REVIEW: “Seascape” at the Berkshire Theatre Group

by Barbara Waldinger The stage at Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn has been transformed into a beach where a middle-aged, English-speaking, long-married couple are suddenly confronted by a younger, non-human, English-speaking couple:  two large lizards, who have come up out of the sea.  Given that this play, Seascape, was written by…

REVIEW: “Xanadu” at the Mac-Haydn Theatre

by Barbara Waldinger Picture a musical consisting of seven of the nine Greek Muses, daughters of Zeus (supposedly the other two are in the band), two of whom are males, whose leader (Clio, the Muse of History) wears roller skates, changes her name, and speaks with a bizarre Australian accent…

REVIEW: “Measure for Measure” at Shakespeare & Company

by Barbara Waldinger Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, now being staged at Shakespeare & Company’s Tina Packer Playhouse, is known as a “problem play.”  Neither tragedy nor comedy, it lives somewhere in between, which is probably why it is rarely produced.  But this Lenox company ended up with more problems than…

REVIEW: Berkshire Opera Festival’s “Don Giovanni”

by Barbara Waldinger In the age of Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein, how is a director embarking on a production of one of the many versions of the Don Juan story to approach the lasciviousness of the main character?   Beginning in the Middle Ages, across multiple genres and cultures…

REVIEW: “Thirst” at the Dorset Theatre Festival

by Barbara Waldinger “Set during Eugene O’Neill’s classic Long Day’s Journey Into Night, failure, denial and passion roil as two Irish servants and an American chauffeur pass the day in the kitchen of the Tyrone family’s residence in 1912.” (Publicity blurb: Dorset Theatre Festival’s production of Thirst by Ronán Noone). …

REVIEW: “To the Moon and Back” at the Chester Theatre Company

by Barbara Waldinger Chester Theatre Company’s mission statement includes two important goals:  offering audiences “fresh perspectives on vital issues” and developing and supporting new work.  Responding to this, along came Fran Henry, founder of a thirty-year-old organization called Stop It Now!, devoted to preventing “the sexual abuse of  children by…

REVIEW: “Hymn” at Shakespeare & Company

by Barbara Waldinger The Shakespeare & Company production of Hymn by Lolita Chakrabarti feels like two actors and a director searching for a plot.  Overstuffed with music, singing, dancing, boxing, changes of costume, set pieces and props (not to mention a ticking metronome) to help fill the 95 minutes, the…

REVIEW: “Next to Normal” at the Mac-Haydn Theatre

by Barbara Waldinger Bravo to the Mac-Haydn Theatre for daring to produce Next to Normal as part of their busy summer season schedule!  Imagine a musical about mental health alongside a lineup including A Chorus Line, Urinetown, Kiss Me Kate, The Full Monty, Xanadu and Forever Plaid.  Undaunted, Artistic Director/Director…

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