Posts Tagged ‘Berkshire Theatre Group’

“Facing Our Truth:” An Evening of One-Act Plays Inspired by Trayvon Martin [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, February 1st, 2016

facingtruth

Multicultural BRIDGE, WAM Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Group and Yvette “Jamuna” Sirker are joining together to present a reading of Facing Our Truth, a collection of six 10-minute plays by Winter Miller, Marcus Gardley, Dominique Morrisseau, Mona Mansour & Tala Manassah, Dan O’Brien with Quetzal Flores and A. Rey Pamatmat. Reflecting on race relations in the United States, this collection of one-acts was inspired by events surrounding the Trayvon Martin case. Berkshire Theatre Group hosts the event at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield at 7:30pm on Saturday (February 6), with a moderated panel and community discussion to follow.

In 2013, the New Black Fest in New York City commissioned six very diverse playwrights to write 10-minute plays on the topic of Trayvon Martin, race and/or privilege. This commission resulted in a collection of one-acts titled Facing Our Truth, which continue to be presented around the country, often around February 5, Trayvon Martin’s birthday. The purpose of Facing Our Truth is to spark serious discussion in our collective communities around these urgent issues.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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Rev Tor’s (Grateful) Dead of Winter Jam @ The Garage [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016
Rev Tor and his awesome musicians

Rev Tor and his awesome musicians

Rev Tor’s fifth annual Dead of Winter Jam celebrates the music of the Grateful Dead at The Garage in Pittsfield on Thursday (January 21) at 8pm.

The Rev Tor Band, led by singer and lead guitarist Tor Krautter, has become one of the most compelling and exciting acts on the blues and jam-band circuit. This fifth annual show will be a mid-winter celebration of the music of the Grateful Dead, featuring the Rev Tor Band with guest artists the Whiskey Treaty Roadshow, Rebel Alliance, the Picky Bastards, Misty Blues, Domino Theory, Who Are You, Gina Coleman, Billy Keane, Rob Sanzone, Jennifer Schultheis, Craig Simmons, Mike Wood and Ward Woolverton.

The Rev Tor Band was formed in western Massachusetts by front man Tor Krautter in 1996. Since its conception, the band has evolved into a powerhouse on the east coast club and festival circuit, performing in venues from Maine to Florida. In their native New England, the band keeps a heavy touring schedule enthusiastically supported by a large following of dedicated fans.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Annual “A Christmas Carol” Returns to the Colonial Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, December 7th, 2015
The cast of A Christmas Carol, 2014, photo by Christina Riley.

The cast of A Christmas Carol, 2014, photo by Christina Riley.

The Berkshire Theatre Group offers their 10th annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, adapted by Eric Hill and co-directed by Eric Hill and Travis G. Daly, and presented for the fifth time at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield. This year’s production includes 30 talented young Berkshire county actors, many of whom are returning to the Colonial Theatre, and some who are performing for the first time. A Christmas Carol runs Saturday (December 12) through Tuesday, December 22.

For many, this timeless tale is a wonderful way to celebrate the holidays with the whole family and revel in the joy and redemptive power of Christmas. Who doesn’t remember fondly the timeless tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, the infamous miser who is shown the error of his ways and reformed by four spirits? Journey back to Victorian England and experience the classic story filled with holiday carols and the wonderment of the season.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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

Monday, October 19th, 2015

bosmadeinberkshirestop

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

homecoming

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.

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