The Mystery of Edwin Drood

The Mystery of Edwin Drood is  a delightful musical that Hubbard Hall is presenting on weekends until December 3. This is a new version of the play  written specifically for Hubbard Hall which is a perfect setting for it. As David Snider, the director of the play and the Executive and Artistic Director of Hubbard Hall explains in the playbill,  he heard that a theatre in Raleigh, North Carolina had done a shorter version of the play which David has admired since he saw it as a seventeen year old. He wrote the theatre and never heard from them. Instead, he received a phone call from Rupert Holmes. Holmes had written the play, the music and the lyrics. After a long telephone call, Holmes agreed to write a version which set the action at Hubbard Hall in 1895. Since his adopted name is Holmes,  the year 1895 has special significance for the playwright/composer.

The result is a delightful production in a setting that enhances the play. Charles Dickens wrote the book on which the play is based. Unfortunately, Dickens did not finish the book because he died. However, as in all the productions of this play, it is the audience who finishes it by voting on the villain. Each performance may be resolved differently, not only in terms of the killer but also who will be the couple who find love and happiness at the  play’s end.

Bob and I went to opening night. We not only enjoyed the production, but had a chance to talk with Mr. Holmes and some of the actors. You can click on our discussion below. You can also click on the Hubbard Hall web site for tickets. We have also included the interview which Joe Donahue had with Rupert Holmes and David Snider on WAMC.

Discussion of the Hubbard Hall Production

Hubbard Hall web site

Joe Donahue Interview

Opening Night with Rupert Holmes and David Snider

Hello, Dolly

Jerry Herman’s classic musical Hello, Dolly plays at the Mac-Haydn Theatre until September 3. The music is infectious . This is a musical to make you feel happy about the world. Dolly is a force of nature in her making everything turn out right.

Bob and I had the chance to talk with Dolly,  aka Monica M. Wemitt, Rachel Rhodes-Devey who plays the other widow, Irene Molloy, and Bethany Marx who created the lovely costumes. Along the way we learned something of the history of Mac-Haydn.

Hello, Dolly is a lovely conclusion to a wonderful season of varied musicals. This was our first season at Mac-Haydn, but it won’t be our last. Everyone should put this gem of a theatre on their list of theatres not to be missed. Each musical  has been a joy with the company capturing the unique quality of its particular story and score.

Click below to hear Monica, Rachel and Bethany talk about the show.

Hello, Dolly Interview Part 1

Hello, Dolly Interview Part 2

Then click on the website to get tickets.

Mac-Haydn Theatre website

 

 

 

 

 

Click below to see video

Hello, Dolly video

Company

Company plays at Barrington Stage’s Boyd-Quinson theatre until September 10. This version of the Stephen Sondheim’s Tony award winning  musical should not be missed. Company was one of the first concept musicals that expanded the nature of the American musical and introduced a host of new performers and composers. to the musical stage.

Bob and I talk about the history of the play and this production in the link below. Check on it and then get your tickets from Barrington Stage’s website.

Discussion of Company

Barrington Stage Website

 

 

Click on picture below for video clips from Company

 

 

 

The Music Man

The Music  Man runs until August 19 at the Weston Playhouse. Weston’s motto is that it celebrates the classics and nurtures the new.  There are two classic American plays that deal with a  traveling salesman who “doesn’t know the territory.” Both of these plays have had productions at the Weston Playhouse. They are however quite different. One of them is Death of A Salesman by Arthur Miller and the other is The Music Man by Meredith Willson. Each in its own way gives a glimpse of times in the United States that have passed. Madison Avenue, shopping malls and the Internet are among the reasons  we can only encounter traveling salesmen on our stages and not in our towns, large and small.

Meeting Harold Hill in this production is probably more fun than even the most successful traveling salesman in the past. Meredith Willson’s melodies recreate a 1912 River City that may never have existed, but should have. The cast is excellent and the audience leaves the theatre with the lovely music playing in their heads.

Bob and I had the pleasure of talking with three of the cast members: David Bonanno who plays Harold Hill, Marissa McGowan who plays Marian the Librarian, and Michael Mendez who plays Marcellus Washburn, Hill’s accomplice.

The Music Man Interview

Click on Weston’s website to buy tickets and find out about the rest of the season.

Weston Playhouse Website

David Bonanno and Michael Mendez

David Bonanno and Marissa McGowan

 

 

Click below to see a preview of the show

The Music Man Preview

For a discussion of the background of the play, click below

Weston 101 The Music Man

ssugarman407 | August 15, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Tags: Weston Playhouse | Categories: Musical TheatreRegional Theatre | URL: http://wp.me/p5wL7C-Sb

A Legendary Romance

A Legendary Romance  plays at the Williamstown Theatre Festival until August 20. It is a new musical that is well worth seeing. Jeff McCarthy is on stage throughout the play as his character remembers his past differently from the film about it an eager,  young producer wants him to approve. Like many contemporary musicals, A Legendary Romance deals with issues that will leave you thinking after the show is over. There is the question of what is true and what is fiction. There is also a political dimension.. These themes are dealt with in ways that keep the audience engaged in the lives unfolding on stage, entertained as well as stimulated.

Bob and I had much to talk about after we saw it. Click below to hear some of our thoughts.

Our discussion of A Legendary Romance

For tickets click on the link to the Williamstown Festival website below.

Williamstown Theatre Festival Website

 

A Legendary Romance Preview

Spamalot

“Always look on the bright side of life”.  Eric Idle transformed the film Monty Python and The Holy Grail into a wonderful musical, Spamalot which is playing at the Mac-Haydn Theatre until August 20. Our sons saw the film twelve times. They would probably wish to see this production that many times as well. The score is wonderful, the book full of laughs and the production at Mac-Haydn a delight to see and hear. The joy in Python jokes is that you relish hearing them over and over until you can almost say the lines with the actors. Each time you hear them they are as fresh as the first time. This production builds on that as the actors transform into various characters just as the Pythons did. Arthur, King of the Britains and The Lady of the Lake are always themselves, of course. Hard to choose highlights, but “Whatever Happened to My Song?” and “I Am All Alone” and “You Won’t Succeed on Broadway…” come to mind.

The Mac-Haydn Theatre is a gem for lovers of musicals. To transform from Anything Goes to Saturday Night Fever to  Sweeney Todd to Spamalot  every two weeks on a tiny arena stage is incredible.  Bob and I are in awe of the exhilarating performances we have seen there. Fortunately, each production for us has been preceded by an interview with people involved with the particular show. This time it was  Neal Kowalsky, the director, Jillian Zack , music director and John Anker Bow who plays.Arthur, King of the Britains. Click below to hear the interview.

Spamalot Interview

Click the website for tickets and information about the rest of the season.

Mac-Haydn Theatre

Madison Stratton as The Lady of the Lake
John Anker Bow as Arthur, King of the Britains

Click on photo below for video

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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is playing at the Mac-Haydn Theatre until August 6. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the play  won many awards including a Tony as Best Musical and the Olivier for Best Musical when it opened in London. Over eighty percent of the production is musical with songs ranging from the macabre to the humorous to the lyrical. Given the Mac-Haydn’s intimate arena stage, all the aspects of the show are intensified. The audience is literally in the set with London buildings painted on the walls  and the ensemble in the aisles.

Bob and I had the pleasure of interviewing John Saunders, Artistic Director at the Mac-Haydn  and David Maglione, director of this production.

John Saunders
        David Maglione

 

 

 

 

 

Click below to listen to the interview

Interview with John Saunders and David Maglione

Click the website to order tickets and find out about the rest of the season.

Mac-Haydn Theatre website

 

Click on the photo below to hear the actors talk about their parts.

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And then on this one to get a sense of the performance.

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