Posts Tagged ‘Pittsfield’

“Working on a Special Day” Is Simply Beautiful at Barrington Stage Co. [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, June 26th, 2014
Working on a Special Day

(photo by Kevin Sprague)

Theatre Review by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray

Larry Murray: Take away the claustrophobic sets and piles of clutter that mark the film that Working on a Special Day is based on, and lurking in its core is a remarkable story well suited for the stage. I’m trying to think of a word that sums up the essence of this very unusual 74 minute play that has both charm and substance.

Gail M. Burns: It is achingly simple, both in style and story. It gets at the very root of human need – for companionship, affection and physical intimacy.

Larry: Exactly, and The Play Company and Por Piedad Teatro have wrought a perfect distillation of the overwrought 1977 Italian film Una giornata particolare that was directed by Ettore Scola and starred Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. It captures the essence of two human beings whose lives are suffocating, although in completely different ways. From the first moments, with the house lights still on, it begins in a deceptively simple and creative way.

Gail: The actor/director/translators – Antonio Vega and Ana Graham – started the show in their street clothes, sharing the welcoming speech with BSC Artistic Director Julianne Boyd, and then chatting with the audience as they changed into their costumes and prepared the stage. This is a rare time when Barrington Stage Co. has “imported” a production on to their stage, in this case literally. Por Piedad Teatro is based in Mexico City and has as its mission: “…to promote the dialogue between two cultures – Mexican and American – so close to one another and yet so different, through cutting edge contemporary theater.” Previously the company’s only American performances have been in New York City, so it is exciting to have this production join the international offerings of the Berkshire Fringe in downtown Pittsfield this summer.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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Dueling Appraisals of “Kiss Me, Kate” @ Barrington Stage Company [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014
Elizabeth Stanley and Paul Anthony Stewart and the cast of Kiss Me, Kate (photo: Kevin Sprague)

Elizabeth Stanley and Paul Anthony Stewart and the cast of Kiss Me, Kate (photo: Kevin Sprague)

Theater review by Gail M. Burns and Roseann Cane

Gail M. Burns: Kiss Me, Kate is not my favorite musical, but this production just blew me away. Everything about it was perfect. It was big and bold and colorful – non-stop action and comedy and dancing…I am out of superlatives. All I can say is Wowee-wow-wow! Whadda show!

Roseann Cane: Considered his most successful musical, Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate opened on Broadway on December 30, 1948, and ran for more than a thousand performances, winning the first ever Tony Award for Best Musical. …Kate was produced rather late in Porter’s remarkable career – his first Broadway show, in 1916, was the far-less-well-received See America First.

Gail: I think I like Porter’s songs far better than the shows and films they were written for. By the time he wrote Kiss Me, Kate, most of which was penned right here in the Berkshires in the Porters’ home in Williamstown, he had already lived through a decade of constant pain following a riding accident that left him crippled. Delightful as it is, the song “Where Is the Life That Late I Led” takes on a rueful irony for Porter himself.

Roseann: Based on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, Kate is essentially art imitating life imitating art. A divorced couple reunites to go on the road with a musical version of Shakespeare’s play, and their backstage relationship parallels the action onstage. Actress Lilli Vanessi (Elizabeth Stanley) has become a movie star since her separation from Fred Graham (Paul Anthony Stewart), the swaggering, egocentric director and producer of the play. Lilli, although preparing to remarry, is still in love with Fred, and hides her feelings until she receives a bouquet of flowers Fred had intended for someone else.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire On Stage.

Bittersweet “Working on a Special Day” Unfolds at Barrington Stage [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
Antonio Vega and Ana Graham direct and star in “Working On A Special Day” at Barrington Stage June 18-July 6. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

Antonio Vega and Ana Graham direct and star in “Working On A Special Day” at Barrington Stage June 18-July 6. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

Working on A Special Day has received recognition internationally and arrives at Barrington Stage Company in a production by the Play Company and Mexico City-based Por Piedad Teatro. According to Artistic Director Julianne Boyd and Managing Director Tristan Wilson, it will run from Wednesday (June 18) through July 6 at Barrington Stage’s St. Germain Stage. Press Opening is Sunday, June 22 at 3pm.

Directed by and featuring Ana Graham and Antonio Vega, Working on A Special Day is a new play about a life-changing encounter between an over-worked housewife and a mysterious bachelor on May 8, 1938 – the day Rome celebrates Hitler’s visit to Mussolini’s Italy. A bittersweet drama unfolds within the charged political landscape of rising fascism in Rome.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Experience the Amazing World of Butterflies All Summer at Berkshire Museum [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, May 29th, 2014
The Black Swallowtale butterfly (photo: Howard Hoople)

The Black Swallowtale butterfly (photo: Howard Hoople)

Butterflies don’t have to make any noise to attract our attention.

Silent, etherial and delicate, butterflies are the stars of the summer stage, able to captivate us without saying a word, and hold our attention for as long as they are in our midst. Many an actor wishes they had the ability to conjure up the same magic. Of course we too are sometimes like them, as Carl Sagan reminded us, “We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.”

These self-propelled flowers only live a mere week or two, and as George Carlin famously said, “The caterpillar does all the work, but the butterfly gets all the publicity.”

They are also the inspiration for artists, many of whom have contributed their works to this summer long show at the Berkshire Museum.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Complete 2014 Schedule for Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014
Boyd-Quinson MainStage – great sight lines and comfortable seating.

Boyd-Quinson MainStage – great sight lines and comfortable seating.

May 21–June 14. THE OTHER PLACE by Sharr White. Starring Emmy Award-winner Marg Helgenberger. Directed by Christopher Innvar. Berkshire premiere. St. Germain Stage at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield. Performances are Tuesday-Saturday at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 4pm (excluding May 24) and Sunday at 3pm. There will be an additional matinee Thursday, June 12 at 4pm. Press Opening: Sunday, May 25 at 3pm. Tickets start at $40. Low priced preview May 22 is $15. (413) 236-8888.

May 24. CONVERSATIONS WITH: The Process is the Thing (Part 1). May 24 at 4pm. A conversation with playwright Sharr White about “The Other Place,” moderated by director Christopher Innvar. Free admission, general seating. St. Germain Stage the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield. (413) 236-8888.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

At Barrington Stage, Marg Helgenberger Going for a Tour-de-Force in “The Other Place” [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, May 19th, 2014
Marg Helgenberger (photo:  Larry Murray)

Marg Helgenberger (photo: Larry Murray)

By Larry Murray

In deciding to do The Other Place, Marg Helgenberger has accepted the biggest acting challenge of her long and honored career. When she steps into the role of Juliana Smithton, she assumes the identity a successful neurologist whose life seems to be coming unhinged. Her husband has filed for divorce, her daughter has eloped with a much older man and her own health is in jeopardy. But in this brilliantly crafted work, nothing is as it seems. Piece by piece, a mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, past collides with present and the elusive truth about Juliana boils to the surface. The story unfolds in a cottage on the windswept shores of Cape Cod.

At a preview gathering at Barrington Stage Co.’s Sydelle & Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center in Pittsfield, director Christopher Innvar and the popular Emmy Award-winning star of TV’s “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” made themselves available to talk about the upcoming show. A transcript of that discussion follows.

Helgenberger has had one of the most successful careers of any actor, and most of it on television, which she says is a “writer’s medium.” But for all her success, she yearned for a chance to return to the “actor’s medium,” live theater.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

As Megan Whilden Departs, 3rd Thursdays Stay on as Pittsfield’s Favorite Day of the Month [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Pittsfield 3rd Thursdays

As Pittsfield’s Megan Whilden spends her last week as Pittsfield’s Director of Cultural Development, the enormously successful project she helped begin, 3rd Thursdays, returns for its eighth year on Thursday (May 15). The event has made the third Thursday of every month the Berkshires’ favorite day of the month.

The award-winning 3rd Thursdays theme for May is Creative Youth, celebrating youth performers, dancers, musicians and artists. The largest free outdoor event series in the Berkshires, 3rd Thursdays are family friendly and open to all.

Megan Whilden, who founded 3rd Thursdays, noted that this collaborative civic event “has been a labor of love, creativity and community from its beginning eight years ago. No other event series in the Berkshires brings together so many different local businesses, cultural organizations, food vendors, community groups, volunteers and performers as 3rd Thursdays. It’s great fun for locals and visitors alike.”

click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Sharr White’s Puzzle Play “The Other Place” to Open Barrington Stage Season [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

The Other Place @ Barrington Stage Company

To kick off its twentieth season, Barrington Stage Company has chosen a “puzzle play” to torment our little grey cells. In The Other Place, Juliana Smithton (Marg Helgenberger) is a successful neurologist whose life seems to be coming unhinged. Her husband has filed for divorce, her daughter has eloped with a much older man, and her own health is in jeopardy. But in this brilliantly crafted work, nothing is as it seems. Piece by piece, a mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, past collides with present, and the elusive truth about Juliana boils to the surface.

Directed by BSC Associate Artist Christopher Innvar, The Other Place runs from May 21 through June 14 on the St. Germain Stage. Making their BSC debuts opposite the previously announced Marg Helgenberger are Katya Campbell (Woman), Adam Donshik (Man) and Brent Langdon (Ian).

The additions to the cast were announced by BSC Artistic Director Julianne Boyd and Managing Director Tristan Wilson. For the Berkshire premiere of Sharr White’s The Other Place, they have Emmy Award-winner and Golden Globe nominee Marg Helgenberger in the lead role.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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