T+L Reports: California Czech Mates
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T+L Reports: California Czech Mates

As production designer, Maurice Sendak brings his gleefully raffish spirit to a fresh rendition
of Brundibár, Czech composer Hans Krása's 1938 children's opera, at the
Berkeley Repertory Theatre (www.berkeleyrep.org;
Nov. 11––Dec. 28)
before moving on to New Haven and New York. Tony Kushner wrote the English
libretto for this musical fable, in which a brother and sister team up with talking animals
and a chorus of children to outwit the title character, a malevolent organ grinder. The tuneful
allegory of good and evil, set in the imaginary past of a make-believe Prague, has a dark
history: it was staged at the Terezin concentration camp before its composer and most of its
cast were sent to their deaths at Auschwitz. Brundibár will be performed in
tandem with Sendak and Kushner's adaptation of another Czech opera, Bohuslav Martinu's 1937
Comedy on the Bridge. —PETER WEBSTER

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