Posts Tagged ‘Lenox’

THEATER REVIEW: “The Emperor of the Moon” @ Shakespeare & Company [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, July 18th, 2016
Lori Evans and Kaileela Hobby in The Emperor of the Moon (photo:  Ava G. Lindenmaier)

Lori Evans and Kaileela Hobby in “The Emperor of the Moon” (photo: Ava G. Lindenmaier)

Review by Macey Levin

One of the delights each summer at Shakespeare and Co. is the over-the-top farce staged at the Rose Footprint in Lenox. This tent-covered playing space is similar to 16th and 17th century theaters, and the shows echo back to the famed Commedia del’Arte style of acting.

This summer’s show is the world premiere adaptation of The Emperor of the Moon by Aphra Behn (who is the subject of Or, to be presented at the Bernstein Theatre starting on Saturday [July 23]). This production is a hoot-and-a-half with its larger-than-life characters, tongue-in-cheek line delivery, vigorous staging and very talented actors who are obviously enjoying themselves.

The plot is predictable since it has been used again and again by myriad authors over the centuries. The Doctor (Lori Evans), who believes there is a moon-civilization, will not allow his daughter Elaria (Caroline Calkins) and niece Bellemante (Zoe Laiz) to meet men because earthlings are inferior; he is preparing them to marry moon-men.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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“The Emperor of the Moon” Brings Farce to Shakespeare & Co. [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, July 15th, 2016

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Shakespeare & Company’s Rose Footprint Theatre presents a world premiere adaption of The Emperor of the Moon by Aphra Behn. Directed by company veteran Jenna Ware, the uproarious and musically jam-packed comedy opens today (Friday, July 15) and runs through Saturday, August 20.

When love strikes, chaos ensues and a coup of astronomic proportions results. Sisters, suitors, servants and a father obsessed with the moon set the stage for a stellar farce performed under the open-air tent. Ware’s fast-paced family-friendly adaptation of Aphra Behn’s Restoration comedy, based in commedia dell’arte, offers audiences of every age a hearty dose of mayhem, music and merriment.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

ShakesCo Offers “Twelfth Night” @ The Mount [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, July 14th, 2016
Last year at the Dell at the Mount, Luke Reed gave us a memorable Hamlet (photo: Elizabeth Aspenlieder)

Last year at the Dell at the Mount, Luke Reed gave us a memorable “Hamlet” (photo: Elizabeth Aspenlieder)

Shakespeare & Company continues to roll out its 39th season with Twelfth Night, opening tonight (Thursday, July 14). Directed by Jonathan Croy, Shakespeare’s rebellious comedy plays at the Dell-Outdoors at The Mount: Edith Wharton’s Home through Saturday, August 20.

Outdoors, fresh and fast-paced, this popular comedy catapults audiences into a world of illusion, debauchery and mayhem. Amidst the forest and foliage, audiences are transported to the mythical land of Illyria – alongside the recently shipwrecked and lovelorn Viola. This 90-minute frolic unravels a madcap mix-up of characters and offers a reunion of epic proportions.

“There’s something magical about seeing a play at The Mount,” says veteran director Jonathan Croy. “Many people bring picnics and sit on that beautiful hillside in the open air, watching fight call or chatting with the actors before the show. I’ve seen conversations begun during the nightly Talkback continue well after the show was done. There’s a different energy, a ‘communal’ spirit that reminds me of the old days, when we performed down by Edith’s mansion under the stars.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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!

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

THEATER REVIEW: “The Merchant of Venice” @ Shakespeare & Company [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016
John Hadden, Jonathan Epstein and Jason Asprey

John Hadden, Jonathan Epstein and Jason Asprey

Review by Gail M. Burns

The Merchant of Venice is fairly early play in the Shakespearean canon, and it is not a particularly good one, being a mash-up of two or three folk tales well known to Elizabethan audiences, that don’t hang together particularly well. Add to that that attitudes towards Jews are very different in 21st century America than they were in 16th century Britain, and you have a real “problem play.” When Shakespeare & Company last staged this work in 1998, then as now with Tina Packer directing and Jonathan Epstein playing Shylock, there was a great public outcry against the play, with questions raised about whether it could, or even should, be staged in modern times.

Having taken the plunge and mounted a new production, I can only imagine the dismay with which Packer and company watched racial tensions and violence erupt nationally during the course of their previews. Merchant… is the big Shakespearean production for 2016, the centerpiece of their season. Would the national mood turn audiences against their choice? Or would they be more open to exploring the prejudice that has always raged within society?

At least on the official opening night, the audience, comprised primarily of the press along with Shakespeare & Company board and company members and donors, was open to being schooled in the depth and persistence of anti-Semitism in particular and racial/ethnic/religious hatred in general. It was perfectly acceptable to be prejudiced in Shakespeare’s time, particularly on religious grounds, as Roman Catholics and Protestants of various ilks waged bloody warfare across most of Europe for the right to be considered the “true” religion of the people. Catholics considered Protestants, Jews and Muslims alike to be pagans and heretics. Their souls were going to burn in hell if not “saved” by conversion to Christianity.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

LIVE: Bob Dylan & His Band @ Tanglewood, 7/2/16

Monday, July 11th, 2016

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Review and photographs by Martin Benjamin

What a gorgeous evening it was at Tanglewood. Perfect breeze, perfect temp, perfect humidity and crystal clear out. The crowd was mostly boomer with some 30-40 somethings sprinkled in. Mavis Staples opened with a spirited set backed by her integrated band of three white guys and two black back-up singers. The musicians were a tight unit, playing softly when called upon and incredibly rocking when justified. Guitarist Rick Holmstrom was a standout, full of the energy of youth backing the energetic 76-year-old singer.

Mavis hit her stride beautifully on the third song, Talking Heads’ “Spirited People.” At the end of this song Mavis chatted about Bob. “We’re happy to be here with our good friend Bob Dylan. That Bob, he’s something, you know. I love listening to him, but I really love watching him. He’s got this move [to his step], he’s so cool.”

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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.

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.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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