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1/16-2/10 Danny Hoch at the Berkeley Rep

Posted by novoscene on January 15, 2008

 

Danny Hoch is Taking Over

-kwan booth

For the next month expect a lot of discussion about gentrification and consumerism over at the Berkeley Rep-folks moving in moving out, urban redeveloping and the take over of space-as hip hop theater artist Danny Hoch premiers his first solo show in 10 years.

The new play “Taking Over” grapples with the issues of displacement and gentrification in trademark Hoch style. Through a collection of 10 characters based on people he’s come in contact with during his 20 year stay in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the actor, director and Hip Hop Theater Festival founder dissects what happens when a neighborhood gets a facelift. Using the uncanny knack for mimicry first displayed in the 1998’s Jails, Hospitals and Hip Hop ,the voices range from the trust funded hipster to the militant rapper to the big budget developer.

While Hoch drew inspiration for the piece from his own neighborhood, he’s quick to admit that gentrification has “proven to be pretty universal. It’s affecting everyone in the country.”

“Market forces are resulting in the major facelift of the world and country,” Hoch explains. “The rich developers are building and they’re partially responsible, but economically what’s happening is touching everybody…we all have a hand in it. It’s really complicated and it’s not black and white.”

With development and gentrification taking up much of the recent political discussion in the area his new play might test the Bay’s willingness to ask the tough questions.

But it’s this openness for dialogue and the area’s “smart generous” audiences that has kept Hoch coming back regularly since Berkeley Rep Artistic Director Tony Taccone first commissioned, Jails 10 years ago.

“It’s not that I chose Berkeley, Berkeley chose me. People here take risks with edgy material and they’re not afraid to touch hot political issues.”

Taking Over runs from January 16 through February 10 at the Berkeley Rep. For more info go to www.berkeleyrep.org.

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3 Responses to “1/16-2/10 Danny Hoch at the Berkeley Rep”

  1. SF2OAK said

    I just heard Hoch speak last night at Berk. Rep, haven’t seen the show but have tix soon. He was in conversation w/ a UC Berkeley poetry teacher. He sounded like someone who does not have his facts straight. The overarching point seemed to be every action you do has consequences- is that a revelation? The questioner is the reason why I won’t give a penny to my alma mater, she’s an idiot. So both these way lefties sit on stage and are in complete agreement, however they don’t have their facts straight about cities, gentrification, migration, etc.

    I hope it’s an entertaining show b/c I will see it. I think it will be like me reading the Bay Guardian of Berkeley Planet – my vitriolic reaction to very partisan “news.” I wish they would have called on me for a question and I hope to see Hoch in a cafe where I can have a conversation with him, seems like a nice enough guy.

  2. SF2OAK said

    By the way Hoch if you think talking smack about developers is “edgy” in Berkeley you are as misguided as I truly believe you are. If you want controversy here try being a republican.

  3. novoscene said

    SF2OAK-
    Spoken like a true contrarian sir. But glad you think Hoch’s nice, sucks’s you didn’t think the same about the UC professor. Misguided? But hey, we’re here to learn right? So I’m curious, since I didn’t make it to the discussion-exactly what facts were off? What’s your opinion?

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