BOOKS 2018



WORLD MUSIC/CRASHarts presents

Direct from Japan TAO: Drum Heart

Sunday, February 18, 7:30pm, Berklee Performance Center

World Music/CRASHarts presents TAO: Drum Heart on Sunday, February 18, 7:30pm at the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. Tickets are $58. $48, $38, $30, reserved seating. For tickets and information call World Music/CRASHarts at (617) 876-4275 or buy online at

With explosive taiko drumming and innovative, acrobatic choreography, TAO: Drum Heart offers a breathtaking, vibrantly modern twist on a traditional art form-and a visual and sonic tour de force! This all-new production captures the best of TAO's extraordinary precision, energy, and stamina.

TAO is considered an innovator for bringing a modern touch to its shows. The group incorporates elements of Western-style music in its compositions, which are adorned with a wide range of instruments, including bamboo flutes, the Japanese harp, and marimba. Throughout their performance, TAO's drummers dance, spin, and jump across the stage ¬¬- often while simultaneously playing a large drum strapped over their shoulders.

TAO takes a strict traditional approach to their training. The group lives and trains together at their "Home Ground" in the center of the breathtaking 40,000 square meter Aso-Kuju National Park in Japan.  The strenuous physical demands of their performance style demands that all performers also train as athletes. Their daily workouts, which start at 5am and end at 10pm, include a 20 kilometer run, calisthenics, martial arts training, and hours of dance, drum, and music practice. The "Home Ground" is host to domestic performances one third of the year, allowing the group to perform internationally and strengthen their performance composition the remainder of the year.

Taiko drumming is at once inspiring and intensely physical. The music-making becomes dance. The term taiko refers to both the drum itself, and the percussion music it creates. 5th century clay pottery dolls and 7th century poems and paintings show that taiko has been present for the last 1500 years of Japanese history.

Since forming in 1993, TAO has been seen by more than 7 million spectators in 24 countries and 500 cities. They broke onto the international scene in 2004 when they performed at the world's biggest arts festival, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, UK. TAO was sold out for the entire 25 days of performances and recorded the highest ticket sales of the 1800 groups that participated from all over the world. A year later, the group followed their debut with a six month world tour.

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         WORLD MUSIC/CRASHarts presents Grammy Award-winning vocalist

DIANNE REEVES with Peter Martin, Romero Lubambo, Reginald Veal & Terreon Gully

Fri., February 16, 8pm, Berklee Performance Center

World Music/CRASHarts presents Dianne Reeves with Peter Martin, Romero Lubambo, Reginald Veal, and Terreon Gully on Friday, February 16, 8pm at the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. Tickets are $58, $48, $37, $30 reserved seating. For tickets and information call World Music/CRASHarts at (617) 876-4275 or buy online at

A timeless voice, improvisational prowess, and unique soul-jazz stylings mark Dianne Reeves as one of the world's preeminent jazz vocalists. She will be joined by Peter Martin, Romero Lubambo, Reginald Veal, and Terreon Gully for a powerhouse live performance.

Dianne Reeves has received five Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Album, an honorary doctorate of music from Julliard, and was recently named a 2018 National Endowment of the Arts 'Jazz Master.' She has recorded and performed with many musicians, including Wynton Marsalis, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim. Wynton Marsalis exclaims, "She has one of the most powerful, purposeful, and accurate voices of this or any time."

She performed at the White House on multiple occasions including President Obama's State Dinner for the President of China, as well as the Governors' Ball. More recently, Reeves joined Paul Simon, James Taylor, and Bobby McFerrin in a tribute to Michael Brecker at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Dianne Reeves has appeared in films such as the Academy Award nominated Good Night, and Good Luck and the 2007 award-winning documentary on the life of Billy Strayhorn, Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life

Reeves will be performing with Peter Martin, Romero Lubambo, Reginald Veal, and Terreon Gully. Peter Martin is a critically acclaimed jazz pianist who has toured as part of a number of select jazz ensembles, including the Newport Now 60, a 2014 all-star ensemble that toured nationwide in celebration of the Newport Jazz Festival's 60th anniversary. Romero Lubambo is a master of Brazilian jazz guitar and is considered by critics to be "the best practitioner of his craft in the world today... the guitarist's facility, creativity, and energy are in a class all their own."  Bassist Reginald Veal is a regular on Wynton Marsalis's albums and tours and recently contributed to Reeves' award-winning Beautiful Life. Terreon Gully is an innovative drummer known for his distinctive sound who has performed alongside artists including the Christian McBride Band, Yerba Buena, and the Benny Green Trio.


SOLD OUT Sunday, March 4, 7pm

2nd SHOW ADDED Sunday, March 4, 3pm

The Rockwell, Davis Square, Somerville

World Music/CRASHarts presents We Banjo 3 on Sunday, March 4, 3pm and 7pm, at The Rockwell, 255 Elm St., Somerville. Tickets are $32, general admission. For tickets and information call World Music/CRASHarts at (617) 876-4275 or buy online at

From Galway, We Banjo 3 finds common ground between Old World tradition and authentic Americana by playing their banjo, fiddle, guitar, and mandolin in an innovative fusion of styles that they dub Celtgrass. The award-winning band's rousing revelry, virtuosity, power, passion, and purpose are created by two sets of siblings, brothers Enda Scahill (tenor banjo, vocals) and Fergal Scahill (fiddle, viola, dobro, percussion, guitar, mandolin, vocals) and brothers Martin Howley (tenor banjo, mandolin, vocals) and David Howley (lead vocals, guitar).

We Banjo 3 has released four albums and is currently working on a fifth, titled Haven. This release will mark the first time the band has recorded in the U.S., and it will be the bands first album of completely original material. With the underlying theme that "music is a haven," the release comes on the heels of the bands last U.S. tour "Light in the Western Sky" which sought to highlight the conversation around mental health issues. We Banjo 3 was awarded a Musician's Humanitarian Award in December 2017 from Irish American News in recognition of the groups efforts. 

Martin Howley is a seven-time all-Ireland banjo champion and the first Irish musician to perform at the Grand Ole Opry while David has been cited as a solo artist of exceptional skill. Enda Scahill has recorded with Ricky Skaggs, the Chieftains and many others, aside from being considered as one of the world's leading authors and authorities on Irish banjo techniques. Fergal Scahill has performed with dozens of artists at home and abroad, and is widely recognized as an Irish champion of both fiddle and bodhran. In addition to having held the #1 position in Billboard's World Music charts, We Banjo 3 has had the distinction of entertaining an American president, an Irish Prime Minister and members of the U.S. Congress at the annual "Friends of Ireland" luncheon on Capitol Hill.


The Huntington Theatre Company presents the powerful drama Skeleton Crew, by Dominique Morriseau (Detroit ’67 and Paradise Blue) and directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian (Nat Turner in Jerusalem at New York Theatre Workshop and The Convert at Underground Railway Theater). Skeleton Crew runs from March 2 through March 31, 2018 at the South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA.

Skeleton Crew opens in the breakroom of the last small auto plant still standing, where a makeshift family of workers swap stories, share dreams, and take pride in their work. When confronted with the possibility of the factory closing, power dynamics shift and each is pushed to the limits of survival. Inspired by August Wilson’s Century Cycle, Dominique Morisseau’s bold and compassionate new play is part of her Detroit Project play cycle.

“Dominique Morisseau has quickly become one of the most important playwrights of her generation,” says Artistic Director Peter DuBois. “It’s no wonder critics and audiences have compared her to masters like Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams. In this extraordinarily well-crafted play, she masterfully tells a story that examines class and identity with searing brilliance. This is a night at the theatre that will satisfy, and stay with you.”

In Skeleton Crew, Dominique Morisseau explores the hardships brought into her hometown of Detroit after the 2008 economic recession. Likened by The New York Times to “Clifford Odets’ dramas,” “the great Pittsburgh cycle of August Wilson,” and of being “squarely in the tradition of Arthur Miller,” Morisseau is drawn to telling stories that explore humanity through a mix of humor and warmth. Skeleton Crew comes together through a mix of dramatic fictionalization, historical research, and interviews with Morisseau’s family and fellow Detroiters, who as Morisseau puts it, “have been some of the kindest, most progressive, most ambitious, most brave, most conscious, most loving, most hardworking people I have ever known.”

“I am extremely excited to share my play about the working class in Detroit with the people of Boston and connect through our common cores,” says playwright Dominique Morisseau. “I've seen many brilliant works at the Huntington Theatre Company and have had transformative experiences. It feels right to join the ranks of some of my favorite writers and become part of the extended community of this urgent and necessary theatre.”

The New York Times calls Skeleton Crew, "A very fine new play! Warm-blooded and astute.”


The auto factory employees in Skeleton Crew include Shanita, a second-generation line worker and single mother-to-be, played by Toccarra Cash (The Piano Lesson at Hartford Stage); Dez, a confident employee who has sights for a life beyond the factory, played by Jonathan Louis Dent (Sons of the Prophet at the Huntington); and Faye, a long-time employee and the auto factory’s union representative, played by Patricia R. Floyd (“The Incredible Jessica James” on Netflix). Overseeing them all is Reggie, the auto factory’s foreman, played by Maurice Emmanuel Parent (Merrily We Roll Along and A Raisin in the Sun at the Huntington).

Dominique Morisseau (Playwright) is a playwright and actress. She received her BFA in acting from the University of Michigan and her start as a performance poet in the Detroit community of Harmonie Park. She has since become a noted award-winning playwright in New York City and has developed a 3-play cycle about her hometown, entitled The Detroit Project. The inaugural play Detroit ’67, about the riots/rebellion in 1967, originated at The Public Theater/NYSF and extended at Classical Theatre of Harlem with the National Black Theatre. The production was nominated for eight Audelco Theatre Awards including Best Playwright. The second play Paradise Blue, about Detroit’s 1949 jazz community uprooted by urban renewal, was the winner of the L. Arnold Weissberger Award and received development at Williamstown Theatre Festival, McCarter Theatre Center, New York Theatre Workshop, and The Public Theater/NYSF. The third and final play Skeleton Crew, about a makeshift family of workers at the last exporting auto plant in the city, received a BareBones production at the Lark Play Development Center, played Off Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company, and is now being produced all across the US. Ms. Morisseau, a recent PoNY (Playwright of New York) fellow, is also generating a substantial body of work independent of the Detroit cycle: Sunset Baby, Follow Me to Nellie’s, and Blood at the Root. Her work has also been published in The New York Times bestseller Chicken Soup for the African American Soul and in the Harlem-based literary journal Signifyin’ Harlem. She is a Jane Chambers Playwriting Award honoree, a two-time NAACP Image Award recipient, honoree for the Primus Prize by the American Theatre Critics Association, and winner of the Stavis Playwriting Award. University of Michigan has also awarded her with their Emerging Leader Award, and the city of Detroit has honored her with a Spirit of Detroit Award. Most substantially, Ms. Morisseau has recently been awarded the esteemed Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama. She is an artist that believes wholeheartedly in the power and strength of community.

Megan Sandberg-Zakian (Director) makes her Huntington debut with Skeleton Crew. Recent directing credits include the world premiere of Nat Turner in Jerusalem (New York Theatre Workshop), The Broken Record (New York Times Critic’s Pick, FringeNYC Overall Excellence Award), The Convert (Underground Railway Theater, Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Production), Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Trinity Repertory Company/Perishable Theatre), and Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea (Cleveland Public Theatre, National New Play Network rolling world premiere). She is the director-in-residence at Merrimack Repertory Theatre where her credits include the world premiere of Eleanor Burgess’ Chill, The Royale, A Christmas Carol, and It’s a Wonderful Life.  She is a recipient of the Princess Grace Theater Award and the TCG Future Leaders fellowship, a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, a proud Stage Directors and Choreographers Society member, and co-founder of Maia Directors, a consulting group for artists and organizations engaging with Middle Eastern stories.

Skeleton Crew features scenic design by Wilson Chin (Tiger Style! at the Huntington); costume design by Ari Fulton (“Orange is the New Black”); lighting design by Adam Honoré (Fun Home international premiere); and sound design by Nathan Leigh (The Hound of the Baskervilles at Central Square Theatre). Casting by Alaine Alldaffer. Production stage manager is Kevin Schlagle; assistant stage manager is Alycia Marucci.

BTG’s Popular $5 Comedy Garage Series

Returns in 2018 with Comedian Shane Torres

Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG) welcomes comedian, Shane Torres to the $5 Comedy Garage Series on Thursday, January 18 at 7:30pm.

Shane Torres is a stand up comedian and writer. Shane has been seen performing on Conan, Last Comic Standing and IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang. One of Comedy Central’s Comics to Watch in 2012, Shane has performed at many festivals all over the country including Bridgetown Comedy Festival, Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival, Montreal Just For Laugh’s New Faces and many more.

Join us at The Comedy Garage, hosted by Madelyn Gardner, for only $5, The Comedy Garage presents acclaimed comedians from near and far. After the show, head down the street to Methuselah Bar & Lounge and show your Comedy Garage ticket for a $5 beverage.

We suggest early arrival for this event. It is general admission, first come, first served.

Tickets to Shane Torres are $5. Please note, to avoid a $6 order fee, please call the Box Office at 413-997-4444 or purchase your tickets in person at The Colonial, 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. Ticket Offices are open Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sundays 10am-2pm or on any performance day from 10am until curtain.

The line-up for the 2018 $5 Comedy Garage will be announced in several weeks. Save the dates: 2/8, 3/15, 4/26 and 5/17!

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