Berkshire Theatre Group welcomes “American Idol” contestant and Berkshire native, Katherine Winston to The Garage in Pittsfield on Saturday (April 18) at 8pm. Tickets to Katherine Winston are $10 in advance and $12 day of performance.
By Larry Murray
A large, lovable lonely heart named Maureen Mulligan (Monica Bliss) gives romance one last shot on a blind date with the amiable but awkward Joe Spinelli (Thomas Suski). She relies on sharp wit and wisecracks to cover her feelings and he can’t contain his eagerness which leaves him clumsy of manners and blunt in speech. But, they’re perfect for each other, even if they won’t admit it.
By Larry Murray
Ten minutes plays are a snappy way to tell a short story with wham-bang endings.
Directed by Julianne Boyd and Stephanie Yankwitt. Featuring Matt Neely, Christina Norris, Jessie Shelton, Peggy Pharr Wilson, Zach Wymore and Robert Zukerman.
At Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, every 10 minutes, a new play begins!
By Larry Murray
Everyone who reads Berkshire on Stage knows by now my personal delight in the naughty but innocent burlesque company, Gypsy Layne. One reason is that they keep reinventing themselves, and have innovated the addition of men doing well what women do best. So here’s another variation on their show, due in Pittsfield for two nights only – Friday & Saturday (February 20 & 21) at the Whitney Center for the Arts in Pittsfield – as part of the 10×10 Festival. (Event Schedule) Mark my words, the first winter thaw will arrive with this company. You better believe the heat they will generate will melt not only the nearby snow, but your inhibitions as well.
So how do we describe this naughty performance company? For that, let’s defer to their own words:
Sizzling. Sultry. Cool. Playful. Outrageous…and that’s just half of it. What’s your favorite shade of Gypsy Layne? The Berkshire’s first homegrown burlesque and cabaret troupe colors you wild this February with their latest extravaganza, “10 Shades of Gypsy Layne,” part of Pittsfield’s 10×10 Festival. The acts are eclectic as the Gypsies themselves, and electrifying. Two nights, 10 shades, endless possibilities.
The Berkshire Theatre Group has announced its main offerings for 2015’s summer season musical, the 10th annual community theatre production, the Fitzpatrick Main Stage productions in Stockbridge and a medley of other performances to be presented this summer.
BTG plans a second round of programming announcements, including the Unicorn Theatre’s summer season, in the next several weeks.
“Our 87th season offers a mix of unforgettable musicals and classic, influential plays,” says Kate Maguire, Artistic Director/CEO for the Berkshire Theatre Group. “At the Colonial, they will stage the 1956 Comden and Green and Jule Styne sweetheart musical “Bells Are Ringing.” Ethan Heard is directing this romantic show, once again working with Kate Baldwin and Graham Rowat, as he did in last year’s “A Little Night Music.” For our 10th annual community theatre production, the company will present the iconic “Mary Poppins.” As with most of their community productions, some 100 children and adults from the community will participate, some will even soar over the Colonial stage.
The City of Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District has a sure cure for cabin fever this February: the fourth annual 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival featuring a lively array of music, art, theater, dance, comedy, film, fashion, magic, a bonfire, fireworks and more from February 12-22. Organized by the City of Pittsfield’s Office of Cultural Development and Barrington Stage Company, the festival features 70 performances highlighting dozens of artists, actors, musicians, playwrights, comedians and performers.
The 10X10 festival kicks off on Thursday (February 12) with the Ten Spot Art Show opening reception at the city-owned Lichtenstein Center for the Arts; a community art project at Shire City Sanctuary; and the first preview night of Barrington Stage’s 10X10 New Play Festival.
“The 10×10 Upstreet Holiday Festival is one of my favorite cultural events of the year because it brings affordable fun to the winter time,” noted Pittsfield Mayor Dan Bianchi. “I encourage everyone to come out and enjoy everything from the winter fireworks display to new theater at Barrington Stage.” Shire City Sanctuary is a new addition this year featuring an evolving community demonstration and installation of a screen printed poster over the course of the 10-day festival. They will also host a Valentine’s Day dinner and dance party following Berkshire Historical Society’s 10x10x10x10 Undergarment Fashion Show featuring ten models wearing ten outfits from ten eras by ten designers, highlighting the winter exhibition at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead.
Other new additions this year include: a free, community wide bonfire and fireworks extravaganza at the newly renovated Common on First Street; WAM Theatre’s return to Pittsfield with a one-night-only staged reading of their critically acclaimed 2013 production of “Emilie”; two family-friendly shows at the Colonial Theatre; 10 Decades of Jazz Piano with master pianist Bill Mays; 10 Shorts, a multi-disciplinary, multicultural work by Berkshire-based performing artists at the Whitney Center for the Arts; and the Berkshire International Film Festival hosting a closing night Academy Awards party at the Beacon.
ADDITIONAL UPCOMING FESTIVALS FOR 2015:
Bridge Jazz Fest @ Troy Savings Bank Music Hall & College of St. Rose’s Massry Center, Troy & Albany, 2/27&28/15
Country Con 2015 @ the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, Albany, 2/28 & 3/1/15
Mountain Jam @ Hunter Mountain, Hunter, 6/4-7/15
A Taste of Country Music Festival @ Hunter Mountain, Hunter, 6/12-14/15
Solid Sound @ MASS MoCA, North Adams, 6/26-28/15
FreshGrass @ MASS MoCA, North Adams, 9/18-20/15
By Gail M. Burns
WAM Theatre has been invited to present an enhanced staged reading of their critically acclaimed 2013 production of Emilie: La Marquise Du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight by Lauren Gunderson at three different locations in Berkshire County and the Capital Region, beginning at 7:30pm tonight (Tuesday, February 10) at Williams College’s Adams Memorial Theatre in Williamstown.
Directed by WAM Theatre Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven, much of the acclaimed original cast returns. Kim Stauffer reprises the title role as Emilie and is joined by returning cast members Suzanne Ankrum, Brendan Cataldo and Joan Coombs as Soubrette, Gentleman and Madam, respectively, along with new cast member Timothy Carter (national tour of The Lion King, Adirondack Theatre Festival’s The Whale) as Voltaire.
This enhanced staged reading will feature some audio and visual elements from the original production, of which Berkshire On Stage and Screen said, “WAM’s brilliantly staged production of ‘Emilie’… is totally entertaining.” The Berkshire Eagle deemed the 2013 production “…highly imaginative…highly theatrical…” and Berkshire Fine Arts stated it was “an absorbing evening of theatre for a sold out audience.”
By Larry Murray
It is somehow fitting, noted Julianne Boyd, that the most familiar song from Man of La Mancha, “To Dream the Impossible Dream,” will mark the Mainstage opening of Barrington Stage Company’s tenth year in Pittsfield.
At a news conference Artistic Director Julianne Boyd announced the theatre’s 2015 season of musicals and plays that will take place in downtown Pittsfield in the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage, the St. Germain Stage and Youth Theatre venues.
“It’s a summer of contrasts at Barrington Stage. We’re presenting musicals as different as Man of La Mancha and Shrek, and plays that run the gamut from Shining City to His Girl Friday, but what they all have in common are superbly crafted stories that I think our audiences will love,” said Boyd.