Posts Tagged ‘Pittsfield’

THEATER REVIEW: “Peerless” @ Barrington Stage Co. [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016
Sasha Diamond as “M” and Laura Sohn as “L” are featured as sisters in Jiehae Park’s comedy “peerless” (photo: Justin Allen)

Sasha Diamond as “M” and Laura Sohn as “L” are featured as sisters in Jiehae Park’s comedy “Peerless” (photo: Justin Allen)

Review by Macey Levin

When Barrington Stage Company Artistic Director Julianne Boyd introduced the play Peerless by Jiehae Park at its opening performance, she said, “Park is a new voice… The rhythms of the play are different… It’s a comedy until it isn’t… It has shades of Macbeth…” She didn’t say, “It’s a terrific piece of theater!” And it certainly is.

The play centers on twin Asian sisters, seniors in high school, awaiting their college acceptances. L (the characters’ names are way off the beaten track) has applied to THE College (institution names are not used), and she is concerned that she’ll be beaten out. Her sister M (Sasha Diamond) assures her she has nothing to worry about, though L (Laura Sohn) is concerned about a nerdy classmate who may or may not be as bright as her.

The first several scenes depicting high school life are quite funny though a shadow of darkness hovers over the comic moments. A third of the way through this 85-minute play a corner is turned, and we slowly find ourselves in a contemporary/teen-age version of Macbeth. You don’t have to know the Shakespeare play, but it adds a level of intrigue to be aware of it as Peerless develops. The play, however, can stand alone.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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THEATER REVIEW: “The Pirates of Penzance” @ Barrington Stage Co. [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016
Will Swenson and  pirates ensemble (photo: John Rando)

Will Swenson and pirates ensemble (photo: John Rando)

Theater review by Gail M. Burns

If you are looking for a traditional, D’Oyly Carte staging of The Pirates of Penzance, keep on moving. There is nothing for you to see here. What is on the Main Stage at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield is what you get when you let two award-winning 21st century artists and the perfect cast loose with one of Gilbert & Sullivan’s silliest masterpieces. It is a tidal wave of music and mayhem guaranteed to thrill and entertain all but the stodgiest of Savoyards.

After the colossal international success of their fourth collaboration, H.M.S. Pinafore (1878) – think of it as the Hamilton of the Victorian era – Gilbert & Sullivan were free in Pirates (1879 NYC/1880 London) to be fully themselves artistically. The result is G&S at the top of their form – witty, silly fun set to sublime music. It is also the most American of their operettas in feel, and the only one to premiere in New York instead of London.

In 1980, the centennial of Pirates’ London premiere, the New York Public Theatre, then under the leadership of Joseph Papp, presented this operetta as one of its free summer offerings outdoors on the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park. This production was directed by Wilford Leach, choreographed by Graciela Daniele, and featured new orchestral arrangements by William Elliott, who also served as the musical director. It went on to a successful run on Broadway, winning seven Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical, Best Director for Leach, and Best Choreography for Daniele.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Kickwheel Premieres “Passage” @ Shire City Sanctuary [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

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For more than a year, Kickwheel Ensemble Theater (the creative arm of The Berkshire Fringe) has been devising a new play that will premiere with a limited run of performances at Pittsfield’s Shire City Sanctuary from Wednesday-Sunday (July 27–31).

Merging original text, music, researched accounts and fantastical imagery, Passage weaves together two parallel storylines of survival: the tale of Sir John Franklin’s doomed 19th expedition to conquer the famed Northwest Passage and the story of a modern day couple on a luxury wellness cruise through the now melting arctic.

A dark comedy exploring themes of a changing climate, love and loss, Passage integrates sea otters on razor scooters, a guru of ultimate enlightenment, dead sailors, marketing executives and questions of hubris and faith to reveal the cyclical nature of human history.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Judd Hirsch Stars in “The Stone Witch” [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, July 21st, 2016
Actor Judd Hirsch

Actor Judd Hirsch

Berkshire Theatre Group welcomes the world premiere of The Stone Witch, featuring Tony, Golden Globe, Emmy and Obie Award-winning actor Judd Hirsch.

It’s an interesting tale. Peter, an aspiring children’s book author, is sent to the cabin of his idol, Simon, a reclusive award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books, to help him finish what might be his last book. Desperate to save his own career, Peter hopes to discover the secret of Simon’s genius, but first he must accept the impossible task: helping Simon confront the monsters that populate the woods inside his mind. This darkly humorous play makes us question the cost of success.

Written by Pen/USA Award-winning playwright Shem Bitterman (Harm’s Way, Open House, Influence) and directed by Drama Desk and Humanities Award-winning director Steve Zuckerman (Broadway: Nuts), The Stone Witch opens in previews tonight (July 21) and runs through Saturday, August 20 at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

“peerless” Premieres at Barrington Stage Co. [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

peerless

Jiehae Park’s comedy peerless will be seen for the first time in the Berkshires at the Barrington Stage Company, the award-winning theater in downtown Pittsfield.

Directed by Louisa Proske, peerless begins previews on Thursday (July 21), officially opens on Sunday (July 24), and runs through Saturday, August 6 at BSC’s St. Germain Stage.

peerless tells the story of brilliant, ambitious twin sisters L and M when they realize that perfect academics and superb extracurricular activities aren’t enough to get into their dream college – so they decide to take matters into their own hands. peerless is a comedy…until it isn’t.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

“The Tempest” Comes to Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016
(Photo by Haley Barbieri)

(Rehearsal photo by Haley Barbieri)

Shakespeare’s magical (and final) play, The Tempest, a story of revenge and redemption on a magical, mysterious island, opens soon in a free production outdoors on the First Street Common in Pittsfield. The Tempest is directed by Enrico Spada and features Berkshire theatre veteran Glenn Barrett as Prospero, leading a cast of professionals and young adult actors from across the Berkshires.

Pittsfield Shakespeare in the Park’s third annual free production opens at 8pm on Thursday (July 21), following Pittsfield’s 3rd Thursdays street festival that evening, and runs Thursdays–Sundays at 8pm for 12 performances ending Sunday, August 7. Admission is free. Performances take place on Pittsfield’s First Street Common, located next to the Zion Lutheran Church. Audiences are invited to bring picnic blankets and lawn chairs and enjoy the romance under the stars.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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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