Posts Tagged ‘Barrington Stage’

“peerless” Premieres at Barrington Stage Co. [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

peerless

Jiehae Park’s comedy peerless will be seen for the first time in the Berkshires at the Barrington Stage Company, the award-winning theater in downtown Pittsfield.

Directed by Louisa Proske, peerless begins previews on Thursday (July 21), officially opens on Sunday (July 24), and runs through Saturday, August 6 at BSC’s St. Germain Stage.

peerless tells the story of brilliant, ambitious twin sisters L and M when they realize that perfect academics and superb extracurricular activities aren’t enough to get into their dream college – so they decide to take matters into their own hands. peerless is a comedy…until it isn’t.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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David Lutken Brings “Yankee Doodle Folkie” Music to Barrington Stage [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, July 1st, 2016
David Lutken

David Lutken

Pittsfield’s Barrington Stage Company welcomes back award-winning singer David Lutken & the Seat of the Pants Band with “Yankee Doodle Folkie: Music for Independence Day” at Mr. Finn’s Cabaret 8pm on Sunday (July 3) and 7pm on Monday (July 4). Tickets are $35.

David Lutken and his band will treat audiences to a treasure trove of American folk music guaranteed to get hands clapping and feet stomping. Joining Lutken are the Seat of the Pants Band members Ken Breard, Jane Gillman, Helen J. Russell, Antoine Silverman and Andy Teirstein. According to Lutken, “rehearsing is cheating,” is the mantra of this banjo-pickin’, harmonica-blowin’ band.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

FREE: Symposium on Race at Barrington Stage Co. This Weekend [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016
Luke Smith, Michael Hayden, Andre Ware and Tamara Tunie (photo: Scott Barrow)

Luke Smith, Michael Hayden, Andre Ware and Tamara Tunie (photo: Scott Barrow)

Utilizing the world premiere play American Son as a springboard to further dialogue about race, identity and bias in America, Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield has invited members of the Berkshire community as speakers, moderators and panelists regarding these timely and important issues. The free weekend symposium will take place beginning at 1pm on Saturday (July 2) and at 2pm on Sunday (July 3) on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage under the title of Race, Bias and Culture in Present-Day America.

Winner of the prestigious Laurents/Hatcher Award for Best New Play of 2016, American Son stars Tamara Tunie (“Law & Order: SVU”), Michael Hayden, Luke Smith and Andre Ware. Written by award-winning playwright Christopher Demos-Brown and directed by Julianne Boyd, American Son runs through Saturday, July 9.

Saturday (July 2), 1—2:30pm
“The Struggle of Growing Up Biracial— Caught In the Middle”
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Ferentz Lafargue, Director, The Davis Center at Williams College, Williamstown, MA
Moderated by: Chief Michael J. Wynn, Pittsfield Police Department
Panelists: Dr. Barbara Baker, Director of Project Link at BCC
Byonte Jones, 9th grade student, BART Charter School
Eddie Taylor, Executive Director, S.E.E.D. Network, Inc.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

THEATER REVIEW: “Kimberly Akimbo” @ Barrington Stage Co. [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, June 20th, 2016
Chris Thorn (Buddy) and Debra Jo Rupp (Kimberly) in a scene from “Kimberly Akimbo”. Photo by Scott Barrow.

Chris Thorn (Buddy) and Debra Jo Rupp (Kimberly) in a scene from “Kimberly Akimbo”. Photo by Scott Barrow.

Review by Macey Levin

David Lindsay-Abaire won a Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for his play Rabbit Hole — a story of a family that has lost a child who was struck by a car and killed eight months earlier. He has also given us plays filled with off-beat humor such as Fuddy Meers, Wonder of the World and Kimberly Akimbo which is currently receiving a dynamic production at Barrington Stage Company’s St. Germain Stage in Pittsfield.

Kimberly (Debra Jo Rupp) has the aging disease progeria; though she is only sixteen, physically and internally she is past middle age on the verge of dying. She knows how to deal with the condition, but she is also a member of a highly dysfunctional family that has recently moved from Secaucus, New Jersey to Bogota, New Jersey under mysterious circumstances. Her father Buddy (Chris Thorn) is an alcoholic who works in a gas station and often forgets his responsibilities to his daughter. Pattie (Jessiee Datino), her mother, is pregnant, has been operated on for carpal tunnel syndrome and is self-involved. Aunt Debra (Jessica Savage) has been in and out of jail several times and is currently homeless. The only relatively sane one in her life, and that’s relative, is Jeff (Adam Langdon), a classmate who creates anagrams and is a Dungeons and Dragons aficionado.

Kimberly, despite her youth, is the only rational character and she also displays a moral center. She knows but does not fear what lies ahead. She attempts, sometimes vainly, to teach her family members the difference between right and wrong and how to act as a grown-up.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Theater Review: 10×10 New Play Festival @ Barrington Stage [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016
Best In Class from the 10 x 10 plays at Barrington Stage 2016.

Best In Class from the 10 x 10 plays at Barrington Stage 2016 (photo: Scott Barrow)

Theater review by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray

Larry Murray: As theater-lovers who live year round in the Berkshires, Gail, winter can be like Lent is for Catholics and others. What we seem to give up from January to April are the live performances that we thrive on the rest of the year. Which is why, for the fifth year in a row, we were delighted to get a generous serving of on-stage belly laughs, drama, pathos and even a bit of bathos at the opening of the fifth annual 10×10 Upstreet New Play Festival. The ten mind-tickling moments came from ten new ten-minute plays, all slices of life that shed light on things like beginning a relationship, or ending one.

Gail M. Burns: To paraphrase Forrest Gump, the 10x10s are like a box of chocolates. Each one is a treat; some will be your favorites, and some will be mine. And they are brief enough it takes you at least 3-5 minutes to decide this one’s not for you, which means it’s almost over anyway. Once again Barrington Stage Co. in Pittsfield has assembled a versatile cast of six: three men – Jake Keefe, Andrew May and Matt Neely – and three women – Madison Micucci, Kelley Rae O’Donnell and Peggy Pharr Wilson. Neely and Wilson are popular local actors and 10×10 veterans, while the rest are newcomers, but they work as a seamless ensemble here, as they are mixed and matched in a variety of roles.

Larry: The ten playwrights (three women, seven men) covered an amazing variety of topics, while Julianne Boyd and John Miller-Stephany split the role as directors with five plays each. Boyd has been artistic director of the company since its inception, and while Miller-Stephany is new to the company, he has an enviable record of success with the Guthrie in Minneapolis and before that with the Acting Company in New York City.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage

Barrington Stage Co. Announces Ambitious New Season [Berkshire On Stage]

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016
The bumbling policemen in Pirates of Penzance.

The bumbling policemen in “Pirates of Penzance.”

By Larry Murray

In the Berkshires, only one of the major performing arts organizations has made it a standard practice to invite the press to a season announcement where you can hear the plans directly from the Artistic Director, and some of their key personnel. The interchange with the media never fails to be interesting.

Such was the case recently as Julianne Boyd, artistic director of Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield announced her plans for the company’s 2016 season. With Managing Director Tristan Wilson at her side and actress Debra Jo Rupp (who will appear with the company again this season), the trio added the interesting details of how works were chosen, and how they fit into the company’s jam packed schedule. It is an adventurous one with casting and details of one other play on the St. Germain stage yet to be announced. Also TBA are the company’s usual slate of cabaret performers for Mr. Finn’s Pub and the name of the student musical – all details for follow up announcements later in the year. We also had a chance to talk with Boyd privately about American Son, the world premiere of playwright Christopher Demos-Brown’s play about parenting and policing in the U.S. that she will be directing.

The 2016 season at BSC will includes other world premieres, both musicals. They are the Jonathan Larson Award winning composer Joe Iconis’ Broadway Bounty Hunter and the Joel Waggoner/Eric Price story of a family of illusionists, Presto Change-O, directed by Marc Bruni of Broadway’s Beautiful The Carole King Musical.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

“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.

REVIEW: “Butler” @ Barrington Stage Opens Season with Laughs, History, Great Acting [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, May 29th, 2015
Maurice Jones (l) and David Schramm (r) in Butler.

Maurice Jones (l) and David Schramm (r) in “Butler” (photo by Kevin Sprague)

Theater Review by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray

Larry Murray: When Julianne Boyd announced the opening play of Pittsfield’s Barrington Stage Company season would be about the Civil War and the long forgotten Major General Benjamin Franklin Butler (1818-1893), and that it was a Civil War comedy, it seemed an odd choice. And having just seen Butler, it seems an unlikely blend of biography, political drama and comedy that takes us back a century and a half, and delivers quite a theatrical wallop. But I am not sure how to classify this play, do you, Gail?

Gail M. Burns: Playwright Richard Strand tells the story in a broad sit-com style, and director Joseph Discher has wisely chosen a talented and recognizable American sit-com star David Schramm to play the lead. Schramm is so much more than Roy Biggins, the odious greasy owner of a tiny airline who he played on Wings (1990-1997); he is a Juilliard graduate and has been acting non-stop since he was a teenager. But when we see him, we are primed for laughs, which he and the rest of the cast deliver in spades.

Larry: Strand could not have had an easy time imagining the conversation between the newly minted General Butler – he has been in the military just four weeks on May 23, 1861, the day the play takes place – his adjutant Lieutenant Kelly (Ben Cole) and the runaway slave Shepard Mallory (Maurice Jones). The plot revolves around the question of what you do with a slave seeking sanctuary when the law says you are required to return him to his owner. But as the play unfolds we learn it’s all so much more complicated than this since this is no ordinary slave. The supposedly illiterate and uneducated Shepard Mallory is anything but. Butler is at its most intense in the encounters between the General and the aggressive slave who will not take “no” for an answer. Their verbal volleys lead the lawyerly officer to conjure up a rationale for the Union to accept and conscript slaves as contraband from the war, and in so doing, it deprived the South of thousands of slaves whom they had been using in their own conduct of the war. As the war progressed, the South found their former slaves now part of the Army determined to beat them down. Sometimes at this historic distance from the conflict, we forget how breathtaking those years were. So much gets lost in the mists of time.

Gail: Mallory is the character who Strand undoubtedly had to invent from whole-cloth since he and the two slaves who arrived at Fort Monroe with him, were property, not people. I cannot find a record of their names. So Strand had free rein to make this man who he needed him to be for the purposes of the play.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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