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Love Among the Floribundas

by Ann Morrow July 9, 2015


  Louis XIV, the Sun King, who made absolute monarchy a divine right, is getting older. And his new palace at Versailles has been under construction for ages, and still isn’t worthy of his absolute divineness. ...

False Hearts

by Ralph Hammann July 9, 2015


  The WTF’s new artistic director, Mandy Greenfield, is boldly setting her own course at the theater that built much of its reputation on reviving classics of American and world theater. Of the eight plays (two ...

Williamstown Theatre Festival Nikos Stage

Drops of Magic

by James Yeara July 9, 2015


  Owen Smith, producing artistic director, gave the best criticism for Park Playhouse’s 27th annual production, this year’s Singin’ in the Rain, a 1983 musical based on the immortal MGM 1952 film of the same name ...

2 comments Washington Park Lakehouse

Addled and Elevating

by Ralph Hammann July 2, 2015


  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 ...

Berkshire Theatre Group Unicorn Theatre

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

Life Lessons

by Shawn Stone July 2, 2015


  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 ...

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 ...

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

Candy-Colored Despair

by Shawn Stone June 25, 2015


  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 ...

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

The Dream Comes Alive

by James Yeara June 18, 2015


  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 ...

Barrington Stage Company

Meaner, Faster, Smarter

by Shawn Stone June 17, 2015


  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 ...


by Ann Morrow June 17, 2015


  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 ...

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 ...

All About Yves

by Ann Morrow June 11, 2015


  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 ...

Fractured Fairy Tale

by Shawn Stone June 11, 2015


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); ...

A Building With History

by Ali Hibbs June 11, 2015


  “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 ...

Studio 40B

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 ...


It’s No Game

by Shawn Stone June 6, 2015


  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 ...

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 ...

Pretty, Lifeless

by Ann Morrow May 28, 2015


  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 ...

War of Words

by James Yeara May 28, 2015

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


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

Maxed Out

by Ann Morrow May 21, 2015


  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 ...