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You’ll Laugh A Lot And Clap A Lot

Theater: ‘Spamalot’

Monty Python’s “Spamalot” is a silly play. That’s not a criticism. Every once in a while, it’s refreshing to be silly.
There are sight gags and word play that demands the audience keep their wits about them — as well as plenty of belly laughs. The fact that Eric Idle’s musical comedy is an adaptation of the 1975 film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” should be fair enough warning that nothing serious is about to happen.

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Don’t Let The Title Scare You Away

Theater: ‘We’re Gonna Die’

The mission of the Ancram Opera House and its co-directors, Jeffrey Mousseau and Paul Ricciardi, is to forge connections in the small, intimate space. They have certainly succeeded with “We’re Gonna Die,” a short piece that mixes theater and live music during a surprisingly uplifting performance that will leave you singing the catchy title song all the way home.
Yes, that’s right. By the end of the show, you’ll be tapping your toes and shouting along with the band: “We are going to die!”

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It’s A Midsummer Delight

Theater: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

There are no sets. Off stage is … well, it’s off into the woods. There are no footlights, follow spots, fly curtains, hidden microphones or sets on rollers. In fact, the only set is the gentle hill that signals where The Dell at the Mount — Edith Wharton’s home in Lenox, Mass. — meets the forest. 

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An Inconsistent Show

Theater: ‘The Music Man’

Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” is a near-perfect musical that is as all-American as apple pie and football. 
Willson was an Iowa musical prodigy. (At only 22, he began a five-year stint as first flute in Arturo Toscanini’s New York Philharmonic.) And it was Iowa and his hometown, Mason City, that he immortalized years later as River City in “The Music Man,” for which he wrote book, music and lyrics, and beat out “West Side Story” for the 1957 Tony Award.

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Every Night It’s The Same Characters, Different Play

Theater: ‘Every Brilliant Thing’

‘Every Brilliant Thing” is more than a play: It’s a gambit that no one knows for certain will work. Or how.

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An Anniversary, A World Premiere

Theater: ‘Some Old Black Man’

This year marks two milestones for Berkshire Playwrights Lab. The group is celebrating its 10th anniversary, and it will debut the world premiere of its first full production — “Some Old Black Man” — in its new home at Saint James Place in Great Barrington for a three-week run Aug. 12 to 27.

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It Is Supercalifragilisticex...

There’s a general “feel good” quality to the children’s stories written in the 1930s by P.L. Travers surrounding the magical nanny, Mary Poppins. From the 1964 film starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke to the 2004 adaptation for the musical stage, the allure of the story and its messages have continued through the years.

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Pugh’s Performance Shines Amid Violence

William Oldroyd’s first feature film, “Lady Macbeth,” is beautiful, grim, shocking, sexy and brought to life by an astonishing lead performance from Florence Pugh, who is the real thing: an actress becoming a star before our eyes.

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Two Superb Plays

Theater: 'At Home at the Zoo'

Edward Albee was only 32 in 1960 when he stunned New York audiences with “Zoo Story,” the play that established him as a playwright who plumbed the feral, animalistic impulses lying within humans. Forty-one years later he wrote “Homelife,” a prequel to “Zoo Story” that gives Peter, the character who appears in both plays, a back story.

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Fresh, Funny And Delightful

Theater: ‘Cymbeline’

Tina Packer’s production of “Cymbeline,” one of Shakespeare’s late plays, has a valedictory quality about it. In the 40 years since she founded Shakespeare & Company, she has directed all of Shakespeare’s plays except “Cymbeline.” Soon to be 79 years old, Packer has saved this strange, theatrical hodgepodge for last.

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