Rita Moreno Master Class Set for Moisés Kaufman Staging at Berkeley Rep, May 21

News   Rita Moreno Master Class Set for Moisés Kaufman Staging at Berkeley Rep, May 21
Berkeley Repertory Theatre has set its staging of Terrence McNally's Master Class starring Rita Moreno ("West Side Story") as directed by Moisés Kaufman (The Laramie Project), starting May 21.
Rita Moreno
Rita Moreno Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The production will open at Berkeley Rep's Roda Theatre May 26 for a run through July 18.

Rita Moreno takes on the role of opera diva Maria Callas in the fictionalized account of her master classes at New York's Juilliard in the early 1970s. The cast also includes tenor Kevin Paul Anderson as Tony (Master Class national tour), soprano Sherry Boone as Sharon (Marie Christine), soprano Donna Lynne Champlin as Sophie (Hollywood Arms, My Life With Albertine) as well as Owen Murphy as the stage hand and Michael Wiles as the accompanist, Manny.

Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award winner Moreno is known for her turn in the movie musical "West Side Story." She has also appeared on "Oz," "The Muppet Show," "The Electric Company," "The Rockford Files" and on stage in The Ritz, Skydrift, She Loves Me, The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, Gentry, The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, The National Health, Wally's Cafe,The Odd Couple, After Play, Size of the World and Sunset Boulevard (London).

McNally's breadth of work includes plays (Master Class, Love! Valour! Compassion!) as well as libretto work (Ragtime, Kiss of the Spiderwoman) — all mentioned won him Tony Awards. Other works by the scribe include Frankie and Johnny in the Clair De Lune, The Full Monty, The Visit, Corpus Christi, The Lisbon Traviata, Andre’s Mother and Lips Together, Teeth Apart. His The Stendhal Syndrome is currently being presented in its Off-Broadway premiere at Primary Stages.

Director Kaufman recently directed the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife. The founder and artistic director of the Tectonic Theater Project, he has wrote and directed Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, and with Tectonic members The Laramie Project. He also directed the film adaptation of "The Laramie Project" for HBO. The design team for Master Class includes Mark Wendland (scenic), Lydia Tanji (costume), David Lander (lighting) and Jon Gottlieb (sound). The music director is Gary Sheldon.

There will be three moderated post-play discussions held following the evening performances on Thursday, June 10; Tuesday, July 6; and Friday, July 16.

Tickets to Master Class at Berkeley Rep 2015 Addison Street in Berkeley, CA are available by calling (510) 647-2949 or toll-free at (888) 4-BRT-Tix. For more information, visit www.berkeleyrep.org.

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