Posts Tagged ‘Larry Murray’

Jacob’s Pillow Announces 2015 Schedule with 200 Free Events [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, December 18th, 2014
Céline Cassone & Daniil Simkin (photo: Ken Browar & Deborah Ory of NYC Dance Project)

Céline Cassone & Daniil Simkin (photo: Ken Browar & Deborah Ory of NYC Dance Project)

Highlights of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2015 include Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host, a special dance and radio stage production starring public radio’s Ira Glass; the return of Nederlands Dans Theater 2; the U.S. debut of Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart from Germany; the world premiere of American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Daniil Simkin’s INTENSIO; Cuban contemporary ensemble Malpaso Dance Company, performing with Grammy Award-winning pianist and composer Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra; and the launch of Martha Graham Dance Company’s 90th anniversary, including a world premiere by eminent choreographer Mats Ek.

Live music is prevalent throughout the season and will be featured in performances by Jessica Lang Dance, Dorrance Dance, Daniel Ulbricht and Stars of American Ballet, Daniil Simkin’s INTENSIO, La Otra Orilla and Malpaso Dance Company. Jacob’s Pillow is committed to presenting and commissioning new work; Festival 2015 features many world premiere engagements including Daniil Simkin’s INTENSIO and Martha Graham Dance Company in VED by Mats Ek, plus premiere works by La Otra Orilla and Ricardo Graziano of the Sarasota Ballet. Many Festival 2015 artists have developed work during Creative Development Residencies at Jacob’s Pillow, including Jessica Lang, Michelle Dorrance, Annie-B Parson and Jonathan Campbell and Austin Diaz of MADboots Dance.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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New 2014 Film “Annie” Fails to Improve on Classic Staged “Annie” [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014
Annie

As of December 1, “Annie,” starring Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhané Wallis, has been illegally downloaded by over 184,000 unique IP addresses.

Report by Larry Murray

They’re blaming all the troubles over at Sony Pictures on Kim Jong-un and The Interview, an upcoming picture about North Korea’s weird leader. A Pyongyang spokesman denied that their regime played any part in the hack attack earlier this month, and I believe them. The most damaging aspect is that copies of DVD screeners of four unreleased Sony movies including Annie, which is slated for wide release this week, are getting some unwelcome early exposure. The multi-title leak is part of actions protesting The Interview, with James Franco and Seth Rogen, by a group called #GOP(Guardians of Peace) and likely related to the hacking. Many of the leaked copies are watermarked. They showed up on file-sharing services, followed quickly by a flood of corporate data that no one at Sony Pictures ever intended to make public.

But all of that has little to do with our reaction to this new Annie except to make its official debut and this report a little less significant.

I think the purists who love the musical Annie will be even more up in arms at the mutilations Sony and director Will Gluck have wrought in this classic musical – cringe-worthy changes that take pandering to public taste to new heights. As my colleague over at Broadway World, Matt Tamanini, writes in his review, “The ‘Annie’ Remake is Bad, But Not Nearly as Bad as You Think.”

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Review: “It’s a Wonderful Life” Returns to Shakespeare & Company [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, December 15th, 2014
It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play runs from Dec. 5-28. (photo: Enrico Spada)

It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play runs from Dec. 5-28. (photo: Enrico Spada)

Theater review and discussion by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray (Reprinted from the December 12, 2013 review)

Larry Murray: What can be more fitting for the holidays than It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play which is the story of idealistic George Bailey as he considers ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve. Do you agree that Shakespeare & Company in Lenox captured all the magic of Frank Capra’s classic 1946 holiday film It’s a Wonderful Life in this production?

Gail M. Burns: Darned if I know. I am one of the few adult Americans who has never seen the film all the way through. This iteration, adapted by Joe Landry from the screenplay by Francis Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra, and Jo Swerling, reimagines the story as performed by five stalwart radio actors on a snowy Christmas Eve when the sound effects guy gets stuck in the blizzard and can’t get to the studio. We, the studio audience for the broadcast, get the fun of watching them cope with the emergency and perform all the music and sound effects as well as the well-worn story of George Bailey.

Larry: Landry didn’t miss a single plot point of the film, and the five actors created the dozens of characters with just their voices. It was astonishing to hear Ryan Winkles change his voice instantly from Clarence the angel (second class) to Bert the cop. He played a dozen roles, as did favorite Jonathan Croy and the amazing Jennie M. Jadow. These chameleons changed accent, tone and cadence from one character to the next like racers taking the hairpin turn on the Mohawk Trail.

Gail: David Joseph and Sarah Jeanette Taylor anchor the story as George Bailey and the woman he marries, Mary Hatch. They also provide much of the charming music, with Taylor on piano and Joseph as the lead vocalist. The whole show, but especially the music, was charming in its simplicity and beauty, with many songs sung virtually a cappella. Joseph plinks out a few notes on the xylophone and Winkles bravely tackles a trombone riff, but Jadow on violin and Taylor on piano provide the melodic lines.

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Memo to Masochists: NBC’s Banal Version of “Peter Pan” Set to Air Again Saturday [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, December 12th, 2014
OMG, OMG, OMG what a waste…

OMG, OMG, OMG what a waste…

By Larry Murray

Some loved it, and some hated it. Being a theater critic with a decidedly acidic opinion of commercial-laden and low-brow television, NBC’s made-for-TV re-telling of the classic children’s story Peter Pan was doomed from the start. Perhaps it is because Mary Martin and Cyril Ritchard are no longer around to show a new generation how it is done. A wooden Christopher Walken and a smiley Allison Williams lip-synched most of the songs.

Below are five of the songs in the current television version and two from the famous earlier telecast in 1960 – Mary Martin singing “I’m Flying” and Cyril Ritchard camping it up in “Captain Hook’s Waltz.” He is also wearing the proper hook, the double one on the right hand, the one which the crocodile ate, not the single one seen on Christopher Walken’s left hand.

But what really furrowed my brow was the claim that this was going to bring a whole new audience into live theater.

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Sheryl Crow in Concert with Boston Pops Added to Tanglewood 2015 Line-up [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Sheryl Crow

Nine-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow will join Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops at Tanglewood in Lenox on June 19, 2015, at 8:30pm, for a concert performance to help kick off Tanglewood’s 2015 season. She last appeared at Tanglewood in concert with James Taylor and Yo-Yo Ma in August, 2009.

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James Taylor Returns to Tanglewood for July 4th with All-Star Band, Fireworks [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014
The Berkshires love James Taylor’s appearances at Tanglewood as much as those of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

The Berkshires love James Taylor’s appearances at Tanglewood as much as those of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

James Taylor returns to Tanglewood in 2015 with his All-Star Band for a performance on Saturday, July 4, at 7pm in the Koussevitzky Music Shed, followed by a spectacular fireworks display over the Stockbridge Bowl in celebration of the Independence Day holiday.

The July 4 performance will include many of the iconic songs so closely associated with Mr. Taylor, as well as new original material from his forthcoming album — his first in a decade — to be released in 2015. Mr. Taylor, who regularly performs to sold-out audiences at Tanglewood, has returned to the festival 23 times since his first performance there in 1974.

Tickets for the July 4 concert by James Taylor, priced from $26 (lawn tickets) to $103, go on sale January 24 at 10am at 888-266-1200 or www.tanglewood.org, where visitors can also find full details of the 2015 Tanglewood concert schedule, including performances by the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops orchestras, the Tanglewood Music Center and guest artists from the worlds of classical, jazz, the American Songbook, Broadway, pop rock, dance and film. Tanglewood — this country’s preeminent summer music festival and the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra — is located in the Berkshire hills between Stockbridge and Lenox.

Jim Brickman, Pianist Extraordinaire, at Troy Music Hall on Thursday [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014
Jim Brickman, appearing at the Troy Music Hall.

Jim Brickman, appearing at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall

By Larry Murray

Christmas is warmer, more special when you celebrate it with a friend. And for many, Jim Brickman is a special person in their lives, having brought his unique music and personality to the stage for more than a decade. For those of us in the Berkshire and Albany area, his appearance at 7:30pm on Thursday (December 11) at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall will be writ large in our holiday calendar.

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Exploring FX in the Berkshires: A New Series @ the Little Cinema [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, December 8th, 2014
We’ve all wondered “How do they do that!” at one time or another.

We’ve all wondered “How do they do that!” at one time or another.

FX creativity thrives in the Berkshires – and the Little Cinema at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield will celebrate some local contributions to the genre with screenings and fascinating talks with those who make cinematic magic. From Middle Earth to the Matrix, FX in the Berkshires will feature films accompanied by talks with area filmmakers who are active in the special and visual effects fields.

The series opens with The Fellowship of the Ring at 6pm on Thursday (December 11), with a commentary by special effects expert John Nugent. The series is presented in partnership with Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative and is curated by Nannina Stearn.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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