StageStruck: Waiting for Life to Resume
Jul21

StageStruck: Waiting for Life to Resume

Two plays at Valley theaters, both running through Saturday, share a common source – the ongoing Middle East catastrophe – and a similar circumstance: two Americans caught up in it, one unwillingly, the other almost compulsively. Both plays are receiving strong productions with excellent professional casts, making the most of smart, literate scripts that make the most of distressing situations. Sarah Goodwin, the central figure in...

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Stagestruck: Jacob’s Pillow — Tapping into the Essence of Dance
Jul20

Stagestruck: Jacob’s Pillow — Tapping into the Essence of Dance

If dance is “the hidden language of the soul,” as Martha Graham put it, tap is its least bashful dialect. For the past few years Jacob’s Pillow, the country’s premier modern dance festival, has featured tap dancing in its eclectic roster of summertime performances. There are two this summer: Michelle Dorrance, who pushes the leading edge of tap exploration ever further, comes back in August. Earlier this month, her friend and...

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Stagestruck: Shaking Up Shakespeare
Jul19

Stagestruck: Shaking Up Shakespeare

Shakespeare & Company doesn’t only do Shakespeare. This season, only three out of nine productions are by the company’s namesake, though several others play with Shakespearean themes, from a contemporary reflection on war to a political farce that resonates cheekily with the Bard’s most problematic comedy. That one is The Taming. Loosely inspired by his misogynistic comedy about that Shrew, it’s the smartest, funniest show I’ve...

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StageStruck: Cat and Tat
Jul14

StageStruck: Cat and Tat

Here’s one thing the two very different Tennessee Williams plays now running in the Berkshires have in common: The sets have no walls. In Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, on the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Stockbridge mainstage, four white-and-pastel pillars frame the sparsely but luxuriously furnished bedroom of Maggie the Cat and her impotent, alcoholic husband Brick. It’s a claustrophobic room, full of tension and resentment, but the invisible...

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‘Something about people lifting and throwing logs gets me all giggly and shouty’ Staff Picks for July 14-20, 2016
Jul12

‘Something about people lifting and throwing logs gets me all giggly and shouty’ Staff Picks for July 14-20, 2016

Split Shift/Fear Nuttin Band – Saturday Split Shift and Fear Nuttin Band are clebrating their 15th anniversaries this weekend. iRockRadio presents Rock Fest featuring the two bands, along with other locals: Sakara, Sever The Drama, NoSho, Neon Fauna, Sanity is Chaos, and The Search For. The all-day outdoor rock fest will be haeld at Watefront Tavern, 920 MAin St., Holyoke; 1-10 p.m.; 21-plus;...

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StageStruck: Power and Value
Jul07

StageStruck: Power and Value

Two brief plays currently running in the area look at the power and value of art through quite different lenses, but ask similar questions: How does a work of art “speak to us” as individuals? How does its character affect our perception of it? How does its very meaning change with our own investment in it? Investment, of the monetary kind, is uppermost in the mind of Maude Gutman in Bakersfield Mist, playing through this weekend at...

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