Posts Tagged ‘Stockbridge’

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


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.

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.

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

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


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.

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