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Arts

Addled and Elevating

by Ralph Hammann July 2, 2015

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  When one first encounters David Adkins as Henry David Thoreau on the Unicorn’s dark stage, he is crowing in discordant concert with a rooster, putting one more in anticipation of Peter Pan than the transcendentalist ...

0 comments Berkshire Theatre Group Unicorn Theatre

From Court to Battle to Bar, Bracingly

by B.A. Nilsson July 2, 2015

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  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 ...

0 comments Shakespeare & Company

Life Lessons

by Shawn Stone July 2, 2015

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  Spoiler alert: The “girl” dies. The “me” in the title Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is Greg Gaines (Thomas Mann), an awkward high school senior wracked by self-loathing who has worked really hard to ...

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Live and Let Laugh

by Shawn Stone June 25, 2015

Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) ist eine ganz besondere Agentin. Foto: 2015 Twentieth Century Fox

  The latest Melissa McCarthy comedy is a shrewd, funny send-up of spy films, complete with a Bond-style theme song, a smashing opening set piece and enough world travel to give Daniel Craig jet lag. McCarthy ...

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Boston Early Music Festival

by B.A. Nilsson June 25, 2015

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  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, ...

0 comments Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center

Candy-Colored Despair

by Shawn Stone June 25, 2015

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  The hitmakers at Pixar—led by Pete Docter, director of Up and one of the key writers on the Toy Story series—take us literally into the mind of a girl on the cusp of childhood’s end ...

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Good Grief

by B.A. Nilsson June 25, 2015

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  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

The Dream Comes Alive

by James Yeara June 18, 2015

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  This stage picture--smoke and shadows, iron bars, ropes wrapped around 2-foot-thick wooden beams that soar three stories tall lit only from the pale orange glow of lanterns hung from the beams and a cool violet ...

0 comments Barrington Stage Company

Meaner, Faster, Smarter

by Shawn Stone June 17, 2015

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  Nothing brings out my inner misanthrope quite like the Spielbergian approach to children and families. The children in his films are uniformly unbearable. (OK, maybe not Drew Barrymore in E.T.) That’s why the crushing disappointment ...

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Playland

by Ann Morrow June 17, 2015

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  The train is at the station, ready to ride. That train is the much-loved No. 99, with its red cab-car emblazoned “Hoffman’s Playland.” No. 99 is no longer at Hoffman’s Playland in Latham, which closed ...

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Art Beat

by Shawn Stone June 17, 2015

POP-UP ART SHOW The Lake George Arts Project’s annual event Art @ The Lake will open July 1 in Bolton Landing. The difference this year is that instead of holding various one-day events around Lake ...

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All About Yves

by Ann Morrow June 11, 2015

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  Yves Saint Laurent was one of the brightest stars of fashion for most of the 1970s; among his era-defining designs were the Mondrian dress and safari suit. The glamour of his high fashion demi-monde makes ...

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Fractured Fairy Tale

by Shawn Stone June 11, 2015

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There are few more fascinating stories in 1960s rock & roll than the Beach Boys. They became superstars when they were little more than kids; three of the members were brothers (and another a cousin); ...

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A Building With History

by Ali Hibbs June 11, 2015

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  “Studio 40B is an art gallery and production studio,” said Alex Stokes Contompasis at the studio’s grand opening last weekend. “And the headquarters of News World: Albany Banana Corps.” In a loud floral shirt and aviator ...

0 comments Studio 40B

Generation Gap

by B.A. Nilsson June 11, 2015

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  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 ...

0 comments Shakespeare & Company Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre

War Games

by B.A. Nilsson June 6, 2015

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  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 ...

0 comments Proctors

It’s No Game

by Shawn Stone June 6, 2015

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  This French thriller begins with the return of a prodigal. Twenty-something Agnes (Adele Haenel) is returning home after the failure of her marriage. When she’s met at the terminal by her mother’s lawyer, Maurice Agnelet ...

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Wide Awake Summer Reading

by Ann Morrow June 6, 2015

  These are not read-at-the-beach books, simply because they are too hard to put down, and also because the writing styles of both authors deserve sustained attention. Joyce Carol Oates, a multiple Pulitzer-Prize nominee, often writes ...

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Pretty, Lifeless

by Ann Morrow May 28, 2015

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  In Danish director Thomas Vinterberg’s staid take on Thomas Hardy’s novel Far From the Madding Crowd, farmer Oak, the sheepherder who falls in love with willful Bathsheba Everdene, does not utter his famous lines of ...

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War of Words

by James Yeara May 28, 2015

Butler
Barrington Stage Company 2015
By Richard Strand
Directed by Joseph Discher
Photos © Kevin Sprague
>
David Schramm stars as Major General Butler and Maurice Jones makes his BSC debut as the slave, Shepard Mallory. Also in the cast are Ben Cole and John Hickok.

  “Astonishing,” or some variation or the word, is said frequently by the four characters in Butler, a historical comedy set at the beginning of the American Civil War. It’s also an apt word for how ...

1 comment Barrington Stage Company St. Germain Stage

The Bard Plus

by B.A. Nilsson May 28, 2015

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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 ...

0 comments Shakespeare & Company

Maxed Out

by Ann Morrow May 21, 2015

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  Take out the Mad Max part of the title and Mad Max: Fury Road might not be so infuriating. In this feverishly crazed reboot, there is a character named Max but he’s a wan facsimile ...

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Shout, Sister, Shout

by Shawn Stone May 21, 2015

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  Looser, less serious and considerably crasser than Pitch Perfect, this sequel is a lot more of the same dazzling and unutterably goofy a capella singing madness that made the original a cult hit—and so oddly ...

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Project: Rock and Roll

by Shawn Stone May 21, 2015

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  Who knew? The Who’s rise to fame and fortune began as a film project. This fascinating documentary fills in the gaps in the history of the legendary rock band by telling the story from the point ...

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Home Fires Burning

by James Yeara May 21, 2015

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  “Please don’t hurt me,” Child (Roxanne Fay) says periodically to the audience, her head turned aside, not making eye contact. The words slide into her story, almost like a codicil slipped into a will: not ...

1 comment Bridge Street Theatre