Archive for the ‘Theater’ Category

PS21 in Chatham Announces Bold, Diverse 2014 Schedule of Events [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

PS 21 Summer Schedule

By Larry Murray

There is a lot to recommend in Columbia County, but perhaps the most beautiful outdoor venue there is PS21. The Performance Spaces for the 21st Century has announced its diverse 2014 summer array of dance, music, theater and film events, making some bold choices in the process. This is PS21’s ninth season and highlights include classical and jazz music performances, live theatre, a fashion show, Just For Fun (an afternoon program for kids), plenty of foot-tapping film and the first ever Chatham Dance Festival.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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Berkshire Fringe Moving to Upstreet Cultural District, Plans Its 2014 Festival in Pittsfield [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

The Berkshire Fringe 2014

Story by Larry Murray

Following in the footsteps of Barrington Stage Company and the Berkshire Theatre Group, a third major theatre company has decided to make Pittsfield – and its developing Upstreet Cultural District – its home base.

The Berkshire Fringe Festival, which has made its home at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington for the past nine years, is moving its operation to Pittsfield where it will present its tenth season this summer.

Dedicated to the work of new and emerging artists, it will no doubt benefit from the city’s younger demographic, as do the Berkshire Actor’s Theatre and WAM Theatre, which have also emerged in recent years, greatly enriching the local scene. Planning is also underway for a first-ever Shakespeare in the Park in Pittsfield, an initiative of Enrico Spada, who recently received a commitment of support from the Pittsfield Cultural Council.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Oldcastle Theatre Has an Enticing Slate of Summer Theatre Planned [Berkshire ]

Monday, April 14th, 2014
Bennington has much to offer at night including some fine restaurants and great theatre.

Bennington has much to offer at night including some fine restaurants and great theatre.

The Oldcastle Theatre Company has chosen four plays and a musical as their offerings for 2014, and all five choices intrigue. The musical is My Fair Lady, the Lerner and Lowe classic, retelling the story of an uneducated flower girl and her autocratic linguistics professor. The professor is sure he can turn her into a perfect lady who will fool even the most discerning member of the aristocracy.

We’ll let you read the recaps of the other plays below, all superb choices. It will be interesting to see who Oldcastle casts as Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which is a tale whose twists and turns of life in the steamy south that never fails to draw the audience in.

For those of us in the Northern Berkshires, Bennington, VT is just next door, and both the Dorset Theatre Festival and Weston Playhouse are just a bit further. There’s great theatre tucked inside our nearby rolling mountains.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Bummer: Paul McCartney, Not “Jesus Christ Superstar” @ the Times Union Center

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
John Lydon as King Herod  (Photo by Paul Heartfield)

John Lydon as King Herod (Photo by Paul Heartfield)

By Greg Haymes

We here at Nippertown were disappointed to learn that yesterday’s big concert announcement from the Times Union Center was Paul McCartney. Not that it won’t be fun to see Sir Paul, but we were really hoping that the TU Center was going to announce that they’d snatched a tour date for the new “Jesus Christ Superstar Arena Spectacular.” Alas, ’twas not to be, so we may have to trek to NYC, Boston or Buffalo to see this all-star-studded production. Because, let’s face it, when are you going to get another chance to see Johnny Rotten sing Andrew Lloyd Webber?

Jessica Swale’s London Hit “Blue Stockings” Gets USA Reading by WAM Theatre in West Stockbridge [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, April 4th, 2014
Jessica Swale’s play examines the trials and tribulations of four brilliant, passionate young women who are desperate to become scientists.

Jessica Swale’s play examines the trials and tribulations of four brilliant, passionate young women who are desperate to become scientists.

With only 25 seats, the first in a series of Sunday afternoon new play readings by WAM Theatre will certainly be a rare experience for those lucky enough to be there. When first announced, few details were known about just who would be doing the reading but with the announcement of the cast, it is obvious that this is more than a simple reading, it will be an afternoon filled with drama, and if you want, great coffee and comestibles.

Blue Stockings is set in 1896 at Girton, the first college in Britain to admit women. It’s a moving, comical and eye-opening story about four young women fighting for education and self-determination against the backdrop of women’s suffrage. This critically acclaimed play dramatizes the fight for education, equality and access for women; issues that are prized by WAM Theatre and its audiences.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Proctors Announces Its 2014-2015 Broadway Season of Shows

Friday, April 4th, 2014

The 2013 Tony Award-winning Best Musical, “Kinky Boots,” is headed to Proctors in Schenectady as part of the theater complex’s 2014-1015 season.

On Thursday evening (April 3), Proctors revealed its upcoming schedule of musicals and big shows in front of a crowd of more than 2,500 invite-only subscribers, members, group leaders and supporters. The announcements were emceed by Time Warner Cable News’ Karen Tararache.

“Typically we do five shows in a season,” said Proctors CEO Philip Morris. “Last season, we added a sixth show to our Key Private Bank Broadway Series. It was popular with our subscribers, so we’re doing it again; there is no better value in Capital Region entertainment. We’re so pleased to present these amazing shows to the community. There will be magic on our stage this season. Join us!”

Broadway Series subscription renewals are on sale now. New public subscriptions will go on sale on Tuesday, May 6.

Here’s the newly announced schedule for Proctors:

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New York State Legislature Creates New Tax Credits for Developing Live Theater [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014
Proctor’s in Schenectady might find itself hosting a pre-Broadway tryout.

Proctors in Schenectady might find itself hosting a pre-Broadway tryout.

Story by Larry Murray

When it comes to commercial theatre, the Broadway League is the organization to watch. As the national trade association of the commercial theatre industry, it often has surprises to announce. The latest – and this is no April Fool – is that New York is now the fourth jurisdiction in America to offer financial incentives to investors who originate live productions within New York State. The new program will be effective for tax year commencing January 1, 2015. Included in the budget for Fiscal Year 2014–2015 is a program offering a 25% tax credit to producers who tech their shows in New York’s facilities.

Nearby theatres in Albany, Schenectady and Rochester were included, as are those in Elmira, Binghamton and Syracuse. This is not a new idea – Illinois, Rhode Island and Louisiana already offer tax incentives. The four major Berkshire theater companies have long been sending shows to New York City, to play both on and off Broadway. In Manhattan, theatre is a multi-billion dollar industry and a major marketing and economic foundation of the tourist trade. Here’s more from today’s announcement:

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Will Pittsfield’s Shakespeare in the Park Become a Reality This Summer? It’s Up to Us… [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Shakepeare in the park

Commentary by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray

Gail M. Burns: Berkshire natives and visitors love outdoor, bring-a-picnic entertainment – the lawn at Tanglewood, concerts at the Clark, Windsor Lake, and the Bandstand in Great Barrington, the WTF Free Theatre, Bankside entertainments at Shakespeare & Company, and the BTG productions on the Ellenoff Stage at The Mount, and now the possibility of free Shakespeare in the Park in Pittsfield. The recent announcement was an historic day for the city.

Larry Murray: That’s right, Gail, it’s another positive development for Pittsfield, and while we have seen the genial Mayor Bianchi at other theatrical announcements, he seemed particularly excited about what this new theatre company and its series of eight open air performances mean to his city and Springside Park. But even with free performances, there are expenses to be paid, and a crowdsourced Indiegogo funding campaign has been launched to let the public help make it a reality. More on that a bit later. What do you think of the concept in general? Been there, done that?

Gail: I confess that I didn’t frequent NY Public Theatre’s free outdoor Shakespeare at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park when I was growing up. But I have enjoyed many outdoor performances here in Berkshire county and have even staged a few of my own. I love watching the bats start swooping over a performance to catch the insects attracted by the stage lights as dusk falls.

Larry: There is something about outdoor performances during the glory days of summer that are like catnip for families. Who doesn’t like a glorious warm evening, stars sparkling above, and the fun of an easily digestible Shakespeare play like A Midsummer’s Night Dream. That play may seem to be done a lot to us regular theater-goers, but scratch most people and they have never seen it, so it seems a perfect choice to kick off this new Berkshire attraction. There will be dozens of children pretending to be Puck after they see it, and repeating its many famous lines.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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