Posts Tagged ‘Larry Murray’

10-Piece Band Serves Up a Hot End-of-Summer Dance Party @ MASS MoCA

Friday, August 29th, 2014
EMEFE Dance Party at Mass MoCA August 30, 2014.

EMEFE Dance Party at MASS MoCA, August 30, 2014

Weather permitting, you will be dancing under the stars as EMEFE (as in M.F.A. – Music Frees All) a ten-piece soul-funk-everything band celebrates Labor Day weekend. These ten wailing musicians are on a mission to prove that there are no bad days, only days that need a new soundtrack. The blazing rhythms and bright sound will bounce off the bricks at MASS MoCA on Saturday (August 30) at 8pm in Courtyard C for an end-of-summer dance party that’s sure to be a barn-burner.

EMEFE lures crowds from the bar to the dance floor by beginning its live shows in the audience. The group is prone to snake conga lines while blaring trumpet squeals and swinging saxophones in one syncopated rhythm. The fun gets started at 8pm, and, yeah, if you want to learn some new moves, there will be some fun dance instruction by Jacob’s Pillow.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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Charles Busch Returns to Club Helsinki, Aug. 31 for “Pretty in Pink” [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, August 29th, 2014

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After two sold out engagements at Club Helsinki in Hudson, Charles Busch, Tony Award nominee for his hit Broadway play, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife and legendary drag star of such films as Die, Mommie, Die! and Psycho Beach Party, returns for a third engagement to Club Helsinki Hudson on Sunday (August 31) at 8PM as part of the Helsinki on Broadway cabaret series presented in association with Showstoppers New York.

Back with brand new stories, brand new songs and brand new gowns, the fabulous, flamboyant and forever fascinating Charles Busch is not to be missed in a rare appearance in these parts. His all new show Pretty in Pink features Tom Judson on the piano and promises to be an evening of glamour, music, gossip, comedy and general mayhem! As an author his plays include The Lady in Question, Red Scare at Sunset and the long running Vampire Lesbians of Sodom.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Tanglewood’s Labor Day Weekend offers Tony Bennett, Josh Groban and Boston Pops, plus Train [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, August 28th, 2014
Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops return for the last time this season for an evening with Josh Groban.

Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops return for the last time this season for an evening with Josh Groban.

Wrapping up a star-studded summer of great music, the Tanglewood Music Festival pulls out all the stops for the final weekend of music with some of the finest artists performing today. Here’s what’s on the calendar:

Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! opens the Labor Day weekend festivities at Tanglewood on Thursday, August 28 with a live presentation of the witty and fast-paced radio quiz program. This 8 p.m. performance, featuring hosts Peter Sagal and Judge and Scorekeeper Bill Kurtis, will be recorded for broadcast to its weekly audience of 3.2 million weekly listeners on more than 600 NPR stations nationwide. Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! is presented Tanglewood at on August 28 in conjunction with NPR and NEPR. Tickets for Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! Range from $24 to $120 and can be purchased at www.tanglewood.org, by calling 888-266-1200 or at the Tanglewood Box Office.

Grammy award-winning rock group Train helps close out the 2014 Tanglewood season this summer with their concert on Friday, August 29, at 7 p.m. in the Koussevitzky Music Shed. Train made its Tanglewood debut with a concert on August 8, 2011 and performed again at Tanglewood in August 2012. The multi-platinum band made its mark on music history with the Grammy Award-winning song “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)” and chart-topping singles like “Meet Virginia” and “Calling All Angels.”

Sounding Good, But Strange: Roomful of Teeth @ MASS MoCA on Friday [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Roomful of Teeth

Upon receiving a 2014 Grammy Award for “Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance,” Roomful of Teeth director Brad Wells said, “We wouldn’t have this album without our work at MASS MoCA.”

You can hear them in the open air courtyard space at MASS MoCA in North Adams on Friday (August 29) at 8pm. Listen for Hindustani and Persian singing styles, Ritornello with music and film by vocalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw, and compositions by MASS MoCA and FreshGrass favorite, Sam Amidon.

On the heels of the success of its self-titled debut, Roomful of Teeth has been in residency at MASS MoCA since August 18 to explore different vocal techniques and create new groundbreaking work with a roster of guest composers. The group collaborates with American roots singer-songwriter and Vermont native Amidon, a virtuoso in the indie music world. Amidon reinvents traditional songs and contemporary hip-hop covers on guitar, banjo and fiddle and delivers them with eerily deadpan vocals that both charm and unsettle. According to Pitchfork, Amidon’s performances “meld the rural and the urban, the organic and the synthetic, the oral tradition and the written score.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

REVIEW: “The Addams Family” Haunts the Theater Barn with Music, Mischief [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014
Tony Pallone, Steph Bacon and Kimberly Suskind.

Tony Pallone, Steph Bacon and Kimberly Suskind

Theater review by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray

Larry Murray: The moment you hear the “Addams Family Theme Song,” you know you are in for fun evening at the Theater Barn in New Lebanon. The main reason is that the director Bert Bernardi is back in town and up to no good, taking this critically drubbed musical and giving it a fresh new life in its regional premiere. The Addams Family musical is being performed for the first time in the Berkshires.

Gail M. Burns: I had read some of those dismal reviews the New York production received, and I have to say that I am disappointed if this book and score are what passes for a successful Broadwy musical these days. But as I watched the show I realized that The Addams Family is not about great music and dramatic literature, but instead it’s about nostalgia and the love Americans, especially Baby Boomers like me, have for these characters. A while back someone did a poll asking who TV’s most happily married couple were, and Gomez and Morticia Addams beat Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, Ward and June Cleaver, even George Burns and Gracie Allen! We love these fictional folks and rush for any chance to see them again.

Larry Murray: People in this area look forward to the annual return of Bernardi to the Theater Barn since he has developed a reputation for finding hidden gems and making them into breathtaking productions while staying inside a pauper’s Broadway show budget. Last summer we all enjoyed his hit Young Frankenstein, and he has followed that spooky but hardly scary musical with yet another. The cast sang, danced and cracked jokes with the best of them, and while much of the material is silly, vaudevillian and sometimes a bit coarse, it was clear the audience was enjoying every morsel these performers dished out. It is among the best work I have ever seen from Bernardi and Theater Barn.

There’s another connection too…The Addams Family composer and lyricist Andrew Lippa is a Theater Barn alum, having toiled in New Lebanon during the summers of 1990 and 1991.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

REVIEW: “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” @ Shakespeare & Co. [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, August 25th, 2014
(from left): Angel Moore, Mat Leonard and Ellizabeth Aspenlieder. (photo: Kevin Sprague)

(from left): Angel Moore, Mat Leonard and Ellizabeth Aspenlieder. (photo: Kevin Sprague)

Theater review by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray

Gail M. Burns: I am deeply saddened, in the most appropriately Russian manner, to realize that Christopher Durang writes Chekhovian drama almost better than Anton Chekhov. Allow me a moment of deep reflection on the meaning of this revelation and its impact on my understanding of the cosmos and my pointless existence as an infinitesimal speck of useless matter within its vastness.

(Pause…)

Larry Murray: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike – currently on view at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox through September 14 – could have easily been a parody of Chekhov’s classic plays but instead it is a valentine, a love letter of a play by Durang. The result is a comedy with deep life lessons, as its characters relearn what it means to be a family.

Gail: While you don’t have to know Chekhov’s plays to thoroughly enjoy this one, the more you know about dramatic literature, the more fun you’ll have. And while Chekhov is definitely an acquired taste, this will tickle the fancies of Chekhov lovers and haters in equal measure because Durang understands both what is wonderful and what is thoroughly annoying about the works of the Master.

Here Durang uses character names from Chekhov’s plays – Vanya and Sonia from Uncle Vanya, Masha from Three Sisters and The Seagull, Nina from The Seagull – and throws in endless allusions to his works throughout. Here Vanya (Jim Frangione), Sonia (Tod Randolph) and Masha (Elizabeth Aspenlieder) are siblings – after a fashion, Sonia is adopted – whose professorial parents named them after Chekhov’s characters. Masha, a five-times-divorced B-list film actress, owns the family home in Buck’s County, Pennsylvania, (just down the road from the home Dorothy Parker owned in the mid-20th century), where Vanya and Sonia, both unmarried, continue to live after caring for their parents through the ends of their lives. Nina (Olivia Saccomanno) just happens to be the name of a young woman visiting next door, and Spike (Mat Leonard) is Masha’s studly young lover. Like Madame Arkadina in The Seagull, Masha is an actress sliding precipitously over the hill, who is simultaneously jealous of and inspired by Nina’s luminous youthful beauty and incipient passion for acting.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

WAM Chooses “In Darfur” for Season Five with a Change Makers Benefit Panel Aug. 24 [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, August 22nd, 2014
Playwright Winter Miller took these photos at a Darfuri refugee camp in Chad.

Playwright Winter Miller took these photos at a Darfuri refugee camp in Chad.

As WAM (Women’s Action Movement) Theatre prepares to celebrate its fifth season at the August 24 Change Makers benefit, artistic director Kristen van Ginhoven has announced that this year’s fall production will be the New England premiere of In Darfur.

In Darfur is the provocative account of three intertwined lives at a camp for internally displaced persons. The story follows an aid worker’s mission to save and protect lives, a journalist’s pursuit to deliver a front page story, and a Darfuri woman’s quest for safety. It is a searing story of urgency and international significance.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Workshop: Festival of Opera @ the Unicorn Theatre, Aug 23-31 [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Workshop Festival of Opera at the Unicorn Theatre

The Berkshire Theatre Group is planning a week-long Festival of Opera at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge. Performances begin Saturday (August 23) and run through Sunday, August 31.

Presented in workshop form, some of opera’s rising stars will be featured in staged presentation of La Traviata, A Lover’s Tale and songs from the Romantics in The Paris Salon.

“This year, for the first time, we’re bringing a little opera back to the Berkshires,” Artistic Director/CEO Kate Maguire explains. “We have a week long workshop featuring A Lover’s Tale, an extraordinary compilation of Dumas’ original story about the Lady of the Camellias, Charles’s Ludlam’s Camille and La Traviata all rolled into one. Also that week, we will present a staged performance of La Traviata and a wonderful compilation of songs from the Romantics featuring the lovely soprano Megan Weston.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage

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