Wednesday September 19, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- Barrington Stage Company veterans Christopher Innvar and Gretchen Egolf, who tangled opposite each other on the Barrington Stage Company Mainstage as the warring Elyot and Sybil in Noel Coward's in "Private Lives" in 2008, will go at it again next August as another embattled couple, Benedick and Beatrice, when BSC artistic director Julianne Boyd directs them in William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing."

This is the first Shakespeare play produced at Barrington Stage since its founding in 1995.

The robust romantic comedy closes out a 2013 Boyd-Quinson Mainstage season that begins in June with a rare revival of the 1944 Bernstein-Comden-and-Green musical-comedy, "On the Town."

Between the two will be a drama, to be announced shortly along with the four selections for Barrington Stage's intimate St. Germain Stage.

Innvar's last appearances at Barrington Stage were in Alan Ayckbourn's "Absurd Person Singular" and Arthur Miller's "The Crucible," both in the 2011 season, and, more recently, a reading a few weeks ago of Tom Stoppard's "The Real Thing." His other BSC credits include "A Streetcar Named Desire," "Ring Round the Moon" and the original production of "The Game." He is in the cast of the Broadway revival of "George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess," which closes this weekend.

In addition to "Private Lives," Egolf's BSC credits in clude "A Picasso" in 2007 in Stage Two and Lee Blessing's "Go ing to St. Ives" in 2011, also in Stage Two.

Joining Innvar and Egolf in "Much Ado About Nothing" will be Mark H. Dold as the malevolent Don John. Dold was last seen at BSC as C.S. Lewis in Mark St. Germain's "Freud's Last Ses sion" (2010; Stage Two).

" 'Much Ado About No thing' is one of the greatest romantic comedies ever written," Boyd said in a news release. "We're tremendously excited about presenting ‘Much Ado,' a play we've wanted to do for a long time. Now the stars are aligned, the actors are available and we're moving ahead with an August production."

"On the Town" introduced to Broadway the talents of Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins and Betty Comden and Adolph Green.

"On the Town" is the story of three sailors on a 24-hour leave in New York City. Squeezed for time, they find love and adventures in the Big Apple.

Inspired by Jerome Robbins' ballet "Fancy Free," "On the Town" includes such memorable musical numbers as "New York, New York," "Lonely Town" and "I Can Cook, Too" as well as the famed Coney Island Ballet.

"Our love for musicals continues as we look forward to producing 'On The Town,' one of the 'dancing-est' musicals ever written, with Leonard Bernstein's rapturous music," Boyd said in the news release.

Complete ticket information is available by telephone at (413) 236-8888; online at barringtonstageco.org; or in person at the Barrington Stage box office at 30 Union St.

Additional material supplied by arts and entertainment editor Jeffrey Borak.