A digest of what’s playing at theaters in and around the Berkshires based upon reviews by Berkshire Eagle theater critic Jeffrey Borak. Capsules include publication date of review, closing date of production, performance schedule, and production’s running time.
H denotes a highly recommended critic’s choice. A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. This 1930s New Orleans-tinged production of Shakespeare’s enchanting romance doesn’t truly spring to life until midway through the second half when the four mismatched lovers collide in the woods in a brilliantly executed rough-and-tumble display that is a showstopper in every good sense of the word. The inconsistently applied New Orleans flavor, however, offers little in style and even less by way of insight. Ultimately, the success of this production rests with the performances which run the gamut from inexperience sincerely applied to capable to exceptional (7/5). In repertory through Aug. 30. Selected evenings and afternoons. (2:50)
Shakespeare & Company, Tina Packer Playhouse, 70 Kemble St., Lenox. Tickets: $15-$80. (413) 637-3353; shakespeare.org
KISS ME, KATE. High-energy, entertaining production of Cole Porter and Bella and Samuel Spewack’s witty, tuneful 1948 musical about the dynamics between an actor-producer-director and his actress ex-wife whose volatile offstage relationship mirrors their onstage relationship as the battling Petruchio and Kate in a New York-bound musical adaptation of "Taming of the Shrew" (6/18).
Barrington Stage Company, Boyd-Quinson Mainstage, 30 Union St., Pittsfield. Tickets: $20 and up. (413) 236-8888; barringtonstageco.org
H SHAKESPEARE’S WILL. Actress Kristin Wold is at the top of her craft in this expertly written, lyrical one-woman play about William Shakespeare’s wife, Anne Hathaway, as, in the hours after his funeral, she reflects on the rewards and challenges of her life as the playwright’s wife and mother of their three children, one of whom, their son, Hamnet, died tragically at the age of 11 (6/4). In repertory through Aug. 24. Selected evenings and matinees. (1:35).
Shakespeare & Company, Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, 70 Kemble St., Lenox. Tickets: $80-$10. (413) 637-3353; shakespeare.org
THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP. Charles Ludlam’s delicious exercise in transformation and the craft of theater -- set in an eerie mansion on a fog-enshrouded moor where the new mistress of the house is trying to fill the corsets of her still-mourning-husband’s mysteriously deceased first wife -- is performed with poise and consummate skill and purpose by the highly resourceful Tom Hewitt and Bill Bowers, who, rather than push Ludlam’s excesses to their limits, allow audience members to make their own discoveries with barely a nudge-nudge-wink-wink from the stage (7/5). Through July 19. Eves.: 8 Mon., Tue., Thu.-Sat.; 7 Wed. Mats.: 2 Sat. (1:41)
Berkshire Theatre Group, Fitzpatrick Main Stage, 83 E. Main St., Stockbridge. Tickets: $42-$62. (413) 997-4444; BerkshireTheatreGroup.org.