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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.

Sean Penn won Academy Awards for Best Actor for his performances in “Mystic River” and “Milk.” He is also a novelist. His debut novel was “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff” and he’s followed it up with the sequel “Bob Honey Sings Jimmy Crack Corn,” where he follows the exploits of Bob Honey, a septic tank entrepreneur turned international mallet-wielding assassin.

Paul Reiser and Joe Donahue on stage at Page Hall in Albany New York
Patrick Dodson

Comedian, actor, television writer, author and musician Paul Reiser co-starred as Paul Buchman in the decade-defining 1990s comedy, "Mad About You." Other starring roles include Michael Taylor in 60 episodes of "My Two Dads," Doug Getty in "Red Oaks," and Dr. Sam Owens in "Stranger Things." His films include: "Diner," "Beverly Hills Cop" 1 & 2, "Aliens" and "Whiplash."

Reiser is also the author of three bestsellers about family life, including "Couplehood," "Babyhood" and "Familyhood." This Creative Life conversation was recorded on April 4, 2019.

Chita Rivera
Laura Marie Duncan

On November 16, Helsinki on Broadway in association with Gary DiMauro presents “Chita: A Legendary Celebration” at Helsinki Hudson in Hudson, New York. The one-and-only Chita Rivera will perform songs from her Tony Award winning Broadway career with her longtime trio at 7 and 9:30 p.m. At Helsinki Hudson she’ll perform songs from “West Side Story,” “Sweet Charity,” “Chicago,” “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” ”Bye, Bye, Birdie,” “The Rink,” “The Visit,” and more.

Theatrical icon and living legend of the stage, Rivera is among the most nominated performers in Tony Award history and received the 2018 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. Among her many honors through a lifetime of performance and activism, Rivera was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2009 and received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2002.

Our tech-guru Jesse Feiler is an author and developer who focuses on small business and nonprofits along with iOS technologies. He has recently added book publisher to his roles: his Champlain Arts business has published apps for a number of years, and has recently added books. Uta Hagen’s memoir "Sources" is back in print through ChamplainArts.com.

Tech aside this morning, Jesse is here to tell us about a two night event next week at SUNY Plattsburgh entitled: "The Artistry and Politics of Uta Hagen - A Centennial Celebration of Her Life."

Uta Hagen was a renowned American actress and teacher. Her Broadway career began in 1938 and spanned more than six decades, garnering her three Tony Awards. In 1947, she began teaching acting at HB Studio in Greenwich Village. She established herself as one of the most influential acting teachers of the 20th century. Her acting books, "Respect for Acting" (1973) and "A Challenge for the Actor" (1991), are considered two of the most important acting books of the 20th century.

Jesse joins us along with Ted Brunetti - producer, director, acting coach, teacher, and actor. Ted created the role of “Frankie Coffee Cake” in the Broadway Production of “A Bronx Tale: The Musical.” He was a long-time colleague and protégé of Uta Hagen.

Actor Barry Bostwick is one of the stars of the 1975 cult classic "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." On Monday, October 21, he will be part of a screening of the film at The Palace Theatre in Albany, New York with "shadow cast" The Kids of Albany. The Palace Theatre and The Kids of Albany have been doing these screenings for 10 years.

The event will begin with a pre-show meet-and-greet with Bostwick for holder of VIP tickets and he will introduce the film and do a Q&A with the whole audience.

On October 10, “Linda Vista,” a new play by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Tracy Letts, directed by Dexter Bullard, opens at Second Stage’s Helen Hayes Theater in New York City.

In the play, Wheeler is a 50-year-old divorcee in a mid-life spiral. Just out of his ex-wife’s garage and into a place of his own, Wheeler starts on a path toward self-discovery. Full of opinions and short on self-examination, Wheeler navigates blind dates, old friends, and new love while reconciling the man he has become with the man he wants to be.

“Linda Vista” premiered at Steppenwolf in Chicago. It went on to have its Los Angeles premiere at Center Theatre Group in the Mark Taper Forum in February 2019 - and now it’s on Broadway.

For each of the productions, Letts’ fellow Steppenwolf ensemble member Ian Barford has played Wheeler. Barford also originated the role of Little Charles in Letts's “August: Osage County,” Ray in “Mary Page Marlowe,” and Mr. Carp “The Minutes.” Other Broadway credits include “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” and “The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.”

This month, Drama Desk nominee Lori Wilner revisits her one woman show “Hannah Sanesh,” which she co-created with writer/director David Schechter in 1984.

It is an intimate account of a young Hungarian Jewish girl growing up in 1930’s Budapest. Not particularly religious, she is drawn to investigate her Judaism as she experiences increasing persecution and anti-semitism.

Originally performed Off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theater, Lori received the Goldy Award, DramaLogue Award and Drama Desk nomination for her solo performance and went on to tour extensively in the states, Canada and Israel. Lori will perform the show on Saturday, October 5 at Unison Arts Center in New Paltz, New York.

"Lobby Hero" At TheRep

Oct 2, 2019

Penned nearly 20 years ago and debuting off Broadway just prior to the 9/11 tragedy, Kenneth Lonergan’s "Lobby Hero" is rife with proto-memes of #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, police brutality, workplace harassment, bullying and the millennial urge to save the world without actually doing much about it. It is now running at Capital Repertory Theatre through Oct. 20th, directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian.

In the play: Jeff is a blabbermouth. He’s not a doorman he will repeatedly tell you, but a security guard. Your secrets are not safe with him. Just ask William, his superintendent whose brother has been accused of a heinous crime. Or Bill, the veteran beat cop who has a standing tryst with a fading flower upstairs. Or Dawn, the new rookie Bill is preening despite the fact that three months into her new gig she’s already been called up on assault charges.

Kenny Toll plays Jeff, the self-imagined lobby hero whose mouth can’t stop flapping long enough for his brain to take over.

The Spongebob Musical” National Tour sets sail at Proctors in Schenectady, New York on September 22 and will anchor there through September 28.

Conceived and directed by Tina Landau with a book by Kyle Jarrow, orchestrations by Tom Kitt, and choreography by Christopher Gattelli, “The Spongebob Musical” features songs by Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, The Flaming Lips, Lady Antebellum, John Legend, Panic! At The Disco, They Might Be Giants, David Bowie, Brian Eno - and more.

In the show, Nickelodeon’s popular right-angled aquatic invertebrate and his town of Bikini Bottom face catastrophe - until an unexpected hero rises to take center stage.

We are joined by the actors playing best friends SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star: Lorenzo Pugliese and Beau Bradshaw.

Constance Shulman in "The Rose Tattoo" at The Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2016
Daniel Rader

This week, the Roundabout Theatre Company production of Tennessee Williams’ “The Rose Tattoo” begins previews on Broadway at The American Airlines Theatre, directed by Trip Cullman and starring Marisa Tomei. A version of the production premiered at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2016. Much of the cast has changed between the two stagings, but our next guest, Constance Shulman, has remained a part of the play. She plays The Strega.

Shulman is best known as Yoga Jones on the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black” and as the voice of Patti Mayonnaise on the Nickelodeon cartoon, “Doug.” Her theatre credits include originating the role of Annelle in the first production of “Steel Magnolias” Off-Broadway.

Hershey Felder in "George Gershwin Alone"
Mark Garvin

The celebrated one-man play, “George Gershwin Alone,” features acclaimed actor, playwright and accomplished pianist, Hershey Felder rendering an intimate portrait of George Gershwin’s personal life and artistic genius.

Widely regarded as the man who brought jazz into the concert hall, Gershwin changed the musical landscape forever. Packed with Gershwin’s legendary songbook, “George Gershwin Alone” features delightful classics such as “I Got Rhythm,” “Someone to Watch Over Me,” songs from “Porgy and Bess” and “An American in Paris,” and a complete performance of “Rhapsody in Blue.”

Berkshire Theatre Group presents “George Gershwin Alone” at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts through August 31.

Edward Albee’s classic “Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?” is being performed at the Weston Playhouse in Weston, Vermont through August 31. The production is directed by Mike Donahue.

In the play, it’s two o’clock in the morning when George and Martha return home from a college faculty party, but the night has only just begun. An evening of fun and games takes a dark turn as the line between reality and illusion blurs.

Three cast members from Weston join us this morning. Andrew Garman (George), Kristin Villanueva (Honey) and Jeffrey Omura (Nick).

Suzan-Lori Parks’ “Topdog/Underdog” won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for drama and was the number-one choice in last year’s New York Times list of “The 25 Best American Plays Since ‘Angels in America.’” The play is now being performed at Shakespeare & Company through September 8th.

In the play: two brothers, Lincoln and Booth, are locked in a battle of wits and struggle to come to terms with their identity and what history has handed them, even their names.

Director Regge Life; actors Deaon Griffin-Pressley and Bryce Michael Wood joined us.

Celebrating its 33rd summer season, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (HVSF) is a critically acclaimed professional, non-profit theater company based in Garrison, New York. The Festival has established a reputation for engaging and highly inventive productions staged under an iconic, open-air Theater Tent overlooking the Hudson River at historic Boscobel House and Gardens.

Jason O’Connell joined us to fill us in on two of HVSF’s current offerings. Returning to HVSF for a tenth season, the actor and playwright is portraying the title character of "Cyrano" in a new adaptation of the classic Edmond Rostand tale, which O’Connell has co-written with Brenda Withers. O'Connell is also playing The Narrator/Mysterious Man in the James Lapine/Stephen Sondheim musical “Into the Woods.”

“I Loved Lucy” is an autobiographical play by Lee Tannen about his friendship with entertainment icon Lucille Ball during the final years of the comedy legend’s life.

After receiving a warm reception in London, the play will have its New York premiere performances in the Hudson Valley this month presented by Gary DiMauro at Helsinki Hudson in Hudson, New York on August 24, and at The Woodstock Playhouse in Woodstock, New York on August 31.

In this production, Lee Tannen will play himself opposite Sandra Dickinson as Lucy.

Accomplished stage and screen actor, Sandra Dickinson is best known for her work in Birds Eye Beefburger TV advertisements directed by Alan Parker in the early 1970s, and as Trillian in the 1981 television adaptation of “The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.” She’s often works as a voice-actor for animated series.

The final Mainstage show of the 2019 Williamstown Theatre Festival season is a new translation of Henrik Ibsen's "Ghosts" by Paul Walsh, directed by Carey Perloff.

With great happiness, Mrs. Alving (Uma Thurman) welcomes her painter son Oswald (Tom Pecinka) home from years of living abroad. But when he starts to flirt with the family maid (Catherine Combs), she must intercede to save her son and herself from scandals present and past. Mrs. Alving struggles to find joy in a life bound by the strictures of Pastor Manders (Bernard White) and the spectral chains of mistakes from long ago.

Bernard White joins us to talk about the production.

Actor Deirdre O’Connell joins us to discuss her work in the World Premiere of Adam Bock's "Before the Meeting," which is currently running on The Nikos Stage at The Williamstown Theatre Festival. The production is directed by Trip Cullman.

Every day, Gail (O’Connell) and the regular members of her early morning group set up for their meeting in the exact same way: Nicole makes the coffee, Gail arranges the chairs, and Ron complains. As they forge a path toward sobriety and well-being, they come to rely on the routine and each other. But when Gail’s estranged granddaughter reopens old wounds, Gail knows it will take more than coffee, chairs, and companionship to keep her life from falling apart.

A few of O'Connell's credit include Broadway's "The Front Page" and "Magic/Bird;" television's "Nurse Jackie," "The Closer," and "Six Feet Under," and the films "A Dog Year," "What Happens in Vegas." and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind."

Jane Kaczmarek, Mark Feuerstein, and Mark Blum in "Tell Me I'm Not Crazy" at Williamstown Theatre Festival
Joseph O'Malley

Actress Jane Kaczmarek is best known for playing the character of Lois on the hit television series “Malcolm in the Middle.” She is a three-time Golden Globe and seven-time Emmy Award nominee. Currently she is starring in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of Sharyn Rothstein’s “Tell Me I’m Not Crazy.”

Forced into retirement and unsettled by the changing world around him, Sol buys himself a gun and his family is up in arms. His wife Diana (Kaczmarek) thought they’d spend more time together and with the grandkids, but Sol’s new hobby puts a bullet in that plan.

Meanwhile, their son Nate is trying to be a good stay-at-home dad while his wife is climbing the corporate ladder, and school is calling with concerns about their kid.

“Tell Me I’m Not Crazy” is a world premiere comedy playing on the festival’s Nikos Stage though August 3.

Actor Thomas Sadoski is currently appearing on the Main Stage at the Williamstown Theatre Festival starring in the world premiere of Bess Wohl's "Grand Horizons" with Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Priscilla Lopez, Maulik Pancholy, Ashley Park, Jamey Sheridan, and JoBeth Williams. TV viewers will recognize Sadoski from his work on HBO's "The Newsroom" and the recently cancelled CBS hit "Life in Pieces." Moviegoers have seen him in "Wild" and "John Wick: Chapter 2" just to name a few and those who love theater may have seen him in his Tony nominated work in "Reasons to be Pretty" or in "House of Blue Leaves," "The Tempest," or "Other Desert Cities" - for which he won a Tony Award.

"Grand Horizons" runs through July 28 at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. The play is scheduled to run at Second Stage Theater in New York City in December. It is directed by Leigh Silverman.

Three-time Pulitzer Prize-Winner Thornton Wilder’s "The Skin of Our Teeth" is now playing at The Berkshire Theatre Group’s Fitzpatrick Main Stage in Stockbridge, Massachusetts and runs through August 3. Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-Winner David Auburn directs the show.

"The Skin of our Teeth" is an optimistic tribute to the invincibility of the human spirit. To tell us more we welcome Harriet Harris who plays Mrs. Antrobus and Danny Johnson who plays Mr. Antrobus.

The David Yazbek/Terrence McNally musical “The Full Monty” is currently running at Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany, New York through August 11.

While spying on their wives at a “Girls’ Night Out” trip to a male strip club, a group of unemployed Buffalo steelworkers come up with a bold way to make some quick cash. As they conquer their fears, self-consciousness and prejudices, the men come to discover that the strength that they find in each other just might give them the individual courage to “let it go.”

The musical is based on the 1997 film of the same name and was nominated for ten Tony Awards when it premiered on Broadway in 2000. Producing Artistic Director Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill directs the production at The Rep.

We are joined by actors Christopher Sutton and Lyn Philistine.

André Braugher In "A Human Being, Of A Sort" At Williamstown Theatre Festival
Williamstown Theatre Festival - Joseph O'Malley

André Braugher is a Golden Glove and Emmy Award winner best known for his roles in "Homicide: Life on the Street" and the current NBC sitcom, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine." He is currently starring in the Williamstown Theatre Festival's World-Premiere production of Jonathan Payne's "A Human Being, of a Sort."

Braugher plays a Southern convict named Smokey who is guarding the Bronx Zoo's most sensational exhibit: Ota Benga, a Congolese pygmy. 

Based on a true story, the play takes place in 1906, the public's fascination intensifies and protestors call for Ota's release, Smokey must grapple with the fact that his own freedom depends on another black man's captivity. 

"A Human Being, of a Sort" is directed at Williamstown by Whitney White and runs through July 7.

Fay Wray was most famous as the woman who captured the heart of the mighty King Kong, the twenty-five-foot, sixty-ton gorilla, as he placed her, nestled in his eight-foot hand, on the ledge of the 102-story Empire State Building, putting Wray at the height of New York’s skyline and cinematic immortality. Wray starred in more than 120 pictures opposite Hollywood's biggest stars.

Tony Shalhoub
FRAZER HARRISON - GETTY IMAGES

The Berkshire Playwright’s Lab Annual Gala will take place on Friday, June 7 at 6:30pm at the Wyantenuck Country Club in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

The fundraising event will include a silent auction and a one-night-only performance of a new work by Rick Dresser featuring Tony Shalhoub.

Tony Shalhoub won the 2018 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance in “The Band's Visit.” It was his fourth Tony nomination. In 2018 he was also nominated for an Emmy for Supporting Actor in a Comedy, and won the SAG award in that category, for his role in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” He had previously won three Emmy's and a Golden Globe for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his Role in “Monk.”

Black Theatre Troupe of Upstate NY presents “The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington” by James Ijames. The show will run at the Meader Little Theatre at Sage College June 7 through the 16. The production is directed by Patrick White.

A recently widowed Martha Washington lies helpless in her Mount Vernon bed, ravaged by illness and cared for by the very slaves that will be free the moment she dies. As she begins to slip away, she falls deep into a fever dream of terrifying theatricality that investigates everything from her family to her historical legacy.

Here to tell us more about the production are Black Theatre Troupe and this production are Black Theatre Troupe Artistic Director Jean-Remy Monnay and actors Lucy Breyer and Angelique Powell who play Martha Washington and Doll, respectively.

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