What to expect on stage this fall

The typically intense, whirlwind Berkshires summer theater season is over but the fall theater season in and around the Berkshires promises no let up.


The fall schedule already is underway in Lenox, where Shakespeare & Company is presenting Yasmina Reza's blistering comedy, "God of Carnage," about two sets of parents trying to reconcile an ugly schoolyard incident between their sons. The production opened Sept. 16 and runs through Oct. 8 in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre.

The Bernstein also will host WAM Theatre's "The Last Wife" by Kate Hennig, a contemporary look at the relationship between King Henry VIII and his last wife, Katherine Parr, running Oct. 13 through Nov. 5. The cast happens to include three Shakespeare & Company veterans — Nehassaiu deGannes, John Hadden and David Joseph. Kelly Galvin, yet another Shakespeare & Company veteran, directs. Press opening is Oct. 15.

In Stockbridge, Berkshire Theatre Group comes online Sept. 28 with "Lost Lake' (press opening is Oct. 1) in BTG's Unicorn Theatre, where it is scheduled to run through Oct. 22. Written by Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning playwright David Auburn, "Lost Lake" had its premiere in December 2014 at Manhattan Theatre Club. It's about two strangers — one, a woman seeking privacy, along with her two children; the other, a recluse living on a remote country estate — who meet while bargaining over rental of a rundown lakeside cottage.

Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield checks in Oct. 4 with Patrick Hamilton's "Gaslight" (formerly titled "Angel Street"), a Victorian thriller about a man who is systematically trying to drive his wife insane. Press opening is Oct. 8 in the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage. Mark H. Dold and Kim Stauffer star as the Manninghams, the roles created on screen by Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman in the 1944 Hollywood classic.

Count on Williams College's '62 Center for Theatre and Dance to push boundaries. Consider "Antigone in Ferguson," a one-night only — 8 p.m. Sept. 30 — theater piece that looks at the events that stemmed from the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. through the prism of Sophocles' classic tragedy. Zach Grenier and Tracie Thoms lead a cast of professional actors and Ferguson police officers, educators and community residents. Admission is free.


If you're looking for something approaching event theater this fall, you have only to look at Town Players of Pittsfield and, a bit further north, Hubbard Hall in Cambridge, N.Y.

After a six-year absence, much of which was spent at the Whitney Center for the Arts, Town Players is returning to its old home at Berkshire Community College, beginning Sunday afternoon at 2 with a staged reading of "Welcome to the Moon and Other Plays," a collection of six short plays by John Patrick Shanley, in K-111 in BCC's Koussevitzky Arts Center. The big news, however, is that Town Players will be mounting Richard O'Brien's "The Rocky Horror Show," Oct. 20-29 at BCC's Robert Boland Theatre. Long before the 1975 film, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," there was this Broadway musical, which had a brief, dismal run but which has lived on and become a cult favorite through the film. So, here's your chance to do the time-warp for real.

And at Hubbard Hall, the community arts and education center's energetic director, David Snyder, has managed to bring singer-songwriter-dramatist-writer-director-performer Rupert Holmes to town. Holmes will do some tweaking and an adaptation of his new 90-minute version of his 1986 multiple Tony Award-winning musical "The Mystery of Edwin Drood," based on Charles Dickens' unfinished last novel. Holmes asks audiences, each night, to finish Dickens' tale by choosing who they want the killer to be. Snyder is directing. The show opens Nov. 17 and is scheduled to run weekends through Dec. 3.


The Ghent Playhouse in nearby Ghent, N.Y., launches its 2017-18 season Oct. 6 with Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard's tour de force, "Greater Tuna," in which two actors play, between them, 25 or so of the quirky residents of the small town of Tuna, Texas. The comedy runs weekends through Oct. 22, followed by the annual Panto, beginning Nov. 24. This year it's "The Little Mermaid."

Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany, N.Y., launched its 2017-18 season in July with the musical "Mamma Mia!" The season is continuing with Laura Eason's calculatedly off-balance comedy-drama, "Sex With Strangers," about two writers — she is trying to get her career back on track after publication of a widely anticipated first novel that fell short of expectations; he is a decade-younger wannabe novelist with prodigious ambition — who hook up at a snowbound B&B in Michigan. Previews began Friday; press opening is Tuesday. The show is scheduled to run through Oct. 15 and will be followed by the enchanting, much-beloved musical, "She Loves Me," beginning Nov. 24.

William Shakespeare's hugely popular "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is kicking off Hartford Stage's 2017 season and with artistic director Darko Tresnjak directing, you can bet on seeing something different. The production, which just opened, is scheduled to run through Oct. 8. It will be followed Oct. 19 through Nov. 12 by Sarah Gancher's "Seder," in which a retired typist for the Hungarian KGB is made to face her past as she and her estranged family prepare to celebrate their first seder.

Just a few blocks from Hartford Stage, the funky TheaterWorks begins its season Oct. 5 with Sarah deLappe's "The Wolves," which tracks the powerful dynamics among the nine members of a girls' indoor soccer team. The show runs through Nov. 12.

See you on the aisle!



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