By Mark G. Auerbach
Barrington Stage Introduces ‘Harry Clarke’ Live with Mark H. Dold
Barrington Stage Company, one of the first two theatres to reopen after COVID19 shuttered theatres coast-to-coast, launches an abbreviated 2020 season with David Cale’s Harry Clarke, staged by Artistic Director Julianne Boyd, and starring Barrington Stage Associate Artist Mark H. Dold in the title role. Performances are set for August 5-16 at the Pittsfield theatre, which has been revamped for the safety of actor and audience. New safety measures in place, approved by Actor’s Equity and Massachusetts authorities, made national headlines, when Barrington Stage was recently profiled on CBS Sunday Morning https://www.cbsnews.com/news/during-a-pandemic-the-plays-still-the-thing/
Mark H. Dold has been a major presence at Barrington Stage since 2004, where he’s been seen in numerous comedies and dramas including Freud’s Last Session (a role he also did Off-Broadway), Breaking The Code, Shining City, Gaslight, and The Glass Menagerie. He returns to Barrington Stage, after appearing in the blockbuster Matthew Lopez drama, The Inheritance on Broadway, whose run was shuttered by COVID. He has appeared in regional theatre coast-to-coast, including Hartford Stage’s Cloud 9; on film and TV, including the Law & Order trilogy. When Barrington Stage moved its programming online last Spring, he’s been a frequent host of their online series [email protected], often with Berkshires resident Debra Jo Rupp. Their series premiere, with Artistic Director Julianne Boyd, is an hilarious mix of bloopers and a love fest to the Western Massachusetts theatre company that the trio are part of. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSZ0rEQ65W8&list=PLvLAonqgEg7e6V6dfvS0wzDEUW9K_EhQW
Harry Clarke, as described by Barrington Stage Company, is “a sexually-charged and wickedly funny one-man thriller” by playwright (and solo theatre artist) David Cale, author of Lillian. Billy Crudup headed the cast of the Off-Broadway production in 2017, which won an Obie Award for the playwright. Harry is a shy midwesterner who leads an outrageous double life, as a would-be Londoner who charms his way into the lives of a wealthy New York family.
Brian Stokes Mitchell, the two-time Tony Award winner, performs an intimate concert at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Colonial Theatre tent in Pittsfield on September 5. The concert is a benefit for Berkshire Theatre Group, The Actor’s Fund and Black Theatre United. Mitchell has numerous Broadway credits, including his Tony Award performance in Kiss Me, Kate, along with Ragtime, Man of La Mancha, King Hedley II, Jelly’s Last Jam, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and more. In 2016, Mitchell received the prestigious Stevenson Tony Award for his charitable work with The Actor’s Fund; he was inducted that year into the Theatre Hall of Fame. For tickets: www.berkshiretheatregroup.org.
The Berkshire Drive-In. The Berkshire International Film Festival and Shakespeare and Company have teamed up this summer to present The Berkshire Drive-In; a “Pop-up Drive-in” summer series on the campus of Shakespeare and Company in Lenox. Films are shown on the Shakespeare & Company campus, 70 Kemble Street in Lenox, Thursday through Sunday evenings through September 13,. The series will present nearly 40 curated films including a unique variety of documentaries, narrative features, Sundance hits, Shakespeare-themed films, family films and award-winning animated films curated by Palm Springs International Animation Festival. For details: https://biffma.org/drive-ins/
K&E Theater Group’s Local Spotlight Series presents a roundtable discussion, The COVID Response from Our Local Theater Companies which airs July 31 at 7PM through its Facebook, IGTV and YouTube pages. K&E Artistic Director and series host, Eddie Zitka, convened and moderated the program, which features representatives from the area community theatre companies. Among the participants are: Exit 7 Players in Ludlow, Ghost Light Theater in Holyoke, Greene Room Productions of Monson, Opera House Players in Enfield, CT, Rise Up Productions of Amherst, Strident Theatre of Northampton, Silverthorne Theater Company in Greenfield, Suffield Players in Suffield, CT, Theatre Guild of Hampden in Hampden, Unity House Players in Springfield, Westfield Theatre Group in Westfield, and the Wilbraham United Players of Wilbraham. The roundtable will feature discussions on what performers, technical crew, and audiences will come to expect during auditions, rehearsals, and future performances due to the new normalcy post-pandemic times. Additionally, each theater company will present their future programming throughout the episode. For details: www.ketg.org.
From Bach to Bachianas, a free recital by guitarist Eliot Fisk and cellist Yehuda Hanani, will be streamed from the stage of The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, courtesy of the Mahaiwe and Berkshires-based Close Encounters with Music on August 2 at 5PM on Facebook. The program includes works by Schubert, Faure, Villa-Lobos and more. For details: www.mahaiwe.org.
Keep in Mind…
ArtsBeat TV/Radio features Tony Dunne, producer of New England Public Media’s Connecting Point, seen weeknights on WGBY, and Berkshires native Michael Wartella, who returns from Broadway gigs in Wicked and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to star in Berkshire Theatre Group’s Godspell. 8AM on Friday, July 31 on 89.5fm/WSKB and WCPC15.
The LAVA Center, the community arts center in downtown Greenfield, will re-open with both in-person and online events. Social distancing and safety guidelines will be required for in-person events. The Community Arts Space hosts a gallery show of photographs by Em Langevin and Lindy Whiton’s My Franklin County exhibition . LAVA will also present a series of lunch hour music offerings on the weekly Bring Your Own Lunch series. Seating will be limited. For details: https://www.localaccess.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 TV/Radio for WCPC15 and 89.5fm/WSKB, and is a contributor to Pioneer Valley Radio.