REVIEW: “The Cake” at Barrington Stage Company

by Barbara Walldinger Directions for a perfect production of The Cake:   start with a brilliant, sensitive and brave playwright (Bekah Brunstetter), add a director who understands the playwright’s message and translates it beautifully from page to stage (Jennifer Chambers), throw in a multi-talented actress who can embody the inner life…

REVIEW: “Bar Mitzvah Boy” at Chester Theatre Company

by Barbara Waldinger Metaphor:  the oft-repeated word describing Rabbi Michael Levitz-Sharon (Tara Franklin)’s view of biblical stories in Mark-Leiren-Young’s Bar Mitzvah Boy.  The Creation of the World in 7 Days, the Burning Bush, Noah’s Ark, the Binding of Isaac—all metaphors, not to be taken literally, according to the Rabbi. This…

REVIEW: “Cabaret” at the Mac-Haydn Theatre

by Macey Levin Cabaret, first produced in 1966, is set in 1929-1930 as the Nazi Party under the leadership of Adolf Hitler is growing into a major political/social force in Berlin.  This musical by John Kander (music,) Fred Ebb (lyrics) and Joe Masteroff (book) based on the play , was…

REVIEW: “The Road to Mecca” at Silverthorne Theater

by Jenny Hansell The Road to Mecca, South African playwright Athol Fugard’s 1984 play about an elderly artist in a remote desert town, is being given a rich, thoughtful production at the Silverthorne Theater in Greenfield. Elsa Barlow, a young school-teacher in Cape Town, has driven 12 hours to the…

REVIEW: “The Almost True and Truly Remarkable Adventures of Israel Potter” at Oldcastle

by Gail M. Burns Israel Potter: His Fifty Years of Exile, first published in serial form from 1854-1855, is Herman Melville’s only historical novel, based on the 1824 pamphlet The Life and Remarkable Adventures of Israel R. Potter by Henry Trumbull which Melville had acquired in the 1840’s. Melville disliked his…

REVIEW: “Church & State” at Berkshire Theatre Group

by Roseann Cane A screen descends, and on it a political television commercial appears. We hear the voice of Senator Charles Whitmore (Graham Rowat), a Republican North Carolinian candidate for the Senate, and see a familiar visual collage of family, flag, and good Christian folk. As the screen disappears, we…

REVIEW: “Anything Goes” at the Sharon Playhouse

by Macey Levin Cole Porter’s music has been part of the American Song Book since 1915 beginning with a little-known show Hands Up.  His breakthrough came in 1929 with Fifty Milllion Frenchmen but his place in the American Musical Theatre was guaranteed with Anything Goes in 1934 which brought stardom…

REVIEW: “The Tempest” GhostLit Rep at St. James Place

by Macey Levin Several of William Shakespeare’s plays have been made into musicals or operas… namely. The Comedy of Errors became Rodgers and Hart’s The Boys from Syracuse, The Taming of the Shrew became Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate, Othello became Verdi’s Otello.  A musical version of The Tempest is…

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