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.
A denotes a highly recommended critic's choice.
PRESTO CHANGE-O: A fitful, virtually sungthrough new musical by Eric Price (book and lyrics) and Joel Waggoner (music) in which magic is the key to reuniting a family of magicians that has been deeply fractured for some time. The show has a lot to say, and even more to sing, about magic as an art of illusion and a craft of reassembling broken things. Price has a way with lyrics but his plotting is awkwardly engineered. Waggoner's songs are, with some notable exceptions, forgettable and little more than unrevealing extensions of dialogue (May 30). Through June 11. Evenings — Thursday through Saturday at 7:30. Matinees — Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 3. 1 hour 52 minutes
Barrington Stage Comoany, St. Germain Stage, Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 36 Linden St., Pittsfield. Tickets — $69-$20. (413) 236-8888; barringtonstageco.org; Barrington Stage box office — 30 Union St., Pittsfield.
The Taming: William Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew" is the inspiration for Lauren Gunderson's wildly uneven, hit-and-miss contemporary political comedy about a Georgia beauty queen who is determined to restore the United States to the promise of its Founding Fathers by rewriting the Constitution. Her scheme involves kidnapping a Southern senator's top aide and a liberal blogger who is out to save a rare rodent from extinction. The performances are energetic, committed and off-the-top but only Tangela Large as the senator's aide manages to find a human element beneath all the noise and bluster and give resonant voice to the "we the people" the framers of the Constitution had in mind when they set out to create a more perfect union (June 9). Selected afternoons and evenings through July 30. 1 hour 28 minutes.
Shakespeare & Company, Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, 70 Kemble St., Lenox. Tickets — $60-$20. (413) 637-3353; shakespeare.org; theater box office — 70 Kemble St.
The Thirty-Nine Steps: Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 film, the John Buchan novel upon which it is based, and an original stage concept fuel playwright Patrick Barlow's inventive stage adaptation of this tale about an innocent man (played by a steadfastly stolid Peter Langstaff) on the run in pre-World War II England, pursued by the police and a mysterious organization known only as The Thirty-Nine Steps. Four actors play, among them, nearly 100 characters. But in a play designed to use theatrical devices as tools of storytelling, those devices occupy center stage, turning a deliciously imaginative theater work into a self-conscious exercise in manic behavior (June 9). Through June 19. Evenings — Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30. Matinees — Thursday and Sunday at 2. (1 hour 54 minutes)
Oldcastle Theatre Company, 331 Main St., Bennington, Vt. Tickets — $37. (802) 447-0564; oldcastletheatre.org; at the door