Relax back in time at the Fitzpatrick Main Stage of the Berkshire Theatre Group. It is Christmas Eve in 1956 when three of the iconic songwriters of the time are relaxing after an ASCAP meeting. Jimmy Van Heusen and Harold Arlen are with Irving Berlin in Berlin’s apartment pondering the impact of rock and roll on their careers among other things. While doing so they share many of their songs and stories. The play runs Monday through Sunday through July 21.
Listen to what Bob and I have to say about the play.
The Berkshire Theatre Group is celebrating its 90th season with diverse and interesting productions. One of these is Church and State at the Unicorn Theatre until June 30th. This ninety minute play is followed each performance, Monday through Saturday, with a talk-back led by an individual or individuals who can make unique contributions to the discussion because of their relationship to the theme of the play.
Besides being an absorbing play, this production is a valuable community contribution. The intimate Unicorn Theatre is particularly well suited to such discussions. Bob and I were impressed by the play which discusses an important contemporary issue and the talk-back which followed.
The Berkshire Theatre Group is celebrating its 90th year, an impressive landmark. With three theatres and an additional performing space in the Garage which is part of the Colonial Theatre, there are many productions and events to look forward to seeing.
The Colonial Theatre is in PIttsfield. The Fitzpatrick and The Unicorn Theatres are in Stockbridge. All three theatres have a long and illustrious history in providing outstanding theatrical productions over the years.
Bob and I had the opportunity to talk about the range of productions in the three theatres with Nick Paleologos, Executive Director, and Travis Daly who is directing two musicals this season. Taking time out of their busy schedules, they shared their excitement about the work they do at the Theatre Group. With Lion King Junior about to open, Travis gave us information about the extensive educational programs that the Berkshire Theatre Group has in the community. Nick shared information about the work of an executive director and the upcoming theatrical season.
Arsenic and Old Lace is a delightful comedy that is playing at The Fitzpatrick Main Stage of the Berkshire Theatre Group in Stockbridge, MA until August 19. This is a play that has been popular over the years on stage, film and television. However, nothing equals seeing it onstage. The title and the poster gives one an idea of what they are to experience. However, one needs to be at the theatre with fellow audience members of a range of ages to see how a comedy written seventy-eight years ago can still generate laughs and a good time. As always when we see theatre, Bob and I talk about it on the way home. We continued our discussion once at home. Click on the link below to hear some of our thoughts.
At Home at the Zoo (Zoo Story) runs at The Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge until August 26. These two one-acts by Edward Albee show the playwright dealing with the same issues at two different points in his career. The ZooStory is a one-act play written at the beginning of the famous playwright’s career. At Home at the Zoo was written later as Albee wanted to explore the character of Peter who is primarily silent in The Zoo Story, but who is essential to the play.
The Unicorn Theatre is one of our favorite theatrical spaces. It is small and intimate with every seat a good one. A part of The Berkshire Theatre Group, The Unicorn is often the venue for challenging material which Zoo Story certainly was when it was first produced.
Bob has a history with The Zoo Story since he was involved in its first production at The Actors Studio where he was stage manager and also a member of the playwright’s group. For more details about that, listen to our discussion.
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.
The Berkshire Theatre Group and WAM Theatre have co-produced The Bakelite Masterpiece which is playing at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge until October 23. This is a deeply moving play engaging the audience’s attention completely for its seventy-five minutes running time. We interviewed the two remarkable actors who bring the characters and the situation to life, David Adkins and Corrina May. After we had seen the play. we could talk with them about how they created the reality on stage that immediately captured our emotions and left us thinking long afterwards.
Please click on the link below to hear the interview.