Posts Tagged ‘Stockbridge’

THEATER REVIEW: “Constellations” @ the Unicorn Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, August 11th, 2016
Kate Baldwin and Graham Rowat in “Constellations,” BTG, 2016. Photos by Emma Rothenberg-Ware.

Kate Baldwin and Graham Rowat in “Constellations.” Photos by Emma Rothenberg-Ware.

Review by Macey Levin

Life is full of serendipity. A chance remark, meeting a stranger, missing a train, making a decision, all contribute to the arc of our lives. We don’t know what is going to happen in the next moment that will redirect us immediately or in the future. We review and dissect our experiences to determine the why of the path we have chosen. This is the core of Nick Payne’s engrossing play Constellations now at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge.

Marianne (Kate Baldwin) and Roland (Graham Rowat) meet at a mutual friend’s barbecue. That moment, like others throughout the script, is played again and again with the actors using different inflections and timing to give each replay a different quality. We follow them through their growing relationship, marriage and separation. Each important moment of their lives together and apart is explored as they contemplate why they are where they are.

Marianne is a cosmologist who facilely refers to string theory, relativity and quantum theory. She says that in a parallel universe everything one does is not always what it seems. A beekeeper, Roland informs her that bees have a strict utilitarian purpose; the workers, drones and queen know their predetermined responsibilities. Their different occupations are a severely opposite to each other but also a description of the two lovers. In addition to their contrasting professional worlds, they also have a problem in communication. Or is it that they hear what they want to hear, another of playwright Payne’s thematic statements. To further express the communication content, one of the scenes is performed entirely in sign language, a fitting dramatic complement.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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THEATER REVIEW: “The Stone Witch” @ Fitzpatrick Main Stage [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, July 28th, 2016
Judd Hirsch and Rupak Ginn in “The Stone Witch" (photo: Emma Rothenberg-Ware)

Judd Hirsch and Rupak Ginn in “The Stone Witch” (photo: Emma Rothenberg-Ware)

Review by Macey Levin

A young, struggling author/artist of children’s books is offered the chance to observe his idol, a legendary figure. He sees that he can watch a genius at work and, when the time is right, show him his own book with which he has been struggling for years. Unbeknownst to him, this opportunity is fraught with unknown challenges. This is the premise of Shem Bitterman’s The Stone Witch, currently in its world premiere at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge.

Peter Chandler (Rupak Ginn) has submitted his book to a powerhouse editor, Claire Forlorni (Kristin Griffith), who likes his work but also tells him she needs help to motivate fabled author Simon Grindberg (Judd Hirsch) to finish a project that is now 12 years old. She asks Peter to spend one day a week with Simon. He accepts the task.

Upon arriving at Simon’s isolated country home, he is confronted by the author in his pajamas and robe and who is at once child-like and dour. The older man avoids Peter’s suggestion that they work and instead bounces from nonsensical bantering to fleeting anger to disdain for Peter’s book. Frustrated, Peter tries various ploys to settle Simon down. The day finishes in a detente. Over the next several weeks the young man journeys to the country and then decides to spend his week’s vacation there urging and assisting Simon to finish his book.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

BTG’s “Fiorello!” Heads to Off-Broadway [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, July 7th, 2016
A victorious “Fiorello!” with Austin Lombardi as the memorable Mayor (photo: Emma Rothenberg-Ware)

A victorious “Fiorello!” with Austin Lombardi as the memorable Mayor (photo: Emma Rothenberg-Ware)

Berkshire Theatre Group and Artistic Director/CEO Kate Maguire announced that due to critical acclaim and record breaking attendance, BTG’s production of the Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning musical, Fiorello! is moving to New York City. This is the first time Berkshire Theatre Group will be producing a show Off-Broadway. The current production, playing at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, is being directed by Robert Moss, the founder of Playwrights Horizons in New York City.

Moss says, “Mayor La Guardia was long gone by the time I moved to New York, so I never lived under his tenure in City Hall. But the “Little Flower,” as he was called, lives on in memory. The music is toe-tappingly delightful, the characters are richly drawn and a story about good guys is desperately needed in today’s jaded and vitriolic politics. It’s great to be reminded, as the music lifts us aloft, that good can triumph over selfishness.”

The current staging of Fiorello! continues in the Berkshires through Saturday, July 23 at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge. For ticket information and show times go to www.berkshiretheatregroup.org.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

THEATER REVIEW: “Fiorello!” @ Berkshire Theatre Group [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, June 27th, 2016
Chelsea Groen and Dan Cassin in Fiorello (photo: Emma Rothenberg-Ware)

Chelsea Groen and Dan Cassin in “Fiorello!” (photo: Emma Rothenberg-Ware)

Theater review by Larry Murray

Back in 1959, Fiorello! was the hit show that scooped up a Pulitzer Prize for best drama, and tied with the The Sound of Music for the Tony as best musical, leaving Gypsy in the dust. Tom Bosley, as Fiorello LaGuardia, won best actor.

As delivered by a youthful cast, Fiorello! moves right along with a breezy score by Jerry Bock, clever lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and this is a good thing because the weak link is a thin, choppy book which has undergone various revisions over the years. The program credits Jerome Weidman and George Abbott for the version currently on stage at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge. It seems close (if not identical) to the original, which I saw some 56 years ago. Memories fade, though I remember how much I enjoyed songs like “Politics and Poker,” “Little Tin Box” and “Till Tomorrow.”

The cast of Fiorello! is uniformly excellent, a parade of characters and caricatures that easily delight today’s audiences just as they did those a half century ago. Who doesn’t love to watch love blossom on stage between a policeman – a sturdy Dan Cassin – and the radical striker, Dora (Chelsea Groen).

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THEATER: “Fiorello!” Celebrates NYC Mayor LaGuardia [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, June 13th, 2016

fiorello

Kate Maguire, Artistic Director of Berkshire Theatre Group, is excited about the young cast of the classic musical Fiorello!, opening this week at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge. Directed by Playwrights Horizons founder Bob Moss, Fiorello! will run from Wednesday (June 15) through Saturday, July 23. “I’m thrilled that we’re starting the season with this delightful, Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning musical, created by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, who currently have two hit shows on Broadway, She Loves Me and Fiddler on the Roof.”

Moss adds, “Mayor LaGuardia was long gone by the time I moved to New York, so I never lived under his tenure in City Hall. But the ‘Little Flower,’ as he was called, lives on in memory. The music is toe-tapping, the characters are richly drawn and a story about good guys is desperately needed in today’s jaded and vitriolic politics. It’s great to be reminded, as the music lifts us aloft, that good can triumph over selfishness.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

WAM Theatre Presents “Special” in Workshop Production [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, March 14th, 2016

Special

WAM Theatre is co-producing a workshop production of Special with playwright and actress Rachel Siegel at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge for a three-day run beginning on Friday (March 18). Created and performed by Siegel, and based on personal experience and interviews with mothers of children with special needs, Special follows one woman’s journey after she discovers she is pregnant with a child with Down syndrome.

WAM Advisory Board member Jayne Atkinson will direct this funny, unstinting and ultimately inspiring look into the complexities and possibilities of love. “I am very honored to be part of Special,” Atkinson said. “It is a humorous, poignant, at times dark journey – an eye of the needle experience that will move us all deeply.”

“I did a lot of writing during my pregnancy with [our son with Down Syndrome], and knew that I would do something with it eventually,” Siegel explained. “I wanted to broaden the story and interview other mothers, but I really didn’t know any other parents of special needs children. Then I found this wonderful organization called Whole Children in Hadley, started by mothers who knew they needed this kind of group for their own children and for themselves. There I met wonderful women, wonderful mothers, who wanted to do the best for their children. And they agreed to be interviewed by me.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage

Theater Review: “The Homecoming” @ the Unicorn Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015
 L to R: Rocco Sisto, John Rothman, Rylan Morsbach,David Barlow, Tara Franklin and Joey Collins. Photo by Michelle McGrady.

L to R: Rocco Sisto, John Rothman, Rylan Morsbach,David Barlow, Tara Franklin and Joey Collins. Photo by Michelle McGrady.

Theater review by Roseann Cane

Harold Pinter’s plays make great demands on actors. Ideally, the hallmark “Pinter pause” or “Pinter silence” should be at least as communicative and rich as the spoken dialogue, if not more so. I’ve seen productions where I can feel an actor ticking off the seconds until he or she speaks, and this can render the entire play tedious and slow and one-dimensional.

In a speech presented in 1962 to a student drama festival, Pinter said, “There are two silences. One when no word is spoken. The other when perhaps a torrent of language is being employed. This speech is speaking of a language locked beneath it. That is its continual reference. The speech we hear is an indication of that which we don’t hear. It is a necessary avoidance, a violent, sly, anguished or mocking smoke screen which keeps the other in its place. When true silence falls we are still left with echo but are nearer nakedness. One way of looking at speech is to say that it is a constant stratagem to cover nakedness.”

It gives me great joy to report that this production of The Homecoming, beautifully directed by Eric Hill, boasts sterling actors who are not only up to the task, but inspired, fierce, funny, and fully realized.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Harold Pinter’s “The Homecoming” Is Coming to the Unicorn Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

homecoming

Berkshire Theatre Group presents the Tony Award-winning classic The Homecoming at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, opening at 7pm on Saturday (October 3). Preview performances begin on Thursday (October 1), and the production closes on Sunday, October 25. Written by Nobel Prize-winning British playwright Harold Pinter, The Homecoming is a thought provoking piece of theater that invites audiences to delve deep into hidden crevices of the human condition.

Kate Maguire, Berkshire Theatre Group’s Artistic Director/CEO, says, “We are lucky to have an array of incredible artists involved with this production, including David Barlow, Joey Collins, Tara Franklin, Rylan Morsbach, John Rothman, Rocco Sisto and Eric Hill directing. Harold Pinter is a great playwright, and this piece should be seen by all serious devotees of theatre.”

Eric Hill says, “The layering of themes in The Homecoming is a very important part of Pinter’s art, which include the games that get played [by the characters] in the course of this play — language games, emotional games — but primarily, the game of territorialism. Pinter’s intention is to reveal the state of the culture in which he lived, and the state of things in England in post-World War II.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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