Arts Beat

by Mark G. Auerbach

Dave Brinnel

Finally! Dave Brinnel

Longmeadow bar singer/songwriter Dave Brinnel started penning songs back in the early 1980s, and finally, after life happening, a 31 year marriage, a family, a video production business and a radio career, as “Dave in the Morning” alongside then-unknown Rachel Maddow at WRNX, Dave’s first album, Finally, will be released on September 21, at Shakago Martini and Piano Bar in Springfield. The public is welcome..

Finally features original pop tunes, country music, novelty songs, ballads and more. He’s collaborated with some well-known locals, his kids Paul Brinnel now in Chicago and Hailey Brinnel, now in Philadelphia; comedian Kelsey Flynn, rockabilly Bill Eagan–known for his photos on the pages of Westfield News Group papers; WMass nightclub band leader Tom Ingrahm, and Peter Thomsen, former Longmeadow High School music teacher, and vocal coach to Brynn Cartelli.

Dave Brinnel performs regularly at the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Adolfo’s, Ciro’s, Shakago, and other area clubs. For information on Dave Brinnel, and his new recording Finally: https://www.davebrinnel.com/

The Drowsy Chaperone Heads to Goodspeed

The tunefully silly Broadway hit, The Drowsy Chaperone, plays Goodspeed in East Haddam, CT, September 21-November 25. In this hilarious valentine to show tunes and show people, a forgotten Jazz Age musical comes to life in the living room of a diehard showtune fan. As he eagerly spins his favorite cast album, a fizzy vintage show suddenly appears, exploding with song, dance and pure entertainment. Our quirky narrator fills the plot holes, with laugh-out-loud results.

The Drowsy Chaperone features book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar and music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison. The Drowsy Chaperone started in Canada in 1997, when McKellar, Lambert, Morrison and several friends created a spoof of old musicals for the stag party of Bob Martin and Janet van de Graaf. After performances in Toronto, the show moved to Broadway with Martin as the narrator, called “Man in Chair”. The Drowsy Chaperone won five Tony Awards, including “Best Book of a Musical” and “Best Score”

John Scherer

The Man in Chair will be played by John Scherer who is no stranger to Goodspeed Musicals. Past Goodspeed favorites include By Jeeves, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and George M!. His previous Broadway credits include Lovemusik, By Jeeves and Sunset Boulevard.  Clyde Alves is making his Goodspeed debut by playing the groom-to-be Robert Martin. He will be known to area audiences, having originated the role of Ozzie in the Barrington Stage production of On The Town, which moved to Broadway. His other Broadway credits include Anything Goes, Wicked, Hairspray, Oklahoma, Bullets Over Broadway, and The Music Man. Broadway veteran Jennifer Allen will take on the role of The Drowsy Chaperone. Ms. Allen’s Broadway credits include Bridges of Madison County, Sister Act, Memphis, Cats, and Guys and Dolls.

The Drowsy Chaperone will be directed by Hunter Foster who co-wrote Goodspeed Musicals The Circus in Winter and directed last season’s hit A Connecticut Christmas Carol. Chris Bailey choreographs.

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

Of Note

Todd Rosenthal, the Tony Award winning scenic designer and Longmeadow native, was nominated for a 2018 Equity Joseph Jefferson Award for his set design for Steppenwolf Theatre Company production of The Doppelganger. The “Jeffs” are Chicago’s version of the Tony Awards. Winners will be announced on October 22.

The Cake, Bekah Brunstetter’s comic drama about a baker who must decide if she can bake a wedding cake for a gay wedding, was a major hit at Barrington Stage last summer. It’s headed to New York’s Manhattan Theatre Club at City Center, and previews begin February 19. Lynne Meadow is staging the New York production. No word as yet whether Debra Jo Rupp, the Berkshires actor, or composer Alexander Sovronsky will work on the Of-Broadway production. For details:  https://www.manhattantheatreclub.com/2018-19-season/the-cake/

Tara Franklin

Keep in Mind

Arts Beat Radio airs every Friday at 8AM, on 89.5fm/WSKB. On September 21, James Barry and Tara Franklin, stars of Berkshire Theatre Group’s upcoming production of Naked, join us to chat about their work in numerous area theatres. Start your weekend with ArtsBeat Radio. Tune in live on the airwaves, on Comcast ch. 15, or www.wskb.org

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at UConn in Storrs, CT will host its Fall Puppet Performance Series on four Saturdays this Fall, featuring outstanding works of puppet theater by professional puppeteers from across New England and beyond. Each show will be performed twice, at 11AM. and 2PM. The Tanglewood Marionettes perform The Fairy Circus on September 29, followed by Sir George and the Dragon by Pumpernickel Puppets on October 27. On November 10, Sarah Nolen performs The Fairy Tailor. and the Fall series ends with The Gingerbread Man by WonderSpark Puppets on December 1.For details: 860.486.8580 or bimp.uconn.edu

Gypsy Lane Cabaret

Gypsy Layne Cabaret performs cabaret and burlesque at Greenfield’s Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center on September 15. Gypsy Layne Cabaret & Co. was hailed by the lateTake magazine as making “burlesque cool again,” but this tantalizing crew of saucy ladies and jaunty gents is also red-hot! Not for the kids. For details: https://hawksandreed.ticketfly.com/

Salvatore Macchia

UMass Music & Dance kicks off the Fall concert season with a free faculty concert featuring works and premieres by faculty member and composer Salvatore Macchia, who marks his 40th anniversary with the department this year. Trombonist Gregory Spiridopoulos will present his own faculty concert with Nikki Stoia, piano on September 17. The program will include works by Bernstein, Gregson, and the debut of Macchia’s The Monk Who Listens for trombone and electronics. The concert will be held at Bezanson Recital Hall on the UMass Amherst campus. For details: umass.edu/events

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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