Million Dollar Quartet

December 4, 1956 is an iconic moment in Rock and Roll history. This is when Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis were all at Sun Records with producer Sam Phillips who had started them on their celebrated carers. This unique evening is recreated at the Unicorn Theatre  until July 15. Hopefully, the original evening was as much fun as the one that the audience enjoyed on opening night. Many old favorites like Blue Suede Shoes, Great Balls of Fire, Down By the Riverside had the audience toe-tapping away. After the ninety minute performance, the performers offered an encore of songs that were exhilarating. The skill of the performers, captured the excitement of this music that was to enthrall a generation.

Bob and I had the chance to talk with three of the performers a few hours before a performance after we had enjoyed their performances. Colin Summers who was Carl Perkins, Bill Sheets who was Johnny Cash and Christy Coco who played a girl friend of Elvis who was able to deliver some terrific songs of her own.

Click below to hear the interview, then click the website or call 413-997-4444 for tickets. Even if you are not of the Rock and Roll generation you will have a great time.

Million Dollar Quartet Interview

Berkshire Theatre Group Website

 

      The original group December 4, 1956

 

 

Anything Goes

 Anything Goes  at the Mac-Haydn Theatre has so many of Cole Porter’s most memorable songs that you will be singing all the way home. Opening the first act with I Get a Kick Out of You and  closing the act with Anything Goes with a host of wonderful songs in between is spectacular. However, the second act has among other songs, Blow, Gabriel, Blow. Throughout the show, the dialogue and lyrics are funny and infectious, the costumes are gorgeous. Since the theatre is in the round, instead of a set, the walls are painted appropriately for each play. The audience feels that it is on the ship along with the singers and dancers.

Bob and I were fortunate on opening night to talk with Angela Travino who plays Reno Sweeney, Darrel Blackburn who plays Moonface Martin and Patrick Heffernan, the Assistant Director/Choreographer. After you listen to them and view the video, go to their web site for tickets or call   518-392-9292. Performances are Wednesday 2 p.m, Thursday 2 and 8 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday 4 and 8 p.m., Sunday 2 and 7 p.m

Anything Goes Interview

Mac-Haydn Theatre Website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on the video below for some more fun.

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Artistic Associate Apprentices – Downstairs

The Dorset Theatre Festival is presenting Downstairs by Teresa Rebeck starring Tyne and Tim Daly from June 22 to July 8.  This is the first time the sister and brother have acted together. According to Sam Levit and Matt Kirby, Artistic Associate Apprentices at the Dorset Theatre Festival, Teresa Rebeck wrote Downstairs for the Dalys. We interviewed the two Artistic Associate Apprentices  to discover what it was that  they did and learned  they were dramaturgs.

What is a dramaturg you may wonder. One definition is  “a literary editor on the staff of a theater who consults with authors and edits texts.” Sam and Matt expanded on this and shared the varied aspects of their work. As you listen to them, you will  appreciate how much goes into creating the plays we enjoy as audiences.

Interview with Sam Levit and Matt Kirby Part 1

Interview with Sam Levit and Matt Kirby Part 2

Matt Kirby
Sam Levit

 

 

 

 

 

                             John Procaccino,  Tyne Daly and Tim Daly                                              

 

 

Moonlight and Magnolias

Gone With the Wind was one of the most important movies of its day. Based on a best selling novel, it had an outstanding cast. The search for the right actress to play Scarlett O’Hara was a major event as 1,400 women tested for the part. The picture won ten Academy Awards. The production overcame many challenges with changes in writers and directors.

This is the subject of the farce that Oldcastle Theatre Company is presenting from June 23 to July 9. With four outstanding actors, all of whom have worked at Oldcastle previously, the play promises to be a delight. Bob and I had the pleasure of talking with the  actors playing producer David Selznick, director Victor Fleming and writer Ben Hecht. Listening to what the actors  have to say will make you as eager as we are to see Moonlight and Magnolias.

Moonlight and Magnolias Interview

Oldcastle Theatre Company Website

 

 

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I And You – Chester Theatre Company

Chester Theatre Company has an impressive and intriguing line-up of plays for their 2017 season. Its motto, “Big Stories, Intimate Setting”  followed by  the sentence,  “Thought-provoking, contemporary theatre in the foothills of the Berkshires ” seems to be confirmed by the plays that are scheduled. The season starts  with I and You. a play by Lauren Gunderson who is currently one of the most produced playwrights in this country.

When we interviewed Kristen van Ginhoven, the play’s director, she explained I and You is about two high school students who are working on an assignment which is due the next day about Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. They discover a great deal about themselves while exploring the poem.  When we interviewed her, Kristin had not yet started rehearsals. She since has. The play opens on June 28. You can go the website to order tickets.

 

Paul Ponterelli as Anthony
Lilli Hokama as Caroline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click below to her Kristen van Ginhoven discuss the play in greater depth.

Interview with Kristen van Ginhoven

Chester Theatre Company Website

 

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – Mac-Haydn Theatre

Musical theatre has a special magic. Musicals sweep you along as they tell stories through songs and dance. Emotions are intensified as the audience listens and watches. The Mac-Haydn Theatre is devoted to presenting musicals of all  kinds. Every two weeks they offer a different treat –  new and old favorites.

 

Located in Chatham, New York, the Mac-Haydn presents musicals in the round. The audience surrounds the  small stage which seems huge as the young dancers fill it with motion and sound. Each seat is a good one  The aisles, the theatre walls, are all part of the action. Bob and I were thrilled to  to talk to two of the principal players in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels  on opening night, Gabe Belyeu and Madison Stratton.  They were delightful and offered insight into Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and into musical theatre and what the experience is for the actors. A half hour later when we saw them, we barely recognized them, so fully had they  become their characters. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels runs until June 18. There are matinees as well as evening performances. Check out the other musicals that are coming up as well by clicking on the theatre’s website after listening to the actors.

Interview with Gabe Belyeu and Madison Stratton 

Mac-Haydn Theatre Website

Colin Pritchard, Gabe Belyeu and Madison Stratton
Colin Pritchard and Gabe Belyeu

 

 

 

 

 

 

                           Gabe Belyeu, Colin Pritchard, Steve Hassam
                                 Madison Stratton and Judith Wyatt

Weston Playhouse – 2017

The Weston Playhouse is starting its 81st season. This is amazing, but not surprising. Offering quality theatre leads to longevity. The variety of the company’s productions from musicals to classics to dramas and comedies has delighted audiences for these many years. Bob and I not only enjoy the productions, but we always look forward to talking with Steve Stettler, Resident Artistic Director about the company’s many offerings.  The Weston Playhouse not only serves its immediate community, but the larger community of playgoers from Vermont and other regions as well. Their many programs include  the Young Company and its children’s show which children of all ages should see. This year it is Really Rosie.  As each play opens, we will have interviews with those involved. Meanwhile Steve Stettler provides an overview of the season’s many activities. There is also more information about the various educational programs, as well as the productions, on the company’s website.

Before you go to the company’s website click on the  interview below to hear Steve talk about the season.

Interview with Steve Stettler Part 1

Interview with Steve Stettler Part 2

Weston Playhouse Website

Weston 101

Center for the Arts at Walker Farm