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Lovers, Blues Skies and a Few Clouds

by James Yeara July 10, 2013

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  Called back for a second curtain call, Curly (Jarid Faubel) encourages the audience to sing along with the cast in a reprise of the title song, and boy, do people sing: loud and lustily, as ...

Colonial Theatre

It’s the Top

by B.A. Nilsson July 10, 2013

Anything Goes Tour

  “Admit it: you’re nuts about me,” says sassy Reno Sweeney (Rachel York) in the opening scene of Anything Goes. From the moment she enters, she radiates star charisma. And as her character sings and dances ...

Proctors

Hooray for Captain Spaulding

by James Yeara July 3, 2013

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  Wedding Crashers fans, fans of any of the Hangover or Bridesmaids films, Stephen Colbert/Jon Stewart stalwarts, people obsessed with Mel Brooks movies, SNL groupies, lovers of Woody Allen’s writing/directing, or Three Stooges aficionados will love ...

Williamstown Theatre Festival Main Stage

Grinders

by Ralph Hammann July 3, 2013

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  The failure of the American Dream is scarily common subject matter these days, and one fears that the latest take on it might be as stale as week-old bread that has not been genetically modified ...

Williamstown Theatre Festival Nikos Stage

A Helluva Show

by James Yeara June 26, 2013

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  Succinctly, “flat-out phenomenal” is the least that should be said about John Rando’s current staging of On the Town at Barrington Stage Company. As befits this late 1944 musical’s roots as a ballet by Leonard ...

Barrington Stage Company

Bound

by James Yeara June 19, 2013

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  The signature moment of this 17th annual festival of new one-act plays occurs appropriately between plays: After the opening play ends with its three characters watching an It’s a Wonderful Life-worthy snowfall, there’s a blackout. ...

Stageworks/Hudson

Mining Your Emotions

by B.A. Nilsson June 6, 2013

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  It’s often surprising how easily sentiment can go to work on you. While I’m immune to dead-mom sentiment and dad-realizes-what-a-shit-he’s been sentiment, Billy Elliot: The Musical got me with its coal-miners’ strike. It took place ...

Proctors

One Hot Mess

by James Yeara May 15, 2013

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  Local theatergoers aren’t likely to see Brad Fraser’s True Love Lies on other professional stages in the area. As with Fraser’s earlier Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love (which received a local ...

1 comment Stageworks/Hudson

Pinkish

by James Yeara May 1, 2013

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  “What do you see?” asks painter Mark Rothko, facing the audience, in Red. Rarely in theatre is a question more to the heart of the matter, unless it is “To be, or not to be,” and ...

Capital Repertory Theatre

Catharsis, Inc.

by B.A. Nilsson May 1, 2013

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  I am the only musical theater fan in the world who has not been exposed to any form of the phenomenon that is Les Miz. The sprawling English-language musical version of the even-more-sprawling Victor Hugo ...

2 comments Proctors

Get Up and Dance!

by B.A. Nilsson March 13, 2013

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  That I had no interest in seeing this is an embarrassing reminder of the ever-narrowing sensibility to which middle-class white guys succumb as middle age takes over. But everything else broadcast from London’s National Theatre when ...

Proctors

Sex and Sensibility

by B.A. Nilsson March 6, 2013

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  It’s a novel approach to Women’s History Month. Send Jane Austen’s Emma Woodhouse 150 years into the future, where she practices her matchmaking by toiling as an agony aunt—Auntie Agatha, to be specific, a long-dead ...

1 comment Capital Repertory Theatre

All For Show

by B.A. Nilsson February 20, 2013

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  Somewhere in the Australian outback—in the New South Wales town of Broken Hill, to be exact—the titular bus, stalled by clogged fuel lines, has been spray-painted with a hateful message. No worries: Adam (Bryan West) ...

Proctors

Frank Conversations

by James Yeara January 23, 2013

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  Set designer Ken Goldstein gives Capital Rep’s Race a stately law office lined with orderly law books to backdrop the pristine wooden conference table edged with chrome. Deborah Constantine gives Race a clean, well-lighted look, ...

Capital Repertory Theatre

Broadcasting With Bite

by John Rodat December 6, 2012

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  The audience at Ira Glass’s presentation/performance was, evidently, very familiar with the NPR producer and host’s long-running program This American Life: During both of the evening’s question-and-answer periods (Why two? More on that later), they ...

1 comment Troy Savings Bank Music Hall

Humbug

by Paul Rapp December 6, 2012

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  John Waters and me, we got some history. In the fall of 1973 I was a straight-off-the-farm freshman at SUNY Albany, and I got a mysterious invitation to a private film screening in the State ...

1 comment The Egg

Short and Too Sweet

by James Yeara December 6, 2012

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  Frank Capra’s 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life is a beloved holiday classic today. The two-hour-and-10-minute black-and-white film is as sentimental as movies come (“Capra-corn”), but there’s an edge to it, as there is in ...

Capital Repertory Theatre

Green Is Good

by Shawn Stone November 15, 2012

12-6 Wicked Munchkinland

  Revisionist tales that rewrite the back stories of famous works are darn near irresistible, from Wide Sargasso Sea’s Third World, feminist critique of Jane Eyre to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead’s witty take on Hamlet. ...

Proctors

A Tortured Muse

by B.A. Nilsson November 1, 2012

  At the funeral of renowned conductor Pauletta Kripalova-Canti, the absence of her famous mezzo-soprano friend Alyssa is noted by several of Alyssa’s students, who summon the courage to query their instructor about it as a ...

Berkshire Museum

#Jane Austen #Funny

by James Yeara October 17, 2012

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  Fans of Jane Austen will swoon over Pride@Prejudice, a smartly rendered saunter through the key characters and relationships of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice with added footnotes, side notes, literary and psychological analysis, letters from Austen ...

Capital Repertory Theatre

This Is Louis, America

by James Yeara September 7, 2012

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  “I shit myself tonight.” The first line spoken in Satchmo at the Waldorf, having its world premiere production currently at Shakespeare & Company’s Tina Packer’s Playhouse, startles the audience. It grabs their attention. There are a ...

Shakespeare & Company

Love Greed Sex War

by James Yeara August 23, 2012

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Simon (Timothy Deenihan), the handsome, sophisticated heart surgeon, stands upstage left. Anna (Celia Schaefer), the winsome nuclear-arms regulator, stands upstage right. Jennifer (Danielle Skraastad), a vivacious bonds trader, stands midstage. Each character is on a ...

Stageworks/Hudson

Comedy Tonight

by James Yeara August 16, 2012

See How They Run is tons of fun. When this 1943 British farce sticks it into high gear, the rowdy chase leading into intermission seems to follow the audience to the concessions and back in ...

Barrington Stage Company

Broken English

by Ralph Hammann August 16, 2012

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In what is easily the most fascinating premise of many a theater season, Katori Hall brilliantly exploits a rare medical condition, Foreign Accent Syndrome, to deliver a brittle and affecting satire of race and class ...

Williamstown Theatre Festival

Direct Emotions, Obstructed Views

by Ralph Hammann August 8, 2012

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  In keeping with its reputation for producing Russian plays, the WTF has dusted off a classic with the world premiere of a new translation that reveals it to be as timely as it was when ...

Williamstown Theatre Festival Main Stage