THEATER: “The Vagina Monologues” Is Back at Cafe 217

February 16th, 2018, 3:00 pm by Greg

Author-activist Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues is back at Albany’s Cafe 217 this weekend. As a benefit for Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood, Amanda Brinke directs the staged reading of the award-winning play from Sunday-Tuesday (February 18-20).

The cast includes Julie Adler, Jenn Bullington, Amy Frienberg-Trufas, Caryn Halte, Tracy Henry, Chardonnay LaTease, Kristin Lilkas, Mindy Mannix, Hollie Miller, Renea Pollack, Michelle Sanders, Susan Ungerman, Susan Watson-Amos and Katrina Wilkinson.

Tickets are $35, which includes a three-course dinner and the show. Tax, tip and bar are not included in the ticket price. Seating is at 6:30pm and reservations are required. Call 518.253.9821 for reservations.

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THEATER: “They Are Waiting for You” @ EMPAC at RPI on Friday

February 15th, 2018, 2:00 pm by Greg

French artist Laure Prouvost has earned Britain’s prestigious Turner Prize and world-wide acclaim for her work in mixed media installations and immersive films, but now she turning her talents toward something new.

On Friday (February 16), EMPAC at RPI in Troy is presenting the New York premiere of They Are Waiting for You, Prouvost’s first major work commissioned for the stage. Developed at EMPAC over the past year in collaboration with London-based artist-filmmaker Sam Belinfante and French/Belgian choreographer Pierre Droulers, They Are Waiting for You is a surreal, humorous and perceptually disorienting theatrical production in which stage technologies — light, haze, projections — interact with performers, musicians and the audience.

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Mutts Gone Nuts: Canine Cabaret Comes to the Colonial [Berkshire on Stage]

February 14th, 2018, 3:00 pm by Greg

Mutts Gone Nuts, the canine cabaret featuring adopted dogs from animal shelters and rescues, is headed into the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield at 2 & 5pm on Saturday (February 17). This event is part of the 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival.

The comedy duo of Scott & Joan Houghton have created a dog thrill show like no other, featuring nine amazing canine partners, all adopted from animal shelters and rescues. Expect the unexpected in this top-notch presentation that includes: high flying frisbee dogs, tight wire dogs, dancing dogs, magic dogs and, of course, the one and only – Sammie the Talking Dog!

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Proctors/Capital Rep’s Big Reveal Bash Announces “Hamilton” & Lots More

February 13th, 2018, 9:00 am by Greg
 Lydia Kubida interviews The Grinch

Lydia Kubida interviews The Grinch

Story and photographs by Ed Conway

Most performance venues simply send out an email announcing the productions of their upcoming season of shows. But not Proctors. The folks at the Schenectady entertainment complex like to do things with a decidedly theatrical flair.

And so it was on Monday night when the theater held its big bash announcing the upcoming season of shows for Proctors and Capital Repertory Theatre.

The anticipation leading up to the next season was all about Hamilton, as that had actually been announced at last year’s bash, but one show does not a season make. Proctors CEO Philip Morris and Capital Repertory Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill arrived on stage in a car driven by Morris to spread the news.

Hosted by WTEN-TV’s John Gray and Lydia Kubida, the evening began with an interview of The Grinch in anticipation of the stage production of Dr. Suess’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas. As has become the norm, what followed was several songs from many of the upcoming shows by Broadway actors and actresses.

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10×10 New Play Festival Comes to Barrington Stage Co. [Berkshire on Stage]

February 12th, 2018, 3:00 pm by Sara

Pittsfield’s Barrington Stage Company has announced the plays and casting for the seventh annual 10X10 New Play Festival, part of the 2018 10X10 Upstreet Arts Festival.

Performances of BSC’s New Play Festival are Thursday (February 15)-Sunday, March 4 at BSC’s St. Germain Stage, located at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center. Tickets ($35-$25) on sale now.

“​We look forward all year to our 10X10 New Play Festival,” said Artistic Director Julianne Boyd. “It brings warmth and laughter to a very cold winter – and allows our Berkshire audience to come together and cheer on ten very talented playwrights.​”​

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Williamstown Theatre Festival Announces 2018 Season [Berkshire on Stage]

February 7th, 2018, 2:00 pm by Sara

Here’s a look at what’s coming up at the Williamstown Theatre Festival this summer:

THE CLOSET
World Premiere Comedy
June 26-July 14
Tony Award winner, Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Matthew Broderick stars in this world premiere comedy by Douglas Carter Beane, inspired by Le Placard, the French comedy by Academy Award nominee Francis Veber. Martin O’Reilly (Broderick) is stuck in Scranton in a dead-end job, his marriage is over, and his son won’t return his calls. His only friend is his eternally optimistic co-worker (Tony nominee Jessica Hecht), who can’t bake enough muffins to stave off her romantic longings. When a stranger (Tony nominee Brooks Ashmanskas) sashays into their world, he drags Martin — and everyone around him — out of their respective closets. Helmed by Mark Brokaw, this contemporary satire breaks the chains of political correctness and celebrates the possibility of finding authenticity and love (and show tunes) in unexpected places.

LEMPICKA
World Premiere Musical
July 19-August 1
Featuring Tony nominee Carmen Cusack, this world premiere musical is directed by Tony nominee Rachel Chavkin, with music by Matt Gould and book and lyrics by Carson Kreitzer. Fleeing the Russian revolution and leaving behind a world of opulence and wealth, aristocrat Tamara de Lempicka and her beloved husband Tadeusz are forced to make a new life. In the rising tide of fascism, Tamara takes to painting to survive, and when she meets the free-spirited Rafaela (Cusack), a prostitute on the fringes of Parisian society, she’s torn between the life she cherishes with her husband and the passion, ambition and possibility awoken in her by her new muse. Inspired by the life of the artist who transformed herself from penniless refugee to star of the art world when the world itself teetered on chaos, Lempicka looks at the beauty and danger of one painter pursuing it all.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

THEATER REVIEW: “Paris Time” @ Capital Repertory Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

February 5th, 2018, 2:00 pm by Sara
From left: Wally Dunn (Martin), Kelly Wolf (Deborah), Marcel Jeannin (Charlie) and Tom Templeton (Philippe) (photo: Richard Lovrich)

From left: Wally Dunn (Martin), Kelly Wolf (Deborah), Marcel Jeannin (Charlie) and Tom Templeton (Philippe)

Review by Roseann Cane
Photograph by Richard Lovrich

In the Paris Time playbill, Production Dramaturge Teresa Campbell quotes an article from The Washington Post: “France is home to the largest Jewish community in Europe, and its most troubled. A wave of anti-Semitic violence in recent years has shaken Jews in the country to the point where growing numbers no longer see a future here… In 2015, approximately 8,000 French Jews abandoned France for Israel – a record number that has grown with each passing year.”

Not only does this virulent anti-Semitism bear chilling parallels to the round-up and extermination of European (including Parisian) Jews circa World War II, it is sadly reminiscent of U.S. brutality during that time, when Japanese-Americans were forced to live in internment camps. Today, not only in Europe, but in the United States, the steady rise of xenophobia and related hate crimes against those who are “different” should serve as a warning of what happens when the government looks the other way, or even, some would say, cultivates, violent acts that stem from bigotry.

Playwright Steven Peterson takes a hard look at contemporary French anti-Semitism in Paris Time, a world premiere currently at Albany’s Capital Repertory Theatre. Charlie (Marcel Jeannin), an American executive working in his company’s Paris branch, and his wife, Deborah (Kelly Wolf), an attorney who has put her career on hold to live abroad with Charlie, are facing a marital crisis. Reina (Jenny Ashman), a young Jewish woman who works for Charlie’s company, becomes a target of several acts of pointedly anti-Semitic vandalism committed by someone who clearly works for the same corporation. Deborah, who is also Jewish, becomes concerned for Reina’s safety, and urges Charlie to take steps to confront the vandals.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

PS21 in Chatham Announces 2018 Spring Schedule of Performances [Berkshire on Stage]

February 2nd, 2018, 2:00 pm by Sara

Chatham’s PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century has announced their Spring 2018 program of dance and theater. Marking the inauguration of the new state-of-the-art black box theater will be a festive opening and dance performance by Caleb Teicher & Nic Gareiss.

Other season highlights include three theater productions: a staged reading of Erma Bombeck’s “At Wit’s End;” and two plays presented by the Actors’ Ensemble: “The Gun Show” and “The Chairs.” The spring season will also include dance performances by Jamal Jackson Dance Company and Larry Keigwin & Nicole Wolcott.

“We are now able to offer programming year-round, and we’re excited about this first season of programming in our new theater,” explained PS21 Board President Judy Grunberg. “We want PS21 to bring people together and for the arts to become a part of their lives.”

The new theater – which replaces the tent that served as PS21’s main venue for 12 years – has an elegant, flexible design and includes state of the art sound and lighting. The black box is a flexible 40’x60’ performance space that is enclosed in the winter and seats up to 99. In warmer months, the east wall slides open and the black box transforms into the stage for the 300-seat open-air pavilion theater.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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