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Theater

‘West Side Story’ Electrifies at Barrington Stage

Let’s begin with the premise so that, if your schedule is too compromised today, you don’t have to spend excessive time reading. “West Side Story” running at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Mass. through September 1 could well be the finest production that has graced the Tri-state area in years. Be forewarned. It is simply amazing, and the scramble for tickets will be exhaustive.

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‘Homebody’ Soars in Ancram

Theater

In a part of the world where summer theater means snappy musicals, occasional  (and generally futile) experiments, famed mysteries and earnest Russian  treasures on a bare stage, the Ancram Opera House leaps into tricky territory with Tony Kushner’s “Homebody,” a one-person performance about history, disorder and magic in beleaguered Afghanistan. 

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Contagious Laughs With the Capitol Steps

Theater

When addressing the current political climate, there may be more than a grain of truth in the old axiom, “If you don’t laugh … you’ll cry.”  Given the choice, we’d suggest laughing … and one exceptional way of doing that is to spend 90 magical minutes with The Capitol Steps, appearing through August 31  at Cranwell Spa and Golf Resort in Lenox, Mass.  

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Those Were The Pre-Hashtag Good Old Days

Theater: ‘Barefoot In the Park’

Sharon Playhouse has entered a time warp with its second main production of the summer, “Barefoot in the Park.” Neil Simon’s smash comedy from 1963 has not aged well. Yes, the wisecracks and one-liners are still there; the dialogue that can often crackle if delivered like handballs, fast and hard; the once amusing situations long past their sell date. But in the time of #MeToo, of independent women rising everywhere like glorious spring flowers, the play recalls a time when a woman’s role was  defined in the pages of Good Housekeeping.

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The Age of Aquarius Isn’t Over In The Berkshires

Theater: ‘Hair’

‘Let the sun shine in!”  The closing, haunting refrain of Berkshire Theatre Group’s current production of “Hair,” (running through August 11th at The Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, Mass.) is both celebration and lament. The explosion of energy, vibrant choreography, room-filling music and socio-political commentary that lead up to the final chorus are a celebration of what it was like to be in America 50 years ago when the play premiered … and what it is like today, as so many long to be in the “Age of Aquarius.”

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When Songs Were Lyrical

Theater: ‘Coming Back Like A Song’

The wonderful songs pouring off Berkshire Theatre Group’s main stage in Stockbridge, Mass., are from the world premiere of Lee Kalcheim’s play, “Coming Back Like a Song.” It’s Christmas Eve 1956, and Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen and Jimmy Van Heusen have just returned from an ASCAP meeting for  a stag get-together in Berlin’s sumptuous Beekman Place duplex. (The posh sets and decorations are by Randall Parsons.)

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‘Other Desert Cities’ is Powerful and Prescient

Theater

Choices. Making them. Good ones and bad ones. That’s what “Other Desert Cities” at The Sherman Playhouse is about. That and the Christmas Eve reunion of the Wyeth family in Palm Springs. The tree is huge and blanketed in white lights, there’s Scotch and Lillet  Rouge and ice on the bar and the sitting room is cold, blue and spare. This is Christmas in the desert.

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Shakespeare’s Summer Love at The Mount

Theater: ‘Love’s Labors Lost’

Shakespeare & Company is presenting Shakespeare’s comedy, “Love’s Labors Lost” in the Dell at Edith Wharton’s Lenox, Mass. estate, The Mount, until August 18. An outdoor performance, it will be subject to the foibles of New England weather (if it rains, the performances will be in the nearby stables) so planning ahead is encouraged.

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‘All Shook Up’ Opens

Theater

The Sharon Playhouse Youth Production of “All Shook Up” opens this week, the 1950s musical packed with  Elvis Presley songs and acted, sung and danced by a large cast of local and talented young people ages 13 to 19.

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Vibrant ‘Macbeth’ Set in 19th Century America

Theater

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