Stagestruck: An Immersive “Winter’s Tale” in Greenfield
Sep26

Stagestruck: An Immersive “Winter’s Tale” in Greenfield

Walking Through Time “In Scene 13, Leontes mourning his wife, things get a little more dialog-y. That needs to be run and worked on today,” says John Bechtold, creator of the immersive production of The Winter’s Tale that performs in downtown Greenfield this weekend. Leading a rehearsal earlier this month, he’s surrounded by his large cast on an upper floor of The Arts Block, laying out assignments for today’s multitasking rehearsal....

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Million Dollar Quartet: Four legendary musicians, one fateful day
Sep26

Million Dollar Quartet: Four legendary musicians, one fateful day

It sounds like the beginning of a joke: So, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis walk into a recording studio …. But in December of 1956, this foursome just happened to all be in the same recording studio — Sam Phillips’ Sun Records in Memphis — at the same time and all in the mood to jam. A recording and rock ‘n’ roll history was made that day. Million Dollar Quartet by Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott is...

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Stagestruck: Rock’n’Roll Hootenanny
Sep26

Stagestruck: Rock’n’Roll Hootenanny

You could call Million Dollar Quartet a fictional documentary. The show is based on a real-life incident and most of the basic facts are true, but almost everything that happens onstage is made up. This is a jukebox musical in a literal sense: Most of the two dozen songs were fixtures on those brightly lit Seeburg boxes in the early days of rock’n’roll when, as long we had a dime, the music would never stop. And from the look of it,...

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Stagestruck: Full Immersion
Sep21

Stagestruck: Full Immersion

I was intrigued by the description of The Water Project in the press release I received: “Live theater joins forces with the Pioneer Valley’s thriving independent music scene in this original immersive production. … Immerse yourself in the currents of time in this story of the flooding of the Quabbin Reservoir.” I was interested by the project’s provenance: adapted by Emma Ayres from her original play, which itself was inspired...

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Stagestruck: A Spectacle in Springfield, Rural meets urban as Double Edge Theatre comes to town
Sep19

Stagestruck: A Spectacle in Springfield, Rural meets urban as Double Edge Theatre comes to town

I usually find Double Edge Theatre on their home turf — at The Farm in rural Ashfield — where they live and work and, every summer, perform a “traveling spectacle” that takes audiences on an episodic journey around the spread. But last week I encountered company members in inner-city Springfield, rehearsing for a show that will have two free performances this weekend in the sylvan confines of the city’s Forest Park. Titled simply The...

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Play it Again, Sheldon, The Red Guitar at the Shea
Sep19

Play it Again, Sheldon, The Red Guitar at the Shea

Play it Again, Sheldon   John Sheldon has latched himself to so many meteoric musical acts, it’s a wonder that he hasn’t ascended beyond our earthly ears completely. Thankfully, he retains an intimate connection to the Valley, despite his years writing and playing for acts like Van Morrison and James Taylor (also, ask him about his brush with Jimi Hendrix sometime). In the staged musical retrospective The Red Guitar, Sheldon connects...

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