There's Big Love on the West Coast April 20 – and lots of it. A Contemporary Theatre and Berkeley Repertory Theatre will both begin productions of Charles L. Mee's Big Love in Seattle and San Francisco Bay Area, respectively. At the helm for ACT's Love is Brian Kulick (the Public Theatre's Pericles, The Winter's Tale and Kit Marlowe). At Berkeley, Big Love's original director, Les Waters, will direct the show again.
Mee's Humana Festival 2000 hit Big Love is a reinterpretation of Aeschylus' The Suppliant Women. In this story of the battle of the sexes, fifty women are engaged to fifty brothers without their consent. They run away to Italy, but when finally tracked down by the grooms, each vows to give a wedding night their husbands will never forget.
Starring in the A Contemporary Theatre staging are Hope Chernov (Lydia), Kirsten Potter (Olympia), Danielle Skraastad (Thyona), Michel Bakkensen (Nikos), C.J. Wilson (Constantine), Jeremy Shaw (Oed), Jose J. Gonzales (Giuliano), Peter A. Jacobs (Piero/Leo), Judith Roberts (Bella/Eleanor), Anna Rosa Bjornsson, Melissa Brooks and Magda Rook.
At Berkeley, the brides and suitors are Carole Baeumler (Lydia), Aimee Guillot (Olympia), Karenjune Sanchez (Thyona), J. Matthew Jenkins (Oed), Bruce McKenzie (Nikos) and Mark Zeisler (Constantine). Also in the cast are J. Michael Flynn (Piero/Leo), Lauren Klein (Bella/Eleanor), Tony Speciale (Guiliano), Jennifer Elder-Chace, Mary E. Hodges, Ken O'Brien and Joshua Tussin.
Big Love opens April 26 at A Contemporary Theatre and runs through May 20. A Contemporary Theatre is located at Kreielsheimer Place at the corner of 7th Avenue and Union Street. For tickets (25-$42), call (206) 292-7676. ACT is on the web at http://www.accttheatre.org. Big Love at Berkeley Rep opens April 25 on the Thrust Stage, where it will run through June 10. 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