Posts Tagged ‘Larry Murray’

Summer-Long Chesterfest Music Series Begins Tonight at Chesterwood [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, July 11th, 2014
The Pistolwhips, July 18, 2014 at Chesterwood.

The Pistolwhips, July 18, 2014 at Chesterwood

A wide range of contemporary American musicians, from folk, alt-country and rockabilly to garage, punk and psych-folk bands, are scheduled to perform this summer at Chesterfest, a new Americana music series presented by Chesterwood in Stockbridge, a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Chesterfest will kick off at 6:30pm tonight (July 11) with singer-songwriter Mikey Sweet (returning to Chesterfest for the second year), followed by the Picky Bastards. Local sponsors of Chesterfest include Tune Street, Toole Insurance and Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club.

The concerts will be held at Chesterwood on Friday evenings, rain or shine, from tonight through August 29. Solo artists perform at 6:30pm, followed by bands at 7:30pm. The grounds open at 6pm; attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets for lawn seating. Tickets are $10 per person; children under 18 are free. A glass of Wandering Star Craft Brewery beer, made in the Berkshires, is included with adult admission. Homemade snacks from Delicious Traditions and refreshments, including beer, will be available for purchase. More info: http://chesterwood.org/chesterfest-the-new-americana-music-festival-2014/

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Mystery Actors in “High Dive” Audience Have Fun at Chester Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, July 10th, 2014
High Dive @ Chester Theatre Company

Come early to a performance and become part of the show.

“I couldn’t think of a better way to involve our audience in our 25th Anniversary celebration than with High Dive, Leslie Ayvazian’s remarkably brave, innovative and fun theatre piece,” said Chester Theatre Artistic Director Byam Stevens. “Brave, because it takes incredible courage for an actor to work with 35 strangers every night. Innovative, because it possesses a unique structure with its scripted lines for audience members. Fun, well, because it’s fun! Audience members who want to take part should come 15-20 minutes early to be “cast” by Jennifer (Rohn) in the lobby. They’ll be given sides (their lines) and direction – then the fun begins! This is truly not to be missed!”

In High Dive, comic misadventures pile up as Leslie, perched on a high dive platform, flashes back to the succession of farcical disasters that culminates in her present predicament. High Dive is a one-woman show with a very large cast — the other actors? The audience, who are invited to read lines from the script, and thereby experience the point of the play – the willingness to take risks and dive in. According to The NY Daily News, “High Dive is well worth the plunge. This brief and light-hearted look at Ayvazian’s misadventures… is an engaging and often hilarious show from beginning to end.”

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A Jazzy “Midsummer Night’s Dream” Set in 1930′s New Orleans [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, July 10th, 2014
(photo by Kevin Sprague)

(photo by Kevin Sprague)

Theatre review by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray

Larry Murray: A Midsummer Night’s Dream is probably Shakespeare’s best known and most performed play next to Romeo and Juliet, and while it has within it the seeds of the tragedy about the star-crossed lovers, it does not end with a double suicide, but with the joy and happiness of a group wedding. But even more uplifting is that fantasy and reality are what we see married in this Shakespeare classic.

Gail M. Burns: And it is a very special show for Shakespeare & Company because it was the first show they ever presented outdoors at The Mount in 1978. Artistic Director Tony Simotes, a founding member of the company, played Puck back then. He has directed this production, which is the Company’s eighth, its second indoors in the Packer Playhouse.

Larry: Simotes decided to set this production in 1930’s New Orleans which means it opened, not surprisingly, with some Dixieland Jazz.

Gail: We both loved the music, composed by the multi-talented Alexander Sovronsky. In addition to acting as composer, music director and sound designer for this production, he also plays an hilarious Francis Flute who in turn is cast as the leading lady in Pyramus and Thisbe.

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“The Dancing Fox: Wisdom Tales of Middle East” from Mettawee River Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

The Dancing Fox

The Mettawee River Theatre Company has announced their summer touring dates for its 2014 production, The Dancing Fox: Wisdom Tales of the Middle East. Performances will take place at outdoor venues in upstate New York and nearby Vermont and Massachusetts, and are scheduled from Thursday (July 10) through Sunday, August 3.

The Dancing Fox, a reprise of a 2003 Mettawee production, is gathered from the shared folk traditions of Jews and Arabs, including the writings of Sufi mystics, along with fables and folklore of the region. In these tales we encounter some clever foxes, dim-witted fish, a vengeful snake and other colorful creatures, as well as a number of wise and foolish humans. New perspectives emerge from the comic twists and tragic turns of their adventures. A variety of masks, puppets and giant figures will be used to flesh out the particular realm of each tale.

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Dance Theatre of Harlem to Dance Elegiac Ballet with Music by Arvo Pärt [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014
Taurean Green and Ingrid Silva of Dance Theatre of Harlem (photo: Rachel Neville)

Taurean Green and Ingrid Silva of Dance Theatre of Harlem (photo: Rachel Neville)

Following a successful opening week of Festival 2013, Dance Theatre of Harlem returns to Jacob’s Pillow in Becket on Wednesday (July 9) with an all-new program. DTH gave its first professional performance at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in 1970; since that date, DTH and the Pillow have enjoyed a longstanding and fruitful artistic relationship.

The company, led by Artistic Director Virginia Johnson, performs Donald Byrd’s smooth yet power-packed contemporary ballet Contested Space, which features a plethora of solos and duets. past-carry-forward, created for DTH by Tanya Wideman-Davis and Thaddeus Davis, conveys the spirit and significance of the Harlem Renaissance. The cornerstone of this dynamic evening is the late choreographer Ulysses Dove’s moving, elegiac ballet Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven, danced to “Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten” by Arvo Pärt. The company appears in a special seven-show engagement in the Ted Shawn Theatre at Jacob’s Pillow, from Wednesday (July 9) through Sunday (July 13).

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“Housewives of Columbia County” Returns to Mac-Haydn [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, July 7th, 2014

The Real Housewives of Columbia County

Mac-Haydn Monday shows return to the theater, with four performances this summer offering even more musical entertainment during the theatre’s 46th season beginning with The Real Desperate Housewives of Columbia County and ending with Side by Side.

Carl Ritchie’s original musical The REAL Desperate Housewives of Columbia County will prove that “Country Life’s a B**ch” on three Monday nights beginning tonight (July 7), followed by July 14 & 28. The tongue-in-cheek take off on the “Real Housewives” shows, described in a Backstage review as “a fun, fizzy, fast cocktail” with “wit, sparkle and pizazz,” tells it like it is about locals, weekenders, divorce, marriage, parties – all the things that make country life a desperate delight!

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Mass Live Arts in Great Barrington Offers Experimental Performance, Film, Art, July 7-26 [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, July 7th, 2014
Thank You for Coming by Faye Driscoll (photo:  Maria Baranova)

“Thank You for Coming” by Faye Driscoll (photo: Maria Baranova)

Mass Live Arts, a summer festival of contemporary and experimental performing arts, returns for its second year to Bard College at Simon’s Rock in the Berkshires, tonight (July 7) through July 26. This year’s festival presents three New England premieres of critically-acclaimed, new and remounted works by choreographer Faye Driscoll, theater artists Sibyl Kempson and Mike Iveson, Jr., along with two media based performances by director Phil Soltanoff.

In addition to works of live performance, this year’s offerings have been expanded to include a Monday night film series July 7, 14 & 21 of “The Bogeyman Trilogy” by seminal theater director Reza Abdoh (1963-1995), as well as a rotating gallery showcasing visual works by established American theater artists Andrew Schneider (of the Wooster Group), Anne Gridley and Nature Theater of Oklahoma. This year will also be the first of an annual benefit dance party on Sunday, July 20 to raise funds for year-round residencies to commission and develop large-scale new works.

Mass Live Arts 2014 takes place July 7-26 at the Daniel Arts Center [Bard College at Simon’s Rock] 84 Alford Road, Great Barrington, MA 02130. Tickets are on sale now and range $10-30 with $150 all-inclusive Festival Passes.

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All-American Opening Night at Tanglewood Stars Renée Fleming [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Renee Fleming

The Boston Symphony Orchestra begins its 2014 Tanglewood season on Saturday (July 5), at 8:30 p.m. in the Shed, with an all-American Opening Night at Tanglewood program featuring superstar soprano Renée Fleming. The first half of the concert, led by conductor William Eddins in his BSO debut, begins with two brief works by Joseph Schwantner and Aaron Copland: the former’s Freeflight, a 1989 Boston Pops commission, and the latter’s Night Thoughts from Music for a Great City. Ms. Fleming then joins the orchestra for Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, and the first half concludes with John Adams’s vivacious Short Ride in a Fast Machine. After intermission, Ms. Fleming joins conductor Rob Fisher (also in his BSO debut) and the orchestra for a selection of favorites from musical theater, including songs from South Pacific, The King and I, Porgy and Bess and The Sound of Music.

Ms. Fleming, who first performed with the BSO at Tanglewood on July 13, 1991, will also be featured from July 16-26 in Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Living on Love (written by Joe DiPietro and Garson Kanin) as a celebrated diva, along with actor Justin Long. In 2013 she released her album, Guilty Pleasures, which includes songs and arias in eight different languages and won her the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo. She also recently sang the National Anthem during the 2014 Super Bowl.

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