Posts Tagged ‘Stockbridge’

THEATER Review: “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune” @ Fitzgerald Main Stage [Berkshire On Stage]

Friday, August 7th, 2015
Darren Pettie (l) and Angel Desai (r) in Frankie and Johnny in the clare de lune. Photo by Michelle McGrady.

Darren Pettie (l) and Angel Desai (r) in “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.” Photo by Michelle McGrady.

Theater review by Larry Murray

In his play about a failed actress turned waitress and a short order cook who quotes Shakespeare, Terrence McNally has peopled his play Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune with two interesting characters. And very little plot. When it comes to classic love affairs, Frankie and Johnny tales are numerous, and in this case the tragic and doomed love affair is reimagined as a one-night stand that turns serious.

With the lights and classical music turned down low, the audience giggles, then laughs at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Fitzgerald Main Stage, as this tale begins with the sounds of steamy sex and a series of ever more intense moans and groans emanating from beneath the sheets. We hear (but do not see) Frankie (Angel Desai) and Johnny (Darren Pettie) consummating their mating in a big bed that dominates the set. Resplendent and massive, it takes up what seems like half the fifth floor walk-up tenement that is Frankie’s home. Sex over, she wants to send Johnny on his way so she can enjoy the rest of the evening watching TV and eating ice cream. Out of the blue, Johnny announces he wants to spend the rest of his life with her, raise a family and have non-stop sex. She is having none of it.

That is the gist of the story which can be summarized even more simply. In the first act, Frankie makes him a meatloaf sandwich, and in the second act he makes her a western omelette. He has a beer with a milk chaser as he engages in grandiose sentiments, and she is having none of it.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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ArtBeat: “Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs” @ Norman Rockwell Museum [Get Visual]

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015
A New Yorker cover drawing by Roz Chast

A New Yorker cover drawing by Roz Chast

Review by David Brickman

Who doesn’t love Roz Chast? Her quirky take on life, as seen in countless New Yorker cartoons and covers, is the essence of contemporary American neurosis and it makes us laugh in recognition of our own foibles (or, more likely, those of our friends and relatives).

So, one recent lovely summer day we took a trip to Stockbridge to enjoy Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs at the Norman Rockwell Museum – and were immediately immersed in Roz’s world. And I don’t just mean immersed via the scads of drawings and artifacts on view. I mean immersed as in, by pure chance, we ran into Roz’s cousin Nancy, from Albany, who knew one of my sisters in Jewish youth group about 50 years ago, along with Nancy’s husband, and, yes, they were depicted rather accurately in a family group portrait included in the Memoirs on display.

It used to be you wouldn’t be surprised to run into one of Norman Rockwell’s former child models in Stockbridge – but this was a Roz Chast show in 2015, so we got cousin Nancy instead, and it was even better.

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

Chesterfest Offers Music, Food & Beer for Sunset Concerts at Historic Site [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, July 17th, 2015
Chesterfest at sunset (photo: Paul Rocheleau)

Chesterfest at sunset (photo: Paul Rocheleau)

A wide range of contemporary American musicians – from folk, alt-country and rockabilly to garage, punk and psych-folk bands – are scheduled to perform this summer at Chesterfest, a new Americana music series presented by Stockbridge’s Chesterwood, a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Chesterfest will kick off on Sunday (July 19) at 5:30pm with singer-songwriter Dan Blakeslee, followed by Yep Roc recording artist Jonah Tolchin at 6:30pm, in support of his new album, Clover Lane. Both will be performing at Chesterfest for the first time.

The concerts will be held at Chesterwood on Sunday evenings from July 19 through August 30, rain or shine. In the event of rain, concerts will be held under a barn-size tent. Artists perform at 5:30pm, followed by a second artist at 6:30pm The grounds open at 5pm; attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets for lawn seating. Tickets are $15 per person; children under 18 are free. Wandering Star Craft Brewery beer, made in the Berkshires, and Lakota-Bar-B-Q, the best barbeque this side of the Mississippi, is available for purchase. Tickets may be purchased at each performance (cash only) and online with a credit card (plus service charge) at www.eventbrite.com.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

David Adkins Debuts His “Thoreau or, Return to Walden” @ Unicorn Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

boswalden1

Berkshire Theatre Group presents a new play, Thoreau or, Return to Walden, a world premiere written and performed by David Adkins, at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge. Opening night is Saturday (June 20) at 8pm. Preview performances begin on Thursday (June 18) at 7pm, and the production closes Saturday, July 11 at 8pm.

In this world premiere, BTG alum David Adkins takes the stage as New England Transcendentalist, poet and philosopher, Henry David Thoreau. Long-time BTG artist Eric Hill, who most recently wrote and directed Adkins in the wildly well-received Poe, directs the production.

The writing of Henry David Thoreau comes to life in this dramatic and uplifting tale as he battles with himself, with his own thirst for blood and for the soul of our American conscience. It’s 1859. The Union is on the verge of civil war over the issue of slavery. Passion, politics and prose collide on the shores of Walden Pond when beloved American naturalist and prophet of peaceful resistance learns that freedom fighter and abolitionist John Brown has been sentenced to hang. How did the beloved poet and naturalist, hero of children’s books, inspirer of Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., and writer of Walden and Civil Disobedience come to write, “I do not wish to kill nor to be killed, but I can foresee circumstances in which both these things would be by me unavoidable (A Plea for Captain John Brown).” When you come to your final moment, will you know that you have truly lived?

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Amber Chand to Revisit “A Heroine’s Journey” at Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, June 11th, 2015
Amber Chand

Amber Chand

The Berkshire Theatre Group presents Searching for the Moon: A Heroine’s Journey – Tales of Love, Despair, Faith and Forgiveness written by and starring Amber Chand, directed by Jayne Atkinson at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge at 7pm on Saturday (June 13).

Global entrepreneur and visionary storyteller Amber Chand weaves together the events of her life — an eclectic tapestry of Indian arranged marriages, English boarding schools, military coups in Uganda, encounters with Rwandan genocide survivors, and the rise and fall of her multi-million dollars company — in her acclaimed one-woman show, Searching for the Moon: A Heroine’s Journey – Tales of Love, Despair, Faith and Forgiveness. Directed by Tony Award-nominated actress and BTG alum Jayne Atkinson, the show taps into universal themes in which we are all heroes and heroines on the unfolding journeys of our lives.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Tony Simotes Joins Berkshire Theatre Group as Managing Director [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, March 30th, 2015
Tony Simotes. Photo by Kevin Sprague ©2010

Tony Simotes (Photo by Kevin Sprague ©2010)

In news that is as surprising as welcome, Tony Simotes has decided to stay in the Berkshires and apply his numerous talents to the growth of the Berkshire Theatre Group. The question of what would become of “our Tony” following his departure from Lenox’s Shakespeare & Company last October has ended. Happily.

The announcement was made by Berkshire Theatre Group’s Artistic Director/CEO, Kate Maguire. Simotes will become BTG’s Managing Director and an Artistic Associate and will begin work at BTG today (Monday, March 30).

It is reported that his responsibilities will include budgeting, fundraising, community outreach and helping formulate BTG’s strategic plan.

In an on-air interview at WAMC-FM, Simotes also spoke about his reasons for leaving Shakespeare & Company.

Tony Simotes Directs “When the Sky Falls” at the Unicorn Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, March 12th, 2015
A staged reading of When the Sky Falls by Yvette “Jamuna” Sirker will be directed by Tony Simotes at the Unicorn March 13, 2015.

A staged reading of “When the Sky Falls” by Yvette “Jamuna” Sirker will be directed by Tony Simotes at the Unicorn on Friday.

Playwright Yvette “Jamuna” Sirker collaborates with renowned director Tony Simotes, former artistic director of Shakespeare and Company, on a staged reading of Ms. Sirker’s play based on her own experience of living through Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans on Friday (March 13). When the Sky Falls was developed Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway and is the winner of MultiStages Theater’s New Works Contest and Epic Theater Center’s Sunshine Series and was a Lark Play Development Center Playwright’s Week Finalist. At the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge on Friday, Tony Simotes directs a diverse cast of actors from Shakespeare and Company and New York City.

Yvette “Jamuna” Sirker’s When the Sky Falls has been described as a “poetic, surprisingly funny and at times brutal play that is a fantasia on the theme of security in America (Epic Theater Center).” Other critics have described it as “beautifully written,” “poignant and sharply satiric.” Anita Velez Mitchell, theater critic for New York City’s La Voz News, described it as being “among the classics that document [the] history [of Hurricane Katrina].”

Based on Ms. Sirker’s personal experience surviving Hurricane Katrina, When the Sky Falls follows a small neighborhood through the innocent days just before Katrina and the harrowing time after the sky fell. It is a story of surviving epic loss and our collective need for stories in doing so.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Berkshire Theatre Group 2015 Plans: “Deathtrap,” “Bells Are Ringing,” McNally’s “Clair de Lune” [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015
Karen Allen will direct Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.

Karen Allen will direct “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.”

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.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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