Posts Tagged ‘Berkshire On Stage’

BTG’s “Fiorello!” Heads to Off-Broadway [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, July 7th, 2016
A victorious “Fiorello!” with Austin Lombardi as the memorable Mayor (photo: Emma Rothenberg-Ware)

A victorious “Fiorello!” with Austin Lombardi as the memorable Mayor (photo: Emma Rothenberg-Ware)

Berkshire Theatre Group and Artistic Director/CEO Kate Maguire announced that due to critical acclaim and record breaking attendance, BTG’s production of the Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning musical, Fiorello! is moving to New York City. This is the first time Berkshire Theatre Group will be producing a show Off-Broadway. The current production, playing at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, is being directed by Robert Moss, the founder of Playwrights Horizons in New York City.

Moss says, “Mayor La Guardia was long gone by the time I moved to New York, so I never lived under his tenure in City Hall. But the “Little Flower,” as he was called, lives on in memory. The music is toe-tappingly delightful, the characters are richly drawn and a story about good guys is desperately needed in today’s jaded and vitriolic politics. It’s great to be reminded, as the music lifts us aloft, that good can triumph over selfishness.”

The current staging of Fiorello! continues in the Berkshires through Saturday, July 23 at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge. For ticket information and show times go to www.berkshiretheatregroup.org.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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Jacob’s Pillow Welcomes World Premiere [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016
Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards (photo: Eduardo Patino)

Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards (photo: Eduardo Patino)

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket is presenting the world premiere engagement of And Still You Must Swing featuring three of the world’s most celebrated tap dance luminaries — Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Jason Samuels Smith and Derick K. Grant — through Sunday (July 10) in the intimate Doris Duke Theatre. The program embraces masterful technique, musicality and improvisation including a live onstage band and a star-studded cast with critically-acclaimed guest artist and 2016 Jacob‘s Pillow Dance Award recipient Camille A. Brown.

“We are experiencing a tap renaissance in this country and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Jason Samuels Smith and Derick K. Grant are three of the exceptional artists at its core,” says Jacob’s Pillow Director Pamela Tatge. ”That they are being joined by this year’s Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award winner Camille A. Brown is a gift.”

A “fiercely elegant” and “singularly authoritative artist” (Claudia La Rocco, The New York Times), Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards joins forces with Derick K. Grant and Jason Samuels Smith to present a dynamic project that captures the heart and legacy of tap dance, honoring the profound influence of jazz and swing. A highly-anticipated engagement, the cast returns to the Pillow following several celebrated individual engagements.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

THEATER REVIEW: “The Rose Tattoo” @ Williamstown Theatre Festival [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016
Marisa Tomei (photo:  Daniel Rader)

Marisa Tomei (photo: Daniel Rader)

Theater review by Macey Levin

Tennessee Williams is one of our country’s most important playwrights having written masterpieces from the mid-1940’s to the early ‘60’s including The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and many other dark, brooding dramas. In 1951 he wrote a very different work, The Rose Tattoo that is as intense as the others but also hugely funny. Williamstown Theatre Festival has mounted an outstanding production of this seldom-performed play with the marvelous Marisa Tomei leading an exceptional cast.

Serafina Delle Rose (Ms. Tomei) and her 15-year-old daughter live in a ramshackle house in a Gulf coast town in Louisiana. She was widowed three years ago when her husband Rosario was killed in a truck accident while smuggling drugs. She worshipped him and boasts about the rose tattoo on his chest and their love-making to her female neighbors, most of whom neither like nor respect her. She is an object of derision throughout her neighborhood, and they are aware that Rosario was not faithful to her, though they never use that against her. A devout Catholic immigrant from Sicily, she keeps a statue of the Virgin Mary with a candle lit 24 hours a day and speaks to it. She tells her only friend, Assunta (Barbara Rosenblat,) that the statue speaks to her.

Serafina’s daughter Rosa (Gus Birney) has fallen in love with Jack (Will Pullen), a girl friend’s brother. Serafina is fervently opposed to Rosa having any relationship with a boy/man at her young age, though she was married when she was 14. She has kept Rosa locked in a room preventing her from going to school and her graduation ceremony since she has discovered that Rosa has been seeing Jack. At the urging of Assunta and Rosa’s teacher she allows her to attend the ceremony.

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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.

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Theater Review: “Ugly Lies the Bone” @ Shakespeare & Co. [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, June 30th, 2016
Christianna Nelson in Ugly Lies the Bone

Christianna Nelson in “Ugly Lies the Bone”

Theater review by Macey Levin

For years countless men and women have returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with horrendous physical injuries. In Lindsey Ferrentino’s play Ugly Lies the Bone, currently at Shakespeare & Co.’s Bernstein Theatre in Lenox, we meet Jess (Christianna Nelson), a young woman who has suffered severe physical damage as well as profound psychological pain.

Having returned to her childhood home in Florida she shares with her sister Kasie (Rory Hammond), she is undergoing a rehabilitation process that involves a virtual reality experiment in which she wears goggles and is urged by an unseen character (Ariel Bock) to create her personal version of Paradise. This, presumably, will move her away from her bleak daily existence into a world that will give her hope for the future.

As Jess creates her idyllic space, the voice continually urges her to “Move forward!” Her conflict is that she wants life to be what it had been, especially before her third deployment. Her mother (Ms. Bock) was well and vital, her lover Stevie (Hamish Allan-Headley) cheered her and her sister Kasie was happier. Now, mother is institutionalized with Alzheimer’s, Stevie is married and works as a gas station attendant and Kasie is in love with Kelvin (Dylan Chalfy), who is unemployed plumber.

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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.

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THEATER REVIEW: “Fiorello!” @ Berkshire Theatre Group [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, June 27th, 2016
Chelsea Groen and Dan Cassin in Fiorello (photo: Emma Rothenberg-Ware)

Chelsea Groen and Dan Cassin in “Fiorello!” (photo: Emma Rothenberg-Ware)

Theater review by Larry Murray

Back in 1959, Fiorello! was the hit show that scooped up a Pulitzer Prize for best drama, and tied with the The Sound of Music for the Tony as best musical, leaving Gypsy in the dust. Tom Bosley, as Fiorello LaGuardia, won best actor.

As delivered by a youthful cast, Fiorello! moves right along with a breezy score by Jerry Bock, clever lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and this is a good thing because the weak link is a thin, choppy book which has undergone various revisions over the years. The program credits Jerome Weidman and George Abbott for the version currently on stage at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge. It seems close (if not identical) to the original, which I saw some 56 years ago. Memories fade, though I remember how much I enjoyed songs like “Politics and Poker,” “Little Tin Box” and “Till Tomorrow.”

The cast of Fiorello! is uniformly excellent, a parade of characters and caricatures that easily delight today’s audiences just as they did those a half century ago. Who doesn’t love to watch love blossom on stage between a policeman – a sturdy Dan Cassin – and the radical striker, Dora (Chelsea Groen).

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“The unCivil War”: A Bluegrass Musical Comedy, Cabaret Style [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, June 24th, 2016
The cabaret show features J. Robert Spencer as Lincoln and Brian Charles Rooney as Mary Todd

The cabaret show features J. Robert Spencer as Lincoln and Brian Charles Rooney as Mary Todd

At the Wood Theater in Glens Falls, the Adirondack Theatre Festival’s 22nd summer season continues this weekend with its cabaret series featuring the return of The unCivil War in a special concert performance. This special event will feature an updated script and score, with changes made based on reactions of ATF audiences from last summer’s performance, complete with multiple new songs and scenes. The concert performances will be held at 7:30pm on Sunday and Monday (June 26 & 27).

150 years after the final gunshot, the Civil War’s six lone survivors grab their banjos, washboards and what’s left of their sanity to retell the story of the infamous conflict…as it really happened. Complete with singing, dancing, outrageous humor and biting historical satire, The unCivil War is a wild, bluegrass-fueled ride that re-examines one of the country’s darkest moments and sheds a hilarious new light on the leaders we’ve long considered heroes.

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