Topdog/Underdog

 Topdog/Underdog plays at Shakespeare and Company’s Tina Packer Theatre through September 8. The play by Suzan-Lori Parks was named by the New York Times as the most important American play in the last twenty-five years. Set in the present, the play is haunted by the history of black families in the United States. Dealing with issues that resonate in their personal lives, the brothers are also facing the  larger problem of survival. Booth is a skilled shop lifter and Lincoln is a reformed card shark.  In the small space they share emotions range from brotherly love to sibling rivalry as they help and hurt each other. There are joyous moments and sad ones. You can listen to what Bob and I thought of the play by clicking on Topdog/Underdog discussion. 

For tickets click on Shakespeare and Company   or call (413) 637-3353

For reviews click on Berkshire Theatre Critics Association

Watch the video of the cast and director discussing the play

Deaon Griffin-Pressley and Bryce Michael Wood

 

If I Forget

Barrington Stage Company  presents If I Forget at the St. Germain Stage through Saturday, September 7.  Take a short trip back in time to 2000 and 2001 and visit with this Jewish American family as they deal with the personal and social issues confronting American families in the 21st century. The brother and two sisters gather to celebrate the 75th birthday of their recently widowed father. We see the tensions and the love typical of  families who have their  problems and secrets. Memories of their mother and their childhood blend with memories of Jewish history and tradition. There is humor and struggle as they confront their own and their family’s strengths and weaknesses. Bob and I were busily discussing the play from the time we left the theatre until now and will probably continue discussing it. . You can listen in to one of our discussions by clicking on If I Forget Discussion

For other views of the play click on  Berkshire Theatre Critics Association

For tickets and information go to Barrington Stage Company website or call 413-236-8888

  J. Anthony Crane, Lena Kaminsky, and Laura Jordan
Robert Zuckerman and Laura Jordan

 

Kathleen Wise and J. Anthony Crane
J. Anthony Crane, Lena Kaminsky, and Laura Jordan

Judevine

Oldcastle Theatre presents Judevine by David Budbill from August 16 through September 1. This is a unique vision of Vermont shown through the eyes of one of its most outstanding writers. Six actors play more than forty characters as we see a small town in Northern Vermont come alive through the people who inhabit it. This is a classic play that Oldcastle has produced before. Each time it is different as both the audience and the actors are different. This is theatre as it should be, a melding of the writers’, the actors’    and the audience’s imagination to create a familiar world that still has many surprises. Bob and I have always enjoyed the various productions and are looking forward to this one. We had the pleasure of interviewing two of the actors,  Christine Decker and Justin Pietropaolo in between rehearsals.

Judevine Interview

For tickets and information visit oldcastletheatre.org  or call 802-447-0564

Rehearsal pictures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Children

Shakespeare and Company presents The Children by Lucy Kirkwood at the Elayne Bernstein Theatre through August 18. This play blends comedy and drama as three old friends deal with issues that are personal and social. The audience is engrossed as each moment reveals new information about the trio’s complicated relationship. Set in England, the play deals with matters that are contemporary and universal. Although no children appear on stage, questions about the children are crucial to understanding their situation.

Discussion of The Children   

James Warwick on The Children

For tickets and information go Shakespeare and Company website or call 413-637-3353

Ariel Bock , Jonathan Epstein and Diane Prusha

 

 

 

Dig

The Dorset Theatre Festival  presents the world premiere of Dig  through July 27.  With its absorbing themes and complex characters, this play should have many future productions. The setting, an old shop filled with plants  is not the usual one for a play. The audience enters another world as it gets to know the complicated people who find solace in the plants they tend. Written and directed by Theresa Rebeck, this play offers insight into flawed but redeemable humans whom you care about.  For Bob and myself, seeing new plays is exciting as we enter lives we have known little or nothing of before. However much we enjoy a play, it is always a learning experience as people are brought to life through the skill of the actors and director. We have seen many plays by Theresa Rebeck and are always impressed by the diversity of her work as she explores the  stories of different people in various worlds. Try not to miss this play.

Discussion of Dig

For tickets click on Dorset Theatre Festival website or call 802 867-2223 Ext 101

For reviews click on Berkshire Theatre Critics Association

 

Selling KabuL

Selling Kabul is playing through July 20. Like the other productions at the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Nikos Stage , it is a World Premiere. Bob and I had not realized how short the run of the play was, but we are glad that we saw it and urge others to do so if they can. The play will be having an Off Broadway production at Playwrights Horizons in New York in March 2020. The intimate drama is worth seeing as it combines the human and the political while exploring the consequences of the United States breaking its promises to Afghan interpreters that they would receive visas to America. We see a young man who has put his wife, his child,, his sister and her husband and many others in danger as he hides from those who consider him a traitor for helping the Americans and other countries in this continuing war. Each of the actors brings his or her character to vivid life.    Williamstown Theatre Festival director Mandy Greenfield, is to be commended for producing new and thought provoking and moving plays that engage audiences while making them think.  Check out the other plays at the Festival so that you don’t miss any of the fine productions they offer.

Discussion of Selling Kabul

Below is a link to a video interview with the playwright and the director of Selling Kabul

Selling Kabul video

Go to the Williamstown Theatre Festival website for tickets by clicking below

Williamstown Theatre Festival website

or call 413-456-3253

 

 

A Raisin The Sun

A Raisin in the Sun is on the Main Stage at the Willamstown Theatre Festival through July 13. Bob and I saw the original production sixty years ago. I have also taught the play so we were looking forward to seeing this production. We were thrilled with it. As vivid as our memories were of the original cast, this cast and this director made it their own. Listen to our reactions by clicking below

Discussion of A Raisin in the Sun

Then  click on the Williamstown Theatre Festival website

or call 413-458-3253 for tickets.

For other opinions, check out The Berkshire Theatre Critics Association