Audra McDonald, Popovich Comedy Pet Theater, OKLAHOMA! and More Set for Berkshire Theatre Group's Spring 2013 Season
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by BWW News Desk
Berkshire Theatre Group and Artistic Director/CEO Kate Maguire have announced a Spring 2013 line-up at The Colonial Theatre filled with outstanding music, theatre, comedy and family programming. Tickets are available for purchase to members on December 7 and to all on December 10.
Contact the Colonial Ticket Office at 111 South Street, Pittsfield by calling 413-997-4444. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.berkshiretheatregroup.org. The Ticket Office is open Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturdays 10am-2pm or on any performance day from 10am until curtain.
Kate Maguire comments, "We have really striven to provide programming that satisfies a wide variety of tastes, interests and budgets this Spring at The Colonial. We believe that great live performances and entertainment, presented by the most vibrant artists, provides a sense of fun and lifts spirits during challenging times. All of our Spring events will put a smile on your face. We are also excited to announce one of our shows for our summer season. Berkshire Theatre Group will be producing the iconic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma! at The Colonial Theatre in the summer of 2013!"
Programmer Simon Shaw agrees, "Kate and I really wanted to focus on taking into consideration all of our audience members. We think this season has a very wide appeal and maintains our commitment to presenting the finest in performing arts, while also lifting the spirits of our fellow community members."
Berkshire Theatre Group's Spring Season is filled with musical artists, comedy, farce, and family-friendly programming. Firstly, up and comers, The David Wax Museum will begin the New Year at the Colonial with their Mexo-Americana folk rock, followed by Power Balladz: The Ultimate '80s Sing-a-long providing an unparalleled interactive concert experience, then The Official Blues Brothers Revue will bring Jake and Elwood to the Berkshires for a night of comedy and blues, The Popovich Comedy Pet Theater will entertain and inspire animal lovers of all ages, International Guitar Night will present audiences with an evening of internationally acclaimed musicianship, SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody, a perfect girls' night out, will have audiences rolling in the aisles, The Hit Men will bring to life the timeless music from the '50s, '60s and '70s, award winning musician Jimmy Sturr will perform the best of Polka music, Joan Rivers will perform an evening full of hilarious and uninhibited stand-up, and finally, Audra McDonald will finish the Spring with a solo concert featuring her incomparable vocals.
After selling out The Colonial Theatre in 2006, Audra McDonald returns with a solo show highlighting her unparalleled voice. McDonald's record breaking five Tony Awards place her in the illustrious company of Broadway Legends Julie Harris and Angela Lansbury as the only performers in Tony history to win five acting awards. She was even featured in the PBS television special A Broadway Celebration: In Performance at the White House, at the request of President Obama and the First Lady. Having appeared in theatre, opera, concert, television and film, McDonald is one of the defining performers of our age. Her classically trained voice and Broadway caliber story telling will make for an unmatched evening of music and entertainment.
Berkshire Theatre Group is also incredibly excited to announce its first show of Summer 2013, Oklahoma!. This landmark Pulitzer Prize winning musical changed the face of American musical theatre forever, and follows up in the tradition of the two great musicals previously produced at the Colonial, A Chorus Line and The Who's Tommy. Performance dates and ticket sales for Oklahoma! will be announced at a later date.
The David Wax Museum
David Wax and Suz Slezak form the artistic core of the David Wax Museum, and together with multi-instrumentalist Greg Glassman, fuse traditional Mexican folk with American roots and indie rock. After having toured with the likes of The Avett Brothers, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and the Old 97s, NPR called their concert at the 2010 Newport Folk Festival a highlight of the entire weekend, and the Museum was invited back to Newport to play the 2011 main stage. Recipients of the Boston Music Awards' Song of the Year for 2011 and 2012, and named by TIME magazine as one of the top ten acts of 2011's South by Southwest, David Wax Museum has become one of the hottest new indie bands around.
Power Balladz: The Ultimate '80s Sing-a-long!
This rock and roll extravaganza invites you to relive the '80s soundtrack of your youth! According to Backstage, this interactive concert experience is "For anyone who wants to relive a time when music was loud and the hair was big." Featuring songs such as "Sister Christian," "Faithfully," "November Rain," "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," and "Dream On." Get ready to rock on!
The Official Blues Brothers Revue
The Official Blues Brothers Revue strikes the perfect balance of humor, music and mayhem; featuring Wayne Catania and Kieron Lafferty as Jake and Elwood Blues, musical director Paul Shaffer of Late Show with David Letterman, and an eight piece band as they recreate a live concert experience, integrating the humor and songs from the original film and subsequent albums. Produced by Judy Belushi Pisano and Dan Aykroyd, The Revue pays homage to Chicago's rich history of blues, soul music and gospel in the true spirit of the original Blues Brothers!
Popovich Comedy Pet Theater
The Popovich Comedy Pet Theater is a family-oriented blend of the unique comedy and juggling skills of Moscow Circus member, Gregory Popovich, and the extraordinary talents of his performing pets. Rescued from shelters all over the country, Popovich's Pets, which include cats, dogs, geese, doves and parrots, are now Las Vegas stars. Popovich and his Pets have been featured on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with David Letterman, and as a finalist on NBC's America's Got Talent. Audiences will be delighted to see this extravaganza of European-style clowning, amazing juggling and balancing acts, and of course, extraordinarily talented performing pets!
International Guitar Night
International Guitar Night is North America's premier mobile guitar festival, bringing together the world's foremost acoustic guitarists to perform their latest original compositions and Exchange musical ideas in a public concert setting. Each tour features a new cast of guitar luminaries performing solos, duets and quartets. At The Colonial Theatre, founder Brian Gore will be joined by jazz legend Martin Taylor from Scotland with his smooth chord/melody stylings; Solorazaf, a great Madagascar guitarist and singer with a unique rhythmic sense, and Brazil's renowned singer/songwriter and guitarist Guinga. The unique brand of "guitar positivity" The Forum provides has made International Guitar Night the most successful guitar showcase of its kind.
SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody
SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody is the hilarious unauthorized musical satire that brings the naughty fun of the saucy best-selling book to life in one laugh-filled high-energy show. Enjoy a Spanktini at intermission and after the show, stay for a photo with the handsome devil himself. SPANK! promises a fun night out for adventurous adults with an appreciation for farce at its best. SPANK! is not associated with, nor authorized by, author E.L. James or Vintage Press. Mature audiences only.
The Hit Men
A group of amazing performers, superb musicians, superior vocalists, great arrangers and creative composers, The Hit Men are the hitmakers of the '60s, '70s and '80s-including original performing members of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons and Tommy James and the Shondells, The Critters, and band-mates who played and performed with Jim Croce, Cat Stevens, Carly Simon and other mega-star acts. Performing hits such as "Oh What a Night," "Who Loves You," "Marianne," "Bad, Bad LeRoy Brown," "You're So Vain," and "You Belong To Me," these guys are the real performers who traveled all over the world, creating music and memories.
Often called the King of Polka, Jimmy Sturr, recipient of eighteen Grammy Awards, is the hottest musical attraction in the polka field. No one has done more for polka than this talented man from the Little Village of Florida, NY. Sturr has performed with the likes of Willie Nelson and Arlo Guthrie, as well as appeared on Fox News, Saturday Night Live and Grand Ole' Opry's Backstage. When you see Jimmy Sturr and his Orchestra in person, you know why they draw huge crowds, have been voted #1 in the country and are considered the best in polka music.
A force of nature and one of the hardest-working celebrities in the world, Joan Rivers is an entertainment legend of unparalleled accomplishments. A woman of many talents, Joan is perhaps best known as an internationally renowned comedienne. Joan has also appeared in many movies and television shows including, WEtv's Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best?-now in its third season, and E!'s Fashion Police. Don't miss Joan as she performs her uncensored, uninhibited standup comedy for one night only at the Colonial.
Audra McDonald in Concert
Broadway legend Audra McDonald returns with a solo show to the Colonial stage after winning a record-tying fifth Tony Award for her unforgettable performance in The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess and after four seasons on ABC's Private Practice. The two-time Grammy Award-winner will perform an intimate evening of favorite show tunes, classic songs from movies and original pieces written for this extraordinary artist who is at the height of her expressive powers. "Ravishing of voice and Olympian of stature, she's an overwhelming presence," (New York Times). She has performed at The Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall and with virtually every major American orchestra. Blessed with a luminous soprano and an incomparable gift for dramatic truth-telling, she is truly a unique force; known for her singing voice, respected for her passion, and celebrated for her distinctive ability to weave a musical portrait that envelops audiences.
Set in the heart of America, where the corn is as high as an elephant's eye, comes Oklahoma!, one of Rodger's and Hammerstein's most cherished musicals. Follow the beloved story of Laurey Williams and her suitors, Curly McLain and Jud Fry; as well as spitfire, Ado Annie and her patient beau, Will Parker. Featuring timeless songs such as "Oh What a Beautiful Mornin,'" "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top," "I Cain't Say No," "People Will Say We're in Love," and of course "Oklahoma!" and performed at the iconic Colonial Theatre, this landmark, Pulitzer Prize winning musical will have you saying, "Oklahoma O.K.!"
For more information about the performance, visit the website at www.BerkshireTheatreGroup.org.
The Colonial Theatre, founded in 1903, and Berkshire Theatre Festival, founded in 1928, are two of the oldest cultural organizations in the Berkshires. Having united in November of 2010 under the leadership of Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire, these two institutions are providing the Berkshires and beyond with the finest in live theatre, music, dance and the visual arts on five stages in Stockbridge, MA, Pittsfield, MA and Lenox, MA. The Fitzpatrick Main Stage (400 seats), cataloged by The National Register of Historic Places, was originally designed and built by Stanford White as the Stockbridge Casino in 1888. The intimate Unicorn Theatre (122 seats) is a home for emerging artists and new theatrical ideas. The Colonial in Pittsfield (780 seats) re-opened in August of 2006, following a $21 million restoration, and boasts pristine acoustics, classic gilded age architecture and state-of-the-art technical systems. BTG also performs at the newly built outdoor Neil Ellenoff stage at the Mount and at The Garage, a music venue located in the lobby of The Colonial. Together they serve over 100,000 patrons per year and reach over 17,000 students through their educational and outreach programs.