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Theater

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

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  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

Personal Politics

by James Yeara August 8, 2012

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Having its world premiere at the Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge under the aegis of the Berkshire Theatre Group, Kelly Masterson’s Edith is a 21st-century history play centering on Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, second wife ...

Berkshire Theatre Group Fitzpatrick Main Stage

The Song’s the Thing

by B.A. Nilsson August 2, 2012

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Listen to Cole Porter’s “Night and Day.” The refrain’s hypnotic pulse draws you into its spell with on-the-beat keywords and descending melodic phrases. It has an odd construction for a pop song, with three 16-bar ...

Capital Repertory Theatre

Spells Cast, Spells Broken

by James Yeara August 2, 2012

At its best, Shakespeare and Company’s The Tempest is best critiqued by the playwright: “This is a most majestic vision, charming and harmonious” . . . “something rich and strange” . . . “Now I ...

Shakespeare & Company

Wilkommen!

by James Yeara July 25, 2012

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The Kit Kat Club set thrusts a slender runway, complete with large round bulbs for footlights, into the audience, like a slender pinkie sneaking into the Lakehouse’s formerly sacrosanct pit; instead of paying patrons sitting ...

Park Playhouse

Paradise Lost and Found

by Ralph Hammann July 25, 2012

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While I was not a big fan of the Todd Haynes film on which this new musical was based, I am glad that Messrs. Greenberg, Frankel and Korie were enamored of it. From the raw ...

Williamstown Theatre Festival

Bummer

by James Yeara July 19, 2012

Parasite Drag begins with Joellen (Elizabeth Aspenlieder) looking out of the upstage center door, a gold cross prominently place centered over the jamb. There’s a tornado watch in effect, Joellen announces to her husband Gene ...

Shakespeare & Company Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre

Merry Men

by B.A. Nilsson July 19, 2012

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Were you to laugh at this production hard enough to be-merde yourself, it would only be in keeping with the spirit of the play. Molière’s “imaginary invalid,” the valetudinarian Argan (Ethan Phillips), leads us at ...

Bard College Richard B. Fisher Center

Mugs

by James Yeara July 5, 2012

The laughs come regularly at Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 2012 season-opening Main Stage production. This isn’t surprising: Oscar Wilde was a genius, and The Importance of Being Earnest is his comic masterpiece. It’s a damned funny ...

Williamstown Theatre Festival

Among the Living

by James Yeara July 5, 2012

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  The annual Play by Play festival of new one-act plays at Stageworks/Hudson always has something to please almost everyone, and this year the eight one-acts, the performances, and the staging are uniformly excellent. Play by ...

The Common Touch

by James Yeara June 27, 2012

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The scene suggests Chekhov: Three sisters enter one after the other, their late-Edwardian dresses trailing across the floor. Their matching hats create a halo for each, and their white elbow-length opera gloves lend a statue’s ...

Shakespeare & Company

Brilliantly Conceived

by James Yeara May 29, 2012

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  No. 1: Intermission. No. 2: See this. No. 3: Extend the run. No. 1 is a one-word suggestion to playwright Duncan Macmillan; No. 2 is a two-word recommendation for anyone who likes theater; No. 3 is ...

Barrington Stage Company Stage 2

Digging In the Dirt

by rwydro May 16, 2012

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  Director John Sowle’s set design at Stageworks/Hudson makes it easy to see why The Mound Builders was the late Lanford Wilson’s favorite play. While the Pulitzer Prize-winning Talley’s Folly or Hot L Baltimore or Burn ...

Stageworks/Hudson

Savagely Funny

by John Rodat May 10, 2012

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  For a play with such an apocalyptic title, the setting and stakes of God of Carnage are mundane: Two couples, the Raleighs and the Novaks, meet in the Cobble Hill apartment of the latter, to ...

Capital Repertory Theatre