Arts Beat

by Mark G. Auerbach

Lynnette R. Freeman co-stars in Lost Lake at Berkshire Theatre Group

David Auburn’s Lost Lake Next at Berkshire Theatre Group

Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning playwright David Auburn, creator of Proof, has a new play, Lost Lake, which makes its way to the area in Berkshire Theatre Group’s production, September 28-October 22 at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge. Daisy Walker directs the two character work that has received excellent notices in New York City, when it played Off-Broadway in 2014. The cast will feature stage, film and TV actors, Lynnette R. Freeman and Quentin Maré

Kate Maguire, Berkshire Theatre Group Artistic Director, says, “We are thrilled to present Lost Lake. David Auburn has an affection for creating complex characters in the midst of turmoil, characters that are flawed, fragile and real”. 

Part drama, part melancholy comedy, Lost Lake follows the story of Veronica, played by Lynnette R. Freeman and Hogan, played by Quentin Maré. Veronica, hopelessly in need of an escape from life’s uphill battle, takes her children to a lakeside rental. Unfortunately for Veronica, not only is the property less than ideal, it also includes a bedraggled and secluded estate owner, Hogan. Both fighting their own battles, the two outcasts find complicated comfort in their shared isolation. Lost Lake is a recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award.

The Westfield News Group is one of the Lost Lake sponsors. For details: 413-997-4444 or www.BerkshireTheatreGroup.org

The Fab Faux

The Fab Faux, Beatles Tribute Band, Open The UMass Fine Arts Center Season

The Fab Faux, accompanied by the Hogshead Horns and Crème Tangerine Strings, salute the Beatles’ seminal recording of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album in performance as the season opener at The UMass Fine Arts Center Concert Hall on September 23. 

With a commitment to the accurate reproduction of the Beatles’ repertoire, The Fab Faux treat the music with unwavering respect, and are known for their painstaking recreations of the songs (with emphasis on the later works never performed live by the Beatles). Far beyond a cover band, they play the music of The Beatles so impeccably that one must experience it to believe it. Fab Faux audiences hear complex material like “Strawberry Fields Forever” or “I Am the Walrus” performed in complete part-perfect renditions; or such harmony-driven songs as “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” “Nowhere Man,” and “A Day in the Life,” reproduced not only note-for-note, but with extra vocalists to achieve a double-tracked effect.

The Fab Faux’s appearance at the UMass FAC will include a performance of the acclaimed album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (1967). These complex songs require layered vocals and fairly elaborate instrumentation – a non-issue for The Fab Faux since all 5 principals contribute vocals, and the Hogshead Horns and Crème Tangerine Strings fill out the complex arrangements.

For details: 413- 545-2511, 800-999-UMAS or www.fineartscenter.com

Local Playwrights Showcased

Annalise Cain

Two local playwrights will have the opportunity to see their plays work-shopped in the next few weeks. West Hartford’s Playwrights on Park Reading Series Presents Annalise Cain’s What Screams I Hear Are Mine on September 26. Cain hails from Ashfield, MA and is a graduate of the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School in Hadley; Hampshire Shakespeare Theater; and Silverthorne Theater. She’s a current student at Boston University. For details: 860-523-5900 x10, or www.playhouseonpark.org

The Forever Boys, Longmeadow playwright and arts reporter Fred Sokol’s play, gets a staged reading at The Berkshire Theatre Group’s Garage in Pittsfield on September 17.  Sokol adapted the play from his novel, Mendel and Morris, which is set in the Forest Park section o Springfield. Sokol’s play was work-shopped in an earlier version last year. Following this reading, he hopes to have the play staged in the Springfield area next Spring.  It’s a private reading by professionals, by invitation only. For details: www.berkshiretheatregroup.org

Newsies on Netflix

The filmed version of the hit Broadway musical of Disney;s Newsies is streaming on Netflix this month. Original Broadway stars Jeremy Jordan joined the cast of the national tour, which includes Westfield’s Josh Burrage. 

Keep In Mind…

God of Carnage, Yasmina Reza’s Tony Award winning play about two sets of parents, who meet to discuss their children’s playground altercation, plays Shakespeare and Company in Lenox through October 8. Regge Life directs. The cast features four Shakespeare & Company veterans: Elizabeth Aspenlieder, Jonathan Croy, Kristin Wold, and Artistic Director Allyn Burrows. For details: 413-637-3353 or www.shakespeare.org

The Old Country Road Band closes the current season of Huntington’s North Hall Arts Festival on September 17. The band performs  “true” vintage country music with songs from the 1950s and 1960s.  The concert will feature classics by Hank Williams, Webb Pierce, and Carl Smith and others, along with bluegrass. For details: 413-667-5543 or www.northhallhuntington.org

ArtsBeat Radio archives are available for download. Did you miss an episode ?  May 26 with Eric Hill and Kate Maguire of Berkshire Theatre Group; June 2 with choreographer Denis Jones; June 9 with Patrick Berry and UMass Fine Arts Center’s Shawn Farley; June 16 with WAM Theatre’s Kristen Van Ginhoven; June 23 with Christopher d’Amboise and Terrence Mann of Connecticut Repertory Theatre; June 3O with Travis G. Daly and Mark Gionfriddo of Berkshire Theatre Group; July 7 with Rorianne Schrade from Sevenars; July 14 with Berkshire Film and Media’s Diane Pearlman and WGBY’s Tony Dunne; August 4 with TheaterWorks’ Rob Ruggiero; August 11 with Chester Theatre director Daniel Elihu Kramer; August 18 with Our Great Tchaikovsky creator Hershey Felder and Barrington Stage’s Charlie Siedenburg; August 25 with Maestro Kevin Rhodes, and September 1 with Elisa Hale from Goodspeed Musicals. ArtsBeat Radio now airs on 89.5fm/WSKB on the second Wednesday of every month at 9AM. Find these shows https://vimeo.com/channels/wskb

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.

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