America V.2.1: The Sad Demise & Eventual Extinction of the American Negro

America V.2.1: The Sad Demise & Eventual Extinction of the American Negro  is at the St. Germain Stage of The Barrington Stage Company through June 30. It offers a unique theatrical experience and should not be missed.  It simultaneously comments on our past, present and future in regard to race in this country. The Barrington Stage Company is in its 25th year and during that time it has offered a range of thought provoking, always engaging plays. We have seen fresh productions of traditional musicals and new interpretations of classical plays as well as new musicals and new plays, often on the St. Germain Stage. This production is in the Barrington Stage tradition of plays that challenge you while you are enjoying them, giving you much to savor and think about as you recall them.

Listen to our discussion of the play, by clicking below

Discussion of The Sad Demise and Eventual Extinction of the American Negro

Then go to the Barrington Stage website for tickets and information about the rest of the season

Barrington Stage

or call 413-236-8888

 

The Waverly Gallery

Bob and I were eager to see The Waverly Gallery. We had read the enthusiastic reviews about the recent Broadway revival with Elaine May and were intrigued by the subject. More than that, however, was that the Shakespeare and Company cast consisted of actors whose performances we had enjoyed in past productions of many different plays. Seeing it, we were engrossed each moment with their performances of this story of a vital woman slipping into Alzheimer’s Disease After you listen to our discussion of the play by clicking below on

Discussion of The Waverly Gallery

Order tickets by going to Shakespeare and Company’s website  Shakespeare and Company  or call 413-637-3353.

For reviews of the play click on Berkshire Theatre Critics Association

You can also view this video about the play.

Shakespeare and Company Waverly Gallery Video

Red

Oldcastle Theatre Company presents Red an absorbing play about the painter Mark Rothko through June 23. Two outstanding actors, Peter Langstaff and Brandan McGrady, keep the audience’s attention focused on the painter and his assistant as they bring to life the conflicts within the artist and between him and the assistant. The intimacy of Oldcastle theatre brings the audience close to the drama as each scene shows the struggles that go into artistic creation. Bob and I discuss the play and the performance below.

Discussion of Red

For other opinions of the play, click on The Berkshire Theatre Critics Association

Then go to the Oldcastle Theatre website or call 802-447-0564 for tickets

 

 

 

Peter Langstaff and Brendan McGrady

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Goat or Who is Sylvia?

The Berkshire Theatre Group in Stockbridge, Massachsetts is presenting The Goat or Who is Sylvia? by Edward Albee at The Unicorn Theatre until June 15. This  intriguing play received a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play when it was produced on Broadway in 2002. The play is well served by an outstanding cast in this production. After clicking below to listen to our discussion of the production, click on the link to The Berkshire Theatre Group to order tickets or call 413-977-4444. This is a theatrical experience you don’t want to miss.

 

Discussion of The Goat or Who is Sylvia?

The Berkshire Theatre Group

For other responses to the play, click on The Berkshire Theatre Critics Association

 

 

 

Remembering Danny Michaelson

 Danny Michaelson 

Danny Michaelson taught costume design and conflict resolution at Bennington College for thirty years. After he retired he also taught courses there for five years more. He was Dean of Studies from 1992 to 1994. He also was Co-director  with Susan Sgorbati of Quantum Leap, a program for truants and at-risk students in Bennington County. He had also mediated for the Vermont Department of Education, and the Bennington Small Claims Court.  He died on December 6, 2018 of an apparent heart attack.  There is a memorial service for him at the college on Sunday, April 28 at 2pm.

Since I taught at Bennington College, I have many wonderful memories of Danny. However, the ones that are most personal are when Danny, Steven Kramer from Literature, and I taught a three week course on King Lear as part of a unique freshman course all the faculty were engaged in teaching. We not only read voluminous works about Lear, but watched all available films in preparation. I still remember Danny saying as we watched Orson Welles’ Lear, “He said that line wrong.” which indeed he had.

We had such a good time, the three of us taught a seven week course on The Family Drama. As a part of the course, Danny and I took the students to the Stratford Festival in Ontario since they were performing some of the plays we taught.

Of course, when Bob and I had our radio program Theatre Talk, we had to interview Danny which we did three times. The last time we talked about theatre audiences with Danny, Jeanne Davis and Bruce Wheat. We are happy to share these programs with you.

Danny Michaelson May 30, 2011

Danny Michaelson, December 15, 2014 part 1

Danny Michaelson, December 15, 2014, Part 2

Theatre Audiences-January 2, 2017 Part 1

Theatre Audiences, January 2, 2017 Part 2

Theatre Audiences, January 2, 2017 Part 3

Theatre Audiences, January 2, 2017 Part 4

Lady Randy – WAM Theatre

Winston Churchill’s mother, Jennie Jerome, like many daughters of wealthy Americans at the time  married a British nobleman. The women gained a title and the nobleman some additional funds.  The play Lady Randy, written by Anne Undeland, who also plays Jennie Jerome, is an absorbing  look at this remarkable woman. Besides reflecting a particular moment in history, the play is an outstanding theatrical experience with all aspects of the production coming together to keep the audience enthralled.

As you may gather,  Bob and I enjoyed the play. Listen to our discussion of it and then get tickets quickly since it has a short run at the Bernstein Theatre at Shakespeare and Company.  It runs Thursdays to Sundays until May 5. For tickets call 413-637-3353

Discussion of Lady Randy

To learn more about WAM theatre and its theatrical mission, check out their website by clicking below on

WAM Theatre

The play was developed at the Berkshire Playwrights Lab with Anne Undeland working with Jim Frangione who directs the play. Click on the link above    to learn more about their work.

 

 

Jim Rangione directing Lady Randy

 

Anne Undeland as Lady Randy

 

 

Mark Zeisler
Mark Zeisler and Anne Undeland

Shakespeare and Company’s 2019 Season

There is nothing that brightens our winter days more than the announcement of the new seasons of theatre to come. Shakespeare and Company has announced the plays it will be presenting in the coming months. Bob and I talk about the season and about the various ticket options available. Bob and I have been enjoying Shakespeare and Company productions for many years. There is a combination of the work of William Shakespeare and contemporary plays. Each time we see a new production of a familiar Shakespeare play we are delighted with the fresh insight and enjoyment it offers.  The plays by modern playwrights are also a pleasure. The quality of the performances are outstanding in all of the productions. Click below to listen to what we have to say.

Discussion of Shakespeare and Company Season

Then click on the link to this video with Allyn Burrows, the Artistic Director

Allyn Burrows video

Order tickets  Shakespeare and Company

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A Walk in the Woods – Hubbard Hall

Hubbard Hall in Cambridge, New York is presenting A Walk in the Woods by Lee Blessing this weekend and next. We saw it on the opening Friday and were most impressed. The play is based on actual nuclear proliferation talks that took place in Geneva Switzerland between Soviet Yuli Kvitsinsky and American Paul Nitz who left formal discussions for a walk in the woods. No one knows what was said during that walk.  However, the talks in this play are engaging  enough for the play to have been widely produced including in Moscow. Since it is only playing for the rest of this weekend and next weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we urge people to act fast. Bob and I discuss the production below.  When you click on the  Hubbard Hall link, you can  order tickets, and also, when you go to Current Season, you can find some of the interviews that the actors and directors have given to others.

Bob and Sally’s discussion of A Walk in the Woods.

Hubbard Hall  Center for the Arts and Education

 

The Glass Menagerie – Barrington Stage


The Glass Menagerie 
plays at Barrington Stage’s Boyd-Quinson Theatre through October 21 in a remarkable production that captures the magic and the poetry of Tennesse William’s memory play. Narrated by Tom Wingfield, we see Tom, his sister Laura, his mother Amanda and a Gentleman Caller as they exist   in Tom’s memory. This is a play you can see many times and still be freshly absorbed in the story and the characters.  In every production, the cast offers their unique vision that engages you once more. Bob and I were fortunate to interview the full cast after we had seen the play.

Click below to listen to our interview

The Glass Menagerie Cast Interview

Then go to the Barrington Stage web site or call 413 236 8888. Check on their special ticket prices for Berkshire residents and others.

Barrington Stage website

Read what the critics said

Berkshire Theatre Critics Association

Watch these videos

https://youtu.be/BsFQ-WnUdeQ

https://youtu.be/WO60bphdhrQ  

 

 

 

Two Trains Running

Two Trains Running by August Wilson plays at the Weston Playhouse in Weston, VT through October 21. This production is a part of Weston Playhouse’s annual production of a classic play at the end of their summer theatre season. The company’s motto is Celebrating the Classics and Nurturing the New.  Started in 1935, The Weston Playhouse is Vermont’s oldest professional theatre. The playhouse is also unique in having a trio of producing directors,  Malcolm Ewen, Tim Fort and Steve Stettler, who have worked together for thirty years offering outstanding productions of a range of plays each summer. The culmination of their collaboration is the Walker Farm Theatre where Two Trains Running is now performing.  This is an intimate second stage not far from the main theatre.  In this, their last year as a producing team, the trio has outdone itself with the season’s offering, culminating in this production. The theatre will continue and be able to do much more year around thanks to their leadership.

Over the past several years Bob and I have enjoyed interviewing a variety of people involved in the productions or when that was not possible, discussing the plays which we do with Two Trains Running. You may click on our discussion below. There is one correction that needs to be made to the discussion. The play takes place in a diner. Several times I mistakenly refer to it as a dinette. These terms are not interchangeable, so when you hear me say dinette in this discussion, mentally correct it to diner.

Discussion of Two Trains Running

After listening to us, click on the website below to order tickets. While you are at the site, you might want to explore some of the company’s history and also see the other events that they present.

Weston Playhouse website

See what the critics said about the play by clicking below

Berkshire Theatre Critics Association