Posts Tagged ‘Larry Murray’

DANCE: “Mariko’s Magical Mix” Heads Into Jacob’s Pillow [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

Hubbard Street 2, the young second company of the world-renowned Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, will present Mariko’s Magical Mix: A Dance Adventure for their Jacob’s Pillow debut, in the Doris Duke Theatre, opening tonight (Wednesday, July 13) and running through Sunday. In collaboration with design studio Manuel Cinema, Princess Grace Award recipient and recent member of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Robyn Mineko Williams creates a whimsical and family-friendly performance. Intertwining shadow puppetry and contemporary dance with an imaginative narrative, the piece is recommended for ages five and up, as well as the young at heart.

Led by Artistic Director Terence Marling, Hubbard Street 2 is known for its highly-selective six-person ensemble of young, artistically and technically mature dancers. The mission of the company is to foster artistic growth and hone the technical skills of the talented 18-25 year old company members, many of whom have gone onto become members of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, as well as other top dance companies worldwide. The Chicago Sun Times praises the consistent level of work produced by the company: “It’s called the ‘second’ company, but there is nothing second-class about Hubbard Street 2.”

Mariko’s Magical Mix: A Dance Adventure tells the story of Mariko, a young girl whose day-to-day monotony is transformed into a joyful adventure when she finds a collection of her mother’s vinyl records in their attic. The music takes Mariko on a surprising voyage where she discovers new friends, interesting machinery, and strange creatures. This journey ultimately allows her to discover a unique inner-strength and rhythm that she can use to guide her everyday experiences. In one 60-minute work, the six dancers of HS2 tell Mariko’s colorful story through beautifully mesmerizing movement, small gestures, and emotive music cues that are seamlessly integrated with cinematic shadow puppetry. Mariko’s Magical Mix: A Dance Adventure is praised for being a “gorgeous contemporary dance adventure [that] needs to be experienced by the whole family” (Kendall Mostafavi, DC Metro Theater Arts).

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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LIVE: Joshua Bell & BSO @ Tanglewood, 7/8/16 [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

With a slow but steady rain falling, the lawn at Tanglewood was sparsely populated, but inside the shed there were smiles all around as the Boston Symphony Orchestra celebrated the opening of its 2016 Tanglewood season last night. The beginning of the classical season is always festive, and for long-time concert-goers, it was a pleasure to see and hear violinist Joshua Bell, back for his 28th consecutive summer at Tanglewood since his debut there in 1989. Bell’s choice as soloist was Saint-Saëns’s gypsy influenced Violin Concerto No. 3. The sound of his Strad filled the shed with infectious rhythms and melodies.

Canadian conductor Jacques Lacombe may not be known for florid conducting, but his communication with the players resulted in a delightfully raucous and colorfully Spanish-flavored Alborada del gracioso, by Ravel, eight minutes of pure musical fireworks that delighted this listener, who has never lost his appreciation for the contrast of shimmering brass duking it out with pizzicato strings and doubled harps. What an uplifting racket!

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THEATER REVIEW: “Little Shop of Horrors” @ the Colonial Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, July 11th, 2016
Little Shop of Horrors, 2016 (photo: Emma K. Rothenberg-Ware)

“Little Shop of Horrors” @ the Colonial Theatre thru July 23 (photo: Emma K. Rothenberg-Ware)

Review by Larry Murray

Like a Christmas tree draped with tons of tinsel, a whole new Audrey II made her appearance in the Berkshire Theatre Group’s re-imagining of the classic skid row musical, Little Shop of Horrors. And as funny as it was to behold Taurean Everett as the infamous hungry green plant from outer space, she was but one of the many pleasures that this brilliant musical has in store at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield. This is, after all, the deviously delicious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical which has been devouring the hearts of theater-goers for more than 30 years.

I have seen perhaps a half dozen productions of Little Shop in theaters big and small, but none has come close to the perfection of the cast that director Ethan Heard assembled into a true ensemble that meshed together perfectly. At the top of his form is Stephen DeRosa as Mushnik the florist, one of the finest character actors around, and whose physical comedy work is matched with his sublime ability to play dead serious as well.

Stanley Bahorek, no stranger to the Berkshires either, slipped easily into the role of the nebbishy Seymour, and with both great acting chops and a strong baritone voice that sold every song and bit of business he had with all the other characters on stage. And his plaintive exchanges with the carnivorous plant had the audience howling. Of course, he is in love with Audrey, after whom he named the plant, and Lindsay Nicole Chambers captured her sweet spot, which is somewhere between caricature and pathos as her clueless character demands.

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The Capitol Steps Return to Cranwell Spa [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, July 8th, 2016

If you’ve ever wanted to see Hillary Clinton belt a show tune, Donald Trump sing a rock song, or New Jersey Governor Chris Christie perform classical ballet, the Capitol Steps might just be the show for you.

Cranwell Spa & Golf Resort in Lenox is offering a chance to laugh off some election-year stress throughout the summer, hosting the award-winning musical satire group the Capitol Steps in a limited run of performances that continue through Friday, September 2. The troupe will be the first to perform on Cranwell’s new Harvest Barn stage, a 220-seat venue.

The Capitol Steps began as a group of congressional staffers who set out to satirize the very people who employed them. Now in its 35th year, the show has since evolved to feature 26 actors and five pianists, who stage shows across the United States.

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BTG’s “Fiorello!” Heads to Off-Broadway [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, July 7th, 2016
A victorious “Fiorello!” with Austin Lombardi as the memorable Mayor (photo: Emma Rothenberg-Ware)

A victorious “Fiorello!” with Austin Lombardi as the memorable Mayor (photo: Emma Rothenberg-Ware)

Berkshire Theatre Group and Artistic Director/CEO Kate Maguire announced that due to critical acclaim and record breaking attendance, BTG’s production of the Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning musical, Fiorello! is moving to New York City. This is the first time Berkshire Theatre Group will be producing a show Off-Broadway. The current production, playing at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, is being directed by Robert Moss, the founder of Playwrights Horizons in New York City.

Moss says, “Mayor La Guardia was long gone by the time I moved to New York, so I never lived under his tenure in City Hall. But the “Little Flower,” as he was called, lives on in memory. The music is toe-tappingly delightful, the characters are richly drawn and a story about good guys is desperately needed in today’s jaded and vitriolic politics. It’s great to be reminded, as the music lifts us aloft, that good can triumph over selfishness.”

The current staging of Fiorello! continues in the Berkshires through Saturday, July 23 at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge. For ticket information and show times go to www.berkshiretheatregroup.org.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Jacob’s Pillow Welcomes World Premiere [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016
Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards (photo: Eduardo Patino)

Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards (photo: Eduardo Patino)

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket is presenting the world premiere engagement of And Still You Must Swing featuring three of the world’s most celebrated tap dance luminaries — Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Jason Samuels Smith and Derick K. Grant — through Sunday (July 10) in the intimate Doris Duke Theatre. The program embraces masterful technique, musicality and improvisation including a live onstage band and a star-studded cast with critically-acclaimed guest artist and 2016 Jacob‘s Pillow Dance Award recipient Camille A. Brown.

“We are experiencing a tap renaissance in this country and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Jason Samuels Smith and Derick K. Grant are three of the exceptional artists at its core,” says Jacob’s Pillow Director Pamela Tatge. ”That they are being joined by this year’s Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award winner Camille A. Brown is a gift.”

A “fiercely elegant” and “singularly authoritative artist” (Claudia La Rocco, The New York Times), Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards joins forces with Derick K. Grant and Jason Samuels Smith to present a dynamic project that captures the heart and legacy of tap dance, honoring the profound influence of jazz and swing. A highly-anticipated engagement, the cast returns to the Pillow following several celebrated individual engagements.

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July’s Classical Music Calendar for Tanglewood & the Berkshires [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

bosjulyclassical

TODAY (TUESDAY, JULY 5)
TANGLEWOOD MUSIC CENTER FELLOWS PERFORM IN CONCERT TOGETHER

TMC String Quartet]On Wednesday, July 5, the talented young musicians of BSO Music Director Laureate Seiji Ozawa’s Swiss Academy String Quartet Ensemble and the Tanglewood Music Center join together for a program including the first movement from Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-flat for Strings, Op. 20, and Grieg’s Holberg Suite. The musicians from the Seiji Ozawa International Academy Switzerland will perform string quartet excerpts during the first half of the program. Tickets for today’s concert are free and can be reserved at www.tanglewood.org.

WEDNESDAY (JULY 6)
TANGLEWOOD BRASS: BOSTON POPS WITH FOUR WORLD-RENOWNED DRUM CORPS

On Wednesday, the Tanglewood Brass Spectacular! returns for its second year, featuring members of the Boston Pops brass and percussion sections performing a one-of-a-kind concert with four of the world’s best drum corps: the Boston Crusaders, the third oldest drum corps in America; the Rockford, Illinois-based Phantom Regiment; the Bluecoats, from Canton Ohio; and 10-time Drum Corps International World Champions, the Cadets, from Allentown, Pennsylvania.

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David Lutken Brings “Yankee Doodle Folkie” Music to Barrington Stage [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, July 1st, 2016
David Lutken

David Lutken

Pittsfield’s Barrington Stage Company welcomes back award-winning singer David Lutken & the Seat of the Pants Band with “Yankee Doodle Folkie: Music for Independence Day” at Mr. Finn’s Cabaret 8pm on Sunday (July 3) and 7pm on Monday (July 4). Tickets are $35.

David Lutken and his band will treat audiences to a treasure trove of American folk music guaranteed to get hands clapping and feet stomping. Joining Lutken are the Seat of the Pants Band members Ken Breard, Jane Gillman, Helen J. Russell, Antoine Silverman and Andy Teirstein. According to Lutken, “rehearsing is cheating,” is the mantra of this banjo-pickin’, harmonica-blowin’ band.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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