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

A Doll’s House Part 2 Weston

 A Doll’s House Part 2  is playing at the Walker Farm Theatre at the Weston Playhouse through August 26. This sequel to Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House was a hit on Broadway and is being performed throughout the country this summer. The issues that the original play raised which are further explored in this sequel by Lucas Hnath are absorbing and entertaining. Bob and I  have been talking about them a great deal.

Click below to hear our discussion

Discussion of A Doll’s House Part 2 Weston

Click below for the Weston Playhouse web site

Weston Playhouse

 

Fun Home

The Weston Playhouse is presenting Fun Home at the Walker Farm Theatre through July 28. This play is based on the graphic novel of the same name by Alison Bechdel. The musical. with book and lyrics by Lisa Kron and music by Jeanine Tesori,  opened at the Public Theatre in 2013 and went  on to  Broadway in 2015 at the Circle in the Square Theatre and that year won five Tony awards. This musical has played in small theatres and  fits into the intimate space of the Walker Farm Theatre as though made for it.

Bob and I were absorbed by the performances and the story throughout the performance. Click below for our discussion about it.

Fun Home Discussion

For tickets, click on The Weston Playhouse website

Weston Playhouse

For reviews check out

The Berkshire Theatre Critics Association

 

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Our Town

Our Town by Thornton Wilder comes alive at the Weston Playhouse through July 7.  With Christopher Lloyd as the Stage Manager, the play is fresh and as absorbing  as it was when it was first written 80 years ago. Weston Playhouse believes in celebrating  the classics. When it does, audiences see the play as a new set of theatre artists offer their version of a play that may or may not be familiar.

Bob and I had the good fortune to talk with five actors before a performance of the play. As you listen to Raphael Peacock who plays Dr. Gibbs, Christine Toy Johnson who is Mrs Webb, Julie Benko who is Emily, Vichet Chum who is George, and Michael Hicks who is Simon Stimson, you will get an idea of what makes this play continue to be powerful.

Listen to them by clicking below

Our Town Discussion

Then click on the link below to order your tickets

Weston Playhouse web site

 

 

 

Anne of Green Gables

Each year The Weston Playhouse auditions students at some of the outstanding music programs in the country to select its Young Company. This group  performs a family show, takes part in the Main Stage musical and does the nightly cabarets. Bob and I always enjoy talking with the Young Company. They bring energy and talent to all they do during the summer.

This year the family show is Anne of Green Gables, based on the popular character from the novel of the same name by Lucy Maud Montgomery, a Canadian novelist. Besides the fifty million copies of the novel that have been published, Anne is also familiar to young people through film and television shows. The one hour production will be presented Tuesdays through Sundays at 4 pm until June 30 at the new Walker Farm Theatre.

Click below to hear our interview with the Young Company where we talk about Anne of Green Gables and their other activities

Interview with Young Company

Then click below for tickets and more information

Weston Playhouse

        Megumi Nakamura and Grace Martini
               The Young Company

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                    Grace Martini, David Alea and Marissa Hecker

 

 

 

Weston Playhouse 2018 Season

One of our  pleasures each year  is interviewing Steve Stettler about the upcoming season at the Weston Playhouse. Steve is one of the three directors who have run the Playhouse for thirty years. This year, however, is their final year. It is a spectacular year with which to close their uniquely successful partnership, but we are saddened to see them depart since they have given audiences such pleasure with their productions.

Among the reasons  this is a special year is the completion of their second theatre at Walker Farm. This theatre allows them to produce more plays and be open year round as a  a venue for community lectures, concerts, films and other events. We interviewed Steve in the theatre’s green room and were given a tour of the building after the interview. As much as we had enjoyed the quaintness of the Weston Rod and Gun Club, this is an exciting improvement. Click below to listen to our interview with Steve and then get a season subscription pass . You will save money and have a great time.

Steve Stettler interview. 

Weston Playhouse website

Malcolm Ewen, Tim Fort and Steve Stettler

 

Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Long Day’s Journey Into Night runs at the Weston Playhouse until September 3.  This the the third in  Weston’s Celebrating the  Classics series.  Bob and I saw the original production of Long Day’s Journey…  on Broadway and have seen several productions since. However, as with Weston’s production last year of All My Sons, we gained new insight and appreciation of this masterwork by Eugene O’Neil.  No one should think because they once saw a play, that they don’t have to  see a different production of it. Each cast and director brings a fresh approach to the work, particularly if it is a play of the quality of this one. There will be a week of matinee performances for students who will be lucky  for their first encounter with this play to be with this cast.

Bob and I were fortunate enough to interview Derek Smith who plays James Tyrone, the father of this tormented family. Derek generously saw us between the matinee and evening performances. Listen to our talk with him by clicking below.

Interview with Derek Smith

Then go to the Weston Playhouse website to order tickets.

Weston Playhouse website

 

Click below on Weston 101 for more background information about the play and an interview with the director.

Weston 101

Buyer & Cellar

 Buyer & Cellar plays at the Rod and Gun Club of the Weston Playhouse until September 3. This one man show is well worth seeing. Five characters come vividly to life through the skilled interpretation of Kyle Branzel. Bob and I were first impressed by this young actor in last year’s Weston Playhouse production of Murder for Two.  This year we  interviewed Kyle a few hours before opening night. We then had the pleasure of watching him perform in the intimate setting of the Rod and Gun Club where we have enjoyed many Weston productions.

Listen to the interview by clicking on the link below. Kyle not only gives a fine introduction to the play, but  also offers interesting insights into the actor’s life.

Interview with Kyle Branzel  Buyer & Cellar Part 1

Interview with Kyle Branzel  Buyer & Cellar Part 2

 

 

Click below on the Weston Playhouse website for tickets and further information.

Weston Playhoue website

Click to see a short video

Buyer & Cellar video

In the Weston 101 video, director Steve Stettler talks about the play

Buyer & Cellar Weston 101   

For more about Kyle Branzel click on the link to his website.

Kyle Branzel website

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

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Lost in Yonkers

Lost in Yonkers plays at The Weston Playhouse until July 29. This play by Neil Simon won both a Tony and a Pulitzer Prize. The production at Weston captures the world of 1942 through the acting, the set and costumes. Facing difficult times with humor, two adolescent boys are left by their grieving father with their domineering grandmother and their kind, but limited, aunt.

Bob and I have enjoyed this play each time  we have seen it. Each production brings its own quality to this engaging story. We were particularly pleased to see Michael Seltzer in the role of the older son as we have watched his work since he was a member of Weston’s Young Company for several years.

The play has only a one week run.  Click on the links below to hear our discussion, to order tickets and find out about the rest of the Playhouse season.

Discussion of Lost in Yonkers

Weston Playhouse Website

 

Neil Simon on Lost in Yonkers

Click on the photo to hear the playwright talk about his work

 

Weston does an interview on each play that it produces as part of its Weston 101 project  Click on the photo below to hear a discussion with h actress Elizabeth Franz and Director,  Kent Paul