Posts Tagged ‘Pittsfield’

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.

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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.

FREE: Symposium on Race at Barrington Stage Co. This Weekend [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016
Luke Smith, Michael Hayden, Andre Ware and Tamara Tunie (photo: Scott Barrow)

Luke Smith, Michael Hayden, Andre Ware and Tamara Tunie (photo: Scott Barrow)

Utilizing the world premiere play American Son as a springboard to further dialogue about race, identity and bias in America, Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield has invited members of the Berkshire community as speakers, moderators and panelists regarding these timely and important issues. The free weekend symposium will take place beginning at 1pm on Saturday (July 2) and at 2pm on Sunday (July 3) on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage under the title of Race, Bias and Culture in Present-Day America.

Winner of the prestigious Laurents/Hatcher Award for Best New Play of 2016, American Son stars Tamara Tunie (“Law & Order: SVU”), Michael Hayden, Luke Smith and Andre Ware. Written by award-winning playwright Christopher Demos-Brown and directed by Julianne Boyd, American Son runs through Saturday, July 9.

Saturday (July 2), 1—2:30pm
“The Struggle of Growing Up Biracial— Caught In the Middle”
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Ferentz Lafargue, Director, The Davis Center at Williams College, Williamstown, MA
Moderated by: Chief Michael J. Wynn, Pittsfield Police Department
Panelists: Dr. Barbara Baker, Director of Project Link at BCC
Byonte Jones, 9th grade student, BART Charter School
Eddie Taylor, Executive Director, S.E.E.D. Network, Inc.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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

Monday, June 20th, 2016
Chris Thorn (Buddy) and Debra Jo Rupp (Kimberly) in a scene from “Kimberly Akimbo”. Photo by Scott Barrow.

Chris Thorn (Buddy) and Debra Jo Rupp (Kimberly) in a scene from “Kimberly Akimbo”. Photo by Scott Barrow.

Review by Macey Levin

David Lindsay-Abaire won a Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for his play Rabbit Hole — a story of a family that has lost a child who was struck by a car and killed eight months earlier. He has also given us plays filled with off-beat humor such as Fuddy Meers, Wonder of the World and Kimberly Akimbo which is currently receiving a dynamic production at Barrington Stage Company’s St. Germain Stage in Pittsfield.

Kimberly (Debra Jo Rupp) has the aging disease progeria; though she is only sixteen, physically and internally she is past middle age on the verge of dying. She knows how to deal with the condition, but she is also a member of a highly dysfunctional family that has recently moved from Secaucus, New Jersey to Bogota, New Jersey under mysterious circumstances. Her father Buddy (Chris Thorn) is an alcoholic who works in a gas station and often forgets his responsibilities to his daughter. Pattie (Jessiee Datino), her mother, is pregnant, has been operated on for carpal tunnel syndrome and is self-involved. Aunt Debra (Jessica Savage) has been in and out of jail several times and is currently homeless. The only relatively sane one in her life, and that’s relative, is Jeff (Adam Langdon), a classmate who creates anagrams and is a Dungeons and Dragons aficionado.

Kimberly, despite her youth, is the only rational character and she also displays a moral center. She knows but does not fear what lies ahead. She attempts, sometimes vainly, to teach her family members the difference between right and wrong and how to act as a grown-up.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

ArtBeat: Daniel Brody’s Films & More @ the BerkshireNow Gallery [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016
Daniel Brody’s abstract works explode and blossom with biomorphic shapes.

Daniel Brody’s abstract works explode and blossom with biomorphic shapes.

The BerkshireNow Gallery at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield features the work of award-winning filmmaker and artist Daniel Brody through Sunday, August 21.

The centerpiece of Brody’s exhibition is the nine-minute looping video, “Game On/Game Over.” The video piece is a playful but thought-provoking mash-up of animation and live action: A hooded figure walks in the winter woods, a cartoon character pops out of a hole and dances to the sounds of opera and creaking trees, a room floats over snowy fields and sinks into black waters. The video is both comical and foreboding. The meaning is left up to the viewer. Complementing the video is a collection of recent abstract drawings and paintings which share a similar playful and nervous energy.

“Game On/Game Over” won the juror’s award at the 2015 Artists of the Mohawk Hudson Region held at the University Art Museum at UAlbany. His films have won awards at the Ann Arbor 8mm Film Festival, the Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Super 8, the Belgium Film Festival, the Spacebound Film Festival, the National Young Filmmakers Festival and the WNET NYC Young Filmmakers festival.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Songs by Ridiculously Talented Composers and Lyricists You Probably Don’t Know, But Should… [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, June 10th, 2016
Bill Finn (l) and Sally Wilfert (r) will be on hand to showcase songs by upcoming show tune writers (photo: Stephen Sorokoff)

William Finn (l) and Sally Wilfert (r) will be on hand to showcase songs by upcoming show tune writers (photo: Stephen Sorokoff)

Tony Award-winner William Finn returns this weekend to Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield to host his popular showcase of new show tunes and other pop songs. With the cumbersome title of Songs by Ridiculously Talented Composers and Lyricists You Probably Don’t Know, But Should…, Finn takes the Boyd-Quinson mainstage at 8pm tonight & Saturday (June 10 & 11).

Directed by Brandon Ivie, the cast of singers include: Jesse Gage, Demond Green, Sara Kase, Alex Syiek, Sally Wilfert and Emily Walton. Josh Freilich and Benji Goldsmith are music directors.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Berkshire Pride Dance & Cabaret @ the Colonial on Friday [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

pride

By Larry Murray

Ever since the first whispers of the Berkshire Dance Party and Cabaret in celebration of LGBTQ Pride Month began circulating, the chatter has been nonstop. Just what form will this event take? Event planner Oskar Hallig says they plan to take over Pittsfield’s Colonial Theatre stage, lobby and adjacent club, the Garage. In other words, a major event. And the buzz is building. There simply has never been as large or openly visible event as this in the Berkshires before. Across the country June is Pride Month for the gay community, and this is a helluva way to kick it off.

On Friday (June 3) the huge Colonial stage will be converted into the Berkshire’s own Studio 54 for the dance party itself. Beginning at 8pm, guests will walk the pink carpet to enter. Many will head straight for a messaging booth to send notes before following the music to the dance floor.

Over in the Garage, where drinks and snacks will be available, a stage and cabaret will provide a completely different atmosphere, with a piano bar, and a stage where drag queens and belly dancers will entertain the guests. And that’s just for starters. The event is shaping up to be the party of the year, and honey, you don’t have to be gay to attend. This is too good for just the LGBT community, so many of their allies will be celebrating right along side them! Diversity and unity will reign on this special night.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Berkshire International Film Festival 2016 Kicks Off Today [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016
Kevin Sprague photo from BIFF 2015 – and 2016 is looking great, too!

Kevin Sprague photo from BIFF 2015 – and 2016 is looking great, too!

The 11th annual Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF) kicks off its packed weekend line-up of films today (Thursday, June 2), marked by stronger international programming and continuing dedication to the best in documentary film. The BIFF will showcase 26 documentaries, 26 narrative features and 17 short films from 26 countries, including Germany, Afghanistan, Brazil, Australia, Iran, England, India, France, China, Italy, Israel, Austria, Norway, Hungary, Argentina and Iceland. The festival runs from today (June 2) through Sunday (June 5) in Great Barrington and from Friday-Sunday in Pittsfield.

To quote BIFF Founder and Executive Director, Kelley Vickery: “I believe this is one of the best festivals we have ever programmed. I am absolutely thrilled not only with our special events, but also our incredible line-up of foreign films, documentaries, narrative dramas, and shorts. Once again, we have secured the best in independent film which is what our audience has come to expect. It is exciting to have Yo-Yo Ma, Bruce Dern, Karen Allen, Doug Trumbull, Noah Baumbach, Gregory Crewdson, Jake Paltrow and Kent Jones as highlights in our program. It doesn’t get better than that! The BIFF’s programming has combined our community’s sense of wonder, curious spirit, intellectual needs, and desire to engage in and explore the world around us, as well as to learn about stories close to home. With 26 countries represented, the BIFF truly brings the world to the Berkshires!”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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