Posts Tagged ‘Berkshire On Stage’

Ghent Playhouse Offers Jerry Herman’s Biggest Hits; Tom Detwiler Directs “Jerry’s Girls” [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Jerry's Girls

By Larry Murray

The Ghent Playhouse presents Jerry’s Girls, a musical revue of Jerry Herman’s biggest Broadway hits. Tom Detwiler is directing the production with opening night set for 8pm tonight (Friday, March 13).

If the winter blues have you down, chase them away by seeing Jerry’s Girls, a lively revue of the best-loved show tunes by Jerry Herman, who has delighted Broadway audiences since 1961 with shows like Milk and Honey, Hello Dolly!, Mack & Mabel and La Cage Aux Folles, to name a few. In addition to the title songs from these shows, also hear favorites like “I Won’t Send Roses,” “Bosom Buddies,” “I Am What I Am,” “Whatever He Ain’t” and “It Only Takes a Moment.” The music, the costumes, the lights and the incredible talent on stage will have you humming and smiling as you leave the Playhouse.

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Tony Simotes Directs “When the Sky Falls” at the Unicorn Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, March 12th, 2015
A staged reading of When the Sky Falls by Yvette “Jamuna” Sirker will be directed by Tony Simotes at the Unicorn March 13, 2015.

A staged reading of “When the Sky Falls” by Yvette “Jamuna” Sirker will be directed by Tony Simotes at the Unicorn on Friday.

Playwright Yvette “Jamuna” Sirker collaborates with renowned director Tony Simotes, former artistic director of Shakespeare and Company, on a staged reading of Ms. Sirker’s play based on her own experience of living through Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans on Friday (March 13). When the Sky Falls was developed Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway and is the winner of MultiStages Theater’s New Works Contest and Epic Theater Center’s Sunshine Series and was a Lark Play Development Center Playwright’s Week Finalist. At the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge on Friday, Tony Simotes directs a diverse cast of actors from Shakespeare and Company and New York City.

Yvette “Jamuna” Sirker’s When the Sky Falls has been described as a “poetic, surprisingly funny and at times brutal play that is a fantasia on the theme of security in America (Epic Theater Center).” Other critics have described it as “beautifully written,” “poignant and sharply satiric.” Anita Velez Mitchell, theater critic for New York City’s La Voz News, described it as being “among the classics that document [the] history [of Hurricane Katrina].”

Based on Ms. Sirker’s personal experience surviving Hurricane Katrina, When the Sky Falls follows a small neighborhood through the innocent days just before Katrina and the harrowing time after the sky fell. It is a story of surviving epic loss and our collective need for stories in doing so.

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Sharp-tongued Lonely Heart Meets Blind Date in “Skin Deep” from Town Players [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015
The Cast of “Skin Deep” with the director, Kevin Paul Wixsom.

The cast of “Skin Deep” with director Kevin Paul Wixsom

By Larry Murray

The Town Players of Pittsfield continue their 94th season with a production of Jon Lonoff’s comedy, “Skin Deep,” directed by Kevin Paul Wixsom.

A large, lovable lonely heart named Maureen Mulligan (Monica Bliss) gives romance one last shot on a blind date with the amiable but awkward Joe Spinelli (Thomas Suski). She relies on sharp wit and wisecracks to cover her feelings and he can’t contain his eagerness which leaves him clumsy of manners and blunt in speech. But, they’re perfect for each other, even if they won’t admit it.

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Composer Enno Poppe to Give US Premiere of “Speicher,” Performed by Talea Ensemble at EMPAC [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

The Talea Ensemble

By Larry Murray

A note is commonly thought to be the smallest element of a musical composition. It is the composer’s task to arrange these elements and the performer’s to articulate them. But up to how much pitch variation is a note with vibrato still a single note? At a certain point in performance, the composer’s schema gives way to the performer’s intuitive sense for the note, bringing life into the system.

With “Speicher,” German composer Enno Poppe has created a complex structure of variations, repetitions and mictrotonal intonation, built to push its 22 players to their interpretive and technical extremes. On Friday (March 13) at 8pm, the Talea Ensemble will rise to this challenge in presenting the US premiere of “Speicher” at EMPAC at RPI in Troy.

“Speicher” had its world premiere at the Donaueschingen Festival in Germany in 2013 to widespread acclaim. Translated as “reservoir,” the piece extends a technique called “the hocket,” with which Poppe had experimented in earlier works. Common to 14th century choral music, the technique approaches orchestral arrangement much like a large-scale mosaic, fragmenting melody across the ensemble with quick cuts and changes of timbre. This follows an earlier compositional interest into traditional Korean notions of pitch, preferring to slide between notes rather than in a stepwise manner.

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Dildine Leaves Shakespeare & Company; Ball, Bock and Croy to Lead New Season [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015
Rick Dildine

Rick Dildine returning to the Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis from whence he came.

By Larry Murray

Rick Dildine’s six-month tenure at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox was filled with controversy and secrecy as he tried to reign in expenses, redirect energies and reshape the legendary Berkshire institution that has always been valued for the actors who founded it. When the new season was revealed last month, it was more notable for the absence of the company’s regular actors being included than anything else.

A bland marketing campaign has followed, one that is most noticeable for its absence of the usual Kevin Sprague photos which have been a trademark of the company for some 20 years or more. Unimaginative blocks of color were substituted for the lively images that once communicated the essence of each upcoming play. The marketing of company subscriptions has been lackluster as well. The lack of familiar names and images has resulted in some regular subscribers taking a “wait and see” stance to see who the coming season will actually offer on stage. People who do not know how to sell tickets should not be allowed near the marketing budget, they always end up killing ticket sales.

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To Observe Int’l Women’s Day BFWW Will Screen “Disruption” @ Bard-Simon’s Rock [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, March 6th, 2015

The Berkshire Festival of Women Writers will observe International Women’s Day with a screening of Pamela Yates’ newest film, “Disruption,” at 2pm on Sunday (March 8) at the Daniel Arts Center, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, 84 Alford Road, Great Barrington. The screening is co-presented by the Berkshire Human Rights Speaker Series. The filmmaker will be on hand to discuss the film, and a reception sponsored by Ameriprise Financial will follow the film.

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“Available Light” Brings Lucinda Childs, John Adams and Frank Gehry Together Again at MASS MoCA, March 6-8 [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, March 5th, 2015
Available Light

“Available Light” is reimagined at Mass MoCA as choreographer Lucinda Childs, set designer Frank Gehry and composer John Adams are artists in residence at MASS MoCA.

By Larry Murray

Lucinda Childs, one of the most celebrated choreographers of the modern era, revives her seminal 1983 collaboration with composer John Adams and architect Frank Gehry. During an extended artistic residency at North Adams’ confluence of visual and performing arts, MASS MoCA, Childs remounts “Available Light,” which features an updated version of Childs’ choreography and Gehry’s striking set. The work-in-progress preview performances will take place in the museum’s Hunter Center at 8pm on Friday and Saturday (March 6 & 7) and at 3pm on Sunday (March 8).

“Available Light” was commissioned by and had its world premiere at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art in 1983. The piece was originally conceived as a site-specific work, in which the museum’s large, warehouse-style performance venue, called the Temporary Contemporary, played an integral role. Lucinda Childs’ signature style of choreography, much of which she established in this work, merged with Frank Gehry’s stunning two-story Constructivist set and John Adams’s original, textured score, “Light Over Water.”

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Fun with Lily Tomlin and Irish Music of Caladh Nua on Tap for Troy Music Hall [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015
Lily Tomlin

Lily Tomlin

The Troy Savings Bank Music Hall continues its series featuring compelling artists. Here are four March concerts worth jotting down on your calendar.

LILY TOMLIN, Saturday (March 7), 8pm

It’ll be a delightful bit of nostalgia as we have a rare chance to be in the presence of Lily Tomlin for an unforgettable night of fun and sidesplitting laughter. This sardonic comic artist takes her audience on a trip The Washington Post called “wise and howlingly funny” with more than a dozen of her timeless characters—from Ernestine to Sister Boogie Woman, to Mrs. Beasley and to the iconic Edith Ann.

The Daily News says “With astounding skill and energy, Tomlin zaps through the channels like a human remote control. Using a fantastic range of voices, gestures and movements, she conjures up the cast of characters with all the apparent ease of a magician pulling a whole menagerie of animals from a single hat.” Don’t miss this warm and uniquely affecting experience filled with comical insights and wildly, witty observations about the human condition.

UPDATE: Lily Tomlin’s performance is now officially sold out…

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