© 2024
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Memorial Day Weekend – parades and theater

It’s difficult to believe that it’s is already Memorial Day Weekend. At this time of year, it should be sparse pickings in terms of theater because the fall-to-spring companies have mostly completed their seasons and few summer companies have started.

Over in Stockbridge, MA, Berkshire Theatre Group, who generally produces theater only in the summer months, opened “4,000 Miles” this past weekend. This is a sweet and wise story about a generational relationship which was the 2013 runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize.

On a cross country bike trip, Leo, the 21-year-old grandson of Vera Joseph suffers a tragic loss. He stops at his 91 year old grandmother’s West Village apartment in New York City seeking solace and refuge. Vera was and still is a tough, feisty social revolutionist. She enjoys her independence and solitude. Over his stay, she rekindles her love for people, especially Leo. He finds inner-strength that he didn’t know he had.

Making the production extra special is Vera is played by the wonderful actor, Maria Tucci. It plays through June 1.

“Native Gardens” just opened at Curtain Call Theatre in Latham It runs through June 9. Theoretically, it’s a comedy about a fence separating two gardens, and a whole lot more.

The whole lot more can be found beneath the mere details the play’s plot. In an upper-class section of Washington, D.C. a dark-skinned couple of Mexican descent, move into a fancy neighborhood. The neighbors are a white, upper-class couple getting ready to retire.

When it’s discovered there is 2-ft error on the property line that favors the new couple, polite, civil discourse turns into silly fights and acts of retribution.

In summary, “Native Gardens” is a comedy about established money that causes conflict with a couple that is of Mexican heritage. The conflict is a fence located in our nation’s capital. Enough said?”

There are other good shows available this week. “Driving Miss Daisy” continues at Albany Civic Theatre through June 2. It’s a now classic theatre piece about a wealthy, white, Jewish woman and her African-American chauffeur. Their relationship that fondly grows over the decades describes how true friendship is based on trust and loyalty. It’s a sweet, revealing piece of theater that is nearly impossible not to enjoy.

Plus, there’s more coming in the immediate future. In Salem, Fort Salem Theatre opens “Godspell” next week on Friday, May 31. It’s an early work based on the “Gospels of St. Matthew.” It’s by Steven Schwartz, who created “Wicked,” “Pippin” and other major musicals.

The musical “Back to the Future” plays Proctors in Schenectady June 6-8.

It’s good that there is a lot of entertainment available. But the most important thing to remember is that the weekend is meant to honor those who gave their lives for their country. Most towns have a parade meant to remind us of that fact. There are parades in Schenectady this evening and in Albany and Troy tomorrow, as well as many others in communities throughout the region. Attend and remember.

Bob Goepfert is theater reviewer for the Troy Record.

The views expressed by commentators are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of this station or its management.

Related Content