Archive for the ‘Theater’ Category

Albany’s Confetti Stage Kicks off New Year with “Waiting for Godot” [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, February 26th, 2015
Waiting for Godot features Patrick White and Stephen Henel as Didi and Gogo.

“Waiting for Godot” features Patrick White and Stephen Henel as Didi and Gogo.

Preview by Larry Murray

It’s been worth the wait, for ever since Confetti Stage, Inc. announced they were planning their own production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, we’ve been waiting, too, for all the details. It’s one of our favorite plays, and besides, it’s been a decade since they began, staging their inaugural production, ‘night, Mother, by Marsha Norman in January, 2005. Since then, the company has successfully brought to the stage over 40 productions, performing in several Capital Region communities.

The snarks say it’s a two-act play in which absolutely nothing happens.

Twice.

But that misses the point. Others say it is about waiting to die, “They’re actually waiting for God, can’t you see that in the title?”

Perhaps.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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Images from the 10×10 New Play Festival @ Barrington Stage Company [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015
Zach Wymore and Christina Norris (photo: David Fertik)

Zach Wymore and Christina Norris (photo: David Fertik)

By Larry Murray

Ten minutes plays are a snappy way to tell a short story with wham-bang endings.

Directed by Julianne Boyd and Stephanie Yankwitt. Featuring Matt Neely, Christina Norris, Jessie Shelton, Peggy Pharr Wilson, Zach Wymore and Robert Zukerman.

At Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, every 10 minutes, a new play begins!

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Creeps, Deceits and Delusions Collide in Molière’s “Tartuffe” at Hubbard Hall [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, February 20th, 2015
Don’t let the talk of high morals fool you, as with so many supposedly religious men, this is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Don’t let the talk of high morals fool you, as with so many supposedly religious men, this is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

From Cambridge comes news that the Hubbard Hall Theater Company is staging one of Moliere’s best known and loved comedies, Tartuffe. It is being directed by John Hadden, and will run weekends beginning tonight (February 20) through Sunday, March 15. It’s an oldie but goodie, a satiric masterpiece that is full of laughs, insights and naughty plot twists.

Tartuffe is a scoundrel who can don any pose and become a master of it. Professing extreme piety, he is taken into the household of Orgon, a wealthy man. Under the guise of ministering to the family’s spiritual and moral needs, he almost destroys Orgon’s family. Hypocrisy gone wild. Religious posturing, deceit. Legal entanglements. Wonderful absurdity.

Considered quite scandalous when first produced in 1664, Tartuffe is now is one of the most famous theatrical comedies by Molière. The characters of Tartuffe, Elmire and Orgon are considered among the greatest classical theater roles. In response to criticism of the time, Moliere responded, “The comic is the outward and visible form that nature’s bounty has attached to everything unreasonable, so that we should see, and avoid, it. To know the comic we must know the rational, of which it denotes the absence and we must see wherein the rational consists . . . incongruity is the heart of the comic.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Shakespeare & Company 2015 Puts the Spotlight on Diversity of Plays, People, Topicality [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015
John Douglas Thompson returns at last.

John Douglas Thompson returns at last.

By Larry Murray

Shakespeare & Company in Lenox announced its upcoming season at a celebratory gathering of members of the company, its board and select members of the press. With a dozen productions and special events planned over the summer, a challenging handful of contemporary plays will join proven Shakespeare works on the company’s three stages. As PR spokesman Elizabeth Aspenlieder remarked: “This season includes both the shortest of Shakespeare’s plays, Comedy of Errors, and the longest, Hamlet, plus one that’s in-between.”

Of the new works, the regional premiere of Red Velvet by Lolita Chakrabarti caused considerable buzz, and the world premiere of Jane Anderson’s Mother of the Maid, starring Tina Packer was greeted with applause. In addition, the summer season includes The Unexpected Man by Yasmina Reza, and opens with the provocative new play by Sarah Treem, The How and the Why.

Diversity seems to be one key to the season, with four plays by women playwrights, including Lolita Chakrabarti’s Red Velvet. She has made her mark on stage and screen as both actor and writer and has created this astonishing play, to be seen for the first time in New England. Red Velvet is about Ira Aldridge, an African-American actor at the centre of controversy in 1833 when he takes over from Edmund Kean in Othello at the Theatre Royal in Covent Garden, It premiered in 2012 at the Tricycle Theatre in London, and in the this US debut will stars one of the company’s most renowned members, John Douglas Thompson.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Berkshire Theatre Group 2015 Plans: “Deathtrap,” “Bells Are Ringing,” McNally’s “Clair de Lune” [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015
Karen Allen will direct Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.

Karen Allen will direct “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.”

The Berkshire Theatre Group has announced its main offerings for 2015’s summer season musical, the 10th annual community theatre production, the Fitzpatrick Main Stage productions in Stockbridge and a medley of other performances to be presented this summer.

BTG plans a second round of programming announcements, including the Unicorn Theatre’s summer season, in the next several weeks.

“Our 87th season offers a mix of unforgettable musicals and classic, influential plays,” says Kate Maguire, Artistic Director/CEO for the Berkshire Theatre Group. “At the Colonial, they will stage the 1956 Comden and Green and Jule Styne sweetheart musical “Bells Are Ringing.” Ethan Heard is directing this romantic show, once again working with Kate Baldwin and Graham Rowat, as he did in last year’s “A Little Night Music.” For our 10th annual community theatre production, the company will present the iconic “Mary Poppins.” As with most of their community productions, some 100 children and adults from the community will participate, some will even soar over the Colonial stage.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

EMPAC Streams Cally Spooner’s Live Show Around the World on Friday [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

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By Larry Murray

From Ed Sullivan to Jimmy Fallon, the TV variety show is a well-known format to American audiences. The at-home viewer watches a cavalcade of performers entertain an unseen studio audience, while that studio audience is complicit in the show, laughing and applauding according to prompts and direction. On Friday (February 13) at 8pm, for the final evening of her residency at EMPAC at RPI in Troy, artist Cally Spooner will stage a TV variety show in Studio 1, shot before a live studio audience and live-streamed to viewers around the world as part of her in-progress film work And You Were Wonderful, On Stage.

For the past two years, Spooner has developed material for the piece through itinerant engagements at galleries and performing arts venues around the world. Sketching scenes and stand-alone vignettes as the piece traveled, she performed a live musical version of And You Were Wonderful, On Stage with a chorus line of singers at Tate Modern last winter before coming to finish the work in residency at EMPAC.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

New Leadership, Fresh Approach as Adirondack Theatre Festival Unveils Daring 21st Season [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015
Spun is a high-octane musical that weaves together the memories of siblings with comedy, wit, and rock.

“Spun” is a high-octane musical that weaves together the memories of siblings with comedy, wit and rock.

By Larry Murray

There’s a wonderful summer ahead for those who live in the Glens Falls/Lake George area as the Adirondack Theatre Festival’s new producing artistic director Chad Rabinovitz lays out his inaugural season for this fine company. Frankly, it’s a stunningly ambitious and diverse array of shows that he is planning. Berkshire on Stage has plans to preview and/or review several of them. You know how you sometimes get the feeling of something special in the air? Its siren call is clearly at work here.

As the new guy, Rabinovitz emphasized that he will continue the vital and longstanding mission of ATF to champion the presentation of new and contemporary works. Says Rabinovitz: “The company will continue to focus on the development and production of new works, offering experiences that cannot be found anywhere else in the world – only in Glens Falls. With a team of top-level professional artists, ATF’s 21st season will be entirely new plays and musicals.” While our whole region is known for its ground-breaking work in these areas, Glens Falls might be added to Pittsfield and Williamstown as cities where Broadway producers scour the boonies for new shows. The ATF season will run from June 23–August 7 at the Charles R. Wood Theater in Glens Falls.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

21 Events & Fireworks for the Fourth Annual 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

The City of Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District has a sure cure for cabin fever this February: the fourth annual 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival featuring a lively array of music, art, theater, dance, comedy, film, fashion, magic, a bonfire, fireworks and more from February 12-22. Organized by the City of Pittsfield’s Office of Cultural Development and Barrington Stage Company, the festival features 70 performances highlighting dozens of artists, actors, musicians, playwrights, comedians and performers.

The 10X10 festival kicks off on Thursday (February 12) with the Ten Spot Art Show opening reception at the city-owned Lichtenstein Center for the Arts; a community art project at Shire City Sanctuary; and the first preview night of Barrington Stage’s 10X10 New Play Festival.

“The 10×10 Upstreet Holiday Festival is one of my favorite cultural events of the year because it brings affordable fun to the winter time,” noted Pittsfield Mayor Dan Bianchi. “I encourage everyone to come out and enjoy everything from the winter fireworks display to new theater at Barrington Stage.” Shire City Sanctuary is a new addition this year featuring an evolving community demonstration and installation of a screen printed poster over the course of the 10-day festival. They will also host a Valentine’s Day dinner and dance party following Berkshire Historical Society’s 10x10x10x10 Undergarment Fashion Show featuring ten models wearing ten outfits from ten eras by ten designers, highlighting the winter exhibition at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead.

Other new additions this year include: a free, community wide bonfire and fireworks extravaganza at the newly renovated Common on First Street; WAM Theatre’s return to Pittsfield with a one-night-only staged reading of their critically acclaimed 2013 production of “Emilie”; two family-friendly shows at the Colonial Theatre; 10 Decades of Jazz Piano with master pianist Bill Mays; 10 Shorts, a multi-disciplinary, multicultural work by Berkshire-based performing artists at the Whitney Center for the Arts; and the Berkshire International Film Festival hosting a closing night Academy Awards party at the Beacon.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

ADDITIONAL UPCOMING FESTIVALS FOR 2015:
Bridge Jazz Fest @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall & College of St. Rose’s Massry Center, Troy & Albany, 2/27&28/15
Country Con 2015 @ the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, Albany, 2/28 & 3/1/15
Mountain Jam @ Hunter Mountain, Hunter, 6/4-7/15
A Taste of Country Music Festival @ Hunter Mountain, Hunter, 6/12-14/15
Solid Sound @ MASS MoCA, North Adams, 6/26-28/15
FreshGrass @ MASS MoCA, North Adams, 9/18-20/15

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