by Gail M. Burns, August 2006

The remaining show in the inaugural season of Barrington Stage Company’s Musical Theatre Lab – Disorder: A Mother/Daughter Vaudeville is not open for review, therefore I will not be writing one. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to take this opportunity to encourage you to go and see the show, and here’s why:

In the winter of 2004, I couldn’t get anyone to drive down to Barrington Stage (then in Sheffield) with me to see a show called The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. When I came home talking about this guy called Mister Barfee who spelled words with his Magic Foot, they thought I was crazy. My husband still didn’t get it when I woke him out of a sound sleep 14 months later to announce that Mister Barfee (Dan Fogler) had won a Tony. But today people are deeply impressed that I had the foresight to drive over an hour on an icy February afternoon to catch this big Broadway hit in its nascent stage.

Well right now its high summer, there’s no snow or ice on the road. Its stays light out until 8:30 p.m., there’s plenty of parking at the Berkshire Athenaeum, and you have no excuse not to go see this presentation by the Barrington Stage Musical Theatre Lab program, mentored by “…Spelling Bee”’s composer William Finn.

You may see a future Tony winner. You may see someone who has already been nominated for or won several. You may see a diamond in the rough, or you may see an absolute dog that contains a gem of a performance by someone who turns out to be the next Meryl Streep. You may use this trip to the theatre as a chance to spend time with a friend or family member you haven’t seen in a while, and whose company you will always treasure.

There are a million good reasons to take a chance on work in progress, especially when mounted by a company as professional and well-connected as Barrington Stage. And it’s fun to see how a work-in-progress progresses. Everybody has to crawl before they can win the New York Marathon. So go and see what future champions are toddling around in the playpen. You’ll be glad you did.

For tickets or more information about any Barrington Stage Company production, call the box office at 413-236-8888, or visit the BSC Web site

copyright Gail M. Burns, 2006

Leave a Reply