Arts Beat, Sept. 28 to Oct. 4

Michael Berresse

By Mark G. Auerbach

Billy Crystal, Tony and Emmy Award winner, will star in a new musical based on his Hollywood hit, “Mr. Saturday Night,” to be presented as a work in development by Barrington Stage, Oct. 22-24 and 26-30. It is based on the Castle Rock Entertainment motion picture “Mr. Saturday Night,” written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel and based on a concept by Billy Crystal, by special arrangement with Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures. Three-time Tony winner Jason Robert Brown (“Parade,” “The Bridges of Madison County”) will provide the score, and Amanda Green is the lyricist. John Rando directs, and the show also stars Randy Graff, David Paymer and Chasten Harmon. As a work in development, “Mr. Saturday Night” is presented with minimal sets and costumes. For details: www.barringtonstageco.org.

MOSSO: The Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, will perform a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15, at Springfield Symphony Hall. Maestro Kevin Rhodes, music director and conductor of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra for 20 seasons, will return to Springfield to lead a program, which includes popular classical works by Beethoven, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, and other classical and pops songs, to be announced by Maestro Rhodes from the stage. Tickets for the performance are free, but must be reserved in advance. No tickets will be available at the door, and ticket holders must be masked and have proof of vaccination. Seating is general admission, but Symphony Hall capacity will be reduced to allow for social distancing. MOSSO is not affiliated with The Springfield Symphony Orchestra Inc. For details and reservations: www.springfieldsymphonymusicians.com.

Mimi Quillin

Call Fosse at the Minskoff, Mimi Quillin’s solo piece about her life in musical theater, working alongside theater legend Bob Fosse, plays Oct. 15-16 at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington. Quillin, an alum of Milwaukee Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and the American Dance Machine, was cast in Fosse’s 1986 Broadway revival of “Sweet Charity,” where she served as dance captain. She subsequently appeared in “Ragtime” and “Ain’t Broadway Grand.” Michael Berresse, Tony-nominated actor/dancer, directs. The Holyoke native has appeared in over 6,500 performances on Broadway in 11 different shows, including “Kiss Me Kate,” “A Chorus Line,” and “The Cher Show.” For details: www.mahaiwe.org.

Jasmine Rochelle Godspeed

Kamloopa: An Indigenous Matriarch Story by Kim Senklip Harvey, winner of Canada’s prestigious Governor General’s Award for English Language Drama, has its U.S. premiere at WAM Theatre, Oct. 7-24. Performances will be held at the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre on the Shakespeare & Company campus in Lenox. The production will be available for streaming Nov. 1-7. This high-energy comedy follows two urban Indigenous sisters and their encounter with a lawless trickster, as they explore what it means to honor who they are and where they come from. Estefanía Fadul directs, and the production features three Indigenous actors: Sarah B. Dennison, Jasmine Rochelle Godspeed and Ria Nez. For details: www.wamtheatre.com.


Rent, Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical, a modern take on “La Boheme,” is wrapping up its 25th anniversary farewell tour (interrupted by the pandemic) with a stop at Hartford’s Bushnell, Nov. 5-7. The original show, which introduced “Seasons of Love” to the long list of showtune standards, opened Off-Broadway in 1996, and moved uptown a couple of months later. Its creator, Jonathan Larson, died days before opening night. For details: www.bushnell.org.

The Mystery of Irma Vep, Charles Ludlam’s uproariously funny send-up of gothic horror movies, opens Silverthorne Theater Company’s season with performances Oct. 1-16 in The Perch at the Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center, Greenfield. Chris Rohmann directs, and the production co-stars Sam Samuels and Noah Tuleja playing dozens of roles from manor lords and ladies to a werewolf and vampires. For details: www.silverthornetheater.org.

Connecticut Repertory Theatre, on the UConn-Storrs campus, has announced its fall season, which opens with Qui Nugen’s “She Kills Monsters,” directed by Beth Gardiner, Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. Patrick Barlow’s “The 39 Steps,” a recent Broadway hit, plays Storrs Oct. 28 to Nov. 7. “Food for the Gods,” written and directed by Nephril Amenii, ends the fall offerings, Dec. 2-12. For details: crt.uconn.edu.

The Mahaiwe Center for the Performing Arts in Great Barrington will present HD streamings of Metropolitan Opera performances, live from Lincoln Center. The series begins Oct. 9 with “Boris Gudonov.” Many new Metropolitan Opera productions are on the roster, including Blanchard’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” and Aucoin’s “Eurydice.” Among the classics are Massenet’s “Cinderella,” Verdi’s “Rigoletto” and Puccini’s “Turnadot.” For details: www.mahaiwe.org.

The Metropolitan Opera will perform Anthony Davis’ opera “X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X,” in 2023. A co-production with several other opera companies across the country, the opera was workshopped in 1985 with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall. For details: www.nytimes.com/2021/09/16/arts/music/malcolm-x-opera-met.html.

Julianne Boyd

Julianne Boyd, artistic director of Barrington Stage Company, will receive the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network’s 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award on Oct. 6-7, at the Network’s annual conference. For details: massnonprofitnet.org.

YouTube Picks. Severnars Concerts is streaming some of the concerts from the 2021 season. The Bushnell premiered an original short film directed and choreographed by acclaimed artist Jennifer Weber. “While You Were Gone” celebrates the reemergence of The Bushnell and other performing arts venues from the 18-month closure necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. It features lead dancer Gabriel Emphasis as well as 30 local dancers from Hartford’s Studio 860 and the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts.


Mark G. Auerbach studied theatre at American University and The Yale School of Drama. He has worked for arts organizations nationwide, and reported on the arts for print and broadcast. Mark produces and hosts ArtsBeat, Athenaeum Spotlight and On The Mark for WCPC15 and 89.5fm/WSKB. He’s a regular contributor to Pioneer Valley Radio and a member of the Berkshire Theatre Critics Association.

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