL DRINKING.
 


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