a thousand years of baggage

previews & reviews

Winner of the 2008 Will Glickman Award!


Winner of the East Bay Express Best Theatrical Production of the Year award & Sam Hurwitt's #1 Top Ten Best Plays of the East Bay

Dave Malloy receives 2009 Jonathan Larson Grant for Beowulf!

"exhilaratingly eclectic and comic Banana-Shotgun Players world premiere, a two-hour creative deconstruction and celebration ... with a terrific, eclectic score" - Robert Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle

"That was fucking awesome...the most thoroughly enjoyable theatrical display I've seen yet this year." - East Bay Express

"the group's gut-gripping new rock opera ... rages with an anarchic energy" - SF Weekly

"the most wildly anticipated theatrical collaboration of the season" - SF Bay Guardian.

"Banana Bag and Bodice's brilliantly funny, muscular, and plain irresistible "songplay" is like the Bay Area landing of some marauding East Coast tribe of masterful miscreants." - Robert Avila, SFBG

"hilarious...clever...has the makings of a cult fave." - Dennis Harvey, Variety

"Part funky rock opera, part tart Brechtian parable, the thoroughly visceral ... rambunctious epic is soaked in mead and blood, steeped in critical exegesis." - Karen D'Souza, San Jose Mercury News

"unlike so many new musicals, it features music you actively want to listen to ... the brisk pace and the constantly changing palate (played out on a set designed by Banana Bag & Bodice and lit by Miranda Hardy) make those two hours as full as they could be." - Chad Jones,

"Equal parts opera and musical, Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage is quirky mixed bag." - Arielle Little, The Daily Californian

"Shotgun Players and Banana Bag and Bodice ensemble have ... turned the bloody, dreaded hunk of text into a rock opera." -

"Some claim that Grendel was descended from Cain and all 3,183 lines are Christian in origin and pagan only in context; others have said that's hogwash, twaddle, clap, and trap, and the poem was clearly passed down through recitation using oral-formulaic composition. In any case, there's a lot of wiggle room, which will be wiggled in by Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage, a song-play written by the singular Jason Craig of Banana Bag & Bodice." - By Silke Tudor, SF Weekly

"Five of us came and we all really enjoyed it a lot! One of my friends said it was the best play she's seen in several years. The thing that struck me most about it was how young and fresh it felt. Most of the theater I have seen hasn't seemed so in tune with what is going on culturally, artistically (and in this case, musically)....It had a lot of momentum and energy... It was great to have a specifically fun night at the theater." - Audience Member, 5/14

I am not typically a fan of music theatre but these voices were perfect for the parts! I see a lot of theatre in the Bay Area and am not easily impressed. Shotgun is ALWAYS more than a fun night out....tonight was a performance triumph! - reviewer KJ P.

"This production visualizes the whole expanse of messy life hidden inside the clear-cut lines; the novel is brought back into the poem."
- reviewer Si

"It’s a refreshingly grotesque and poignant comedic retelling of Beowulf." - comment by George

"the aesthetic sensibilities of New York's underground darlings, Banana Bag and Bodice ... to the East Bay's rebel yell, Shotgun Players" -

"Jessica Jelliffe is outstanding ... Cameron Galloway ... is fantastic ... Jason Craig is tremendous ... Anna Ishida and Shaye Troha ... exuberant in their dance moves ... Rod Hipskind has directed a wonderful, zany version of this Nordic classic." - Richard Connema, Talking Broadway

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1901 Ashby Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94703

Shotgun Players