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.
WAM Theatre – recently announced as a finalist in the Creativity/Innovation category of the Berkshire Trendsetter awards – is delighted to present Claiming Her Place, a benefit for WAM to be held Sunday, June 30 at 7pm at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington.
Co-produced and hosted by Tony nominee Jayne Atkinson, currently appearing in “The Lion in Winter” at Berkshire Theatre Group, the evening will feature a celebrity panel discussing the challenges women face in the entertainment industry. The panel includes: Lauren Ambrose (“Six Feet Under”), Michel Gill (“House of Cards”), Marin Mazzie (Tony nominee), Linus Roache (“Law & Order”) and Debra Jo Rupp (“That ’70s Show”).
WHAT:Cirque Zuma Zuma puts an African spin on circus skills. WHERE:Proctors’ Mainstage, Schenectady. THE BLURB: “Acrobats, tumblers, lion dancers, contortionists, singers and gymnasts band together for the high-flying, off-the-wall spectacle of rhythmic music and pulse-pounding movement that could only be Cirque Zuma Zuma. Skilled youngsters from 16 African nations present this extraordinary display of circus skills and nonstop action that will thrill you to the edge of your seat.” WHEN: 8pm Friday HOW MUCH: $20, $40, $45 & $50
WHAT: Cirque Shanghai puts an Asian spin on circus skills. WHERE:Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington THE BLURB: “A visually spectacular production combing astounding Chinese acrobatics, fast-paced action, and contemporary staging. Dating back to the Han Dynasty more than 2,000 years ago, Chinese acrobatic spectacles were first called “bai xi,” meaning “100 amazing acts,” in reference to the performers’ seemingly limitless skills. Today, “Bai Xi” brings this on-stage wonder to 21st century audiences via aerial acrobatics, plate spinning, contortion, balancing acts, hoop diving, martial arts and more. WHEN: 7pm Friday HOW MUCH: $35; ages 12 and under $25.
Herewith, an all-in-one review of upcoming performances in the Berkshires, in chronological order, based on news releases we have received as of Thanksgiving week.
David Joseph Hansen Leads The Santaland Diaries through Dec. 30 at Shakespeare & Company
Shakespeare & Company’s annual production of David Sedaris’ irreverent Christmas memoir, The Santaland Diaries is getting ready to tickle everyone’s funny bone while taking a sardonic look at the big Holiday. Once again directed by Artistic Director Tony Simotes, this will be the third and final year Shakespeare & Company calls on an actor to don the regulation pointy-toed socks. This year, Shakespeare & Company welcomes longtime Company member David Joseph Hansen to play Sedaris’ less-than-merry autobiographical self, Crumpet the Elf.
The Santaland Diaries is the occasionally subversive, alarmingly clever, engagingly poignant, and always rib-tickling account of Mr. Sedaris’ time as a Christmas elf in the famous Macy’s Santaland. The essay on which the play is based propelled Sedaris into the national spotlight when it was first published, and is now a modern holiday classic. After applying for the position as a gag job, our hero is suddenly thrown into a world of tinsel, fake snow, Santas who are more naughty than nice, and all the cringe-worthy trappings of the Macy’s Santaland. Our reluctant protagonist guides us through the yuletide nightmare with a wryly satiric attitude, but even he may eventually find himself filled with holiday cheer. A true tale of redemption and good will, The Santaland Diaries is a hilarious depiction of what the modern holidays are all about.
Paul Winter and his sextet will be in top form. The concerts are being filmed for posterity.
Paul Winter’s first band, back half a century ago when he was a student at Northwestern University, was the Paul Winter Sextet. It has a history that is both tragic and uplifting. To mark the 50th Anniversary of his first band, and to capture the group for posterity, Paul Winter returns for two reunion concerts at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on June 6 & 7, at 7:30pm. The concert will be filmed.
The band will include four of the original Sextet members – pianist Warren Bernhardt, drummer Harold Jones, bassist Cecil McBee, and Paul Winter on alto sax – along with trumpeter Marvin Stamm and baritone saxist Howard Johnson.
The Daedalus Quartet from left to right: Jessica Thompson, viola; Raman Ramakrishnan, cello; Min-Young Kim, violin; Ara Gregorian, violin (photo by Janette Beckman)
From our News Desk: Now in their 20th year of presenting outstanding chamber music with lively commentary, Close Encounters With Music (CEWM) continues to expand its original programming of classical, contemporary and cutting-edge music in the first half of 2012. CEWM offers world-renowned musicians, some well known, others less so. In 2012 the series will introduce one of the foremost pipa players in the world, offer a Midwinter Fireside Concert with the piano yrio TROIKA, and revisit one of the most evocative periods in cultural history—the Roaring Twenties.
Following Thursday’s opening night documentary double-bill screenings of “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” and “Keep Dancing,” the fifth annual Berkshire International Film Festival is in full swing.
Tonight’s awards ceremonies take place at 7:30pm at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington. The honoree as the winner of the 2010 BIFF Achievement in Film Award is actress Patricia Clarkson, and following the awards presentation, the fest will screen Clarkson’s upcoming film, “Cairo Time,” at 8:30pm.