Category Archives: Theater

Dr. Ruth Westheimer is the subject of a brilliant new one-woman show by Mark St. Germain

Dr. Ruth, All the Way by Mark St. Germain A world premiere at Barrington Stage Company Directed by Julianne Boyd Starring Debra Jo Rupp Reviewed by Lesley Ann Beck Dr. Ruth Westheimer is well-known for her frank talk about sex, … Continue reading

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Tod Randolph gives a superb performance in Cassandra Speaks at Shakespeare & Company

Cassandra Speaks A Shakespeare & Company production of a new play by Norman Plotkin Directed by Nicole Ricciardi Starring Tod Randolph as Dorothy Thompson Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre; performances now through September 2, 2012 Reviewed by Lesley Ann Beck [LENOX, … Continue reading

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10 plays, 10 minutes each, equals an entertaining evening of theater at Barrington Stage Company

10X10 On North New Play Festival A Barrington Stage Company production of ten new plays BSC Stage 2, Feb 16-26, Thurs-Sat at 7:30pm; Sat/Sun at 3pm Plays by Suzanne Bradbeer, Sara Cooper, Laura Shaine Cunningham, Will Eno, Jacqueline Goldfinger, Mikhail … Continue reading

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The golden age of radio is celebrated in War of the Worlds at Shakespeare & Company

War of the Worlds Adapted by Howard Koch from the novel by H. G. Wells and additionally inspired by the radio broadcast by Orson Welles Directed by Tony Simotes Now through November 6 Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre Cast: Elizabeth Aspenlieder, … Continue reading

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Barrington Stage presents The Game, an elegant, treacherous musical

The Game

A Barrington Stage Company presentation of a musical in two acts

Book and lyrics by Amy Powers and David Topchik; music by Megan Cavallari

Directed by Julianne Boyd

Music direction by Darren Cohen

Choreography by Daniel Pelzig

Cast in order of appearance:

Sarah Stevens as Cecile

Christianne Tisdale as Madame de Volanges

Rachel York as Marquise de Merteuil

Graham Rowat as Vicomte de Valmont

Amy Decker as Madame de Tourvel

Chris Peluso as Danceny

Joy Franz as Madame de Rosemonde

Taylor Anderson, Michael Hewitt, Stephen Horst, Analisa Leaming, Hannah Richter, Amanda Salvatore, and Michael Wessels as Ensemble

Reviewed by Lesley Ann Beck

The Game, a musical based on the eighteenth-century epistolary novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses, is a rich, elegant evocation of the excesses rife in the French aristocracy in the years before the French Revolution: the Marquise de Merteuil and her former lover the Vicomte de Valmont plot, manipulate, and scheme, but do it in sumptuous surroundings, within the framework of courtly etiquette, however duplicitous. Barrington Stage Company first presented the world premiere of The Game in 2003, and this summer’s gorgeously appointed, fascinating new production, skillfully directed by Julianne Boyd, does not disappoint.
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The world premiere of The Best of Enemies is must-see theater at Barrington Stage Company

The Best of Enemies

By Mark St. Germain

Directed by Julianne Boyd

Cast: John Bedford Lloyd as C.P. Ellis; Aisha Hinds as Ann Atwater; Clifton Duncan as Bill Riddick; and Susan Wands as Mary Ellis

Reviewed by Lesley Ann Beck

[Pittsfield, Mass.]—In 1971, when C.P. Ellis, a Ku Klux Klan member, and Ann Atwater, an African-American community activist, were asked to work together to help integrate the Durham, North Carolina, public schools, it was doubtful the two could be civil to each other, but in an extraordinary turn of events, they became lifelong friends. Mark St. Germain’s riveting new play, at the Barrington Stage Company Mainstage now through August 6, tells the true story of this remarkable relationship in an excellent production notable for the superb performances of Aisha Hinds and John Bedford Lloyd as Atwater and Ellis, under the creative and insightful direction of Julianne Boyd.
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The Hound of the Baskervilles is a howling success at Shakespeare & Company

The Hound of the Baskervilles

By Steven Canny and John Nicholson

Directed by Tony Simotes

Cast: Jonathan Croy, Josh Aaron McCabe, Ryan Winkles

Reviewed by Lesley Ann Beck

[Lenox, Mass.]—The new Shakespeare & Company production of The Hound of the Baskervilles, a wacky adaptation by Steven Canny and John Nicholson of the classic Sherlock Holmes story, is laugh-out-loud funny from beginning to end. A deft directing job by Tony Simotes and terrific performances from Jonathan Croy, Josh Aaron McCabe, and Ryan Winkles had the audience howling with laughter. The Hound of the Baskervilles plays in Founders’ Theatre through September 4.

The three actors—aided and abetted by clever costumes, inventive props, an assortment of accents, and an amazing amount of energy—play sixteen roles in the side-splittingly funny production.
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A.R. Gurney’s delightful comedy Sylvia, a play about man’s best friend, lights up the Main Stage at Berkshire Theatre Festival

Sylvia

By A.R. Gurney

Directed by Anders Cato

Cast: David Adkins as Greg; Walter Hudson as Tom/Phyllis/Leslie; Jurian Hughes as Kate; and Rachel Bay Jones as Sylvia

Reviewed by Lesley Ann Beck

[STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.]—In Sylvia, A. R. Gurney’s very funny play, Greg, a middle-aged businessman disenchanted with his job and somewhat adrift in life, finds a stray dog in the park—a dog named Sylvia who absolutely adores him, much to the consternation of his rather rigid wife Kate. The skilled cast, with spot-on direction by Anders Cato, tells the story of this unique threesome in an absolutely delightful production on the Main Stage at Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge; the show runs through July 30.
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A classic novel is charmingly deconstructed in pride@prejudice at Chester Theatre Company

pride@prejudice

By Daniel Elihu Kramer

Directed by Ron Bashford

Cast: Aubrey Saverino, Jay Stratton, Gisela Chipe, Colin Ryan, and Michele Tauber

Reviewed by Lesley Ann Beck

Jane Austen’s beloved novel Pride and Prejudice is given a number of twenty-first century twists in pride@prejudice by Daniel Elihu Kramer, now delightfully on stage at the Chester Theatre Company through July 17. Five accomplished and appealing actors play more than thirty roles: most of the characters are familiar from the novel, but this version also has bloggers, scholars, commentators, and Jane Austen herself appearing from time to time.

Die-hard Austen fans will not be disappointed; this new play includes all the twists and turns of her original storyline, and newcomers to the plot will easily follow the romantic adventures of the Bennett sisters, helped by the witty asides and notes on the book delivered throughout the play.
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Career trumps marriage in a gripping production of Three Hotels at the Williamstown Theatre Festival

Three Hotels

By Jon Robin Baitz

Directed by Robert Falls

Cast: Maura Tierney as Barbara Hoyle and Steven Weber as Kenneth Hoyle

Reviewed by Lesley Ann Beck

[WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.]—The Williamstown Theatre Festival Main Stage season opener, the Jon Robin Baitz drama Three Hotels, is a series of three illuminating monologues recounting the unraveling of a married couple’s outwardly successful life, superbly performed by Steven Weber and Maura Tierney under the sure-handed direction of Tony Award-winner Robert Falls. The show runs through July 24.

The play begins in an elegant hotel room in Tangier, Morocco; titled “The Halt & the Lame,” part one introduces us to Ken Hoyle, an upper-level executive for an international corporation that sells substandard baby formula in poor African countries, using manipulative and dishonest sales techniques. Hoyle is tasked with firing employees who are no longer useful, and he boasts that he’s very good at it. The trick, he says, is to do it quickly. “They go quietly when I do it,” he says. Weber’s portrayal is nuanced, beautifully calibrated, and persuasive: his Hoyle speaks directly, companionably, to the audience, explaining his job in a calm manner, even when he likens the firing process to “railroad tracks to the ovens.”
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