Posts Tagged ‘Berkshire Theatre Group’

Made in the Berkshires Festival Kicks Off on Friday [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, October 19th, 2015


Berkshire Theatre Group is pleased to announce that the Made in the Berkshires Festival will be held from Friday-Sunday (October 23-25) at the Colonial Theatre and The Garage in Pittsfield and the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, celebrating the wealth of local art and artists.

BTG’s Artistic Director/CEO Kate Maguire says, “We are so excited to present the fifth annual Made in the Berkshires Festival. This year’s line-up is bursting with Berkshire’s top talents, and is sure to be the best year yet.”

Tickets to the Made in the Berkshires Festival are now on sale and range in price from $10-$48, as well as a 3-Day All-Access Pass for $75, including: VIP Access to all events, 20% off tickets for the run of “The Homecoming” and an invitation to the closing party at Hotel on North.

Click to read the rest and get the complete schedule of events at Berkshire on Stage.


Theater Review: “The Homecoming” @ the Unicorn Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015
 L to R: Rocco Sisto, John Rothman, Rylan Morsbach,David Barlow, Tara Franklin and Joey Collins. Photo by Michelle McGrady.

L to R: Rocco Sisto, John Rothman, Rylan Morsbach,David Barlow, Tara Franklin and Joey Collins. Photo by Michelle McGrady.

Theater review by Roseann Cane

Harold Pinter’s plays make great demands on actors. Ideally, the hallmark “Pinter pause” or “Pinter silence” should be at least as communicative and rich as the spoken dialogue, if not more so. I’ve seen productions where I can feel an actor ticking off the seconds until he or she speaks, and this can render the entire play tedious and slow and one-dimensional.

In a speech presented in 1962 to a student drama festival, Pinter said, “There are two silences. One when no word is spoken. The other when perhaps a torrent of language is being employed. This speech is speaking of a language locked beneath it. That is its continual reference. The speech we hear is an indication of that which we don’t hear. It is a necessary avoidance, a violent, sly, anguished or mocking smoke screen which keeps the other in its place. When true silence falls we are still left with echo but are nearer nakedness. One way of looking at speech is to say that it is a constant stratagem to cover nakedness.”

It gives me great joy to report that this production of The Homecoming, beautifully directed by Eric Hill, boasts sterling actors who are not only up to the task, but inspired, fierce, funny, and fully realized.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Harold Pinter’s “The Homecoming” Is Coming to the Unicorn Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015


Berkshire Theatre Group presents the Tony Award-winning classic The Homecoming at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, opening at 7pm on Saturday (October 3). Preview performances begin on Thursday (October 1), and the production closes on Sunday, October 25. Written by Nobel Prize-winning British playwright Harold Pinter, The Homecoming is a thought provoking piece of theater that invites audiences to delve deep into hidden crevices of the human condition.

Kate Maguire, Berkshire Theatre Group’s Artistic Director/CEO, says, “We are lucky to have an array of incredible artists involved with this production, including David Barlow, Joey Collins, Tara Franklin, Rylan Morsbach, John Rothman, Rocco Sisto and Eric Hill directing. Harold Pinter is a great playwright, and this piece should be seen by all serious devotees of theatre.”

Eric Hill says, “The layering of themes in The Homecoming is a very important part of Pinter’s art, which include the games that get played [by the characters] in the course of this play — language games, emotional games — but primarily, the game of territorialism. Pinter’s intention is to reveal the state of the culture in which he lived, and the state of things in England in post-World War II.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

THEATER Review: “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune” @ Fitzgerald Main Stage [Berkshire On Stage]

Friday, August 7th, 2015
Darren Pettie (l) and Angel Desai (r) in Frankie and Johnny in the clare de lune. Photo by Michelle McGrady.

Darren Pettie (l) and Angel Desai (r) in “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.” Photo by Michelle McGrady.

Theater review by Larry Murray

In his play about a failed actress turned waitress and a short order cook who quotes Shakespeare, Terrence McNally has peopled his play Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune with two interesting characters. And very little plot. When it comes to classic love affairs, Frankie and Johnny tales are numerous, and in this case the tragic and doomed love affair is reimagined as a one-night stand that turns serious.

With the lights and classical music turned down low, the audience giggles, then laughs at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Fitzgerald Main Stage, as this tale begins with the sounds of steamy sex and a series of ever more intense moans and groans emanating from beneath the sheets. We hear (but do not see) Frankie (Angel Desai) and Johnny (Darren Pettie) consummating their mating in a big bed that dominates the set. Resplendent and massive, it takes up what seems like half the fifth floor walk-up tenement that is Frankie’s home. Sex over, she wants to send Johnny on his way so she can enjoy the rest of the evening watching TV and eating ice cream. Out of the blue, Johnny announces he wants to spend the rest of his life with her, raise a family and have non-stop sex. She is having none of it.

That is the gist of the story which can be summarized even more simply. In the first act, Frankie makes him a meatloaf sandwich, and in the second act he makes her a western omelette. He has a beer with a milk chaser as he engages in grandiose sentiments, and she is having none of it.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

REVIEW: “Bells Are Ringing” @ the Colonial Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, July 16th, 2015
James Ludwig (center) in Bells Are Ringing at Berkshire Theatre Group. (photo: Reid Thompson)

James Ludwig (center) in “Bells Are Ringing” at the Colonial Theatre (photo: Reid Thompson)

Theater review by Gail M. Burns and Roseann Cane

Roseann Cane: Currently on stage at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Bells Are Ringing originally opened on Broadway in 1956 – the same year that Candide, The Most Happy Fella and My Fair Lady premiered (Oh, to have a time machine!) – and ran for 924 performances. With a book and lyrics by Comden and Green, music by Jule Styne and choreography by Jerome Robbins and Bob Fosse, what a pedigree it boasts. Its star, the magnificent Judy Holliday, won a Tony for her performance, as did her co-star Sydney Chaplin.

Gail M. Burns: This is certainly a musical of its era, right down to the setting at a telephone answering service. For the young and unenlightened, back in prehistoric times when phones had rotary dials and plugged into the wall, if you weren’t home when a call came in, you missed it. Or if you were on the phone and another call came in, the caller got a busy signal. There was no way to leave a message. This was a problem, especially for the rich and famous, so the answering service was invented. Your number rang at a central switchboard where an actual human (invariably a woman) answered it and wrote down (with a pen on a piece of paper) your message. Then you called in, were read your messages, and you could return the calls, or receive important pieces of news, like “you got the job!” or “your uncle died.”

Judy Holliday’s first job was as an assistant switchboard operator at Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre in the 1930’s, and in 1956 a woman named Mary Printz opened Belles Celebrity Answering Service in New York. (Astoundingly, in this electronic age, the agency is still in business!) Comden and Green were clients of Printz’s and long-time friends and theater colleagues of Holliday’s, who by this point had won an Oscar to go with her Tony. They created Bells Are Ringing and the leading role of Ella Peterson for her.

Roseann: Which explains why this charming and paper-thin story, about a switchboard operator for an answering-service who falls in love with a client she has never seen, is more of a star vehicle and musical showcase than the more complexly plotted aforementioned shows, but so what?

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Berkshire Theatre Group Offers Tempting Array of Comedy, Drama and Musicals in 2015 [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015
In addition to top Equity actors, the Berkshire Theatre Group trains students who are are serious about preparing themselves for a career in theatre arts and are part of the upcoming 86th season.

In addition to top Equity actors, the Berkshire Theatre Group trains students who are are serious about preparing themselves for a career in theatre arts and are part of the upcoming 86th season.

The announcement of the upcoming 2015 season for the Berkshire Theatre Group came in two announcements a month apart, but here is the rundown of the theatrical offerings from the now merged Berkshire Theatre Festival and the Colonial Theatre.

Tickets may be purchased in person at the Colonial Ticket Office at 111 South Street, Pittsfield or by calling (413) 997-4444 or online at The Ticket Office is open Monday-Friday 10am–5pm, Saturdays 10am–2pm or on any performance day from 10am until curtain. All plays, schedules, casting and prices are subject to change.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Tony Simotes Joins Berkshire Theatre Group as Managing Director [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, March 30th, 2015
Tony Simotes. Photo by Kevin Sprague ©2010

Tony Simotes (Photo by Kevin Sprague ©2010)

In news that is as surprising as welcome, Tony Simotes has decided to stay in the Berkshires and apply his numerous talents to the growth of the Berkshire Theatre Group. The question of what would become of “our Tony” following his departure from Lenox’s Shakespeare & Company last October has ended. Happily.

The announcement was made by Berkshire Theatre Group’s Artistic Director/CEO, Kate Maguire. Simotes will become BTG’s Managing Director and an Artistic Associate and will begin work at BTG today (Monday, March 30).

It is reported that his responsibilities will include budgeting, fundraising, community outreach and helping formulate BTG’s strategic plan.

In an on-air interview at WAMC-FM, Simotes also spoke about his reasons for leaving Shakespeare & Company.

Berkshire Theatre Group 2015 Plans: “Deathtrap,” “Bells Are Ringing,” McNally’s “Clair de Lune” [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015
Karen Allen will direct Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.

Karen Allen will direct “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.”

The Berkshire Theatre Group has announced its main offerings for 2015’s summer season musical, the 10th annual community theatre production, the Fitzpatrick Main Stage productions in Stockbridge and a medley of other performances to be presented this summer.

BTG plans a second round of programming announcements, including the Unicorn Theatre’s summer season, in the next several weeks.

“Our 87th season offers a mix of unforgettable musicals and classic, influential plays,” says Kate Maguire, Artistic Director/CEO for the Berkshire Theatre Group. “At the Colonial, they will stage the 1956 Comden and Green and Jule Styne sweetheart musical “Bells Are Ringing.” Ethan Heard is directing this romantic show, once again working with Kate Baldwin and Graham Rowat, as he did in last year’s “A Little Night Music.” For our 10th annual community theatre production, the company will present the iconic “Mary Poppins.” As with most of their community productions, some 100 children and adults from the community will participate, some will even soar over the Colonial stage.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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