What's playing on Berkshires' stages


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 is a wasted opportunity that 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

BENEFACTORS. Construction of a local public housing project in London's south end is the link among two married couples, one of them in deep trouble, in Michael Frayn's elegantly written play performed by a dream cast and a dream director (7/22). Through July 26. Eves.: 7 Wed.; 8 Thu.-Sat. Mat.: 2 Sat. (2:25)

Berkshire Theatre Group, Unicorn Theatre, 6 East St., Stockbridge. Tickets: $48. (413) 997-4444; BerkshireTheatreGroup.org

JULIUS CAESAR. Director Tina Packer's inventive, if, at times, precious Bare Bard approach to Shakespeare's muddled political drama reverberates with currency even if the costuming is not modern dress (7/22). In repertory through Aug. 30. (2:13)

Shakespeare & Company, Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, 70 Kemble St., Lenox. Tickets: $10-$60. (413) 637-3353; shakespeare.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


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