Berkeley Rep to Close Season with ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS, Begin. 5/8
Berkeley Repertory Theatre will conclude its 48th season with Richard Bean's internationally acclaimed One Man, Two Guvnors, a sassy update of Carlo Goldoni's classic knee-slapper, The Servant of Two Masters. Set in 1963 Brighton, England, One Man, Two Guvnors is a brilliantly delicious mash-up of splendid comedy, British pantomime, and music-hall revues. The uproarious plot features a disarming and doltish Francis Henshall who finds himself trapped by farce into working for two bosses - who are connected in wildly improbable ways. He just has to keep them from discovering each other. Inspired insanity, high-low antics, and nimble wordplay ensue - all backed by live musicians paying homage to rockabilly and a certain Fab Four. Directed by David Ivers - artistic director of the Utah Shakespeare Festival - and with songs by Grant Olding, One Man, Two Guvnors is a riotous blast complete with a colorful cast of characters in a topsy-turvy world of love triangles and mistaken identities. It previews on Friday May 8, 2015, opens on Friday, May 15, 2015, and plays through Sunday June 21, 2015. Press night for One Man, Two Guvnors will be held on Friday, May 15, 2015. Individual tickets start at $29 and can be purchased by phone at (510) 647-2949 or online at berkeleyrep.org.
"I saw David Ivers' production of The Cocoanuts at Oregon Shakespeare Festival last summer and immediately wanted him to work at Berkeley Rep," says Michael Leibert Artistic Director Tony Taccone. "One Man, Two Guvnors is a perfect vehicle to showcase his great comedic gifts. The play is a wild farce filled with bawdy humor and unforgettable one-liners driven by a cast of memorable characters. We're proud to close the season with what promises to be a fiercely entertaining production."
"I've been a long-time admirer of Berkeley Rep and I'm thrilled for the opportunity to direct One Man, Two Guvnors," says Ivers. "Richard Bean's script (adapted from Goldoni's classic The Servant of Two Masters) is nothing short of brilliant. Set in 1963 England with a live rock-and-roll band onstage, One Man,Two Guvnors is perhaps the funniest play written in the last 10 years. We've assembled a razor-sharp cast to bring this innovative, physical, and sexy comedy to Berkeley audiences who will surely be rolling in the aisles."
Since it originated at London's National Theatre in 2011, One Man, Two Guvnors has received effusive praise. "[An] inspired adaptation... The language is fueled by a logic that is as irrefutable as it is silly... It gleefully skewers the tortured metaphors of lovers' flights of fancy and traffics unapologetically in the childish, tongue-twisting pleasures of alliteration," raves the New York Times. "Ingenious... Unlike many farces, this one is also verbally funny. Bean's script is full of good gags...I suspect you would had to have had a humour by-pass not to enjoy it," proclaims the London Guardian. "Gut-busting... Amusing original songs by Grant Olding suggest the legacy of British music hall, and cast members take part during scene changes in variety-act interludes, providing accompaniment on xylophone, kettle drums, claxons...while at the same time evoking the unmistakable feel of early '60s England," writes the Hollywood Reporter.
Richard Bean was born in East Hull in 1956. After school, he worked in a bread plant before leaving to study psychology at Loughborough University. Bean has worked as a psychologist and a stand-up comedian. He was awarded the 2011 Evening Standard Award for Best Play for The Heretic and One Man, Two Guvnors, and the 2011 Critics' Circle Award for Best Play and 2012 Whatsonstage.com Award for Best New Comedy, both for One Man, Two Guvnors. He received Pearson Play of the Year for Honeymoon Suite and the George Devine Award for Under the Whaleback. His England People Very Nice (National Theatre) was an Olivier Award nominee for Best New Play, and his Up on Roof (Hull Truck Theatre) was nominated for TMA Play of the Year. His other work includes a stage version of David Mamet's The House of Games (Almeida Theatre), The Big Fellah (produced by Out of Joint), Pub Quiz Is Life (Hull Truck), The English Game (produced by Headlong), In The Club (Hampstead Theatre), a version of Molière's The Hypochondriac (Almeida), Toast (the Royal Court), The God Botherers (Bush Theatre), Smack Family Robinson (Newcastle Live!), The Mentalists (Lyttelton Loft, National Theatre), and Mr England (Sheffield Crucible Theatre). His radio plays include "Of Rats and Men," "Yesterday," "Unsinkable," and "Robin Hood's Revenge."
David Ivers is in his fifth season as artistic director of the Utah Shakespeare Festival, where he has been creating productions as director/actor since 1992. In recent seasons, he has directed Twelfth Night, Twelve Angry Men, Romeo and Juliet, Cyrano De Bergerac, and others. Additionally, he spent 10 years as a resident artist with the Denver Center Theatre Company, collaborating on over 40 productions as director/actor. Also, Ivers helmed The Taming of the Shrew and a premiere adaptation of The Cocoanuts for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Other regional work includes productions at Pioneer Theatre Company, Nevada Conservatory Theatre, the Alabama and Idaho Shakespeare Festivals, Portland Center Stage, Portland Rep, Artists Repertory Theatre, and Tacoma Actors Guild. Ivers' upcoming projects include productions at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, South Coast Repertory, and the Guthrie Theater. He is thrilled to be making his Berkeley Rep debut with One Man, Two Guvnors.
Songwriter Grant Olding trained as an actor at the Central School of Speech and Drama before turning to music when the Bridewell Theatre created the post of composer in residence for him in 2003. He was nominated for a Tony Award in 2012 for Best Original Score for the Broadway production of One Man, Two Guvnors and won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Score for the same production. His other play scores include Timon of Athens, Travelling Light, England People Very Nice, The Man of Mode, The Alchemist, and Southwark Fair (all at the National Theatre, directed by Nicholas Hytner); James and The Giant Peach (Birmingham Old Rep Theatre and UK tour); Broken Glass (Tricycle Theatre and the Vaudeville Theatre); Breakfast at Tiffany's (Theatre Royal Haymarket); and many others. Olding's musical theatre scores include Robin Hood (The Castle, Wellingborough), Simply Cinderella (Curve Theatre, Leicester), Tracy Beaker Gets Real (Nottingham Playhouse and UK tour), Yeti: An Abominamusical (Edinburgh Fringe), Spittin' Distance (Stephen Joseph Theatre and National Theatre Studio), and others. His TV and film scores include The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff (BBC 2), Theatreland (Sky Arts, six-part documentary series), and Losing the Plot (Bongo Reef Pictures, short film), as well as a viral musical video for Lastminute.com which won the Cannes Lions Award for best viral. His songs have featured on the albums of Gemma Atkins, Annalene Beechey, Caroline Sheen and Stuart Matthew Price, and the One Man, Two Guvnors original cast album (on which Olding performs nine of the 12 songs) has been released by the National Theatre in the UK and by DRG Records in the USA. Olding is a board member for Mercury Musicals Development.
One Man, Two Guvnors features a multi-talented cast of accomplished actors, including:
- Ron Campbell (Alfie) is making his Berkeley Rep debut. In a career that has spanned four decades and four continents, Campbell has performed everywhere from the streets of Paris and Rome to the Royal Albert Hall in London, the Fuji Dome in Japan, the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus in Greece, the Habima in Israel, American Conservatory Theater, the Mark Taper Forum, the Mercury Theater (Chicago), the Huntington Theatre Company, Seattle Repertory Theatre, the Actors' Gang, and various local stages. He is an associate artist at California Shakespeare Theater.
- William Connell (Stanley) is making his Berkeley Rep debut. New York City and regional credits include A View from the Bridge (2010 Broadway revival); The Coast of Utopia (Lincoln Center); Alphabetical Order and The Maddening Truth (Keen Company); Hamlet (Aspen Music Festival); One Man, Two Guvnors (Pioneer Theatre Company); The Hour of Feeling (Humana Festival); The Winslow Boy and The Mousetrap (the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), and others.
- Brad Culver (Alan) is making his Berkeley Rep debut. His recent theatre credits include Edward in The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and Templeton in Charlotte's Web (South Coast Repertory), Dionysus in Satyr Atlas (the Getty Villa), The Black Glass (Ballhaus Ost in Berlin), Present Tense (The Big Show Co./Oberlin Dance Collective), and The Internationalists (Istrian National Theatre in Croatia and Belgrade International Theatre Festival in Serbia).
- Dan Donohue (Francis Henshall) makes his Berkeley Rep debut. He has been a fixture at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival since 1994, performing in more than 30 productions in such roles as Hamlet, Mercutio, Caliban, Iago, Henry V, Dvornichek (in Rough Crossing), and, most recently, Richard III. On Broadway he appeared in The Lion King. Other credits include appearances in Servant of Two Masters, The Night Alive, The Triumph of Love, The Game of Love and Chance, Inventing Van Gogh, and roles at Portland Center Stage, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival, and elsewhere.
- John-David Keller (Harry Dangle) is making his Berkeley Rep debut. He has spent the last 42 years as an actor and director with South Coast Repertory. Prior to coming to South Coast Rep he performed in New York in productions of Misalliance; Rainbow Jones, a musical; and The Real Inspector Hound by Tom Stoppard on Broadway and in the national tour.
- Becca Lustgarten (Ensemble) last appeared at Berkeley Rep in Molière's Tartuffe. Her recent credits include Tartuffe and Death of a Salesman (South Coast Repertory). Her other favorite credits include Three Sisters at Williamstown Theatre Festival, directed by Michael Greif, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Hangar Theatre.
- Gerry McIntyre's (Lloyd Boateng) Broadway credits include Uptown It's Hot, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Once on This Island (original company), Anything Goes, and Chicago. His off-Broadway credits include Enter Laughing (Drama Desk nomination), The Audience (Drama Desk nomination), and Forbidden Broadway (NAACP and Ovation Awards).
- Sarah Moser (Pauline) is thrilled to return to Berkeley Rep where she was last seen in You, Nero. Her recent credits include The Great Pretender and Time Stands Still (TheatreWorks), The Lily's Revenge (Magic Theatre), The Coast of Utopia and Edward Gant's Amazing Feats of Loneliness (Shotgun Players), A Maze and In From the Cold (Just Theater), Eurydice (Palo Alto Players), StoryWorks (Tides Theatre), In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) and Hamlet (City Lights Theatre Company), and Almost, Maine (California Conservatory Theatre).
- Todd Pivetti (Ensemble) last appeared at Berkeley Rep in Molière's Tartuffe. He has recently appeared in The Balcony with Collected Works at the Mint in San Francisco, Cock at the New Conservatory Theatre Center, The Speakeasy with Boxcar Theatre, Threepenny Opera with San Jose Stage Company, Julius Caesar (tour) with the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Imaginary Invalid with Pacific Repertory Theatre, and Twelfth Night and The Mandrake at Shakespeare Santa Cruz.
- Daniel Redmond (Ensemble) was last seen at Berkeley Rep in Troublemaker, or the Freakin' Kick-A Adventures of Bradley Boatright. His other credits include The Homosexuals and My Beautiful Laundrette (New Conservatory Theatre Center), Buffalo'ed (San Jose Stage Company), A Taste of Honey (Virago Theatre, San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle nominee), The Embassy (Central Works), Macbeth (Shakespeare's Associates), Harper Regan (San Francisco Playhouse), and more.
- Helen Sadler (Rachel) makes her debut performance at Berkeley Rep. Regional credits include The Night Alive and Tribes (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); The Whale (South Coast Repertory); Cymbeline (A Noise Within); Sense and Sensibility (Actors Theatre of Louisville and Northlight Theatre); The Maids (Writers Theatre); Blasted (A Red Orchid Theatre); Buried Child, A Taste of Honey, and Hyde in Hollywood (Shattered Globe Theatre); War (Seanachai Theatre Company); Feydeau-Si-Deau (Theater Wit); and Radiance (Geffen Playhouse).
- Danny Scheie (Gareth) previously appeared at Berkeley Rep in the world premiere of Charles Mee's Fêtes de la Nuit directed by Les Waters; as Nero in Amy Freed's You, Nero, for which he won the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for leading actor; in Cloud Nine directed by Tony Taccone; and as Sturgis Drang in Troublemaker, or the Freakin' Kick-A Adventures of Bradley Boatright. He performed for 13 seasons with both Shakespeare Santa Cruz and California Shakespeare Theater, and has also acted at the Old Globe in San Diego, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Folger Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, the Pasadena Playhouse, A Noise Within, and elsewhere.
- Steven Shear (Ensemble) is thrilled to be making his Berkeley Rep debut in One Man, Two Guvnors. His recent Bay Area credits include Mr. Irresistible (Alcazar Theatre), Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Boxcar Theatre), and Promises, Promises (San Francisco Playhouse).
- Robert Sicular (Charlie Clench) is delighted to be returning to Berkeley Rep. He has appeared here in many shows over the years, including a season at the Theatre's original home on College Avenue. He has also performed locally with American Conservatory Theater, San Jose Repertory Theatre, TheatreWorks, Center Rep Theatre, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, and California Shakespeare Theater.
- Claire Warden's (Dolly) off-Broadway credits include roles in Engaging Shaw (Abingdon Theatre Company) and The Libertine (Kirk Theatre). Other New York and regional credits include Other Desert Cities, A Moon for the Misbegotten, Mary Stuart, Lost in Yonkers, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Romeo and Juliet. Her UK credits include The Trojan Women, Women of the Sidhe, and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
One Man, Two Guvnors includes toe-tapping music by a skiffle band featuring accomplished musicians Casey Hurt (guitar and vocals and band leader), Andrew Niven (drummer), Marcus Högsta (bassist), and Mike McGraw (guitarist).
The creative team includes Hugh Landwehr (scenic designer), Meg Neville (costume designer), Alexander V. Nichols (lighting designer), Lindsay Jones (sound designer), and Gregg Coffin (music director). The stage manager for One Man, Two Guvnors is Michael Suenkel, Berkeley Rep's production stage manager.
The 2014-15 season is supported by BART and Wells Fargo, who have generously renewed their commitment as Berkeley Rep's official season sponsors. Berkeley Rep is also proud to have KPIX-TV (Channel 5) as a first-year season sponsor. One Man, Two Guvnors is made possible thanks to the generous support of Mechanics Bank Wealth Management, lead sponsor Martha Ehmann Conte, and season sponsors Jack and Betty Schafer and the Strauch Kulhanjian Family. The executive sponsors for the show are Bill Falik and Diana Cohen.