Berkeley Repertory Theatre opened its 34th season with the world premiere of Naomi Iizuka's 36 Views, now closing in the Rhoda Theatre Oct. 28. Obie winner Mark Wing-Davey (Mad Forest, The Skriker) directs the play, a co-production with New York City's Public Theater. No dates have been set for the New York run, but the Public expects 36 Views in 2002.
In the drama, a mysterious one-of-a-kind Japanese pillow book is discovered, setting the field of Asian antiquity on its ear. Behind the scenes, art restorer Claire and an antique dealer's assistant John become caught up in their own lies and deceptions as the alleged pillow book subtly reveals contradictions in their lives. Iizuka is also the author of Polaroid Stories, Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls and The Languages of Angels.
Ebon Moss-Bachrach plays John with Elaine Tse (the U.S. premiere of The Joy Luck Club) as Claire. Also in the cast are Bill Camp (Broadway's Jackie, Saint Joan) as art dealer Darius Wheeler, former American Conservatory Theatre company member Peter Donat as scholar of East Asian studies Owen Matthiassen, Liana Pai (Golden Child, Red) as assistant professor of East Asian literature Setsuko Hearn and Rebecca Winsocky (The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant) as free agent Elizabeth Newman-Orr.
Designing 36 Views are Broadway set crafter Douglas Stein (Largely New York, Freak), costume designer Myung Hee Cho (Wit), lighting designer David Weiner (Betrayal and The Real Thing on Broadway) and Berkeley Rep resident sound designer Matthew Spiro. Ruppert Bohle (Dogeaters and Book of the Dead at the Public Theatre) will design the projections.
36 Views began performances Sept. 7. Berkeley Repertory Theatre is located at 2025 Addison Street. For tickets ($15.99-$51), call (510) 845-4700. Berkeley Rep is on the web at http://www.berkeleyrep.org. — By Christine Ehren