Westfield Newsroom

Arts Beat

by Mark G. Auerbach

Christopher Innvar

Barrington Stage presents “A Doll’s House, Part  2”

When Henrik Ibsen’s now classic A Doll’s House opened in 1879, audiences were shocked when, in the play’s final scene, the lead character, Nora Helmer, leaves her husband and children to begin life anew, on her own. Theatre experts, women’s rights advocates, and audiences have debated Nora’s intentions ever since.

In 1982, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, along with composer Larry Grossman and director Harold Prince created a musical sequel, A Doll’s Life, which is one of the most notorious flops in Broadway history.

Enter playwright Lucas Hnath, who wrote A Doll’s House, Part 2, which became a Broadway smash, when it opened last year. It takes place 15 years after Nora walks out. She returns to confront her husband.

Barrington Stage presents the recent Broadway hit, July 12-28.  Joe Calarco, who staged Ragtime at Barrington Stage last season, directs. Laila Robins from ABC TV’s Deception plays Nora. Christopher Innvar, Ashley Bufkin and Mary Stout co-star.

For details: 413-236-8888 or www.barringtonstageco.org

Of Note

Playhouse on Park has announced its 10th season of plays and musicals in West Hartford, CT. The season opens with the award-winning play with music, Peter and the Starcatcher, and ends with the powerful Kander and Ebb musical, The Scottsboro Boys. In between, some well known works including One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and My Name is Asher Lev, plus Lauren Gunderson’s The Revolutionists, The Musical Adventure of Flat Stanley, and more. For season details: : 860-523-5900 x10 or  www.playhouseonpark.org

Barrington Stage Company is the recipient of an $85,000 grant from The Shubert Foundation. Granted in the category of Theatre, the award will support Barrington Stage Company’s 2018 season. For details: 413-236-8888 or https://barringtonstageco.org/

Summer Theatre for Young Audiences

The PaintBox Theatre presents its 15th season of children’s theatre at The Williston Theatre in Easthampton, MA, with some weekday performances at the Easthampton Band Shell. Tom McCabe is Artistic Director. The program line-up includes: Tarzan, Pirates!, and The Little Mermaid. For details: www.paintboxtheatre.org

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut is announced its annual Summertime Saturday Puppet Show Series with performances at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on five consecutive Saturdays from July 14 through Aug. 11, 2018. This summer the Ballard Institute hosts acclaimed puppeteers from around New England and beyond, as well as recent Puppet Arts graduates. All performances will take place at the Ballard Institute Theater located at 1 Royce Circle in Downtown Storrs. For details:  860-486-8580 or bimp.ticketleap.com.

Keep in Mind

Arts Beat Radio airs every Friday at 8AM, on 89.5fm/WSKB. On July 13, Mark G. Auerbach chats with local actor Rylan Morsbach and Mona Golabek, who is reprising The Pianist of Williseden Lane at Hartford Stage. Start your weekend with ArtsBeat Radio. Tune in live on the airwaves, on Comcast ch. 15, or www.wskb.org

Ryan Vona in Jesus Christ Superstar

Jesus Christ Superstar comes to Storrs. Connecticut Repertory Theatre (CRT) presents Jesus Christ Superstar as its final production of its 2018 Nutmeg Summer Series, July 12-22. The iconic rock opera based on the last week of Jesus’ life that has blown away audiences for over 40 years. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice created the rock opera, whose incredible score features well-known songs as “Superstar”, “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” and “Gethsemane”  CRT Nutmeg Summer Series Artistic Director Terrence Mann directs. Christopher d’Amboise, who staged last season’s Newsies, choreographs. Jesus Christ Superstar stars Alex Prakken (Jesus), Ryan Vona (Judas) and Jonathan Cobrada (Pontius Pilate). For details: 860-486-2113 or www.crt.uconn.edu.

Macbeth, Shakespeare’s stunning classic of blind ambition and corrosive power, plays Shakespeare & Company in Lenox through August 5. Directed by Obie Award-winning director Melia Bensussen. Macbeth stars company veterans Jonathan Croy and Tod Randolph as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. For details:  www.shakespeare.org.

Love’s Labor’s Lost, Shakespeare’s comedy, joins the Shakespeare & Company season, with performances outside in The Dell, at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s home in Lenox, MA. Kelly Galvin directs, and the cast includes Berkshire Theatre Group’s Rylan Morsbach. The faily-friendly open-air production runs through August 18. For details: 413-637-3353 or www.shakespeare.org.

Duo Mondo

Duo Mundo, with cellist Rebecca Hartka and guitarist José Lezcano will be appearing at the Historic North Hall Arts Festival in Huntington, MA. on July 15. Duo Mundo presents Global Crosscurrents, a program of music that explores the connections and intersection of old world and new world styles from Venice to Buenos Aires and the baroque to the 21st century. For details: 413-667-5543 or www.northhallhuntington.org

Christopher James. Photo by Lois Chase

Severnars Concerts kicks off its 50th Anniversary season on July 8, when members of the Schrade and James families perform a tribute concert to honor the late Robert and Rolande Schrade and Robelyn Schrade James. The Revere Piano Quartet Piano Quartet joins the evenars concert series on July 15, and their program includes Dvorak’s beloved E-Flat Piano Concerto. On July 22, cellist Christopher James and pianist Luis F. Ortiz perform. For programs, schedules and details: www.sevenars.org..

Paul Taylor Dance Company in “Company B”. Photo by Paul B. Goode

The Paul Taylor Dance Company returns to Great Barrington’s Mahaiwe Perorming Arts Center with its annual residency, July 6-7. The program includes the New England premiere of Concertiana, Company B set to the music of The Andrews Sisters, and Gossamer Gallants. For details: 413-528 0100 or www.mahaiwe.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 for 89.5fm/WSKB.

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