Posts Tagged ‘berkeley’

An amazing cast brings MARY STUART to life in Berkeley

Stephanie Gularte & Ryan Tasker as Mary and Mortimer. Photo: Jessica Palopoli

On Thursday a friend and I drove to Berkeley to try a new (to us) theater.  The Shotgun Players are an award winning theater company currently housed at The Ashby Stage in South Berkeley.  Mary Stuart is playing now — about Mary, Queen of Scots — and since my guest and I had studied the history of the characters in this play we were quite interested to see the show.

In a nutshell: We had a great experience, and loved the company enough to consider driving to Berkeley for other shows in the future.  If the actors in this show are any indication, there is some extraordinary talent in this tiny theater.  The entire cast were standouts in their own way, but Stephanie Gularte as Mary and Scott Coopwood as Leicester were extremely impressive.  The show itself appears to be taken directly from historical documents and Queen Elizabeth’s letters, so it is quite historically accurate, but it is set in present times and gives you a new way to think about the political events that let up to Mary’s execution.

The theater was awesome.  A fairly tiny venue, the seats are staggered pews that give every ticket a perfect view. And with prices ranging from $17 to $30 (according to day of the week) it’s very difficult to go wrong.  Theater workers were all very friendly and helpful and there was a fun little raffle at intermission.  And let’s not forget the full bar at their tiny concessions!  Also available were homemade cookies and delicious brownies, a variety of candy, and the coffee was quite refreshing.  Food and drink from the concessions are allowed in the theater.  There is street parking and a large pay lot right across the street.

My guest and I were a little too familiar with the material from which Mary Stuart was derived, so there was not much to surprise us.  But the quality of the acting was such that we would be very happy to see what they do with future shows.  This isn’t to say that Mary Stuart is not a good show – it was just not a perfect fit for us.  Personally I’m hoping to be back for their next show Of the Earth, based on Homer’s The Odyssey.  And if you happen to be headed towards Berkeley you might want to check out what is playing at this darling but very impressive little venue.

Jesse Caldwell & Beth Wilmurt as Paulet and Elizabeth. Photo: Jessica Palopoli


adapted from Friedrich Schiller’s Maria Stuart
and directed by MARK JACKSON
The Shotgun Players
The Ashby Stage
1901 Ashby Avenue
Berkeley, CA
(Ashby Ave. at Martin Luther King, Jr. Way)
Wheelchair Accessible
Now extended through 11/14!

511 Freeway Assistance

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission which operates the 511 service has added a new feature “511 Freeway Aid” that allows drivers to use their wireless phones to summon non-emergency roadside assistance on any freeway in the nine-county region.

A motorist in a non-emergency situation (out of gas, flat tire or mechanical problems) can dial 5-1-1 on their wireless phone (you may be charged airtime by your wireless service provider). At the main menu, the caller says “Freeway Aid” and the voice-recognition system will transfer the call to the privately operated call center that now handles incoming calls from the roadside call boxes.

Freeway Service Patrol tow trucks, which provide their services free of charge, will be dispatched to respond to 511 Freeway Aid calls during peak periods on the Bay Area’s busiest routes. Towing companies that operate on rotations under contract with Caltrans and the CHP will be dispatched at other times and will charge motorists for their services. You may wish to inquirer if there will be a charge.

If you are on a toll bridge or in a tunnel, the information will be sent immediately to Caltrans and/or the CHP.

You will no longer have to hike to one of those roadside call boxes.

The MTC nine-county regions: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma.

“511 is a free phone and Web service that consolidates Bay Area transportation information into a one-stop resource. 511 provides up-to-the-minute information on traffic conditions, incidents and driving times, schedule, route and fare information for the Bay Area’s public transportation services, instant carpool and vanpool referrals, bicycling information and more. It’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

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