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Shakespeare & Company

The Stars Aligned

by James Yeara August 28, 2015


  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 ...

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Mother of the Maid

by B.A. Nilsson July 30, 2015


  When Saint Catherine addresses the audience in Jane Anderson’s new play Mother of the Maid, it’s with the easy familiarity of someone versed in the current century’s attitudes. Then she introduces us to Joan of ...

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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, ...

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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 ...

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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

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

Best of Theater 2014

by James Yeara December 31, 2014


  1. A Midsummer Night’s Dream Shakespeare & Company Outgoing Artistic Director Tony Simotes ends his reign on a high note with his New Orleans-inspired A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Shakespeare’s indestructible comedy finds new depths with the “acto-muso” ...

Timeless Audacity

by B.A. Nilsson August 14, 2014


  It’s a story of great sweep, a David Lean epic, but, as Shakespeare wrote it, laced with comedy of the Richard Lester variety. Henry IV is one of the Bard’s history plays, which right there ...

Shakespeare & Company

Jazz Bard

by B.A. Nilsson July 10, 2014


  It’s party time in New Orleans--but wasn’t it always during that city’s fabled era as the wellspring of jazz? As a motley set of white-clad instrumentalists strikes up a rousing “Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives ...

Shakespeare & Company

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

by B.A. Nilsson June 26, 2014


  “I like the idea of being in a world of magic. In the South, that kind of world is more of a reality,” says Johnny Lee Davenport, and he launches into the opening strain of ...

Shakespeare & Company

Private Lives

by The Staff February 13, 2014


    Are you feeling frozen? Shakespeare & Company are ready to thaw you out by offering up some classic English wit with more than a hint of sex in the form of Noël Coward’s Private Lives. If ...

Shakespeare & Company Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre

Murder Romp

by B.A. Nilsson October 24, 2013

Elizabeth Aspenlieder and Jason Asprey. Photo by Enrico Spada.

  So maybe the guy isn’t who we—ah! I see. I should have guessed it. And that’s because she was wishing all along that he’d—wait. Maybe not. Because now she’s—shit. Didn’t see that coming. There’s good reason ...

Shakespeare & Company Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre

Love’s Labour’s Lost

by The Staff June 20, 2013


  This early Shakespearian comedy begins with three male royals swearing off the company of women for a year so that they can pursue academic study. This, of course, falls apart immediately (and comically) when they ...

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This Is Louis, America

by James Yeara September 7, 2012


  “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 ...

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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 ...

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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

The Common Touch

by James Yeara June 27, 2012


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

We Interrupt This Broadcast

by B.A. Nilsson October 13, 2011


The infamous 1938 radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds exists in at least two versions. There’s the broadcast itself, which took place at particular time when politics and technology combined to explode what ...