Charles Mee's Naughty Valentine to Paris Fêtes de la Nuit Starts World Premiere

News   Charles Mee's Naughty Valentine to Paris Fêtes de la Nuit Starts World Premiere
 
The world premiere of Charles Mee's Fêtes de la Nuit begins at California's Berkeley Repertory Theatre Jan. 28. Berkeley Rep associate artistic director Les Waters directs the work which opens Feb. 2 for a run at the company's Roda Theatre through Feb. 27.
A scene from F
A scene from F

Set in modern-day Paris, Fêtes de la Nuit (which literally translates to Festivals of the Night) mixes scenes, songs and dance to weave a tale of love and romance in which Parisians "attempt to reconcile their traditions with the multiculturalism of today," as a release states. "This naughty valentine contains strong language, adult themes, explicit sexuality and full nudity."

"I love Paris," Mee said in show materials. "I love it for its annoyances and idiosyncrasies and pretensions and arrogance as well as, above all, for the sense that the French know how to enjoy the present moment, how to devote a lot of time to ensuring that the simplest events of daily life are filled with pleasure… Doing a piece about Paris was a little like keeping a diary or a photograph album so that I won't forget the pleasures of my own life."

The cast of Fêtes de la Nuit features Michi Barrall (Wintertime), James Carpenter (Ghosts), Maria Dizzia (Eurydice), Lorri Holt (Continental Divide), Joseph Kamal (Dinner at Eight), Bruce McKenzie (Big Love), Ramiz Monsef (Eurydice), Maria Elena Ramirez (Living Out), Dileep Rao (Perfect Wedding) and Danny Scheie (Cloud Nine). Corinne Blum, Sally Clawson, Joe Mandragona and local break-dancer Jeffrey McCann also appear in the ensemble.

The design team includes Annie Smart (sets), Christal Weatherly (costumes), Alexander V. Nichols (lights) and Jake Rodriguez (sound). Michael Suenkel serves as production stage manager.

Playwright Charles Mee's works have been staged in many cross-genre presentations including Snow in June at Massachusetts' American Repertory Theatre, an Anne Bogart-directed SITI Company production of bobrauschenbergamerica at BAM's Next Wave Festival and a Martha Clarke directed production of Vienna: Lusthaus (revisited) at New York Theatre Workshop. The scribe himself urges adaptations or reworkings of his texts on his website (http://www.charlesmee.org) as part of his "the (re)making project" — based on the theory that "There is no such thing as an original play." His works also include True Love, First Love, Big Love, Summertime and Wintertime.

Tickets for Fêtes de la Nuit at Berkeley Rep’s Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison St. in Berkeley, CA, are available by calling (510) 647-2949 or (888) 4-BRT-Tix. For information, visit www.berkeleyrep.org.

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