Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Friday, April 16, 2010

Theater Review: 'Girlfriend' (Based on Matthew Sweet LP) at the Berkeley Rep

Posted By on Fri, Apr 16, 2010 at 12:18 PM

click to enlarge Will (Ryder Bach) and Mike (Jason Hite): Gay boys singing about girls. - KEVINBERNE.COM
  • Will (Ryder Bach) and Mike (Jason Hite): Gay boys singing about girls.

Better than: A Matthew Sweet album turned into a play about heterosexuals.
Random detail: Saw author Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) in the audience.

Full disclosure: Before this week, I had never listened to Matthew Sweet's 1991 album Girlfriend. Some people will certainly argue that makes me less qualified to review a production based on Sweet's music. To those people I say, I am unqualified to review any play; this one is no different.

I do, however, bring the perspective of someone who can judge Berkeley Rep's musical on its own merits without being burdened by expectation. And let's face it--a lot of people are not familiar with Sweet's work (which wasn't the case with Berkeley Rep's production of Green Day's American Idiot), so it's important that Girlfriend appeal to ignoramuses like me.

So did it work? Here's my Twitter-friendly summation: Good first act. Flawed second act. Abrupt, unbelievable Hollywood ending. But it made me want to go out and buy the album.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , ,

About The Author

Will Harper


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"