Posts Tagged ‘Ghent’

THEATER: Ghent Playhouse Becomes an Irish Pub for “The Weir” [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, January 21st, 2016
Monica Brady, Donald Dolan & John Wallace in The Weit. Rehearsal photos by Dan Region.

Monica Brady, Donald Dolan & John Wallace in “The Weir” (Rehearsal photos by Dan Region)

The award-winning play, The Weir, by playwright Conor McPherson, will mark its regional premier when it opens at the Ghent Playhouse in Ghent on Friay (January 22) and runs through Sunday, February 7. Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings at 8pm; Sunday matinee performances at 2pm. The production will be directed by Aaron Holbritter.

The drama, set in a rural Irish pub, revolves around reminiscences and the kind of banter that comes from men who have a shared upbringing. Four friends sharing drinks and stories of their personal experiences and those of others in the area in an attempt to impress a pretty newcomer to the area named Valerie. Soon their conversations, combined with more than a few drinks, turn to stories with a supernatural twist, arising from the popular preoccupations of Irish folklore: ghosts, faeries and mysterious happenings. But when Valerie tells her own story: the reason why she has left Dublin, her undoubtedly true and melancholy tale shocks the men who soon become softer, kinder and more real, leading to salvation and an eventual happy ending for two of the characters.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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Theater Review: “Little Shop of Horrors”@ the Ghent Playhouse [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, October 16th, 2015
Audrey II and Kelly Sienkiewicz. Photo by Daniel Region.

Audrey II and Kelly Sienkiewicz. Photo by Daniel Region.

Theater review by Gail M. Burns

When staging a musical at a community theatre you often have to choose between casting an actor or a singer. In this production of Little Shop of Horrors at the Ghent Playhouse, Michael C. Mensching has cast singers and then leaned heavily on boosting the comedy and emphasizing the ensemble in order to compensate. Trouble is that Little Shop is a tragedy and not an ensemble show. The “jokes” spring directly from character and situation, both of which are tragic rather than comic in nature. This is a show where you have to laugh or else you’ll run screaming from the theater. By playing tragic figures like Seymour Krelborn and Audrey as funny happy people, the show is bled of both its pathos and its humor.

But this is community theater, and it is wonderful to see a dedicated theatrical community come together and craft a solid production of this beloved and technically difficult show. Mensching gives each of his talented singers a moment to shine, and they are often breathtaking. The story suffers, but the production entertains.

For a small cast show, Little Shop places big demands on the design crews. The set calls the interior and exterior of Mushnik’s Skid Row Florists to be visible and for movement between the two to be fluid. The interior set for the shop needs to be rearranged during musical numbers, and there is another complex interior of a dental office that needs to appear and disappear quickly for just one scene. And then there are the puppets…

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Tom Stoppard Comedy Headed for Ghent Playhouse as “Heroes” Opens Friday [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015
John Trainor, George Filieau and William Sanderson in “Heroes” (photo: Daniel Region)

John Trainor, George Filieau and William Sanderson in “Heroes” (photo: Daniel Region)

The Ghent Playhouse, off Route 66 in Columbia County, will present Heroes, Tom Stoppard’s translation of Gerald Sibleyras’ play Le Vent de Peupliers, directed by Cathy Lee-Visscher. The comedy opens Friday (January 23) and will play through Sunday, February 8.

The story: In 1959, at a French retirement home for ex-servicemen, three WWI veterans spend their days sharing past glories, irritating each other and gossiping about unbearable fellow “inmates.” Only the genius of Tom Stoppard can take such a bittersweet crawl-to-the-end-of-life scenario and turn it into a hysterical romp, as the Great War heroes plan their escape.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

The Pantaloons’ Annual Treat in Ghent: “Ali Baba and the Four Tea Thieves” [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

the Pantaloons

Theater review by Gail M. Burns

In these days when wages are stagnant, money is tight and the rabid consumerism of the late 20th century has lost all its luster, we are being encouraged to spend what disposable income we have on experiences, rather than objects. At the Ghent Playhouse, a $20 investment buys you one of the best holiday experiences available – a ticket to the Panto! And this year’s offering – Ali Baba and the Four Tea Thieves – is a gift that will keep on giving as you fondly recall the groaningly bad, er, good jokes, the hilarious costumes, and the wonderful songs.

What is a Panto? Well, it is a British theatrical tradition for the holiday season. Basically you take a familiar fairy tale or folk tale, have all the men play the women and the women play the men, add lots of new and (hopefully) witty lyrics to well-known tunes, and ignore the plot completely. There is lots of audience interaction – you get to boo the villians and sing along a bit and shout “He’s right behind you!” and such – and there’s a healthy mixture of topical humor on current events along with good old fashioned schtick. Only the most conservative and humorless of folks can fail to be amused by the goings-on.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Madcap Time Again as the PantoLoons Take Ghent Playhouse Stage [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014
The Pantoloons take a bow in last year’s panto “SleepFrog” at The Ghent Playhouse. (photo: Daniel Region)

The Pantoloons take a bow in last year’s panto “SleepFrog” at the Ghent Playhouse. (photo: Daniel Region)

Opening Friday (November 28) and running through Sunday, December 14, the Ghent Playhouse will present the PantoLoons’ fifteenth production. This year, the madcap troupe will present “Ali Baba and the Four Tea Thieves,” a new, heretofore untold, version of the Two Thousand and One Nights story of Ali Baba. The number of PantoLoons in the company necessitated this adaptation, thus Four Tea Thieves instead of Forty. Thus tea becomes the prize commodity instead of oil, leaving plenty of room for commentary on today’s mores.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Noël Coward’s “Fallen Angels” Opens 40th Ghent Playhouse Season Friday [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, October 9th, 2014
Mark Fingar as Willy Banbury tries to discern what Cathy Lee-Vosscher as Julia Sterroll and Christina Reeves as his wife, Jane are talking to in the Ghent Playhouse production of “Fallen Angels”.  (photo: Daniel Region)

Mark Fingar as Willy Banbury tries to discern what Cathy Lee-Vosscher as Julia Sterroll and Christina Reeves as his wife, Jane are talking to in the Ghent Playhouse production of “Fallen Angels.” (photo: Daniel Region)

For the first production of their 40th season, the Ghent Playhouse presents the very funny Noël Coward comedy Fallen Angels. Directed by Kate Gulliver, this is the 1955 version of Coward’s comedy.

This is the third Noël Coward comedy that Kate Gulliver has directed for the Playhouse. Previously she directed Private Lives and Hay Fever. Gulliver describes the play as “Set in the heady freedom of the 1920s, Fallen Angels is a frothy tale of two London ladies whose pre-marital indiscretions with a French lover come back to complicate their now happily-married lives. The cast of characters is led by a hilariously superior maid who knows everything about everything, and betters her betters at everything from playing the piano to speaking French.” Add a few martinis and several bottles of fine champagne, and this dryly witty 1920s romp comes very close to slapstick.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Gritty Play “Grapes of Wrath” Set for Ghent Playhouse [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
Kevin Barhydt as Tom Joad and Tom Detwiler as Reverend Jim Casey in the Ghent Playhouse’s production of John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” (photo: Daniel Region)

Kevin Barhydt as Tom Joad and Tom Detwiler as Reverend Jim Casey in the Ghent Playhouse’s production of John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” (photo: Daniel Region)

It’s the classic saga of displaced heartland Americans during the Dust Bowl Depression and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath is about to get a realistic and timely production at the Ghent Playhouse in New York. Performances dates are May 23-25, May 30-June 1 and June 6-8. The novel was adapted for the stage by Frank Galati and the Steppenwolff Theater Company. For those who know the Steppenwolf company, that means it is not simply on-stage emoting that will be going on, but fingernail dirty, authentic storytelling from the heart of America. Joe Phillips is directing the gritty production.

Renowned first as a novel, and then as a prize-winning motion picture, the story of the Joad family and their flight from the dust bowl of Oklahoma is familiar to most. Desperately proud but reduced to poverty by the loss of their farm, the Joads pile their few possessions on a battered old truck and head west for California, hoping to find work and a better life.

John Steinbeck (1902–1968) was a distinctly American writer who penned 27 books, and The Grapes of Wrath (1939) won a Pulitzer. 2014 is the 75th anniversary of its publication. He is also fondly remembered for East of Eden (1952) and the novella Of Mice and Men (1937). Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962 “for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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