The Levi’s(R) Brand Partners With Berkeley Repertory Theatre to Support the Stage Version of Green Day’s American Idiot

September 24, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ — Continuing in its long-standing heritage of supporting innovation in the arts, the Levi’s(R) brand has signed on as the lead sponsor of Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s world premiere of American Idiot, the stage version of the Grammy Award-winning album from Green Day. The denim company is supporting the Tony Award-winning theatre and has served as a resource for costume designer Andrea Lauer in researching and realizing the unique look of this show. American Idiot comes to life at Berkeley Rep from September 4 through October 11 and is staged by Michael Mayer, the Tony Award-winning director of Spring Awakening.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090924/NY81228 )

The Levi’s(R) brand and their new “Go Forth” advertising campaign align perfectly with the pioneering spirit of Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the central themes of this ground-breaking production. Berkeley Rep has earned a national reputation for nurturing writers and developing new work, and this is the Theatre’s 52nd world premiere. Known for its core values of innovation and excellence, as well as its adventurous audience, Berkeley Rep provides a safe haven for emerging and established artists to take creative risks. American Idiot, like “Go Forth,” encourages individuals to nurture their unique sense of self and embrace a pioneering spirit to forge their own path when societal change is necessary to create a better future. It is this sense of passion and visionary intelligence which link the two, making for a new kind of partnership.

“Green Day’s American Idiot album has had a profound impact on music and culture, and this show has the potential to revolutionize modern theatre. We are thrilled to be a part of such a ground-breaking artistic concept,” says Doug Sweeny, Vice President of Levi’s(R) Brand Marketing. “Levi’s(R) jeans have been favored by musicians and cultural pioneers who march to the beat of their own drum for decades, so our participation in this show truly is a purposeful and authentic fit.”

“Music activates the clothing,” says costume designer Andrea Lauer. “It evokes an attitude and an energy that also comes across in the costumes. So, as a designer, I’m taking the personality of the actors and the raw movement of the show and weaving them together. Denim became a natural canvas to work on, because these characters are the kind of people who find a favorite pair of jeans and wear them until they can’t wear them anymore. Levi’s(R) jeans have a timeless aesthetic on which to build character – and the jeans let them dance the hell out of these songs. I mean, these people have studied the American body for years and know how to make clothes that fit.”

Lauer chose Levi’s(R) jeans, the iconic denim brand favored by the rock-and-roll community, to reinforce the authenticity of many of the costumes featured in the show. To prepare, she spent a lot of time with each actor getting to know their personalities and individual style preferences. She developed each character’s costume after extensive research and, in many instances, chose to incorporate Levi’s(R) jeans. She slashed and tore the jeans and had them bleached, painted, or otherwise individualized to create an authentic look and feel. Lauer’s favorite styles are Levi’s(R) 514 Slim Straight Jean and Levi’s(R) 511 Skinny Jean – both styles have been adopted as a virtual uniform by musicians and urban hipsters today.

Based on the multi-platinum album of the same name, American Idiot follows working-class characters from the suburbs to the city to the Middle East, as they seek redemption in a world filled with frustration – an exhilarating journey borne along by Green Day’s electrifying songs. This high-octane show includes every song from the album, as well as several new songs from 21(st) Century Breakdown. With an onstage band and 19 young performers, American Idiot receives its world premiere at Berkeley Rep, the Tony-winning playhouse that launched last year’s provocative rock musical Passing Strange.

As Time Magazine described the album, “You will hear a story about Jesus of Suburbia, his dangerous friend St. Jimmy, and a heroic girl named Whatshername, who are struggling to express their individuality in a mass-media culture.” This ideological fusion is exactly what the Levi’s(R) brand has always encouraged, fostering those individuals struggling with their identity to embrace their differences and to never conform to societal restrictions.

The show features the music of Green Day – vocalist/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt, and drummer Tre Cool – along with Armstrong’s lyrics. It is being staged by Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer, who collaborated with Armstrong on the story. Berkeley Rep presents American Idiot in association with Tom Hulce and Ira Pittelman, the lead producers of Spring Awakening. The production features choreography by Olivier Award-winner Steven Hoggett with Tony-winning composer Tom Kitt providing orchestrations, arrangements, and musical supervision. In addition to Ms. Lauer, the design team includes Tony-nominee Christine Jones (sets), two-time Tony-winner Kevin Adams (lights), Obie Award-winner Brian Ronan (sound), and video designer Darrel Maloney. The music director is Carmel Dean and the associate choreographer is Lorin Latarro.

American Idiot tickets are available online at http://www.berkeleyrep.org/ or by calling (510) 647-2949 or toll-free at (888) 4-BRT-Tix. Seats start at $32 each, or only $16 for anyone under the age of 30.

About the Levi’s(R) Brand

The Levi’s(R) brand epitomizes classic American style and effortless cool. Since their invention by Levi Strauss in 1873, Levi’s(R) jeans have become the most recognizable and imitated clothing in the world – capturing the imagination and loyalty of people for generations. Today, the Levi’s(R) brand portfolio continues to evolve through a relentless pioneering and innovative spirit that is unparalleled in the apparel industry. Our range of leading jeanswear and accessories are available in more than 110 countries, allowing individuals around the world to express their personal style. For more information about the Levi’s(R) brand, its products and stores, please visit http://levi.com.

About Berkeley Repertory Theatre

Born in a storefront, Berkeley Rep has moved to the forefront of American theatre – and is still telling unforgettable stories. In four decades, four million people have enjoyed more than 300 shows at Berkeley Rep. In the last four years alone, Berkeley Rep has helped send four shows to Broadway: Bridge & Tunnel, In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), Passing Strange, and Wishful Drinking. Founded in 1968, the Theatre quickly earned respect for presenting the finest plays with top-flight actors. In recognition of its place on the national stage, Berkeley Rep was honored with the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1997. The company celebrated by unveiling a 600-seat proscenium stage in 2001, the state-of-the-art Roda Theatre. It also opened the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, a permanent home for its long tradition of outreach and education programs. The addition of these two buildings transformed a single stage into a vital and versatile performing arts complex, the linchpin of a bustling downtown arts district which has helped revitalize Berkeley. For more information about Berkeley Rep, please visit http://www.berkeleyrep.org.

About Andrea Lauer

A recipient of the Baryshnikov Fellowship, Lauer holds an MFA from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She created costumes for noted New York institutions such as Second Stage Uptown, The Joyce Theatre, and NYU, as well as many shows for the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas. After American Idiot, Lauer’s upcoming costume work includes designs for “Or” with The Women’s Project and a new ballet for the Trey McIntyre Experience.

SOURCE Levi Strauss & Co.

Source: newswire

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