Venue Details

198 Star Starred
Julia Morgan Theater
2640 College Avenue Berkeley, CA 94704
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68 events
55 reviews
24 stars
So many close-by eateries from which to choose!
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68 events
55 reviews
24 stars
The weather was sunny. I wore jeans..
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Quotes & Highlights

“A committed piece of underground theater that refashions the Jewish storytelling tradition in a fusion of hip-hop, jazz-inflected improvisation, and slam-style lyricism. " —Robert Avila, SF Bay Guardian
“Barsky’s approach to theater is revolutionary.” —Oakland Tribune


The Bright River is a hip-hop retelling of Dante’s Inferno by traditional storyteller, Tim Barsky. A live soundtrack accompanies the play, as performed by some of the best hip-hop and klezmer musicians in the Bay Area. A dizzying theatrical journey through a world spinning helplessly out of control, the show sends audiences on a mass-transit tour of the Afterlife. Guided by a fixer named Quick, and moving through an urban landscape that is at once both intensely real and fantastic, it is a cinema verite look at life and death in America.

The Bright River blends hip-hop, physical theatre and Jewish folklore, reflecting lead performer Tim Barsky’s training as a Jewish storyteller and oral historian. Tim is also the world’s first beatbox flutist, capable of producing up to 8 rhythms and melodies at the same time. Bassist and multi-instrumentalist Safa Shokrai, cellist Jess Ivry, and beatboxer/ vocal percussionist Kid Beyond (SF Weekly’s “Best Beatboxer”) bring a diverse set of skills and traditions to bear. Jeff Raz, of the Clown Conservatory, brings a wealth of physical theatre as the show’s director.

Opening as a workshop-production in 2004 on a $0 budget, The Bright River ran for 6 weeks, and sold out for the last three. Voted “Best Theatrical Production of 2004” in the East Bay Express Reader’s Poll, the show’s success came almost entirely from word-of-mouth, and represented a diverse groundswell of popular support. The TJT production will continue this tradition, with a gallery exhibition by hip-hop photographer Danielle Barnett, and live post-show performances by Bay Area DJs, breakdancers and beatboxers.

About the Ticket Supplier: The Jewish Theatre

The Jewish Theatre San Francisco creates and presents
plays that are rooted in the Jewish experience that intend to make the culture resonant and meaningful to the lives of our community as well as build bridges to other cultures.