Posts Tagged ‘Berkshire On Stage’

Frank & Fiona, Bob & Terry, Plus William & Mary in Ayckbourn’s “How the Other Half Loves” in Ghent [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, March 17th, 2014
Christina Smith, Sam Reilly and Todd Hamilton as Teresa, William and Bob in “How the Other Half Loves” at The Ghent Playhouse. Photo Daniel Region

Christina Smith, Sam Reilly and Todd Hamilton as Teresa, William and Bob in “How the Other Half Loves” at The Ghent Playhouse. Photo Daniel Region

The Ghent Playhouse will present Alan Ayckbourn’s wickedly funny play, “How The Other Half Loves” opening on Friday (March 21) and playing through April 6. The production’s director is Sky Vogel, who directed the Playhouse’s smash hit musical “Urinetown” in 2012.

Ayckbourn’s play deals with the interlocking lives of three couples: Frank is an upper-level manager in a nondescript business office. He is married to Fiona. The two of them are comfortable in life, though Fiona is a bit bored. Frank, it should be added, is a bit dim. Bob and Terry are a young couple with an infant child. Bob works for Frank. Terry spends her days writing letters to newspaper editors trying, without much success, to right one or more of society’s wrongs. She could be a better mother. Bob is sleeping with Fiona. Bob could be a better husband.

In an attempt to provide cover for a late night rendezvous, Bob tells Terry he has been out offering counsel to a co-worker, William, supposedly distraught because his wife, Mary, has been having an affair. This seems a little more than odd considering Mary is mousy, plain and meek. William, himself no prince of partying, may also be up to sexual shenanigans. At least so suspects Frank, who, as mentioned, is not the sharpest cheddar in the pantry.

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Peggy Seeger, Poetry & Publishing Highlight Week 3 of Berkshire Festival of Women Writers [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Berkshire Festival of Women Writers

During the month of March, 2014, the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers (BFWW) is hosting 58 events. The purpose is to bring women writers of all ages and from many different walks of life together to share their insights and, of course, to celebrate Women’s History Month. BFWW’s list of speakers, panelists and presenters is impressive and contains names both familiar and not.

This is the fourth year for the BFWW which runs from March 1–31 at venues all over Berkshire County. The Festival is sponsored by Bard College at Simon’s Rock with the collaboration of many other organizations. Participants include more than 150 women writers, those 58 separate events taking place at some 30 venues around the county. Complete listings and details of all events are available on the festival’s website. Most events are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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Neil Simon Sets Chekhov’s Short Stories on Stage at Mill City in North Adams [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

The Good Doctor

North Adams, MA – Mill City Productions is pleased to announce production dates for “The Good Doctor” by Neil Simon and Anton Chekhov. Performances will take place on Fridays, March 14 and 21 at 8pm; Saturdays, March 15 and 22 at 8pm; and Sundays, March 16 and 23 at 2pm. The production is directed by Tara Johnson and features eleven Berkshire County actors.

This Broadway hit is a composite of Anton Chekhov’s short stories, dramatized by Neil Simon. An unnamed writer (obviously meant to represent Chekhov himself) suffers from writer’s block and his own artistic temperament, so he revisits some of his favorite characters and the stories they inhabit.

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Berkshire Festival of Women Writers – Week Two [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Berkshire Festival of Women Writers  - Week Two

The second week of the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers continues to explore the literary terrain. Complete listings and details of all events are available on the festival’s website. Most events are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Today (Monday, March 10)
Meeting On the Bridge
Reading and discussion hosted by Gwendolyn VanSant and Kate Abbott, with Multicultural BRIDGE “On the Bridge” columnists for The Berkshire Eagle
Mason Library, 231 Main St., Great Barrington, MA, 7 p.m.
For more than two years, Gwendolyn VanSant of Multicultural BRIDGE and Kate Abbott, Editor of Berkshires Week, have collaborated on “On the Bridge,” a regular column in the magazine which allows Berkshire residents from all over the world to tell their stories. Celebrate the richness of the people around us with “On the Bridge” writers Siobahn Connally, Elizabeth Blackshine and Margot Welch.

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Theater: Problematic Production of “Private Lives” @ Shakespeare & Company [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014
Private Lives at Shakespeare & Company (photo: Kevin Sprague)

Private Lives at Shakespeare & Company (photo: Kevin Sprague)

Theater Review by Gail M. Burns and Roseann Cane

Roseann Cane: Currently at Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox through the end of March, “Private Lives,” first presented in 1930, is probably revived more often than any play by Noël Coward. It has been subject of a myriad of literary analyses, many of which claim the play a reflection, or product of, Coward’s homosexual “world view.” Then, there are some who’ve declared Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” to be a play about homosexuality; various reports have Albee guffawing or expressing sheer exasperation in response. Of course, the works of these two masters are different as chalk and cheese, but I feel the need to emphasize the grave error we make when we assume sexual orientation trumps common humanity.

Gail M. Burns: During the 1920′s American women got the vote and ladies world-wide threw off their corsets and bobbed their hair in an unprecedented statement of physical freedom and autonomy. Here Coward makes Amanda (Dana Harrison) by far the more sexually aggressive character on the stage, and makes it clear that she neither regrets it nor finds her lifestyle unusual. Implicit in her “slatternly” ways is that she uses some form of birth control, because she is overtly unmaternal.

Roseann: Probably the frequent ‘Private Lives” revivals have more to do with the sophisticated silliness, the buoyant wit and wordplay, and the famous lines that are still amusing today, particularly those of Elyot (whom Coward originally played, and who is played by David Joseph in this production). “Don’t quibble, Sybil,” he responds to his new young wife early in the play. Later on, he declares, “Women should be struck regularly, like gongs.” And it IS funny, because we understand that Elyot is being superficial, and supercilious, too . There’s also the matter that he gets stricken as much as he strikes.

Gail: Today we are highly sensitive to the issue of domestic violence, but there are couples, like Elyot and Amanda, for whom physical altercations are part of the mating dance. The aggression is mutual. Amanda claims to be “covered in bruises” but there are no visible results from her rough and tumble session. At the end we see that Sibyl (Annie Considine) and Victor (Adam Huff) are similarly matched. The issue is controversial, but here we have to accept it as a part of the wide spectrum of human attraction.

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The Philadelphia Orchestra @ SPAC, August 6-23, 2014 [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Yannick Nézet-Séguin

A dynamic line-up of internationally-renowned classical soloists, famed guest conductors, star-studded pops evenings and exciting premieres will highlight the 2014 residency of the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, August 6–23. Highlights of the season include: conducting appearances by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the acclaimed Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra; the New York premiere of composer Tan Dun’s Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women, a multi-media work featuring Principal Harp Elizabeth Hainen; classical superstars including Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Jeremy Denk and Alison Balsom; an American Songbook Opening Night; and a Broadway extravaganza with Tony Award nominees Stephanie Block and Andrew Rannells. Sharing the podium with Nézet-Séguin during the season will be a stellar cast of guest conductors including Bramwell Tovey, Cristian Macelaru, Steven Reineke and Stéphane Denève.

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SPAC’s New York City Ballet Schedule, July 8-12 [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

The New York City Ballet @ SPAC

New York City Ballet, one of the world’s foremost dance companies, will present a diverse repertory of 14 stunning ballets during its 2014 summer season at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), July 8–12. Showcased during the residency will be iconic works by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins as well as contemporary ballets by acclaimed 21st century choreographers including Peter Martins, Mauro Bigonzetti, Justin Peck, Angelin Preljocaj, Liam Scarlett and Christopher Wheeldon. Highlights of the program include the Saratoga premiere of the newest collaboration from Justin Peck and Sufjan Stevens; a Gala tribute to Great Britain featuring the Saratoga premiere of Liam Scarlett’s Acheron; the return of several ballets not seen at SPAC in many years including Preljocaj’s La Stravaganza, Bigonzetti’s Vespro, Balanchine’s Raymonda Variations and Robbins’s Glass Pieces.

“New York City Ballet’s unparalleled commitment to new choreography will take center stage at SPAC this summer as the company presents a gorgeous program that intertwines classics by Balanchine and Robbins with modern day masterworks by a range of contemporary choreographers, both emerging and established,” said Marcia J. White, SPAC’s President and Executive Director. “The breadth and brilliance of this program is quintessential New York City Ballet,” she added. “Nearly 50 years after our Opening Season, it remains a tremendous privilege for SPAC to host this revered company on our summer stage; we are looking forward to an extraordinary 2014.”

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Women Writers Fest to Feature Gloria Steinem, Susan Dworkin, Peggy Seeger, Amber Chand, Dozens More [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, February 28th, 2014
Gloria Steinem, Susan Dworkin and Peggy Seeger

Gloria Steinem, Susan Dworkin and Peggy Seeger

During the month of March, the Berkshire Festival of Women Writers (BFWW) will host 58 events. The purpose is to bring women writers of all ages and from many different walks of life together to share their insights and, of course, to celebrate Women’s History Month. BFWW’s list of speakers, panelists and presenters is impressive and contains names both familiar and not.

This is the fourth year for the BFWW which runs from March 1–31 at venues all over Berkshire County. The Festival is sponsored by Bard College at Simon’s Rock with the collaboration of many other organizations. Participants include more than 150 women writers, those 58 separate events taking place at some 30 venues around the county. Complete listings and details of all events are available on the festival’s website. Most events are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis.

This year includes a special “track” within the Festival, entitled “Writing the Self, Righting the World: New Visions of Personal and Planetary Health and Healing.” Those events specifically use writing to explore the links between personal and planetary health and wellness, prompting inquiry into the intimate interdependence between our individual, social and environmental landscapes.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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