Archive for the ‘Theater’ Category

Preview: Barrington Stage Company Summer Theater Season

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

The 2016 season at the Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield kicks off this week with the new world premiere musical “Presto Change-O.” Previews are Wednesday and Thursday (May 18 & 19) with opening night slated for Friday (May 20). GO HERE for more info…

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It’s “Presto Change-O” as Barrington Stage Begins 2016 Season [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, May 16th, 2016
Presto Change-O stars (clockwise from bottom) Lenny Wolpe, Barbara Walsh, Michael Rupert, Bob Walton, Jenni Barber and Jarrod Spector.

“Presto Change-O” stars (clockwise from bottom) Lenny Wolpe, Barbara Walsh, Michael Rupert, Bob Walton, Jenni Barber and Jarrod Spector.

By Larry Murray

For 2016, things are going to be different at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield. They are ratcheting up their productions.

Usually their season opens with a simple show with one or two characters, followed by bigger and bigger productions as the summer tourist season takes over the Berkshires.

But Julianne Boyd (artistic director) and Tristan Wilson (managing director) have decided to begin instead with the Musical Theatre Lab world premiere new musical, Presto Change-O, which runs from Wednesday (May 18) through Saturday, June 11. The company’s press release describes this intriguing new musical as one that “tells the story of three generations of magicians who find themselves under one roof for the first time in years. When the grandfather causes real magic to happen, they must confront their past mistakes and re-examine what it means to be a family.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

THEATER REVIEW: “Once” @ Proctors, 5/10/16

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016
Mackenzie Lesser-Roy and Sam Cieri with the ONCE Tour Company (photo: Joan Marcus)

Mackenzie Lesser-Roy and Sam Cieri with the ONCE Tour Company (photo: Joan Marcus)

Review by Greg Haymes

In its journey from a sweet/bittersweet 2007 indie film to an eight-time Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, it would have been easy to fuck up “Once.” Heck, it was almost inevitable that somebody – the book writer? the director? – would take a story so intimate and personal and bury it under a heaping helping of crowd-pleasing Broadway razzle-dazzle.

Fortunately, that’s not the case. In fact, this may be the perfect musical to drag someone to who thinks that they don’t like musicals…

The touring company of “Once” commands the stage at Proctors in Schenectady this week not with spectacle and big production numbers, but rather with plenty of genuine heart and Irish soul. It’s a little show, and I mean that in the best way. It’s not an extravaganza. It all feels organic, eschewing all the smoke-and-mirrors of so many Broadway blockbusters.

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Comedian Kevin Meaney Brings the Laughs Tonight @ The Garage [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Stand-up comedian and actor Kevin Meaney – who steps into the spotlight at The Garage in Pittsfield tonight (Wednesday, May 11) – had known since he was a teen that he was gay, but like so many in that era, had been afraid he might be shunned or worse if he came out. As reported by Nick A. Zaino III in the Boston Globe, it was in the ’80s, that Meaney felt he might finally be ready, but then the AIDS crisis hit. It wasn’t until he got to Broadway in 2002 that he started to feel safe.

“That turned me around,” he says. “I got a job doing the gayest musical of all time, ‘Hairspray,’ and everybody in the cast and everybody in the crew and everybody in the audience, they were all gay. So it just gave me the courage. People say, ‘Does Broadway make you gay?’ Yes, it does. OK? It does. Even going to see a show, you can become gay. So you’ve got to be careful.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

“Aunt Nona” Takes Over the Bridge Street Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, April 28th, 2016
Anna Carol is Aunt Nona.

Anna Carol is Aunt Nona.

Playwright/performer Anna Carol brings her hilarious North Dakotan alter ego to the Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill in An Evening with Aunt Nona, which opens on Friday (April 29) for a three-performance run. Directed by Joshua Chase Gold, Aunt Nona first appeared in 2014 at the University of Central Florida, then toured the Midwest before her New York City debut at the United Solo Festival in September, 2015.

Audiences spend an hour in Nona’s dressing room just prior to her solo performance debut on the Great White Way … in Fargo, North Dakota. Through stand-up, improv, and storytelling, Anna Carol explores the idiosyncrasies of Nona’s eccentric life. Attempting to find her way in the world, she joyfully shares her jaunts through a world of jingle writing, cookies and bars, gay nephews, boyfriends, drag queens, mothers, meat raffles and lady locker rooms. And while she optimistically muddles through every misstep, she’s definitely not without true fears she just can’t seem to conquer. For every misfit, college graduate or millionaire who has desired a life beyond set expectations, Aunt Nona is the family member who will be always be there to commiserate, communicate and cachinnate with.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Williamstown Theatre Festival Announces Casting for Summer 2016 [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

boswtf2016cast

Artistic Director Mandy Greenfield has announced additional casting for the upcoming Williamstown Theatre Festival 2016 summer season, which runs from June 28-August 21.

ON THE MAIN STAGE:
* Christopher Abbott (“Girls”), Katie Lee Hill (The Wildness), Darren Pettie (“Mad Men”), Will Pullen (Goat), Lindsay Mendez (Wicked) and Constance Shulman (“Orange is the New Black”) join the previously announced Marisa Tomei in The Rose Tattoo (June 28–July 17)
* Justin Long (last season’s An Intervention and Legacy), Connie Ray (Stuart Little, “ER”) and Andrew Weems (Born Yesterday) will be seen in the world premiere comedy Romance Novels For Dummies (July 20–31)
* Saidah Arrika Ekulona (Ruined), Grace Gummer (Arcadia), Roe Hartrampf (Nobody Loves You), Stephen Kunken (“Billions”), Tony Award nominee Deborah Rush (“Orange is the New Black”) and SAG Award winner Kate Walsh (“Grey’s Anatomy”), along with Pettie and Pullen, will all appear in An American Daughter (August 3 – August 21)

ON THE NIKOS STAGE:
* Gregg Mozgala (Downsizing Camus), Rebecca Naomi Jones (American Idiot) and Wendell Pierce (“The Wire,” WTF’s 2008 Broke-ology) can be seen in the world premiere of Cost of Living (June 29–July 10)
* Carson Elrod (Peter and the Starcatcher), Sue Jean Kim (Bachelorette), Brían F. O’Byrne (Doubt) – who replaces the previously announced Michael Stuhlbarg – and Laila Robins (“Homeland”) make up the cast of the world premiere sci-fi comedy thriller The Chinese Room (July 13–23)
* Jerry Dixon (If/Then), Jose Llana (The King and I), Katie Lee Hill, Stephen Wallem (“Nurse Jackie”) and Noah Zachary (Dear Edwina) will appear in the world premiere musical Poster Boy(July 27–August 7)
* Closing out the summer are the previously announced Tony and Emmy Award nominee Alfred Molina and Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Jane Kaczmarek in the American premiere of And No More Shall We Part (August 10–21).

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Queer & Campy Whodunit: “Nasty Drew & That Harder Boy: The Mystery of the Family Jewels” [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, April 15th, 2016
Nasty Drew and That Harder Boy. Photo by John Goddard via The Broadway

“Nasty Drew and That Harder Boy.” Photo by John Goddard via The Broadway

By Larry Murray

Not to be missed on Sunday (April 17) at Club Helsinki in Hudson is Nasty Drew & That Harder Boy: The Mystery of the Family Jewels which is a “queer and campy whodunit” written and produced by Chris Harder parodying the classic Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries beloved by baby-boomers. This co-production of GayHudson.com and BigGayHudsonValley.com features some of New York City’s hottest names in burlesque, drag and circus performers. The show will also play ar Canvas in Poughkeepsie at 9:30pm tonight (Friday, April 15) and 9:30pm on Saturday (April 16) at the Rosendale Theater in Rosendale with a final Greater Nippertown performance at 7pm on Sunday (April 17) at Club Helsinki in Hudson.

It does seem a shame that a Berkshire venue like Mr. Finn’s Cabaret run by Barrington Stage, or the Garage Club at the Colonial run by the Berkshire Theatre Group couldn’t join this consortium of venues for affordable entertainment directed at the LGBT community.

Sporadically on view at New York City’s Laurie Beechman Theater off and on through Sunday, May 15, this live theatrical parody of teen detective novels of a bygone era co-stars two of burlesque’s hottest performers, Chris Harder and Nasty Canasta, in an evening that blends comedy, mystery, drag and stripping. The cast and crew makes their way to neighboring Hudson, delighting the region’s lovers of unconventional theater, not to mention the LGBT community.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage

THEATER: Wu Tsang moves beyond the transgender experience to experimental art @ EMPAC [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, April 14th, 2016
Patrick Belaga, Wu Tsang and Boychild.

Patrick Belaga, Wu Tsang and boychild

By Larry Murray

When most people think of transgender art (if they think about it at all) they conjure up tacky nightclubs, drag queens and a hidden, clandestine world. That’s not only wrong: it’s insulting.

Dig a little more deeply and you will find there is some exceptional artisty to be had, and given the chance, you and I can discover what a truly creative mind can bring to the stage. It is in that spirit that we choose this performance as a top pick, one you should not miss.

As it is, artist Wu Tsang will cap a week-long production residency at EMPAC at RPI in Troy with the stage performance Moved by the Motion, a collaboration with performer boychild and experimental cellist Patrick Belaga. Part of an ongoing, iterative series of such performances, the show at 8pm on Friday (April 15) will feature a new lighting design, crafted in the EMPAC Theater.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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