Great River Theater Festival
Runs July 6-9 at multiple locations in Putney
Tickets for individual shows, and subscription tickets for the series, will be available at http://www.mainstreetarts.org and through select resellers.
Information: Main Street Arts, 802 869-2960; mainstreetarts.org
The First Annual Great River Theater Festival promises a “Who’s Who” of community and professional theater companies. Audiences will enjoy a mix of comedy, drama, and musicals in four venues by seven regional community and professional theater companies.
Joining festival coordinator Main Street Arts July 6-9 in Putney are Weston Playhouse Theatre Company, Vermont Theatre Company, Putney’s Apron Theater Company, Brattleboro’s New England Youth Theatre, Actors Theatre Playhouse of West Chesterfield, N.H., and Sandglass Puppet Theater.
Among the shows planned for the festival are family favorites such as the Carole King/Maurice Sendak musical “Really Rosie,” to be produced by Weston; Main Street Arts’ presentation of the multiple-award-winning musical comedy “Little Shop of Horrors”; Apron’s contribution of the Bertolt Brecht classic “Mother Courage and Her Children,” a work that has been characterized as the best play of the past hundred years; and, to give audiences a chance to compare classics, Vermont Theatre Company’s performance of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (outdoors, of course).
The festival doesn’t stop there: New England Youth Theatre offers “The Emperor’s New Clothes”; Sandglass is reviving its wonderful original piece, “When I Put On My Glove”; and Actors Theatre Playhouse is delivering three 10-minute plays: “Songs My Brother Sang,” “Raghead,” and “It’s the Jews.”
According to MSA Co-Chair Gina Cote, the festival, Main Street Arts’ most ambitious creative undertaking yet, fits in with even more treats MSA has in store for us as it works to promote the performing arts in Southern Vermont.
In the meantime, audiences can catch a sneak peek of “Little Shop” at MSA’s theater in Saxtons River June 30-July 2, a week before the festival opens.
Actors Theatre Playhouse
Brook and Main streets, West Chesterfield, N.H.
http://www.atplayhouse.org, 877 666-1855
June 8-24: Ten-Minute Play Festival, 7:30p, on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. If variety is the spice of life, then ATP has the ticket for you. And in just 10 minutes anything can happen, and usually does. July 8 & 15: Saturday staged reading of a dramatic comedy, Will Eno’s “The Realistic Joneses.” At 7:30p. A funny, moving story of neighbors who share their last name, and a not entirely casual backyard conversation. July 28-Aug 19: Alan Ayckbourn’s delightful comedy “Table Manners,” on Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30p. “Table Manners” is a genuine excuse to laugh, as one critic put it. “Six characters, hilariously unaware of their own flaws, represent two marriages grown stale and one courtship that can’t get off the ground.” Sept 9 & 16: Saturday staged reading of Pulitzer Prize-winner for drama, Edward Albee’s “A Delicate Balance,” 7:30p. Set in Connecticut, the story follows Agnes and Tobias, an upper-class married couple whose relationship has been an uneasy one for several years. Sept 22-Oct 17: Anton Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya,” Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30p. A cautionary tale delicately balanced on the knife’s edge of tragedy and comedy about the invisible suffering of ordinary people, the futility of service to others, and the fragility of beauty, and illusions, especially when born of jealousy and ennui.
Dorset Theatre Festival
104 Cheney Road, Dorset
http://www.dorsettheatrefestival.org, 802 867-2223
June 22-July 8: “Downstairs,” by Theresa Rebeck. Tyne and Tim Daly star in this thought-provoking family drama. Eileen’s brother Teddy has moved back home and is living in her basement. Her husband is less than thrilled about this. And Teddy is more than a little off his game. As brother and sister struggle to understand their present and past, questions of betrayal, disappointment, and madness rise and fall. Who is saving whom? June 25: Dorset Summer Celebration, kicking off 40th season. July 13-29: “Baskerville,” a Sherlock Holmes mystery by Ken Ludwig. Holmes and Watson must crack the mystery of “The Hound of the Baskervilles” before a family curse dooms its latest heir. Watch as our intrepid investigators untangle a dizzying web of clues and deceit. Does a wild hellhound really prowl the moors? Will our heroes discover the truth in time? Silly accents and disguises abound as five actors portray more than 40 characters in this fast-paced comic mystery. Aug 3-19: “The Legend of Georgia McBride,” by Matthew Lopez. He’s young and broke, his wife is having a baby, and now Casey has lost his gig as an Elvis impersonator. When his club brings in a drag act led by Miss Tracy Mills, Casey is given the opportunity to trade one sequined outfit for another. A critic’s pick wherever it plays, this heartwarming, music-filled comedy celebrates finding your own voice and singing your own song. Aug 24-Sept 2: “American Buffalo” by David Mamet. Taking a fresh look at a trio of misguided misfits who are a little out of luck and way out of their league as they plot the theft of a rare coin collection. Crackles with explosive humor, frenetic energy, and surprising tenderness.
331 Main St., Bennington
http://www.oldcastletheatre.org, 802 447-0564
Thru June 4: “Shipwrecked.” The play brings audiences the thrilling story of bravery, survival and celebrity that left 19th century England spellbound. Be prepared to be whisked away in a story of the high seas, populated by exotic islanders, flying wombats, giant sea turtles, and a monstrous man-eating octopus. June 23-July 9: “Moonlight & Magnolias” by Ron Hutchinson. What the Chicago Sun-Times called a “hyperventilating slapstick comedy, an impassioned love song and a blazing critique of Hollywood” tells the story of producer David O. Selznick shutting down production of his new epic Gone With the Wind, a film adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s novel. July 21-Aug 6: “Mauritius.” Two sisters, following their mother’s death, discover a book of rare stamps that may include the crown jewel for collectors. One sister tries to collect on the windfall, while the other resists for sentimental reasons. Aug 18-Sept 3: “A Comedy of Tenors.” From Ken Ludwig, the man who brought you “Lend Me a Tenor,” Mr. Ludwig has now written a hilarious sequel, “A Comedy of Tenors,” which includes a few of the characters from “Lend Me a Tenor.” Picture one hotel suite, four tenors, two wives, three girlfriends, and a soccer stadium filled with screaming fans. What could go wrong? Sept 29-Oct 15: “Equus.” The story of a psychiatrist who attempts to treat a young man who has a pathological religious fascination with horses. He decided to devise a fictional account of what might have caused the incident without knowing any details of the crime. The play is a kind of mystery with a children’s psychiatrist as the detective.
Weston Playhouse Theatre Company
703 Main St., Weston
http://www.westonplayhouse.org, 802 824-5288
June 22-July 9: “Really Rosie,” by Maurice Sendak with music by Carole King. In this upbeat, imaginative musical, Rosie, the self-proclaimed sassiest kid on the block, entertains her friends by producing an imaginary movie based on the exciting, dramatic, and (slightly) exaggerated story of her life. June 27-July 15: “Once.” Written by Enda Walsh. Music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. Set in Dublin, this soaring tale chronicles the chance meeting of an Irish street musician and a young Czech woman. Based on the Oscar-winning film. July 13-Aug 6: “Tenderly.” July 20-29: “Lost in Yonkers” by Neil Simon. Meet the eccentric Kurnitz family. After the death of his wife, ne’er-do-well Eddie deposits his two young sons on his mother’s doorstep to contend with their stern grandma, flighty aunt Bella (and her secret romance), and uncle Louie, a small-time hooligan. Aug 3-19: “The Music Man.” Written by Meredith Wilson and Franklin Lacey. Music and lyrics by Meredith Wilson. Follow fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the townspeople of River City, Iowa, into paying for a boys’ band that he has no intention of organizing. But when he falls for Marian, the librarian, his plans to skip town with the cash are foiled and a town is transformed. Aug 10-Sept 3: “Buyer & Cellar.” Written by Jonathan Tolins. Struggling Los Angeles actor Alex More takes a day job in a superstar’s personal mall, gaining insight into the cost of fame, the price of things, and the oddest of odd jobs. A one-man tour de force, this hilarious play won multiple awards Off-Broadway and is quickly becoming a favorite of regional theaters nationwide. Aug 24-Sept 3: “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.” Written by Eugene O’Neill. On an ordinary summer’s day with extraordinary consequences, this story of the Tyrone family and their battle to uncover—and bury—a lifetime of secrets continues to prove itself one of the most profound and powerful plays ever brought to the stage. Book, music, and lyrics by Mark Friedman and Janet Yates Vogt. The story of beloved actress/singer Rosemary Clooney, who delighted America for nearly five decades, comes to life in this inspiring new musical that begins with her simple childhood in Maysville, Kentucky, and follows her rise to Hollywood stardom.
Williamstown Theatre Festival
’62 Center for Theatre and Dance
1000 Main St. | Williamstown, Mass., 413 458 3253
June 27-July 16: “The Roommate”; June 28-July 9: “The Model American”; July 12-23: “Where Storms are Born”; July 19-29: “The Clean House”; July 26-Aug 6: “Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow”; Aug 3-20: “A Legendary Romance”; Aug 9-20: “Actually.”