theater

Two-time Tony Award nominee Jayne Atkinson and Tony Award nominee Jessica Hecht stars in Sarah Ruhl’s The Clean House, a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist. In the whimsical play, a physician (played by Jayne Atkinson) discovers that her sister (Jessica Hecht) and not her Brazilian cleaning woman has been cleaning her home.

The Williamstown Theatre Festival Main Stage Production is directed by Rebecca Taichman – who just won a Tony for directing the play, Indecent. The Clean House runs through July 29th.

Jayne Atkinson is best known on television for her long-running roles in 24Criminal Minds, and the current Netlix original series House of Cards. She made her Broadway debut in a revival production of Arthur Miller's All My Sons. Broadway credits also include The RainmakerOur TownEnchanted April and Blithe Spirit

Jessica Hecht has been on television in such shows as Friends, Seinfeld, Breaking Bad and The Good Wife. Hecht was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress for her role in A View From The Bridge on Broadway. Other recent productions include Harvey, Golde in Fiddler on the Roof, and she just finished a run in Arthur Miller’s The Price with Mark Ruffalo and Danny DeVito. 

Rebecca Taichman and Joe Donahue
Sarah LaDuke

Last Month at the Tony’s, for the seventh time in the history of the Tony Awards, a woman’s name was announced as the winner of Best Director of a Play and that woman was Rebecca Taichman, who directed and co-created, along with playwright Paula Vogel, Indecent

Indecent also marked Rebecca’s Broadway debut, after years of directing at major Off-Broadway and regional theatres including her frequent collaborations with playwrights like Sarah Ruhl.

Even though Taichman won the Tony, the show was set to close June 25th. But in a rare turnaround, the producer, citing an outpouring of public support for the show, decided to keep “Indecent” open through August 6th at the Cort Theatre.

Now, she is in Williamstown, MA to direct Jayne Atkinson and Jessica Hecht in The Clean House by Pulitzer Prize finalist Sarah Ruhl. The show opens July 19th and runs through July 29th on the Main Stage. 

Buck Lewis

Good Men Wanted brings to life the incredible true stories of renegade women who disguised themselves as men to fight in the Civil War.

In a searing drama punctuated by explosive dance sequences set to contemporary pop music, five women of vastly different backgrounds become warriors and spies, endure prison camps and midnight raids, and ultimately intersect at America's most storied battlefield, Gettysburg. These unsung heroes circumvented the limitations of their time, with a boldness that speaks loudly to our own.

Good Men Wanted runs at Vassar College and New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse Theatre through July 30th.

Asia Kate Dillon play Albert Cashier. Cashier, born Jennie Irene Hodgers in 1843, was an Irish-born immigrant who served in the Union Army. Dillon is best known for Netflix's Orange is the New Black and Showtime's Billions.

Good Men Wanted at Vassar and New York Stage and Film's Powerhouse Theatre
Buck Lewis

Vassar College and New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theatre’s second mainstage show this summer is Good Men Wanted. The new play is about women who - for varied reasons and to varied ends - disguised themselves as men to fight in the Civil War.

The drama punctuated by explosive dance sequences - choreographed by Ani Taj and set to contemporary pop music. They play is written by Kevin Armento and directed by Jaki Bradley who joins us.

Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: War for the Planet of the Apes

Upcoming:
Phil Tippett and Lucy Raven: Starship Troopers - EMPAC Concert Hall, Thursday 7/20, 7 PM
Airport - Capitol Theatre, Rome, Thursday 7/20, 7 PM
Ziggy Marley - The Egg, Albany, Thursday 7/20, 8 PM
Che Malambo - SPAC, Saratoga Springs, Thursday 7/20, 8 PM
Gene Bertoncini Trio - Van Dyck Lounge, Schenectady, Friday 7/21, 8 PM
Annual Summer Undercover Show: Local artists as Patsy Cline, Bikini Kill, Britney Spears, Grace Jones, etc. - The Low Beat, Albany, Saturday 7/22, 6 PM
Rod Stewart, Cyndi Lauper - SPAC, Saratoga Springs, Saturday 7/22, 7:30 PM
Ronnie Spector & the Ronettes - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Saturday 7/22, 8 PM
Simone Dinnerstein, pianist, performing the Goldberg Variations - PS 21, Chatham, Saturday 7/22, 8 PM
The Boy in the Bathroom - Adirondack Theatre Festival, Charles R. Wood Theater, Glens Falls, opens Wednesday 7/26, 7:30 PM (through August 4)
Taina Asili y la Banda Rebelde, Girl Blue - Rockin On the River, Riverfront Park, Troy, Wednesday 7/26, 5-8:30 PM

New movies: Dunkirk, Valerian and the City of Lost Planets, Maudie

Vermont’s award-winning Weston Playhouse Theatre Company is having a blockbuster continuation of its 81st summer season, continuing its tradition of “celebrating the classics and nurturing the new.”

Next on the Main Stage is Neil Simon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Lost In Yonkers. It is a heartfelt coming-of-age story by one of America’s greatest comic playwrights. Performances run July 20th to July 29th.

Meanwhile on Weston’s Other Stages is the Vermont Premiere of Tenderly – telling the story of beloved actress/singer Rosemary Clooney who delighted America for nearly five decades. The play is now open and runs through August 5th.

We welcome Susan Haefner, who originated the role of Rosemary Clooney in the premiere of the new musical Tenderly at Cincinnati Playhouse and is playing it in Weston; Davy Raphaely, who will play the lovable gangster uncle Louie in Lost in Yonkers in a Weston cast including Tony winner Elizabeth Franz; and Steve Stettler is the Producing Artistic Director at the Weston Playhouse.

Mamma Mia! At TheRep

Jul 14, 2017

On a small Greek island, Sophie dreams of a perfect wedding — one which includes her father giving her away. The problem? Sophie doesn’t know who he is! Her mother Donna, the former lead singer of the 1970s pop group Donna and the Dynamos, refuses to talk about the past, so Sophie decides to take matters into her own hands.

Sneaking a peek in her mother’s old diaries, she discovers three possible fathers: Sam, Bill, and Harry. She secretly invites all three to the wedding, convinced that she’ll know her father when she sees him. But when all three turn up, it may not be as clear as she thought! Told through the legendary music of ABBA, Mamma Mia! has become a worldwide sensation that has audiences everywhere dancing.

Mamma Mia! is running at TheRep (Capital Repertory Theatre) in Albany, NY through August 13th. Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill directs.

Kara Mikula plays Rosie (one of the Dynamos) at TheRep and she joins us.

Powerhouse Theater
Vassar College/ Tamar M. Thibodeau

Vassar College and New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater Training Program challenges young theatre artists to look at their art in new and meaningful ways while they explore boundaries by living, breathing, and creating theater with peers and professionals alike. To learn more we are joined by Max Reuben and Emily Mendelsohn.

Reuben is a playwright, director, sometimes-actor, and founding member of AGGROCRAG – a Brooklyn-based theater company dedicated to creating original plays. At Vassar he directs and composes Soundpainting -- which is performed Thursdays in July in The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center.

Mendelsohn is a Brooklyn-based director who is adapting and directing William Shakespeare's Hamlet which is running July 14-16 in the Environmental Cooperative at The Vassar Barns.

Tamara Hickey and Thomas Brazzle in Cymbeline at Shakespeare & Company
Stratton McCrady / shakespeare.org

We're at Tanglewood this morning and just a few miles away through the Berkshire beauty of Lenox lives another cultural gem, Shakespeare & Company.

Cymbeline is a rarely performed story of intrigue and deception in the face of steely resolve with wild plot twists, mistaken identities, and a heart-rending quest for love.

We are joined now by Tamara Hickey who plays Imogen in Cymbeline; Allyn Burrows, artistic director, at Shakespeare & Company; and Tina Packer, Founding Artistic Director of Shakespeare & Company and Director of Cymbeline. The production also marks a personal milestone for Packer, who, after opening her production of Cymbeline, will have directed all 37 plays in the Shakespeare canon.

Voice Theatre is a professional company based at the historic landmark Byrdcliffe Theater in Woodstock, NY. They create new productions and explore relevant dimensions of classic works.

Their production of Thornton Wilder’s The Skin Of Our Teeth opens tonight. In it - the prehistoric world meets Suburbia. The Antrobus family – George and Maggie, their children, Gladys and Henry, and Sabina, a maid who is also George’s mistress – survive the Election, Climate Change and the End of the World. Combining tragedy with comedy, wit, intelligence and imagination the play is one of the defining moments in American Theater.

To tell us more – we welcome actors: Christa Trinler playing Sabina and Phil Mansfield who is playing George Antrobud along with Shauna Kanter - director and artistic Director of Voice Theatre. 

Seventy-year-old "Chick" Chicarella has one prized possession, a 1967 Jaguar that is in desperate need of repair. When his son, "Bone", suggests that they finish the car and sell it off, old family wounds and failures rise to the surface.

That's the story behind The Jag by Gino DiIorio, now playing at Shadowland Stages in Ellenville, NY through July 16th. The Jag stars Dan Grimaldi - best known for his roles as twins Philly and Patsy Parisi  on HBO’s The Sopranos.

Lauren Yee
laurenyee.com

  New York Stage and Film and Vassar College’s Powerhouse Theatre presents an Inside Look Workshop of Lauren Yee’s new play, The Great Leap July 7-9.

The play is set in San Francisco in the Spring of 1989.  Manford Lum, locally renowned on the sidewalk basketball courts of Chinatown, talks his way onto a college team, just before they travel to Beijing for a "friendship" game.  His background is a mystery, but he can sink 100 free throws in a row, so who cares?  When they arrive, China is in the throes of the post-Cultural Revolution era, and Manford must juggle international politics and his own personal history.

Carolee Carmello as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd at The Barrow Street Theatre
Joan Marcus

Fans of Stephen Sondheim, Hugh Wheeler, and tonsorial artistry tainted with murder and cannibalism once again have the opportunity to attend the tale of Sweeney Todd in New York City.

In the winter of 2014, The Tooting Arts Club staged the musical masterpiece in London’s oldest pie and mash shop, Harrington’s Pie and Mash. About a year later, for a West End transfer, the show was staged in a recreation of Harrington’s in an old rock club and this past February, it moved to Off-Broadway at The Barrow Street Theatre - also converted to resemble Harrington’s.

 

With a reduced cast glaring, scaring, and performing incredibly; the audience sits at tables and (for certain seats) one can order a meat or veg pie with their ticket. The pies are prepared by The Perfect Pie, in New York City which is run by former White House baker, Bill Yosses (featured on All Things Considered).

 

Norm Lewis is in the role of the man who calls razors friends and his dotty, daring, focused and frazzled buddy in barber-ous bump-offs, Mrs. Lovett, is being played at Barrow Street by three-time Tony Award nominee, Carolee Carmello.

 

An Albany native, Carmello has appeared in 14 Broadway musicals: Tuck Everlasting, Finding Neverland, Scandalous, Sister Act, The Addams Family, Mamma Mia!, Lestat, Urinetown, Kiss Me Kate, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Parade, 1776, Falsettos, and City of Angels.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents the Tony Award-winning Children of a Lesser God, directed by Tony Award-winner, Kenny Leon. The play opened Saturday night and runs through July 22nd at The Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge, MA.

In the play - after joining the staff at a school for the deaf, speech therapist with an unorthodox approach to education, James -- played by Joshua Jackson -- becomes infatuated by Sarah, a vivacious, yet delicate, deaf woman, played by Lauren Ridloff. James tries to help Sarah, a school dropout, navigate her way through the hearing world, however Sarah finds solace in her sphere of silence.

We are thrilled to welcome the play’s director Kenny Leon who won a Tony Award for A Raisin in the Sun with Denzel Washington. He also directed Holler if Ya Hear Me on Broadway and The Wiz and Hairspray LIVE productions on TV.

Also here – the stars of the show - Lauren Ridloff - recently seen in the film Wonderstruck and a former Miss Deaf America – she is joined by ASL translator Candace Broecker Penn. And Joshua Jackson is in the house. He is currently starring in Showtime’s The Affair and is well-known for his roles in Dawson’s Creek & Fringe

(Airs 6/22/17 @ 1 p.m.) WAMC's Alan Chartock In Conversation with Julianne Boyd, Artistic Director of Barrington Stage Company.

Tony Award-winning jukebox musical, and epic night of rock 'n roll, Million Dollar Quartet brings you into the recording studio with icons, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Based on a true story, set on December 4, 1956, Million Dollar Quartet follows the tale of these four legendary musicians, as they come together for one monumental night of music at Sun Records in Memphis.

The Berkshire Theatre Group is presenting Million Dollar Quartet at its Unicorn Theatre through July 15th.

Directed and with music direction by James Barry the musical includes classic tunes such as: "Blue Suede Shoes,” "Fever,” "Walk the Line,” "Sixteen Tons,” "Who Do You Love?,” "Great Balls of Fire,” "Folsom Prison Blues,” "Hound Dog,” and more.

We are joined by Brycen Katolinsky who plays Elvis Presley; Ben Nordstrom who plays The Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll and founder of Sun Records, Sam Phillips; and Christy Coco who plays aspiring singer and Elvis’s girlfriend Dayanne.  

The Dorset Theatre Festival opens its 40th Anniversary Season with the World Premiere of Theresa Rebeck’s Downstairs, under the direction of Resident Director Adrienne Campbell-Holt. The production opens Thursday and runs through July 8th.

Theresa Rebeck is a widely produced playwright throughout the United States and abroad. She is the screenwriter and director of the upcoming film Trouble, starring Anjelica Huston, Bill Pullman, and David Morse. Adrienne Campbell-Holt is the Associate Director of the Tony award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen and was also the assistant director of Dead Accounts.

Dorset Theatre Festival opens its 40th Anniversary Season with the World Premiere of Theresa Rebeck’s Downstairsstarring brother and sister Tim Daly and Tyne Daly, who will be appearing together on stage for the first time. Downstairs, runs for 16 performances between this Thursday and July 8th.

Tim Daly is an Emmy-nominated actor. Since 2014, he has starred in the hit CBS series Madam Secretary. He is also known for his past roles as Joe Hackett on the NBC sitcom Wings. Tyne Daly is an accomplished stage and screen actress best known for her roles in Cagney & Lacey and Judging Amy. Rounding out the cast is John Procaccino who last joined Dorset Theatre Festival for their production of Out of the City


  Barrington Stage Company’s first Boyd-Quinson Mainstage musical this season is Ragtime -- which opens in Pittsfield, MA on June 21st and runs through July 15th.

 

Ragtime features a book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty. It is based on a novel by E. L. Doctorow and is directed at Barrington Stage by Joe Calarco. The original Broadway production of Ragtime won Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Musical Score.

 

Members of Barrington Stage’s cast join us at The Linda to discuss the show and perform a few songs.

We welcome Elizabeth Stanley (“Mother”); J. Anthony Crane (“Tateh”); Darnell Abraham (“Coalhouse”); Zurin Villanueva ("Sarah”); and musical director - providing piano accompaniment - Darren Cohen.

Bob Goepfert: Julius Caesar

Jun 15, 2017

I recently attended the Public Theatre’s production of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”.  Perhaps I’m naïve, or it’s the times in which we live, but when I left the Delacorte Theatre in New York’s Central Park, I never expected the production to be so controversial.  I certainly never expected Shakespeare’s political drama to be criticized for being political.

The Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 2017 Season, the 63rd Season for the Tony Award-winning theatre company gets underway June 27th - including four world premieres, a new musical, the first production of a WTF commissioned artist, and much more.

The season, running through August 20, 2017, begins on the Main Stage with a production of a new play by Jen Silverman, The Roommate, featuring Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Jane Kaczmarek; continues with Sarah Ruhl’s 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist comedy The Clean House starring Tony Award nominee Jessica Hecht; and closes with a new musical - A Legendary Romance.

The Nikos Stage season kicks off June 28 with the world premiere of Jason Kim’s play The Model American and also includes the world premiere of Where Storms Are by Harrison David Rivers; the world premiere play Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow directed by Obie Award winner and Drama Desk nominee Trip Cullman; and closes out the summer with Actually, a co-world premiere with Geffen Playhouse.

Before coming to Williamstown, Mandy Greenfield was the artistic producer of Manhattan Theatre Club and now this is her third season at WTF.

www.dorsettheatrefestival.org

Dorset Theatre Festival opens its 40th Anniversary Season with the World Premiere of Theresa Rebeck's Downstairs, starring brother and sister Tim Daly and Tyne Daly, who will be appearing together for the first time on the stage. Downstairs runs for 16 performances between June 22 - July 8, 2017.

Next up will be Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery (July 13-29).

Matthew Lopez’s The Legend of Georgia McBride (August 3-19) will be next. The comedy follows a broke Elvis impersonator who becomes a drag queen.

And then - Pulitzer-winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis will star alongside Treat Williams in David Mamet’s American Buffalo (Aug. 24-Sept. 2).

We welcome Dina Janis, the artistic director at Dorset Theatre Festival.

Performing Arts of Woodstock will present the award-winning play Still by Jen Silverman beginning June 1st through the 18th. In the play, a child is stillborn. The play explores those affected, including the stillborn son, who wanders through the play seeking his mother and joyfully and painfully learning about life as he fades back into the ether.

Sande Shurin is director of Still and joins us via phone. Here in the studio - we welcome actor Ron Morehead and PAW Board Member and Business Manager Farrell Reynolds. 

Barrett Doss in Groundhog Day at The August Wilson Theatre
http://www.groundhogdaymusical.com/

Groundhog Day is something of an American fable - I mean that equally of the February 2nd holiday and the 1993 movie directed by Harold Ramis, written by Ramis and Danny Rubin, and starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell.

What do you get when you combine the film with the British sensibilities of Tim Minchin and Matthew Warchus? You get an Olivier Award Winning and 7-time Tony Award nominated stage musical.

After an incredibly well-received run in London, Groundhog Day - directed by Matthew Warchus, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin and a book by Danny Rubin, is currently running at The August Wilson Theatre on Broadway -- starring Andy Karl as cynical egotistic weatherman, Phil Connors, and Barrett Doss as Rita Hanson.

Doss recently appeared in the Broadway revival of You Can’t Take It With You, she’s a recurring character on the Netflix and Marvel series Iron First, and for you comedy TV minutia lovers out there - she played Liz Lemon’s great-granddaughter in the last 20 seconds of the last episode of the NBC series 30 Rock.

Richard Thomas in The Little Foxes at MTC
Joan Marcus

Actor Richard Thomas is best known for his leading role as budding author John-Boy Walton in the CBS drama The Waltons, where he won an Emmy Award. That series began in 1972 and ran for 9-seasons.

Thomas is still acting on stage and on TV. He recently starred in the FX drama series The Americans. And he was just nominated for a Best Featured Actor Tony award for his role as Horace in the Manhattan Theatre Club’s production of Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes with Cynthia Nixon and Laura Linney.

The Little Foxes follows Regina Giddens and her ruthless clan, including her sister-in-law Birdie, as they clash in often brutal ways in an effort to strike the deal of their lives. The Little Foxes runs at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on Broadway through July 2nd.

  Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: Colossal, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Upcoming:
Brad Paisley - SPAC, Saratoga Springs, 5/18 Thursday, 7 PM
Orleans - Stanley Theatre, Utica, 5/19 Friday, 8 PM
Carl Palmer ELP Legacy - The Egg, Albany, 5/20 Saturday, 8 PM
Sisters of Slide: Rory Block & Cindy Cashdollar - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, 5/20 Saturday, 8 PM
Captured Moments: 170 Years of Photography from the Albany Institute - Albany Institute of History & Art, closes 5/21 Sunday
A Hard Day's Night - Proctors, 5/22 Monday at 3, 5 and 7 PM
The Dollyrots - The Low Beat, Albany, 5/22 Monday, 7 PM
Ana Popovic - Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes, 5/23 Tuesday, 8 PM
Sara Watkins, Mike & Ruthy - The Egg, Albany, 5/24 Wednesday, 7:30 PM

New movies: Alien: Covenant, Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent, Everything Everything Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer

Joan Marcus

Innovative, heartbreaking, and wickedly funny, Hedwig And The Angry Inch is the American musical by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask is a genre-bending, fourth-wall-smashing musical sensation, with a pulsing score and electrifying performances which tells the story of one of the most unique characters to ever hit the stage.

Winner of four 2014 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival, Hedwig And The Angry Inch played to record-breaking sell-out crowds on Broadway and now is in Schenectady for performances tonight and tomorrow at Proctors.

Hannah Corneau plays Yitzhak in the production. She is graduate of Shen High School.

William Kunstler was an American radical lawyer and civil rights activist, known for his politically unpopular clients. He was an active member of the National Lawyers Guild, a board member of the American Civil Liberties Union and the co-founder of the Law Center for Constitutional Rights. Kunstler's defense of the Chicago Seven from 1969–1970 led The New York Times to label him "the country's most controversial and, perhaps, its best-known lawyer."

Starting later this week, Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA will present The Creative Place International/And Theatre Company production of Kunstler starring Jeff McCarthy in the title role. The show will run on BSC’s St. Germain Stage through June 10th. It is directed by Meagen Fay.

Jeff McCarthy is a Tony Award nominated actor and Associate Artist at Barrington Stage and he joins us.

Will Pullen and Khris Davis in Sweat
Joan Marcus

Playwright Lynn Nottage made history last month as the first woman to win two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. Her play Sweat — her first to be produced on Broadway — was awarded the honor. She received her first Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for Ruined, which was produced off-Broadway.

Sweat first premiered and was co-commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage. After a sold-out run at off-Broadway’s prestigious Public Theater, the play moved to Broadway where it is now running at Studio 54 and is nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play.

Directed by Kate Whoriskey, Sweat takes place in Reading, PA and features characters whose way of life is falling apart after the decline of the manufacturing, steel, and coal industries. They work together and they drink together - and when layoffs and picket lines begin - they find themselves fighting each other in the hard fight to keep going.

We are joined now by actors Khris Davis and Will Pullen - they play best-friends, Chris and Jason in Sweat. (To learn more about Davis and Pullen - their bios are below.)

The Roundabout Theatre Company production of Kander and Ebb’s classic Tony Award winning musical drama, Cabaret, is at Proctors this week. This touring production was directed by Sam Mendes and co-directed and choreographed by Rob Marshall.

To set the stage:

1930s, Berlin: The Kit Kat Klub is a seedy cabaret, a place of decadent celebration. The Klub's Master of Ceremonies, or M.C., is joined by the cabaret girls and headliner-of-sorts, Sally Bowles.

In a train station, Cliff Bradshaw arrives, a young American writer coming to Berlin to work on his new novel.

At Proctors this week, Jon Peterson plays the Emcee and Benjamin Eakeley plays Cliff.

Pages