Posts Tagged ‘Larry Murray’

Mark H. Dold Returns to Barrington Stage in “Shining City” [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, June 18th, 2015
Wilbur Edwin Henry (John) and Mark H. Dold (Ian) star in Conor McPherson’s “Shining City” at Barrington Stage’s St. Germain Stage from June 18 through July 11, 2015 (photo: David Fertik)

Wilbur Edwin Henry (John) and Mark H. Dold (Ian) star in Conor McPherson’s “Shining City” at Barrington Stage’s St. Germain Stage from June 18 through July 11, 2015 (photo: David Fertik)

Pittsfield’s Barrington Stage Company is presenting Conor McPherson’s Shining City from June 18-July 11 with a press opening at 3pm on Sunday (June 21).

Directed by BSC Associate Artist Christopher Innvar (BSC’s The Other Place, The Whipping Man), the production stars Mark H. Dold (BSC’s Breaking the Code) as Ian and in their BSC debuts Wilbur Edwin Henry (Off Bway: Our Town; Bway: Is He Dead?) as John, Patrick Ball as Laurence and Deanna Gibson as Neasa.

Set in present-day Dublin, a man seeks help from a counselor, claiming to have seen the ghost of his recently deceased wife. However, what begins as just an unusual encounter becomes a struggle between the living and dead – a struggle that will shape and define both men for the rest of their lives. In this contemporary ghost story, Conor McPherson explores what it means to lose faith – in God, in relationships and in one’s self.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.


David Adkins Debuts His “Thoreau or, Return to Walden” @ Unicorn Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015


Berkshire Theatre Group presents a new play, Thoreau or, Return to Walden, a world premiere written and performed by David Adkins, at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge. Opening night is Saturday (June 20) at 8pm. Preview performances begin on Thursday (June 18) at 7pm, and the production closes Saturday, July 11 at 8pm.

In this world premiere, BTG alum David Adkins takes the stage as New England Transcendentalist, poet and philosopher, Henry David Thoreau. Long-time BTG artist Eric Hill, who most recently wrote and directed Adkins in the wildly well-received Poe, directs the production.

The writing of Henry David Thoreau comes to life in this dramatic and uplifting tale as he battles with himself, with his own thirst for blood and for the soul of our American conscience. It’s 1859. The Union is on the verge of civil war over the issue of slavery. Passion, politics and prose collide on the shores of Walden Pond when beloved American naturalist and prophet of peaceful resistance learns that freedom fighter and abolitionist John Brown has been sentenced to hang. How did the beloved poet and naturalist, hero of children’s books, inspirer of Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., and writer of Walden and Civil Disobedience come to write, “I do not wish to kill nor to be killed, but I can foresee circumstances in which both these things would be by me unavoidable (A Plea for Captain John Brown).” When you come to your final moment, will you know that you have truly lived?

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

“Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host” Mixes Talk Radio and Dance @ Jacob’s Pillow [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, June 12th, 2015
Anna Bass, Ira Glass and Monica Bill Barnes in Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host (photo: David Bazemore)

Anna Bass, Ira Glass and Monica Bill Barnes in “Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host” (photo: David Bazemore)

Dance to talk radio sounds like an impossible thing to pull off, but it’s not. Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket presents Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host, a special pre-Festival performance starring Ira Glass, the host and executive producer of the famed public radio program This American Life. “The Tina Fey of dance” (Sarah Kaufman, The Washington Post) Monica Bill Barnes and fellow dancer and collaborator Anna Bass perform with Glass, bringing the unlikely art forms of talk radio and dance together for a production that is “unapologetically human and refreshingly relatable” (Brian Schaefer, The New York Times). This limited engagement will be presented in the Pillow’s Ted Shawn Theatre for two performances only, at 8pm on Saturday (June 13) and 2pm on Sunday (June 14).

Lauded as “equal parts heart and humor” (Maura Judkis, The Washington Post), Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host finds harmony in the partnership of radio icon Ira Glass’s trademark storytelling and Monica Bill Barnes’s witty, theatrical movement style. Dancers Barnes and Bass illustrate Glass’s narration in three stirring acts which focus on performance as an occupation, artistic and romantic relationships, and a personal look at the lives of Bass, Barnes and Glass. The stories cover a wide range of subjects, told live and in pre-recorded interviews with dancers: from a Riverdance touring company’s attempt to win the lottery, to the thorny rewards of longtime partnerships and the passing of loved ones. Public radio sensation Glass is a perfect fit for these tender conversations, “inviting those kinds of confessions with his ability to pose piercing questions in casual, almost innocent, way” (Brian Schaefer, The New York Times). Barnes and Bass give lively, poignant performances with multiple costume changes and pantomime style movement, taking the stage both alongside Glass’s narration and in several dance-only moments.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Amber Chand to Revisit “A Heroine’s Journey” at Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, June 11th, 2015
Amber Chand

Amber Chand

The Berkshire Theatre Group presents Searching for the Moon: A Heroine’s Journey – Tales of Love, Despair, Faith and Forgiveness written by and starring Amber Chand, directed by Jayne Atkinson at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge at 7pm on Saturday (June 13).

Global entrepreneur and visionary storyteller Amber Chand weaves together the events of her life — an eclectic tapestry of Indian arranged marriages, English boarding schools, military coups in Uganda, encounters with Rwandan genocide survivors, and the rise and fall of her multi-million dollars company — in her acclaimed one-woman show, Searching for the Moon: A Heroine’s Journey – Tales of Love, Despair, Faith and Forgiveness. Directed by Tony Award-nominated actress and BTG alum Jayne Atkinson, the show taps into universal themes in which we are all heroes and heroines on the unfolding journeys of our lives.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Telling the Truth Can Torpedo a PR Career: “The Fiery Sword of Justice” at Stageworks/Hudson [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015
Lauren Letellier (photo: Michael Blase)

Lauren Letellier (photo: Michael Blase)

A comedic cautionary tale about a high powered public relations executive whose compulsive truth-telling torpedoes her career, The Fiery Sword of Justice is written and performed by Lauren Letellier. Stageworks/Hudson in Hudson will present the play at 8pm on Friday (June 12) for one night only. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by phone at 518.822.9667 or online.

Funny, engaging and thought provoking, the play explores the harrowing — and hilarious — similarities between family and work-place dysfunction. Raised by a narcissistic mother with a star complex, Lauren developed childhood coping strategies that helped her survive — and even thrive — in corporate America. But when the price of success becomes too high, she discovers that the only way to determine her future is to examine her past. The Fiery Sword of Justice played to sold-out houses at the 2014 NY International Fringe Festival, where critics called it “bold, funny, wise and brave,” “wicked, sharp and funny” and “a story rich with heartache, humor, corruption and the longing for the truths in life.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

“Man of La Mancha” Gets a Julianne Boyd Makeover [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015


Man of La Mancha is a musical that is as famous as the Cervantes masterpiece it is based on, and as much loved. This week the glorious musical will get a fresh look from director Julianne Boyd as Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield continues its season on the same stage that has given birth to the company’s long list of hit musicals over the past decade. They include Guys and Dolls, West Side Story, Kiss Me Kate and On the Town which is still drawing them in on Broadway.

Inspired by Spanish novelist, poet and playwright Miguel de Cervantes’ 17th-century masterpiece “Don Quixote,” Man of La Mancha tells a story rich in chivalry, romance, idealism, tilting at windmills and dreaming “The Impossible Dream.” Facing a mock trial by his fellow prisoners as he awaits his actual trial before the Spanish Inquisition, Cervantes stages as his defense the adventures of the knight-errant Don Quixote and his loyal sidekick, Sancho Panza.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Intelligent, Riveting “Time Stands Still” Probes War, Life, Marriage @ Oldcastle Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, June 8th, 2015
(r to l) Marianna Bassham as Sarah (Injured photographer), Jason Guy as Jamie, Richard Howe as Richard and Kristin Parker as Mandy. (photo: Mike Cutler MHCPhotography)

(r to l) Marianna Bassham as Sarah, Jason Guy as Jamie, Richard Howe as Richard and Kristin Parker as Mandy. (photo: Mike Cutler MHCPhotography)

Theater review by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray

Larry Murray: Time Stands Still uses the tragedy of war to rev up its engine, but it is really more about the effect these conflicts have on the lives of journalists and photographers who cover them than anything else. In fact, in this Donald Margulies play, the journalist James (Jason Guy) recounts an evening spent in the theater listening to a series of monologues about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mercifully, this play avoids such lectures. Theater-goers – presumably like the ones at the opening night of this play at the Oldcastle Theatre Company in Bennington – don’t need to be lectured about these wars, they likely read The Times and listen to NPR. Time Stands Still is actually about more important things: families and the effect covering war for a living has on them.

Gail M. Burns: It’s no surprise this play was nominated for the Tony for Best Play when it opened in New York in 2010. Margulies already had a Pulitzer Prize and another Pulitzer nomination under his belt. His dialogue is absolutely natural and easily builds character and story while it addresses fascinating issues of the necessity and morality of observing and recording atrocities.

Larry: Two of the things I really love about productions at the Oldcastle Theatre Company is the panoramic sweep of the stage and the comfortable seating they offer their ticket buyers. The set design by Carl Sprague was a detailed feast for the eyes, too. Sprague, along with props person Jenny Morgan had a field day. Waiting for the show to begin I did a visual scavenger hunt and noted such tells as a 1940s fan, a 1960s lamp and a neglected Frida Kahlo poster casually sitting on the floor of a nook. These were clear indicators that whoever is the owner of the loft – that only became clear once the play began – was not some tacky WalMart shopper, but had a long view, and a very developed sense of history. With the inspired lighting design by David Groupé, which suggested large loft windows everywhere, and historic projections of war during scene changes, the atmosphere was just perfect for the complex story as it unfolded over two years’ time.

Gail: The set is almost larger than the seating area, and Sprague cleverly opened the space to incorporate the actual stairs to the basement into the set stage right. Even so, the Brooklyn loft is a prison mentally and physically for Sarah (Marianna Bassham), an award-winning photojournalist who has spent her entire post-college career on the front lines of war and genocide around the globe. At the same time the space is a home and safe-haven for her long-time boyfriend and colleague James, who has followed a similar career path as a journalist. The couple is now in their early forties and it is now or never for them to start a family.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Natalia Zukerman Heads to MASS MoCA for Evening of Folk, Jazz, Blues [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, June 5th, 2015

Natalia Zukerman

By Larry Murray

The slide, lap steel and dobro wizard Natalia Zukerman shapes folk, jazz, and blues sounds into songs of intense beauty. Her “voice could send an orchid into bloom while her guitar playing can open a beer bottle with its teeth,” declared The New Yorker. Natalia Zukerman performs outdoors under MASS MoCA’s Dré Wapenaar Pavilion in North Adams at 8pm on Saturday (June 6).

Since her 2001 debut, the singer/multi-instrumentalist’s expertise on myriad instruments, lyrical storytelling and seductive vocals have set her apart from the crowd as a folk songstress to watch. Armed with an authentic homespun sensibility and backed by major vocal and instrumental chops (most notably her notoriously stellar slide guitar playing), Zukerman is undeniably virtuosic, an engaging and compelling performer. On stage, her gentle demeanor gives way to a passionate stage presence that captivates audiences from opening note to final encore.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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