Archive for the ‘Theater’ Category

Curtain Call Theatre Offers “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

vanya_sonya_masha

Curtain Call Theatre in Latham is presenting the Capital Region premiere of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” by Christopher Durang, directed by Chris Foster. Broadway’s smash-hit and winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play is a wacky comedy with a nod to Chekhov that will leave you rolling in the aisles.

Vanya and Sonia have lived at home while Masha has traveled the world and become a famous movie star. When Masha returns with her boy toy Spike, an unforgettable weekend of farce ensues. This lovable bunch won’t ever be the same…

The cast includes Kris Anderson, occasional Nippertown contributor Roseann Cane, All Over Albany’s Mary Darcy, Ryan Davis, Cori Irwin and Christina Reeves.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage

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Adirondack Theatre Festival Has Fresh Direction with Bluegrass, Rock & Kid’s Comedy [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, May 15th, 2015
Three of the planned shows: (l to r) Kalamazoo, The UnCivil Wars, J. Robert Spencer.

Three of the planned shows: (l to r) “Kalamazoo,” “The UnCivil Wars,” J. Robert Spencer.

As the Adirondack Theatre Festival begins its 21st season, it also has fresh new direction as it enters its third decade. 2015 is the first season under the festival’s new producing artistic director, Chad Rabinovitz, who has overseen and incubated many new plays at the helm of the Bloomington IN Playwrights Project. That enterprise grew and greatly expanded under his leadership. He also has a history of working with magicians, among them Washington, D.C. mentalist Max Major, who is planning to further develop his new stage show this summer at ATF.

In addition to magic being in the air, there is also a comedy about a wild-oats-sowing older couple, a rock musical about memory, a bluegrass Civil War musical starring an original Broadway Jersey Boy and a reading of a script by veterans of “The Simpsons” – including Homer himself. The selection of offerings is a happy blend of edgy contemporary theater works on crowd-pleasing themes, all to be staged this summer in Glens Falls at the Adirondack Theatre Festival.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

“The Tall Girls” Introduces Women’s Sports to WAM’s Fresh Takes Series on Sunday [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

tallgirls

By Larry Murray

WAM Theatre is pleased to announce details for their reading of The Tall Girls by Meg Miroshnik, the next event in the 2015 Fresh Takes Play Reading Series. The first Fresh Takes reading of 2015 sold out last month, as did all five of the readings in 2014 inaugural season, proving Berkshire audiences embrace contemporary plays written by women and focusing on the unique stories of women and girls.

WAM Theatre will present the reading on Sunday (May 17) at 3pm at No. Six Depot Roastery and Café in West Stockbridge.

The cast of The Tall Girls features Erin Eva Butcher (Imaginary Beasts’s Kerplop! The Frog Prince), Annie Considine (Shakespeare & Company’s Private Lives), Sarah Jensen (CT Rep Theatre’s Lysistrata), Maizy Broderick Scarpa (Pittsfield Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Catherine Seeley (Oldcastle Theatre’s My Fair Lady) and Ryan Winkles (Shakespeare & Company’s It’s a Wonderful Life). Kelly Galvin, curator of the 2014 Fresh Takes Series, and well known to Berkshire area audiences for her work with Shakespeare & Company as an actress and educator, will direct the reading.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

The Orchard Project Brings Alan Cumming, Theresa Rebeck, Gate Theatre & More to Saratoga [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, May 11th, 2015
Alan Cumming

Alan Cumming

The Exchange has announced the artists and companies who will participate in its 2015 Orchard Project summer residency program in Saratoga Springs. They include Alan Cumming, Theresa Rebeck, Bridget Everett, Marcus Gardley, Stew, Ping Chong, John Glover, the UK’s Gate Theatre and others, a total of 22 artists and ensembles (listed below). These artists were selected from a competitive field of nearly 500 applicants to develop their big, new ideas at the Orchard Project. This will be the eighth summer — and the first summer in Saratoga Springs — for the Orchard Project, a laboratory program where theater artists and companies come to innovate, develop and refine new shows. Past productions developed at the Orchard Project have gone on to be performed around the globe for over 500,000 people and to win awards from TONYs to Obies to Oliviers.

We couldn’t be more excited to turn Saratoga into a creative springboard for pathbreaking new work that will go on to stages across the country and the world. We can’t wait to see what the Orchard Project’s 100-plus writers, directors, actors, singers, dancers and puppeteers create this summer.” – Ari Edelson, founder and artistic director of the Orchard Project

The Exchange also announced the launch of its first-ever Orchard Project Presents season, a series of public performances that will take place at Saratoga Springs’ Universal Preservation Hall — a recently restored 1871 church — as well as at venues around Saratoga Springs. The Orchard Project Presents series will invite the public to experience world class new work as it is being developed. The series will feature events every week in June, including Sneak Peek Productions (early stage, cutting-edge workshops and productions), Cabarets and Concerts (special events with top musical talent) and an Open Studio Week (featuring innovative shadow puppeteers). Orchard Project Presents will begin the month with an immersive production of “Church of the Passionate Cat” by Austin’s Underbelly Theater and conclude with an intimate concert with TONY Award winning actor, singer and writer Alan Cumming. The full line-up is listed below.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Shows That Began in the Berkshires Earn 13 Tony Nominations [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

bostonynoms

By Larry Murray

The nominations for the 2015 Tony Awards were announced yesterday (Tuesday, April 28). While mostly a marketing gimmick to hype Broadway shows, they are still a major achievement since bringing a show to Broadway is a basic requirement for eligibility. While nationwide there are 20,000-plus full equity productions each year, there are just 40-50 that make it to Broadway, where they can play for years.

Here’s a rundown of Tony nominations for this year’s Broadway shows that began here in the Berkshires:

“The Visit” (Williamstown Theatre Festival) – five nominations
“On the Town” (Barrington Stage Company) – four nominations
“The Elephant Man” (Williamstown Theatre Festival) – four nominations
“Living on Love” (Williamstown Theatre Festival) – no nominations

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Pittsfield Town Players Undertake a Musical Maritime Melodrama [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, April 27th, 2015
Town Players of Pittsfield with Bob Shepherd, Bev VanAlstyne Krol, Mae Rogers and Marty Plankey at Whitney Center for the Arts.

Town Players of Pittsfield with Bob Shepherd, Bev VanAlstyne Krol, Mae Rogers and Marty Plankey at Whitney Center for the Arts.

The Town Players of Pittsfield are planning a new musical revue to usher in the month of May.

Whatever Floats Your Boat (A Musical Maritime Melodrama), will be directed by Beverly Krol with musical accompaniment by Bob Shepherd.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

“Spring Awakening” Soars with Youthful Energy in Theatre Institute at Sage College Production [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, April 24th, 2015
L to R Amelia Morgan, Annaleigh Lester, Katie Pedro, Taylor Hoffman, Kelci Loring.

L to R Amelia Morgan, Annaleigh Lester, Katie Pedro, Taylor Hoffman, Kelci Loring.

Review by Larry Murray and Gail M. Burns

Larry Murray: With book and lyrics by Steven Sater and music by Duncan Sheik, the 2006 Tony Award-winning alternative rock musical “Spring Awakening” is now playing at Sage College’s audience-friendly Meader Little Theatre in Troy. Last performance is Sunday (April 26). I am putting all this information up front because this review is more of a “must see” reader advisory: this production with its youthful cast is directed by Leigh Strimbeck and utilizes a functional and ingenious set by Juliana Haubrich.

Gail M. Burns: The Theatre Institute at Sage is a great company that is doing some really great theatre. TIS is only five years old, but it is carrying on the tradition established on its campus by the now defunct New York State Theatre Institute, which utilized Sage facilities, faculty and students to provide quality theatre for schools and the general public from 1974-2010. The connection with Sage was NYSTI’s greatest asset, and in turn the company helped the Sage Colleges develop a robust theatre curriculum. It is not at all surprising to see what talented students select Sage today.

Larry: We haven’t had a chance to see this cutting edge musical much in these parts, the only production I can remember is the one at the University at Albany Department of Theatre which was last year. None of our Equity companies, nor even the Mac-Haydn or Theater Barn have staged it. That may because the music is so important to the whole production, and it requires violin, cello and bass in addition to piano, drums and guitar. Two or three synthesizers will never do the score justice. I was as impressed with the accomplished musicians and Music Director Marcus Schlegel, as with the actors. The cellist, Erin Rousseau, on whom much of the melody line rests, has a vibrato and intonation that infused the songs with real heart.

Gail: I saw a production of the 1890/91 Franz Wedekind play of the same name, upon which this musical is based, at Williams College many years ago. “Spring Awakening” is an ideal college show because you need to have a young cast and a fairly sophisticated audience. Really, the best way to “get away with” staging this fierce and graphic material is to bill it as education. The play has a prominent role in the development of 20th century theater, and, as you mentioned, this musical version has made history, too.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

“An Iliad,” Homer’s Epic Story of Undying Love, Chaos & Humanity @ Hubbard Hall [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

AnIlliad

By Larry Murray

Masterfully adapted by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare from Robert Fagles’s acclaimed translation, An Iliad adapts Homer’s Trojan War epic into a gripping piece of theater that captures both the heroism and horror of war. This fierce, funny piece will ignite your imagination and leave you breathless. It stars Jeannine Haas and is directed by Sheila Siragusa at Hubbard Hall in Cambridge, in a co-production with Pauline Productions.

Greek poet Homer’s 8th-century B.C. epic, “The Iliad,” told the story of the mythical 10-year Trojan War, featuring two warrior heroes, the wrathful Greek, Achilles, and noble Hector, the peace-loving Trojan prince. Now, a lone poet travels through time, wearily sharing her often-anguished memories of that war-mongering, vengeful time nearly three millennia ago.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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