The theatre season that arrived with the Summer of 2011 was mostly upbeat, with more memorable plays and larger audiences than in 2010. All four Berkshire Theatre Companies are reporting million dollar years in ticket sales despite the nosedive going into Labor Day Weekend caused by Hurricanes Irene and Lee. But weather is always a factor at the box office: 2010 was the year of the Monsoon rains which put a crimp in tourism last year. And 2009 was the year that everyone was coming off the stock market drop and economic crash. But a night at a good show can more than erase those worries. 2011 had a lot of winners.
As always, musicals topped the list of favorites for most regular ticket buyers. The top spot among the classic musicals has to go to Guys and Dolls at Barrington Stage Company (BSC). For this, BSC engaged John Rando, a Broadway quality director known for his ability to make old chestnuts come alive with delicious humor and tireless pacing. He won a Tony for his direction of Urinetown (2002) and is one of the rare artists who is not limited to working with just one company. He has directed off and on for many years at the Berkshire Theatre Festival (BTF) (most recently The Guardsman– 2010) and the Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF) (A Flea in Her Ear – 2008).
Rando also earns our nod as Best Director.