World class theatre in the Bay Area

Play featured in the segment:

Book by: Todd Almond
Music and lyrics by: Matthew Sweet
Directed by: Les Waters
Limited season | Thrust Stage
April, 9-May 9, 2010

The Play:

Romance unfolds in a new musical wound around the tender love songs of Matthew Sweet's landmark album, Girlfriend. Meeting in homeroom.

Cruising through town. Holding hands. Cheering from the stands. That awkward first kiss. In the world premiere of Girlfriend at Berkeley Rep, boy meets boy. It's an eternal story turned upside down, a dual-Romeo duet directed by Les Waters that's innocent-and Sweet.

"Girlfriend is the breathless testimony of a fool for love," ravesRolling Stone, "a rock 'n' roll valentine that delivers subtle wisdom with an exhilarating kick." Fall in love with the boy next door at Girlfriend.

The Players:

Matthew Sweet became a star when the title track from Girlfriend hit the Billboard Top 10-and today it's a tune on Guitar Hero 2. A protégé of Michael Stipe, Sweet left his native Nebraska in the '80s to become part of the music scene in Athens, Georgia.

Todd Almond's musicals include Kansas City Choir Boy in collaboration with director Sam Gold, On the Levee with playwright Marcus Gardley (premiering in June at Lincoln Center Theater) and We Have Always Lived in the Castle with playwright Adam Bock.

Almond is currently adapting A Separate Peace with Tony-Award winning playwright Warren Leight and is recording a follow-up to Mexico City, his solo album of original songs.

Les Waters, our associate artistic director, won an Obie Award for Big Love. His recent hits here at home include The Pillowman and In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), which he's taking to Broadway in the fall.

For more information on Todd Almond, visit

The Buzz:

"Sweet is one sharp fool. While quivering at times like a teenager gripped by a fearsome crush, he's actually a knowing lover-the spirit of his songs suggests a grown-up Everly Brothers, straining still to be starry-eyed but savvy enough to have survived love's disenchantments. Musically, Sweet is equally adept at balancing the tough and the tender. This is popcraft raised to the level of artistry-a rock & roll valentine that delivers subtle wisdom with an exhilarating kick." -- Rolling Stone.

"Girlfriend, the 1991 album by Matthew Sweet, is considered by many people to be one of the most memorable pop records of the past decade: a simple, earnest, yet occasionally gorgeous collection of hook-laden songs about over-the-moon love and bittersweet heartache. Also known for its photograph of fur-wrapped Tuesday Weld on its cover, Girlfriend was the pretty record that everyone played when they were pretending to be listening to Nirvana-and its success immediately made Mr. Sweet, an apple-cheeked Nebraskan, a most unlikely rock star." -- New York Observer

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