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The A.R.T. presents ‘The Donkey Show’ beginning August 21

From its six-year run in New York City to a world tour from London to Seoul, the celebrated smash hit The Donkey Show now takes Boston by storm, bringing the ultimate disco experience – a crazy circus of mirror balls and feathered divas, of roller skaters and hustle queens.

The Donkey Show tells the story of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream through the great 70s anthems, including “We are Family,” “I Love the Nightlife,” “Car Wash,” “Ring My Bell,” and “Last Dance.”  The enchanted forest of Shakespeare’s classic comedy becomes the glittered world of retro disco as the lovers escape from their real lives to experience a night of dream, abandon, and fantasy. It inaugurates the American Repertory Theater’s newly refurbished club, OBERON (formerly known as Zero Arrow Theatre and Club), at 2 Arrow Street, Harvard Square, Cambridge.

The Donkey Show kicks off the A.R.T’s Shakespeare Exploded! Series, a festival of theatrical events inspired by three classic plays by Shakespeare. The series also includes Sleep No More — created by the award-winning British theater company Punchdrunk — an immersive production inspired by Shakespeare’s Macbeth, told through the lens of a Hitchcock thriller; and Best of Both Worlds, a soulful Gospel and R&B re-envisioning of The Winter’s Tale. 

Must be 18 to enter, 21 to drink.

Diane Paulus is a director of opera and theater, recently appointed Artistic Director of the A.R.T.  She is the creator and director of The Donkey Show, which ran for six years Off-Broadway, and toured internationally to London, Edinburgh, Madrid, and Evian, France.  Recent theater work includes the Tony Award-winning revival of HAIR on Broadway; Kiss Me Kate at Glimmerglass Opera; Lost Highway, based on the David Lynch film, an ENO co-production with the Young Vic in London; Another Country by James Baldwin at Riverside Church; Turandot: Rumble for the Ring at the Bay Street Theatre; The Golden Mickeys for Disney Creative Entertainment; Best of Both Worlds, a gospel/R&B adaptation of A Winter’s Tale produced by Music-Theatre Group and The Women’s Project; and The Karaoke Show, an adaptation of Comedy of Errors set in a karaoke bar, produced by Jordan Roth Productions.  Also for Music-Theatre Group, she directed the Obie award-winning and Pulitzer Prize finalist Running Man by jazz composer Diedre Murray and poet Cornelius Eady; and Swimming with Watermelons, created in association with Project 400, the theater company she co-founded with her husband Randy Weiner.  Other work Off-Broadway: Brutal Imagination, and the Obie-award winning Eli’s Comin, featuring the music and lyrics of Laura Nyro.  Opera credits include Don Giovanni, Le nozze di Figaro, Turn Of The Screw, Cosi fan tutte; and Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, L’incoronazione di Poppea, and Orfeo at the Chicago Opera Theater.  She is a frequent collaborator with British conductor Jane Glover; in 2002, their critically acclaimed production of Orfeo was presented as part of The Monteverdi Cycle at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City.  She is currently working on Death and The the Powers, a new opera by composer Tod Machover, librettist Robert Pinsky, with story by Randy Weiner.

Randy Weiner (Creator, co-director) is the President of the Weiner Entertainment Group, a leading New York based production company whose most recent projects include the entertainment for the 2008 White House Press Correspondents’ Association Dinner; SP08, a day-long festival on Randall’s Island sponsored by Bloomberg, LP, featuring over 200 performers playing for an audience of 15,000; The Jim Rose Circus in Stairway To Hell, in Edinburgh, Scotland; the entertainment for Art Basel 2008 in Miami, and a 15-city US tour of a new variety circus, The Most Interesting Show In The World.  He has created and produced events for American Express, Tribeca Film Festival, CBS Radio, and The Grammys. He is a managing partner of The Box, a performance venue in NYC that has presented Sting, Moby, Mos Def, Snoop Dogg, and Kid Rock, among others. Mr. Weiner is best known as the foremost producer and creator of a hybrid form of theater that mixes the music and energy of a nightclub with the drama and spectacle of theater. New York Magazine calls him “the master of the club spectacle.” His shows have been presented at venues throughout the United States and Europe. He is creative director and co-creator of Beacher’s Madhouse, a variety show that recently ended its four-year run at The Joint at The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. As the Producing Director of Project 400 Theatre Group, he and partner Diane Paulus have produced over 40 productions.  Weiner’s work has been produced in New York by Music-Theatre Group, The Women’s Project, Vineyard Theatre, the Shubert Organization, Classical Theater of Harlem, Coyote Theatre in Boston, Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, and The Fountainhead Theatre in Los Angeles. He has been a guest lecturer on theater at Columbia University, Barnard College, NYU, and Yale University.

Compiled from the press release courtesy of the American Repertory Theater (website | profile | tag archive). Your source for news and information about Boston Theatre. Join our email list, follow us on Twitter @exploretheatre and become a fan on Facebook.

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