Stagestruck: Sunshine and Shadow
Jan01

Stagestruck: Sunshine and Shadow

As the year has drawn to a close, I’ve been looking back over the hundred-plus shows I’ve seen in 2014. And as the seasons begin to turn from the dark back into the light, I’ve been thinking about some of those theater moments when a dark theme was leavened by humor or—in many cases—music, when a light one was underscored by dark shadows, or when light and dark danced together in tension or harmony. In...

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Just say Yes, and…
Jan01

Just say Yes, and…

“The watchword of improv,” Pam Victor reminds us, “is yes, and… ” That means going with whatever your scene partner throws at you, and adding something of your own that moves things along. Victor and her fellow improvisers in The Ha-Ha’s have joined with colleagues from the Majestic Theater’s Majesters troupe and the Villa Jidiots to stage Sunday Improv Fun Time, a monthly “improv...

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Stagestruck: Carving the Pie

Two years ago on this page I looked back at the first annual Valley Gives Day, a 24-hour fundraising event for area nonprofits, organized by the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. The intention was to provide a common platform for local organizations working in the arts, education, social services, and the environment to raise their profiles and donor bases as well as money. The results were impressive: Over 260...

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Puppets and Potatoes
Dec24

Puppets and Potatoes

In Britain and the Commonwealth, the day after Christmas is celebrated as Boxing Day — traditionally a day for gifts to servants and the poor, now observed as an extra opportunity to recover from the Christmas Day glut. Sandglass Theater’s An Almost Victorian Christmas is a bit of both. It’s a family-flavored gift of puppetry and humor offered as a coda to the holiday entertainment season. The three-part show includes a shadow-puppet...

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Stagestruck: Snarky Yule
Dec18

Stagestruck: Snarky Yule

’T?is the season when theaters go into hibernation or pull out the Christmas shows. Two Western Mass. companies — Old Deerfield Productions and Berkshire Theatre Group — are staging A Christmas Carol this month, along with Hartford Stage’s annual edition. In Putney, Vermont, Sandglass Theater celebrates An Almost Victorian Christmas, and Shakespeare & Company are playing an old-time radio version of...

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A Festive Family
Dec18

A Festive Family

Home for the Holidays is more than the Theater Project’s annual holiday-season variety show. It represents a homecoming for area performers who have become a kind of family on the Majestic Theater stage over the years. An updated evocation of those sweater-clad seasonal shows from old-time TV, the show is hosted by singer Ray Guillemette, Jr. (above, at right), but he won’t be channeling Perry Como or Andy Williams, since...

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