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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Goodspeed Opera House - RAGS - East Haddam, Connecticut

A press release from The Goodspeed:
CAST ANNOUNCED FOR GOODSPEED’S NEW VERSION OF RAGS
A bold refocusing of the musical by Broadway legends Strouse, Schwartz, and Stein
 with a revised book by David Thompson is set for The Goodspeed this fall

EAST HADDAM, CONN August 31, 2017: Join Rebecca and David Hershkowitz as they journey to a “brand new world” in Goodspeed’s reinvented Rags. Original creators Charles Strouse and Stephen Schwartz have teamed up with David Thompson, who has adapted Joseph Stein’s book, to rework this timely and inspiring piece. Goodspeed explores the grit and determination of American immigrants through this joyous reimagining of a musical by  some of Broadways biggest legends. Rags will run October 6 – December 10 at The Goodspeed in East Haddam, Conn [Official Press Opening will be October 25, 2017].
Welcome to the new world! Fresh from Ellis Island, a young mother and her son search for a new life and a sense of home as the 20th century beckons. The streets of Manhattan’s Lower East Side may not be paved with gold, but they echo with the music of opportunity, optimism and hope. A ravishing score by the songwriters of Annie and Wicked colors a sweeping saga of America’s immigrant past. Celebrate our rich roots in Goodspeed’s new adaptation of a neglected masterpiece of the musical theatre.  Rags is made possible in part by support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Lucille Lortel Foundation, Eversource Energy, and Amica Insurance.
Directed by Rob Ruggiero, Rags features music by Charles Strouse, original book by Joseph Stein, lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, revised book by David Thompson and vocal arrangements are by David Loud.
Samantha Massell will play Rebecca Hershkowitz. Ms. Massell recently performed the role of Hodel in the 2015 Tony nominated Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof. She performed in the Broadway production of La Bohème and the New York City Center ENCORES! productions of Little Me and It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane …It’s Superman. Regionally she performed as Florika (Esmerelda U/S) in the La Jolla and Paper Mill Play House productions of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and in The MUNY productions of Aladdin, Into the Woods and Bye Bye Birdie. David Hershkowitz will be played by Connecticut native Christian Michael Camporin, who was in the original Broadway productions of Finding Neverland, covering both the roles of Michael Llewelyn Davies  and Jack Llewelyn Davies, and Matilda The Musical in the role of Eric.
Sal Russo will be played by Sean MacLaughlin who made his Broadway debut as Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera. Sara Kapner will be playing Bella Cohen. On stage, Ms. Kapner was most recently seen performing in the MUNY’s 2015 production of Into the Woods, but can also be seen in Twisted Sisters and The Murder Pact, which are both currently running on Lifetime TV. Returning to the Goodspeed stage after playing Tevye in 2014’s Fiddler on the Roof as well as performing in Goodspeed’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Pseudolus) and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Harry) is Adam Heller who will be playing Avram Cohen. Mr. Heller’s most recent Broadway credits include Uncle Morty in the Original Broadway Production of It Shoulda Been You, Elf The Musical, and Baby It’s You!.
Mitch Greenberg returns to Goodspeed as Jack Blumberg having previously performed in Cutman the musical and You Never Know. On Broadway, Mr. Greenberg was in the 2015 Revival of Fiddler on the Roof and the Broadway hit It Shoulda Been You. The role of Anna Blumberg will be played by Emily Zacharias who made her Broadway debut in Chu Chem as Lotte. Ms. Zacharias was also in the original Broadway production of Jekyll & Hyde as Guinevere. Also returning to Goodspeed in the role of Rachel Brodsky will be Lori Wilner who previously performed the as Golde in Goodspeed’s 2014 production of Fiddler on the Roof. Additionally, Ms. Wilner played Grandma Tzeitel in the 2015 Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof.
Returning to The Goodspeed stage having wowed audiences as Billy Crocker in the 2016 hit Anything Goes,  David Harris will perform the role of Max Bronfman. Earlier this year, Mr. Harris was seen in the role of Father in Barrington Stage’s production of Ragtime and as Dan Goodman in TheaterWorks’ acclaimed production of Next to Normal. Nathan Salstone will be playing Ben Levitowitz. A recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Mr. Salstone’s one-man play All Anonymous featuring original music and lyrics premiered at The Carnegie Mellon School of Drama’s ‘Playground’ in December 2016.
The members of the Quintet include JD Daw who recently performed the roles of Doctor Madden in TheaterWorks’ production of Next to Normal, Jacey in The Muny’s production of The Music Man and Sir Dennis Galahad in North Shore Music Theatre’s Spamalot. Joining him will be Ellie Fishman whose credits include A Christmas Story at Paper Mill Playhouse and both Beauty and the Beast and My Fair Lady at The MUNY. Danny Lindgren returns to Goodspeed as a member of the Quintet having previously appeared on The Goodspeed stage as Clark Gable in Chasing Rainbows, as Smokey in Damn Yankees and as Jake in The Most Happy Fella. Some of Mr. Lindgren’s favorite credits include Benny in Guy and Dolls and Will Parker in Oklahoma! both at Finger Lakes Music Theatre Festival and Nephew Fred in A Christmas Carol at The McCarter Theatre. Sarah Solie whose many Broadway credits include the original Broadway productions of Mary Poppins, High Society, Beauty and the Beast and Cats and Jeff Williams who made his Broadway debut in the 2000 revival of The Music Man and was most recently performed in the Off-Broadway production of Death for Five Voices round out the Quintet.  The swings will be Catalina Gaglioti, (Goodspeed’s Festival of New Musicals We Foxes ,Off-Broadway’s Temple of the Souls ) and Giovanni DiGabriele (Second National Tour of Cinderella)Gordon Beck will understudy the role of David Hershkowitz.
Rags will be directed Rob Ruggiero who has directed numerous Goodspeed productions  including Carousel, Camelot, Show Boat, 1776 and Fiddler on the Roof. He has received numerous awards and nominations for his regional work including multiple Connecticut Critics Circle Awards. Mr. Ruggiero conceived and directed the original musical revue Make Me a Song: The Music of William Finn which garnered him nominations for both Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards. Mr. Ruggiero currently serves  as the Producing Artistic Director at TheaterWorks in Hartford, where he conceived and directed the highly successful Ella, a production that received Kevin Kline and Joseph Jefferson Awards and has since been produced at major regional theaters around the country.
Choreography will be by Parker Esse who returns to Goodspeed where his previous credits include Fiddler on the Roof, A Wonderful Life, The Most Happy Fella and Carousel.  Mr. Esse choreographed Sondheim and Marsalis’ A Bed and A Chair: A New York Love Affair at New York City Center and Jazz at Lincoln Center. He is a three-time Helen Hayes nominee and 2010 winner for Best Choreography for Arena Stage’s Oklahoma!. Mr. Esse has served as Associate Choreographer for Broadway’s Finian’s Rainbow, A Tale of Two Cities and multiple New York City Center Encores! productions.
Scenic design will be by Michael Schweikardt who has designed several shows at Goodspeed including Fiddler on the Roof, The Most Happy Fella, Carousel, Show Boat, and Big River. He received a Broadway World Award for Best Scenic Design for Showboat as well as a Connecticut Critic’s Circle Award for Best Scenic Design for Big River. Mr. Schweikardt has designed the world premieres of Nobody Loves You and Duncan Sheik’s Whisper House at The Old Globe as well as the Off-Broadway production of Bloodsong of Love at Ars Nova and  several productions at TheaterWorks in Hartford. Other Off-Broadway credits include ReWrite (Urban Stages), The Black Suits (The Public Theater), Things to Ruin (Second Stage, The Zipper Factory), The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks (TheatreWorks USA) and Tryst (Irish Rep). Additionally, he has designed for theatres such as The MUNY, Papermill Playhouse, Long Wharf Theatre, Cleveland Playhouse and California Musical Theatre.
Costume design will be by Tony Award winner Linda Cho who returns to Goodspeed where she previously created the costumes for  A Little Night Music. Her designs can currently be seen in the Broadway production of Anastasia for which she was nominated for a Tony Award, Outer Critics’ Circle Award and Drama Desk Award. Ms. Cho won the Antoinette Perry and Henry Hewes Design Award for her work on A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. Ms. Cho received the 2017 Ruth Morley Design Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women. Other credits include designing for places such the Theater for a New Audience, Second Stage, Manhattan Theater Club, NY Public Theater, Asia Society, Classic Stage Company, Hartford Stage, Long Wharf Theater, Westport Country Playhouse, Royal Shakespeare Company and Hong Kong Performing Arts Center.
Lighting design will be by John Lasiter who has designed Goodspeed’s productions of Fiddler on the Roof, The Most Happy Fella, Show Boat, Carousel among others. Other Connecticut credits include, designs for Long Wharf Theater, Hartford Stage and TheaterWorks. On Broadway, Mr. Lasiter designed High, and Off-Broadway, he designed Make Me a Song: The Music of William Finn.
Sound design will be by Jay Hilton who has designed countless productions at both The Terris Theatre and The Goodspeed. His work has also been heard on Broadway, National Tours and regional theatres from coast to coast. He also serves as Goodspeed’s audio supervisor.
Wig and Hair design will be by Mark Adam Rampmeyer whose work can been seen in Goodspeeds current production of Oklahoma!. Other Goodspeed credits include Thoroughly Modern MillieAnything Goes; Bye Bye Birdie and Chasing Rainbows, as well as  La Cage aux Folles, Good News!, 42nd Street and Big River to name a few. On Broadway, he designed West Side Story, Lysistrata Jones and The Farnsworth Invention.
The Music Director will be Michael O’Flaherty who is in his 26thseason as Goodspeed’s Resident Music Director. His Broadway credits include By Jeeves and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. O’Flaherty has written music and lyrics for A Connecticut Christmas Carol which will be produced at The Terris Theatre this fall. Orchestrations will be provided by Dan DeLange who has created the orchestrations for over 40 Goodspeed productions. His orchestrations for Show Boat have been nominated for the Best Revival Musical Oliver Award in London. Vocal Arrangements will be by David Loud who returns to Goodspeed having previously provided arrangements for Red, Hot and Blue and served as Music Director for Band Geeks!  at The Terris Theatre.  Mr. Loud’s Broadway credits include vocal and dance arrangements for  Sondheim on Sondheim, vocal arrangements for Curtains,  The Boys from Syracuse, and Steel Pier. In addition, he has been credited as Conductor, Music Director and Music Supervisor for numerous Broadway productions. David Loud has created musical arrangements for Audra McDonald, Barbara CookBetty Buckley, Andrea McArdle, Norm Lewis, Bernadette Peters, Paolo Szot among others.
Casting for Rags is by Paul Hardt of Stewart/Whitley Casting.
Rags will run October 6 – December 10, 2017 [Official Press Opening October 25] Curtain times are Wednesday at 2:00p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (with select performances at 2:00 p.m.), Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. (with select performances at 6:30 p.m.).
Tickets are available through the Box Office (860.873.8668), open seven days a week, or online at goodspeed.org. For show highlights, exclusive photos, special events and more, visit us at goodspeed.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter @goodspeedmusicl, Instagram and YouTube.
Under the leadership of Executive Director Michael Gennaro, Goodspeed Musicals is dedicated to the preservation, development and advancement of musical theatre. Goodspeed produces three musicals each season at The Goodspeed in East Haddam, Conn., and additional productions at The Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn., which was opened in 1984 for the development of new musicals. The first regional theatre to receive two Tony Awards (for outstanding achievement), Goodspeed also maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre. Goodspeed gratefully acknowledges the support of United Airlines, the official airline of Goodspeed Musicals; official audio sponsor Sennheiser; and official auto sponsor Hoffman Audi. Goodspeed is also grateful for the support of the Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts.

Monday, July 10, 2017

FREE - eBook at Amazon - Comedy and Tragedy on the Mountain - Holyoke, Massachusetts

FREE eBook this week! - COMEDY AND TRAGEDY ON THE MOUNTAIN - 70 Years of Summer Theatre on Mt. Tom, Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Meet the stars - Hal Holbrook, Wendell Corey, Alexis Smith, Craig Stevens, Eve Arden, George Brent, James Coco, Tallulah Bankhead and more!

Free in eBook form from Amazon until Friday, July 14th.  Download your copy here.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

RAGTIME - at the Barrington Stage Co. - Pittsfield, Massachusetts


JT Lynch photo

Ragtime, now on stage at the Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, is a musical for our time, eerily so in that it is about the early years of the twentieth century, its Broadway production winning a Tony in 1998, from a novel by E. L. Doctorow published in 1975.  Time is as much an element in this show as place.

In a wild parade that brings together our most personal controversies of the fabled “melting pot,” a maelstrom of vignettes weaves the main characters of an African-American family, a European Jewish immigrant and his daughter, and an upper middle class WASP family.  The triumphs, the traumas, and the lessons not yet learned are striking reminders that we have evolved only a little.

The production is vibrant and entertaining, with direction that makes the most of the unique attributes of this kind of montage storytelling—with luminaries  including Houdini, Henry Ford, Emma Goldman, Evelyn Nesbitt and others wandering through the tale.  It helps to be familiar with the history of this period before World War I, because the intelligent script fortunately does not “dumb down” the material, and the audience must be sharp to catch all the references as we are shown pieces of a great puzzle that makes up America at this most exciting period.

The large, multigenerational cast is excellent, both featured players and ensemble work seamlessly in multiple roles.  Especially noteworthy was Darnell Abraham as Coalhouse Walker, Jr., the Harlem ragtime piano player who finds love, success, and heartbreak in a society that has not advanced as quickly as he has; Zurin Villanueva as Sarah, Coalhouse’s love and the victim of tragedy.  Both were deeply moving in expressing their love, their dreams and goals, their heartache, and thrilled the audiences with their powerful voices.

J. Anthony Crane as Tateh was especially effective in his scenes as the struggling, frequently despondent immigrant who later finds a new life in ways he had not imagined.  Elizabeth Stanley carried much of the story as Mother, the WASP wife and mother who discovers that she is, in some ways, bound by greater limitations in her role in society than the ignored African Americans and despised immigrants.  In her empathy for them, she will break loose her own bonds.  Ms. Stanley’s performance was captivating, every glance and movement was nuanced, and her vocal abilities brought applause from the audience after her anthem “Back to Before.”

David Harris as Father, and Anne L. Nathan as Emma Goldman gave strong support in pivotal roles.

Some fine moments:

The above-mentioned “Back to Before” number with the stage lighting dimmed save for a collection of turn-of-the-twentieth-century table lamps lit, casting a yellowish glow that seemed to evoke parlors of the period where a woman both reigned and was prisoner.

“Our Children” with Ms. Stanley and Mr. Crane on a beach watching his daughter and her son playing, and a sudden move toward the apron of the stage as if to pull their kids from danger made us nearly rush forward with them; until they pulled back, smiling, as if the imaginary near-fall was avoided.

The use of strobe lighting to create a zoetrope effect to symbolize Tateh’s new career in early silent movies was very clever.

The final moments of the play are a silent tribute/prayer as the children of the three families stand together and we see they are the future.  More than that, since we can look back on the period in hindsight, we understand, wincing, that their promise of a better life than their parents did not always ring true.  However, they are somehow our children now.  That is the beauty and the majesty, and the magic of theatre.  The audience’s standing ovation was well deserved.

The book is by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty, and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens.   The show was directed for the Barrington Stage Company by Joe Calarco, with musical direction by Darren R. Cohen, and choreography by Shea Sullivan.

The theater lobby, with a nod to the subject of immigrants, has a map of the world posted, and invites patrons to put pins in the countries of origin of their families.  In many ways, this earnest production is a reflection of our times as much as it is of the years between 1906 and World War I.  Our fascination with the scandals of celebrities—as with Leanne Smith, who charmingly plays the ever effervescent and opportunistic Evelyn Nesbit—as well as being introduced to new societal forces through music—in 1906 it was ragtime; today it could be rap or hip-hop—demonstrates that the beginning of the so-called “American Century” was not so different from today.  Like the coming and going of Halley’s Comet, are the echoes of that former time cyclical, and the social, economic, and political turmoil we face today possibly signal an end to the American Century?

Or are we just in a, to take a modern phrase, “rebooting” phase?  This thought-provoking musical will likely do much more than entertain you.  Go to the Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and treat yourself to this wonderful show. 

Ragtime continues through July 15thFor tickets and info, see this website.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Mrs. Bellamy's Proper Parlors - Bellamy House - Chicopee, Massachusetts


Join the Chicopee Historical Society this coming Wednesday, June 21st at the historic Bellamy House, home of 19th century author Edward Bellamy for a special presentation of "Mrs. Bellamy's Proper Parlors":


The presentation starts at 7 p.m., 91-93 Church Street, Chicopee, Mass.



Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Mt. Tom Theatre - Holyoke, Mass. - Talk in West Springfield

I will be speaking on my book Comedy and Tragedy on the Mountain - 70 Years of Summer Theatre on Mt. Tom, Holyoke, Massachusetts on Wednesday, June 7th at 6 p.m. at the West Springfield Public Library, 200 Park Street, West Springfield, Mass.


The book covers the history of live theatre on Mt. Tom from 1895 to 1965.  For some seventy years live theatre created magic on the mountain above the city, from vaudeville, operetta, WPA-sponsored shows in the Great Depression, and its heyday from 1941 to 1962 with a resident repertory company called The Valley Players.  In the early 1960s, two new incarnations: The Casino-in-the-Park, and finally, the Mt. Tom Playhouse with touring packaged shows featuring well-known stars from television and movies.  Many stars of stage and screen, and many newcomers who would one day become stars, performed over several decades on Mt. Tom.  Through interviews, newspaper reviews, and nearly 250 photographs, relive their performances, and go backstage for personal experiences that were both comic and tragic, and enjoy again the excitement of opening night.

The book is currently available in paperback from the printer, CreateSpace here, and from Amazon in paperback and eBook.  You can also contact me by email or my website to obtain a paperback copy. 


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Berkshire Theatre Festival - Stockbridge & Pittsfield, Massachusetts



This summer at the Berkshire Theatre Festival!
Tickets
Learn
Support
Visitor Info.
MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET
book by Colin Escott & music by Floyd Mutrux
directed & music directed by James Barry

at The Unicorn Theatre
The Larry Vaber Stage
BTG's Stockbridge Campus, 6 East Street
Wednesday, June 14 through  Saturday, July 15 at 8pm

Sponsored by: Lead Sponsor, Bobbie Hallig and Furlano and Arace, PC
Tony Award-winning jukebox musical, and epic night of rock 'n roll, Million Dollar Quartet brings you into the recording studio with icons, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Based on a true story, set on December 4, 1956, Million Dollar Quartet follows the tale of these four legendary musicians, as they come together for one monumental night of music at Sun Records in Memphis. This smash-hit musical includes classic tunes such as: "Blue Suede Shoes," "Fever," "Walk the Line," "Sixteen Tons," "Who Do You Love?," "Great Balls of Fire," "Folsom Prison Blues," "Hound Dog," and more.


THE MUSIC MAN
book, music & lyrics Meredith Wilson
story by Meredith Wilson & Franklin Lacey
directed by Travis G. Daly, musical direction by Mark Gionfriddo
at The Colonial Theatre
BTG's Pittsfield Campus, 111 South Street
Thursday, July 6 through Sunday, August 6

Sponsored by: Greylock Federal Credit Union, Greylock Insurance Company, Dr. Richard Ziter, Phyllis Parvin and The Berkshire Eagle
The Music Man is about a con-man who ultimately does good by a community. "Professor" Harold Hill's heart opens up through the course of one of America's most beloved musicals. In the magical number "'Till There Was You," we all recognize that the power of love is greater than all else, and change is always possible. In fact, Harold Hill and the children of River City, Iowa, remind us that the ordinary can indeed be changed to the extraordinary.

This beloved musical features over 100 talented Berkshire youth, as well as Rylan Morsbach (BTG: Mary Poppins, The Homecoming), who was recently hailed as "terrific" by The New York Times in BTG's Off-Broadway transfer of Fiorello!. With eccentric characters and a warm, optimistic story, this charming musical is filled with memorable tunes such as, "Ya Got Trouble," "Gary, Indiana," and more.
UY TICKETS

Edward Albee's AT HOME AT THE ZOO (ZOO STORY)
directed by Eric Hill
at The Unicorn Theatre
The Larry Vaber Stage
BTG's Stockbridge Campus, 6 East Street
Wednesday, July 19 through Saturday, August 26 at 8pm

Sponsored by: Lead Sponsor, Bobbie Hallig and Furlano and Arace, PC
Set in New York City, Act 1, Homelife opens with a look inside the isolated marriage of wealthy textbook company executive, Peter, played by David Adkins (BTG: Thoreau or, Return to Walden; Poe), and his articulate, Upper East Side wife, Ann, played by Tara Franklin (BTG: The HomecomingLion in WinterEquus). Unable to communicate their feelings to each other, the foundation of their marriage is built on unspoken agreements. Somehow, they find comfort in their boring relationship, yet, they are never truly on the same page. Act 2, The Zoo Story, follows Peter to Central Park. While sitting on a park bench, Peter encounters forlorn and forsaken stranger, Jerry, played by Joey Collins  Collins (BTG: The Homecoming, Broadway: The Glass Menagerie). This stranger, who appears desperate for human contact and connection, forces Peter to listen to his stories, as he digs deep into Peter's life, and his own.


ARSENIC AND OLD LACE
BY Joseph Kesselring
directed by Gregg Edelman
at The Fitzpatrick Main Stage
BTG's Stockbridge Campus, 83 East Main Street
Thursday, July 27 through Saturday, August 19

Sponsored by: Blantyre, Country Curtains and Red Lion Inn
Good-hearted drama critic, Mortimer Brewster appears to lead a normal, happy life. Recently engaged to be married, Mortimer plans a trip to visit his charming, spinster aunts, Abby and Martha Brewster. However, shortly after Mortimer's arrival, he discovers that his innocent aunts have a deadly secret buried in the basement-about a dozen older gentlemen. To Mortimer's dismay, Abby and Martha deem their poisonous habits as charitable acts; convinced that they are putting these men out of their misery. Attempting to protect society without sending Abby and Martha to prison, hilarity and madness ensues as Mortimer tries to wrangle in his crazy aunts, along with his brothers-Theodore, who believes he is Theodore Roosevelt, and maniacal, murderous Jonathan.


LOST LAKE
directed by Daisy Walker
at The Unicorn Theatre
The Larry Vaber Stage
BTG's Stockbridge Campus, 6 East Street
Thursday, September 28 through Sunday, October 22   


Sponsored by: Lead Sponsor, Bobbie Hallig and Furlano and Arace, PC

Written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winner, David Auburn (Proof), Lost Lake is an engrossing, evocative play. Part drama, part melancholy comedy, Lost Lake follows the story of Veronica and Hogan; imperfect strangers, tangled up in each other's lives by circumstance. Veronica, hopelessly in need of an escape from life's uphill battle, takes her children to a lakeside rental. Unfortunately for Veronica, not only is the property is less than ideal, it also includes a bedraggled and secluded estate owner, Hogan. Both fighting their own battles, the two outcasts find complicated comfort in their shared isolation.







Administrative
Offices:
111 South Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201
(413) 448.8084
The Fitzpatrick Main Stage and
The Unicorn Theatre:
6 East Street
Stockbridge, MA 01262
(413) 997.4444
The Colonial Theatre and
The Garage:
111 South Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201
(413) 997.4444


For more info, see website here.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Upcoming talk on Mt. Tom Theatre book - West Springfield, Massachusetts

Just a note that I will be speaking on my book Comedy and Tragedy on the Mountain - 70 Years of Summer Theatre on Mt. Tom, Holyoke, Massachusetts on Wednesday, June 7th at 6 p.m. at the West Springfield Public Library, 200 Park Street, West Springfield, Mass.


The book covers the history of live theatre on Mt. Tom from 1895 to 1965.  For some seventy years live theatre created magic on the mountain above the city, from vaudeville, operetta, WPA-sponsored shows in the Great Depression, and its heyday from 1941 to 1962 with a resident repertory company called The Valley Players.  In the early 1960s, two new incarnations: The Casino-in-the-Park, and finally, the Mt. Tom Playhouse with touring packaged shows featuring well-known stars from television and movies.  Many stars of stage and screen, and many newcomers who would one day become stars, performed over several decades on Mt. Tom.  Through interviews, newspaper reviews, and nearly 250 photographs, relive their performances, and go backstage for personal experiences that were both comic and tragic, and enjoy again the excitement of opening night.

The book is currently available in paperback from the printer, CreateSpace here, and from Amazon in paperback and eBook.  You can also contact me by email or my website to obtain a paperback copy. 


Now Available