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Tony Award-winning Fiorello! is a big-hearted look at Mayor La Guardia and his battle for the people of New York City. With music and lyrics by Tony Award-winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick and book by Tony Award and Drama Desk-Winner George Abbott and Jerome Weidman, the Berkshire Theatre Group production is directed by Playwrights Horizons founder, Bob Moss. Fiorello! is one of only nine musicals to have been awarded the esteemed Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents Fiorello! through July 23rd on their Unicorn Theater in Stockbridge.

Cast members Katie Birenboim and Austin Lombardi join us now. They play Marie and the title character, Fiorello, respectively. 

  Her Again is an intimate look at the artistic coming-of-age of the greatest actress of her generation, from the homecoming float at her suburban New Jersey high school, through her early days on the stage at Vassar College and the Yale School of Drama during its golden years, to her star-making roles in The Deer Hunter, Manhattan, and Kramer vs. Kramer. 

New Yorker contributor Michael Schulman brings into focus Meryl’s heady rise to stardom on the New York stage; her passionate, tragically short-lived love affair with fellow actor John Cazale; her marriage to sculptor Don Gummer; and her evolution as a young woman of the 1970s wrestling with changing ideas of feminism, marriage, love, and sacrifice.

Brilliant Traces, by Cindy Lou Johnson is a roller-coaster of a play about feelings of isolation and people's need to be understood. Both comic and anguished, Brilliant Traces is set in a recluse's cabin in an Alaskan blizzard where a runaway bride seeks shelter.

Performing Arts of Woodstock is opening a production of the play at the Mescal Hornbeck Community Center this week.

The production is directed by Sande Shurin and stars Maria Elena Maurin as Rosannah. They join us along with President of Performing Arts of Woodstock, Adele Calcavecchio.

  Barrington Stage Company’s world premiere production of American Son by Christopher Demos-Brown begins previews in Pittsfield, MA this Friday.

Winner of the prestigious Laurents/Hatcher Award for Best New Play of 2016, the new drama examines our nation’s racial divide through the eyes of an estranged, interracial couple. Over the course of one evening, the couple’s disparate backgrounds collide as they confront an unexpected crisis involving their son, the police, and an abandoned car. Tamara Tunie and Michael Hayden star as Kendra Ellis-Connor and Scott Connor in the production directed by Barrington Stage’s artistic director, Julianne Boyd.

Actor and producer Tamara Tunie played attorney Jessica Griffin on CBS’ As the World Turns, and medical examiner Melinda Warner on NBC’s Law & Order: SVU. She co-produced the original production of Spring Awakening on Broadway and recently won an Obie Award for her work in Familiar at Playwright’s Horizons. Michael Hayden was on the ABC series Murder One. He made his Broadway debut as Billy in the 1994 revival of Carousel and has since starred in many Broadway and Off-Broadway shows.

John Cariani is the heart at the center of the hit Broadway’s musical comedy Something Rotten!. The Tony-nominated actor stars as Nigel Bottom, a sensitive, aspiring playwright in 1595 who worships Shakespeare and begins a forbidden love affair with a Puritan beauty by the name of Portia.

But, Cariani is also a playwright – having written Almost, Maine, Love/Sick and Last Gas.

Cariani's third play, Last Gas is now playing at Shadowland Stages in Ellenville. It is its Hudson Valley premiere and runs through June 19th.

  Chester Theatre Company is getting ready to start their 27th season since the theater was founded in 1990 and the first under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Daniel Elihu Kramer. The four-play season will run from June 30th through August 28th at the Chester Town Hall in Chester, MA.

The season starts with a show, written by Kramer, My Jane, a world premiere
 adapted from the novel by Charlotte Brontë. It’s Kramer’s newest play, his second for CTC, following Pride@Prejudice in 2011. My Jane weaves Jane’s romantic story with the lives of her readers, all of whom have their own beloved “Jane.”

Daniel Elihu Kramer, joins us this morning along with Camila Canó-Flaviá who is playing Jane in the Chester Theatre production.

Barbara Walsh and Michael Rupert in Presto Change-O at Barrington Stage
Scott Barrow

  Presto Change-O, a new musical with book and lyrics by Eric Price and music by Joel Waggoner, is running on Barrington Stage Company’s St. Germain Stage through June 11th. Directed by Marc Bruni, choreographed by Chris Bailey, the show features a credit not usually seen in your everyday playbill -- illusions by Joseph Waternerchaney.

That’s right - the majority of actors in the piece has to - on top of acting, singing, and dancing - perform parlor and platform magic.

Presto Change-O is a World Premiere from BSC’s acclaimed Musical Theatre Lab and we are joined by actors Barbara Walsh and Michael Rupert - both of whom originated roles in the original Broadway run of Falsettos and have numerous other Broadway, Off-Broadway, Regional, and Television and Film credits on their resumes.

BIFF 2016 - Bruce Dern

Jun 1, 2016

  Bruce Dern has acquired the reputation of being one of the most talented and prolific actors of his generation. He turns 80-years old on Saturday – the same day he will be honored with a tribute at the Berkshire International Film Festival.

He will be in conversation with famed film director Douglas Trumbull, who directed Dern in the 1972 classic, Silent Running. Their talk will be followed by a screening of the Oscar nominated Nebraska at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington at 7PM.

  Hoping to reclaim who she was before marriage and children, an empty nester retreats to Cape Cod where she embarks upon a quest to set herself free. A Year By The Sea is based on the book of the same name by Joan Anderson and stars Karen Allen.

The film will screen as part of the Berkshire International Film Festival on Saturday, June 4th at 12:30pm at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA.

www.cirquedusoleil.com/paramour


  Cirque du Soleil's Paramour combines Cirque’s signature spectacle with Broadway's story-telling and song in a brand new production that opened this week at The Lyric Theatre in New York City. Set in the world of Golden Age Hollywood, the show spins the tale of a beautiful young poet forced to choose between love and art.

Ryan Vona - who was most recently seen on Broadway in Once - plays Joey - in Paramour. We spoke with him a few weeks ago - before the show began previews.

  In The Trip to Bountiful by Horton Foote, Carrie Watts, a charming, aging widow escapes her controlling daughter-in-law and son’s three-room Houston apartment to visit her childhood home one last time.

Along the way, Miss Watts befriends fellow travelers, sharing her wisdom and courage on a once-in-a-lifetime journey to renew strength and dignity for all.

The Trip to Bountiful is current running at Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany, NY. Kevin Craig West plays Ludie Watts and he joins us.

  Gary Cole stars in the new independent movie Divine Access -- the film is equal parts comedy and drama. Set in the South, it’s a road movie, a buddy picture and an often sweet, thought-provoking story of redemption. It will be released in theaters on May 13th and available on VOD on May 17th. 

Cole is an actor most will recognize from his work in film and television. Selected credits include Office Space, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Veep, Pineapple Express, Entourage, The West Wing, and The Good Wife -- which will have its series finale this Sunday night on CBS.

  Many know Kimberly Williams-Paisley as the bride in the popular Steve Martin remakes of the Father of the Bride movies, the calculating Peggy Kenter on Nashville, or the wife of country music artist, Brad Paisley. But behind the scenes, Kim was dealing with a tragic secret: her mother, Linda, was suffering from a rare form of dementia that slowly crippled her ability to talk, write and eventually recognize people in her own family.
  
Where the Light Gets In tells the full story of Linda’s illness—called primary progressive aphasia—from her early-onset diagnosis at the age of 62 through the present day.

  The Bardavon continues the Hudson Valley Philharmonic’s 56th season with Bernstein’s Kaddish, conducted by long time HVP Music Director Randall Craig Fleischer. The performance will be on Saturday, April 16 at 8pm.

Renewal is the theme of this program featuring a Hudson Valley premiere, Bloch’s Hebraic Rhapsody performed by a cello virtuoso; and a rare chance to experience Leonard Bernstein’s epic, monumental work for large orchestra, choir, and soprano, with narration by Academy Award winning, 5 time Tony nominee Estelle Parsons.

Frank Langella and Hannah Cabell in the American premiere of The Father at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.
Joan Marcus

    Now 80 years old, André was once a tap dancer. He lives with his daughter Anne and her husband Antoine. Or was he an engineer whose daughter Anne lives in London with her new lover, Pierre? The thing is, he is still wearing his pajamas, and he can’t find his watch. He is starting to wonder if he’s losing control.

Manhattan Theatre Club  presents The Father, a play by Florian Zeller that The Guardian called “an astonishingly unguarded play about the cruelties of love and the limits of patience.” Christopher Hampton’s translation is directed for MTC by Doug Hughes and stars 3-time Tony Award winner Frank Langella as André. The show opens Thursday, April 15th.

Hannah Cabell plays Laura. She worked with Hughes and Langella previously on Broadway in Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of A Man for All Seasons. Her Off-Broadway credits inclue Men on Boats, Major Barbara, Grounded, Collapse, 3C, Compulsion, Zero Hour, Pumpgirl, Jane Eyre, Gentleman Caller, and Mark Smith.

Jason Danieley
Justin Patterson

  This coming fall, Chicago, Kander and Ebb’s merry-murderess musical, will have been running on Broadway for 20 years.

To celebrate, six-time Tony Award-winning costume designer William Ivey Long will be revising some of his Tony-nominated designs for the show, there will be a special SummerStage concert in Central Park in August, and Takarazuka, the all-female Japanese musical revue troupe, will celebrate the centennial of their founding with its first appearance in New York in over 25 years with "Takarazuka Chicago," marking the first time ever that two identical productions in two different languages will be running at the same time in NYC. That’s happening in July.

Right now, the role of Billy Flynn, the silver-tongued solicitor and suave defender of Roxy Hart, is being played by Jason Danieley. On Broadway, Jason played Candide in the 1997 revival of Candide, Malcolm MacGregor in The Full Monty, Aaron Fox in Curtains, and Frederich Kuhn in The Visit.

Roundabout Theatre Company's The Robber Bridegroom - Leslie Kritzer, center
Joan Marcus

  Based on the short story by Eudora Welty, The Robber Bridegroom is the Southern-fried Robin Hood tale of Jamie Lockhart, a dangerous, handsome, backwoods rogue who’s a gentleman by day and bandit by night. When he falls for the beautiful daughter of a wealthy planter, his world and code of ethics are turned upside down.

Roundabout Theatre Company in New York City has a rustic romp of a ‘Robber Bridegroom’ running at The Laura Pels Theatre. Director Alex Timbers brings his incomparable imagination to the show with book by Alfred Uhry and music by Robert Waldman.

The show stars Steven Pasquale, Andrew Durand, Evan Harrington, Greg Hildreth, Ahna O’Reilly, Nadia Quinn, Lance Roberts, Devere Rogers, and , our guest, Leslie Kritzer, as Salome.

Leslie made her Broadway debut in Hairspray, following that she was Serena in Legally Blonde, and then Jane Hurley in A Catered Affair. She was In Sondheim on Sondheim and played Jovie in the stage musical adaptation of Elf. In addition to numerous Off-Broadway and regional credits she received critical acclaim, a TimeOut New York Award, and a Special Achievement MAC Award, for Leslie Kritzer Is Patti LuPone at Les Mouches, a re-creation of Patti LuPone’s famed nightclub act. She is currently playing Ray Romano’s wife on the HBO show Vinyl.

  Taylor Mac is a playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, performance artist, director and producer who is currently creating a 24-hour durational concert called, “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music.”

6 hours of the project, representing the six decades between 1836 and 1896, will be performed at MASS MoCA in North Adams Massachusetts this Saturday, April 9th from 4 to 10pm. Audience members are encouraged to come and going during the performance.

Taylor Mac was recently name-checked in a New York Magazine article about why New York Theater is thriving and The New York Times said “Fabulousness can come in many forms, and Taylor Mac seems intent on assuming each and every one of them.”

Calendar Girls At HMT

Apr 6, 2016

  Based on a true story, Calendar Girls tells the tale of best friends Annie and Chris, who resolve to raise money for their local hospital** by persuading four fellow members of their women’s club to pose nude with them for an “alternative” calendar.

Home Made Theater closes their 31st season with Tim Firth’s heartwarming comedy - the show runs weekends April 15th through May 1st at the Spa Little Theater in the Saratoga Spa State Park.

We are joined by the production’s Director, Dianne O’Neill Filer; and actors Devra Cohen-Tigor and Joan Meyer who play Annie and Chris respectively.

Laura Benanti in She Loves Me
Joan Marcus

  As part of its 50th Anniversary season, Roundabout Theatre Company is currently presenting a revival of She Loves Me. The musical, with a book by Joe Masteroff, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and music by Jerry Bock, was the first musical Roundabout ever produced. That production opened in 1993 and was directed by Scott Ellis who returns to helm the show currently sparkling in jewel tones at Studio 54.

The musical is an adaptation of the play Parfumerie by Hungarian playwright Miklos Laszlo. The films The Shop Around the Corner and You’ve Got Mail boast the same source material. The cast includes Zachary Levi, Jane Krakowski, Gavin Creel and, our guest, Tony Award-winner Laura Benanti who plays Amalia Balash.

Laura Benanti won a Tony for her performance as Louise in Gypsy (with Patti LuPone as Rose); and she was nominated for Swing, Into the Woods, and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Her television credits include Supergirl, Nashville, Nurse Jackie, Royal Pains, Law & Order: SVU, and Go On.

  Bedlam theatre company in New York City has created a production of Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility that The New York Times called an “enchanting romp of a play … [with] buoyant spirits, cunning stagecraft and enlivening insights …”

Adapted for the stage by Kate Hamill and directed by Eric Tucker, Bedlam’s lively Sense & Sensibility may appeal to those who don’t usually like Jane Austen, but the production doesn’t betray its source material - emphasizing the values, society, proprietary, and human frailties.

Andrus Nichols is the Producing Director & Co-Founder of Bedlam, she plays Elinor Dashwood in Sense & Sensibility and she joins us to talk about the show, the company, and her connections to the WAMC area.

More than 75 million people around the world have experienced the awe-inspiring visual artistry, the unforgettable music, and the uniquely theatrical storytelling of the Broadway spectacular – Disney’s The Lion King.

And why not? Giraffes strut. Birds swoop. Gazelles leap. The entire Serengeti comes to life as never before. And as the music soars, Pride Rock slowly emerges from the mist. And, we are happy to report, The Lion King has now taken over Proctors through April 17th.

Winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, The Lion King, brings together one of the most imaginative creative teams on Broadway. Tony Award-winning director Julie Taymor, Tony Award-winning choreographer Garth Fagan and some of Broadway’s most recognizable music, crafted by Tony Award-winning artists Elton John and Tim Rice.

This morning we welcome two of the leading actors who play the Lion brothers - Mufasa and Scar. Patrick Brown plays the villainous Scar and Gerald Ramsey plays the King lion – Mufasa.

Leanne Cope and Robbie Fairchild in An American in Paris
Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

  The Broadway musical, An American in Paris, has been running at The Palace Theatre in New York City since March of last year. Based on the Academy Award winning film of the same name and and featuring the music of George and Ira Gershwin, the production is directed and choreographed Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon.

Leanne Cope plays - and dances - the role of Lise. She’s been with the show from its workshop stage to it’s out-of-town run in Paris and for the last year, on Broadway - earning a Tony Nomination for her work and having to take a leave of absence from London’s Royal Ballet to pursue the project.

Chris McGarry and Timothee Chalamet in "Prodigal Son" at Manhattan Theatre Club.
Joan Marcus

  Pulitzer Prize winner John Patrick Shanley’s latest play, Prodigal Son, ends its run at Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City tomorrow.  

Written and directed by Shanley, the autobiographical play features a 17-year-old boy from The Bronx who finds himself in a private school in New Hampshire. He’s violent and gifted, with a passion for writing and an intense desire to understand and control the world and his life. Two faculty members, played by Robert Sean Leonard and Chris McGarry wrestle with the dilemma: Is the kid a star or a disaster?

Chris McGarry has worked with John Patrick Shanley a number of times. Here, we speak with McGarry about what working with Shanley has meant to him.

  Brooke Shields never had what anyone would consider an ordinary life. She was raised by her single mom, Teri, a woman who loved the world of show business and was often a media sensation all by herself. Brooke's iconic modeling career began by chance when she was only eleven months old, and Teri's skills as both Brooke's mother and manager were formidable. But in private she was troubled and drinking heavily.

In There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me, Shields tells her story of the remarkable, difficult, complicated woman who was her mother.

  Lauren Weedman is living what should be the good life in sunny Los Angeles. She has a great career, a loving husband, and an adorable baby boy, but she finds herself starring in a tabloid-worthy nightmare: she’s a Hollywood actress whose husband has an affair with their babysitter. Her new book telling her story is: Miss Fortune: Fresh Perspectives on Having it All from Someone who is NOT Okay.

Weedman is an award-winning comedic actress, playwright and author. Her television credits include The Daily Show, True Blood, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development and HBO's Looking. Weedman's first book was A Woman Trapped in a Woman's Body: Tales from a Life of Cringe. She is the host of the popular Moth Storytelling series in LA.

  For forty years John Hadden and his father of the same name fought at the dinner table over politics, art, and various issues concerning America. One was haunted by what he had witnessed during his long CIA career, from Berlin to Tel Aviv; the other retreated to the Vermont woods to direct Shakespeare until finally he confronted his father at the table one last time with a tape recorder.

His book, Conversations with a Masked Man is a series of conversations Hadden had with his father about the older man's thirty-year career as a CIA officer and how American policy affected the family and the world.

John Hadden has worked in the theater for forty years. He was artistic director of the Hubbard Hall Theater Company, a founding member of Shakespeare & Co, associate artist with We Players, and cofounder and artistic director of Counterpoint Theater in Boston. His solo show, Travels with a Masked Man, is composed of excerpts from the book.

  March 18th through the 20th, Rachel Siegel and WAM Theatre will present a workshop production of SPECIAL – a play in development created and performed by Rachel Siegel – at Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, MA.

Based on personal experience and inspired by interviews with mothers of children with special needs, SPECIAL follows one woman's journey after she discovers she is pregnant with a child with Down syndrome.

Rachel Siegel joins us now along with Jayne Atkinson who is acting as co-director for the workshop.

  Joe Donahue will interview legendary actress and Academy Award-winner Sophia Loren on stage at Proctors in Schenectady, NY on Sunday, March 13 at 3pm.

Sophia Loren became known for her striking beauty and dramatic roles with famed costars Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Gregory Peck, Jack Lemmon, and Paul Newman. The luminous Italian movie star has earned a remarkable array of notable accolades, including the first Academy Award presented for a foreign-language role with Two Women.

She has earned a record six David Di Donatello Awards for Best Actress, a GRAMMY Award and five special Golden Globe Awards, as well as the Honorary Academy Award in 1991 in acknowledgement of her indelible contributions to world cinema. In 1995, she received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement.

  Johnny Gallagher has had an illustrious acting career. He won a Tony Award at the age of 22 for his performance in the Broadway musical Spring Awakening. He then went on to star in Green Day's American Idiot and then on the HBO series, Newsroom - created and written by Aaron Sorkin. He will appear on Broadway again this Spring in Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night.

His debut solo LP, Six Day Hurricane was released in January on Rockwood Music Hall Recordings.

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