Posts Tagged ‘Larry Murray’

Roomful of Teeth Return to MASS MoCA on Friday [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, August 27th, 2015
Roomful of Teeth (photo: Nicholas Whitman)

Roomful of Teeth (photo: Nicholas Whitman)

Exploring new vocal territory and sharing music from their new 2015 album Render, the Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth comes home to MASS MoCA in North Adams to celebrate the work of composer-in-residence Ted Hearne, harnessing all sorts of colors, gestures and timbres as the group explores all possibilities of the human voice. Roomful of Teeth’s annual two-week residency culminates in a concert at 8pm on Friday (August 28).

Both as an expansion and a tribute to the group’s self-titled predecessor (called “sensually stunning” by The New York Times), Render is the next leg of Roomful of Teeth’s journey to mine the expressive possibilities of the magnificent vocal palette offered by each of the ensemble’s eight powerful singers. Group alto and Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw relates the title of the album to the “idea of seeing…distinct particles slowly come together [to] create an image” (NPR). The recording emerges as one likeness, but remains unforgettably composed by distinct and enormously talented contributors, including founder and artistic director Brad Wells, as well as William Brittelle, Wally Gunn, Missy Mazzoli, Caleb Burhans and ensemble tenor Eric Dudley.

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“Engagements” @ Barrington Stage Co. [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, August 24th, 2015
Adam Gerber, Robert David Grant and Amanda Quaid.

Adam Gerber, Robert David Grant and Amanda Quaid.(photo: Kevin Sprague)

By Larry Murray

The newest play at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield is the sexy, millennial world premiere comedy Engagements by Lucy Teitler, which runs through Sunday (August 30).

Engagements tells the story of Lauren, a very bright but slightly confused millennial who is spending her summer attending picture-perfect engagement parties. Lauren has no qualms when facing love’s trials, but may have met her match in her best friend’s boyfriend. As the unforgettable heroine of this pitch-black anti-romantic comedy, Lauren navigates this midsummer nightmare as she weighs the value of her romantic life against the real significant other in her life, her best friend.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

MUSIC: PigPen Theatre Co. Arrives @ MASS MoCA on Saturday [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Part innovative theatre company and part indie-folk band, PigPen Theatre Co. creates albums that turn into musicals performed as fully staged productions or straight-forward concerts. The band will be at MASS MoCA in North Adams for the latter, playing material from their new album, Whole Sun, which was released last month. Currently on a national tour, PigPen arrives on the MASS MoCA campus at 8pm on Saturday (August 15) for a sprawling, rollicking live show, outdoors on the Dré Pavilion.

PigPen Theatre Co.’s pursuits are anything but strictly theatrical, and the group has attracted a huge following on the merit of their music alone. PigPen’s debut album, Bremen, was named the #10 album of the year by The Huffington Post. The members of PigPen aren’t lying when they say they couldn’t have done it without their fans: the band’s freshly released sophomore LP, Whole Sun, successfully raised more than $50,000 via Kickstarter, exceeding its original goal in less than 48 hours.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Visa Problems Force Cancellation of “Chewing Gum Dreams” @ Williamstown Theatre Festival [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, August 10th, 2015
Michaela Coel

Michaela Coel

By Larry Murray

Williamstown Theatre Festival has announced that the American premiere of Chewing Gum Dreams, the solo show written and performed by Michaela Coel, scheduled to begin performances on Wednesday (August 12), has been cancelled due to delays with immigration procedure.

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THEATER Review: “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune” @ Fitzgerald Main Stage [Berkshire On Stage]

Friday, August 7th, 2015
Darren Pettie (l) and Angel Desai (r) in Frankie and Johnny in the clare de lune. Photo by Michelle McGrady.

Darren Pettie (l) and Angel Desai (r) in “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.” Photo by Michelle McGrady.

Theater review by Larry Murray

In his play about a failed actress turned waitress and a short order cook who quotes Shakespeare, Terrence McNally has peopled his play Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune with two interesting characters. And very little plot. When it comes to classic love affairs, Frankie and Johnny tales are numerous, and in this case the tragic and doomed love affair is reimagined as a one-night stand that turns serious.

With the lights and classical music turned down low, the audience giggles, then laughs at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Fitzgerald Main Stage, as this tale begins with the sounds of steamy sex and a series of ever more intense moans and groans emanating from beneath the sheets. We hear (but do not see) Frankie (Angel Desai) and Johnny (Darren Pettie) consummating their mating in a big bed that dominates the set. Resplendent and massive, it takes up what seems like half the fifth floor walk-up tenement that is Frankie’s home. Sex over, she wants to send Johnny on his way so she can enjoy the rest of the evening watching TV and eating ice cream. Out of the blue, Johnny announces he wants to spend the rest of his life with her, raise a family and have non-stop sex. She is having none of it.

That is the gist of the story which can be summarized even more simply. In the first act, Frankie makes him a meatloaf sandwich, and in the second act he makes her a western omelette. He has a beer with a milk chaser as he engages in grandiose sentiments, and she is having none of it.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Linda Lavin Returns to Club Helsinki on Sunday [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, August 7th, 2015
Linda Lavin with her musicians.

Linda Lavin with her musicians

Her last appearance in our area was SRO, and now Club Helsinki in Hudson is welcoming back for a third time two-time Tony Award and Golden Globe winner Linda Lavin backed up by her five-piece band and musical director/pianist, the famed Billy Stritch.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

REVIEW: “Unknown Soldier” @ Williamstown Theatre Festival [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, August 6th, 2015
Derek Klena (Francis Grand) and Lauren Worsham (Lucy Lemay). (photo: T. Charles Erickson)

Derek Klena (Francis Grand) and Lauren Worsham (Lucy Lemay). (photo: T. Charles Erickson)

Theater Review by Larry Murray

Collaboration is the key to a successful musical, and when the late Nicholas Martin anointed the team behind Unknown Soldier to “do something together” while at the Huntington, Michael Friedman (music and lyrics) and Daniel Goldstein (book) began the journey that ultimately created Unknown Soldier, now getting its world premiere production at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown. Even director Trip Cullman, who joined the team a bit later in the process, has helped make the trio of creatives ready for prime time.

When you arrive at the theater, the stage is already set as the research library of Cornell University and with the movement of furniture and boxes, it morphs into the various settings of the play, from the kitchen table of a house in Troy, NY to the cavernous main hall of Grand Central Station in New York City and the examination room of the hospital. The action is brilliantly layered throughout the musical with key scenes taking place downstage as the hustle and bustle takes place upstage, and a five-piece musical combo accompanies the songs from behind a sheer curtain at the very back of the stage.

The story is complicated, taking in four generations of Rabinowitzes and Andersons but comes down to this: Ellen Rabinowitz has inherited her grandmother’s house in Troy – the house where she grew up and ran away from as soon as she could. When cleaning it out, Ellen discovers a picture of her Grandmother Lucy, as a young woman, ripped from a magazine, sitting next to a man, having a picnic – the caption, “Has Unknown Soldier Found True Love?” As she tries to discover the identity of the man in the picture, she uncovers secrets about her Grandmother Anderson and about herself, and has to choose what to remember and what to forget.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Mentalist Max Major Reads Minds at Adirondack Theatre Festival [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015
Max Major can be a pretty amazing guy, and promises to amaze his audiences at the Adirondack Theatre Festival.

Max Major can be a pretty amazing guy and promises to amaze his audiences at the Adirondack Theatre Festival.

The Adirondack Theatre Festival continues its 21st summer season with its “Mind-blowing Entertainment” as it presents Think Again: An Evening of Mind Reading & Magic. Renowned mentalist Max Major is in Glens Falls to develop his latest theatrical production that will premiere tonight (Tuesday, August 4) with ATF before it tours across the country. Performances will be held at the Charles R. Wood Theater in downtown Glens Falls at 7:30pm nightly through Friday (August 7). Tickets are $26-$40 and are available at the Wood Theater Box Office, online at ATFestival.org, or by calling (518) 480-4878.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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