Party People | UNIVERSES

UNIVERSESThe Revolution will be LIVE !!!!

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Party People
By UNIVERSES (Steven Sapp, Mildred Ruiz-Sapp & William Ruiz, aka Ninja)
Directed/Developed by Liesl Tommy

Running time: 2 hours and 35 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission


A BREAKTHROUGH SHOW ABOUT THE ACTIVISTS THAT BROKE THROUGH

UNIVERSES, the award-winning ensemble known for their fusion of theater, poetry, jazz, hip-hop, politics, down home blues and Spanish boleros, makes their Public Theater premiere with an explosive new work about the complicated legacies of the original Black Panther Party and the Young Lords Org/Party. Developed and Directed by Liesl Tommy (Eclipsed, The Urban Retreat).

UNIVERSES created PARTY PEOPLE based on dozens of interviews with members of these ground-breaking, society-changing groups. PARTY PEOPLE imagines a present-day reunion at an art opening curated by two young counter culturalists; but the curators themselves have complex relationships with the Party members, who fought injustice and provided free food and medical care for their communities—often at the expense of the people who loved them most. Old wounds and generational divides collide in this astonishing, multi-media theatrical event about the price of being a revolutionary, and what it means for those who come after.

Breaking the bounds of the expected, the members of UNIVERSES (Steven Sapp, Mildred Ruiz-Sapp and William Ruiz aka Ninja) and Liesl Tommy —invite audiences of every age, color and creed to join them as they continue to revolutionize American theater and explore the fight to bring power to the people, and the people to power.

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Party People @ Berkeley repertory Theater - 2014

sfchronman
“As intellectually stimulating as its fluid, nonstop action is overwhelming…Fast, confrontational, reflective by turns, and packed with music and dance as propulsive as the years when the groups were spawned…Volatile, fiery choreography and spirit-moving blues, jazz, work-song and Latino songs…Showstopping numbers…A well-deserved, prolonged standing ovation…Power to the people, indeed!”—San Francisco Chronicle

“As relevant and as thought-provoking as it is, Party People is also mightily entertaining…From the extraordinary opening musical number that creates historical context for this intertwining story of the Panthers and the Lords, we become caught up in the flow of revolutionary zeal…The audience was instantly on its collective feet at show’s end, applauding thunderously, shouting and hooting.”—Theater Dogs

“People can (and should) debate how Party People stands as a political statement, but as a piece of theater it’s a crusher. Maybe it’s all too much for Oregon, but the Berkeley crowd ate it up. And why shouldn’t they? The show is good for: Revolutionaries, bystanders and regretful sellouts alike. The show is not good for: The Man.”—Edge San Francisco

“This play is extraordinarily valuable, it’s crucial to an understanding of that turbulent time…Let me tell you, I was there, and this play captures us. It captures the coalition of black and brown young people trying to make change and fighting the repression that came down against us.”—Bobby Seale, co-founder of the Black Panthers with Huey P. Newton

“High-energy, vibrant, roller coaster ride—via dialogue, monologue, poetry, music and dance—of the rise and fall of the Black Panther Party and the Young Lords, two minority-based revolutionary groups of the 1960s and 1970s.”—Ashland Daily Tidings

“The most exciting piece of theater now up! Heartbreakingly timely and intensely necessary!” – New York Times
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“Thrilling…A relentlessly kinetic musical memoir about the ambitions and regrets of 1960s revolutionaries…Powerful and raw…Millicent Johnnie’s choreography is haunting, evoking complicated themes with simple movements. The music, which incorporates salsa, hip-hop, gospel and blues, is flat-out hypnotic…Let the production wash over you like a jagged theatrical collage, [and] Party People will leave its mark on you.”—San Jose Mercury News / Bay Area News Group

“This show is all about feeling and, more generally, humanity…Takes the standard musical formula and completely rips it up, unceremonious shreds it to pieces, and thankfully refuses to acknowledge the restrictions of standard theater convention. And thank our lucky stars for that. This is pure adrenaline.”—Stark Insider

“You’re in for an exhilarating evening…Under the direction of Liesl Tommy, the evening’s insistent and infectious music, including the hip-hop (of which I confess, I am not a fan), the choreography, scenic and lighting design, camera projection and general stage craft are all original and all first rate. The talented actors make the topnotch writing come alive. Party People has outstanding visceral, emotional and intellectual impact. That’s very rare in one piece of theater.”—Berkeleyside

“A dazzling creation by the New York-based theatre collective known as UNIVERSES…Party People is an artful mixture of spoken poetry, hip-hop theatre, blues, jazz, gospel and rap. Mesmerizing monologues punctuate this well-balanced theatrical potpourri.”—KLCC Radio Eugene

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