Posts Tagged ‘Lenox’

Radio, Radio: Live On Stage

Friday, May 9th, 2014

On The Radio

Radio has been making the leap from the airwaves to the stage in recent years, and folks who love to watch live radio – rather than just listen to it – have a wealth of options during the summer performance season. Here are a few live radio presentations that fans might want to check out:

SATURDAY (MAY 10), 7pm
“Hudson Air: Static Cling”
Hudson Opera House, Hudson
$15; $10 students
Original comedies by Andrew Joffe, Byron Nilsson, Lora Lee Ecobelli, Sandy McKnight and a radio adaptation of a Christopher Durang play. Directed by Andrew Joffe with live sound effects by foley artist Bob Hanley and music by renowned pianist Lincoln Mayorga.



Theater: Problematic Production of “Private Lives” @ Shakespeare & Company [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014
Private Lives at Shakespeare & Company (photo: Kevin Sprague)

Private Lives at Shakespeare & Company (photo: Kevin Sprague)

Theater Review by Gail M. Burns and Roseann Cane

Roseann Cane: Currently at Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox through the end of March, “Private Lives,” first presented in 1930, is probably revived more often than any play by Noël Coward. It has been subject of a myriad of literary analyses, many of which claim the play a reflection, or product of, Coward’s homosexual “world view.” Then, there are some who’ve declared Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” to be a play about homosexuality; various reports have Albee guffawing or expressing sheer exasperation in response. Of course, the works of these two masters are different as chalk and cheese, but I feel the need to emphasize the grave error we make when we assume sexual orientation trumps common humanity.

Gail M. Burns: During the 1920′s American women got the vote and ladies world-wide threw off their corsets and bobbed their hair in an unprecedented statement of physical freedom and autonomy. Here Coward makes Amanda (Dana Harrison) by far the more sexually aggressive character on the stage, and makes it clear that she neither regrets it nor finds her lifestyle unusual. Implicit in her “slatternly” ways is that she uses some form of birth control, because she is overtly unmaternal.

Roseann: Probably the frequent ‘Private Lives” revivals have more to do with the sophisticated silliness, the buoyant wit and wordplay, and the famous lines that are still amusing today, particularly those of Elyot (whom Coward originally played, and who is played by David Joseph in this production). “Don’t quibble, Sybil,” he responds to his new young wife early in the play. Later on, he declares, “Women should be struck regularly, like gongs.” And it IS funny, because we understand that Elyot is being superficial, and supercilious, too . There’s also the matter that he gets stricken as much as he strikes.

Gail: Today we are highly sensitive to the issue of domestic violence, but there are couples, like Elyot and Amanda, for whom physical altercations are part of the mating dance. The aggression is mutual. Amanda claims to be “covered in bruises” but there are no visible results from her rough and tumble session. At the end we see that Sibyl (Annie Considine) and Victor (Adam Huff) are similarly matched. The issue is controversial, but here we have to accept it as a part of the wide spectrum of human attraction.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

More Shakespeare Than Ever in Lenox This Summer as Tony Simotes Announces S&Co 2014 Season [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014
The extensive campus of Shakespeare & Company

The extensive campus of Shakespeare & Company

Summer 2014 Preview by Larry Murray

Tony Simotes, artistic director of Shakespeare & Company, revealed their upcoming 2014 season in the Berkshires, as he and the organization have redoubled their commitment to performing works by Shakespeare. There’s a tempting array of other theatrical fare as well, the common denominator being witty, intelligent writing and creative staging.

As always, Simotes has planned a provocative and ambitious lineup for the company’s 37th summer performance season. Replete with Shakespeare, modern works, premieres and special events, the new year will honor the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth.

“450 years later Shakespeare’s plays are still fresh and remarkably relevant to today’s audiences,” says Simotes. “Our 37th season is especially celebratory as we mark Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday and reimagine some of his greatest plays that have become signature pieces for us over the years. A perennial favorite of Shakespeare’s work, the magical and vibrant comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream was our first Mainstage production in 1978 and gets a fresh take as it unfolds during the jazz age in America along the Mississippi Delta. As comedy heats up the Playhouse, another one of our signature pieces, Julius Caesar, hits the Bernstein boards. Filled with political intrigue and betrayal, founding artistic director Tina Packer brings us this ‘bare Bard’ Caesar, with only 7 actors playing all the roles. Fans of outdoor theatre will be thrilled by our second consecutive year back at the Dell at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s home, and our limited summer run of the timeless love story of Romeo and Juliet, also performed in our ‘bare Bard’ style and by our 6-actor Northeast Regional Tour of Shakespeare troupe. Last year we committed to bringing the History Cycle to life and we deliver on that promise on the Playhouse stage with both parts of Henry IV – condensed into one action and drama-packed evening.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

High Tea, Spirited Talk, Gorgeous Surroundings Surround “Downton Abbey” Event in the Berkshires [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
The Gilded Age lives on in Lenox.

The Gilded Age lives on in Lenox.

Last year Ventfort Hall hosted a sold-out audience for “Lords, Ladies & Mummies: The Story of Highclere Castle, the Real Downton Abbey.” This year the lively subject continues with “Living the Fast Life and the English Country House,” which just happens to coincide with the fourth season of the highly popular television series. Now reaching its conclusion, the tale has moved forward in time and reached the Jazz Age as the fictional Crawley family and their servants cope with huge changes sweeping through England.

Curt DiCamillo, architectural historian and a recognized authority on the British country house, will give the visual presentation. His insights will be followed by good conversation as the guests linger over an English High Tea, replete with a selection of 18 savories and desserts in what is arguably the most elegant setting in the Berkshires.

With limited seating, the special midwinter event takes place at Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum on Saturday, January 25, at 3:30 pm. (If needed, a snow date has been scheduled for Sunday, January 26, at 3:30 pm.)

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

“It’s a Wonderful Life” Gets a New Twist @ Shakespeare & Company [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, December 16th, 2013
David Joseph, Sarah Taylor and Jonathan Croy in It's A Wonderful Life

David Joseph, Sarah Taylor and Jonathan Croy (photo by Enrico Spada)

Theater review and discussion by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray

Larry Murray: What can be more fitting for the holidays than It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, which is the story of idealistic George Bailey as he considers ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve. Do you agree that Shakespeare & Company captured all the magic of Frank Capra’s classic 1946 holiday film It’s a Wonderful Life in this production?

Gail M. Burns: Darned if I know. I am one of the few adult Americans who has never seen the film all the way through. This iteration, adapted by Joe Landry from the screenplay by Francis Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra, and Jo Swerling, reimagines the story as performed by five stalwart radio actors on a snowy Christmas Eve when the sound effects guy gets stuck in the blizzard and can’t get to the studio. We, the studio audience for the broadcast, get the fun of watching them cope with the emergency and perform all the music and sound effects, as well as the well-worn story of George Bailey.

Larry: Landry didn’t miss a single plot point of the film, and the five actors created the dozens of characters with just their voices. It was astonishing to hear Ryan Winkles change his voice instantly from Clarence the angel (second class) to Bert the cop. He played a dozen roles, as did favorite Jonathan Croy and the amazing Jennie M. Jadow. These chameleons changed accent, tone and cadence from one character to the next like racers taking the hairpin turn on the Mohawk Trail.

Gail: David Joseph and Sarah Jeanette Taylor anchor the story as George Bailey and the woman he marries, Mary Hatch. They also provide much of the charming music, with Taylor on piano and Joseph as the lead vocalist. The whole show, but especially the music, was charming in its simplicity and beauty, with many songs sung virtually a cappella. Joseph plinks out a few notes on the xylophone and Winkles bravely tackles a trombone riff, but Jadow on violin and Taylor on piano provide the melodic lines.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

A December “Julius Caesar” from the Conservatory at Shakespeare & Company [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, December 12th, 2013
Julius Caesar

The Conservatory at Shakespeare & Company performs the classic tragedy December 13-14.

Julius Caesar, co-directed by two longtime Shakespeare & Company artists, Andrew Borthwick-Leslie and Michael F. Toomey, is next up as part of the Conservatory at Shakespeare & Company. Now in its seventh year, the Conservatory, a 13-week professional actor-training program includes 10-16 promising actors from across the country and around the globe. This year’s program features a group of 10 who will expose Shakespeare’s poetry-filled psychological drama Julius Caesar for three performances in the Tina Packer Playhouse.

Performances of Julius Caesar will run in the Tina Packer Playhouse December 13 at 7:00 p.m. and December 14 at 1:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. Tickets are general admission, $20 for adults and $10 for students. The Tina Packer Playhouse is wheelchair accessible. For further information and to order tickets visit the website at or call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353.

Julius Caesar follows the conspiracy against and the assassination of the Roman dictator and the aftermath that ensues from his murder. Julius Caesar is a time-transcending tale that spotlights liberty, honor and friendship, where the visceral meets the intellectual. Julius Caesar is the perfect vehicle to challenge, engage and strengthen this group of up-and-coming actors.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Shakespeare & Company Picks “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” for Holidays [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
The dulcet tones of David Joseph will invite theatre-goers to step back in time for this classic Christmas tale.

The dulcet tones of David Joseph will invite theatre-goers to step back in time for this classic Christmas tale.

New and different holiday performances in the Berkshires are relatively scarce as Christmas is usually considered a time for tradition. There is little doubt that we will have our Nutcrackers and Christmas Carols on stage, but this year you can count on something a little different, too.

After several seasons of Santaland Diaries, Shakespeare & Company is planning to offer It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, inspired by Frank Capra’s classic 1946 film starring Donna Reed and James Stewart. Filled with just the right hint of nostalgia and charm, director Jenna Ware brings audiences back to the Golden Age of radio with this poignant, funny and unique play-within-a-play that the company says will leave you believing in angels.

About the Production

Set in a radio studio on a snowy Christmas Eve in 1946, five radio personalities are live, on-air, retelling the American Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, before a studio audience. The five actors (Jonathan Croy, Jennie M. Jadow, David Joseph, Sarah Jeanette Taylor and Ryan Winkles) will play not only the show’s radio actors, but in true ‘Lux Radio Theatre’ fashion, will play all 50 roles from It’s a Wonderful Life. The show will also include radio jingles, live sound effects and favorite Christmas songs, sure to warm the hearts of audiences, both young and old.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

More Tanglewood Concerts Announced for Summer 2014

Friday, November 22nd, 2013
Josh Groban

Saturday, August 30; Josh Groban with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra
conducted by Keith Lockhart

Of course, Tanglewood in Lenox plays host to some of the best classical music in the northeast each year when the Boston Symphony arrives for its annual summer residency. GO HERE to see the summer 2014 schedule of classical performances…

And the Lenox shed also presents a series of pop and rock shows each summer. As we announced yesterday, James Taylor returns for a two-night stand after taking last summer off. GO HERE for James Taylor info…

And here’s the schedule for a batch of other non-classical performances – from Josh Groban to Ellis & Delfeayo Marsalis, from “The Wizard of Oz” to Broadway and “Seinfeld” star Jason Alexander:


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