Posts Tagged ‘Larry Murray’

10 Artists Show 4 Works Over 10 Hours in One Day @ EMPAC Saturday [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

On Saturday (October 4), EMPAC at RPI in Troy will present a day of contemporary art spanning disciplines, inviting the public to experience a festival of newly commissioned works that push boundaries of storytelling, along with one of the most technically outstanding guitarists of our time.

At 4PM, Temporary Distortion begins a six-hour performance of “My Voice Has an Echo in It,” combining live music, text and video in a fully enclosed 24′ x 6′ capsule made of two-way mirrors. All performers are completely confined within this free-standing, soundproof box; the audience watches and listens from outside, but the performers cannot see outside the container.

The first of three EMPAC-commissioned works premiering that day, “My Voice Has an Echo in It” calls into question the very nature of live events, with all sounds created by the performers captured, processed and stored by a computer before being played back for the listener after a few seconds delay. The audience experiences the performance both as a live spectacle and a disembodied record of what has just been presented. Audience members can listen to the performance through headphones stationed at windows in the soundproof box and are free to come and go whenever they please.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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THEATER: “Private Eyes” @ ShakesCo Is a Befuddling Tangle of Lovers and Cheaters. Or Is It… [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
The Company of Private Eye (photo: Enrico Spada)

The Company of Private Eye (photo: Enrico Spada)

Theater review by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray

Gail M. Burns: I had to be reminded that I had seen and reviewed a production of this play fifteen years ago, also at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox. Although I liked it at the time, it was not a memorable experience.

Larry Murray: Private Eyes is an odd concoction for sure, with some of the wittiest comedy and clever aphorisms of the current fall season. Written by Steven Dietz, the revival of Private Eyes features a fresh look and much younger cast from when the Company staged it in 1999 in the Stables Theatre at The Mount. There is one rather unmissable change, however, since the therapist Frank played then by Robert D. Lohbauer has had a sex change and is now played by Lori Evans Pugh. In your prophetic earlier review (link) you advised audiences to be prepared to go through the looking glass.

Gail: For all its twists and turns, Matthew (Luke Reed) is the central character and whatever happens happens to him, whether in fantasy or reality. Another solid bit of reality here is that Matthew and Lisa (Caroline Calkins) are married, or were married during much of the action of the play. Lisa may, or may not, be having or have had an affair with Adrian (Marcus Kearns), an insufferable British director who has cast the couple in an unnamed romantic comedy. Adrian’s wife (Elizabeth ‘Lily’ Cardaropoli) may be stalking her erstwhile husband in various disguises, or the whole thing may be a series of semi-fantastic stories Matthew spins for his psychiatrist, Frank (Pugh.)

Larry: Jonathan Croy is at work here as the director, which means that when there is fun, it’s rib-splittingly funny and where there is tragedy, it fully shocks and dismays. Everything is topsy turvy in this Diet-zy concoction. In the program notes, the director says that Private Eyes is a delicate Swiss watch of a play, moving gracefully through time and memory.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

“An Enemy of the People” @ Barrington Stage: When a Majority Rejects the Truth [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, September 29th, 2014
Steve Hendrickson plays Tom Stockmann in An Enemy of the People. File photo by Rick Teller from an earlier Chester Theatre Co production of The Iliad.

Steve Hendrickson plays Tom Stockmann in An Enemy of the People. File photo by Rick Teller from an earlier Chester Theatre Co production of The Iliad.

By Larry Murray

The brilliant theatre director Julianne Boyd takes on another classic, An Enemy of the People, Arthur Miller’s adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s play. It is her third Arthur Miller play at Barrington Stage Co., having earlier staged The Crucible in 2010 and All My Sons in 2012. Both earned high praise from critics and audiences alike.

This powerful drama explores the impact of polluted waters in a small town and the consequences of uncovering the truth. Follow the story of one man’s brave struggle to do the right thing in the face of extreme social intolerance. Master playwright Arthur Miller adapted Ibsen’s classic play in response to the political climate fostered by McCarthyism in 1950, but the play is still shockingly relevant today.

The company’s fall production runs from October 2-19 on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage. The press opening is Sunday, October 5 at 3pm.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Vivaldi, Mozart, Bach @ the Mahaiwe with St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, September 26th, 2014

bosst-lukes-ens

The Berkshire Bach Society has put together a fascinating program titled “Bridging the Baroque” which connects early music with the Baroque era, from which came the classical period. With the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble – the artistic core of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s – it is an evening of Baroque and Classical favorites.

Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” is one of the most popular and evocative pieces in the canon, and Bach’s vibrant “Orchestral Suite No. 2″ is clearly influenced by Vivaldi’s brilliant Italianate harmonies, while Mozart’s “Divertimento” in D Major traces the transformation of light music into the Classical era.

The welcome classical music event takes place on Saturday (September 27) at 7:30pm at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington. 413 528-0100 Tickets: $25-$70 (Box Office fees apply.) Berkshire Bach membership discount $5 $15 for 30-years and younger with ID. Students free with ID.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

A Bloody Powerful “Sweeney Todd” Live from Lincoln Center on PBS-TV [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, September 25th, 2014
Jay Armstron Johnson emotes.

Jay Armstron Johnson emotes.

Preview and review by Larry Murray

A miscarriage of justice in London led the barber Benjamin Barker to spend years in an Australian penal colony doing hard labor for a crime he did not commit. When he returned he changed his name to Sweeney Todd, reopened his barber shop on Fleet Street, and looked for an opportunity to even the score with Judge Turpin who raped his wife and sent him away. In the meantime, he began to slash the throats of customers, sending their dead bodies down a chute where they became the filling for Mrs. Lovett’s meat pies. It was a happy business arrangement. Her veal pies were a hit.

A few years ago, we speculated as to whether Sweeney Todd actually existed. It has been one of our most popular articles. Now we look at how it works on tape, on television. For theater goers, PBS-TV (WMHT-TV) is the place to be at 9pm on Friday (September 26).

In the hands of composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, Sweeney Todd became an almost operatic story of murder and cannibalism, one which won him two Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Score. Who could possibly criticize it? Certainly not anyone who has seen it.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Oldcastle Brings Back Big Daddy and “Cat On a Hot Tin Roof” in Bennington [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014
Cast- Standing Right to Left: Tom Ferguson, Loren Dunn, Paul Romero, Anthony Irizarry, Richard Howe; and sitting Left to Right: Renata Eastlick, Melissa Hurst, Jody Schade.

Cast- Standing Right to Left: Tom Ferguson, Loren Dunn, Paul Romero, Anthony Irizarry, Richard Howe; and sitting Left to Right: Renata Eastlick, Melissa Hurst, Jody Schade.

By Larry Murray

Oldcastle Theatre Company in downtown Bennington is bringing Tennessee Williams’ classic “Cat On a Hot Tin Roof” alive. This timeless classic revolves around one family and the web they have woven to protect their patriarch, Big Daddy (played by Oldcastle veteran Paul Romero) and his wife, Big Momma (Melissa Hurst) from the truth: Big Daddy is dying. Their son, Brick (Loren Dunn) and his wife Maggie (played by newcomer Renata Eastlick) only inflame tensions with their withering marriage. As the evening unravels, so does the family’s web. An American classic, Williams’ favorite play and a great evening of theater.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Jim Brochu Gives His Regards to Broadway in His One-Man Show @ Barrington Stage [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014
Jim Brochu and his cast of “character men.”

Jim Brochu and his cast of “character men.”

Theater review by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray

Larry Murray: “Character Man” at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield is a wonderfully funny and touching evening of unforgettable theatrical memories. Jim Brochu may not be the first actor to draw on the famous and near-famous he has rubbed shoulders with during a long and rich life to create an evening’s entertainment, but he is certainly one of the best. As he explains at the outset, playing a “character man” means you are an essential part of any play, even though people are not likely to remember your name.

Gail M. Burns: Jack Gilford, Bert Lahr, Lou Jacobi, Zero Mostel, Jack Albertson, Phil Silvers, Charles Nelson Reilly… Indeed, while I recognized many of the names Brochu mentioned – and their faces as they appeared on a screen upstage – I am hard pressed to place his mentor, David Burns (obviously no relation), even though his face was shown at various ages throughout the show. But Burns was Brochu’s dear friend and enabler – his entree into the fascinating and frustrating world of show business.

Larry: For an hour and a half he certainly keeps the Barrington Stage audience spellbound as he rattles off anecdotes and stories about his father, his co-stars, and his beginnings as an orange drink seller in lobbies at intermission. The period he focuses on most effectively is the one in which I was a stage door Johnny myself. But while I was outside with a program and a pen he was running to get corned beef sandwiches from a deli for Cyril Ritchard, Australian stage, screen and television actor, and director. Ritchard is probably best remembered today for his performance as Captain Hook in the Mary Martin musical production of Peter Pan.

Gail: I can just taste that orange drink, Larry. It was watery with strong overtones of cardboard, and it was wildly overpriced, but you HAD to buy one when you went to the theatre in New York. I suspect now that I, like Brochu, could no longer afford one, let alone a Broadway ticket, but the very mention of that beverage brings back memories to anyone who has ever darkened a Manhattan theatre.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

“The Real (Desperate) Housewives of Columbia County” Take Over the Theater Barn This Weekend [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, September 22nd, 2014
(From left)  Amy Fiebke, Meg Dooley, Diedre and Cathy Lee-Visscher (photo: Mike Molinski)

(From left) Amy Fiebke, Meg Dooley, Diedre and Cathy Lee-Visscher (photo: Mike Molinski)

The Housewives are back by popular demand! The Theater Barn presents the Taconic Stage Company production of “The Real (Desperate) Housewives of Columbia County” for a limited run this weekend (September 26-28), with Friday and Saturday shows at 8pm and a Sunday matinee at 2pm.

The performances last just over an hour. The Theater Barn is located at 654 State Route 20, New Lebanon, NY, 12125. Tickets are $25 and are available by calling (518) 794-8989. As an added bonus, Chatham Wine and Liquors and Domaney’s of Great Barrington are offering a complimentary glass of wine before each performance.

The hilarious musical revue – by Columbia County resident Carl Ritchie with music by Los Angeles composer Wayne Moore – played a sold-out season at Copake Lake a few summers back, a sold-out run in NYC at the Laurie Beechman Theatre last year, and a sold-out run of Mondays at the Mac-Haydn Theatre this past July.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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