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Artwork for "An Iliad" at Weston playhouse
provided / Weston Playhouse

Weston Playhouse Theatre Company has returned to live performance with: An Iliad, running through August 6th under the Tent at Walker Farm.

The eternal, enchanting power of storytelling comes to life in Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson’s acclaimed adaptation of Homer’s classic. A chorus of ancient muses perform original compositions by winner Jenny Giering as a solitary storyteller throws us into the midst of conflict.

To tell us more we welcome Executive Artistic Director Susanna Gellert and David Bonanno who plays The Poet, an ancient teller of tales destined to share the story of war until the day human nature changes; until the day our love of rage comes to an end.

Sarah LaDuke and Carolee Carmello
WAMC / WAMC

This summer, The Berkshire Theatre Group’s Colonial Concert Series will feature performances from some of the best and boldest talent working on Broadway and on Friday, July 9 at 7 p.m., Carolee Carmello will take the stage under the big tent at The Colonial for a concert entitled “My Outside Voice.”

A three-time Tony Award nominee, Carolee Carmello most recently starred as Dolly Levi in the National Tour of “Hello, Dolly!” - the run of which was cut short when the Covid-19 pandemic shut everything down. Her career includes 14 Broadway musicals: Tuck Everlasting, Finding Neverland, Scandalous, Sister Act, The Addams Family, Mamma Mia!, Lestat, Urinetown, Kiss Me Kate, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Parade, 1776, Falsettos, and City of Angels.

Carmello joins us to talk about Dolly ending early, "Sweeney Todd" at Barrow Street, and performing in concert.

The Berkshire Theatre Groups concert series continues throughout the summer. Norm Lewis will be under the tent tonight and tomorrow, and Krysta Rodriguez will perform on July 10.

Juliet Stevenson with a human head-shaped binaural microphone
Provided / Provided

The acclaimed Donmar Warehouse production “Blindness” is now being presented at the Daryl Roth Theatre in Union Square in New York City through July 25. The special theatrical presentation is based on Nobel Prize-winner Jose Saramago’s dystopian novel of the same name. The adaptation is by Tony Award®-winning playwright Simon Stephens.

In the play - as in the novel - an epidemic of unexplained complete vision loss takes over the city, and the government responds by placing -- and ultimately neglecting -- newly blind citizens in abandoned buildings. But one unaffected woman witnesses and frees one group of newly-blind citizens who have been locked in an empty mental hospital.

No actors are present for the performance, instead, audience members wear headphones and listen to the recorded narration by the actor Juliet Stevenson while surrounded by immersive lighting and atmospheric design.

"Blindness" is directed by Walter Meierjohann with sound design by Ben and Max Ringham, designed by Lizzie Clachan, and lighting design by Jessica Hung Han Yun. 

Juliet Stevenson was awarded the CBE for her work in drama and has received the Laurence Olivier Award for best actress. Her film credits include “Truly Madly Deeply,” “Mona Lisa Smile,” “Being Julia,” and “Bend It Like Beckham.”

Joe Donahue and Benita Zahn in a radio studio
Sarah LaDuke

Longtime NewsChannel 13 Anchor Benita Zahn’s last day is Friday after more than 41 years at the station, most as its health reporter and anchor.

She concurrently spent more than a decade as the host of the “HealthLink” program on the local PBS affiliate, WMHT-TV, has a busy sideline in local theater and earned a Ph.D. in bioethics in 2014.

She joins us this morning talk about her career, television news and her next chapter. 

Book cover for "Brat" By Andrew McCarthy
Simon & Schuster

Andrew McCarthy’s movie roles in “Pretty in Pink,” “St. Elmo's Fire,” “Weekend at Bernie's,” and “Less Than Zero” made him a star.  He's considered one of the so-called “Brat Pack” – which has come to represent both a genre of film and an era of pop culture. He writes about that decade of his life in “Brat: An '80s Story.”

Miss Piggy and Charles Grodin - black and white photo of a beautiful pig puppet in a party dress with human actor Charles Grodin who is in a tux
Disney

Actor Charles Grodin died yesterday. He was 86. Known for his work in films like “Midnight Run,” “The Heartbreak Kid” “Beethoven,” and “The Great Muppet Caper” – Grodin also performed on television, on Broadway, and hosted his own talk show on CNBC. We spoke with him in 2012 and we air that interview today, in memoriam. The conversation begins with Grodin explaining why it’s so difficult to thrive – or even survive – in show business.

Image from Troy Foundry Theatre's "A Deed With No Name"
https://www.troyfoundrytheatre.com/

Troy Foundry Theatre will present a new piece entitled “A Deed Without A Name” from May 19-30 in the E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy Law Firm parking lot, next to the Trjoan Hotel in Troy, New York.

“A Deed Without a Name” is created by Katie Pedro, curated and devised with Ethan Botwick, Emily Curro and David Girard, and is the first mainstage TFT production of the 2021-22 season. Performed by 3 actors, Morgan Heyward, Angelique Powell and Eliana Anneliscia Rowe, the work investigates memory, reclamation, and consciousness.

We were joined by Katie Pedro and Angelique Powell.

Book cover for "Truly Like Lightning"
Farrar, Straus and Giroux / Farrar, Straus and Giroux

David Duchovny is best known for his work in film and television - but he's also a New York Times bestselling author who has written four novels his latest titled "Truly Like Lightning," about a fundamentalist Mormon family that returns to society after living in isolation in the desert.

Duchovny is an actor, producer, director, novelist and singer-songwriter, best known for playing FBI agent Fox Mulder on the TV series, "The X-Files" and Hank Moody on the TV series "Californication," both of which earned him Golden Globe Awards.

Book cover for "The Good Hand"
Penguin/Random House

  Like thousands of restless men left unmoored in the wake of the 2008 economic crash, Michael Patrick Smith arrived in the fracking boomtown of Williston, North Dakota five years later homeless, unemployed, and desperate for a job. Renting a mattress on a dirty flophouse floor, he slept boot to beard with migrant men who came from all across America and as far away as Jamaica, Africa and the Philippines. They ate together, drank together, argued like crows and searched for jobs they couldn’t get back home. Smith’s goal was to find the hardest work he could do – to find out if he could do it.

His book this time in his life is "The Good Hand: A Memoir of Work, Brotherhood, and Transformation in an American Boomtown."

Actors Christopher Plummer has died at the age of 91. The Academy Award winner starred in "The Sound of Music," "All the Money in the World," "Beginners," and "Knives Out."

We spoke with him  in 2008 about "The Sound of Music" and his memoir "In Spite of Myself."

Hal Holbrook
Picture Perfect/REX/Shutterstock

Actor Hal Holbrook has died at the age of 95. We spoke with Holbrook in 2011 about his early life and his career on the occasion of his autobiography - "Harold: The Boy Who Became Mark Twain." We present that interview in memoriam this morning.

Academy Award winning actor Cloris Leachman has died at the age of 94.

A member of Elia Kazan's first class at The Actors Studio in New York City, she won her Oscar for the 1971 Peter Bogdanovich film "The Last Picture Show" and she entered the living rooms of America as television's Phyllis Lindstrom on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." She appeared on "Dancing with the Stars" at the age of 82 and until recently was performing for the screen - both on camera and voice-over work. 

Joe Donahue spoke with her in 2009 about her memoir "Cloris" and we re-post that interview now, in memoriam.

Artwork from the book cover of "The Tinderbox"
Aethon Books / aethonbooks.com

Actor Lou Diamond Phillips is putting his screenwriting talents to work with his debut novel "The Tinderbox: Soldier of Indira," a science fantasy retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen tale of the same name. It is a fairy-tale that tackles issues of racism, power and prophecy in an alien world.

Lou Diamond Phillips is currently starring in the FOX series “Prodigal Son,” having recently starred on the Netflix series, “Longmire,” based on the Walt Longmire mystery novels by Craig Johnson. He is a Tony nominated actor whose breakthrough films included: "La Bamba," "Young Guns" and "Stand and Deliver."

Artwork for "Typhoid Mary" at Barrington Stage
Barrington Stage Company / barringtonstageco.org

As the pandemic continues into its eighth month in the U.S. and an administration rails against the fact-based findings of doctors and medical advisors, the Barrington Stage Company is revisiting Mark St. Germain’s play, "Typhoid Mary," where arguments between God and science take center stage.

The virtual reading of "Typhoid Mary," a play by BSC Associate Artist Mark St. Germain, stars two-time Tony Award winner Judith Ivey as Mary Mallon aka ‘Typhoid Mary.’ The reading also features actors: Frances Evans, T.R. Knight, Kate Mac Cluggage and Joe Morton. The production is directed by Matthew Penn.

This is the true and turbulent story of Mary Mallon, known better as Typhoid Mary. As one of the most infamous women in America, her career as a cook left deaths in her wake. A carrier of typhoid, Mary refused to believe she was responsible, citing God’s will and the lies of science instead. Imprisoned on North Brother Island, the conflicts between her and the doctors were as impassioned then as they are today.

The reading will be available to stream on October 30 & 31 at 7:30 pm. Judith Ivey won two Tony Awards as Best Featured Actress in a Play for "Steaming" in 1983 and "Hurlyburly" in 1985. She was also nominated for "Park Your Car in Harvard Yard" in 1992 and a revival of "The Heiress" in 2013.

Tony Award Winner Linda Lavin is best known portraying the title character in the TV series "Alice." She is also known for making several stage performances in many Broadway and Off-Broadway projects like "Death Defying Acts," "The Lyons," "Last of the Red Hot Lovers," "Broadway Bound," "Gypsy," and "The Diary of Anne Frank," to name a few.

In addition, Lavin has received the Golden Globe Award twice under the category Best TV Actress in a Musical or Comedy for her work in "Alice." Besides these, she is also a two-time Obie Award awardee. In 2011, Lavin was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.

She joins us this morning to talk about another credit she has – she narrated the book: "My Own Words" by Ruth Bader Ginsburg - which we heard portions of during The Roundtable Panel this morning.

The Woodstock Film Festival is announcing its 2020 lineup of screenings and events that will be held virtually and at area drive-ins, including a pop-up drive-in at Andy Lee Field in Woodstock.

The 21st annual festival is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 30, through Sunday, Oct. 4. This year's festival will be a "reformatted virtual edition," due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with in-person screenings limited to drive-in venues in Woodstock, Greenville and Poughkeepsie.

Festival Executive Director and Co-founder Meira Blaustein joins us this morning to tell us more. 


  Berkshire Theatre Group presents “An Intimate Performance with Brian Stokes Mitchell” on September 5 at 8 p.m. at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

 

Stokes is a Tony Award winning actor whose Broadway credits include “Ragtime,” “Kiss Me Kate,” “Man of La Mancha,” and “Shuffle Along.” Television credits include Trapper John, MC and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Glee, Mr. Robot, Billions, and The Good Fight - among many others.

He is serving his 16th term as The Chairman of The Board of The Actors Fund and is a co-founder of the Black Theatre United Coalition.

John Waters is an iconic filmmaker, actor, and author whose credits include "Pink Flamingos," "Hairspray," "Crybaby," "A Dirty Shame" and best selling books including "Role Models, and "Carsick."

His new book is just out in paperback. It's called "Mr. Know-It-All." It's a collection of essays where Waters reflects on everything from overcoming unexpected respectability to becoming a rebel in the autumn of your years.

While you may not immediately recognize the name François Clemmons, you certainly may know him from his groundbreaking role as Officer Clemmons, a recurring character on "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" with Fred Rogers.

Clemmons overcame a difficult childhood of discrimination to become a musician, a noted choir director, and to serve as a positive image of a black American at a time when racial tensions in the United States were very high.

As he writes in his new memoir, he found a family in Fred Rogers, a friend and mentor. He writes about his life and his deep friendship with Rogers in his new memoir "Officer Clemmons."

Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher and the team behind “South Pacific,” “The King and I” and 2017 Tony-winning Best Play “Oslo,” bring a fresh and authentic vision to “Fiddler on the Roof” a beloved theatrical masterpiece from Tony winner Joseph Stein and Pulitzer Prize winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick – now on tour at Proctors in Schenectady, New York through Sunday.

The original production won ten Tony Awards, including a special Tony for becoming the longest-running Broadway musical of all time. This new production features movement and dance from acclaimed Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter, based on the original staging by Jerome Robbins.

A wonderful cast and a lavish orchestra tell this heartwarming story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and the timeless traditions that define faith and family.

Maite Uzal plays Golde in the production. As Tevye’s wife of twenty-five years and mother of his five daughters, Golde is an efficient helpmate and traditionalist, faced with changes of a “new world.”

Orson Bean
AXELLE/BAUER-GRIFFIN/GETTY IMAGES

Actor Orson Bean, a staple guest on game shows in the 1960s died yesterday after a car accident in the Venice section of Los Angeles, California. He was 91.

Bean was born in Burlington, Vermont and in 2008, The Roundtable did a remote broadcast from The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington and we included an interview with Orson Bean, who had just turned 80 years old. We aired that conversation today, in memoriam.

Barrington Stage Company’s ninth annual 10X10 New Play Festival will have performances February 13 through March 8 at BSC’s St. Germain Stage in the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The new play festival is part of Pittsfield’s 10X10 Upstreet Arts Festival.

The new play festival is part of the 2020 10X10 Upstreet Arts Festival which is a collaborative effort spearheaded by Barrington Stage Company and the City of Pittsfield, and coordinated through a steering committee that includes the Beacon Cinema, Berkshire International Film Festival, Berkshire Museum, Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, and the City of Pittsfield.

Actor Peggy Pharr Wilson is performing in 5 of the 10 news plays on offer this year. She has acted often at Barrington Stage - as well as at many other theaters - and is one of Barrington Stage’s newest Artistic Associates.

The New Colossus” tells the true stories of twelve refugees from twelve different time periods, fleeing from violence and oppression in a journey toward freedom. In the play -- which will be at Proctors in Schenectady, New York on Friday, February 7 and Saturday, February 8 -- a group of actors from all over the world tell their ancestors' stories, all woven into a single narrative about escaping their homeland and coming to America.

“The New Colossus is co-written by The Actors’ Gang Ensemble and their Artistic Director and Co-Founder Tim Robbins who also directs. The Actors’ Gang was founded in 1981 and is based in Culver City, California.

Academy Award winning actor, Tim Robbins is best known for his films “Bull Durham,” “The Hudsucker Proxy,” “Mystic River,” and “The Shawshank Redemption.” He directorial film credits include “Cradle will Rock” and “Dead Man Walking.”

Celia Keenan-Bolger photographed for broadway.com
Photographs by Caitlin McNaney | Styling: Sarah Slutsky | Hair: Morgan Blaul | Makeup: Rachel Estabrook / broadway.com

Celebrating its 18th season, Modfest 2020 is Vassar College’s annual exploration of the arts of the 20th and 21st centuries. This year’s theme, “reflect to project,” looks backward to move forward. All events are free and open to the public.

On Saturday, February 1 at 3 p.m., Modfest 2020 presents “Reflect: An Artist’s Life, Onstage and Off” featuring Tony Award-winner Celia Keenan-Bolger sharing stories about Broadway, acting, and art. This event is sponsored by The Capotorto-Mulas Family Lecture Fund and will take place in The Martel Theater at the Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film on the Vassar campus in Poughkeepsie, New York. Keenan-Bolger will be in conversation with actor and Vassar Drama Professor Shona Tucker.

Celia Keenan-Bolger’s works includes both plays and musicals, on and off-Broadway. She made her Broadway debut as Olive Ostrovsky in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” earning her first Tony Award nomination. Her other Broadway credits include Eponine in “Les Miserables,” Molly in “Peter and the Starcatcher,” Laura in “The Glass Menagerie,” Varya in “The Cherry Orchard,” and, most recently, Scout in “To Kill a Mockingbird.” She won her first Tony Award for her portrayal of the willful and reflective Scout Finch and was also nominated for “The Glass Menagerie” and “Peter and the Starcatcher.”

Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany, New York is currently presenting the East Coast premiere of Meridith Friedman’s “Your Best One,” directed by Gordon Greenberg.

Eight-years since the death of their beloved matriarch, the Hoffman family rallies together – and against each other – when one of their own is confronted by a sudden health crisis. With their trademark wit and inherited neurosis, they wage battles over health insurance, child custody, inheritance, and superfoods.

Kate Wetherhead plays Laura in “Your Best One.” Wetherhead is the co-creator, writer, director and star of the popular theater-based web series "Submissions Only." She has appeared on and off Broadway in shows such as "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," "Legally Blonde" and "Ordinary Days." Kate has also performed regionally at theaters like the Guthrie, Paper Mill Playhouse, Goodspeed Opera House, George Street Theater and the Dallas Theater Center.

Hubbard Hall Center for the Arts and Education in Cambridge, New York presents “Stupid F*%king Bird,” a new adaptation of Chekhov's “The Seagull” by Aaron Posner, weekends January 24 through February 2. The show is produced in partnership with Bennington College.

An aspiring director rampages against the art created by his mother’s generation. A young actress wrestles with an aging Hollywood star for the affections of a renowned novelist. And everyone discovers just how disappointing love, art, and growing up can be.

We were joined by Director Kirk Jackson, actor Jesse Pennington, and Executive and Artistic Director of Hubbard Hall David Snider.

The Tour of The Tony-Award winning revival of the musical “Once on this Island” will be at Proctors in Schenectady, New York on Friday, January 17 and Saturday, January 18.

The Lynn Ahrens/Stephen Flaherty musical, directed by Michael Arden and choreographed by Camille A. Brown, tells the story of the orphaned Ti Moune and four competitive Gods who make a wager over her life and her love. “Once on this Island” is a celebration tinged with sadness that emphasizes the importance of telling everyone’s stories.

Tyler Hardwick joined us. He plays Daniel and he joins the tour after playing a storyteller and understudying roles during the show’s Broadway run.

Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany, New York presents “It’s a Wonderful Life: Live from WVL Radio Theatre” through Dec. 22.

Adapted from the classic Frank Capra film by W.V.R. Repoley this story comes to life as a live, 1940s radio broadcast. Five actors give voice to all the memorable Bedford Falls characters, accompanied by sound effects and music created live on stage.  

We are joined by actor Wynn Harmon.

A photo of Berkshire Theatre Group's A Christmas Carol
Emma K. Rothenberg-Ware

The Berkshire Theatre Group presents its adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” on stage at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts December 7 -21.

A holiday classic, “A Christmas Carol” celebrates the import of empathy and community connection – and BTG’s production of the story does the same.

The story was adapted for the stage by Eric Hill, who stars as the miser-who-makes-good, Ebenezer Scrooge.

Eric Hill joined us along with BTG’s Artistic Associate of Education Travis Daly, who directs “A Christmas Carol” and actor and high school student, Kate Goble – who plays Belle.

Nehal Joshi, Scott Stangland, Peter Dinklage, and Jasmine Cephas Jones in "Cyrano"
Monique Carboni

Jasmine Cephas Jones is starring opposite Peter Dinklage in The New Group’s “Cyrano” which is running at the Daryl Roth Theatre in New York City through December 22.

In the new musical version of “Cyrano de Bergerac,” the 1897 play-in-verse by Edmond Rostand, Dinklage plays the brilliantly eloquent and love-struck cadet Cyrano, pining after Cephas Jones’ beautiful and willful Roxanne - who in turn loves the handsome and witless Christian.

This new version is adapted from the original and directed by Erica Schmidt and features original music by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of the rock band The National with lyrics by Matt Berninger (also of The National) and Carin Besser.

Jasmine Cephas Jones originated the dual roles of Peggy and Maria Reynolds in Hamilton at The Public and subsequently on Broadway, earning widespread recognition and acclaim along with her castmates, and a Grammy Award for the cast recording. She co-starred in the film “Blindspotting” which starred and was written by her “Hamilton” co-star Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal. A television series based on the movie is in development. In addition to being an actor and performer, Cephas Jones writes music and will have an EP of her original music coming out soon.

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