Posts Tagged ‘Larry Murray’

THEATER REVIEW: “Broadway Bounty Hunter” @ Barrington Stage Co. [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016
Annie Golden and Alan Green (photo: Scott Barrow)

Annie Golden and Alan Green (photo: Scott Barrow)

Review by Larry Murray

Broadway Bounty Hunter is having its world premiere at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield as part of its Musical Theatre Lab (MTL) where Tony-winner William Finn introduces the most promising new musical writers to Berkshire audiences. The exuberant new musical overflows the stage of the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center and brings the audience into the world of blaxploitation and martial arts movies of the ’70s.

Curiously, its composer, lyricist and co-book writer Joe Iconis never experienced the arrival of the black hero and Hong Kong chop-socky aesthetic directly: he was not born until 1981, long after the form had been bled dry by the Hollywood film industry. Even so, his ability to turn these formulaic movies into a satirical musical is a wonder.

With Julianne Boyd sitting in the director’s chair, Broadway Bounty Hunter matched the awesome energy level achieved by BSC’s earlier mainstage musical Pirates of Penzance directed by John Rando. And in a theater as intimate as the St. Germain, the intensity of the choreography by Jeffrey Page matched the incredible volume of the musical and vocal sounds from its perfectly cast ensemble. Ensconced in the rear fifth of the stage were the six musicians of the band, the largest in memory for a MTL production. The score is rich with R&B and funk and not a little of plain old ‘80s rock ‘n’ roll.

With those elements in place, Iconis added one more: Broadway, in the person of Annie Golden, an aging actress who gets no respect, and who clings on to her fading identity even as a younger generation tries to replace her. She goes through auditions with an old headshot, determination and an old star-shaped off-Broadway award she received decades ago. (Little does she suspect, at the outset, that it will come in handy later in the show as her secret shuriken throwing star.)

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage

Advertisement

Last-Minute Change of Directors for “Broadway Bounty Hunter” [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, August 15th, 2016
Broadway Bounty Hunter‘s creative team remains essentially unchanged: (l to r) Joe Iconis, Annie Golden, Lance Rubin, Sweet Tooth Williams (photo: Stephen Sorokoff)

The “Broadway Bounty Hunter” creative team: (l to r) Joe Iconis, Annie Golden, Lance Rubin, Sweet Tooth Williams (photo: Stephen Sorokoff)

Just days before opening night, director Leah C. Gardiner has parted ways with Barrington Stage Company’s production of Broadway Bounty Hunter due to creative differences.

Julianne Boyd, Artistic Director of Barrington Stage Company, has stepped in to handle direction for the musical’s world premiere.

The first preview on Friday, August 12 was cancelled. Previews began on Saturday, and the opening night world premiere performance is slated for 7:30pm Friday (August 19). The new musical starring Annie Golden (former lead singer with new wave band the Shirts and currently featured in Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black” will run through Sunday, September 4.

Founded in 2006, the BSC Musical Theatre Lab is overseen by Artistic Director Julianne Boyd and Artistic Producer William Finn.

Under the leadership of Julianne Boyd, Broadway Bounty Hunter will continue essentially unchanged. The hot new musical features music and lyrics by Joe Iconis (Be More Chill, The Black Suits, Bloodsong of Love), book by Joe Iconis, Lance Rubin (author of Denton Little’s Deathdate) and Jason SweetTooth Williams (Off Broadway: Once Upon A Mattress) and choreography by Jeffrey Page (Broadway’s Violet). Joel Waggoner (BSC’s Presto Change-O, Southern Comfort) serves as music director.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

“Message to Billy” Is a Serious Comedy [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, August 8th, 2016

bosmessagebilly

On Tuesday (August 9), Multicultural BRIDGE Social Justice In Action campaign will offer a rehearsed reading of a new one-act play, Message to Billy, hosted by Diana Felber Gallery in West Stockbridge, written by Steven Somkin and directed by Andrew Joffe with actors Lora Lee Ecobelli and Eddie Allen.

Steve Somkin offers this Social Justice In Action fundraiser to benefit Multicultural BRIDGE. CEO and Founding Director, Gwendolyn VanSant, “I am delighted to bring this play that covers the intersections of bias, race, class and gun control and conversation to our Berkshire community. I look forward to sharing Steven Somkin’s work and facilitating an engaged conversation afterwards.”

The underlying question of Message to Billy, a serious comedy, is what does it tell our children about ourselves when we let uncomfortable and unwelcome prejudices out in the open.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

“The Comedy of Errors” Comes to Ten Broeck Mansion [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, August 5th, 2016
Poster designed by Scot Seguine, AlohaVictory.com

Poster designed by Scot Seguine, AlohaVictory.com

Antipholus of Ephesus is having a really bad day. First, his faithful servant Dromio of Ephesus reports on strange requests he never made, and then his wife barricades him out of his mansion. Before long, the police are after him, and an overzealous exorcist is flinging holy water in his face. Could it be that dark supernatural forces are at work? Or could it be that Antipholus of Syracuse, his long-lost twin brother, has arrived in town with his own servant Dromio – who also happens to be the twin of his brother’s servant – and is causing all sorts of mayhem around town?

Is your head spinning yet? Don’t worry, it’s all part of the fun in Confetti Stage’s production of The Comedy of Errors, the show widely believed to be the first play written by William Shakespeare. Presented in the style and of classic slapstick comedy, this tale of the bard is sure to have audiences laughing hard during its run at Albany’s Ten Broeck Mansion Garden, beginning at 7:30pm tonight (Friday, August 5).

As a special treat for the community, performances at 2pm on Sunday (August 7) and 7:30pm on Thursday (August 11) will be free to everyone. There will be light refreshments available to purchase at all performances. Tickets for all other performances are $15; students and children age 12 and under get in for just $8.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

They’re Back: “The Real (Desperate) Housewives of Columbia County” [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, August 1st, 2016
They are desperate: Amy Friebke, Meg Dooley, Diedre Bollinger and Cathy Lee-Visscher (photo: Mike Molinski)

They are desperate: Amy Friebke, Meg Dooley, Diedre Bollinger and Cathy Lee-Visscher (photo: Mike Molinski)

Taconic Stage Company and Mac-Haydn Theatre have a perfect recipe for a girls’ night out on Mondays this August. The Real (Desperate) Housewives of Columbia County, a hilarious musical revue loosely based on those ubiquitous TV shows, is essentially a friendly (and boozy) battle between the weekenders and the locals in New York’s Columbia County.

The musical numbers are all original songs such as, “Don’t Fool Around on Your Broker,” “Shop Till You Drop,” “A Good Handyman Is Hard to Find,” and “It Isn’t Easy Being a Bitch.”

The limited run is four performances – today (Monday, August 1) and Monday, August 15 at 3 & 8pm. at the Mac-Haydn Theatre in Chatham. Tickets are $25 and are available by calling 518-392-9292 or go to www.machaydntheatre.org.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Get a Sneak Peek at MASS MoCA’s Phase III Expansion: “It’s a game changer…” [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, July 29th, 2016
Birds-eye view of MASS MoCA campus and buildings

Birds-eye view of MASS MoCA campus and buildings

There is a lot going on this summer at MASS MoCA in North Adams, but perhaps nothing is more unusual and tempting than a chance to see how their latest expansion project is coming along, physically, financially and artistically.

So in anticipation of the 2017 Memorial Day Weekend unveiling of Building 6 — the site of MASS MoCA’s third and final phase of development of its 16-acre, 28-building campus — the museum will celebrate the progress of its landmark construction and fundraising effort on Saturday (July 30) with an open house of Building 6, to include a construction update, hard hat tours and a reception. Those who are contributors and members will, of course, be in attendance, but the event also offers a chance for those not-yet-supporters to become part of what will soon – once again – be the largest museum for contemporary art in the world.

New programs included in the Phase III expansion include:

A series of temporary exhibitions, long-term installations and scholarly programs realized in partnership with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, which will show Rauschenberg’s works along with the works of artists who have attended the Foundation’s residency program in Captiva, Florida. The inaugural Rauschenberg residency program features a collaboration between artists Lonnie Holley and Dawn DeDeaux.

A long-term exhibition of the carved marble sculpture of Louise Bourgeois — some never before seen — realized in partnership with The Easton Foundation

A long-term exhibition of immersive light and space environments by James Turrell, including a dramatically scaled Ganzfeld, plus a new outdoor “skyspace” observatory to be created from an abandoned fire-suppression water tank

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

REVIEW: The Capitol Steps @ the Cranwell Spa [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Review by Larry Murray and Pearce Rowley

In the real world, our current slash and burn politics are deadly serious with few exceptions. The White House Correspondent’s Dinner is one of those rare occasions when elected officials and the media can laugh at themselves. In the media, Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher and Lewis Black regularly elicit laughs, while the other television talking heads send viewers on a search for headache relief.

The Capitol Steps are a musical revue that mines American politics, and have been doing so for more than 35 years. The story goes that it began at a Christmas party in Senator Charles Percy’s office, and like most Congressional activities, they just don’t know when to stop.

Of course there is lots of humor in politics. And for years, the Capitol Steps have been mining it.

2016 may offer the troupe its richest source of material ever. With a billionaire buffoon, a yiddish socialist and an ambitious, anointed former first lady as their primary targets, the stage is set.

With a fearless and talented quintet of refugees from our nation’s capitol, the performers – with nothing more than a few props – turn our current politics on its head. If only the nightly newscast was half as funny. There are several Capitol Steps troupes criss-crossing the country at any given time; in Lenox, the company has settled into a new performing space at the Cranwell Spa. So new in fact, you can still detect the new-car-smell of turps and sawdust.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage

Kickwheel Premieres “Passage” @ Shire City Sanctuary [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

bospassagebanner

For more than a year, Kickwheel Ensemble Theater (the creative arm of The Berkshire Fringe) has been devising a new play that will premiere with a limited run of performances at Pittsfield’s Shire City Sanctuary from Wednesday-Sunday (July 27–31).

Merging original text, music, researched accounts and fantastical imagery, Passage weaves together two parallel storylines of survival: the tale of Sir John Franklin’s doomed 19th expedition to conquer the famed Northwest Passage and the story of a modern day couple on a luxury wellness cruise through the now melting arctic.

A dark comedy exploring themes of a changing climate, love and loss, Passage integrates sea otters on razor scooters, a guru of ultimate enlightenment, dead sailors, marketing executives and questions of hubris and faith to reveal the cyclical nature of human history.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Caffe LenaCartoonist John CaldwellHolly & EvanAdvertise on Nippertown!Hudson SoundsThe LindaBerkshire On StageArtist Charles HaymesKeep Albany BoringAlbany PoetsLeave Regular Radio BehindRamblin Jug Stompers