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Berkeley Rep Announces Tony Taccone's Final Show

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Berkeley Repertory Theatre today announced that Kiss My Aztec!, a world premiere musical written by John Leguizamo and Tony Taccone, will fill the final slot of the previously announced 2018-19 subscription season. The musical, directed by Taccone, will be the final production of his tenure as Michael Leibert Artistic Director and cap his storied 33-year career at Berkeley Rep.

"It seems only appropriate that my tenure as artistic director at Berkeley Rep will conclude with Kiss My Aztec!," says Michael Leibert Artistic Director Tony Taccone. "The show is a raucous, roller coaster-of-a-new musical that, for one reason or another, is sure to send you screaming into the night. Kiss My Aztec! is a result of my ongoing collaboration with the brilliant John Leguizamo, whom I worked with so closely on Latin History for Morons. John and I share a love of comedy, political satire, and the same medication. We bring those old obsessions to this new venture, a modern day parable set in the 16th century about colonialism, genocide, and the subjugation of women. Now, that's comedy!"

This fresh, irreverent, and outrageous satirical musical comedy could only spring forth from the insanely hilarious and culturally savvy mind of John Leguizamo (who seriously schooled Berkeley Rep audiences with Latin History for Morons). With an energetic musical fusion of bolero, hip hop, merengue, and rap, and an uproarious mashup of 16th-century and modern slang, Kiss My Aztec! celebrates, elevates, and commemorates Latinx culture.

It may be the 16th century, but these Aztecs is woke! When the Spanish set their sights on Mesoamerica and its riches, they will destroy anyone and anything that keeps them from conquering and claiming it all for themselves. But the Aztecs are like, "Hell, no!" Led by the unlikely duo of Colombina (a feminist warrior/rapper) and Pepe (a clown) - and empowered by a prophecy promising a new leader called the Great Brown Hope - they plot to overthrow their Spanish colonizers. Along the way they collide with an evil Viceroy, his inbred millennial daughter, and an absurd trio of singing Spanish Inquisitors. Will our Aztec heroes win the day, or get conquistadored by these white people on boats?

Kiss My Aztec! runs Tuesday, May 28, 2019 through Sunday, July 14, 2019 and features a book by John Leguizamo and Tony Taccone, music by Benjamin Velez, and lyrics by David Kamp, Benjamin Velez, and John Leguizamo. Based on an original screenplay written by John Leguizamo and Stephen Chbosky.

Casting will be announced at a later date.

Kiss My Aztec! is made possible by the support of The Roy Cockrum Foundation. The Foundation generously helps underwrite some of the extraordinary production costs of Kiss My Aztec! The supplementary funds will allow Berkeley Rep to take on the very ambitious project as Tony Taccone's final production. The Foundation's mission is to expand the capacity of world- class American theaters to realize work on stage that is special and large in scope.

For the 2018-19 season, Berkeley Rep recognizes BART, Peet's Coffee, and Wells Fargo, who have generously renewed their commitment as Berkeley Rep's official season sponsors. Berkeley Rep is also delighted to have Michael and Sue Steinberg and Jack and Betty Schafer on board as season sponsors.

Subscribers to Berkeley Rep get the best seats for these shows at the consistently lowest prices. The 5-play Main Season package guarantees tickets to A Doll's House, Part 2; Paradise Square: A New Musical; Metamorphoses; The Good Book; and Kiss My Aztec! Step up to the 7-play Full Season to include Fairview and Home as part of your package. In addition to significant savings, subscribers receive valuable advantages such as the ability to reschedule performances for free, discounts when purchasing tickets for friends, and the opportunity to secure seats before the general public for special events.

Full and Main season ticket packages start as low as $134 (7-play Full Season packages range from $184 to $612; 5-play Main Season packages range from $134 to $444). Additional subscription discounts for senior citizens, pre-K-12 educators, and patrons under age 35 make the cost of discounted packages begin at $85. Ticket packages are now available. "Choose your own" packages of three or more shows will be available beginning Friday, June 8 and start as low as $105.

ABOUT BERKELEY REP

Berkeley Repertory Theatre has grown from a storefront stage to an international leader in innovative theatre. Known for its core values of imagination and excellence, as well as its educated and adventurous audience, the nonprofit has provided a welcoming home for emerging and established artists since 1968. In five decades, over 5.5 million people have enjoyed nearly 500 shows at Berkeley Rep. These shows have gone on to win five Tony Awards, seven Obie Awards, nine Drama Desk Awards, one Grammy Award, and many other honors. In recognition of its place on the national stage, Berkeley Rep received the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1997. Its bustling facilities - which include the 400- seat Peet's Theatre, the 600-seat Roda Theatre, the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, and a spacious campus in West Berkeley - are helping revitalize a renowned city. Learn more at berkeleyrep.org.


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