VOL. 25 - NO. 21
MAY 24 - 31, 2020
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TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT Berkeley Rep’ Examines “The Good Book” in Many Different Perspectives

May 10, 2019
by Renata Polt
In close to three hours, Denis O'Hare and Lisa Peterson's play examines the “good book”--i.e., the Bible—from more points of view than I can recall at the moment.

The play, now showing at the Berkeley Repertory Theater, features two lead characters: Miriam (Annette O'Toole), an atheist Bible scholar; and Connor (Keith Nobbs), a confused and unhappy graduate student.

But wait—many more characters, played by a cast of seven,include the Bible's King Solomon, the apostle James, the British King James (who commissioned the King James Bible, the most popular English version), Saint Paul, medieval monks copying scripture by hand, and a host of other characters, both contemporary and historical (and biblical).

Connor, who loved the Bible as a boy, battles his homosexuality. Miriam “believes in the state of Maine, but not in God.” How these two major characters intersect isn't always clear, and the play seems cluttered with all the secondary (and tertiary etc.) figures, many of whom appear only briefly and are identified in the list of characters only as “Man 1,” “Man 2,” “Woman 1,” etc.

Directed by co-author Lisa Peterson with scenic design by Rachel Hauck and costumes by Lydia Tanji, the play runs through June 9^th in the Berkeley Rep's Peet's Theatre. Running time is 2 hours and 45 minutes, plus one 15-minute intermission. For tickets or further information, click berkeleyrep.org, or phone (510) 647-2949.

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Photo caption: Denmo Ibrahim, Elijah Alexander, Lance Gardner, Wayne Wilcox and Shannon Tyo are featured performers in Berkeley Rep’s production of "The Good Book," directed by Lisa Peterson. (Alessandra Mello/Berkeley Repertory Theatre)


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