Posts Tagged ‘Larry Murray’

Shows That Began in the Berkshires Earn 13 Tony Nominations [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

bostonynoms

By Larry Murray

The nominations for the 2015 Tony Awards were announced yesterday (Tuesday, April 28). While mostly a marketing gimmick to hype Broadway shows, they are still a major achievement since bringing a show to Broadway is a basic requirement for eligibility. While nationwide there are 20,000-plus full equity productions each year, there are just 40-50 that make it to Broadway, where they can play for years.

Here’s a rundown of Tony nominations for this year’s Broadway shows that began here in the Berkshires:

“The Visit” (Williamstown Theatre Festival) – five nominations
“On the Town” (Barrington Stage Company) – four nominations
“The Elephant Man” (Williamstown Theatre Festival) – four nominations
“Living on Love” (Williamstown Theatre Festival) – no nominations

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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Pittsfield Town Players Undertake a Musical Maritime Melodrama [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, April 27th, 2015
Town Players of Pittsfield with Bob Shepherd, Bev VanAlstyne Krol, Mae Rogers and Marty Plankey at Whitney Center for the Arts.

Town Players of Pittsfield with Bob Shepherd, Bev VanAlstyne Krol, Mae Rogers and Marty Plankey at Whitney Center for the Arts.

The Town Players of Pittsfield are planning a new musical revue to usher in the month of May.

Whatever Floats Your Boat (A Musical Maritime Melodrama), will be directed by Beverly Krol with musical accompaniment by Bob Shepherd.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

“Spring Awakening” Soars with Youthful Energy in Theatre Institute at Sage College Production [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, April 24th, 2015
L to R Amelia Morgan, Annaleigh Lester, Katie Pedro, Taylor Hoffman, Kelci Loring.

L to R Amelia Morgan, Annaleigh Lester, Katie Pedro, Taylor Hoffman, Kelci Loring.

Review by Larry Murray and Gail M. Burns

Larry Murray: With book and lyrics by Steven Sater and music by Duncan Sheik, the 2006 Tony Award-winning alternative rock musical “Spring Awakening” is now playing at Sage College’s audience-friendly Meader Little Theatre in Troy. Last performance is Sunday (April 26). I am putting all this information up front because this review is more of a “must see” reader advisory: this production with its youthful cast is directed by Leigh Strimbeck and utilizes a functional and ingenious set by Juliana Haubrich.

Gail M. Burns: The Theatre Institute at Sage is a great company that is doing some really great theatre. TIS is only five years old, but it is carrying on the tradition established on its campus by the now defunct New York State Theatre Institute, which utilized Sage facilities, faculty and students to provide quality theatre for schools and the general public from 1974-2010. The connection with Sage was NYSTI’s greatest asset, and in turn the company helped the Sage Colleges develop a robust theatre curriculum. It is not at all surprising to see what talented students select Sage today.

Larry: We haven’t had a chance to see this cutting edge musical much in these parts, the only production I can remember is the one at the University at Albany Department of Theatre which was last year. None of our Equity companies, nor even the Mac-Haydn or Theater Barn have staged it. That may because the music is so important to the whole production, and it requires violin, cello and bass in addition to piano, drums and guitar. Two or three synthesizers will never do the score justice. I was as impressed with the accomplished musicians and Music Director Marcus Schlegel, as with the actors. The cellist, Erin Rousseau, on whom much of the melody line rests, has a vibrato and intonation that infused the songs with real heart.

Gail: I saw a production of the 1890/91 Franz Wedekind play of the same name, upon which this musical is based, at Williams College many years ago. “Spring Awakening” is an ideal college show because you need to have a young cast and a fairly sophisticated audience. Really, the best way to “get away with” staging this fierce and graphic material is to bill it as education. The play has a prominent role in the development of 20th century theater, and, as you mentioned, this musical version has made history, too.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

“An Iliad,” Homer’s Epic Story of Undying Love, Chaos & Humanity @ Hubbard Hall [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

AnIlliad

By Larry Murray

Masterfully adapted by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare from Robert Fagles’s acclaimed translation, An Iliad adapts Homer’s Trojan War epic into a gripping piece of theater that captures both the heroism and horror of war. This fierce, funny piece will ignite your imagination and leave you breathless. It stars Jeannine Haas and is directed by Sheila Siragusa at Hubbard Hall in Cambridge, in a co-production with Pauline Productions.

Greek poet Homer’s 8th-century B.C. epic, “The Iliad,” told the story of the mythical 10-year Trojan War, featuring two warrior heroes, the wrathful Greek, Achilles, and noble Hector, the peace-loving Trojan prince. Now, a lone poet travels through time, wearily sharing her often-anguished memories of that war-mongering, vengeful time nearly three millennia ago.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

EMPAC Madness: Two Conflicting Music Styles Share One Program on Saturday [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015
Architeuthis Walks on Land is Amy Cimini and Katherine Young.

Architeuthis Walks on Land is Amy Cimini and Katherine Young.

By Larry Murray

It’s a bit like beauty and the beast. One is a soloist known for her elegance, grace and precise interpretation of contemporary composition. The other is a fearsome duo, known for their raw improvisational encounters with the extreme ranges of their instruments.

Conventional wisdom tells us that the two should repel one another, forcing both performers and their respective audience back into the safe disciplinary niche from whence they came. But the magic of this fable is that opposites attract and what contrasts also complements. On Saturday (April 25) at 8pm, this premise will be put to the musical test in Studio 2 at EMPAC at RPI in Troy, where Architeuthis Walks on Land will share the stage with Miranda Cuckson.

The viola and bassoon are not typically brandished in the pursuit of free improvisation and noise, but the duo Architeuthis Walks on Land brings fierceness and energy to these typically “orchestral” instruments. By way of extended techniques, bass amplification and rich textures, Amy Cimini and Katherine Young create a space where composition, indeterminacy and immediacy intersect.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

C-R Productions Says Goodbye to Cohoes Music Hall with Two Gala Shows This Weekend [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015
Tony Rivera (l) and Jim Charles (r) at Cohoes Music Hall

Tony Rivera (l) and Jim Charles (r) at Cohoes Music Hall

After a dozen years of staging musicals at the Cohoes Music Hall, C-R Productions is closing the curtain on its main-stage shows to focus on its performing arts school and youth performances. Marking the end of one era and the beginning of another are two concerts to say goodbye on Saturday and Sunday (April 25 & 26).

The company has fallen on hard times in recent years and has found it impossible to financially maintain main stage shows at the venue in Cohoes. The gala benefit shows will also serve as the springboard for continuing its C-R Kids programs.

The company produced many memorable shows during its dozen years of operation, at one point even taking its production of the The Producers to the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield. But during recent years the quality of its productions and size of its audiences sagged and subscribers dwindled to just some 300. Many of them were older and not as receptive to new work as musical theatre has evolved. That is not enough to sustain a company that hires professional talent and has always tried to keep up with the evolving art form. Their operation also suffered from inadequate PR, often opening shows without detailed press releases or photos in sufficient time to generate advance stories that might have helped sell more tickets. Physical problems with the theatre itself – a leftover from the Victorian era – also drained valuable resources.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Justin Long, Blair Underwood, Estelle Parsons, More Cast for Williamstown Theatre Fest [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Williamstown Theatre Festival

In Williamstown, the stars come out during the daytime as well as at night when the Williamstown Theatre Festival is in season.

Here’s a guide of some of the luminaries to be on the lookout for thanks to WTF’s artistic director Mandy Greenfield, who has announced additional casting for Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Main Stage and Nikos Stage productions for the upcoming summer season, which kicks off on Tuesday, June 30 and runs through Sunday, August 23.

On the Main Stage:

Becky Ann Baker (returning for her 13th season at WTF), Aaron Costa Ganis (WTF’s Whaddabloodclot!!!), Howard W. Overshown (Julius Caesar), Academy Award-winner Estelle Parsons (Bonnie and Clyde) and Mary Wiseman (An Octoroon) join Kyra Sedgwick in Off the Main Road (June 30-July 19).

Tony Award-nominee De’Adre Aziza (Passing Strange), Andre Holland (Selma), Keith Randolph Smith (Fences) and Blair Underwood (“Sex and the City,” A Streetcar Named Desire) all join the cast of the world premiere of Dominique Morisseau’s Paradise Blue (July 22-August 2).

Aaron Costa Ganis and Howard W. Overshown also join the cast of A Moon for the Misbegotten (August 5-August 23), with Audra McDonald and Will Swenson.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Lenox Singer-Songwriter Katherine Winston @ The Garage on Saturday [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Berkshire Theatre Group welcomes “American Idol” contestant and Berkshire native, Katherine Winston to The Garage in Pittsfield on Saturday (April 18) at 8pm. Tickets to Katherine Winston are $10 in advance and $12 day of performance.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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