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FIREWORKS FESTIVAL At Berkeley Rep Ends 7/3

. 2010-07-03 « back

Today, the Tony Award-winning Berkeley Repertory Theatre added another incendiary performer to Fireworks, a new festival of colorful and explosive performances that takes off this summer. Emmy and Obie Award-winner John Leguizamo joins the Fireworks display, which already includes sparkling shows from Dan Hoyle and Wes "Scoop" Nisker, as well as a workshop with David Sedaris that already sold out its limited run.

Sparks fly as Leguizamo delivers 11 performances of his new show, Klass Klown, beginning June 1 - and audiences can enjoy a free tequila tasting before every show with Berkeley's own award-winning Tres Agaves Tequila! All performances take place on Berkeley Rep's intimate Thrust Stage, a favorite home for renowned solo artists like Mike Daisey, Danny Hoch, Sarah Jones, Anna Deavere Smith, and Nilaja Sun.

"Yo, wat up my peoples? Wat's crackin? Me that's what. I'm coming to town with the latest installment of Leguizamomania! This one is for the ages - don't miss it. Help me help you get some anti-recession and anti-depression hilarity," Leguizamo exclaims.

Klass Klown is presented by Westbeth Entertainment and Berkeley Rep. The full schedule for Fireworks is as follows:

June 1 - 12: John Leguizamo's Klass Klown
June 14 - 20: An Evening with David Sedaris (sold out)
June 24 - 26: Dan Hoyle's The Real Americans
June 30 - July 1: Dan Hoyle's Tings Dey Happen
July 2 - 3: Wes Nisker's Crazy Wisdom Saves the World Again

John Leguizamo thrills audiences as he gets up close and personal in his new, uncensored, uninhibited tour-de-force. Klass Klown explodes with energy in Leguizamo's trademark style. He takes audiences on a nonstop fever-pitch adventure, heating up the stage with vivid accounts of where he's been and the colorful characters that shaped his life. From his adolescence in New York to the outrageous theatre scene of the '80s to anecdotes about major movies and roles opposite Hollywood's biggest stars, Klass Klown is in turns uproarious and heartfelt. Leguizamo lays it bare for anyone that comes along for the ride.

Possessing boundless energy and creativity, multi-faceted performer John Leguizamo defies categorization. His first two solo shows, Mambo Mouth and Spic-O-Rama, became off-Broadway sensations. The next two - Freak and Sexaholix... A Love Story - hit Broadway before being made into successful films. Leguizamo has been seen in countless movies including Casualties of War, Dr. Doolittle, Moulin Rouge, Summer of Sam, and William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet. Presently, he delights younger fans as the voice of Syd in the animated Ice Age films. His many honors include Emmy, Obie, Drama Desk, Dramatists' Guild, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, and Vanguardia Awards.

Berkeley Rep's Fireworks festival also includes the following popular performers:

NPR humorist and bestselling author David Sedaris takes the stage at Berkeley Rep to workshop stories from his upcoming book with a live audience. The author of wildly popular works such as Me Talk Pretty One Day, Naked, And When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Sedaris has become one of America's preeminent humor writers. Now audiences at Berkeley Rep participate in the creation of his next hilarious and heartwarming work.

Dan Hoyle immerses himself in a subject, and then crafts a riveting show from the people he meets and the places he visits. In Tings Dey Happen, which he researched as a Fulbright scholar, Hoyle examines the complexities of Nigerian oil politics in a tale fueled by fascinating, real-life characters, including ambassadors, warlords, and prostitutes. In his latest work, The Real Americans, Hoyle leaves the liberal bubble of San Francisco on a 100-day odyssey that explores America's culture wars. With humor and sympathy, he introduces audiences to the small-town residents he encounters as he searches for a bridge between the Obama Nation and Palin Country.

A radio commentator, author, and meditation teacher, Wes "Scoop" Nisker calls himself a "recovered cynic." In his books and performances, Nisker tackles the big questions - Where did we come from, and why are we here? - with a smile and a healthy dose of humor. Whether he's riffing on Einstein, Nietzsche, or Wavy Gravy, Nisker and his "New Age New Deal" pack a big bang which proves that wisdom can be the ultimate high.

Tickets for Dan Hoyle and Wes "Scoop" Nisker - on sale now - are $25 each. Tickets for David Sedaris are no longer available.

Tickets for John Leguizamo are $35 each and go on sale to the public on Friday, May 7. Subscribers and donors to Berkeley Rep can take advantage of an exclusive pre-sale period until then.

All seats are half price for anyone under 30 years of age.

Berkeley Rep's Thrust Stage is located at 2025 Addison Street, near bus lines, bike routes, and parking lots - and only half a block from BART. For tickets or information, call (510) 647-2949 or toll-free at (888) 4-BRT-Tix - or simply click

Berkeley Repertory Theatre has grown from a storefront stage to a national leader in innovative theatre. Known for its core values of imagination and excellence, as well as its educated and adventurous audience, the nonprofit has provided a welcoming home for emerging and established artists since 1968. The Theatre welcomes an annual audience of 180,000, serves 20,000 students, and hosts dozens of community groups, thanks to 1,000 volunteers and more than 400 artists, artisans, and administrators. With two stages, a school, and a Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, Berkeley Rep is proud to premiere exhilarating new plays. In the last five years alone, the company has helped send five shows to Broadway: American Idiot, Bridge & Tunnel, In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), Passing Strange, and Wishful Drinking. Come see tomorrow's plays today at Berkeley Rep.

ABOUT Westbeth Entertainment
Westbeth Entertainment - Arnold Engelman, president - is a producing/promoting organization that has successfully and consistently produced critically-acclaimed, financially successful, ground-breaking entertainment for 30 years. From Eddie Izzard to Billy Connolly, Mike Myers to Lewis Black, Wigfield to Hedwig, and The Family Guy to Tenacious D, WestBeth has been the creative catalyst, partner, and producer of some of the most innovative productions across the nation. Ongoing productions include Henson Alternative's Stuffed and Unstrung at the Union Square Theatre in New York City. Recent productions include Billy Connolly Live at the Bagley Wright Theatre at Seattle Center and Lewis Black's In God We Rust at New York's City Center. Past productions include An Evening Without Monty Python, directed by Eric Idle and BT McNicholl, Eddie Izzard's US arena tour of The Big Intimacy Tour in January 2010, and Izzard's sold out 34-city American tour of Stripped in 2008, as well as the North American tour of Billy Connolly's Too Old To Die Young and Lewis Black's Nothing Sacred at Carnegie Hall. Please visit for more information.

Berkeley-born Tres Agaves Tequila is estate-bottled by a fifth generation tequila-producing family in the town of Tequila itself. Although moderately priced, Tres Agaves has won many accolades in its short three-month existence, including three (out of four total) Chairman's Trophies in the esteemed Ultimate Beverage & Ultimate Cocktail challenges. Coupled with its organic agave-based, award-winning margarita mixer line, Tres Agaves offers the solution to making perfect high-quality margaritas at home. Come taste a Tres Agaves margarita with the founders of Tres Agaves and be prepared to have all of your 100-percent agave tequila questions answered.

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