Posts Tagged ‘Berkshire On Stage’

Local Actors Guild of Saratoga Tackles Sexual Politics in Larry Kramer’s Drama “The Normal Heart” [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, March 20th, 2015

The Normal Heart

The Normal Heart is the third production of the Local Actors Guild of Saratoga’s 2014-2015 season and will run from March 21-22 and 28-29. The Capital Region community theater in downtown Saratoga Springs is celebrating its ninth season under the leadership of Jeremy Buechner, Artistic Director. Jonathan Pate is directing the show at Saratoga Arts.

The Normal Heart tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s. It explores the nation’s sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fight to expose the truth about the epidemic to a city in denial.

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Zammuto & Gotye @ MASS MoCA on Saturday [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

From his days as a founding member of luminary art rockers the Books to his equally arresting and madcap work as a solo artist, the imagination of Nick Zammuto is boundless. He recently built a giant catapult in his Vermont backyard for the purpose of flinging computers and guitars. When he visits MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center in North Adams at 8pm Saturday (March 21) with his eponymous ensemble, Zammuto, it’s hard to know for sure what will happen – but it’s safe to say you should show up…

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DD Dorvillier’s “Extra Shapes” at EMPAC Combines Sound, Light & Dance – But Doesn’t Blend [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015
Dance at RPI’s EMPAC in Troy, New York.

Dance @ EMPAC at RPI in Troy

Picture a carton of Neapolitan ice cream: three bands of strawberry, vanilla and chocolate perfectly proportioned, separated, juxtaposed. Each flavor retains its unique character and might be tasted alone, but, when taken as a triad, the dessert reveals its simple elegance through complementation not combination. This is the working analogy for choreographer and performer DD Dorvillier’s Extra Shapes, which treats the mediums of sound, light and movement in a similarly autonomous manner. The EMPAC-commissioned work will premiere at EMPAC at RPI in Troy at 8pm on Friday (March 20).

For Extra Shapes, the stage itself is the ice cream carton. Within that space, works of sound, light and dance occupy the three horizontal bands. According to its parts, the piece is a concert for loudspeakers (by composer Sebastien Roux), a light show (by lighting designer Thomas Dunn) and a performance for moving figures (created by Dorvillier with the performers Katerina Andreou and Walter Dundervill).

Staged in the EMPAC Theater, Extra Shapes consists of a 17-minute sequence which is repeated several times. The audience, seated along the sides of the rectangle, moves to a new side after each iteration in order to experience very different perspectives. The idea is to present the three mediums simultaneously but separately and to propose a new way of experiencing abstraction in the context of live performance.

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“A Rite” (of Spring) @ ’62 Center Brings Anne Bogart, Bill T. Jones & Janet Wong Together [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, March 16th, 2015
A Rite (photo: Paul B. Goode)

“A Rite” (photo: Paul B. Goode)

When it premiered in Paris in 1913, Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, with choreography by Vaslav Nijinksy, was greeted with the vocal equivalent of rotten tomatoes.

“The people were so upset by the music and the choreography that they started screaming and shouting insults, and a riot ensued,” said Anne Bogart, artistic director of SITI Company, a theater ensemble based in New York City. “Not six months later, the music was being recognized as one of the greatest pieces of modern music ever.”

In Williamstown, the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance’s CenterSeries hosts the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Anne Bogart’s SITI Company as they join forces. These two celebrated companies examine The Rite of Spring, Igor Stravinsky’s groundbreaking masterpiece. His celebrated collaboration with choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky was so revolutionary at the time of its Paris premiere that it incited a riot, and “A Rite” attempts to imagine the consequences of hearing the piece played for the very first time, with a libretto that pulls from the diaries of World War I veterans, the writings of physicist Brian Greene and many other sources. There will be one performance only, at 8pm on Tuesday (March 17) at Williams College’s ’62 Center MainStage, located at 1000 Main Street, in Williamstown, MA. Tickets are $10; $3 students.

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Three Resign Board Leadership in Continuing Drama at Shakespeare & Company [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Editorial by Larry Murray

An earlier article covers the news of Rick Dildine’s recent departure from Shakespeare & Company.

More changes. Following a meeting on Tuesday, Sarah Hancock, chairwoman of the board of trustees at Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox, resigned from her role as Chairman, but remains on the Board. Also resigning their position are Vice Chairwoman Claudia Perles who also remains a Board member, and Vice Chairman Charles Schader who has left the Board “for personal reasons.”

In a written statement, the company’s executive committee said that a new leadership team would be nominated during the next board meeting on March 30, and that team would “continue the company’s tradition of artistic excellence and community service. While we are sorry to see these persons leave their positions, changes like these happen from time to time in any organization, and it would be a mistake to interpret these departures as a sign that the company is in turmoil or in trouble. Neither is true,” the statement read. “In fact, the company’s financial status has greatly improved over the past years, it has an exciting season about to launch, ticket sales and enrollments in the company’s renowned training and education programs are both strong and the staff is actively engaged in making this season the great success it promises to be.”

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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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