Rita Moreno Teaches McNally's Master Class in Moisés Kaufman Staging at Berkeley Rep, May 21

News   Rita Moreno Teaches McNally's Master Class in Moisés Kaufman Staging at Berkeley Rep, May 21
Rita Moreno stars as Maria Callas in the Moisés Kaufman-directed staging of of Terrence McNally's Master Class at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 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.

Moreno ("West Side Story") 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.

Tony Award nominee Kaufman (I Am My Own Wife) directs a cast that also includes tenor Scott Scully (Ft. Worth Opera's La Boheme) as Tony, soprano Sherry Boone (Marie Christine) as Sharon, soprano Donna Lynne Champlin (Hollywood Arms, My Life With Albertine) as Sophie 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 as Anita 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 librettos (Ragtime, Kiss of the Spider Woman). He won Tonys for all four works. Other pieces 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.

Moderated post-play discussions will be 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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