Arts Beat

by Mark G. Auerbach

Darnell Abraham and company in Ragtime at Barrington Stage, one of the Berkshires theatres participating in the TIX program. Photo by Daniel Rader.

Discount Tickets At Berkshires Theatres

If you’re a Broadway bargain hunter, you know about the TKTS booth in Times Square, where you can purchase discounted tickets for shows on the day of performances. For the 16th summer, you can also get ticket discounts on performance days for many WMass performance venues in The Berkshires.

It’s called the TIX program, made possible by 1Berkshire and the participating theatres. Patrons can buy same-day half-priced tickets to performances at three conveniently located TIX booths:  Barrington Stage Company Box Office at 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, Lenox Chamber Visitors Center at 4 Housatonic Street, Lenox and the Triplex Cinema at 70 Railroad Street, Great Barrington. The program runs through September 3, Tuesday through Sunday from 12N-4:30PM. TIX booths are closed Mondays with ticket sales for Mondays sold on Sundays. 

Participating arts groups are: Barrington Stage Company, Berkshire Choral International, Berkshire Theatre Group, Chester Theatre Company, Mac-Haydn Theatre, Shakespeare & Company, Sharon Playhouse, Tanglewood, The Theater Barn, and Williamstown Theatre Festival. 

For details: 413-743-1339 or www.berkshires.org

Oklahoma! Next at Goodspeed Musicals

Oklahoma!, the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, comes to Goodspeed Musicals  through September 23  in East Haddam, CT. Jenn Thompson, who put a dazzling spin and a fresh take on Goodspeed’s production of Bye Bye Birdie last summer, returns to stage the beloved musical chock full of hits like “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’,” “The Surrey With the Fringe on Top”, and of course, the title song.

Oklahoma!, based on Lynn Riggs’ play Green Grow The Lilacs, launched the collaboration of Richard Rodgers, who had primarily worked with Lorenz Hart, and Oscar Hammerstein II, who had worked with notables including Jerome Kern. This union brought other Broadway blockbusters including Carousel, The King and I, and The Sound of Music. Oklahoma!, originally titled Away We Go, premiered at New Haven’s Shubert Theatre in 1943, got

Rhett Guter

reworked, and opened on Broadway to become a smash hit. A film adaptation was made, and the show has been revived multiple times, including a Broadway production introducing Hugh Jackman to American audiences.

Jenn Thompson brings Rhett Guter, Bye Bye Birdie’s heart-throb rock and roller back to East Haddam as Cutly. Samantha Bruce from Off-Broadway’s The Fantasticks, plays Laurey. Terry Burrell from the original Broadway cast of Dreamgirls, is Aunt Eller. Michael O’Flaherty is music director, and Katie Spelman choreographs and restages some of Agnes DeMille’s original choreography.

For details: 860-873-8668 or online at www.goodspeed.org

Just Announced

CityStage and Symphony Hall 20th Anniversary Season Tony Danza, The Midtown Men formerly of Broadway’s Jersey Boys, MASH’s Jamie Farr in Tuesdays With Morrie, the Ten Tenors Home for the Holidays, The Chieftains, and a host of music events, comedy, and more highlight the CityStage and Springfield Symphony Hall upcoming seasons. For details: 413-788-7033 or  www.citystage.symphonyhall.com.

Cast Change

The Midtown Men

TheaterWorks has announced that Dana Smith-Croll will replace Mary Testa as Chef Rossi in the upcoming Raging Skillet which opens July 20. Mary Testa’s New York show has been held over. Also cast is George Salazar and Marilyn Sokol. For details: For details: 860-527-7838 or www.theaterworkshartford.org

Keep in Mind…

Arts Beat Radio welcomes Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative’s Diane Pearlman, and WGBY Connecting Point producer Tony Dunne on Friday, July 14 from 8AM-9AM. live from The Press Room in Westfield, MA, on 89.5FM/WSKB. C’mon down, caffeinate, and watch live radio; or tune in live on the airwaves, on Comcast ch. 15, www.wskb.org or at www.westfieldtv.org

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare’s summer comedy, will be presented in a family-friendly production outdoorsthrough August 19 at the The Dell at The Mount. in Lenox, MA. In this 40th Anniversary Season, this production brings Shakespeare & Company back to where it all began, honoring the company’s inaugural production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Mount in 1978. For details: 413-637-3353 or www.Shakespeare.org

The Jazz in July All-Stars perform at UMass Bezanson Recital Hall on July 20. Artists include Christian Sands, Steve Davis, Steve Johns, Catherine Jensen-Hole, Jeff Holmes, Greg Caputo, Bob Ferrier, Felipe Salles, Genevieve Rose, Shigefumi “Fumi” Tomita, and Jeff Coffin. For details: 413-545-2511, 800-999-UMAS or www.jazzinjuly.com.

Alice Robbins, Viola da Gamba, Wendy Rolfe, Baroque flute and Greg Hayes, harpsichord at North Hall Summer Arts Festival

Go For Baroque. The North Hall Arts Festival in Huntington, MA presents Wendy Rolfe, Baroque Flute, Alice Robbins, Viola da Gamba and Gregory Hayes, Harpsichord performing a concert of early music on July 16. The program features historical instruments and music of Telemann and Bach. For details: 413-667-5543 or www.northhallhuntington.org.

Love’s Labour’s Lost, Shakespeare’s comedy, gets the Capital Classics staging as part of the Greater Hartford Shakespeare Festival on Thursdays through Sundays, July 13-30m on the campus of University of St. Joseph in West Hartford, CT. There’s also pre-show entertainment, music, food, lectures, and more. For details: www.hartfordshakespeare.org

Skeleton Crew, part of Dominique Morriseau’s Detroit Trilogy, is next at Chester Theatre through July 23. It paints a portrait of people caught up in the failing auto industry. For details: 413-354-7771 or www.chestertheatre.org.

Carolyn Kuan. Photo by Steven Laschever

Sevenars Concerts presents music by Brahms, Kreisler, Bartok, and Fauré on July 23, with violinist Alexis Alls and Lynelle James, pianist.  For details: www.sevenars.com.

The Hartford Symphony Pops celebrates music from film with greatest hits from John Williams and the Warner Brothers Catalogue at The Talcott Mountain Music Festival on July 21 in Simsbury, CT. Rain date is July 22. Carolyn Kuan conducts music from Star Wars, Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Schindler’s List, and so many more. For details: 860-987-5900 or www.hartfordsymphony.org.

Mark G. Auerbach studied theatre at American University and the Yale School of Drama. He’s worked for arts organizations and reported on theatre for newspapers and radio. Mark produces and hosts ArtsBeat Radio on 89.5fm/WSKB Radio.

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