In the Berkshires, talent seems to run in families, we have the Taylor family, the Guthrie Family, but they better make room for Joe Iconis & Family at the soon to open Mr. Finn’s Cabaret. In fact, Bill Finn has a pretty big extended family, too. You can expect to see the latest and most promising songwriters and song stylists from New York making their way to Linden Street. From the initial slate of performers, it’s as close to the legendary Joe’s Pub (at the Public Theatre) in New York as we have ever had in these parts.
The Bill Finn Cabaret is opening Memorial Day weekend and has bookings all summer long. There is much talk in the Berkshires – among those who know and love the cabaret form of entertainment with its emphasis on show tunes and deeply meaningful or outrageously funny songs – that Mr. Finn’s cabaret could become a regular weekend after-show stop for audiences up and down Route 7.
The official announcement came from Barrington Stage Company (BSC), the award-winning theatre in downtown Pittsfield, MA, under the leadership of Julianne Boyd, Artistic Director, and Tristan Wilson, Managing Director, are proud to announce the first season of performances at the brand-new 49-seat Mr. Finn’s Cabaret, located on the lower level of the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center (formerly Stage 2), 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield.
Mr. Finn’s Cabaret kicks off Memorial Day Weekend with singer/songwriters Joe Iconis, followed by Nikos Tsakalakos and Broadway’s Quentin Earl Darrington. All tickets to the new cabaret series are $15 and general admission. Beer, wine and soda are available.
Joe Iconis & Family
May 25 & 26 at 9:30pm
Joe Iconis and his merry band return to Barrington this summer for an intimate evening of Iconis tunes, both classic and brand spankin’ new. Featuring sing-a-longs, three-hanky ballads, persnickety character pieces, exhilarating stompers and more. Fire up your washboard and polish your whiskey glass – this is new musical theater at its best! Joe Iconis & Family features Iconis, Molly Hager, Eric William Morris, Jeremy Morse, and Jason “Sweet Tooth” Williams. Joe is the writer for the upcoming Musical Theatre Lab workshop production of The Black Suits and was last at Barrington Stage in 2011 with HELL RAISERS.
The Niko Songbook
July 6 & 7 at 9:30pm
You loved his music in Pool Boy, Songs of a Night Owl and Late Nite with Niko. Direct from his sold-out engagement at NY’s Birdland, singer/songwriter Nikos Tsakalakos returns to Barrington Stage with The Niko Songbook featuring songs old and new.
I chatted with Niko a while back, (Interview Here) he has a fascinating story to tell:”In the summer of ’07, Nikos Tsakalakos was Bill Finn’s assistant, and then – as now – was a regular chatterbox. So when Finn, who is a successful composer (Falsettos, Putnam County Spelling Bee) was trapped in a car driven by Nikos he listened as he talked endlessly about his experiences as a pool boy at the Hotel Bel Air. He recognized the germ of an idea. He suggested that Nikos write a musical about it. Finn just happens to run the Musical Theatre Lab for Barrington Stage Company (BSC) so it was good advice.”
It is going to be a treat to have Niko back in the Berkshires, sharing his latest songs and stories.
QED, Chapter 1: Verse 1
August 10 & 11 at 9:30pm
From the Tony Award nominated revival of Ragtime and straight off the national tour of Memphis, join Broadway’s Quentin Earl Darrington for an inspired evening of song. The evening marks Quentin’s solo concert debut in the Berkshires and features unstoppable selections from the Broadway, pop, jazz, gospel, and great American songbooks, and also includes original works by new composers. Passion, perspective, promise, and power all frame what guarantees to be a night to remember.
Darrington admits that his career path has had its share of bumps, beginning in childhood. His first drama class, in seventh grade, “totally connected with my spirit,” he recalls, and teachers urged him to apply to the local performing arts high school. “I said, ‘No, no, no, no, no’—my big brother was a huge high school football star, getting ready to become an even bigger star at Florida State, and I wanted to do the same thing.” Deciding to audition just for the experience, young “Q” was accepted and defied his unsupportive parents and friends who “thought I was crazy” to enroll.
The world is a better place because he did. He volunteers in every city he has lived in to be of service to the community. “Wherever I go, I look for a way to connect to people, whether at nursing homes, children’s centers, shelters, whatever.” He and Barrington Stage could be a match made in heaven.
Fresh Faces, Young Talent, New Approaches to Musical Theatre
July 27, 28 and August 17, 18
The first season of Mr. Finn’s Cabaret will also feature performances by BSC’s 2012 Musical Theatre Apprentices (MTAs) Ben Holtzman, Daniel Kornfeld, Rebecca Kuznick, and Meagan Michelson on July 27 & 28 and August 17 & 18 at 9:30pm. Tickets to the MTA Cabarets are $5 each and are available at the door (cash only, general admission).
Barrington Stage Company’s Musical Theatre Lab is sponsored in part by Elayne Bernstein and Sol Schwartz.
Mr. Finn’s Cabaret is located on the lower level of the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center (formerly Stage 2), 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield. Performance times are 9:30pm or following the St. Germain Stage performance. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Barrington Stage Box Office at 413-236-8888 or visit www.barringtonstageco.org. The Box Office is located at 30 Union Street.
About Barrington Stage Company
Barrington Stage Company, a professional award-winning Equity regional theatre located in the heart of the Berkshires, in Pittsfield, MA, was co-founded in 1995 by Artistic Director Julianne Boyd. Barrington Stage’s mission is three-fold: to present top-notch, compelling work; to develop new plays and musicals; and to find fresh, bold ways to bringing new audiences into the theatre—especially young people. Barrington Stage garnered national attention in 2004 when it workshopped, and premiered William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin’s musical hit The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which later transferred to Broadway’s Circle-in-the-Square Theatre where it won two Tony Awards and played more than 1,000 performances. In 2009/2010 Barrington Stage produced the world premiere of Mark St. Germain’s Freud’s Last Session, which later moved Off-Broadway to the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater and then to New World Stages and has played more than 700 performances. Barrington Stage was voted “Best Live Theatre” by The Berkshire Eagle readers in 2011 and was named “Best Theatre Company” in Metroland’s Best of the Capital Region 2009-2011.