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B.A. Nilsson

B.A. Nilsson

Alone Again, Gastronomically

by B.A. Nilsson October 15, 2015


  “You can put me at the table in the corner in the back unless you've got one in the telephone booth; I'm here and I'm alone again, it's sad but it's the truth. No, I'm not expecting ...


Loudon Wainwright III

by B.A. Nilsson October 1, 2015


  “The strangest story ever told/Was how I got to be this old.” That’s the opening couplet from the opening song on Loudon Wainwright III’s 2012 CD release Older Than My Old Man Now. The 69-year-old ...

0 comments The Egg

Murder Most Wonderful

by B.A. Nilsson October 1, 2015


  As a dizzying set of intrigues continues to build through act two, we’re taken to the apartment of Monty Navarro (Kevin Massey), who’s been briskly murdering his way to a dukedom. He is amorously closeted ...

0 comments Proctors

Life Is Sweet

by B.A. Nilsson September 24, 2015


  You’re surrounded by bees. They move with a purpose, settling on a hive’s landing board abulge with yellow pollen, or clustered on a hive frame to build hexagonal-celled honeycomb, or challenging your wish to be ...


No Shortcuts Here

by B.A. Nilsson August 20, 2015


  Elizabeth’s 1264 East St, Pittsfield, MA, 413-448-8244. Cuisine: Italian farm-to-table Entreé price range: $22.50 (menu items) to $24.50 (specials) Ambience: your grandmother’s house Seek the soul of an onion and you’re easily led astray. Its pungency is distracting and ...

1 comment Elizabeth's

Cato in Utica

by B.A. Nilsson August 20, 2015


  “Et in Arcadia ego” is inscribed on one of the trompe l’oeil stones forming the backdrop to Cato’s encampment in north Africa. “I am in Paradise,” the phrase suggests, and it’s an inscription often found ...

0 comments Glimmerglass Festival

Adventures in Mexico

by B.A. Nilsson August 13, 2015


  You can count on the Bard Music Festival for textural extremes. Last Saturday’s programs ran a gamut from a charming sonata for guitar and harpsichord by Manual Ponce to the outsized, relentless Piano Concerto by ...

0 comments Bard College Richard B. Fisher Center

Cape of Beauty

by B.A. Nilsson August 6, 2015


  Nature is shameless about offering its beauty, leaving it up to us to interpret the aesthetics. It’s easy to take it for granted—to stop looking and to see very little. Joe Schuyler never stopped looking, ...

1 comment

Mother of the Maid

by B.A. Nilsson July 30, 2015


  When Saint Catherine addresses the audience in Jane Anderson’s new play Mother of the Maid, it’s with the easy familiarity of someone versed in the current century’s attitudes. Then she introduces us to Joan of ...

Shakespeare & Company

Glimmerglass Festival

by B.A. Nilsson July 23, 2015


  Even as the characters of Macbeth and his wife inspire each other to greater acts of infamy, so too do the roles that Verdi created vie in the realm of vocal demands. But with two ...

Glimmerglass Festival

Opera Saratoga

by B.A. Nilsson July 16, 2015


  As Brian Castner and three of his fellow Explosive Ordnance Disposal specialists are driving back to base from yet another mission while deployed in Iraq, the tension of the moment is jolted by a pigeon. ...

Spa Little Theater

From Court to Battle to Bar, Bracingly

by B.A. Nilsson July 2, 2015


  It’s almost insulting to our received images of warfare, this Battle of Agincourt, with a handful of black-clad actors suffering slo-mo agonies while the stage is littered with drapes of red. Since scenes of actual ...

Shakespeare & Company

Boston Early Music Festival

by B.A. Nilsson June 25, 2015


  The greatest tribute to the power of Claudio Monteverdi’s music (and the damn fine story it set) occurred during the second half of Orfeo, as the title character made his way out of the underworld, ...

Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

Good Grief

by B.A. Nilsson June 25, 2015


  Before God, there was Gilgamesh. His story is one of the oldest known narratives, with many of its elements echoed in later sacred and secular epics. The Epic of Gilgamesh tells the story of the ...

1 comment Bridge Street Theatre

Marc-André Hamelin, the Takács Quartet

by B.A. Nilsson June 25, 2015


  Classical music loves specialists, or, to put it a better way, is most comfortable with performers who are easy to pigeonhole. Pianist Marc-André Hamelin has made a career of resisting such definition, and underscores this ...

What’s Brewing?

by B.A. Nilsson June 18, 2015


  We’re never far from a cup of coffee, be it an overpriced Starbucks concoction or a cup of diner joe. We do unspeakable things to our coffee, lacing it with flavorings and sweeteners and even ...

1 comment

Generation Gap

by B.A. Nilsson June 11, 2015


  It’s a confrontation between rival evolutionary biologists; between feminists of different generations with different generational opinions; between a mother and the daughter she gave up for adoption three decades ago. The conflicts cross, of course, from ...

Shakespeare & Company Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre

War Games

by B.A. Nilsson June 6, 2015


  To anyone of draftable age when “Pippin” arrived on Broadway in 1972, it remains the oddball offspring of Woodstock and the Vietnam War. It straddles history and fantasy, casting far enough back for the war ...


Andrew Russo, James Ehnes and the Albany Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Alan Miller

by B.A. Nilsson June 6, 2015


  The music of Aaron Jay Kernis doesn’t immediately suggest his influences, which only supports the charming, puzzling problem of his uniqueness. You can hear some Arvo Pärt in the second of his “Three Flavors,” a ...

The Bard Plus

by B.A. Nilsson May 28, 2015


The play that you see—the lighted, costumed, rehearsed finished product--evolves during the few weeks of rehearsal when the actors develop the characters they’ll portray and figure out the rhythm and movement of the piece. It’s ...

Shakespeare & Company

Spuyten Duyvil

by B.A. Nilsson May 21, 2015


  Spuyten Duyvil know the Great American Songbook. Not that Great American Songbook, but the earlier one that was given to us by Harry Smith in his Anthology of American Folk Music, giving us a glimpse ...


by B.A. Nilsson May 21, 2015


When John Rubinstein takes to the stage as King Charles in Pippin at Proctors May 26 (Tuesday) through the 31st, there will be no doubt that his is a regal presence. Rubinstein has earned it: ...


Just Like Homemade

by B.A. Nilsson May 14, 2015


  Eight at a time. That’s how the sauce jars are filled at Casa Visco. An eerily intelligent electronic eye counts off eight glass jars, typically in 16- or 32-ounce sizes, and regulates the conveyor on ...

On The Town

by B.A. Nilsson May 7, 2015


  When Hollywood came calling to put On the Town on film, it gave the show a wonderful cast, headlined by Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly, and included terrific location work, rare for a movie in ...

The Emerson Quartet

by B.A. Nilsson May 7, 2015


  The concert finished abruptly, in mid-phrase. The players lowered their instruments and it became clear to the puzzled audience that, for whatever reason, the piece they were playing had finished. The reason is that Bach died ...

Union College Memorial Chapel