Barrington Stage, WTF come out on top of 2018 Berkshire critics awards


PITTSFIELD — Barrington Stage Company and Williamstown Theatre Festival were the big winners at the Third Annual Berkshire Theatre Critics Association Awards.

The "Berkies," as they also are known, were presented in ceremonies Monday night at Zion Lutheran Church on First Street, hosted by BTCA president J. Peter Bergman and board member Macey Levin.

Pittsfield-based Barrington Stage Company earned a total of 10 awards, seven for its production of "West Side Story" — outstanding musical production, direction of a musical (Julianne Boyd), choreography (Robert La Fosse), scenic design (Kristen Robinson); and performances by Addie Morales (outstanding lead actress in a musical), Skyler Volpe (outstanding supporting actress in a musical), and Sean Ewing (outstanding supporting actor in a musical).

BSC also earned honors for "The Cake" (Nemuna Ceesay, outstanding supporting actress in a play); "The Royal Family of Broadway" (costume designer Alejo Vietti); and "The Chinese Lady" (sound designer Fabian Obispo, who tied with Palmer Hefferan's sound design for Williamstown's "Dangerous House").

Williamstown Theatre Festival picked up five Berkies, chief among them outstanding play production for Theresa Rebeck's "Seared" and outstanding new play production, Jen Silverman's "Dangerous House." "Seared" also earned the outstanding lead actor in a play award for Hoon Lee as Harry, a temperamental chef.

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In addition to new play and sharing the award for sound design, "Dangerous House" picked up an award for Lap Chi Chu's lighting design.

Among other major awards Annette Miller was named outstanding actress in a play for her performance as an alienated mother in Shakespeare & Company's production of Terrence McNally's "Mothers and Sons," which also earned an honor for James Warwick's direction. Berkshire Theatre Group's production of Lee Kalcheim's "Coming Back Like a Song," about a Christmas Eve gathering of songwriters Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen and Jimmy van Heusen in Berlin's swank New York apartment, was named outstanding new musical production.

George Dvorsky's performance as Daddy Warbucks in Mac-Haydn Theatre's production of "Annie" earned him the award as outstanding lead actor in a musical.

Chester Theatre Company's production of Annie Baker's "The Aliens" was named outstanding ensemble production and Danielle Skraastad earned the outstanding solo production award as a British housewife wrestling with the turbulence in Afghanistan in Tony Kushner's "Homebody" at Ancram (N.Y.) Opera House.

The Larry Murray Award for Community Outreach and Support Through Theatre was presented to Shakespeare & Company for its Shakespeare in the Courts and Fall Festival of Shakespeare programs.

With the exception of the Larry Murray award, which is determined by the BTCA board, the "Berkies" are voted upon by the 27 members of the association, representing 23 media outlets in the Berkshires and environs, for productions that opened between Oct. 15, 2017 and Sept. 30, 2018 at theaters in western Massachusetts, eastern New York, southern and central Vermont, and northern and northeastern Connecticut.


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