Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ogunquit Playhouse 2015 Season - Ogunquit, Maine

This year's lineup of plays at Ogunquit's fabulous OGUNQUIT PLAYHOUSE...

For more, or to order tickets, here's their website.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Dan Gabel's High Society Orchestra - Massachusetts

Jazz, Big Band, swing -- these are American musical art forms that are neither dead nor diminished, certainly not among devoted fans and not among a younger generation which appreciates them.  Dan Gabel is a young man who not only appreciates this music, but perpetuates it.  He is a musician, arranger, and the leader of a splendid variety of musical groups that are a tribute not only to his musical talent and appreciation, but his entrepreneurial spirit.  One of his idols is Vaughn Monroe, and that's good enough for me.  I hope in future to write more on Dan Gabel's the Abeltones and his High Society Orchestra, but for now, have a look at his Facebook page, his website, and start marking your calendars for his upcoming events.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

New book on Springfield, Mass. Founder William Pynchon

Coming up in Springfield, Mass. - a free talk by author David Powers on a new book about the founder of Springfield:



 WILLIAM PYNCHON, THE INDIANS, AND THE FIRST BOOK BANNED (AND BURNED) IN BOSTON”                                                                 Wipf & Stock, Eugene, OR, 2015


Springfield was founded on May 14, 1636 by William Pynchon.
Let’s celebrate this important event with a talk by author David M. Powers.

SATURDAY, MAY 16, 2015  ~  2:00PM

hosted by Historic Classical, Inc., a non-profit agency


Parking available in lot to right of building. Site is wheelchair accessible.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Berkshire Theatre Group - Stockbridge, Massachusetts - Summer 2015 Schedule


Thoreau or, Return to Walden

at The Unicorn Theatre, Stockbridge
The Larry Vaber Stage
Thursday, June 18-Saturday, July 11
New England Transcendentalist, poet, and philosopher, Henry David Thoreau, built his life around the idea of simplicity and love. The enlightened thinker's reflections come to life in the world premiere of David Adkins' one-man play, Thoreau or, Return to Walden. With 22 seasons at Berkshire Theatre Group under his belt, Adkins has been in BTG productions including: Poe, Benefactors, Same Time, Next Year; Homestead Crossing; Sylvia and Faith Healer. Long-time BTG Artist, Eric Hill, who most recently wrote and directed Adkins in the wildly well-received Poe, will direct this production. Hill has directed numerous shows at BTG, including: The Who's Tommy, A Chorus Line, Oklahoma! and the annual classic, A Christmas Carol.

I Saw My Neighbor On the Train and I Didn't Even Smile
a Co-Production with New Neighborhood

 at The Unicorn Theatre, Stockbridge
The Larry Vaber Stage
Wednesday, July 15-Saturday, August 15

After yet another incident at school, Sadie, a clever teenager with a hard exterior, is sent to stay with her estranged father, Jamie, a struggling music producer. Already weighed down with personal matters, Jamie guilts his neurotic, naïve sister, Rebecca, played by Keira Naughton (Birthday Boy, Macbeth, Faith Healer, The Book Club Play) into watching Sadie. Plagued by her overwhelming, cynical mother, Daphne, played by Linda Gehringer (The Crowd You're With, How to Write a New Book for the Bible), Rebecca reluctantly invites Sadie into her secluded life. As each character's carefully constructed layers unfurl, they are forced to step out of their comfort zone, and embrace life's blemishes.

The Homecoming

at The Unicorn Theatre, Stockbridge
The Larry Vaber Stage
Thursday, October 1-Sunday, October 25

Philosophy teacher, Teddy, brings his wife of six years, Ruth, played by Tara Franklin (Lion in Winter, Equus, The Einstein Project), to his childhood home in North London to meet his family after a long estrangement. Without warning of their visit, Teddy and Ruth are greeted by Teddy's domineering family; Teddy's aggressive father, Max, played by Rocco Sisto (Quills, Seminar, Amadeaus) Max's younger, incompetent brother, Sam; and Teddy's two brothers—Joey, an aspiring boxer and Lenny, an amateur hustler. Teddy and Ruth's homecoming instigates a power struggle for the ages, and family ties begin to unravel. 

Masha's Seagull
at The Unicorn Theatre, Stockbridge
The Larry Vaber Stage
Friday, May 22 through
Sunday, May 24

Inspired by incomparable dramatist Anton Chekhov's The Seagull, Justin Scheuer, Artistic Director of The Classical Edge Theatre, explores new territory in, Masha's Seagull. Directed by BTG artist Eric Hill, this production takes on Chekhov's classic work, and examines a minor, yet intriguing, character in the original story, Masha, played by Virginia Scheuer. 

Searching For The Moon:
A Heroine's Journey
 at The Unicorn Theatre, Stockbridge
The Larry Vaber Stage
Thursday, August 27 through Saturday, August 29

Searching For The Moon: A Heroine's Journey is a one woman show written and performed by Amber Chand. This powerful show depicts acts and tales of love, despair, faith and forgiveness. Director Jayne Atkinson and Amber Chand promise to create an unforgettable evening of one woman's global journey of heroism.

Join us to see musicals at the Colonial in Pittsfield and/or theatre at The Fitzpatrick Main Stage and The Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge. Passholders are not locked into a specific day of the week or a specific theatre: you choose what you see and when you see it!

Each pass includes special benefits: preferred seating, VIP Parking at the Main Stage, pre-show dramaturgical packets and invites to special events throughout the year.

For more on the Berkshire Theatre Group, have a look at their website here.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ivoryton Playhouse 2015 Season - Ivoryton, Connecticut

Here is the 2015 season of shows for the Ivoryton Playhouse in Ivoryton, Connecticut.  Please visit their website here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. - cover reveal

My forthcoming book on the career of actress Ann Blyth will bear this lovely cover, for which I'd like to thank most sincerely and congratulate most heartily the graphic artist. She is Constance Metzinger, one half of the Metzinger Sisters who author the classic film blog Silver Scenes.  Please have a look at their blog and you'll be regular customers.

The cover above will be on both the eBook and the print version, but the print book will also have another photo gracing the back. This one:

And in between, many photos from her film and stage appearances, some of which you will have never seen.

The book will be published June 18th.  I'll be posting with updates from time to time here, and most especially on my Another Old Movie Blog.


Just a reminder that I'll be at the Indian Orchard Branch Library (Springfield, Massachusetts) at a book signing with a varied selection of my books, fiction and nonfiction, for sale -- this coming Saturday, March 28th, from noon to 2:00 p.m.  The address is 44 Oak Street.  If you have the time to stop by, I'd love to meet you and have a chat.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patrick's Day 1920s Theatricals - Holy Name Church, Chicopee, Massachusetts

The Annual St. Patrick’s Show was a fundraiser of the kind seldom seen anymore: a community theatre, in this case, a church drama club, whose aspirations went no further than homemade costumes and props in the church hall, a show put on by friends and neighbors, and a bit of the luster of show biz for the price of a 50-cent ticket.

And Billy Disappeared was a comedy put on St. Patrick’s week at the Holy Name Hall on South Street, Chicopee, Massachusetts, in 1923.  The following year it was another comedy, Professor Pepp, billed as “A Farcical Comedy with a College Flavor in Three Acts.”  Oh, the flashy times and witty repartee of the Roaring Twenties.

 As evidenced in this page from the program, these types of plays featured large casts, because as any community or church theatre group knows, large casts means lots of relatives in the audience.

In those days, it certainly meant large Irish families. 

The next year, March 1925, they performed The Whole Town’s Talking, which surely they must have been, over the riotous vaudevillian gusto of another big cast made up of members of the congregation, including defectors from the choir, Ladies’ and Men’ Sodalities, and some seniors from Holy Name High.

This tight little world on South Street was the Holy Name of Jesus Church, founded in 1857, the oldest Roman Catholic church in western Massachusetts, the mother church of the Springfield Diocese.  A grammar school and high school and convent were once part of that little world.  Unfortunately, the church was closed temporarily in 2011, and continues to be closed indefinitely at this point, due to repairs needed for structural issues.  The parish continues actively at another church around the corner, Assumption of the Blessed Mary Church.

The thespians, their antics, and their intermissions of Irish songs, are from another era when hokum, sentiment, and amateur theatrics were beloved for all their imperfections, when two players not married to each could fluster the straight-laced regular churchgoers with a stage kiss, and when St. Patrick’s Day was a time for innocent, and entirely homemade, showmanship.