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Theater

Verdi It Ain’t

by Ralph Hammann August 7, 2013

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  The success of Robert James Waller’s pretentious and ripe novel with its inane prose and cliche-ridden plot was baffling. More puzzling was why a director as discriminating as Clint Eastwood would want to wallow in ...

Williamstown Theatre Festival

Who Needs a Drink?

by James Yeara August 7, 2013

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  The theater gods smiled on the beginning of the sixth scene of Shakespeare & Company’s Mother Courage and Her Children Saturday afternoon. Mother Courage (Olympia Dukakis) greeted the return of the long-absent Cook (John Douglas ...

Shakespeare & Company

A Diva at Twilight

by B.A. Nilsson August 1, 2013

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  It’s a bad day for Tallulah Bankhead. Her best years are behind her, she’s ill with the emphysema that will kill her in a couple of years, and she can’t even seem to get it ...

Stageworks/Hudson

Home Run

by Ralph Hammann August 1, 2013

  That this delight hasn’t yet made it to Broadway is perplexing, but perhaps this smash production will change its fortune. Certainly, it can’t be that a musical set in Fenway Park would not be welcome ...

Williamstown Theatre Festival Nikos Stage

Adirondack Delight

by James Yeara August 1, 2013

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  Avenue Q is a musical triumph: a feel-good, laugh-out-loud, surreal hallucination. See it. It’s still playing off-Broadway in Manhattan, where it played on Broadway for six years after starting as an off-Broadway hipster affair. It’s ...

Charles R. Wood Theater

An Imperfect Creation

by Ralph Hammann July 25, 2013

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  Too few people are familiar with the play that inspired My Fair Lady (and fewer still with the superior Leslie Howard/Wendy Hiller film version that proved most influential in the adaptation), which is a shame ...

Williamstown Theatre Festival Main Stage

Fresh Ham

by Ralph Hammann July 18, 2013

  With Northern Boulevard, Oldcastle promises a new old-fashioned musical. If you’re expecting Berlin, Porter or Gershwin, this show won’t quite provide the trip back, but if you’ll accept lesser Loesser, it should do quite nicely. ...

Oldcastle Theatre Company

Spy Games

by James Yeara July 18, 2013

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  Hapgood is the sort thing that shines on PBS’s Masterpiece Mystery; I expected the resplendent Alan Cummings to introduce the show with his eyes widening in mischief while caressing his rolling rrr’s. Or if Shakespeare ...

Williamstown Theatre Festival

Art Inspires Art

by James Yeara July 18, 2013

  From the dark a loon calls. Soon the sun rises on a center-stage rock outcropping, seemingly carved into the mountainsides surrounding Lake George. As the stage light warms over the top of the outcropping, Max ...

Charles R. Wood Theater

Myth and Magic

by Ralph Hammann July 18, 2013

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  If you’ve yet to experience the delight that is to be found at the peripatetic Mettawee River Theatre Company, check the schedule on their website (mettawee.org) and find the next outdoor performance of their new ...

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