A new play by local author Daniel Handler, of Lemony Snicket fame, by the name of Imaginary Comforts, or The Story of the Ghost of the Dead Rabbit, will be having its world premiere this October at Berkeley Rep.
"As a novelist writing a play I am a stranger in a strange land,” says author Daniel Handler, who nonetheless has written a play before, sort of. "I’m grateful to the charming and lively cast and the whip-smart and ingenious Tony Taccone for bringing this play to the Bay Area, the strange land where I am from."
Handler's collaboration with composer Nathaniel Stookey, The Composer Is Dead, made its debut with a series of puppets and live performers at Berkeley Rep in 2010, and that was more of a play for children intended to introduce them to parts of an orchestra it was originally commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony.
Now, he brings us his first full-fledged play for adults, Imaginary Comforts, which begins previews October 5 and has its opening night on October 12.
Per a press release today:
Sarah’s father is dead, her mother is in hysterics, and the new rabbi totally bungled the funeral. To further the absurdity, the ghost of a rabbit hops into her life, pushing her to confront her deepest issues. Fantastical and wise, hilarious and sobering, Imaginary Comforts celebrates ordinary people trying to make sense out of life in the midst of endless, comedic chaos.
"It’s a great pleasure to welcome the eminent Mr. Daniel Handler to our stage,” says Berkeley Rep artistic director Tony Taccone. "In 'Imaginary Comforts,' Daniel applies his uniquely comedic worldview to dramatic subjects of every variety. The result is a play that is both funny and serious, and in true Handler fashion, wonderfully bent."
Taccone, who is directing the show after it came out of the theaters Ground Floor incubator, recently announced that this will be his second to last season as artistic director at Berkeley Rep. He'll retire at the end of the Rep's 50th anniversary season in 2019.