“The Other Place,” a Riveting 90 Minutes of Suspenseful Theater [Berkshire on Stage]

May 28th, 2014, 1:00 pm by Sara
Marg Helgenberger takes us to The Other Place at Barrington Stage Company

Marg Helgenberger takes us to “The Other Place” at Barrington Stage Company

Theatre Review by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray

Gail M. Burns: The Other Place is a riveting 90 minutes of suspenseful theatre, a challenging mystery play in which we try to piece together just what is happening to eminent scientist Juliana Smithton (Marg Helgenberger), and why.

Larry Murray: As we watch the play unfold, our minds race to comprehend what’s gong on. Not until the final monologue do we really come to grips with that, and the last 10 minutes were so forceful that our expectations completely shift. When I left the theater, I felt like the world had changed.

Gail: Like a treasure map, in the program for The Other Place – which opens the 20th Season of Barrington Stage – director Christopher Innvar provides the key to open this puzzle box when he quotes the playwright, Sharr White:

“A particular feature of the very smart people in my life is that they think their sheer intelligence can keep them from all manner of harm. It’s a beautiful, yet very vulnerable form of arrogance…[Juliana] is by any measure one of the smartest people on earth: witty, sharp, sexy, aggressive and self-assured. And yet because so much of herself hinges on her estimation of her great mind, she also exists in a terrible state of vulnerability. Take her mind away – even a little bit of it – and what does she have left?”

This is also a play about loss and how we cope with it. Innvar states in his Director’s Note that he perceives this an ensemble piece about family: “What happens when one member is set adrift, lost at sea? Only by admitting that we are lost can we be found, and with luck, discover the pieces of ourselves that we thought were lost forever, and arrive safely home.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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At Barrington Stage, Marg Helgenberger Going for a Tour-de-Force in “The Other Place” [Berkshire on Stage]

May 19th, 2014, 11:00 am by Sara
Marg Helgenberger (photo:  Larry Murray)

Marg Helgenberger (photo: Larry Murray)

By Larry Murray

In deciding to do The Other Place, Marg Helgenberger has accepted the biggest acting challenge of her long and honored career. When she steps into the role of Juliana Smithton, she assumes the identity a successful neurologist whose life seems to be coming unhinged. Her husband has filed for divorce, her daughter has eloped with a much older man and her own health is in jeopardy. But in this brilliantly crafted work, nothing is as it seems. Piece by piece, a mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, past collides with present and the elusive truth about Juliana boils to the surface. The story unfolds in a cottage on the windswept shores of Cape Cod.

At a preview gathering at Barrington Stage Co.’s Sydelle & Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center in Pittsfield, director Christopher Innvar and the popular Emmy Award-winning star of TV’s “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” made themselves available to talk about the upcoming show. A transcript of that discussion follows.

Helgenberger has had one of the most successful careers of any actor, and most of it on television, which she says is a “writer’s medium.” But for all her success, she yearned for a chance to return to the “actor’s medium,” live theater.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Sharr White’s Puzzle Play “The Other Place” to Open Barrington Stage Season [Berkshire on Stage]

May 8th, 2014, 2:00 pm by Sara

The Other Place @ Barrington Stage Company

To kick off its twentieth season, Barrington Stage Company has chosen a “puzzle play” to torment our little grey cells. In The Other Place, Juliana Smithton (Marg Helgenberger) is a successful neurologist whose life seems to be coming unhinged. Her husband has filed for divorce, her daughter has eloped with a much older man, and her own health is in jeopardy. But in this brilliantly crafted work, nothing is as it seems. Piece by piece, a mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, past collides with present, and the elusive truth about Juliana boils to the surface.

Directed by BSC Associate Artist Christopher Innvar, The Other Place runs from May 21 through June 14 on the St. Germain Stage. Making their BSC debuts opposite the previously announced Marg Helgenberger are Katya Campbell (Woman), Adam Donshik (Man) and Brent Langdon (Ian).

The additions to the cast were announced by BSC Artistic Director Julianne Boyd and Managing Director Tristan Wilson. For the Berkshire premiere of Sharr White’s The Other Place, they have Emmy Award-winner and Golden Globe nominee Marg Helgenberger in the lead role.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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