Great music, great singing, great story...So well done and I love it. 👍👍👍 LL - Taiwan
Berkeley the Musical (BTM) is a brand new telling of the story of the tumultuous ‘60’s as experienced by coming-of-age students at Cal Berkeley and Mills College in Oakland.
The story begins with Jim and Kate who are nearing retirement when they receive invitations in the mail to their 50th high school reunion. Each one wonders if the other will be there. The story then returns to the day they graduated from high school in 1967 and headed off to college.
The central core of their stories is the college experiences of the two and their roommates, Red, Sheila and Barbara. No sooner do they get settled in their dorm rooms than they are thrust into the era of the violent protests and demonstrations around People’s Park, the war in Vietnam, the Black Panthers and more.
While they are at ground zero for many of these events, they still have to plan for their futures and negotiate relationships with friends and family.
In the end Jim and Kate are reunited at the reunion, leading to a grand reunion of the five college friends.
The story is told primarily in first person dialogue and is continuously embedded with some 40 era-iconic original songs.
1 The Mills Girl
Kate is reminiscing about her life. In the mail she receives an invitation to her 50th high school reunion. She wonders if “he” will be there. (16m)
I’ve Had a Good Life
2 The Berkeley Boy
Jim is thinking about how his life has been. He walks out to retrieve the mail and sees an invitation to his 50th high school reunion. He wonders if “she” will be there. (11m)
Songs: How Long Has It Been?
Jim and Kate present quite differing valedictorian speeches at their 1967 high school graduation. They each wonder about college and the future. (16m)
Songs: Hail to Valedictory, Brave New World,
What did You Do for the Summer
4 Welcome to Mills, Welcome to Berkeley
Berkeley Boy Jim, and Mills Girl Kate are off to college together in Jim’s VW bus. It's 1967, and they will soon experience the happenings of the 60s. (15m)
Songs: Mother’s Sendoff, Road Trip, Scotland the Brave
Bouree, Welcome to Mills, Welcome to Berkeley
5 The Roommates
Our characters are settling in their college dorms, thinking about their past and their futures. (18m)
Songs: I Just Had to Do It
British Sports Car
6 Café Midi
Sheila explains her recurring nightmare to Mills Girl Kate. Then they meet Berkeley Boy Jim at Cafe MIdi as they begin experiencing the changing philosophical and civil rights ideas of the 60s. (12m)
Songs: Sheila’s Nightmare, Headed for a Bad Spell
7 Now It Begins - Protest
Red decides to attend a sit-in. Jim performs a song he wrote for Kate. Kate tells of her participation in a protest. Jim and Kate struggle to find a quiet place to eat lunch together. (17m)
Songs: Where I Stand with You, Freedom Train
Bra Burning Pizza
8 The People's Park
Jim performs a new song he has written. Red realizes that his student deferment may be essential to his very existence. Jim and Red are aghast at the official reactions to the People’s Park protests. (12 m)
Songs: Song on a May Morning, The Man
Jim remembers four friends from high school who made indelible impressions on him. Kate remembers how Sheila launched her career as a pop vocalist.
Songs: Winds, Girl If You Would, I Used to Know Him Well
10 Sather Gate
Jim auditions musicians to put together a band. Red confronts an older man whose beliefs are in opposition to his. Guys and girls try to make connections while protests ensue.
Songs: Drummer Auditions, The Bass Saved Me, Illusion, I Met a Guy, I Met a Guy (Reprise)
Jim and Kate test their relationship while dancing. Kate and Sheila explore their relationship while dancing. Barbara is concerned about Revelle going off to war.
Songs: Relationships Dance (I), Relationships Dance (II),
If We Don’t Say Good-bye
Jim and Red drive to Los Angeles to attend a love-in at Griffith Park. Kate is worried about her mother; and Jim tries to comfort her.
Songs: Annabelle, Holly Hornpipe, We’re Rocking, Look At Those Two
13 Things Are Black
Revelle helps a wounded comrade. The rise of the Black Panthers is explained. Barbara celebrates Flag Day.
Songs: Peace My Friend, The Man, (Reprise), Pledge of Allegiance
14 Telegraph Avenue
Red and Jim encounter a Vietnam Vet and get told slightly different stories. Red is set up by an encounter with a girl.
Songs: The War, Lin Adams
15 Not Exactly What I Thought
Jim and Kate ponder the nature of truth.
Song: What is Truth?
16 Fight or Flight
Jim tells Kate that, like the American students, the French are engaged in protest too. Red, having gotten a lottery number that insures his induction, contemplates his alternatives.
Songs: The French Song (I will Be There For You), Looking North
17 Enough Pain to Go Around?
Amy leaves Sheila distraught. Red is distressed by his impending induction. Kate is devastated by her mother’s medical condition and asks Jim to stay for the night. Red’s situation changes for the better. Sheila mourns her loss.
Songs: Lie to Me, Stay with Me Tonight, The Bee Sting Exemption, Sheila’s Lament
The room was never completely dark even on the darkest of nights. There was always a hint of light from stars or the moon or even a faint glow reflected from near and distant street lights or the headlights from occasional passing cars...
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