Tony Taccone (Continental Divide) — who staged the work Off-Broadway — returns to direct the pre-Broadway performances through Feb. 20 for the California stage where he serves as artistic director.
The work, which earned positive critical and audience response for its Off-Broadway run, is slated to reach Broadway in April, according to the Berkeley Rep release. No official plans have been announced.
bridge and tunnel once again plays to Jones' chameleon-like talents as she tackles over a dozen characters including a Pakistani accountant, a Chinese mother and a young Latina at a local community poetry slam. The characters in the work explore issues of assimilation in modern urban America, putting the New York melting pot to the test.
"Whether we are women or men; older or younger; straight-laced or queer-eyed; whether we pray Saturday, Sunday, everyday or only at football games; whether we're born here or not; barely scraping by or more comfortable than most, we are all much more connected than any of us realize," states Jones. "By neighborhood, by circumstance, by chance and most importantly by our basic human dignity, we are all cosmically, and of course, often comically linked."
The solo show recouped its entire investment of $200,000 within seven weeks of the first preview performance. Previews began Feb. 6 at the 45 Bleecker Street Theatre and the show opened Feb. 19 for a run originally slated through June 13. Actress Meryl Streep produced Sarah Jones' bridge and tunnel with The Culture Project, Allan Buchman, Robert Dragotta, Jayson Jackson, Michael Alden, Eric Falkenstein, Marcia Roberts and Tom Wirt Shafter to present the latest one-woman work from the writer-performer of Surface Transit.
Jones has penned and performed works including Waking the American Dream, Women Can't Wait and Surface Transit. The actress also appeared in the Spike Lee film "Bamboozled" and Off-Broadway in Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues. As a poet, Jones has performed on HBO's "Def Poetry Jam."
Alexander V. Nichols provides set and lighting design for bridge and tunnel.
Director Taccone most recently directed the acclaimed world premiere of David Edgar's two-play cycle Continental Divide (Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Berkeley Repertory Theatre). Other credits include Cloud Nine, Homebody/ Kabul, The Oresteia, The Alchemist, Skylight, Pentecost, Slavs!, The Caucasian Chalk Circle and Serious Money.
The Berkeley run will be sponsored by bebe, with an exclusive party hosted by Elle after the first performance. The release states that "audience members will be encouraged to provide feedback to help develop and improve the piece, and an ongoing place for comments will be offered on Berkeley Rep's website at berkeleyrep.org."
bridge and tunnel will perform at Berkeley Rep's Thrust Stage, 2025 Addison St. in Berkeley, CA. For tickets, call (510) 647-2949 or toll-free (888) 4-BRT-Tix.