Arts Beat

by Mark G. Auerbach

Of Note

David Adkins

“The Goat” Opens Berkshire Theatre Group 91st Season

The Berkshire Theatre Group opens its 91st season with a production of Edward Albee’s award-winning comedic drama, The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? Eric Hill, who has previously directed productions by Albee, stages the play at the Berkshire Theater Group’s Unicorn Theatre through June 15th. David Adkins stars as an architect who begins a relationship with a goat named Sylvia. Albee’s play won several awards including the Tony. As a footnote, Sally Field made her Broadway debut in The Goat.

Eric Hill

For details www.BerkshireTheatreGroupOrg.

The Capitol Steps Summer at Cranwell

The Capitol Steps return to Cranwell in Lenox with their new show, The Lyin Kings. Performances begin  June 28th  and run nightly except Tuesdays  through the end of August. For 38 years, The Capitol Steps have put the mock in democracy, performing Fridays and Saturdays in Washington DC, touring nationally, presenting their NPR specials, and more. For details: http://www.capsteps.com/live/cranwell2019.html

“Hi, My Name is Ben” Premeres at Goodpeed

Goodspeed Musicals continues its commitment to innovative, thought-provoking new works with Hi, My Name is Ben, the inspirational true story of one man who impacted the lives of all those around him without speaking a word. Written by Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie while in residence at the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed, this hope-filled musical runs through June 9, at The Terris Theatre in Chester, CT. The true story of one ordinary man and his extraordinary life. From his tiny room in New York City, Bernhardt Wichmann III changed the lives of those around him without ever speaking a word. Using just his notepad, pen and open heart, Ben turned a neighborhood of strangers into a community of friends, before finally encountering a miracle of his own. Featuring an uplifting, folk-inflected score by award-winning Scottish writing team Noisemaker in association with Dundee Rep, one of Scotland’s leading theatres, this is the story of how one man with nothing somehow changed everything. For details: www.goodspeed.org

Arielle Siegel

“Actually” Next at Theaterworks

Anna Ziegler’s Actually, a two  character drama plays TheaterWorks at Hartford’s Wadsworth Athenaeum through June 23rd. Taneisha Duggan directs, and Ronald Emile and Ariel Siegel costar. Performances are at the Wadsworth, while Theaterworks undergoes renovations. For details www.TheaterworksHartford.org.

The Flamingo Kid. Photo by T. Charles Erickson

“The Flamingo Kid” at Hartford Stage

Make sure you go to Hartford Stage to see the new production of  The Flamingo Kid, a musical adapted from the film starring Matt Dillon. This is Darko Tresnjak’s Hartford stage swan song as he is moving on to new adventures. But, while he was in Hartford, he directed A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Anastasia, both of which moved to Broadway. The creators of The Flamingo Kid are all alums of the musical Grey Gardens, and Denis Jones, choreographer is a Tony Award nominee for the musical Tootsie. If you saw Rags at Goodspeed you saw Samantha Massell who returns to Hartford stage in what ought to be a stunning performance. For performance details www. Hartford stage.org

David Lutken

Barrington Stage Announces Mr. Finns Cabaret Serires

Barrington Stage will bring an array of Cabaret Stars to Pittsfield the summer, as part of their Mr. Finn’s Cabaret series. Among those artists planning to perform are David Lutken, star of Goodspeed’s The Will Rogers Follies, Karen Mason, Marilyn Maye, and Billy Stritch. For details: www.barringtonstageco.org

What’s in Storrs at Nutmeg Summer Series

Connecticut Repertory Theatre (CRT) announced its Nutmeg summer season casting. Mamma Mia!, the Tony Award-nominated musical based on the songs of ABBA runsJune 6-22.  The cast includes Broadway actors Jessica Hendy, Jennifer Cody, Lauren Blackman, and Bradley Dean. As previously announced, Terrence Mann directs. Cabaret, the Tony-Award-winning musical centering around a German nightclub against the backdrop of the Nazis’ rise to power runs July 4-21. The cast will be led by Olivier Award-winner Laura Michelle Kelly as Sally Bowles and Tony Award-nominee Forrest McClendon as the Emcee. For details: crt.uconn.edu

New Century Theatre Returns

After a  hiatus, New Century Theatre has two summer  productions planned. Sam Rush and Cate Damon star in Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf beginning June 14 at Holyoke’s Gateway City Arts. Lee Blessing’s A Walk in The Woos, opens at Eastworks in Easthampton on July 26. For details: www.newcenturytheatre.org

And,  A Special Thank You.

On April 15th, I suffered a serious fall, breaking my right leg and my left arm. I’ve been out of commission, and in rehab, building up my strength, so I can return to writing a weekly Art’s Beat column. I plan to return to Arts Beat radio in early July, with a special about The Capitol Steps, which we will tape live at Cranwell in Lenox. Thanks to my colleagues, my Healthcare Professionals, and my friends for their wonderful support, while I am on the mend.


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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