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Theater

The Stars Aligned

by James Yeara August 28, 2015

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  Summertime is a season of rare celestial occurrences: conjunction of Jupiter and Venus, Perseid meteor shower, blue moons, super moons. But few things are as rare, and never to be repeated, as what is happening ...

0 comments Shakespeare & Company

Framed in Truth

by James Yeara August 28, 2015

  The moment American interloper Ira Aldridge (the deservedly much-lauded John Douglas Thompson) first meets the much-lauded Victorian actress Ellen Tree (Kelley Curran, star of Shakespeare & Company’s The Comedy of Errors here showing a range ...

0 comments Shakespeare & Company

Friendly Maneuvers

by Ralph Hammann August 20, 2015

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  At the season’s end, the WTF is certainly pulling out the heavy artillery and scoring direct hits. The titular intervention is intriguingly complex in this American premiere, which boasts dialogue that is refreshingly literate and naturalistic. ...

0 comments Williamstown Theatre Festival Nikos Stage

The One-Act Life

by James Yeara August 20, 2015

  Kaliyuga Arts presents theater that you won’t see on any other stage in the region. A worthy inheritor of StageWorks/Hudson’s mantle of ballsiest theater in the region, the latest production on the Bridge Street Theatre’s ...

1 comment Bridge Street Theatre

How I Botched That Story

by Ralph Hammann August 20, 2015

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  In program notes for the London premiere of His Girl Friday, John Guare correctly called The Front Page, his source material, “the secret great American play.” As a tribute to its greatness, he has written ...

0 comments Barrington Stage Company

Broad Intimacy

by James Yeara August 13, 2015

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  Saratoga Shakespeare Company chose an excellent locale, the intimate and versatile black box theater at Skidmore College, and play, Donald Marguiles’ popular 2007 fantasy Shipwrecked!, for their first indoor summer production. The black box created ...

0 comments Janet Kinghorn Bernhard Theater

Deep Feelings

by Ralph Hammann August 6, 2015

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  Williamstown Theatre Festival has a winner in this world premiere. Everything about Unknown Soldier works wonderfully and generously fulfills the contract that theater should make with its audience. It won’t remain unknown outside of Williamstown ...

0 comments Williamstown Theatre Festival Nikos Stage

Winter Storms

by James Yeara July 30, 2015

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  As titles go for a world-premiere play, I Saw My Neighbor on the Train and I Didn’t Even Smile isn’t promising, but it’s thematically apt. When the piano player enters downstage center and adjusts, slightly, ...

0 comments Berkshire Theatre Festival

Fires Burn Softly

by Ralph Hammann July 30, 2015

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  The Paradise is a jazz club and boarding house owned by Blue (a trumpet player) and located in the Paradise Valley area of Detroit in 1949. The area was also known as Blackbottom due to ...

0 comments Williamstown Theatre Festival Main Stage

Crimes of Nonpassion

by James Yeara July 23, 2015

  Deathtrap on the Fitzpatrick Main Stage of Berkshire Theatre Group in Stockbridge has the feel of classic summer stock theatre. Ira Levin’s 1978 play was well-regarded, it’s light and tight (six scenes in two acts ...

0 comments Berkshire Theatre Group Fitzpatrick Main Stage

Dark Magic

by Ralph Hammann July 16, 2015

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  This is the best stage production of Cabaret I’ve seen, or am likely to see, in my lifetime. The Bob Fosse film, still the best film musical ever, rang the death knell for the original ...

2 comments Oldcastle Theatre Company

Crazy Fun

by James Yeara July 16, 2015

Photo by Enrico Spada.

  It was a tough off-season at Shakespeare and Company: Tony Simotes, 2014 artistic director and founding member of the troupe, “left” and was soon picked up by the Berkshire Theatre Group; the new executive director, ...

0 comments Shakespeare & Company

A Joyful Sound

by Ralph Hammann July 16, 2015

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  One of the best seldom-produced musicals, Bells are Ringing, is getting the full bells-and-whistles treatment at the Colonial by the most ridiculously talented cast and crew artistic director Kate Maguire has ever assembled. It is ...

0 comments Colonial Theatre

False Hearts

by Ralph Hammann July 9, 2015

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  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 ...

0 comments Williamstown Theatre Festival Nikos Stage

Drops of Magic

by James Yeara July 9, 2015

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  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

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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

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

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

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

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

The Man Who Came to Dinner

by James Yeara May 4, 2015

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  George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart were comedic geniuses. Their collaborations may be 80-some-odd years old now, but they still can please an audience. This past fall, their 1937 Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy You Can’t Take ...

Spa Little Theater

Winter’s Warm Glow

by James Yeara February 21, 2015

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  It takes a lot to entice people out into the brutal Ethan Frome weather we’re having, when the cold winds of New England bite down onto the white bones of its inhabitants. With the snow ...

Barrington Stage Company