Posts Tagged ‘Pittsfield’

B.A. Dario Plays Pittsfield’s Berktoberfest on Saturday [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015
From left: members of the Pittsfield-based band B.A. Dario, bassist Jay Cimini, drummer Brad Greene, guitarist Dan Greene and keyboardist Aaron Nackoul. Photo by Jenn Smith/Berkshire Eagle

From left: members of the Pittsfield-based band B.A. Dario, bassist Jay Cimini, drummer Brad Greene, guitarist Dan Greene and keyboardist Aaron Nackoul. Photo by Jenn Smith/Berkshire Eagle

A sure sign of autumn in the Berkshires, the eighth annual Berktoberfest will be bringing some of the absolute finest craft beers in the northeast United States together under the big tents from 12noon-6pm on Saturday (October 3).

Not only that, but some of the areas liveliest music, too. If you weren’t able to catch B.A. Dario this summer at Mission in Pittsfield, and revel in their covers of Beatles tunes, well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The band plans on doing three sets during the course of Berktoberfest, and are sure to provide a soundtrack that plays in your memories long after the craft beers are quaffed.

The band claims Pittsfield as its home town, and delivers their own special version of progressive jam rock that is a proven crowd-pleaser. Members of the group are Danny Greene (guitar, vocals), Brad Greene (drums), Jay Cimini (bass), Aaron Nackoul (keyboards) and Justin Nackoul (guitar). And to think at one time they were voiceless! But Chin Lee at Flavours (of Malaysia in Pittsfield) gave them their first bar gig and encouraged them to add vocals. They didn’t have the money for mics originally, but over time it all came together. Each performance is unique to its moment with unpredictable covers and constantly evolving originals.

But let’s not forget the beer…

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.


Paula Poundstone Brings the Laughs to the Colonial Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Paula Poundstone

Berkshire Theatre Group presents An Evening with Paula Poundstone on Saturday (September 26) at 8pm at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield. With a history of making people laugh that stretches back almost half a century, she is known as a master of stand-up comedy.

In the early ’80s, Paula Poundstone packed up her belongings, hopped on a Greyhound bus and traveled across the country performing at open mic comedy clubs. Poundstone went on to become one of the great humorists of our time. You can hear her through your laughter as a regular panelist on NPR’s popular weekly news quiz show, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me. She tours regularly, performing stand-up comedy across the country.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Joe Iconis & Family Return to Mr. Finn’s Cabaret [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015
Joe Iconis (photo: Monica Simoes)

Joe Iconis (photo: Monica Simoes)

The return of award-winning songwriter Joe Iconisreturns to Barrington Stage Company’s Mr. Finn’s Cabaret in Pittsfield with his latest iteration, Joe Iconis & Family: Outcast Superstars, for three performances at 8pm Friday-Sunday (September 4-6).

The intensely musical and energetic Joe Iconis first won the hearts of many Berkshire residents as the composer and lyricist of The Black Suits as well as his previous BSC cabarets, all of which have been sold out. Iconis and his many friends will present an evening of his sly, mischievous, toe-tapping – and always – brilliant songs. Come hear some rockin’ music from the writer of “Broadway Here I Come” (of TV’s “Smash”).

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

“Engagements” @ Barrington Stage Co. [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, August 24th, 2015
Adam Gerber, Robert David Grant and Amanda Quaid.

Adam Gerber, Robert David Grant and Amanda Quaid.(photo: Kevin Sprague)

By Larry Murray

The newest play at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield is the sexy, millennial world premiere comedy Engagements by Lucy Teitler, which runs through Sunday (August 30).

Engagements tells the story of Lauren, a very bright but slightly confused millennial who is spending her summer attending picture-perfect engagement parties. Lauren has no qualms when facing love’s trials, but may have met her match in her best friend’s boyfriend. As the unforgettable heroine of this pitch-black anti-romantic comedy, Lauren navigates this midsummer nightmare as she weighs the value of her romantic life against the real significant other in her life, her best friend.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Arlo Guthrie Signs His New Book @ Berkshire Museum on Saturday

Monday, August 24th, 2015

Arlo Guthrie: Old Bill

Singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie will celebrate the publication of his new chidren’s book with a book-signing session at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield from 1:30-2:30pm on Saturday (August 29).

Old Bill, the famed moose who now resides at the Berkshire Museum, is the subject of Arlo Guthrie’s new children’s book. Illustrated by Kathy Garren, the book tells the tale of the moose that roamed through the Berkshire Hills and became a legend. Berkshire resident and notable moose-ologist Arlo Guthrie was asked to write an introduction for the 75th anniversary reprint of Walter Eaton’s essay, “Odyssey of Old Bill: The Famous Berkshire Moose.” He did so in the form of a poem, which now has been turned into the charming illustrated children’s book, “Old Bill: The Famous Berkshire Moose.”

Copies of the book will be available at the Museum Shop. The book-signing is included with regular museum admission.

UPCOMING: Arlo Guthrie is slated to bring his Alice’s Restaurant 50th Anniversary Tour to the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield at 7pm on Sunday, October 11. Tickets are $40, $60 & $75.

REVIEW: Neil Simon’s “Lost in Yonkers” @ Barrington Stage Company [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, July 24th, 2015
(l to r) Matt Gumley, Jake Giordano, Stephanie Cozart, David Christopher Wells and Paula Jon DeRose (photo: Kevin Sprague)

(l to r) Matt Gumley, Jake Giordano, Stephanie Cozart, David Christopher Wells and Paula Jon DeRose (photo: Kevin Sprague)

Theater review by Larry Murray

At the Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, the fresh new production of Lost in Yonkers is a contender for the summer’s best comedy. It’s a really funny show, especially the first act when we get to meet the characters. It is also in the race for the year’s best drama, as the second act unfolds with more gravitas than guffaws. It’s likely to be a hot ticket, too, since it is hitting the sweet spot with its audiences, as they find its human dimensions absolutely riveting.

Granted, it’s been a long time since just having Neil Simon’s name on the marquee was a gold-plated guarantee of a hot ticket. Lost in Yonkers came well after Simon’s laugh-a-minute comedies The Odd Couple and Fools, and also much later than his autobiographical plays Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues and Broadway Bound.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

REVIEW: “Bells Are Ringing” @ the Colonial Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, July 16th, 2015
James Ludwig (center) in Bells Are Ringing at Berkshire Theatre Group. (photo: Reid Thompson)

James Ludwig (center) in “Bells Are Ringing” at the Colonial Theatre (photo: Reid Thompson)

Theater review by Gail M. Burns and Roseann Cane

Roseann Cane: Currently on stage at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Bells Are Ringing originally opened on Broadway in 1956 – the same year that Candide, The Most Happy Fella and My Fair Lady premiered (Oh, to have a time machine!) – and ran for 924 performances. With a book and lyrics by Comden and Green, music by Jule Styne and choreography by Jerome Robbins and Bob Fosse, what a pedigree it boasts. Its star, the magnificent Judy Holliday, won a Tony for her performance, as did her co-star Sydney Chaplin.

Gail M. Burns: This is certainly a musical of its era, right down to the setting at a telephone answering service. For the young and unenlightened, back in prehistoric times when phones had rotary dials and plugged into the wall, if you weren’t home when a call came in, you missed it. Or if you were on the phone and another call came in, the caller got a busy signal. There was no way to leave a message. This was a problem, especially for the rich and famous, so the answering service was invented. Your number rang at a central switchboard where an actual human (invariably a woman) answered it and wrote down (with a pen on a piece of paper) your message. Then you called in, were read your messages, and you could return the calls, or receive important pieces of news, like “you got the job!” or “your uncle died.”

Judy Holliday’s first job was as an assistant switchboard operator at Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre in the 1930’s, and in 1956 a woman named Mary Printz opened Belles Celebrity Answering Service in New York. (Astoundingly, in this electronic age, the agency is still in business!) Comden and Green were clients of Printz’s and long-time friends and theater colleagues of Holliday’s, who by this point had won an Oscar to go with her Tony. They created Bells Are Ringing and the leading role of Ella Peterson for her.

Roseann: Which explains why this charming and paper-thin story, about a switchboard operator for an answering-service who falls in love with a client she has never seen, is more of a star vehicle and musical showcase than the more complexly plotted aforementioned shows, but so what?

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

THEATER: “Shining City” @ Barrington Stage Co. [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, June 25th, 2015
L to R: Mark H. Dold as Ian and Wilbur Edwin Henry as John (photo: David Fertik)

L to R: Mark H. Dold as Ian and Wilbur Edwin Henry as John (photo: David Fertik)

Theater review by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray

Synopsis: A Dubliner seeks help from a counselor after claiming to have seen the ghost of his recently deceased wife. As their sessions unfold, secrets are exposed as a simple tale turns out to be anything but. Burns and Murray had decidedly different views on this Tony nominated play, with her thumb up, and his thumb down

Larry Murray: Shining City by Irish playwright Conor McPherson was nominated for two Tony Awards, including Best Play when it opened on Broadway in 2006. We saw it performed on Barrington Stage Company’s St. Germain Stage in Pittsfield with a superlative cast including a brilliant Wilbur Edwin Henry as John, a mess of a man filled with insecurities, guilt, confusion and regret. The production gets high marks, but the play itself – for all its rhapsodic reviews across the country – failed to excite this observer. You know that saying about how bored the shrink must be listening to everyone prattle on about their FDI’s (Fears, Doubts, Insecurities)? Well, this play proves there is a lot of truth to that jest.

Gail M. Burns: I think you’re missing the point here, Larry. Shining City isn’t about what is being said much as it is about what is being heard and felt, and not by the audience, but by the central character of Ian (Mark H. Dold), a former Roman Catholic priest starting his new career as a therapist and his new life as a sexual being – with all that that entails, including fatherhood – in modern day Dublin. A therapist’s job is to listen, but Ian not only listens to John, he absorbs him and subsequently reenacts his sad, repressed life as his own.

Larry: Trying to be rational about my dislike of this play, it comes down to the playwright whose dialogue, while perhaps reflecting how people actually talk, was full of tentativeness and uncertainty, with eruptions of monologues laced with periodic f-bombs. These were delivered with marvelous Irish accents, and a credit to dialogue coach Wendy Waterman. Lots of pseudo meaningful conversation filled with endless “ers” and “ums,” with frequent “you knows” to dazzle the audience with its authenticity, and perhaps for the playwright to prove he could write like Harold Pinter. All that embellishment got in the way of the story for me.

Of course, Dold is an ex-priest who couldn’t find God, may have homosexual tendencies and is now continuing in a job that continues to require him to repress his own ideas and feelings. Interesting stuff. But we mostly hear him recite clinical dialogue like “I understand,” and “That’s ok” from him as he encourages his patient to share more information while trying to keep him calm. John claims he has seen the ghost of his wife, who was recently killed in a car accident, and talks about their unsatisfying relationship.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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