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Richard Kind
Photograph by Victoria Will / Invision / AP / Shutterstock / Photograph by Victoria Will / Invision / AP / Shutterstock

Richard Kind has been a ubiquitous yeoman of stage and screen for a number of decades - equally adept in both comedic and dramatic roles. His television series include regular and recurring parts on: “Mad About You,” “Spin City,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “The Goldbergs,” and many other network, cable, and streaming shows. He’s often employed to use his signature bombast to bring animated characters to life - out of personal preference allow me to note Marty Glauberman from the Netflix Series “Big Mouth” and imaginary friend of indeterminate species, “Bing Bong” in the Pixar film “Inside Out.”

He was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance as Marcus Hoff in the 2013 Roundabout Theatre Company Broadway production of “The Big Knife” and other Broadway credits include “The Producers,” “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” and “Kiss Me Kate.”

On Monday, August 2, Drama Desk Award winner and Tony Award Nominee Richard Kind will host Broadway in the Berkshires at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, Massachusetts with an evening of all-star entertainment featuring Broadway’s brightest stars.

Producer and actor Deborah Grausman has assembled an extraordinary cast, exceptional musicians, and a first-rate creative team for an evening that is sure to entertain.

Key artwork for Alien/Nation at WTF
provided / Williamstown Theatre Festival

“Alien/Nation” an immersive world premiere theatrical experience that takes you on a journey throughout Williamstown, Massachusetts -- revealing unexpected surprises.

Commissioned and Originally Produced by the Williamstown Theatre Festival, audiences who attend “Alien/Nation” may choose to experience the unique site-specific performance by foot or by car.

Tony Award-nominated director Michael Arden and the company of The Forest of Arden invite WTF audiences to plunge themselves into the center of stories inspired by real events that took place in Western Massachusetts in 1969. The two-part play is ritten and devised by Eric Berryman, Jen Silverman, and the Company of The Forest of Arden.

Joe Donahue speaks with Michael Arden.

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.

Johanna Day, Tyrone Mitchell Henderson and David Beach in "Slow Food"
Jim McLaughlin

“Slow Food” is a 90-minute three-character play about a tourist couple held as culinary hostages by a passive-aggressive waiter in a Greek restaurant in Palm Springs, California.

Andrea Gallo and Stephanie Everett in "Niceties"
Elizabeth Solaka / Chester Theatre Company

“Niceties” is a two-person play that expands the claim that there are two sides to every story. This intense piece takes two people who agree on issues - but disagree on how to attain their goals. It shows how two conflicting sides of an issue can both be right and how allies can turn into enemies.

Artwork for Mamet play at Great Barrington Public Theater
provided / Great Barrington Public Theater

Great Barrington Public Theater caps its eclectic season of new plays with a drama by David Mamet entitled "The Christopher Boys Communion" - in performance July 29 through August 8 at the Daniel Art Center at Bard College at Simon's Rock in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

"The Christopher Boys Communion" is a gripping, chilling story of crime, evil, privilege and justice with an all star cast to Berkshire actors. The play poses the question of just how much a parent will sacrifice to preserve one of their own.

David Mamet is the author of many plays, including "The Monarchist," "Glengarry Glen Ross," "American Buffalo," "Race," "Speed the Plow" and "Sexual Perversity in Chicago" - just to name a few.

Jonathan Epstein, Jennie M. Jadow, and Christopher Lloyd  King Lear, 2021
Katie McKellick / Shakespeare & Company

It was a bright and sunny beginning for the opening night of Shakespeare & Company’s production of King Lear. Sitting in the new outdoor 540-seat New Spruce Theater on the company’s grounds in Lenox, MA, the warming sun made for a spirit of optimism. It was the first live show by the company since 2019.

Nance Williamson, left, and Britney Simpson in “The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington” at Hudson Valley Shakespeare
Sarah Krulwich / The New York Times

This summer, the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival is presenting a production of “The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington” by James Ijames. The show will run under the tent at Boscobel in Garrison, New York through July 30.

In the play, 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.

“The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington” is directed at HVShakes by Taylor Reynolds.

Reynolds is a New York-based director and theatremaker from Chicago and one of the Producing Artistic Leaders of OBIE-award winning The Movement Theatre Company in Harlem and she joins.

Keyart for 3 plays at ATF summer 2021
Adirondack Theatre Festival

The Adirondack Theater Festival’s founding producing artistic director, Martha Banta, is currently serving in that role on an interim basis while the organization conducts a national search for a permanent replacement. Martha joins us this morning for an ATF Season Preview.

Adirondack Theatre Festival is live and inside this summer, staging a comedy, a concert tribute, and a play reading at the Wood Theater. ATF is also producing free entertainment outdoors including a children’s play at City Park and nightly 30-minute music performances next to the Wood on ATF show nights.

In addition to freelance directing, Martha has also been the Founding Artistic Director at the, an Artistic Associate at New York Theater Workshop, the Associate Director of "MAMMA MIA!" on Broadway and the National Tours, and the Original Resident Director of "RENT" for Broadway, two National Tours, and London.

Brian Quijada and Nygel D. Robinson - screencap from "A DIOS" video - From the MEXODUS concept album about the Underground Railroad that led south to Mexico.
Brian Quijada/Nygel D. Robinson via YouTube / via YouTube

“Mexodus” is a new musical work by Brian Quijada and Nygel D. Robinson inspired by the estimated 4,000-10,000 enslaved people in the Southern part of the United States who found new lives in Mexico instead moving to the northern United States.

With the support of New York Stage and Film, Quijada and Robinson started working on “Mexodus” at the the beginning of our recent global pandemic. They have been collaborating while physically separate through technology -- releasing one track per month, with accompanying video of the two artists performing, for twelve months. Track 7 was recorded last February at Vassar’s Modfest.

New York Stage and Film will present “Mexodus” at Vassar College on July 17 at 7 p.m. and at Marist College on July 24 at 3 p.m.

Mariah Lyttle and Hayes Fields in "Ain't Misbehavin'"
Willie Short / Playhouse Stage Company

The musical revue, “Ain’t Misbehavin’ “ is now open at Albany’s amphitheater in Washington Park.   It’s  a show that features five hard-working performers singing a lot of familiar songs.   The talent of the performers and the energy within the music makes it difficult not to enjoy the work.

It’s July And The Theatre Is Blossoming

Jul 4, 2021
Washington Park stage
Park Playhouse

Traditionally, July is the kick off period for the summer arts season. And this year, it again signals an active time for area professional theater.

Artwork for "DAD" at Great Barrington Public Theatre
Great Barrington Public Theater / https://www.greatbarringtonpublictheater.org/

"Dad" is a poignant new comedy by acclaimed playwright Mark St. Germain. The play offers a heartfelt exploration into sibling and parent rivalries, the challenges of aging, and the power of reconciliations to foster self-discovery.

The show runs through July 3, presented by the Great Barrington Public Theater - a collaborative of seasoned theater professionals committed to new work and new voices.

Mark St. Germain has written about everyone from Sigmund Freud, Hemingway, Einstein, Dr. Ruth, Thomas Edison and, in a play premiering next month in the Berkshires, Eleanor Roosevelt. His latest is “Dad,” writing about himself and his family.

Claire Saunders and Rebecca Brooksher in BTG's The Importance of Being Earnest, 2021.
Emma K. Rothenberg-Ware

When picking a theater season, especially when audiences are just beginning to return to inside venues, it’s a great choice to start with a classic comedy. Personally, I would insist that Oscar Wilde’s delicious comedy of manners, “The Importance of Being Earnest,” written in 1895, is one of the best comedies ever created.

HVSF theatre tent at Boscobel
Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival

This summer, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival will present “The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trail of Miz Martha Washington” by James Ijames and Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.”

Since 1987, HVSF has presented plays in rep under the theatre tent at Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison, New York. At the close of this season, their revels there will end and the company will move to a new property.

Davis McCallum is the Artistic Director of Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival and he joins us.

Poster for BTG's "The Importance of Being Earnest"
Berkshire Theatre Group / berkshiretheatregroup.org

The Berkshire Theatre Group production of Oscar Wilde’s perennial classic, “The Importance Of Being Earnest” at the Unicorn Theatre tells the story of two bachelor friends as they take on double lives to court the attentions of the desirable Gwendolyn Fairfax and the romantic Cecily Cardew.

But the gallants must then grapple with the uproarious consequences of their ruse…and with the formidable Lady Bracknell, played by Harriet Harris. The results are a world filled with chaos, mistaken identity and lots of laughter. The much loved masterpiece is directed for BTG by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner David Auburn.

David Auburn and Harriet Harris join us.

James Barry, in a publicity still from "Title and Deed"
Elizabeth Solaka

Will Eno is a playwright about whom you cannot be neutral. You either love his work or are confounded by it.

Alysha Umphress, Alan H. Green, Allison Blackwell , Jacob Tischler and Britney Coleman
Daniel Rader / Barrington Stage Company

One of the most  misused words in the world of entertainment is genius.   However, when it comes to describing the talent of George Gershwin, genius is almost too modest a term.  There is desire to add to the description with adjectives like insightful, happy and brilliant.

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.”

Opera Saratoga At Sixty Is Looking Forward

Jun 13, 2021
Press image from "Man of La Mancha"
Opera Saratoga

On July 5, 1962 a small group of people organized a production of “Die Fledermaus” in the Diamond Point Theater at Lake George. It drew 230 people.

Arts Organizations have been having a rough time over the past year and a half. So, when there is great news to share, we like to shout it from the mountaintops.

Hubbard Hall Center for the Arts and Education in Cambridge, NY, just announced the establishment of the Karen Strand Endowment. In summer of 2020, longtime Hubbard Hall supporter and advisor Curt Strand passed away, leaving approximately $850,000 to Hubbard Hall in his will, in honor of his late daughter and Hubbard Hall volunteer Karen Strand.

Part of this bequest has allowed Hubbard Hall to retire the majority of its debt, and will allow the organization to replace its aging HVAC system and purchase artist housing in Cambridge. The majority of the money will be held in a restricted investment fund, with the annual investment earnings supporting scholarships and fellowships at Hubbard Hall.

David Snider is Hubbard Hall's Executive/Artistic Director.

Playbill Pride 2021

Jun 8, 2021
Graphic for Pride 2021
playbill.com / playbill.com

In 2015, Playbill established Playbill.com/Pride, dedicated to Pride coverage and events. Each June, Playbill’s iconic yellow masthead is replaced with a rainbow design in recognition of, and honoring, Pride month.

With diversity, equality, equity, visibility, and inclusion as the principals guiding their programming, this year Playbill Pride will include multiple virtual events and a one-of-a-kind, socially distanced/live concert; all benefiting nonprofits that work for and with the LGBTQIA+ community.

Alex Birsh is the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Playbill -- following in the footsteps of his father and his grandfather.

SPAC – A Season Of Safety First

May 30, 2021
Saratoga Performing Arts Center
SPAC

There are fewer things more comfortable than certainty. It’s been in short supply the past fourteen months, and in the vaccination era of the battle with COVID there is still little clarity. Rules and guidelines are constantly changing.

Angelique Powell in "A Deed Without A Name"
Willie David Short

“A Deed Without a Name” is a Rubik’s cube of theater. The play which is being given its world premiere by Troy Foundry Theatre is an intense philosophical exercise that ponders the meaning of existence.

Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End – Ordinary To A Fault

May 23, 2021
Terri Storti plays Erma Bombeck in "At Wit's End"
Michael Farrell / Curtain Call Theatre

It was probably impossible to grow up during the latter half of the last century and not see a clipping of Erma Bombeck posted somewhere in the house.   Her newspaper column put a humorous spin on everyday life and she somehow made even the most trivial frustration funny.

Poster for "Persou"
thecelltheatre.org

Multi-talented theatre creators Ellpetha Tsivicos and Camilo Quiroz-Vazquez will present the world premiere of “Persou,” an experiential festival celebrating Spring at Nancy Manocherian's the cell Theatre in Manhattan Wednesdays through Saturdays through June 5.

“Persou” is directed by Ellpetha Tsivicos and written by Camilo Quiroz-Vazquez, who previously collaborated in August of last year on the immersive, socially-distanced outdoor play Quince - which marked the first live theatre event in NYC during the Covid-19 pandemic. Ellpetha Tsivicos and Camilo Quiroz-Vazques joined Sarah LaDuke on WAMC’s Instagram “A Face for Radio Video Series” to talk about “Quince” and they’re back to speak their new piece.

 

"Persou" is a participatory experience where audiences will be transported to an ancient ceremony worshipping the Goddess Persefoni at the Temple of Aphrodite in Paphos, Cyprus.

Terri Storti in Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End at Curtain Call Theatre
Provided photo: Michael Farrell

I recently received a meme on one of my digital social platforms.  It read:

“I Love You,” Not Perfect But A Lot Of Fun

May 9, 2021
"I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change"
Sabrina Flores

The big news about ”I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” playing at Cohoes Music Hall weekends through May 23, is that it’s the first area indoor theater production in over a year. The good news is that though the material is inconsistent, it’s a well-performed, swiftly directed effort that provides a lot of laughs.

SPAC venue for Chamber series & opera saratoga
SPAC

With the summer arts scene almost upon us, I offer a word of advice. Buy your tickets early.

Artwork for "The Light" presented by WAM
provided - WAM Theatre

WAM Theatre’s latest production is a reading of the new play "The Light" by Loy Webb, directed by Colette Robert, which will be available to stream through Sunday, May 2.

In the play, a surprise proposal gift puts the future of Genesis and Rashad's relationship at risk when they are forced to confront a devastating secret from the past. "The Light" is a 70-minute, real-time rollercoaster ride of laughter, romance, and despair that uncovers how the power of radical love can be a healing beacon of light.

"The Light" was playwright Loy Webb’s first play. Loy and WAM Theatre’s Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven join us.

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