Berkshire Theatre Group Season: A musical autumn at BTG
PITTSFIELD -- Rock artist David Mason, award-winning acoustic touring duo Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt, five-time Grammy nominee Gordon Lightfoot and music icons Three Dog Night headline the fall lineup of programs at Berkshire Theatre Group's Colonial Theatre and The Garage, in Pittsfield, and Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge.
For theater lovers, BTG will present a workshop performance of "The Full Catastrophe," a new comedy by Michael Weller; "Mary and Edith: Musings by Women a Century Apart" with BTG CEO and artistic director Kate Maguire and Kim Taylor and Tara Franklin; and BTG's annual production of "A Christmas Carol."
Rounding out the schedule is:
• Third annual Made in the Berkshires festival of new dance, theater, music, film and narrative works created and performed by Berkshires artists;
• Pittsfield CityJazz Festival featuring the Brubeck Brothers Quartet;
• The Wanda Houston Band;
• Romance, Soul and Rock n' Roll;
• singer-songwriter Mary Verdi.
Tickets go on sale to the general public today.
"The fall season is very musically based and it's a bit male-dominated," BTG programmer Simon Shaw acknowledged in a joint interview with Maguire earlier this week in her office at the Colonial.
The emphasis is on artists who have become well-established over the years; artusts who, Shaw says, "have achieved significant things in music and still deliver on stage."
"These are significant artists, not tribute bands," Maguire added."Their musicianship is still strong."
Shaw said he is in constant conversation with his counterparts at venues around the country.
"My primary concern in booking an act," Shaw said, "is can they still play music and take people on a journey.
"I speak to my colleagues around the country and it gets around if an artist is just phoning it in. It's part of doing due diligence."
With the audience for "classic" popular music served largely in the Colonial Theatre, the Colonial's Garage -- a performance space in the theater's expansive lobby -- is devoted to up-and-coming musicians, many of them from the Berkshires and environs.
Maguire and Shaw say they share a commitment in programming for families and the community at large; thus, Maguire said, the presence of local artists -- individuals and groups -- on the schedule and the return of the increasingly popular Made in the Berkshires festival on Oct. 11, 12 and 13.
"Part of our responsibility is to the entire community," Maguire said, citing Romance, Soul and Rock n'Roll, Mary Verdi and Made in the Berkshires as examples. So, too, says, Shaw, is family programming, much of which is being planned for mid- and late winter and spring.
Overall, Maguire said, "I feel that it's really vibrant this fall -- and busy."
Season at a Glance
• “The Full Catastrophe” by Michael Weller. Workshop presentation. The Unicorn. Aug. 31 at 8 p.m.; Sept. 1 at 2 p.m.
• Heather Maloney. The Garage. Sept. 6 at 8 p.m.
• Dave Mason. Colonial. Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m.
• Made in the Berkshires. Colonial / Unicorn / The Garage. Oct. 11-13
• “Mary and Edith …” Unicorn. Oct. 12 at 7 p.m.
• Wanda Houston Band. The Garage. Oct. 12 at 9 p.m.
• Pittsfield CityJazz Festival with the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, plus Berkshires Jazz Youth Ensemble. Colonial. Oct. 19 at 8 p.m.
• Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt. Colonial. Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m.
• Romance, Soul and Rock n' Roll. Colonial. Oct. 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m.
• LoFi Sundays (Royal Berkshire Improv Troupe). The Garage, Dates and times TBD
• Gordon Lightfoot. Colonial. Nov. 8 at 8 p.m.
• Three Dog Night. Colonial. Nov. 21 at 8 p.m.
• Mary Verdi — Christmas at the Colonial. Nov. 30 at 7 p.m.; Dec.1 at 2 p.m.
• “A Christmas Carol.” Colonial. Dec. 14=29.
Ticket information is available through the Berkshire Theatre Group box office by telephone at (413) 997-4444; online at BerkshireTheatregroup.org; in person at the Colonial Theatre box office — 111 South St., Pittsfield.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.