Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

March 30, 2018

PREVIEW: Majestic Theater, Guys & Dolls

April 12-May 27, 2018

Some of New York City's most charismatic and crafty characters come to life in the classic musical Guys and Dolls, which will be presented at West Springfield's Majestic Theater April 12 through May 27.

The musical is the story of gambler Nathan Detroit who is searching for a spot for his illegal floating crap game. One of the world's most beloved musicals, Guys and Dolls opened on Broadway in 1950, earning the Tony Award for Best Musical. It was inspired stories by acclaimed writer Damon Runyon.

Cast members include Buzz Roddy, Bill Clark Taylor, Julia Suriano, and Annie Kerins in lead roles; is directed by Rand Foerster, with music director Mitch Chakour.

For additional information, visit

March 28, 2018

PREVIEW: CityStage, The Corvettes Doo-Wop

Saturday April 21, 2018

National touring Doo Wop revivalists The Corvettes Doo Wop Revue will perform a special engagement at CityStage, Springfield on Saturday April 21, 2018. The group is dedicated to performing and preserving the great music of the 1950's and early 60's - and they do it with a fresh new energy. They perform nationwide and beyond, and their entertaining stage show and sometimes comical stage antics never fail to please their audience.

The Orlando Sentinel said "A Corvettes Doo Wop Revue performance is like taking a rollicking ride through the good old days of Rock & Roll" and the Kansas City Star quoted "this show is more than a concert, it's an all out Doo Wop celebration."

When the group is not performing their own concerts, they perform as a backup band for many touring acts from the 1950's and 60's including The Drifters, The Belmonts, The Del Vikings, The Platters, Danny & the Juniors and others. Some of the great songs you might hear at the concert include Come Go With Me, Little Darling, Runaround Sue, In The Still of The Night, Duke of Earl.

Tickets for the event are on sale by phone at (413)788-7033 or online at

PREVIEW: The Mount, Lenox, MA

Roberta Silman In Conversation with Matt Tannenbaum
Join author Roberta Silman and Matt Tannenbaum, the owner of The Bookstore, as they discuss Roberta’s new novel Secrets and Shadows on Sunday, April 15, 2018 at 2pm.

Russian and Soviet Film Music: A Tuneful Survey
In a lecture illustrated with film clips, Professor Timothy Sergay of SUNY Albany will present an overview of Russian and Soviet film music. Presented by Close Encounters with Music on Sunday April 22, 2018 at 3:00pm.

In Conversation with Julia Pierpont & Caitlin McKenna
New York Times bestselling author Julia Pierpont and Editor Caitlin McKenna will discuss Julia’s latest work The Little Book of Feminist Saints. This event is part of ArtWeek on Thursday May 3, 2018 at 6:00 pm

PREVIEW: Cameron Carpenter’s Organ Music at UMass

Friday, April 27, 2018

For the final show of its 2017-18 season, the UMass Fine Arts Center presents organist Cameron Carpenter featuring the International Touring Organ on Friday, April 27 at 8 pm in the Concert Hall. After the performance, audience members are invited to attend the Fine Art Center’s “Faces of the Fabulous” post-show event as part of ArtWeekMA (April 27-May 6).

A virtuoso composer-performer unique among keyboardists, Carpenter’s approach to the organ is smashing the stereotypes of organists and organ music, all the while generating international acclaim and controversy unprecedented in his field. His repertoire – from the complete works of Bach to film scores, his original compositions and hundreds of arrangements – is perhaps the largest and most diverse of any organist.

A former child prodigy, Carpenter has earned attended Juilliard School. He holds the 2012 Leonard Bernstein Award, is the first organist ever nominated for a Grammy Award, and has appeared with many of the great orchestras around the world
For ticket and other information contact the box office at 423-545-2511 or check the website at

March 27, 2018

Exit 7 Players 2018 Scholarship

The Exit 7 Players will offer one $500 scholarship based primarily on the theatrical involvement of an applicant, their affiliation with the Exit 7 Players, their community spirit and academic achievement. This scholarship is not restricted to theater majors only.

The Memorial Scholarship is named after Paul D. Browning and Jonathan Herrick,  both founding members of Exit 7 and instrumental in the troupe’s formation and success. Scholarships will be awarded to high school students that have been involved with the Exit 7 Players or Exit 7 Youth Players directly or through the involvement of a family member

For more information on the 2018 Scholarship Application check

March 23, 2018

PREVIEW: Barrington Stage, “Mr. Finn’s Cabaret 2018”

Named for William Finn, the two-time Tony Award-winning composer/lyricist of Falsettos and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Artistic Producer of BSC’s Musical Theatre Lab, Mr. Finn’s Cabaret celebrates its 7th season from June through September. Most performances are at 8PM.

Tina Fabrique
June 3 & 4
Tina Fabrique, Ella in Concert
Jazz vocalist Tina Fabrique brings to Mr. Finn’s a musical journey through Ella Fitzgerald’sGreat American Songbook; music of Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, the Gershwins.

June 17 & 18
New Songwriters Cabaret: Lies We Tell Ourselves
An evening of songs about how we lie to ourselves about...everything! Each song provides a piercing insight into these lies, but with a wry sense of humor and a surprising twist.

June 24 & 25
Charles Busch, My Kinda Sixties
Weaving tales of his Manhattan childhood and adolescence seen through the lens of the tumultuous 60s are hilarious stories and songs from Broadway to Pop; i.e. Beatles, Jimmy Webb, Henry Mancini. 

July 2
2018 Music Theatre Conservatory: Best of Songs By Ridiculously Talented Composers and Lyricists You Probably Don’t Know, But Should
These best songs by Bill Finn will be sung by ridiculously talented performers you probably don’t know but should.

July 3 at 9:30pm & July 4 at 8:00pm
David Lutken and The Seat of the Pants Band, Give Me Liberty, 2018
Back for the annual '4th of July American-a-rama’, American-a-rama songs of myth, legend, history, humor, and patriotism come alive, often for sing-alongs.

July 8 & 9
Leslie Kritzer,Half Jew, All Guilt
Leslie Kritzer returns to BSC with another hilarious unapologetic evening of stories and songs about her life. She already feels guilty about it.

July 29 & 30
An Evening with Jason Robert Brown
Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist Jason Robert Brown will incorporate an eclectic mix of material, featuring music from throughout his career, along with works from his new album.

August 5 & 6
Brandon Uranowitz, Songs of William Finn
Tony Award nominee Brandon Uranowitz shares songs by Tony Award-winning William Finn. Expect everything – hilarity and emotion.

Marilyn Maye
August 19 & 20
A Cabaret with Marilyn Maye
One of the greatest nightclub singers of all time is Marilyn Maye who will sing ballads, Broadway, and jazz.

September 21 & 22
​Darnell Abraham, Wheels of a Dream
From pop to classical to jazz and the blues, Abraham has something for everyone. Come and celebrate the final cabaret of the season.

All Cabaret performances will take place at Mr. Finn’s Cabaret, Pittsfield. For information call 413-236-8888 or visit

PREVIEW: No Theater presents “google gogol”

A.P.E. Gallery , Northampton, MA
March 28-31, 2018

No Theater presents "google gogol", Inspired by Nikolai Gogol’s Ревизор, (Revizor - The Government Inspector), the 19th century comedy about how the corrupt officials of a small Russian town, headed by the Mayor, react with terror to the news that an incognito inspector will soon be arriving in their town to investigate them.

Performances take place at A.P.E. Gallery, 126 Main Street Northampton, MA, Friday, March 30 & Saturday, March 31, 8:00 PM, Open rehearsal: Wednesday, March 28, 8 pm, All performances and rehearsal are FREE, First come, first serve

No Theater rarely performs locally. During the 70s and 80s they regularly performed on Thornes, Northampton. Their most recent local production was Richard Maxwell’s “Cave Man,” which previewed here for several months before its run in New York. No Theater’s work has been performed throughout Europe, in Japan and Australia. No Theater is in residence at A.P.E. the month of March creating the new work.

This image is the logo for the Gogol Center (ГОГОЛЬ-центр), the Moscow Drama Theatre named after Nikolai Gogol, whose Artistic Director is currently under house arrest by the Russian government.  Google Kirill Serebrennikov for details.

March 16, 2018

PREVIEW: UMass, Valley Jazz Network, "A Conversation & Concert"

Old Chapel Great Hall, UMass, Ahmerst, MA
Tuesday, April 3, 2018 7pm

The Valley Jazz & Social Change Network presents "A Conversation & Concert featuring Toshi Reagon, Christian Scott and Helen Sung" will take place on Tuesday, April 3rd from 7pm-10pm at Old Chapel Great Hall, UMass.

Helen Sung
Through their work, musicians often focus or dedicate their talent on giving voice to civil rights and social change, strengthening the breadth and depth of social activism. On April 3rd, the Valley Jazz Network hosts JAZZ MUSIC AND SOCIAL CHANGE which creates a public platform for sharing and understanding how some artists use their talent to forward social issues and contribute a positive impact on society. At the table will be three world-class musicians: renown activist, lyricist and singer Toshi Reagon; trumpeter Christian Scott; and Asian American pianist Helen Sung. 

Admission is free, but tickets are required. For information check or

March 15, 2018

PREVIEW: Smith College, “Shut Up, Emily Dickinson”

Smith College, Northampton, MA
Thursday, March 22, 2018, 7:30pm

Emily Dickinson: poet, recluse. Loosely based on the Master Letters, “Shut Up, Emily Dickinson” is a pseudo-historical, quasi-biographical, hysterically existential psycho-romance about America's most brilliant and annoying poetess. Holed up for all eternity in the bedroom of our minds, the “woman in white” stretches into a projection screen for truths, half-truths,  and truth-less-ness. She’s whatever you want her to be and nothing you imagined. Emily Dickinson is the definition of a difficult woman.

Written by Tanya Ritchie and directed by Mary Beth Brooker, Smith College will present “Shut Up, Emily Dickinson” on Thursday, March 22 at 7:30pm. Free and open to the public.

March 14, 2018

REVIEW: Majestic Theater: “Outside Mullingar”

Majestic Theater, West Springfield, MA
through April 1, 2018
by Shera Cohen

Photo by Lee Chambers
“Outside Mullingar” is one of those sweet little slice-of-life plays that might remind you of someone you know or, perhaps, yourself. The setting are two small farmhouses in a town in Ireland where everyone knows his neighbor. That can be taken literally, as the cast of four portray characters who live next door, although divided by two fences and a smidgeon of land. The rustic environment is far from bucolic. That, coupled with the physical separation of the farms, makes a significant statement. Greg Trochlil’s staging becomes a “character.”

Advertised as a love story, the play’s outcome is no surprise. That is not very important. What is significant are the extremely effective means by which the actors motivate their characters to the right place at the right time. Margaret Reilly Streeter (Rosemary) portrays an assertive, brash, savvy, 30-something woman. At first, Streeter gives her character nuances of vulnerability. By Act II, the actress proves that Rosemary has such empathy and determination that the audience cannot help but become her sympathetic ally.

Jay Sefton (Anthony) dons the near-opposite personality for his character. Anthony and Rosemary display the personification of oil and water. A commonality is that both are quirky, but in different ways. Isolated, self-conscious, and self-effacing describe Sefton’s Anthony. Yet, his verbal fights with Rosemary reveal powerful emotions. Nearly all of Act II is a taut dialog between these two characters. I felt intrusive watching Rosemary and Anthony’s interaction. And, isn’t that what truly effective theatre is about.

The balance of the cast is actor Ron Komora (Anthony’s father) and Sara Whitcomb (Rosemary’s mother). Both fulfill their roles admirably. However, in my layman’s criticism of award-winning and prolific writer John Patrick Shanley, flaws in Act I reduce Komora and Whitcomb’s performances to stereotypes. Neither the actors nor director Danny Eaton can develop “real” characters given the words in the script. In fact, a good deal of Act I could have been cut, and “Outside Mullingar” would be a fine play.

A word about accents. Not that I am by any means an expert, but listening to the quartet of actors successfully brought me to Ireland.

And, a word about the Majestic. Just when I thought that I had no time in my busy life to see this play, I learned that each show offers two Sunday matinees during its run. The timing was excellent.

REVIEW: Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Stravinsky & Swan Lake

Hartford Symphony, Hartford, CT
March 9–11, 2018
by Michael J. Moran

For the sixth “Masterworks Series” program of the HSO’s 74th season, Music Director Carolyn Kuan presented three works by the two seminal composers of Russian ballet music: two by Stravinsky, and one by Tchaikovsky. Two were originally written as ballets, and the third was choreographed later.
The concert opened with an energetic account of Stravinsky’s “Game of Cards,” a 1936 “ballet in three deals” which depicts a game of poker in “Baden-Baden of the Romantic Age,” inspired by the composer’s memories of Germany between the two world wars. The characters are all cards, and after winning the first two deals, the joker is defeated in the third deal by a royal flush of hearts. Kuan and the agile HSO winds, brass, and strings nicely captured the mischievous spirit of the music.

The first half concluded with a dramatic rendition of Stravinsky’s 1945 “Symphony in Three Movements,” reflecting the turmoil of World War II and choreographed by George Balanchine for a 1972 New York City Ballet Stravinsky festival. The propulsive rhythms of the outer movements and the quiet charm of the inner slow movement sounded very danceable in this measured performance, which built steadily to a shattering close. The percussive harp and piano texture of the symphony contrasted sharply with the more refined sound world of the preceding card game.
The highlight of the program came after intermission, when the orchestra played seven selections from the first of Tchaikovsky’s three great ballets, “Swan Lake,” for two of which they were joined by Boston Ballet principal dancers Dalay Parrondo and Yuri Yanowsky. As the beautiful princess Odette, transformed by a curse into a white swan, and the handsome prince Siegfried, who falls in love with her as a woman, they graced the Belding stage with first the rapture of new love and later its power to break the curse by uniting them forever in death.

The energizing presence of the dancers drew carefully shaded playing of deep emotion from the orchestra, lively and committed leadership from Kuan, and enthusiastic applause from an audience that was clearly riveted by a heady evening.

PREVIEW: The 2018-2019 Bushnell Broadway Series

The Bushnell Broadway Series, Hartford, CT

Beginning this fall, The Bushnell will bring seven exciting titles to Hartford as part of the Series, along with additional off-Series hits to round out a strong lineup.

The Play That Goes Wrong
THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG, September 25-30, 2018: What would happen if Sherlock Holmes and Monty Python had an illegitimate Broadway baby?  You’d get THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG, Broadway & London’s award-winning smash comedy!  The musical/mystery is chock-full of mishaps and mania.

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, November 6-11, 2018: See a fresh and authentic vision to this beloved theatrical multi-Tony Award winning masterpiece. FIDDLER ON THE ROOF will introduce a new generation to this uplifting celebration that raises its cup to joy! To love! To life!

HAMILTON, December 11-30, 2018: HAMILTON is the story of America's Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War. The score blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, in the story of America then, as told by America now. 

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, February 19-24, 2019: This amazing tale of Willy Wonka is the perfect recipe for a delectable treat: songs from the original film, alongside a new score from the songwriters of Hairspray.  Get ready for Oompa-Loompas, incredible inventions, and more at this everlasting showstopper!

RENT, March 12-17, 2019: This Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production.  A re-imagining of Puccini's La Bohème, RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams.

COME FROM AWAY, April 30 – May 5, 2019: Here is the story of the small town in Newfoundland and 7,000 stranded passengers. The winner of numerous Best Musical awards, COME FROM AWAY takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of culture clash, uneasiness, trust, and friendships.

WAITRESS, June 18-23, 2019: This irresistible new musical features music and lyrics inspired by the beloved film, WAITRESS – the tells the story of a young woman whose baking expertise helps her summon up courage to make a fresh start to her life.

In addition, a number of audience favorites will return during the 2018-2019 season including Disney’s THE LION KING (August 1-19, 2018), CATS (January 29 – February 3, 2019), BEAUTIFUL – The Carole King Musical (March 26-31, 2019), and THE SOUND OF MUSIC (May 17-19, 2019).

The 2018-2019 Bushnell Broadway Series is co-sponsored by Farmington Bank and Travelers. For further information call 860-987-6000 or visit the website at

PREVIEW: Hartford Stage, “The Age of Innocence”

Hartford Stage, Hartford, CT

One of author Edith Wharton’s most regarded novels, “The Age of Innocence,” comes to Hartford Stage. Douglas McGrath adapted the story into a play about what was called “The Gilded Age of the 1870s.”

New York City society at its most cultivated, wealthy and rigid was an elite class of people who dreaded scandal more than disease. In her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Wharton introduces the courtly young gentleman lawyer Newland Archer; his traditional and demure fiancée May; and the free-spirited Countess Olenska, who has come home from Europe, tainted by scandal. From the moment Newland meets the Countess, he is torn between virtue and desire, and all three are forced to make the agonizing choice, ever old and ever new, between love and honor.

For details and ticket information check the Hartford Stage website at

PREVIEW: Somers Village Players, “A Mother, A Daughter and a Gun”

April 13 – 28, 2018

Somers Village Players present the comedy, “A Mother, A Daughter and a Gun” as their annual spring dinner show April 13 – 28 for cocktail hour, dinner, and performance.

Jess is having a bad day. She's discovered she's pregnant, that her husband is cheating on her, and has bought a gun to kill him. She's interrupted by her mother, Beatrice, who arrives to help with a party Jess has forgotten she's having, to which she's invited a handful of strangers. Events unfurl at a furious pace as the party guests take over, Beatrice almost murders Jess' dad, and Jess' husband finally returns to the mayhem. The end of the play is surprisingly poignant and will profoundly effect everyone who's ever had a mother.

For details and reservations check or call 860-265-3342.

PREVIEW: TheaterWorks, "The Legend of Georgia McBridge"

March 16 – April 22, 2018

Playwright Matthew Lopez’s latest play, “The Legend of Georgia McBridge,” will run as the third show of TheaterWorks 32nd season.

Meet Casey! He’s young, he’s broke, his landlord’s knocking at the door, and he’s just found out his wife is going to have a baby. When he crosses paths with Miss Tracy Mills, Casey is transformed from a washed up Elvis impersonator to a show stopping drag queen. This “feel-good,” music-filled comedy is about finding and celebrating your true voice.

At its core, "Georgia" is a gender-bending comedy with heart. But beneath the fun is an important message about tolerance framed around themes of identity and transformation. Lopez’s skill as a writer continues to impress, and with this particular play he reveals his agility as a writer of comedy. Besides a great story, he’s given the audience a funny and often glorious tribute to the art of drag.

Originally staged in New York in 2015, Hartford audiences are familiar with Matthew Lopez’ work at Hartford Stage including the world premiere of "Reverberation" as well as productions of "Somewhere" and "The Whipping Man."

March 13, 2018

PREVIEW: WAM Theatre Announces 2018 Season

WAM Theatre is a professional theatre company in the Berkshires of Massachusetts

This Berkshire-based professional theatre company celebrates its ninth year with a main stage co-production with Dorset Theatre Festival (Dorset, VT) starring Jayne Atkinson, a thought-provoking series of play readings, a premiere presentation of comedienne Alison Larkin’s one-woman show, and various other special events. This season's plays showcase seven stories about inspiring women, all written and directed by women.

"Fresh Takes Play Reading Series" presents a series of ground-breaking plays that are imaginative and thoughtful explorations of complex issues affecting women and girls and feature local professional actors and directors.

The series kick off on April 15 at No. 6 Depot Roastery and Café in West Stockbridge with Swallow by Stef Smith, directed by Talya Kingston. On May 3 WAM will present a reading of The Virgin Trial by Kate Hennig, directed by Kelly Galvin, at the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre at Shakespeare & Company. This sequel to The Last Wife will reunite the director and many of the cast members from WAM’s hit 2017 production of The Last Wife. On June 10 the troupe returns to West Stockbridge for a reading of Honor Killing by Sarah Bierstock, directed by Molly Merrihew.

WAM collaborates with the Clark Art Institute for the August 12 reading of Fresh Takes reading of Pipeline by Dominique Morrisseau, and wraps up on September 16 with Escaped Alone, the latest play by playwrights Caryl Churchill, directed by WAM Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven.

For detailed information about the series check the WAM website at

PREVIEW: Playhouse on Park: Final 2 Productions of Season #9

Playhouse on Park, Hartford, CT 

Playhouse on Park, Hartford, CT presents Jesse Eisenberg's “The Revisionist” for its New England premiere. In this comedic drama, a young science fiction writer named David journeys to Poland to stay with his 75-year-old second cousin, Maria, a widowed Holocaust survivor. While David is searching for a quiet space to unblock his creativitiy, the lonely Maria is thrilled for the chance to connect. As their bond grows, David learns a profound secret about Maria's past that challenges their relationship and teaches them both about the meaning of being a family. Opening night for "The Revisionist" is April 13 at 8pm.
Lin Manuel Miranda's “In The Heights” opens is June 15. This is perhaps our most anticipated show of the season. The musical tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York's Washington Heights neighborhood. It's a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind.

For tickets and other information check the website at

March 12, 2018

PREVIEW: CAPITOL STEPS: Cheaper Than Therapy Tour

Friday, April 20, 2018 , 7:30PM
Academy of Music, Northampton, MA

The Capitol Steps return to Hampshire County in their first performance since 2010. The political
musical satire troupe has been a national institution for over 35 years, providing a unique blend of musical and political comedy and satire to audiences coast-to-coast. Each show consists of tasteful lampooning guaranteed to leave both sides of the political spectrum laughing. The troupe started in 1981. Since then, they have appeared on “The Today Show,” “ABC News Nightline,” “CBS Evening News” and on specials for NPR.

The Capitol Steps works overtime to capture the new administrations’ antics in satire and song. And since The Capitol Steps find their laughs in materials ripped from today’s and tomorrow’s headlines you never know whether Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions, or Kim Jong-un might appear from Mar-A-Lago or The White House.

Tickets: 413-584-9032 ext. 105 or