Posts Tagged ‘The Colonial Theatre’

Like a Bad Penny, Peter Schickele Brings PDQ Bach Back to the Colonial Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Peter Schickele

NOTE: Larry Murray reminisced with Professor Peter Schickele about the imaginary P.D.Q. Bach which you can read here. There is also a rare photo of the tromboon, part trombone, part bassoon which Bach invented.

Musical humorist Peter Schickele will perform 50 Years of P.D.Q. Bach: A Triumph of Incompetence at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield on Saturday (July 26) at 8pm. It’s been 50 years since Professor Peter Schickele released P.D.Q. Bach on an unsuspecting musical public. And it’s been 80 years since the professor’s mother released the professor on an society ill-prepared for such singular genius. And now, because everyone loves a birthday, Professor Schickele has reached back across the decades to explore the damp vaults and dusty attics of Leipzig to once again celebrate the twenty-first child (out of twenty) of the great J.S. Bach. This special, once in a half-century, musical extravaganza will feature the crème de la crème of history’s most justifiably neglected composer.

Peter Schickele will perform twelve “quite heavenly songs” including: musical upsettings of the signs of the zodiac (for chamber ensemble), excerpts from The Notebook for Betty-Sue Bach (for solo piano), and songs from Shakespeare: The Bard’s most famous speeches set to 1950′s rock ‘n’ roll (for piano & chamber ensemble).

One thing that Peter Schickele and P.D.Q. Bach have in common is their love of writing party music. Mr. Schickele has composed rounds, songs and piano miniatures which have served as presents, congratulatory messages, homages, bread and butter notes (notes, get it?) and simply as something new to bring to sight-reading parties. He has been writing such pieces since he began composing during his early teenage years, and he continues to do so with undiminished enthusiasm; sometimes the results turn out to be among his best works.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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The Singers Shine in “A Little Night Music” from Berkshire Theatre Group [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, July 11th, 2014
Kate Baldwin and Graham  Rowat (photo: Reid Thompson)

Kate Baldwin and Graham Rowat (photo: Reid Thompson)

Theatre review by Gail M. Burns and Roseann Cane

Gail M. Burns: Four couples meet, mate and miscommunicate in the woods as Midsummer Night smiles three times – “First, for the young who know nothing, second for the fools who know too little, and third for the old who know too much.” No, not Shakespeare, although the parallels are obvious, but Stephen Sondheim as the Berkshire Theatre Group presents his delightful 1973 musical A Little Night Music at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield.

Roseann Cane: The more Sondheim musicals I see (and see again), the more I’m astonished by the man’s genius. I cannot think of another composer and lyricist whose work displays such depth, breadth and variety, who achieves the nearly impossible feat of transmitting intellect, wit and emotion. This production is blessed by a cast gifted with sumptuous singing voices and some standout acting capable of rendering all three with ease and style

Gail: This is a score that I have loved and memorized and cherished in my heart for four decades, and, as with anything so personally meaningful, I find I have a hard time finding words to help others understand how beautiful this score is and how the incredibly clever and intricate lyrics are rendered easy enough to understand so that even someone who has never heard them before can follow along as they rapidly advance both plot and character.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Richard Chamberlain to Introduce New Musical “Sometimes Love” at BTG Benefit [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Richard Chamberlain

Special Benefit Event Featuring a Reading of Sometimes Love
composed and written by Martin Rabbett
written by Jocelyn Fujii
featuring Richard Chamberlain
at the Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield
Friday, July 18 at 2pm
Tickets: $40 (ticket includes catered boxed supper and talk back with cast)

Berkshire Theatre Group presents a special benefit event featuring a reading of Martin Rabbett’s new musical Sometimes Love at the Colonial Theatre on Friday, July 18 at 2pm with participating artist, Richard Chamberlain.

In Sometimes Love, seven contemporary New Yorkers, most of them longtime friends, discover that life brings empowerment in surprising ways. They face the full spectrum of challenges: unemployment, infidelity, narcissistic lovers and alcoholic parents. But when the shame is confronted head-on and the smoke finally clears, their broken lives arrive at a fragile order, a simple and elegant truth. Love comes and goes, they discover, and the only way to make it stay is to adapt to its many mutations.

“I wrote the music for ‘Sometimes Love’ over a three-year period, during which I was going through a painful personal experience,” Martin Rabbett director, composer and writer said. “Through it all, I discovered that it was not just the writing of the music that helped me heal, but the friends who lived through that time with me. It was, for me, a redefining of family—the realization that in the end, we really can create our own family. That experience empowered me and ultimately saved my life.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Encore! An Evening to Celebrate High School Musicals [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, April 28th, 2014
At Miss Hall’s they chose Oliver as their musical.

At Miss Hall’s they chose “Oliver” as their musical.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents Encore! An Evening to Celebrate High School Musicals at the Colonial Theatre on Friday, May 2 at 7pm directed by Travis G. Daly. This special performance features ten-minute encore performances from this year’s Berkshire County high school musicals.

Tickets to Encore! are on sale now for $15 adults, $10 students. Contact the Colonial Ticket Office at 111 South Street, Pittsfield by calling 413-997-4444. Tickets can also be bought online at www.berkshiretheatregroup.org. The Ticket Office is open Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturdays 10am-2pm or on any performance day from 10am until curtain.

Join over 200 students as they perform musical numbers, including Lenox Memorial High School: Pippin directed by Ralph Petillo; Miss Hall’s: Oliver! directed by Jennifer Jordan; Monument Mountain Regional High School: Into the Woods directed by Linnea Mace; Mt. Everett Regional High School: Grease directed by Kathy Jo Grover; Mt. Greylock Regional High School: Guys and Dolls directed by Jeffrey Welch; Pittsfield High School: Cats directed by Justina Trova and Wahconah Regional High School: Dames at Sea directed by Thomas Towne and Pamela Gold.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

A Stripped-Down Rick Springfield Headed to Colonial Theatre [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

By Larry Murray

The best butt in the business is no longer being sued for assaulting a member of the audience with his buttocks in Syracuse. (News Report) It happened at the 2004 New York State Fair while Rick Springfield was singing his 1983 single “Human Touch,” shaking his rear end and interacting with his audience. The artist says he doesn’t remember the incident, and his fans supported him online, while the gossips had a field day with his “buns of death”. But all that is in the past. Springfield hasn’t slowed down since that incident, and still loves the personal touch of singing and interacting with those who come to his concert.

Usually he takes to the road with a band, but this time it is just the man and his guitar, which makes for a very up-close-an-personal show which arrives at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield on Wednesday (March 26).

It is Rick Springfield’s first-ever solo acoustic tour which means that in addition to playing unplugged versions of many of his memorable tunes, Springfield will share stories about the songs and his life during the performances and do a Q&A session with fans after the performance.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

“A Christmas Carol” Returns to Pittsfield, December 14-29 [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, December 13th, 2013

A Christmas Carol

Berkshire Theatre Group will reprise its popular annual production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, adapted by Eric Hill and directed by Eric Hill and Travis G. Daly and presented for the third time at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield. A Christmas Carol is sponsored by Greylock Federal Credit Union, Guardian Life Insurance and founding sponsors: Blantyre, Country Curtains and the Red Lion Inn.

Revel in the joy and redemptive power of Christmas as told in the timeless tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, the infamous miser who is reformed and shown the error of his ways by four spirits. Journey back to Victorian England and experience the classic story filled with terrific turns and infused with holiday music.

This year’s production marks the biggest cast for BTG’s A Christmas Carol with 42 local talented actors. Eric Hill will return as director and in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge, and Associate Education Artist, Travis G. Daly, co-directs. Returning BTG company members include Kathy Jo Grover, Ralph Petillo, Brian Plouffe, Gail Ryan, E. Gray Simons III, Christopher-Michael Vecchia, Jeff Wojcicki and Jonathan Young with Reggie Cooper and Courtney McLaren. Joining the community cast this year will be three of Berkshire Theatre Group’s Artists-in-Residence: Madeline Calandrillo, Lily Edward Christie and Jacob Gold with 28 Berkshire County children.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

One Night Only with Three Dog Night at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Three Dog Night

The iconic band Three Dog Night will celebrate over 40 years of their chart-topping pop music hits at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield on Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 8pm. Four of the original members are still with the group. Few great bands survive from that period. And certainly not any with as original a name. Some think it comes from the original three lead singers, but there’s a far more interesting legend. The band is named after a phrase used by aborigines in the Australian outback to describe how cold it could get; a “three dog night” meant a very cold night requiring huddling with three dogs for warmth.

With four decades of memorable hit songs Three Dog Night has accumulated some of the most astonishing statistics in popular music. In the golden years 1969 through 1974, no other group achieved more Top 10 hits, moved more records or sold more concert tickets. Three Dog Night’s hits wind through the fabric of pop culture today, whether on the radio where they are heard day in and day out, in TV commercials or in major motion pictures: songs like “Mama Told Me (Not To Come),” “Joy to the World,” “Black and White,” “Shambala” and “One” serve to heighten our emotions and crystallize Three Dog Night’s continuing popularity.

Boasting chart and sales records that are virtually unmatched in popular music, Three Dog Night had 21 consecutive Top 40 hits, including three #1 singles, 11 Top 10′s, 18 straight Top 20′s, 7 million-selling singles and 12 straight RIAA Certified Gold LPs. Their hits appeared on best-selling charts in all genres (pop, rock and country). Their records continue to sell around the world, reaching beyond the borders of the U.S. into Japan, Canada, Holland, England, Germany, Spain and elsewhere. Tens of millions of Three Dog Night records have been sold through the years. Three Dog Night recorded the music of the best (and mostly undiscovered) new songwriters of their time including Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman, John Hiatt, Elton John, Laura Nyro, Paul Williams and Hoyt Axton among many others. The group’s eclectic taste, combined with their ability to recognize and record hits in a unique, distinctive and appealing style, resulted in Three Dog Night dominating the charts for years.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Gordon Lightfoot’s “50 Years on the Carefree Highway Tour” to Stop in Pittsfield Nov. 8 [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
Gordon Lightfoot

Gordon Lightfoot

Gordon Lightfoot has been on the road for some 50 active years of hit-song-making and audience pleasing. By now his international album sales are well into the multi-millions, too. So it’s safe to say that esteemed singer-songwriter and musician Gordon Lightfoot shares the top of quite of few lists of all-time greats in the music business. His song catalog is incredibly vast and includes such immortals as “Early Morning Rain,” “If You Could Read My Mind,” “Carefree Highway,” “Sundown,” “(That’s What You Get) For Lovin Me,” “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” “Cold on the Shoulder,” “Canadian Railroad Trilogy,” “Ribbon of Darkness,” “Beautiful,” “Song for a Winter’s Night,” “Shadows,” “Rainy Day People,” “Did She Mention My Name” and “Summertime Dream,” to name a few.

He refers to his current series of concerts as the “50 Years on the Carefree Highway Tour” and each stop lets him feature his well-known hits as well as some deep album cuts for the die-hard fanatics – all of which are woven together with some of Lightfoot’s own behind the scenes stories and personal anecdotes about his historic 50-year musical career. The event is sure to be a great thrill for live audiences and anyone who enjoys hearing great music and seeing a living legend in person.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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