Rock 'n' Roll by Tom Stoppard, Directed by Robert Estes
Opening our 57th season is Tom Stoppard's ROCK 'N' ROLL, which first premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in 2006.
ROCK 'N' ROLL concerns the travails of Jan, a student from
Czechoslovakia studying in London under his mentor, Max. Jan becomes infatuated with the music of the late 1960's and the freedom and creativity it embodies. In contrast, Max believes rock 'n' roll is just another opiate for the masses. As the events of the 1968 Prague Spring unfold, Jan finds himself irrevocably drawn back home, ultimately to become a key element of the resistance which finally flowered in the Velvet Revolution of 1989. Back in England, Max struggles to reconcile his belief in communism with unfolding events, his wife Eleanor struggles against the ravages of cancer and daughter Esme struggles against the long shadow both her parents cast on her. Finally, Jan, Max, and the menagerie which has developed around both all gather once more to review the changes in their lives over the previous 20+ years.
An intensely personal work for Stoppard ("Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead"), born in Czechoslovakia only to emigrate to England as a child, it is at the same time a multi-layered concoction deftly interweaving philosophy, history and the evolution of relationships, a work that fully earns the label "Stoppardian". The play includes a significant role for the character Ferdinand, a nod to the series of "Vanek plays" written by noted dissident and future Czech president Vaclev Havel, which featured the character Ferdinand Vanek, a stand-in for Havel himself. The character was subsequently adopted by other Czech playwrights in their work, and now also in Stoppard's ROCK 'N' ROLL.
Directed by Robert Estes, last seen at AE directing our hit
production of Stoppard's "Arcadia", ROCK 'N' ROLL features a stellar cast including a number of familiar faces - Avi Jacobson as Max ("Noises Off"), Thomas Arndt as Ferdinand ("Curse of the Starving Class"), and Lisa Wang as Lenka ("Passion Play") all make a welcome return to the Live Oak Stage. ROCK 'N' ROLL also introduces Fred Webre as Jan, Monica Cortes Viharo as Eleanor/Esme, Emmy Pierce as Esme/Alice, and Joel Jacobs as Milan. Stage management by James Banh, Costumes by Helen Slomowitz, Set design by Bob Gudmundsson, Lighting design by Alecks Rundell, and projections by Daniela Nikolaeva.
Playing at Live Oak Theatre, 1301 Shattuck (at Berryman) in north Berkeley, just down the street from Berkeley's Gourmet Ghetto.
WHO: Actors Ensemble of Berkeley. Berkeley's longest-running theatre organization, since 1957.
WHAT: The play ROCK 'N' ROLL by Tom Stoppard, directed by Robert Estes
WHEN: Fridays and Saturdays, April 12th through May 4th at 8 p.m. Matinees Sunday April 21st and 28th at 2 p.m.
WHERE: Live Oak Theatre, 1301 Shattuck Ave. (at Berryman), Berkeley, CA 94709
HOW MUCH: Tickets are $15 general, $12 for students and seniors
HOW TO BUY: Brown Paper Tickets - or Cash or Check only accepted at the door
RESERVATIONS: for purchase at the door only: 510-649-5999
Live Oak Theater (View)
1301 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94709
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|