Broadway Features and Reviews
Edelstein Directs New Athol Fugard Drama At Berkeley Rep
By Linda Hodges, Broadway Magazine
You can go home again. The Tony Award-winning Berkeley Repertory Theater brings Athol Fugard's Coming Home to Bay Area audiences beginning January 20th through February 28th.
"I remember working in Berkeley with great fondness," Fugard remarks, "beautiful people, a wonderful stage, and a first-class audience. I look forward to returning."
Coming Home tells the story of Veronica Jonkers. Ten years after she left to pursue a singing career in Cape Town, Veronica comes home in rags to her beloved grandfather's farm and the village of her youth. Among her meager belongings she carries a desperate secret and a heart filled with disappointment. But she returns determined to plant the seeds of a new life for her young son.
The four-character play continues the story Fugard first told in Valley Song. "I was drunk with freedom when I wrote Valley Song, intoxicated with the potential of our fledgling democracy, says Fugard. "Fourteen years later, I've taken stock of the situation with Coming Home. Many things went terribly wrong in the new South Africa: corruption, violence, the tragic denial of the AIDS epidemic. Yet, whenever I am back in the country, I find a thousand reasons to hope because the people of the country are just amazing – especially the youth. So, while this show contains a sort of sober reckoning, it still offers promise and possibility by way of the little boy."
Gordon Edelstein directs this poignant new script by Athol Fugard, whom the New York Times dubbed "the greatest playwright writing in English since Shakespeare."
"I'm pleased to bring a new work from Athol Fugard to our stage, and glad that Gordon will direct at Berkeley Rep," says Tony Taccone, the Theatre's artistic director. "With a touching story, an accomplished cast, and a consummate writer, this show is the perfect complement to the diverse work our audiences have already enjoyed this season."
Mr. Edelstein will also direct the upcoming production of The Glass Menagerie for Roundabout, which begins March 5 at the Laura Pels Theatre.
Starring Lou Ferguson (Oupa Jonkers), Roslyn Ruff (Veronica Jonkers), and Thomas Silcott (Alfred Witbooi). Designed by Eugene Lee (sets), Jessica Ford (costumes), Stephen Strawbridge (lights), Corrine K. Livingston (sound), John Gromada (original compositions), and Lynne Soffer (dialect coach).
Coming Home begins previews on Berkeley Rep's intimate Thrust Stage on January 15, opens January 20, and closes February 28, 2010. Visit www.berkeleyrep.org for more information.
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