theater

Mississippi plantation owner, the cantankerous Big Daddy, is celebrating his 65th birthday. His family has returned for the occasion, including his favorite son, the masculine Brick, and Brick’s wife, the lonely and longing Maggie.

Brick and Maggie’s strained marriage plagues Big Daddy’s mind, and he demands answers to why they haven’t given him a grandchild yet.

However, Big Daddy’s family holds a powerful secret, and an ulterior motive as to why they have returned to the plantation. The families’ troubled relationships and emotional lies become exposed in the timeless American treasure by Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Berkshire Theatre Group presents Cat on a Hot Tin Roof as part of their season this summer. The show opened on Saturday after a few previews and runs through July 16th.

We are joined this morning by Rebecca Brooksher and Michael Raymond-James – who play Maggie and Brick on BTG’s Fitzpatrick Stage.

Barrington Stage Company’s second St. Germain stage production of this season is Kimberly Akimbo by Pulitzer Prize winner, David Lindsay-Abaire.

Starring Debra Jo Rupp and set in the wilds of suburban New Jersey, Kimberly Akimbo is a hilarious and heartrending play about a teenager with a rare condition causing her body to age faster than normal.

When she and her family flee Secaucus under dubious circumstances, Kimberly is forced to reevaluate her life while contending with a hypochondriac mother, a rarely sober father, a scam-artist aunt, her own mortality and, most terrifying of all, the possibility of first love.

Debra Jo Rupp was last seen at Barrington Stage in Dr. Ruth: All the Way and will return to the St. Germain stage later this season to perform in Love Letters with Mark H. Dold. 

  Vermont's Weston Playhouse Theatre Company is turning 80 and their summer 2016 season boasts a line-up that includes groundbreaking partnerships, collaborations with major stars, and the Vermont Premiere of one of Broadway's longest-running hits.

Producing Artistic Director, Steve Stettler, joins us now to tell us all about it.

Shakespeare & Company was founded in 1978 and since then they’ve been presenting world-class classical and contemporary theater with a focus on none other than The Bard of Avon in Lenox, MA.

The season includes three Shakespeare plays: The Merchant of Venice, The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Twelfth Night, plus Regional Premieres by three women playwrights: of Or, by Liz Duffy Adams; The Taming by Lauren Gunderson and Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino, a bracing drama fresh from an acclaimed Off-Broadway production.

Additional titles include Sotto Voce by Pulitzer Prize-winner Nilo Cruz, and the return of Stephan Wolfert in Cry "Havoc!", and a new adaption of Aphra Behn’s Emperor of the Moon by Jenna Ware.

Ariel Bock and Jonathan Croy are serving as co-interim Artistic Directors at Shakespeare & Company. They join us along with Daniella Varon who is directing Ugly Lies the Bone

  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.

  The Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 2016 Season, the 62nd Season for the Tony Award-winning theatre company and second under Artistic Director Mandy Greenfield gets underway June 28th.   

The season runs through August 21st with a Main Stage lineup that includes: Tennessee Williams’ Tony Award-winning play The Rose Tattoo featuring Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei; the world premiere of Boo Killebrew’s comedy Romance Novels For Dummies and closes with the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Wendy Wasserstein’s An American Daughter.

The Nikos Stage season kicks-off June 29 with the world premiere of Cost of Living, directed by Obie Award winner Jo Bonney; and also includes the world premiere sci-fi comedy thriller The Chinese Room by Michael West; the world premiere musical Poster Boy and closes out the summer with the American premiere of And No More Shall We Part featuring Tony and Emmy Award nominee Alfred Molina and Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee Jane Kaczmarek.

  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.

Gabriel Ebert, Matt Ryan, and Keira Knightley in Roundabout Theatre Company's 'Thérèse Raquin'
Sara Krulwich/The New York Times


  Tony Award winning scenic designer, Beowulf Boritt received his third Tony nomination last month for his design for the Roundabout Theatre Company production of Thérèse Raquin.

 

His previous designs for Broadway include Rock of Ages, Sondheim on Sondheim, The Scottsboro Boys, Chaplin, and Act One -- for which he won his Tony Award.

He also designed The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and On The Town at Barrington Stage in Pittsfield, moving those designs to Broadway. He’ll return to BSC this summer, designing their production of The Pirates of Penzance.

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.

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.

  When a group of 20-something theatre professionals, spearheaded by David Turner, Martha Banta and David King, decided to found a summer theatre in 1994, they wanted to take “the road less traveled” and focus on new work.

Each summer the Adirondack Theatre Festival produces a six week season of theatre for an audience of more than 6,000 using professional artists from New York City and across the country. 

Their 2016 Season begins next month.

Chad Rabinovitz is the Producing Artistic Director of ATF and he joins us now for a preview of their season.

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

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

  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.

  The Roundabout Theatre Company in New York City is celebrating it’s 50th Anniversary this year. The largest non-for-profit theatre company in America, Roundabout has grown from a small 150-seat theatre in a converted supermarket basement to operating five stages on and off Broadway.

Education at Roundabout is a branch of the organization that connects with students and teachers through customized school partnerships, residency programs, mentorships and workshops, internships, apprenticeships, backstage tours, talkbacks and pre-show workshops. For each Roundabout production, Education also creates Upstage guides, which include interviews, contextual information, teacher resources and activities, and presents a post-show Lecture Series -- reaching 22,000 students and teachers each year.

Jennifer DiBella is the Director of Education at Roundabout.

Education at Roundabout’s 6th Annual Student Theatre Arts Festival will take place on May 16th.

  Derek McLane is a Tony and Emmy Award-winning production designer for stage and screen. He designed the last four consecutive Academy Awards telecasts and all three of NBC’s recent LIVE musical events: The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, and The Wiz. He was the production designer for the HBO documentary, Becoming Mike Nichols and the European tour, Hans Zimmer Revealed.

McLane’s most recent design to open on Broadway is for Fully Committed written by Becky Mode, directed by Jason Moore, and starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson. A selection of previous Broadway show’s on his resume are: Noises Off, Beautiful, the Carole King Musical, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Follies, Anything Goes, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, and 33 Variations -- for which he won his Tony Award in 2009.

In our region he’s worked at The Williamstown Theatre Festival and is designing Barrington Stage Company’s Musical Theatre Lab World Premiere of Presto Change-o, which opens later this month in Pittsfield. He’s a busy guy - that list includes less than half of what he’s done and we didn’t even mention everything he’s working on this week.

  CENTERstage Productions hosts Warrior Productions and The Second Annual Short Play Festival at The CENTER for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck May 6, 7 & 8.

Eight short plays of new and original works will be showcased and we are joined by Elaine Fernandez, playwright and President and Founder of Warrior Productions; and playwrights Marianna Boncek and Nadeen Currie.

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

Will Gallacher (Tin Man puppeteer), James Ortiz (the Tin Man/Nick Chopper) and Eliza Martin Simpson as Nimmee, the object of the Tin Man’s affection
Matthew Murphy

  The critically acclaimed Off-Broadway re-telling of how Oz's Tin Man lost his heart features James Ortiz as the star, creator, puppet designer, co-director and writer in The Woodsman, a beautiful imaginative theatrical experience by Strangemen & Co.

The show is currently running at New World Stages in New York City.

Becky Mode, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Jason Moore
Walter McBride / Getty Images

  Fully Committed starring Jesse Tyler Ferguson opens tonight at the Lyceum Theatre in New York City.

The play, written by Becky Mode, follows a day in the life of Sam. His job is to man the red-hot reservation line at Manhattan's number-one restaurant. Jesse Tyler Ferguson (best known for his Emmy nominated work as Mitchell on ABC’s Modern Family) plays all 40 characters, acting out the coercion, threats, bribes, and histrionics of both the would-be patrons and the staff at the very chic eatery.

Jason Moore directs this production which is scheduled for a limited run through July 24th. Moore directed the films Sisters, starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and Pitch Perfect. For Broadway he's directed Shrek The Musical and the Tony Award winning production of Avenue Q.

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

  Pam MacKinnon is one of America’s most acclaimed theatre directors. In 2013, MacKinnon earned both the Tony Award for Best Direction and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director of a Play for the 50th Anniversary Broadway revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? In 2010, she won an Obie Award, and was nominated for Tony and Lortel Awards, as the director of Bruce Norris’s Clybourne Park, which received the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play.

She is an alumna of the Drama League, Women’s Project, and the Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab, as well as an Associate Artist of the Roundabout Theater Company, executive board member of Stage Directors and Choreographers, and board chair of Clubbed Thumb, a New York City downtown theatre company dedicated to new American plays.

She will deliver the 20th annual Burian Lecture at the University at Albany on Monday, April 18 at 8 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Earlier that same day, at 4:15 p.m., MacKinnon will hold an informal seminar, which will also be held in the Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center on the UAlbany uptown campus.

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

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.

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: Hello, My Name Is Doris

Upcoming:
Bearthoven and Battle Trance- EMPAC, Troy, Thursday, April 7
WCDB’s 38th Anniversary—Jazz Night- The Low Beat, Albany, Friday, April 8
The Realish Housewives of Clifton Park- Proctors, Schenectady, Friday-Sunday, April 8-10
Crystal Bowersox- Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Saturday, April 9
The Cat and the Canary with live music- Capitol Theatre, Rome, Saturday, April 9
An Evening With CS Lewis (with actor David Payne)- Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Sunday, April 10 at 2:30 PM
NY Theatre Ballet’s Cinderella- The Egg, Albany, Sunday, April 10 at 3 PM
Artemis Quartet   (Mozart, Shostakovich, Beethoven)- Union College Memorial Chapel, Schenectady, Sunday, April 10 at 3 PM
Sam Bush- Egg, Albany, Sunday, April 10
Zvi Dance- University at Albany PAC, Albany, Sunday, April 10
Neil deGrasse Tyson: An Astrophysicist Goes to the Movies- Proctors, Schenectady, Monday, April 11

  In 1996, David Payne attended an audition at Nashville’s prestigious Tennessee Performing Arts Center in the hopes of landing a small part in this play about C.S. Lewis and his American wife. What was a surprise is that he landed the lead role and a stage career had been begun.

Since those early performances in 1996, Payne who, on stage, uncannily looks like Lewis, has since played the famous author in a number productions. Yet it is his portrayal of Lewis in An Evening with C.S. Lewis that has won him many accolades and thrilled the many, many thousands that have attended over 500 performances.

David Payne will be performing the show on Sunday at 2:30 at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.

  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.”

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