HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES SPECIAL EVENTS IN CONJUNCTION WITH LEGENDARY, ACCLAIMED MUSICAL MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG, WITH MUSIC & LYRICS BY STEPHEN SONDHEIM, DIRECTED BY MARIA FRIEDMAN
In conjunction with its upcoming production of Merrily We Roll Along, Huntington Theatre Company will host several special events and post-show conversations. Admission to onsite post-show events is free with a ticket to Merrily We Roll Along, available at huntingtontheatre.org/merrily, by phone at 617 266 0800, or in person at the Huntington Avenue Theatre (264 Huntington Avenue) and Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA (527 Tremont Street) box offices. Tickets start at $25. Performances begin Friday, September 8, 2017 at the Avenue of the Arts / Huntington Avenue Theatre.
COOLIDGE CORNER SCREENING OF BARTON FINK
Monday, September 11 at 7pm
Tickets: $14, available at coolidge.org/films/barton-fink
New York playwright Barton Fink (John Turturro) comes to Hollywood to write a wrestling picture. Staying in the eerie Hotel Earle, Barton develops severe writer’s block when his neighbor, jovial insurance salesman Charlie Meadows tries to help, but a bizarre sequence of events distracts him even further. This 1991 comedy/film noir/mystery/horror/drama mash-up by the Coen Brothers is often considered one of their best films and earned three awards at the Cannes Film Festival. After the film, Huntington Playwriting Fellows Miranda and John Adekoje and Director of New Work Charles Haugland will host a talkback on shared themes in Merrily We Roll Along and Barton Fink.
Barton Fink is part of the Stage & Screen series, a collaboration between the Huntington Theatre Company and the Coolidge Corner Theatre.
HUNTINGTON COMMUNITY MEMBER RECEPTION
Thursday, September 14 at 6pm
Huntington Community Members are invited to a free pre-show reception on Thursday, September 14. There will be complimentary food and drinks, and attendees will have an opportunity to learn about the Huntington season as well as meet other interested theatregoers. Tickets to the 7:30pm performance should be purchased separately.
The Huntington Community Membership Initiative is a program designed to reduce the cost barrier of attending live theatre for those with limited income. The program’s goal is to diversify audiences to better represent the city of Boston. Community Members can purchase tickets to any available seat at any performance without restriction for just $20.
BOSTON GLOBE EVENT WITH ARTS REPORTER MALCOLM GAY AND DIRECTOR MARIA FRIEDMAN
Thursday, September 14 after the 7:30pm performance
Boston Globe arts reporter Malcolm Gay and director of Merrily We Roll Along Maria Friedman will lead a post-show discussion about after the 7:30pm performance on September 14. Boston Globe subscribers save $15 with discount code.
Malcolm Gay covers visual and performing arts for The Boston Globe. Before joining the paper in 2015, he wrote frequently for The New York Times, while also contributing to The Atlantic, Time, and several other publications. Named an Alicia Patterson Fellow in 2013, Mr. Gay has won numerous national journalism awards, including top honors from the James Beard Foundation, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, and the National Association of Black Journalists. His first book, The Brain Electric, was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in October 2015.
Maria Friedman made her directorial debut with her highly acclaimed production of Merrily We Roll Along which opened at the Menier Chocolate Factory in November 2012 and transferred to the West End in May 2013. The production won Best Musical at the Evening Standard Awards in 2013, Oliver Awards in 2014 (for which Ms. Friedman was also nominated for Best Director of a Musical), and the Critic’s Circle Award in 2013. She went on to direct High Society at The Old Vic in 2015, which was equally well received and then directed Stepping Out which toured in 2016, opening in the West End in the spring of 2017. Ms. Friedman is best known as a four-time Olivier Award-winning star of the musical stage. The heart of her career has been centered around the love and work of her dear friend Stephen Sondheim. She has played Dot in Sunday in the Park with George at the National Theatre, Fosca in Passion at the Queen’s Theatre (Olivier Award), Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd at the Royal Festival Hall with Bryn Terfel, and Mary in Merrily We Roll Along at the Leicester Haymarket. In concert she has played Sally in Follies and both Charlotte and Petra in A Little Night Music. Ms. Friedman was honored to sing for Stephen Sondheim at his 80th birthday celebrations in New York and Washington, as well as at the special all-Sondheim BBC Prom. Her many international concert appearances include three sell-out seasons at New York’s prestigious Café Carlyle, and many concerts with Michael Legrand and the late Marvin Hamlisch. Most recently, she premiered her new cabaret show Lenny and Steve with musical director Jason Carr at the Hippodrome’s Matcham Room. Her most recent recording is Maria Friedman Sings the Great British Songbook (on Sepia Records). In addition to winning four Olivier Awards, she has received nine Olivier Award nominations and has won an Evening Standard Award.
SEASON OPENING CELEBRATION
Saturday, September 16
Kick off the Huntington’s 36th season in style at the Season Opening Celebration on Saturday, September 16. Guests will walk the red carpet, enjoy a glass of champagne, and experience the critically acclaimed production of Merrily We Roll Along. The Season Opening Celebration will include a pre-show dinner with West End and Broadway star and director of Merrily We Roll Along Maria Friedman and an after party with the cast following the show with music by Boston’s most in-demand DJ DJ Rick DiMare. The event is black tie optional.
LENNY & STEVE: THE MUSIC OF BERNSTEIN & SONDHEIM
A SPECIAL ONE-NIGHT ONLY CONCERT EVENT WITH MARIA FRIEDMAN
Monday, September 18 at 7:30pm
West End and Broadway star and director of Merrily We Roll Along Maria Friedman brings her critically acclaimed solo show Lenny & Steve to the Huntington for a one-night-only concert event. Exploring the genius of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, three-time Olivier Award winner Ms. Friedman will compare songs from their separate catalogs, as well as their joint masterpiece West Side Story. This beguiling evening of songs and anecdotes includes “New York, New York,” “I Can Cook, Too,” “Losing My Mind,” and “Send in the Clowns.”
Wednesday, September 20 after the 2pm performance
Thursday, September 28 after the 10am performance (student matinee)
Thursday, October 5 after the 7:30pm performance
Meet participating members of the cast of Merrily We Roll Along and ask them your questions at the Actors Forum following the performance.
A CONVERSATION WITH DRAMATURGY AND ACTING PROFESSOR STUART HECHT
Saturday, September 23 after the 2pm performance
Join Stuart Hecht, associate professor of dramaturgy and acting at Boston College, and Assistant to the Director Stephanie LeBolt for a discussion about Merrily We Roll Along in relation to Sondheim’s body of work after the 2pm performance on September 23.
Dr. Stuart Hecht received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s and doctorate from Northwestern University. He worked on the artistic staff of the Goodman Theatre and was resident dramaturg for the Wisdom Bridge Theatre, both in Chicago. He has worked with a range of prominent theatre artists, including Bob Falls, Gregory Mosher, David Mamet, Wole Soyinka, Frank Galati, and Del Close, to name a few. Dr. Hecht is an American theatre historian who has worked extensively in Chicago theatre history and more recently on assimilation and the American musical. He has published over thirty scholarly articles, both here and abroad, as well as chapters in four major books. He is the long-standing editor-in-chief of New England Theatre Journal, sits on the board of the New England Theatre Conference, and is an officer of the American Theatre and Drama Society. He has worked at Boston College since 1986 where he has taught classes in directing, playwriting, dramatic literature, and theatre history.
HUMANITIES FORUM WITH EMERSON MUSICAL THEATRE PERFORMANCE PROFESSOR SCOTT LAFEBER
Sunday, September 24 after the 2pm performance
Join Scott LaFeber, head of the Department of Performing Arts’ Musical Theatre BFA program at Emerson College, and Assistant to the Director Stephanie LeBolt for a discussion about the experience of a Sondheim musical after the 2pm performance of Merrily We Roll Along on September 24. Humanities Forums are presented in conjunction with all Huntington productions.
Scott LaFeber has performed on Broadway in Corpse! and The Golden Age and Off Broadway with Ensemble Studio Theatre and Circle-in-the-Square. He has also acted in London, regionally in the US, on television (including two years on daytime’s “Search for Tomorrow”), in feature and industrial films, and for narrative/character voice-overs (including an Emmy Award-winning segment for PBS). He has directed across the country, including productions in New York, Utah, Florida, and the North Carolina Theatre where he directed three-time Tony Award nominee Terrence Mann in Sweeney Todd and Peter Pan. Mr. LaFeber has taught at universities and conservatories for over 20 years. In addition to freelance directing, he is an associate professor in the department of performing arts at Emerson College where he currently heads the BFA musical theatre program.
Thursday, September 28 at 10am
For students in grades 912. Tickets: $15. Includes pre-show in-school visit, curriculum guide, post-show Actors Forum, and Dramatic Returns card for each student. Call 617 273 1558 for more information.
AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE-INTERPRETED PERFORMANCES
Thursday, September 28 at 10am (student matinee)
Friday, September 29 at 8pm
The Huntington Theatre Company offers ASL interpretation for the Deaf/deaf/hard-of-hearing at designated performances.\Seating for each ASL-interpreted performance is located in the orchestra, house left. Tickets are $20 for each Deaf patron and an additional $20 ticket can be purchased for a guest. To reserve tickets, please contact Access Coordinator Meg O’Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, September 28 at 10am (student matinee)
Saturday, September 30 at 2pm
The Huntington Theatre Company offers audio description for blind and low-vision patrons at designated performances.
Tickets are $20 for each patron and an additional $20 ticket can be purchased for a guest. To reserve tickets, please contact Access Coordinator Meg O’Brien at email@example.com or 617 273 1558.
A CONVERSATION WITH THEATRE HISTORIAN CHRIS CAGGIANO
Saturday, September 30 after the 2pm performance
Join Chris Caggiano, professor of theatre history at Boston Conservatory and local theatre blogger, and Director of New Work Charles Haugland for a discussion about the history of Merrily We Roll Along and Sondheim after the 2pm performance on September 30.
Christopher Caggiano joined Boston Conservatory in 2004, where he is a full-time faculty member and teaches theatre courses in musical theatre history and musical theatre dance history and liberal arts courses in arts criticism, among other topics. Mr. Caggiano is the author of the popular theatre blog “Everything I Know I Learned From Musicals.” He is a member of the Outer Critics Circle and the Drama League and is a founding member of the Independent Theater Bloggers Association (ITBA). A journalist, Mr. Caggiano spent 13 years as a reporter, writer, and editor at Inc. magazine. Following that, he was a senior writer at CMO magazine and senior editor for Deliver magazine. As a freelancer, he has written articles that have appeared in the Advocate and artscope, as well as on AmericanTheatre.org, TheaterMania.com, About.com, and ZEALnyc.com. Additionally, he has written the liner notes for the PS Classics releases Life Begins at 8:40 and Noël and Cole.
A CONVERSATION WITH THEATRE PROFESSOR SCOTT EDMISTON
Saturday, October 7 after the 2pm performance
Join Scott Edmiston, chair of theatre at Northeastern University and local director, and Director of New Work Charles Haugland for a discussion about the themes explored in Merrily We Roll Along after the 2pm performance on October 7.
Scott Edmiston has been teaching and directing throughout the Northeast for more than 30 years. Since relocating to Boston in 1997, he has directed more than 60 productions at theatre and opera companies across New England including SpeakEasy Stage Company, Lyric Stage Company, American Repertory Theater, Underground Railway Theatre, New Repertory Theatre, Opera Boston, Nora Theatre, Gloucester Stage, and the Tony Award-winning Huntington Theatre Company where he was an artistic associate and production dramaturg for more than 30 productions. In 2011, he received the Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence for his theatrical body of work and contributions to the cultural life of Boston. Mr. Edmiston began his teaching career at the University of Michigan in 1983. For many years he served on the faculty at Boston University’s School of Theatre Arts and led their MFA directing program. He has taught directing at Brown University/Trinity Rep and dramatic literature at Brandeis University where he was the inaugural Director of the Office of the Arts for 11 years. His areas of scholarship include American and European modern drama, queer theatre, Tennessee Williams, and Eugene O’Neill. As a professional dramaturg, he has researched and written on topics ranging from the Harlem Renaissance to Stephen Sondheim; and worked with playwrights such as August Wilson and Jon Robin Baitz. He is the founding editor of State of the Arts magazine. Among his many articles and publications, he is the author of “Acting Misbegotten: The Creative Journey to Eugene O’Neill” in the anthology Critical Insights: Eugene O’Neill (Salem Press, 2012).
A CONVERSATION WITH COMPOSER, CONDUCTOR, AND MUSICAL THEATRE PROFESSOR ALLEN FEINSTEIN
Date to be determined
Join Allen Feinstein, Director of Bands and Music Department Head at Northeastern University for a discussion about the music of Stephen Sondheim.
Allen Feinstein has led many ensembles as a conductor in accompanying silent films and has served as music director for numerous musical theater productions. As music director of the Northeastern University band program he has led multi-media concerts, children’s concerts, and themed musical events, and hosted numerous guest composers and soloists, including five members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Feinstein has coached many student conductors, and collaborated with dozens of student soloists. He teaches courses in musical theatre, conducting, and music theory. He has written a number of pieces for narrator and orchestra that have been performed widely, including The Little Engine That Could. The Akron Symphony and Grand Rapids Symphony performed the work a total of 13 times in 2017. Mr. Feinstein composed and conducted his scores accompanying silent films on the National Film Preservation Foundation’s DVD compilation Treasures 3, which looked at how early filmmakers addressed social issues. The DVD set was on many ‘best of’ lists for 2007, including those of The New York Times, Time Magazine, and The New Yorker. He is completing a new musical about the early silent film era titled Plotnik’s Moving Picture Palace, and he is writing the book as well as the music and lyrics for this show.
POST-SHOW AUDIENCE CONVERSATIONS
After the first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening performances most Saturday and Sunday matinee performances and one Wednesday matinee.
This is an opportunity for audience members to discuss Merrily We Roll Along led by members of the Huntington staff.
ABOUT MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG
September 8 October 15, 2017
Select Evenings: Tues. Thurs. at 7:30pm; Fri. Sat. at 8pm; select Sun. at 7pm
Matinees: Select Wed., Sat., and Sun. at 2pm
Days and times vary; see complete schedule below.
WORLD MUSIC/CRASHarts presents CARRIE RODRIGUEZ
Thursday, September 14, The Rockwell
World Music/CRASHarts presents Carrie Rodriguez on Thursday, September 14, 7:30pm at The Rockwell, 255 Elm St., Somerville. Tickets are $25, general admission. For tickets and information call World Music/CRASHarts at (617) 876-4275 or buy online at www.WorldMusic.org.
Singer-songwriter Carrie Rodriguez returns after captivating audiences at CRASHfest last year. From Austin, Texas, she finds beauty in the cross-pollination of diverse traditions, effortlessly melding fiery fiddle playing, electrifying vocals, and a fresh interpretation of new and classic songs with an Ameri-Chicana attitude. Her newest project, the Spanish and English album Lola, is both a return to her musical roots and something of a departure where she delivers her own Texas-bred twist on Mexican ranchera songs, creating culturally blended music for a culturally blended world.
Carrie Rodriguez, an Austin native, began playing violin at age five. Her training quickly became the passion and focus of her childhood, and by age 10, she had performed as part of a group at Carnegie Hall. She continued the classical track in her first year at Oberlin Conservatory, then shifted gears to pursue her true love of the fiddle-staying true to her Texas roots-at Berklee College of Music. Early in her career, a collaboration with singer-songwriter Chip Taylor resulted in four highly acclaimed duet albums. Her subsequent solo albums highlight the diversity of her musical identity, from her debut Seven Angels on a Bicycle to 2013's Give Me All You Got, which reached number one on the Americana Music Charts.
Rodriguez has toured, recorded, and co-written songs with legendary artists such as Lucinda Williams, John Prince, Bill Frisell, Rickie Lee Jones, Mary Gauthier, Los Lobos, Alejandro Escovedo, and Los Lonely Boys, among others. In 2013, she had the honor of commencing her tour by performing at the Black Tie & Boots Inaugural Ball presented by the Texas State Society for President Barack Obama's inauguration.
Currently, Rodriguez is touring in support of her album Lola that is "part family tribute, part personal-reflection, part social commentary, and all cultural navigation." Lola was listed on Rolling Stone's 40 Best Country Albums of 2016 and NPR's Best 50 Records of 2016 after her performance on NPR Music's Tiny Desk Concert.
For additional information please visit: http://www.carrierodriguez.com/
About World Music/CRASHarts
World Music/CRASHarts is a nonprofit organization that presents an eclectic mix of global, folk, jazz, and indie music along with contemporary and world dance in a series of concerts, events, and educational programs in greater Boston. It strives to offer audiences an opportunity to share in many different artistic performances and seeks to foster an atmosphere of cultural discovery. For 25 years, World Music/CRASHarts has answered a need for cultural programming in greater Boston that reflects today's global community. For tickets and more information, call 617-876-4275 or visit www.WorldMusic.org
7 Rules to Follow at the Theatre
By Anders Abadie
There's nothing quite like attending a live performance at a theatre, but every seasoned audience member knows that there are rules and etiquette guidelines that must be followed during the show. For those attending their very first play, it's best to get a firm understanding of the expected behavior before the night of the event. Here are the basic rules to follow.
It's best to arrive at least 30 minutes before the time stamped on the ticket. Most venues start seating patrons half an hour before show time and stop seating once the show starts. If someone is late, ushers may require that they wait in the lobby until a break or intermission. Avoid missing the first part of the performance by getting to the venue early.
Silence Cell Phones
Most theatregoers prefer a quiet atmosphere. Ringing cell phones or smart watches sending out notifications can be distracting. Once the lights dim, make sure all technology is either turned off or set to silent mode. At intermission, attendees can check messages and respond to phone calls, but if they're in their seats, it's best to stay quiet and pay attention to the show.
Avoid Distracting Behavior
When the actors are onstage, it's important to be quiet and respectful of their performance. Avoid whispering or talking to friends, and save any snacks for intermission. While the actors may not be able to see everything that's happening in the crowd, other audience members sitting can become distracted by constant movement or hushed conversations.
Leave the Camera at Home
Though some performances allow the audience to take pictures, most don't. It's a distraction to both the audience and the actors. The house manager keeps a keen eye out for any cameras and may ask would-be photographers to leave.
Applause Is Encouraged
After the end of a scene or song, it's customary for the audience to applaud the performance. However, new theatregoers may find it difficult to time their applause appropriately. For those that are unsure of when to clap, it's best to follow the rest of the audience. Clap when the majority of the theatre is clapping, and stop when they stop.
Be Patient at Curtain Call
While it's tempting to rush to the exit as soon as the performance is over, it's best to be a bit patient. Let the actors leave the stage before moving towards the aisle. While it's not strictly forbidden, leaving as soon as the performance is over may be considered disrespectful, especially if the actors have not taken their final bow.
Go Over the Rules with Kids
If a child is going to the show, make sure to go over rules and the expected behavior of them before heading to the theatre. If they know what to expect ahead of time, it's less likely that they'll act out, forcing a parent to leave in the middle of an act.
Live performances and plays are a wonderful way to experience entertainment. Follow these rules and enjoy a night at the playhouse!
To learn more about their options for viewing theatre, readers should visit http://thevpp.ca/.
Good-hearted drama critic, Mortimer Brewster appears to lead a normal, happy life. Recently engaged to be married, Mortimer plans a trip to visit his charming, spinster aunts, Abby Brewster, played by Harriet Harris (Broadway:Thoroughly Modern Millie; TV: Frasier) and Martha Brewster, played by Mia Dillon (Broadway: Crimes of the Heart). However, shortly after Mortimer's arrival, he discovers that his innocent aunts have a deadly secret buried in the basementabout a dozen older gentlemen. To Mortimer's dismay, Abby and Martha deem their poisonous habits as charitable acts; convinced that they are putting these men out of their misery. Attempting to protect society without sending Abby and Martha to prison, hilarity and madness ensues as Mortimer tries to wrangle in his crazy aunts, along with his brothersTheodore, who believes he is Theodore Roosevelt, and maniacal, murderous Jonathan, played by Harriet Harris’ real-life husband, Matt Sullivan.
at The Unicorn Theatre
The Larry Vaber Stage
BTG's Stockbridge Campus, 6 East Street
Thursday, September 28 through Sunday, October 22
Sponsored by: Lead Sponsor, Bobbie Hallig and Furlano and Arace, PC
Written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winner, David Auburn (Proof), Lost Lake is an engrossing, evocative play. Part drama, part melancholy comedy, Lost Lake follows the story of Veronica and Hogan; imperfect strangers, tangled up in each other's lives by circumstance. Veronica, hopelessly in need of an escape from life's uphill battle, takes her children to a lakeside rental. Unfortunately for Veronica, not only is the property less than ideal, it also includes a bedraggled and secluded estate owner, Hogan. Both fighting their own battles, the two outcasts find complicated comfort in their shared isolation.
12th Annual Community Production
A Christmas Carol Returns to The Colonial Theatre
Berkshire Theatre Group is pleased to announce the 12th annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, adapted by Eric Hill and directed by Travis G. Daly, and presented for the seventh time at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield. A Christmas Carol runs Saturday, December 9 through Friday December 22. Tickets to A Christmas Carol are $38 for adults, and $28 for children 16 and under.
Celebrate the timeless holiday tradition of A Christmas Carol with the whole family, and revel in the joy and redemptive power of Christmas as told in the timeless tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, the infamous miser who is shown the error of his ways and reformed by four spirits. Journey back to Victorian England and experience the classic story filled with holiday carols and the wonderment of the season.
For the second year, BTG will hold a Special Community and Sensory-Friendly Performance of A Christmas Carol on Wednesday, December 13 at 7pm, at The Colonial Theatre. Tickets to this performance are $5. A “sensory-friendly” performance is a production that is slightly modified to accommodate individuals with sensory-input disorders, such as people on the autism spectrum. At this performance, “house rules” will be relaxed. People may need to get up, move around, and leave the theatre during the performance. There is no expectation that the audience will be completely quiet during the performance. Our goal is to create an environment in which people with autism or sensory needs, along with their families, can enjoy coming to the theatre together and will feel comfortable, supported and free to be themselves.
For tickets, contact the Colonial Ticket Office at 111 South Street, Pittsfield by calling 413-997-4444, or online at www.berkshiretheatregroup.org. Ticket Offices are open Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sundays 10am-2pm or on any performance day from 10am until curtain.
A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens
adapted by Eric Hill
directed by Travis G. Daly
at The Colonial Theatre
Tickets: Adults: $38 Children 16 and under: $28
Tickets to the Special Community and Sensory-Friendly Performance on Wednesday, December 13 at 7pm: $5
Sponsored by: Founding Sponsors Country Curtains and The Red Lion Inn, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Greylock Insurance Agency, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and Enterprise Holdings Foundation
Saturday, December 9 at 7pm (Opening)
Sunday, December 10 at 2pm
Wednesday, December 13 at 7pm (Special Community and Sensory-Friendly Performance)
Thursday, December 14 at 7pm
Friday, December 15 at 7pm
Saturday, December 16 at 2pm and 7pm
Sunday, December 17 at 2pm
Wednesday, December 20 at 7pm
Thursday, December 21 at 7pm
Friday, December 22 at 7pm (Closing Performance)
SONDHEIM’S LEGENDARY MUSICAL MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG BEGINS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 8 AT THE HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY
THE HUNTINGTON BRINGS DIRECTOR MARIA FRIEDMAN’S HIGHLY ACCLAIMED OLIVIER AWARD-WINNING PRODUCTION TO BOSTON
The Huntington Theatre Company will open its 2017-2018 season with the legendary musical Merrily We Roll Along by Stephen Sondheim. Director Maria Friedman will recreate her critically celebrated West End production for Boston audiences. Performances will run September 8 October 15, 2017 at the Avenue of the Arts / Huntington Avenue Theatre. Tickets are now on sale to the general public.
The musical includes a book by George Furth. Music direction will be provided by Matthew Stern (The Bridges of Madison County and The Scottsboro Boys at SpeakEasy Stage Company) and choreography by Tim Jackson (Merrily We Roll Along in the West End).
Maria Friedman’s stunning London production of Merrily We Roll Along received universal rave reviews the most five star reviews in West End history as well as the Olivier Award for Best Musical and high praise from Stephen Sondheim himself. Travelling backwards in time over 30 years in the entertainment business, this cult favorite musical charts the relationships of close friends Franklin, Charley, and Mary, and features some of Sondheim’s most beautiful songs, including “Good Thing Going,” “Old Friends,” and “Not a Day Goes By. The Independent called Friedman’s production of Merrily We Roll Along "one of the great musical productions of this or any other era."
“After seeing Maria Friedman’s stunning staging of Merrily We Roll Along at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London, I knew I had to share this tremendous production with Boston,” says Artistic Director Peter DuBois. “Maria has captured lightning in a bottle, turning a musical long beloved by Sondheim geeks into an international hit. I can’t wait for her to recreate the definitive and mesmerizing version of Merrily for Boston audiences with the best of Boston, New York, and international talent. Put this show on the calendar in pen!”
“This production of Merrily We Roll Along is not only the best I've seen, but one of those rare instances where casting, direction, and show come together in perfect combination, resulting in the classic ideal of the sum being greater than the parts,” says Stephen Sondheim of Maria Friedman’s London production.
The Huntington Theatre Company is committed to a long-term project of staging all 15 musicals for which Sondheim wrote both the music and the lyrics. Merrily We Roll Along is the third musical to be staged in the series, following last fall’s sublime production of Sunday in the Park with George and the 2015 production of A Little Night Music. “Like our commitment to August Wilson and producing all the plays in his Century Cycle, the Huntington is thrilled to take a deep dive into Sondheim’s body of work,” says Artistic Director Peter DuBois. “Sondheim is the great musical theatre genius of a generation, and producing and presenting his work on the Huntington’s stages will provide a tremendous and remarkable experience for Boston audiences.”
Merrily We Roll Along features a live orchestra of nine musicians with orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick and an award-winning cast of Boston favorites and first-rate international musical theatre artists. The show follows the lives of three close friends Frank Shepard, an influential song writer and film producer, lyricist Charley Kringas, and theatre critic Mary Flynn. Mark Umbers (She Loves Me at Menier Chocolate Factory) and Damian Humbley (Forbidden Broadway in the West End) will reprise their roles from Maria Friedman’s London production playing Frank and Charley, respectively, and Eden Espinosa (Elphaba in Wicked on Broadway and San Francisco and Los Angeles productions) joins the cast as Mary.
Frank’s second wife Gussie is played by Aimee Doherty (A Little Night Music and Sunday in the Park with George at the Huntington). Gussie’s first husband, Broadway producer Joe Josephson, is played by Christopher Chew (Amphitryon at the Huntington and Bridges of Madison County at SpeakEasy Stage Company).
Frank’s first wife Beth Spencer is played by Jennifer Ellis (The Bridges of Madison County at SpeakEasy Stage Company). Frank Jr., the eight-year-old son of Frank and Beth, is played by Cameron Levesque (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at Fiddlehead Theatre) and Brendan Cole O’Brien (Show Boat at Fiddlehead Theatre) at alternating performances. Beth’s mother, Mrs. Spencer, is played by Amy Barker (A Little Night Music and Sunday in the Park with George at the Huntington) and Beth’s father, Mr. Spencer, is played by Robert Saoud (A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Huntington). Ceit Zweil (Mame at Stoneham Theatre) plays Charley’s wife Evelyn.
Other cast members include Jessica Kundla (Sunday in the Park with George at the Huntington) as Meg, Maurice Emmanuel Parent (A Raisin in the Sun at the Huntington and The Scottsboro Boys at SpeakEasy Stage Company) as Bunker, Rebecca Gibel (Camelot at Trinity Repertory Company) as KT, Pablo Torres (A Little Night Music at the Huntington) as Ru, Patrick Varner (A Little Night Music and Sunday in the Park with George at the Huntington) as Tyler, Craig Walezkao (Kinky Boots first national tour) as Jerome, and Morgan Kirner (Sunday in the Park with George and A Little Night Music at the Huntington) as the newscaster. Caleb Damschroder (Cabaret on Broadway), Bransen Gates (Barnum at Moonbox Productions), and Carla Martinez (Barnum at Moonbox Productions) round out the ensemble.
Merrily We Roll Along features scenic and costume design by Soutra Gilmour (Antigone at the National Theatre), and lighting design by Philip Rosenberg (Can You Forgive Her?, Betrayal, Private Lives, Bus Stop, and She Loves Me at the Huntington). Production stage manager is Emily F. McMullen and stage manager is Kevin Schlagle.
Stephen Sondheim (Composer and lyricist) is an American musical theatre legend and Pulitzer Prize and multiple Tony Award winner. He wrote the music and lyrics for Road Show, Passion, Assassins, Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George, Merrily We Roll Along, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Pacific Overtures, The Frogs, A Little Night Music, Follies, Company, Anyone Can Whistle, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, as well as the lyrics for West Side Story, Gypsy, Do I Hear a Waltz?, and additional lyrics for Candide. Anthologies of his work include Side by Side by Sondheim, Marry Me a Little, You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow, Putting It Together, and Sondheim on Sondheim. He composed the film scores of Stavisky and Reds, songs for Dick Tracy, and the television production Evening Primrose. His collected lyrics with attendant essays have been published in two volumes: Finishing the Hat and Look, I Made a Hat. In 2010 the Broadway theatre formerly known as Henry Miller’s Theatre was renamed in his honor.
Maria Friedman (Director) made her directorial debut with her highly acclaimed production of Merrily We Roll Along which opened at the Menier Chocolate Factory in November 2012 and transferred to the West End in May 2013. The production won Best Musical at the Evening Standard Awards in 2013, Oliver Awards in 2014 (for which Ms. Friedman was also nominated for Best Director of a Musical), and the Critic’s Circle Award in 2013. She went on to direct High Society at The Old Vic in 2015, which was equally well received and then directed Stepping Out which toured in 2016, opening in the West End in the spring of 2017. Ms. Friedman is best known as a three-time Olivier Award-winning star of the musical stage. The heart of her career has been centered around the love and work of her dear friend Stephen Sondheim. She has played Dot in Sunday in the Park with George at the National Theatre, Fosca in Passion at the Queen’s Theatre (Olivier Award), Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd at the Royal Festival Hall with Bryn Terfel, and Mary in Merrily We Roll Along at the Leicester Haymarket. In concert she has played Sally in Follies and both Charlotte and Petra in A Little Night Music. Ms. Friedman was honored to sing for Stephen Sondheim at his 80th birthday celebrations in New York and Washington, as well as at the special all-Sondheim BBC Prom. Her many international concert appearances include three sell-out seasons at New York’s prestigious Café Carlyle, and many concerts with Michael Legrand and the late Marvin Hamlisch. Most recently, she premiered her new cabaret show Lenny and Steve with musical director Jason Carr at the Hippodrome’s Matcham Room. Her most recent recording is Maria Friedman Sings the Great British Songbook (on Sepia Records). In addition to winning three Olivier Awards, she has received nine Olivier Award nominations and has won an Evening Standard Award.
George Furth (Book) was born in Chicago, received his bachelors’ degree at Northwestern School of Speech, and went to Columbia for his graduate work. Having acted in 40 movies and countless television shows, he went on to write Company, Twigs, The Act, The Supporting Cast, Merrily We Roll Along, and Precious Sons. His other work includes The Doctor is Out, a mystery he collaborated on with Stephen Sondheim, seven one-act plays entitled Sex (7), and a musical entitled Off the Record with music by Doug Katsaros. Mr. Furth won a Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama-Logue, and London Evening Standard Awards.
Tim Jackson (Choreographer) has worked extensively in the UK. In addition to Merrily We Roll Along (Menier Chocolate Factory, West End and film release), his credits include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (children’s musical direction and additional movement, West End), Stepping Out (Theatre Royal Bath, West End, and UK tour), the Olivier Awards Ceremony 2016-2017 (musical staging, Royal Opera House and Royal Albert Hall), Oliver! (Watermill Theatre), The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ (Leicester Curve), Little Shop of Horrors (Royal Exchange Manchester), Made in Dagenham (Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch, and New Wolsey Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Queen’s Theatre and Hornchurch), If I (Aoyama Theatre, Tokyo, Umeda Arts Theatre, and Osaka), Frisky & Mannish: Just Too Much (Udderbelly and Edinburgh Fest), and The Beautiful Game and Pages: Promised Land (Union Theatre). Mr. Jackson also works as a director, musical director, and composer.
Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-Winner David Auburn’s Lost Lake Set to Feature Lynnette R. Freeman and Quentin Maré
Berkshire Theatre Group Announces Additions to the Fall and Winter Seasons:
Live from Laurel Canyon: Songs & Stories of American Folk Rock
Pittsfield CityJAZZ Festival: The Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Cuban Experience
Ain't Wastin' Time: A Berkshire Tribute to Gregg Allman with Rev Tor's Steal Your Peach Band & Friends
Yesterday and Today: The Interactive Beatles Experience
Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Lynnette R. Freeman as Veronica in Lost Lake
Quentin Maré as Hogan in Lost Lake
Ladysmith Black Mambazo Live from Laurel Canyon
Berkshire Theatre Group and Artistic Director/CEO Kate Maguire are excited to announce additions to the fall and winter seasons, as well as casting for the Fall production of David Auburn’s Lost Lake at The Unicorn Theatre.
Kate Maguire says, “We are thrilled to present Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winner, David Auburn’s, Lost Lake, as our Fall production. David has an affection for creating complex characters in the midst of turmoil, characters that are flawed, fragile and real. Directed by the talented Daisy Walker, this cast will feature stage, film and TV actors, Lynnette R. Freeman and Quentin Maré.”
Previously announced music at The Colonial Theatre includes Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes (8/17) and New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players I've Got A Little Twist (8/18), will be joined by: Live from Laurel Canyon: Songs & Stories of American Folk Rock (9/30), featuring music from Carole King, James Taylor, Crosby Stills & Nash and more; Pittsfield CityJAZZ Festival: The Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Cuban Experience (10/14); The Airplane Family & Friends with Live Dead ‘69 (10/27); Ain't Wastin' Time: A Berkshire Tribute to Gregg Allman with Rev Tor's Steal Your Peach Band & Friends (11/30); Yesterday and Today: The Interactive Beatles Experience (3/8/18) and Ladysmith Black Mambazo (3/9/18).
As previously announced, fresh off of her Broadway debut (Marvin’s Room), comedian Janeane Garofalo will headline the Colonial on Saturday, October 21.
BTG’s On The Stage Series, bringing both audience and artist on the Colonial stage, will continue on Saturday, September 23 with Berkshire Medium, Pam Ellis.
Comedy at The Garage features the popular $5 Comedy Garage. On Thursday nights, for only $5, The Comedy Garage presents acclaimed comedians from near and far, including Jordan Carlos (9/21), Morgan Miller (10/19) and Rojo Perez (11/16). After the show, head down the street to Methuselah Bar & Lounge and show your Comedy Garage ticket for a $5 beverage.
Tickets may be purchased in person at the Colonial Ticket Office at 111 South Street, Pittsfield; at the Fitzpatrick Main Stage Ticket Office at 83 East Main Street, Stockbridge; by calling (413) 997-4444 or online at www.BerkshireTheatreGroup.org. Ticket Offices are open Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 10am-2pm or on any performance day from 10am until curtain. All plays, schedules, casting and prices are subject to change.
2017/2018 SEASON ADDITIONS
Lost Lake by David Auburn directed by Daisy Walker at The Unicorn Stage
The Larry Vaber Stage
BTG’s Stockbridge Campus, 6 East Street
Previews: Thursday, September 28 and Friday, September 29
Press Opening/Opening Night: Saturday, September 30 at 7pm
Talkback: Thursday, October 5 after 7pm performance
Closing: Sunday, October 22 at 2pm
Tickets: Preview: $45
Sponsored by: Lead Sponsor, Bobbie Hallig; The Shubert Foundation; Furlano and Arace, PC; The Westfield News Group and Massachusetts Cultural Council
Written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winner, David Auburn (Proof), Lost Lake is an engrossing, evocative play. Part drama, part melancholy comedy, Lost Lake follows the story of Veronica, played by Lynnette R. Freeman (On The Outs) and Hogan, played by Quentin Maré (Tom Stoppard’s Rock N Roll). Veronica, hopelessly in need of an escape from life's uphill battle, takes her children to a lakeside rental. Unfortunately for Veronica, not only is the property less than ideal, it also includes a bedraggled and secluded estate owner, Hogan. Both fighting their own battles, the two outcasts find complicated comfort in their shared isolation. Directed by Daisy Walker (Assistant Director on Broadway’s Jersey Boys, The Farnsworth Invention, Dracula: The Musical), this stirring, unexpected and visceral play is a recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award.
Live from Laurel Canyon: Songs & Stories of American Folk Rock
at The Colonial Theatre
Saturday, September 30 at 8pm
Tickets: A: $40, B: $25
Live From Laurel Canyon: Songs & Stories of American Folk Rock is a journey through a special time in American music, paying homage to the musical legacy of Laurel Canyon. A gathering of friends, and the interpretation of classic songs with narrated stories from this special neighborhood, its intersection with Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, and most important era in music; an era that defined a generation and whose relevance transcended and influenced the generations to come. This concert will include music from The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Carole King, James Taylor, The Mamas & the Papas, Joni Mitchell, Crosby Stills & Nash, The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Brown, Jim Morrison, Neil Young and more!
Pittsfield CityJAZZ Festival: The Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Cuban Experience
at The Colonial Theatre
Saturday, October 14, at 7:30pm
Tickets: A: $38, B: $23
The Afro-Cuban Experience, led by Dizzy Gillespie’s long-term bassist, John Lee, showcases the unique rhythms and well-loved melodies (such as “Manteca” and “Tin Tin Deo”) of Gillespie’s library of Cu-Bop, which he developed with Chano Pozo in the ’40s and ’50s. Their repertoire also explores the broader world of Latin-American music. The musicians are drawn from the high-calibre talent that frequent the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band and All Star groups, such as trumpeter Freddie Hendrix, saxophonist Sharel Cassity, Brazilian pianist/vocalist Abelita Mateus, drummer Tommy Campbell and percussionist Roger Squitero.
Ain't Wastin' Time: A Berkshire Tribute to Gregg Allman
with Rev Tor's Steal Your Peach Band & Friends
at The Colonial Theatre
Thursday, November 30 at 7:30pm
An all star lineup of regional and local artists gather to celebrate the life, spirit and music of the legendary Gregg Allman, hosted by Rev Tor's Steal Your Peach Band.
Gregg Allman, who passed away in May of this year, was a founding member and lead singer of the legendary Allman Brothers Band. His career spanned five decades, with many hits such as “Sweet Melissa,” “Midnight Rider” and “One Way Out.” Gregg Allman was considered one of the pioneers of southern rock, blues and soul music
This event is hosted by Rev Tor's Steal Your Peach Band. This all star group features Tor Krautter, Andy Crawford and Drew Costa of Rev Tor/Last Waltz Live, along with Dan Teichert of Arlo Guthrie/Xavier, Brian O'Connell of Uncle Sammy/Gordon Stone Band and Jeremy Walz of Soul Sky. These artists will serve as the back up band for the regional and local guest artist celebrating the music of Gregg Allman.
Patrons are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food donation of any size to be delivered directly to a local food pantry after the show. Guest artists are asked to perform in support of the food drive.
Yesterday and Today: The Interactive Beatles Experience
at The Colonial Theatre
Thursday, March 8 at 7:30pm
Tickets: A: $35, B: $20
Yesterday and Today: The Interactive Beatles Experience is the nation’s most innovative and unique show utilizing the works of The Beatles. This amazing group, anchored by brothers Billy, Ryan and Matthew McGuigan, perform as themselves and leave the song choices completely in the hands of the audience. This is done through request cards that audience members fill out prior to the show. On those cards, the audience member only needs to fill out three things: their name, their favorite Beatles song and the reason why they chose that song. The cards are collected and two minutes before the show begins, a set list is created based upon the songs chosen and the reasons that the audience members chose those songs make up the narrative of the evening.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
at The Colonial Theatre
Friday, March 9 at 8pm
Tickets: A: $45 B: $30
"It isn’t merely the grace and power of their dancing or the beauty of their singing that rivets the attention, but the sheer joy and love that emanates from their being." -Paul Simon
The Grammy Award-winning acappella ensemble, Ladysmith Black Mambazo captures South Africa’s historic struggle in an inspiring repertoire that melds the tradition of Zulu harmony, singing songs born in the mines during the apartheid era, with hints of gospel. Whether performing at Nelson Mandela’s inauguration, in Disney’s The Lion King, or alongside Paul Simon on his album Graceland, Ladysmith Black Mambazo creates beautiful harmonies that have brought its unique sound to international prominence. The rich uplifting sounds and effortlessly synchronized dancing convey universal themes of faith, hope and peace, yielding a performance of pure, uninhibited joy.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo was founded in the early 1960s by Joseph Shabalala, then a teenage farm boy living on the lands just outside the small town of Ladysmith, South Africa. Joseph incorporated the town into the name he would give his group to honor his family history. As well, the word Black is a reference to the black oxen, the strongest of all farm animals; and Mambazo, the Zulu word for chopping axe, a symbol of the group’s ability to “chop down” any singing rival who might challenge them. So began the fifty-plus year career of Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s most recent CD, Walking In The Footsteps Of Our Fathers, was nominated for Best World Music Album of 2016, marking the group’s 17th Grammy Award-nomination, in addition to its four wins.
CALENDAR OF 2017/2018 PRESENTED SHOWS
Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes: at The Colonial Theatre. Thursday, August 17 at 8pm. Tickets: A: $50 • B: $30.
New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players I've Got A Little Twist:
at The Colonial Theatre. Friday, August 18 at 8pm. Tickets: Premium: $45 • A: $35 • B: $25.
$5 Comedy Garage: Jordan Carlos: at The Garage (Colonial Theatre Lobby). Thursday, September 21 at 7:30pm. Tickets: $5, Sponsored by: The Pittsfield Cooperative Bank.
On the Stage Series: A Night with Pam Ellis, The Berkshire Medium: at The Colonial. Saturday, September 23 at 8pm. Tickets: $35.
Live from Laurel Canyon: at The Colonial Theatre. Saturday, September 30 at 8pm. Tickets: A: $40 • B: $25.
Pittsfield CityJAZZ Festival: The Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Cuban Experience:
at The Colonial Theatre. Saturday, October 14, at 7:30pm. Tickets: A: $38 • B: $23.
$5 Comedy Garage: Morgan Miller:
at The Garage (Colonial Theatre Lobby). Thursday, October 19 at 7:30pm. Tickets: $5,
Sponsored by: The Pittsfield Cooperative Bank.
Janeane Garofalo: at The Colonial Theatre. Saturday, October 21 at 8pm. Tickets: $39.50.
The Airplane Family & Friends with Live Dead ‘69:
at The Colonial Theatre. Friday, October 27 at 8pm. Tickets: A: $50 • B: $25.
$5 Comedy Garage: Rojo Perez: at The Garage (Colonial Theatre Lobby).
Thursday, November 16 at 7:30pm. Tickets: $5, Sponsored by: The Pittsfield Cooperative Bank.
Ain't Wastin' Time: A Berkshire Tribute to Gregg Allman
with Rev Tor's Steal Your Peach Band & Friends: at The Colonial Theatre.
Thursday, November 30 at 7:30pm. Tickets: $27.50.
Yesterday and Today: The Interactive Beatles Experience:
at The Colonial Theatre. Thursday, March 8 at 7:30pm. Tickets: A: $35 • B: $20.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo: at The Colonial Theatre. Friday, March 9 at 8pm. Tickets: A: $45 • B: $30.