The Menier Chocolate Factory: A slice of London’s finest fringe theatre in the Bay Area

 

“This partnership with the celebrated Chocolate Factory is a thrilling step forward for TheatreWorks,” says TW Artistic Director Robert Kelley. “We’re proud that our long and distinguished history with composer Andrew Lippa has led to this electrifying American Premiere.”

We are honored to be co-producing The Life of the Party this summer with The Menier Chocolate Factory, reuniting author and star Andrew Lippa with director David Babani. Built in 1870 to house a chocolate factory, this unique space now comprises a restaurant and bar, rehearsal room, and 150 seat theatre. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Babani, the Chocolate Factory has been producing musicals, plays, live music, and stand-up comedy and is considered one of London’s premiere off-West End companies.

The Chocolate Factory received great international acclaim when their 2005 production of Sunday in the Park with George opened on Broadway, receiving eight Tony Award nominations including Best Revival of a Musical and acting nods for stars Daniel Evans and Jenna Russell.

Check out highlights from the Broadway production:

2010 proved to be a major year for Chocolate Factory productions on Broadway, with their revivals of La Cage aux Folles and A Little Night Music both picking up Tony nominations for Best Revival of a Musical. La Cage went on to win the award, providing Babani with his first Tony. Continue reading

The star-studded cast of THE LIFE OF THE PARTY!

See a cast of internally-acclaimed Broadway and West End veterans without leaving home in The Life of the Party! Our cast includes:

Damian Humbley

DAMIAN HUMBLEY is making his TheatreWorks debut. Mr. Humbley is well known in London for his work on Stephen Sondheim musicals, including the critically acclaimed production of Merrily We Roll Along (Charley Kringas), and the recent London production of Putting It Together. Other West End credits include Lend Me a Tenor (Max), The Woman In White (Walter Hartright), Fiddler on the Roof (Perchik), Forbidden Broadway, and Dickens Abridged. Other London credits include the UK Premiere of The Last 5 Years, the Menier Chocolate Factory’s The Life of the Party, and most recently Songs for a New World at St. James Theatre. His recordings include Lend Me a Tenor (Original Cast Recording), Fiddler on the Roof (2009 London Cast Recording), The Symphony of Australia (Sydney Symphony Orchestra), and Merrily We Roll Along (DigitalTheatre.com). Continue reading

Introducing the 2016 TAEAs!

Say hello to our 2016 class of Artistic Engagement Apprentices! Launched in 2014, this unique program brings emerging theatre artists into our office and rehearsal space to observe and participate in a professional company. For ten weeks, this group will spend time with our Marketing, Development, Education, and Artistic departments working with TheatreWorks staff and other artists. Get to know this special group of artists:

KieranName: Kieran Beccia

Hometown: Santa Margarita, CA

Alma Mater: UC Santa Cruz

First theatre experience:  Starring debut in a stage version of Muppet Treasure Island in 4th grade with children instead of Muppets

Favorite actor/actress: Frances McDormand

Favorite play or musical: Miss Julie

What are you most looking forward to during your time at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley? I am thrilled to learn more about production and theatre management. Continue reading

Would You Rather? CONFEDERATES style

In Confederates, journalists Will and Stephanie face a difficult choice on the campaign trail. Is it better to honor one’s personal beliefs or journalistic integrity? As Will asks, “Is it better to be right or to be first?”

Imagine you are a journalist – which of these options would you choose?

Would you rather…

Follow the Clinton campaign or the Trump campaign?

Would you rather… Continue reading

#TBT- Suzanne Bradbeer at the 2015 New Works Festival

As we prepare for Opening Night of Confederates next week, let’s take a look back at this interview with playwright Suzanne Bradbeer from last year’s New Works Festival! This high stakes political drama is the latest festival reading to come to life on our mainstage, following in the tradition of audience favorites such as Jane Austen’s EMMA, Memphis, The North Pool, last season’s Triangle and tokyo fish story, and many others.

Here, Bradbeer weighs in on the inspiration behind Confederates, the changing nature of political journalism, and her New Works Festival experience:

Reserve your seats for Confederates now!