Our Berkshire Review of the Arts :
July 6 - July 20
Your Guide to the Best in Arts and Entertainment
By: Larry Murray - Jul 04, 2009
July 6 - July 20
Performances at Koussevitzky Shed, Ozawa Hall, Gould Auditorium, Theatre
297 West Street, Lenox
July 10: Nielsen, Beethoven and Brahms at 8:00
July 11: Wagner Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, Act III at 8:30
July 17: Mozart and Mahler at 8:30
July 18: Film Night at Tanglewood
You can find complete details on the 2009 Season here.
Saratoga NY Performing Arts Center (SPAC)
109 Avenue of the Pines
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Box Office 518.584.9330
With only scattered offerings, opera in the Berkshires has continued to be a rare commodity. Not that far away, Lake George Opera continues to offer professional opera in Saratoga, New York. For its 48th season they are offering fully staged productions of Donizetti's Don Pasquale and Puccini's Madama Butterfly from July 2 to 12. All performances take place at the Spa Little Theater. Madama Butterfly is directed by Helena Binder and conducted by David T. Heusel; the Don Pasquale is directed by Nelson Sheeley and conducted by Curtis Tucker.
Madama Butterfly - uly 2 - 7:30pm, July 5 - 2:00pm, July 8 - 2:00pm, July 10 - 7:30pm, July 12 - 2:00pm
Don Pasquale - July 3 - 7:30pm, July 7 - 2:00pm, July 9 - 2:00pm, July 11 - 7:30pm
Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival
358 George Carter Road, Becket
Box Office 413.243.0745
CEDAR LAKE CONTEMPORARY BALLET - July 8-12 with live music at the Ted Shawn Theatre. In a non-stop thrill ride, the fiercely athletic dancers of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet perform the world premiere of Orbo Novo (New World). Rarely seen in the U.S., Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's intense and eclectic inventiveness makes him Europe's most in-demand choreographic force. Orbo Novo premieres to a live, original score for piano and strings by the fast ascending Polish composer, Szymon Brzóska.
GALLIM DANCE - July 8-12 in the Doris Duke Theatre. Share the exhilaration of this young company as it bursts onto the dance scene, making the leap from the Pillow's Inside/Out stage last season. Artistic Director Andrea Miller, who danced with Ohad Naharin's incomparable Batsheva, leads her ensemble of fearlessly physical performers. Recently named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch," Gallim Dance performs Miller's latest work, Blush, set to a score as quirky as her choreography, with music by Manyfingers, Wolf Parade, Radiohead and Chopin.
CENTRE CHOREGRAPHIQUE NATIONAL DE GRENOBLE - JEAN-CLAUDE GALLOTTA - GROUPE EMILE DUBOIS - July 15-19 in the Ted Shawn Theatre. Here are the stories of two lovers, a mother and daughter, an elderly man... ten characters of varying ages cross paths in this charming, evocative production. The superb storyteller Jean-Claude Gallotta choreographs the joys and perils of life in the U.S. premiere of Des gens qui dansent. Gallotta's skillful, genuine dancers illustrate familiar life narratives with joyful, unconventional choreography, bringing everyday life to the stage in a beautiful fashion.
DAVID ROUSSEVE/REALITY - July 15-19 in the Doris Duke Theatre. Rousseve's unforgettable dance-theatre production, Saudade, chronicles the bittersweet, inspiring story of southern African-Americans to the soulful sound of Portuguese fado music. An exquisite international cast illuminates a mosaic of movement and touching monologues that span from slavery to Hurricane Katrina, beautifully integrating traditional dance from India, Indonesia and West Africa with a postmodern approach.
INSIDE/OUT: Is a series of shorter, free performances on an outdoor stage in the woods at 6:30 unless otherwise noted:
July 3 - Soul Steps
July 8 - Parul Shah Dance Company
July 9 - American Ballroom Theater Youth Dance Company
July 10 - Adele Myers and Dancers
July 11 - The Pillow School - The Hip-Hop Continuum
July 15 - Erick Hawkins Dance Company
July 16 - Laura Peterson Choreography
July 17 - Headless Whorse Dance
July 18 - The Pillow School - Contemporary Traditions
Saratoga NY Performing Arts Center (SPAC)
New York City Ballet
109 Avenue of the Pines
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Box Office 518.584.9330
The New York City Ballet takes up its annual residence at SPAC from July 7 - 18. They will perform 20 different ballets, including three performances of full-length story ballet Coppélia, a work partially commissioned by SPAC that had its world premiere on SPAC's stage in 1974. Other highlights include George Balanchine's Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, the centerpiece of the July 11 Ballet Gala, and the one-act Swan Lake. The season will also feature the Saratoga premieres of new works by Benjamin Millepied and Melissa Barak. Peter Martins' 1994 work Papillons will also have its first ever performance at SPAC. Matinees at 2:00, Evenings at 8:00.
July 7 - Russian Music Masters, including Romeo and Juliet, more
July 8 - Founding Choreographers, Balanchine and Robbins Firebird, more
July 9 - Mat. Russian Music Masters; Eve. Mixed Repertory
July 10 - Founding Choreographers, Balanchine and Robbins, Firebird
July 11 - The Ballet Gala - Americana incl. Stars & Stripes, Slaughter
July 14 - Swan Lake, New Millepied Ballet, 4 Temperaments
July 15 - Coppélia (Delibes/Balanchine and Danilova, after Petipa (American Girl Night)
July 16 - Mat. Balanchine, Martins, Barak; Eve. Balanchine, Millepied
July 17 - Coppélia and Friday Family Night
July 18 - Mat. Coppélia (Delibes/Balanchine and Danilova, after Petipa)
July 18 - Eve. Mixed Rep, Balanchine, Barak, Robbins (Fireworks after the performance)
Special events in connection with these performances include American Girl Night, July 15 Â– One of last year's biggest hits, this event sponsored by Emma Willard School will feature tea parties, crafts and giveaways. Lawn admission for children 12 and under is $5 this evening to benefit SPAC's educational Vivienne Anderson children's program.
Thursday Date Nights, July 9, 16 Upscale beer and wine tastings and other events for couples.
Friday Family Nights, July 10, 17 Children and families can enjoy free Stewart's ice cream, strolling magicians, face painting and more, before the Ballet's Friday evening performances.
111 South Street, Pittsfield
Box Office 413.997.4444
GLENN MILLER ORCHESTRA: Thursday, July 9 at 7:30. The legendary Glenn Miller was the most successful of all the big bandleaders back in the Swing era of the 1930s and '40s. Currently led by trombonist Larry O'Brien, the 19-member band continues to play the original Miller arrangements that keep exciting fans around the world.
THE TEMPTATIONS: Sunday, July 12 at 7:00. Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Motown Records. They've always been known for their fabulous vocals, smooth stepping and flawless presentations. The "Temptations Walk" became a staple of American style. Flair, flash & class. Many saw them as "cultural heroes". Remember "My Girl" and "Get Ready"?
JAMES NAUGHTON: Monday, July 13 at 7:30. Two-time Tony Award-winner ("Chicago," "City of Angels"), film & television star James Naughton, has won critical acclaim in dramas, comedies and musicals. He has met equal success with his elegant and intimate solo concert/Cabaret acts, receiving the 1999 Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs Award for Best Male Vocalist.
STEVE EARLE SOLO & ACOUSTIC: Tuesday, July 14 at 7:30. . We look forward to this remembrance of Townes Van Zandt, the subject of his newest album. "Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world and I'll stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that." Steve Earle (1995)
DAVID BRENNER: Leave 'Em Laughing Tour: Saturday, July 18 at 8 pm. A life's journey from birth up to about five minutes ago.
JEFF DANIELS: Monday, July 20 at 7:30. When you think of "grassroots" and "down to earth," you don't normally think of a movie star. But, that is what Jeff Daniels has accomplished with his second CD, Grandfather's Hat, proving that he is not an actor who sings, but an accomplished singerÂ–songwriter whose musical talent stands alone.
Mahaiwe Peforming Arts Center
14 Castle Street, Great Barrington
Box Office 413.528.0100
DOVE/O'KEEFE - CIRCLES OF INFLUENCE: Wednesday, July 8 AT 7:00. Free. The life and art of Georgia O'Keeffe has fascinated art lovers and critics since she burst onto the scene in the early twentieth century. This summer the Clark adds a new chapter to the discussion of her life with Dove/O'Keeffe: Circles of Influence, the first exhibition to reveal the role of modernist painter Arthur Dove in O'Keeffe's artistic development. In this free lecture, director of the Clark's center for education in the visual arts, Michael Cassin explores O'Keeffe's life and continued friendship with Dove and his role in the development of her early abstractionist paintings. This Clark-exclusive exhibition is on view June 7 - September 7, 2009.
YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND: Thursday, July 9 at 8:00. With little radio support, Yonder Mountain has become one of the fastest rising touring bands in the country, its fanbase having ballooned through high-profile festival sets, all of which are full of improv and none of which feature the same set list. It can't be understated just what the band has achieved with that non-traditional banjo/bass/mandolin/guitar line-up. Using bluegrass as its bedrock, the band has grown like few rock bands do.
BEBE NEUWIRTH: Saturday, July 11 at 8:00. She has it all. An unmistakable voice, a dancer's body, all in one consummate performer. An arched eyebrow, a subtle shimmy and a flick of her wrist is all she needs to keep you in the palm of her hand. With two Tony awards and two Emmy Awards, she is considered television and Broadway royalty. With her mesmerizing vocal abilities, Bebe Neuwirth is a true singing actress; an exciting song stylist, captivating audiences across the country with her signature brand of supple sass and sexiness.
Bebe's current show features an exciting and eclectic selection of songs. She has become a premiere interpreter of the works of Kurt Weill as well as her Chicago composers, John Kander and Fred Ebb. Bebe also sings Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim and Tom Waits. Her fresh interpretations of timeless songs allows you to hear them as if they were new. Sometimes dramatic, or funny or heartbreaking Bebe's one woman show, Stories with Piano promises an unforgettable evening.
SYMPHONY SPACE SELECTED SHORTS: Sunday, July 12 at 3:00. Hosted by Symphony Space Artistic Director Isaiah Sheffer, this program will feature "I Was Really Very Hungry" (from As They Were by M.F.K. Fisher) read by Frances Sternhagen, "The Thrill of the Grass" (from The Thrill of the Grass by W.P. Kinsella) read by Isaiah Sheffer, and "The Adventure of a Reader" (from Difficult Loves by Italo Calvino) read by Charles Keating. Frances Sternhagenhas been nominated for the Tony Award seven times, and has received it twice; Charles Keating won an Emmy Award for his performance in Another World and a received a Tony Award nomination for his appearance in Loot.
BERKSHIRE PLAYWRIGHTS LAB: Wednesday, July 15 at 8:00. Daria Polatin is in the spotlight as his wonderful free series continues. BPL member Bob Jaffe will direct a staged reading workshop production of Guidance by Daria Polatin which concerns a new high school guidance counselor. When he gets caught up in the lives of his students, involved with a frazzled parent, and placed on an "educational" committee that's banning books, not even his Advil addiction can save him.
Daria Polatin is a playwright, television writer, and screenwriter, who also composes music and writes fiction. She was nominated for the 2007 Wasserstein Prize for playwriting, was a 2007 Princess Grace Award finalist, and was a semifinalist for the 2009 P73 Playwriting Fellowship. The BPL is dedicated to encouraging, developing, and presenting new plays while offering audiences the unique and provocative opportunity to share in the dramatic evolution of premiere works. Berkshire Playwrights Lab Artistic Directors are Joe Cacaci, Jim Frangione, Bob Jaffe, and Mathew Penn.
1040 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams
AIMEE MANN: Saturday, July 11 at 8:00. Mann has always been known for her clever, literate, and witty takes on emotional sabotage and self-destruction. Q Magazine gave her 2008 album @#%&! Smilers 4 stars out of 5.
BANG ON A CAN SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL. July 16 - August 1. The Festival performs in a variety of spaces on the MASS MoCA campus and throughout the community to create and perform new music. Performances daily (except Sundays) with gallery recitals at 1:30 and 4:30pm. Full details here.
Barrington Stage Company
Main Stage 30 Union Street, Pittsfield
Stage II 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield
Box Office 413.236.8888
CAROUSEL: Now through July 11. Read our review here. Rodgers and Hammerstein's masterpiece tells the bittersweet love story between the carnival barker roustabout Billy Bigelow (Aaron Ramey) and the naïve young mill worker Julie Jordan (Patricia Noonan). The glorious score includes "June is Bustin' Out All Over," "If I Loved You" and "You'll Never Walk Alone." Carousel, with its flawless blend of song and scenes, was Rodgers and Hammerstein's favorite score. Main Stage.
UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL: July 8 -26. Underneath the Lintel is the tale of a Dutch librarian (Glynis Bell), who, upon finding a 113-year overdue book goes on a search to find the culprit, and winds up on a life-changing quest. One clue builds upon another as this once-staid librarian embarks on a journey that spans the globe the result of which carries mystical and spiritual implications. Written by Glen Berger and directed by Andrew Volkoff, the adventure of Underneath the Lintel is storytelling at its best. July 10 at 7:30 is Pay-What-You-Can night ($5 minimum) for those 35 and under. Preview tickets for July 8 and 9 are $15.00. At Barrington's Stage 2.
HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2: July 15 - August 16 at St. Joseph High School in Pittsfield, presented by Barrington Stage's Youth Theatre. With a cast of 15 of the most talented teenagers from the Berkshires and beyond, this sequel reunites audiences with East High Wildcats, Troy , Gabriella and friends as they land summer jobs at a country club, where drama heats up after Troy agrees to sing with notorious mean girl Sharpay in the club's annual talent show. This musical is fun, family-friendly and appropriate for children of all ages.
SLEUTH: July 16-August 1 on the Main Stage. Described as a fiendishly clever comedy thriller. The Tony award-winning Sleuth is set in an English country house owned by a famous mystery writer and ingenious gamester. When he invites his wife's lover for drinks, the two men play a wily cat and mouse game where suspense and cunning reign supreme. The brilliant combination of laughter and terror made this long play one of the most popular in Broadway history. Written by Anthony Shaffer and directed by Jesse Berger with Charles Shaughnessy and Jeremy Bobb.
Berkshire Theatre Festival
Main Stage Main Street (Route 102), Stockbridge
Unicorn Theatre Route 7, Stockbridge
Box Office 413.298.5576
THE EINSTEIN PROJECT: June 30 to July 18. The Einstein Project is a fascinating look at one of the titans of the 20th century: Albert Einstein. This truly unique theatrical experience seeks to humanize and contextualize a man that we all think we know. Through conversations with his son Edmund and his colleagues, we are able to truly visualize the man who, however reluctantly, ushered in the Atomic Age. With James Barry, Brandy Caldwell, David Chandler, Kyle Fabel, Jesse Hinson, Walter Hudson, Tommy Schrider, Miranda Hope Shea and C.J. Wilson. Main Stage.
CANDIDE: July 8 - August 15 in the Unicorn Theatre. Leonard Bernstein's popular operetta-musical about "the best of all possible worlds". Ralph Petillo will direct the piece, based on the novella by Voltaire, and featuring a book by Hugh Wheeler. It tells the story of a young man's journey of self-discovery as he tries to find his place in a world that appears to be growing increasingly hostile. BTF has recently introduced special pricing for students with valid ID of $15 a ticket for most performances, Saturday evenings excepted.
6 Main Street
East Haddam, CT
Box Office: 860.873.8668
CAMELOT: July 10 - September 19. It's bit of a drive, but Goodspeed Musicals, the only two-time Tony Award winning theatre company in the country is always worth the effort. Their new production of Camelot, with the music of Lerner and Loewe is to die for. Directed by Rob Ruggiero, once a Berkshires regular at Barrington Stage, this show gets the full scale production with live orchestra and lavish sets that makes Goodspeed productions so special. Tickets are tough to secure on the weekends, so plan ahead.
Shakespeare & Company
Founders Theatre, Rose Footprint, Bernstein Theatre
70 Kemble Street, Lenox
Box Office 413.637.3353
PINTER'S MIRROR: Now through August 2. Reviewed here. Three brilliant one-act plays commemorating the darkly comedic insight of Harold Pinter. Performed by Elizabeth and Malcolm Ingram, a rare chance to see and hear exceptionally gifted actors breath life into Pinter's taut language. Pinter dissected. The cast includes Elizabeth Ingram and Malcolm Ingram joined by Stephen Pilkington. Bernstein Theatre.
HAMLET: Now through August 28. Reviewed here. Shakespeare's uncontested masterpiece (background interview here) played to packed houses at Shakespeare & Company in 2006, and returns for a limited run. With Jason Asprey as Hamlet, Tina Packer as Gertrude, Dennis Krausnick as Polonius and Nigel Gore as Claudius. Founder's Theatre. Read our interview with Director Eleanor Holdridge here.
OTHELLO: Now through September 6. Mainstage in the Founder's Theatre. Back for a second year, this gut-wrenching story of love, racism and betrayal is as startling, relevant and timely today as when it first performed over 400 years ago. Directed by Tony Simotes. John Douglas Thompson gives a powerful performance as The Moor of Venice, and which was cited last year as the best of the season by BFA.
MEASURE FOR MEASURE: July 10 - September 5. Performed in the Elayne Bernstein Theatre as part of the new Lunch Box Shakespeare Series. Performances are at 12:45 PM with a boxed lunch before the performance. This Shakespeare shortie is directed by Dave Demke and tells the story of Isabella who must choose an awful choice - the death of her condemned brother or surrendering her virginity to a corrupt politician who can commute the sentence. Written as a thinly veiled comedy about hypocrisy, corruption and sex for trade in high places, it's a story as contemporary as today's cable news coverage.
OTHER EVENTS: There's a lot going on around the campus of Shakespeare & Company. There's the two-part "Toad of Toad Hall" presented during the afternoons which is adapted from The Wind in the Willows by A.A. Milne at the Rose Footprint Theatre and Bankside. Then there are daily Preludes which are sort outdoor performances. All are free. Check their website for specifics.
104 Walker Street
Lenox, MA 01240
Box Office: 413.637.3206
PARIS 1890 - UNLACED! Now to September 6. A wonderful show that provides a humorous, slightly risqué and poignant glimpse into Parisian society of the Gilded Age and its controversial "Grand Horizontal" ladies. The play was commissioned by Ventfort Hall from playwright Juliane Hiam and stars Anne Undeland in a one-woman adventure into the past. Sarah Taylor, formerly of Shakespeare & Company, directs. A delightful way to spend an hour and fifteen minutes with the courtesans of the past. Report here.
Williamstown Theater Festival
'62 Center for Theatre and Dance
1000 Main Street (Route 2), Williamstown
Box Office: 413.597.3400
CHILDREN: July 1-12. Reviewed here. The Williamstown season is underway with Tony-nominee John Tillinger directing this timeless A.R. Gurney classic set in a large summer home on an island off the coast of Massachusetts. The excellent cast includes stars Tony-winner Katie Finnernan, Judith Light, Mary Bacon and James Waterston. When an estranged brother's return and a mother's impending marriage recall painful memories of their father's death, seething arguments reignite one family's struggle with its tragic past and uncertain future.
SCHMOOZY TOGETHERNESS: July 6-12. Annual Free Theatre Producton for children and adults on the Main Stage. This is a new musical that follows a young girl, named Schmoozy Togetherness, who has lost her imagination and must find it before the end of recess. With the help of a mysterious boy named Phineas T. Happenstance, Schmoozy must navigate her way through the Metaforest using three pieces of advice that her teacher gave her. Will she make it back to class in time? Schmoozy Togetherness begins performances on Monday, July 6 at 7pm then plays Tuesday, July 7 through Sunday, July 12 at 11am.
KNICKERBOCKER: July 8-19 on the Nikos Stage. A world premiere by Jonathan Marc Sherman, directed by Nicholas Martin. Jerry wonders if he is ready as his unborn son grows and the birth date draws nearer. Will the advice, encouragement and warnings of friends and family make Jerry more or less ready? The awe and terror of becoming a new parent shines through Sherman's newest play as he examines whether one can ever truly be ready for parenthood. With Brooks Ashmanskas, Peter Dinklage, Bob Dishy, Rightor Doyle, Annie Parisse, Susan Pourfar and Reg Rogers
MRS. MANNERLY: July 10 at 3:00. New Play Reading Series. Directed by John Rando. Jeffrey, Mrs. Mannerly's new student, has, at 10 years old, a drive un-seen previously in the world of etiquette. He wants to get a perfect score on Mrs. Mannerly's impossible test in front of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Will he do it? And at what cost? In this two-person comedy, Playwright Jeffrey Hatcher explores the differences between people who use manners and people who have them.
KIDS DAY: Saturday, July 11 at 9:30 AM. Taking place on the front lawn of the theatre prior to the performance of Schmoozy Togetherness (listed above), Kids' Day allows children of all ages to partake in theatre games, dancing, crafts, get autographs and more with WTF company members.
MISTAKES WERE MADE: July 17 at 3:00. Written by Craig Wright, Directed by Jeremy Cohen with Joey Pantoliano. Theatre producer, Felix Artifex works and works all day from his desk. At any moment all ten of his phone lines could be full of people wanting and needing something. His only comfort is a huge, ugly Koi goldfish that lives in a tank in his office. As he tries to put his latest projectÂ—Mistakes Were Made, a play about the French RevolutionÂ—together he must appease a Hollywood star's creative input, gently make suggestions to the writer, deal with agents, and free Italian-Americans carting trucks of sheep in a foreign land from a terrorist all in the name of theatre. At the end of the day, one wonders, is it worth it?
TRUE WEST: July 15-26 on the Main Stage. Sam Shepard's table-turning thriller is directed by Daniel Goldstein. with a cast that includes former WTF Apprentice Nate Corddry and his real-life brother Rob Corddry as the squabbling siblings in this Pulitzer Prize-winning play. This modern classic is an explosive exploration of family rivalry as two very different brothers attempt to sell Hollywood their version of the great American Western.
50 Spring Street, Williamstown
Movie Line: 413.458.5612
Now to July 16 Public Enemies (R)
July 17 -23 Away We Go (R)
Little Cinema at the Berkshire Museum
39 South Street
July 3-9 Pressure Cooker (NR)
July 10-16 Limits of Control (R)
July 17-23 My Life in Ruins (PG-13)