New Kushner-Sendak Operas Brundibar and Comedy on the Bridge Debut in CA, Nov. 11

News   New Kushner-Sendak Operas Brundibar and Comedy on the Bridge Debut in CA, Nov. 11
Broadway stars Euan Morton and William Youmans lead the casts of Tony Kushner and Maurice Sendak's New York-bound operas Brundibar and Comedy on the Bridge Nov. 11 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

Tony Taccone (bridge & tunnel) directs the co-production his company, Berkeley Rep, and Yale Repertory Theatre. The double bill begins in California (Nov. 11-Dec. 28) then plays at the New Haven, Connecticut venue (Feb. 10-March 5, 2006) before landing in New York at The New Victory Theater (April 26-May 21).

Morton originated the role of Boy George in the pop star's musical Taboo for its London debut and reprised his performance on Broadway. He stars in Brundibar as the titular sinister organ-grinder opposite youngsters Aaron Simon Gross (A Stoop on Orchard Street) and Devynn Pedell (The People Garden) as Pepicek and Aninku, respectively, the brother and sister who try singing in town to help their ailing mother. Geoff Hoyle (The Lion King, Mr. Fox) also appears as The Baker and The Dog.

Youmans — who played Doctor Dillamond in Broadway's Wicked — stars in Comedy on the Bridge about a group who are trapped between two opposing armies on a bridge. He appears with Anjali Bhimani (Bombay Dreams, Metamorphoses), Hank DiGiovanni (17 Reasons Why, Dreamlandia), Matt Farnsworth (Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Who's Tommy), Angelina Reáux (Wall to Wall Sondheim) and Martin Vidnovic (Brigadoon, Here Lies Jenny) who fill the many roles which include a young couple, a businessman and his wife, and a baffled schoolmaster.

"Both shows are a testament to the creative power of human beings," according to Kushner, "even in dark times, to turn ugliness into music." Actors will appear in both works of the approximately 95-minute, intermissionless production that will also features a chorus of 29 local school children.

Kushner and Sendak — who created the namesake 2003 children's picture book — reteam on the one-act opera take on Brundibar and the duo's other adaptation Comedy on the Bridge which features a libretti by Kushner adapted from Adolf Hoffmeister and Vaclava Klimenta Klicpery, music by Hans Krasa and Bohuslav Martinu with production design by Sendak ("Where the Wild Things Are"). The design team assembled to create the magical, storybook universe also includes Kris Stone (scenic), Robin I. Shane (costume), Don Holder (lighting), Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (sound). Valerie Gebert serves as musical director and conductor.

Tickets are available through each venue as follows:

  • Berkeley Rep's Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison Street in Berkeley, CA - (510) 647 2949, toll-free (888) 4-BRT-Tix or online at
  • Yale Rep's University Theatre, 222 York Street in New Haven, CT - (203) 432-1234 or at
  • New Victory Theater, 209 West 42nd Street in New York, NY - (646) 223-3020 or
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