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  • Honoring Bessie Smith, Empress of the Blues

    All Stars at The Cabot in Beverly, MA.

    By: Doug Hall - Dec 11th, 2018

    The Cabot in Beverly, Mass. is gearing up for its Centennial in 2020. It escaped the wrecker's ball a few years ago and is now in the midst of renovation, Toward that end there was a gala, all star benefit tribute to a 1920s icon Bessie Smith The Empress of the Blues. It was a night to remember and indicator of the next chapter of a venerable venue.

  • Arcadia by Tom Stoppard

    Shotgun Players at Ashby Stage

    By: Victor Cordell - Dec 11th, 2018

    As expected from any Stoppard work, Arcadia is highly literate and entertaining. It is also full of passionate characters, crammed with information, and plays like a grand detective story as the moderns unravel the mysteries of the past while entwining themselves in amusing interactions

  • The Prisoner by Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne

    Large Questions at Theatre for a New Audience

    By: Susan Hall - Dec 09th, 2018

    We are in a neutral country, anywhere in the world where crimes are committed and people are punished. The question that pervades the quiet space of The Prisoner by Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne concerns appropriate retribution.

  • Scat Singers Sheila Jordan and Jay Clayton

    Keeping Jazz Alive at 90

    By: Charles Giuliano - Dec 10th, 2018

    Now 90, in 2012 Sheila Jordan was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master. With fellow singer and educator, Jay Clayton, they conducted a workshop. Last night they, and nine singers, performed during a pot luck gig at The Firehouse in swinging downtown Adams, Mass.

  • Onsite Opera Follows Menotti's Star

    Amahl and the Night Visitors Reimagined

    By: Susan Hall - Dec 08th, 2018

    Amahl and the Night Visitors was commissioned as a Christmas television special a half century ago. The composer, Gian Carlo Menotti, would appear often at its live presentations. He often pointed out that this is a story of a boy who has problems with his mother. He would ask members of the audience to raise their hands if they did. Most of the audience held their hands up high. That is not the only reason to enjoy this Christmas classic to which OnSite Opera has brought a new vision for today.

  • Golden Parachute for Van Shields

    Soft Landing for Berkshire Museum Director

    By: Charles Giuliano - Dec 09th, 2018

    Recent IRS filing reveals that when former Berkshire Museum director, Van Shields, abruptly departed he was given $92,000 in two payments. The second is due in January. There are also figures for the costly legal battles that resulted in selling 22 works of art to raise $53.25 million. From July 1 to Dec. 31, 2017, the museum incurred $1.6 million in legal costs. In April it paid off the full $1,852,426 outstanding balance on a $2 million line of credit.

  • Add Spice To Your Life

    Mixing It Up in the Kitchen

    By: Charles Giuliano - Dec 08th, 2018

    During the busy summer season in the Berkshires we eat and run. Winter is for more elaborate, experimental meals. On every level it means putting more spice in your life. Since Labor Day we have been having fun experimenting in the kitchen.

  • Annie In South Florida

    Beloved Musical in Boca Raton's Wick Theatre

    By: Aaron Krause - Dec 07th, 2018

    Renowned performer Sally Struthers stars and shines as Miss Hannigan in regional production of Annie. The cast excels in a touching, but not overly cute mounting. Annie plays Boca Raton's The Wick Theatre through Dec. 23.

  • Kentridge at Park Avenue Armory

    African Carriers in World War I

    By: Susan Hall - Dec 05th, 2018

    The Head and The Load by William Kentridge was prepared at Mass MOCA and arrives full-blown at the Park Avenue Armory in New York. We come, if not to know, to appreciate the contributions of hundreds of thousands of Africans to the Western effort in World War I. Who knew that African men were forced into service?

  • HeLa by J. Nicole Brooks

    Major Tom to Ground Control

    By: Nancy Bishop - Dec 06th, 2018

    Sideshow Theatre accomplishes a lot on a small stage in its world premiere production of HeLa by J. Nicole Brooks at the Greenhouse Theater Center. The scenes in HeLa go back and forth in time from 1951 to 1981-84 and finally 2001 when Suhaila, now an aerospace engineer, visits her Aunt Bird, who is suffering from cancer.

  • Boston Boy by Nat Hentoff

    A Memoir by a Radical Journalist and Jazz Critic

    By: Charles Giuliano - Dec 04th, 2018

    Nathan Irving “Nat’ Hentoff (June 10, 1925 – January 7, 2017) passed at 91 some time ago. Why then, in the waning moments of 2018, write a review of a book written some 32 years ago? Reading a memoir by a legendary radical journalist and jazz critic resonated with my own memories of growing up as a Boston Boy.

  • The Apple Boys by Jonothon Lyons and Ben Bonnema

    A Barbershop Quartet Offers Joy at HERE

    By: Susan Hall - Dec 07th, 2018

    Apple Boys bring the Barbershop Quartet into the 21st century. This musical form my have started as early as Beaumarchais in Barber of Seville in the 18th century. Both black and white musicians claim ownership. Every culture which discovered “harmony” in combined voices has used the four singer form.

  • War at the New York Philharmonic

    Jaap van Zweden Conducts

    By: Paul J. Pelkonen - Dec 02nd, 2018

    The extraordinary history of the Second World War casts a long shadow on any art music written in Europe in the 1930s and '40s. This week, the New York Philharmonic paired two of these works in a program of extraordinary intensity under music director Jaap van Zweden: a program that seemed to ask the following. Can art music, created under the shadow of extraordinary political and human event, somehow manage to transcend its origins and remain relevant to the audiences of today?

  • MasterVoices Handel's Israel in Egypt

    Carnegie Hall Stage Bursting with Artists

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 30th, 2018

    Handel’s Israel in Egypt was performed at Carnegie Hall by MasterVoices under Ted Sperling’s baton. The Oratorio planned for Easter and Passover is often presented at Christmas and Hanukkah.

  • The Revolutionists by Lauren Gunderson

    Liberté, égalité, sororité at Strawdog Theatre

    By: Nancy Bishop - Nov 29th, 2018

    Lauren M. Gunderson has been the most produced playwright in America for the last two years, and her work has won several awards, including the Steinberg/American Theatre Critics New Play Award for I and You. Gunderson’s conceit about four women ready for revolution is clever, and in act one, a bit too mannered, even coyly cute. But act two becomes more serious.

  • Chelsea Opera: Tom Cipullo One Acts

    Melissa Wimbish, Jennifer Beattie, Steven Eddy and Sara Paar

    By: Susan Hall - Dec 02nd, 2018

    Chelsea Opera is an enterprising company, now over fifteen years old. They presented two one-act operas by composer Tom Cipullo, a master of drama and the placement of notes in the voice. The setting in Christ and St. Stephen’s Church worked perfectly as staged by Dean Anthony, a singer who has spent the last decade successfully directing. A golden glow surrounds the now 68-year-old Josephine Baker who is being interviewed in her dressing room.

  • Shakespeare & Company Mourns Dennis Krausnick

    A Founder of the Lenox Company

    By: S&Co - Nov 29th, 2018

    Dennis Krausnick was a leader of Shakespeare & Compan, in Lenox, since its inception. In 1976 he was awarded an M.F.A. in Acting from New York University. It was at N.Y.U. where he met Tina Packer. They married in 1998. In 1978 Dennis helped found Shakespeare & Company with Tina and Kristin Linklater.

  • Brian Dennehy at LA's Geffen Playhouse

    Masterful One Acts by O'Neill and Beckett

    By: Jack Lyons - Nov 29th, 2018

    Actor Brian Dennehy is currently presenting a Master Class in acting with his one-man presentation of two One Acts: Eugene O’Neill’s “Hughie” and Samuel Beckett’s obtuse “Krapp’s Last Tape”.

  • Il Trittico at the Metropolitan Opera

    Placido Domingo Celebrates 50 years at the Met

    By: Paul J. Pelkonen - Nov 28th, 2018

    No work by Puccini has suffered more neglect and critical ignorance than Il Trittico, his "triptych" of three single act operas that premiered at the Metropolitan Opera one hundred years ago. Part of what has hurt the reputation of this work- comprised of three operas designed to be performed together and in a certain sequence- is the unfortunate habit producers have of playing these works individually, or pairing them "Cav-Pag" style with operas by other composers.

  • Elaine May in Waverly Gallery

    Back on Broadway

    By: Karen Isaacs - Nov 29th, 2018

    In Kenneth Lonergan’s The Waverly Gallery, Gladys is the center of the story as her grandson, her daughter and son-in-law and a young artist she has befriended deal with this decline over a two year period. Elaine May is making a rare stage appearance.

  • Hello Girls at 59E59 Theaters

    Over There is Brought Here

    By: Rachel de Aragon and Susan Hall - Dec 01st, 2018

    Hello Girls takes a most serious context, the fate of the troops in the trenches of WWI, and tackles the still relevant issue of women's rights and equality. The play harvests an engaging, upbeat and energized performance. Interesting and visually meaningful use of overhead projections (Lacey Ebb) provides both context and mood. The set plays with use of wire and lines, telephone lines, stringed instruments, rail lines battle-lines, and lines of march, which work together remarkably well.

  • Hello, Dolly!

    National Equity Tour of Iconic Musical

    By: Aaron Krause - Nov 26th, 2018

    An equity national touring production the recent Tony-winning revival of Hello, Dolly! is splendid. A superb Betty Buckley stars in the tour, which recently played in Miami and is marching its way north. Buckley's Dolly is modest, patient, friendly, joyful and vulnerable. .

  • Understudy by Theresa Rebeck

    At Coyote StageWorks

    By: Jack Lyons - Nov 29th, 2018

    Chuck Yates is one of the finest actors in the Coachella Valley winning many Desert Theatre League (DTL) Award trophies for excellence in theatre. In Rebeck's masterful The Understudy we have two male actor-candidates and one avenging female stage manager from Hell named Roxanne. She puts two male actors Harry and Jake auditioning for the role of the ‘understudy’ through their paces before giving them the okay to join the performing cast.

  • Chelsea Opera's Josephine Baker, Gertrude Stein and Picasso

    Tom Cipullo's Opera Featured

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 27th, 2018

    Chelsea Opera is a vibrant company committed to presenting new opera as well as the classics. On 1 December they will mount two one act New York premiers by the gifted composer, Tom Cipullo. Cipullo is rightly known as a composer for the voice, as well as a dramatist who creates a sound world of apt harmonies and melodies which reveal deep character and emotion. Opportunities to hear his work in New York are eagerly anticipated.

  • Eve's Song at Public Theater

    Patricia Ione Lloyd Is Playwright in Residence

    By: Rachel de Aragon - Nov 26th, 2018

    The invulnerability of middle-class achievement is haunted. Spooked by the present staccato-like news flashes from the television tell of black men shot, killed, dead . “We” don't discuss that sort of thing at dinner. Dark phantoms, shadows of women slide along the corridor where fear is a weakness which is not part of who 'we' are.

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