Last night at the Tony Awards, Silicon Valley's TheatreWorks received a special Tony for regional theaters, and a production that was born at Berkeley Rep was nominated for multiple big prizes, and took home one.
As the Examiner reports, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley just ended its 49th season, and it became the fourth Bay Area theater to take home the annual Tony prize for Outstanding Regional Theater. In previous decades, American Conservatory Theater (ACT), Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and The San Francisco Mime Troupe have each won the same prize.
This year marks a major seismic shift in the local theater world, as Berkeley Rep's longtime artistic director Tony Taccone is retiring, as is TheatreWorks' longtime artistic director Robert Kelley, who steps down next year. ACT's artistic director of two and a half decades, Carey Perloff, just retired last year, and the company is just finishing its first season under the helm of Pam MacKinnon.
But in his final couple of seasons, Taccone continues to nurture and produce work that frequently heads directly to Broadway. That was the case with the opening show of the 2017-2018 season, Ain't Too Proud, a jukebox musical about The Temptations (see the SFist review here) which had its world premiere at Berkeley Rep. With much of the same cast that performed in Berkeley, Ain't Too Proud opened on Broadway this season, and landed 12 Tony nominations — second only to the show that took home the Best New Musical award Sunday night, Hadestown. Unfortunately, Ain't Too Proud ended up mostly shut out of the awards, though it did take home one big prize, for Sergio Trujillo's choreography.