Designing CYRANO

 

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J. Anthony Crane

Fumiko Bielefeldt has designed costumes for over sixty TheatreWorks shows since 1983, and her eye for period costumes is unrivaled on our stage. She and Director Robert Kelley have collaborated on many projects over the years, and Cyrano, their latest collaboration, will feature a mixture of period and modern pieces, in a carefully cultivated look for the ages.

 

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley: How did you and Kelley decide on the aesthetic for Cyrano: mixing period and non-period costumes? Would you say it’s a 50/50 split between the two? Or is it more heavily skewed to one side or the other?

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Chad Deverman

 

Fumiko Bielefeldt: I’d say that I didn’t set out to design the costumes with any particular mixing ratio of period and non-period. The starting point for me was, as stated in the script, “The play is designed for a kind of austere and transparent theatricality. The audience knows it is witnessing a story being told by an ensemble of actors, led by the actor playing Le Bret…It could be done in fully detailed 17th century garb or in barebones costumes…” Keeping with Joe Ragey’s theatrically austere set, Kelley and I imagined a troupe of actors in their street clothes changing in full view on stage into period costumes, but not entirely. I’d say some Brechtian theatricality might have seeped into our concept. Basically, the actors change mostly the upper parts of their clothes, keeping their bottoms mostly modern.

TheatreWorks Alumni: Where are they now? March 2016

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Emily Koch & Christopher Vettel. Photo by Mark Kitaoka.

Our alumni are working steadily across the country on stage and screen. Here’s where a few can be seen this month:

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Photo by Joan Marcus.

Emily Koch (Jo in our 2013 holiday production of Little Women) is currently playing Elphaba in the National Tour of Wicked. Catch her at SHN in San Francisco through April 16! Continue reading

Introducing the cast of CYRANO!

Meet the remarkable team of actors bringing Edmond Rostand’s swashbuckling romance to life! We’re excited to welcome back a few longtime veterans as well as new faces:

Bridgett_Darren_412Darren Bridgett (Ligniere/Montfleury et al) was most recently seen at TheatreWorks in Peter and the Starcatcher. Other TheatreWorks roles include The Hound of the Baskervilles, Twelfth Night (Aguecheek), The Learned Ladies of Park Avenue (Dicky), Nickel and Dimed (Ensemble), Book of Days (Reverend), Far East (Sparky), Psychopathia Sexualis (Arthur), Once in a Lifetime (George), As You Like It (Orlando), Nagasaki Dust (Ensemble), and Ah, Wilderness! (Richard). His regional credits include 15 seasons at the Marin Shakespeare Company, and numerous appearances with Marin Theatre Company, Magic Theatre, Center REPertory Company, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, The Laguna Playhouse, Aurora Theatre Company, and American Conservatory Theater. Film and TV credits include 2013 Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner Fruitvale Station. Mr. Bridgett is a graduate of UC Berkeley.

Monica CappucciniMonica Cappuccini (Desiree/Marthe et al) is delighted to be making her TheatreWorks debut. Her Bay Area credits include: Born Yesterday (Center REPertory Company), Show People (Dragon Productions Theatre Company), The Coast of Utopia (Shotgun Players), Arcadia (Pear Theatre), Cinderella and Romeo & Juliet (African-American Shakespeare Company), Master Class and Lettice and Lovage (Hillbarn Theatre), The Play about the Naked Guy (Impact Theatre), Eurydice (Palo Alto Players), The Diary of Anne Frank and Top Girls (CustomMade Theatre), Equus (City Lights Theater Company), and Lend Me a Tenor (Livermore Shakespeare Festival).

J. Anthony CraneJ. Anthony Crane (Cyrano) is making his TheatreWorks debut. He was recently seen in Ayad Ahktar’s Disgraced at Berkeley Repertory Theater. Broadway credits include The Country House, Sight UnseenButley, and The Winslow Boy with Roger Rees. Off-Broadway and regionally, he has appeared in Modern Orthodox, directed by James Lapine; The Music Man at Theater Under The Stars; Disgraced at the Goodman and Seattle Repertory Theaters; Sight Unseen at The Old Globe, and in the First National Tour of The Lion King, as ScarOther favorites include Farragut North50 Words, All My Sons, SpamalotOur Country’s Good, Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew, The Glass Menagerie, and Long Day’s Journey Into Night. His numerous film and TV credits include Elementary, Ugly Betty, The Practice, Frasier, CSI, and USA’s The Big Easy. He is a graduate of Northwestern University. Continue reading

A sushi challenge: TOKYO FISH STORY style!

Throughout the run of tokyo fish story, we’re quizzing our audiences in the lobby of the Lucie Stern Theatre. How many common types of sushi have you tried? Let us know how you scored on the quiz on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using #tokyofishstory, or leave us a comment below! (Bonus points for anyone who has tried the rare fugu, which contains a venomous poison. Sushi masters must receive a special certification to serve this pufferfish.)

Brought to you by AudienceWorks: Get In On the Art!

Reserve your seats for tokyo fish story now!

Maguro

Maguro/ Tuna

 

Kani

Kani/ Crab

 

Dragon Roll

Dragon Roll/ Eel, Cucumber, & Avocado

 

Tamago

Tamago/ Egg Omelette

 

Oshinko

Oshinko/ Daikon

 

Unagi

Unagi/ Eel

Continue reading

28 years of Francis Jue at TheatreWorks

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Francis Jue as Song Liling in  2006’s M. Butterfly. Photo by David Allen.

Beginning in 1988 with Peter Pan and Pacific Overtures, actor Francis Jue has appeared more than a dozen times on the TheatreWorks Silicon Valley stage in everything from classic musicals to contemporary drama. On Broadway, Jue is perhaps best known for creating the role of Bun Foo in Thoroughly Modern Millie as well as appearing in the original production of M. Butterfly, where he understudied the role of Song Liling. Jue eventually went on to play the role in the national tour and in both productions here at TheatreWorks. He has won an Obie Award, Lortel Award, and holds a variety of additional credits on Broadway, regional theatres across the country, as well as film and television. We’re thrilled to welcome him back as revered sushi chef Koji in Kimber Lee’s tokyo fish story.

Let’s take a look back at the many roles of this audience favorite and San Francisco native here at TheatreWorks:

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With Amy Michelle Stewart

Jue as the title role in 1988’s holiday production of Peter Pan. Continue reading

A Gaijin’s Guide to Sushi

Do you know your norimaki from your nigirizushi? How many common types of neta can you name? Would you prefer to order okimari, okonomi, or omakase style? Brush up on your sushi knowledge before tokyo fish story!

Gaijin is an outsider, a non-Japanese.

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James Seol, Francis Jue, Nicole Javier, and Linden Tailor in tokyo fish story. Photo by Kevin Berne (kevinberne.com)

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Tuna sashimi over rice

Sushi in its contemporary style (dating from the 19th century) is prepared rice combined with raw or cooked seafood, vegetables, and occasionally fruit. Raw fish served by itself is sashimi. Sushi is most often served with ginger (gari), wasabi and soy sauce. A favorite garnish is daikon, a Japanese radish.

Nori are black seaweed wrappers made of algae rolled out into thin, edible sheets.

 

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Example of a temaki roll with tuna

There are six contemporary types of sushi in Japan, but two dominate upscale dining. One is norimaki (also makizushi; the s becomes z in combined words in Japanese), or rolled sushi, and temaki, a “hand roll.”

 

LV_20121130_LV_FOTOS_D_54355993078-992x558@LaVanguardia-WebThe other is nigirizushi (or “hand-pressed”), where a small mound of rice is topped with nori and seafood or vegetables. Continue reading

Introducing the cast of TOKYO FISH STORY

Meet the remarkable team of actors bringing Kimber Lee’s play to life:

Linden TailorLinden Tailor* (Nobu) is making his TheatreWorks debut. Mr. Tailor’s regional credits include Round House Theatre: Eurydice (Little Stone); Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Lysander); Synetic Theater, A Christmas Carol (Cratchit); and several appearances at Adventure Theatre and Imagination Stage. His film and TV credits include Going In Style directed by Zach Braff and Showtime’s Happyish. Mr. Tailor received his BFA in Theatre Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University and MFA in Acting from the University of Florida. He would like to thank his family, friends, H and C, and especially his M.

James SeolJames Seol* (Takashi) is thrilled to be making his TheatreWorks debut. He was last seen in the Bay Area in The Orphan of Zhao directed by Carey Perloff for American Conservatory Theater (and La Jolla Playhouse). On Broadway: Richard Greenberg’s A Naked Girl on the Appian Way directed by Doug Hughes for Roundabout Theatre Company. Recent regional credits include Robert O’Hara’s Zombie: the American at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Hamlet directed by Darko Tresnjak for Hartford Stage, Thoroughly Modern Millie at Maltz Jupiter Theatre and Paper Mill Playhouse, and Mame for Goodspeed Musicals. Off-Broadway, Mr. Seol appeared in Around the World in 80 Days at the Davenport Theatre and has worked with New York Theatre Workshop, New Dramatists, and B-Side Productions. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School.

Jue, FrancisFrancis Jue* (Koji) is grateful to return to TheatreWorks, where he has appeared in 13 shows and choreographed two. Mr. Jue has appeared on Broadway in Pacific Overtures, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and M. Butterfly.  Recent favorite theatre credits include Yellow Face (Obie and Lortel Awards, Public Theatre), In the Next Room, or the vibrator play (AriZoni Award, Actors Theatre of Phoenix), Miss Saigon (Elliot Norton Award, North Shore Music Theatre), Tiger Style! (Alliance Theatre), King of the Yees (Goodman Theatre), and Paper Dolls (London’s Tricycle Theatre). Mr. Jue appeared in the film Joyful Noise, and on TV in Madam Secretary, Law & Order: SVU, and The Good Wife. Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: Ethel Waters- “Suppertime”

#TBT to this live performance of “Suppertime” by Irving Berlin sung by Ethel Waters. As described in Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, the song was originally written for the 1933 Broadway musical As Thousands Cheer. A musical revue that satirized the news and lives of the rich and famous, As Thousands Cheer was the first Broadway show to give an African American star, Ethel Waters, equal billing alongside the white actors.

Opening at the Berlin’s own Music Box Theatre in 1933, As Thousands Cheer poked fun at public figures such President Hoover, Barbara Hutton, Gandhi, John D. Rockefeller, and Noël Coward, among others. The show also covered current events ripped from the headlines, including the lynching attacks on African Americans in the aftermath of the Civil War. “Suppertime,” an African-American woman’s lament for her lynched husband, has since been recorded and performed live by Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald, Audra McDonald, and Barbra Streisand, among others.

As described in Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, when the white cast members of As Thousands Cheer initially refused to take a final bow with Ethel Waters, Berlin himself declared that if Waters was not included in the final curtain call, no cast members would take a bow. To keep costs at a minimum, Berlin refused his own fee as composer, lyricist, and theater owner. The show proved to be a smashing success, running for 400 performances on Broadway, a rare feat for a musical during the Great Depression.

Check out this live performance “Suppertime” by the great Waters herself:

Reserve your seats for Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin now!