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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Berkshire Theatre Festival - Stockbridge & Pittsfield, Massachusetts

This summer at the Berkshire Theatre Festival!
Visitor Info.
book by Colin Escott & music by Floyd Mutrux
directed & music directed by James Barry

at The Unicorn Theatre
The Larry Vaber Stage
BTG's Stockbridge Campus, 6 East Street
Wednesday, June 14 through  Saturday, July 15 at 8pm

Sponsored by: Lead Sponsor, Bobbie Hallig and Furlano and Arace, PC
Tony Award-winning jukebox musical, and epic night of rock 'n roll, Million Dollar Quartet brings you into the recording studio with icons, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Based on a true story, set on December 4, 1956, Million Dollar Quartet follows the tale of these four legendary musicians, as they come together for one monumental night of music at Sun Records in Memphis. This smash-hit musical includes classic tunes such as: "Blue Suede Shoes," "Fever," "Walk the Line," "Sixteen Tons," "Who Do You Love?," "Great Balls of Fire," "Folsom Prison Blues," "Hound Dog," and more.

book, music & lyrics Meredith Wilson
story by Meredith Wilson & Franklin Lacey
directed by Travis G. Daly, musical direction by Mark Gionfriddo
at The Colonial Theatre
BTG's Pittsfield Campus, 111 South Street
Thursday, July 6 through Sunday, August 6

Sponsored by: Greylock Federal Credit Union, Greylock Insurance Company, Dr. Richard Ziter, Phyllis Parvin and The Berkshire Eagle
The Music Man is about a con-man who ultimately does good by a community. "Professor" Harold Hill's heart opens up through the course of one of America's most beloved musicals. In the magical number "'Till There Was You," we all recognize that the power of love is greater than all else, and change is always possible. In fact, Harold Hill and the children of River City, Iowa, remind us that the ordinary can indeed be changed to the extraordinary.

This beloved musical features over 100 talented Berkshire youth, as well as Rylan Morsbach (BTG: Mary Poppins, The Homecoming), who was recently hailed as "terrific" by The New York Times in BTG's Off-Broadway transfer of Fiorello!. With eccentric characters and a warm, optimistic story, this charming musical is filled with memorable tunes such as, "Ya Got Trouble," "Gary, Indiana," and more.

directed by Eric Hill
at The Unicorn Theatre
The Larry Vaber Stage
BTG's Stockbridge Campus, 6 East Street
Wednesday, July 19 through Saturday, August 26 at 8pm

Sponsored by: Lead Sponsor, Bobbie Hallig and Furlano and Arace, PC
Set in New York City, Act 1, Homelife opens with a look inside the isolated marriage of wealthy textbook company executive, Peter, played by David Adkins (BTG: Thoreau or, Return to Walden; Poe), and his articulate, Upper East Side wife, Ann, played by Tara Franklin (BTG: The HomecomingLion in WinterEquus). Unable to communicate their feelings to each other, the foundation of their marriage is built on unspoken agreements. Somehow, they find comfort in their boring relationship, yet, they are never truly on the same page. Act 2, The Zoo Story, follows Peter to Central Park. While sitting on a park bench, Peter encounters forlorn and forsaken stranger, Jerry, played by Joey Collins  Collins (BTG: The Homecoming, Broadway: The Glass Menagerie). This stranger, who appears desperate for human contact and connection, forces Peter to listen to his stories, as he digs deep into Peter's life, and his own.

BY Joseph Kesselring
directed by Gregg Edelman
at The Fitzpatrick Main Stage
BTG's Stockbridge Campus, 83 East Main Street
Thursday, July 27 through Saturday, August 19

Sponsored by: Blantyre, Country Curtains and Red Lion Inn
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 and Martha Brewster. However, shortly after Mortimer's arrival, he discovers that his innocent aunts have a deadly secret buried in the basement-about 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 brothers-Theodore, who believes he is Theodore Roosevelt, and maniacal, murderous Jonathan.

directed by Daisy Walker
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 is 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.

111 South Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201
(413) 448.8084
The Fitzpatrick Main Stage and
The Unicorn Theatre:
6 East Street
Stockbridge, MA 01262
(413) 997.4444
The Colonial Theatre and
The Garage:
111 South Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201
(413) 997.4444

For more info, see website here.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Upcoming talk on Mt. Tom Theatre book - West Springfield, Massachusetts

Just a note that I will be speaking on my book Comedy and Tragedy on the Mountain - 70 Years of Summer Theatre on Mt. Tom, Holyoke, Massachusetts on Wednesday, June 7th at 6 p.m. at the West Springfield Public Library, 200 Park Street, West Springfield, Mass.

The book covers the history of live theatre on Mt. Tom from 1895 to 1965.  For some seventy years live theatre created magic on the mountain above the city, from vaudeville, operetta, WPA-sponsored shows in the Great Depression, and its heyday from 1941 to 1962 with a resident repertory company called The Valley Players.  In the early 1960s, two new incarnations: The Casino-in-the-Park, and finally, the Mt. Tom Playhouse with touring packaged shows featuring well-known stars from television and movies.  Many stars of stage and screen, and many newcomers who would one day become stars, performed over several decades on Mt. Tom.  Through interviews, newspaper reviews, and nearly 250 photographs, relive their performances, and go backstage for personal experiences that were both comic and tragic, and enjoy again the excitement of opening night.

The book is currently available in paperback from the printer, CreateSpace here, and from Amazon in paperback and eBook.  You can also contact me by email or my website to obtain a paperback copy. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Student Prince - Springfield, Massachusetts Restaurant

JT Lynch photo

The Student Prince, a nostalgic and fanciful name for a German restaurant in Springfield, Massachusetts, has been a landmark in that city since 1935.  Though you may not find the characters from the Sigmund Romberg operetta  roaming about the premises, you will, at lease this month, find the Fort Street Carolers performing selections from The Sound of Music.  Surely, that is gemΓΌtlich enough for any fan of this cozy and inviting restaurant.  If that weren't enough, it is reckoned to have one of the largest collection of beer steins in the U.S.

JT Lynch photo

Ruprecht Scherff came from Germany to work here in 1949, and took ownership in 1961, and the Scherff family continued ownership until 2014.  When they announced the closing, several Springfield businessmen became involved to save the beloved restaurant, and so it remains today on Fort Street where it has stood since the Great Depression. 

Fort Street, incidentally, is so named because it was the site of Springfield founder William Pynchon's stockade fort, which withstood the attack of King Phillip's Pocumtuck warriors when they burned the young settlement of Springfield in 1675, 39 years after the settlement had begun. 

JT Lynch photo

There are stained glass windows in The Student Prince that picture Springfield historical landmarks, such as the Campanile, and Deacon Samuel Chapin, one of Springfield's founders.

JT Lynch photo

Through thick and thin, Fort Street lends its tradition of resilience and charm to Springfield.

JT Lynch photo

Have a look here at The Student Prince website.

Also, thank you to organizer Erica Walch, and all the intrepid walkers who followed me around Springfield this past Saturday on my walking tour of Springfield's theater history sponsored by the Springfield Museums and the Armoury-Quadrangle Civic Association.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Walking Tour - Theaters - Springfield, Massachusetts

This is the Bijou Theater on Worthington Street, Springfield, Massachusetts.  It's not there anymore, but that won't stop us...

This Saturday, May 13th, I'll be conducting a walking tour of Springfield's entertainment history by visiting a number of sites of theaters (and former theaters).  Sponsored by the Second Saturday Walking Tours for the Springfield Museums and Armory-Quadrangle Civic Association, this tour is titled:

"Stage, Screen, and Radio: A Walk through Springfield's Entertainment History"

We meet at the Visitors Center at the Springfield Library and Museums on Edwards Street in Springfield at 10:30 a.m.  The walk will be about a mile and a half, and the route downtown will probably take somewhere between an hour or hour and a half to complete.  The event is free for Museum and Armoury-Quadrangle Civic Association members; $5 nonmembers.

I hope you can put on your sneakers and join us!

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