Stagestruck: Don’t Pass Over This One

Stagestruck: Don’t Pass Over This One

In a season when every major theater in the region has mounted shows reflecting on today’s racial tensions and evils, I found “Pass Over,” at Chester Theatre Company, the most compelling and affecting. If you see only one play this summer, see this one.

Stagestruck: The Land on Which We Dance

Stagestruck: The Land on Which We Dance

It’s become standard practice in the region’s theaters to offer a land acknowledgement before every performance. As Jacob’s Pillow’s artistic director Pamela Tatge says every night, “The land on which we dance is the ancestral homeland” of the Native peoples whose...

Stagestruck: Brothers in Blood

Stagestruck: Brothers in Blood

Two plays now running in our region center on pairs of Black brothers, one bonded by blood, the other by circumstance. Both offer reflections of Black lives not often seen around here, presented by theaters determined to make a difference, and both are worth a visit.

Stagestruck: Turning in the Keys

Stagestruck: Turning in the Keys

After a boundary-busting 30-year run, the Ko Festival of Performance is coming to a close with two final shows: a meditation on legacies and “an environmental, cultural and spiritual parable of domination and resilience.”

Stagestruck: Tropical Tolstoy

Stagestruck: Tropical Tolstoy

The title character in “Anna in the Tropics,” now playing at Barrington Stage Company, isn’t a person, but a book. And she plays a central role, thematically, narratively, even physically. The book is “Anna Karenina,” Leo Tolstoy’s winter’s tale of love – illicit, unrequited, doomed. The setting, though, in Nilo Cruz’s Pulitzer-winning play, is a Little Havana in 1920s Florida.

Stagestruck: Wars, Merry and Cold

Stagestruck: Wars, Merry and Cold

Just about the only things Shakespeare & Company’s two outdoor productions have in common are fresh air and trees. In the Bard’s sunny “Much Ado About Nothing,” Beatrice and Benedick engage in a “merry war” of wits, while in Lee Blessing’s “A Walk in the Woods,” two diplomats strive to negotiate an arms-control treaty in the shadow of nuclear war.

Stagestruck: Pillow in Motion

Stagestruck: Pillow in Motion

The evening unwraps slowly in a flowing sequence of encounters – tentative, teasing, edgy and sexy – as the dancers circle and entwine. They highlight “the beauty in our [Black] culture, the way we love and love on each other.”

Stagestruck: Small Disasters

Stagestruck: Small Disasters

Anna Ouyang Moench’s “Birds of North America,” at Chester Theatre Company, is the kind of piece in which Chester specializes and excels – small, subtle dramas that pull you in and make you think. It’s about climate change, but doesn’t hammer the theme. It’s more metaphor than polemic, more quiet anguish than loud confrontation.

Monte Belmonte Wines: The wine world is your oyster

Monte Belmonte Wines: The wine world is your oyster

Why, then, the world's mine oyster, Which I, with sword, will open.   — William Shakespeare  from The Merry Wives of Windsor   Scott Soares’s world is an oyster. Well, his world when he is not being appointed by Presidents Obama and Biden to be USDA Rural...

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Happenings in the Valley

Happenings in the Valley

Our online calendar has listings from organizations across the country hosting virtual events, but we’ve chosen to highlight some from local venues and groups.

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Stagestruck: Don’t Pass Over This One

Stagestruck: Don’t Pass Over This One

In a season when every major theater in the region has mounted shows reflecting on today’s racial tensions and evils, I found “Pass Over,” at Chester Theatre Company, the most compelling and affecting. If you see only one play this summer, see this one.