Berkeley, CA 94704
Category: Performing Arts Venues
Region: Downtown Berkeley
Don Reed's new solo theater show takes us back to the days before his father became a pimp, before his stepfather forced him into an uncomfortable religious faith, and before his struggles as a live-in waiter studying at UCLA. Those stories were told in his previous works, East 14th and The Kipling Hotel. In Can You Dig It? The 60's — Back Down East 14th, Reed uses a series of colorful anecdotes to explore how the issues of the time affected him as a boy: He tells one story of a schoolyard bully who used the Black Panther Party as an excuse to steal his lunch money. He also employs the era's music to recreate the spirit of the '60s and '70s. The soundtrack features "a healthy dose of James Brown," in addition to songs from Aretha Franklin, Sly Stone, and The 5th Dimension. While a few characters will be familiar to fans, Can You Dig It? is designed to stand on its own. "It's a prequel-plus and a whole new show," Reed says.