Berkshire Theatre Group’s 2016: Little Shop, Fiorello, Cat on Hot Tin Roof, Beauty/Beast, plus three more plays

In one of the strongest programs it has offered in many years, the Berkshire Theatre Group and Artistic Director/CEO, Kate Maguire, have announced their 2016 Summer Theatre Season plus an assortment of lively presented acts at The Garage and The Colonial Theatre. Some casting has been revealed – Judd Hirsch, David Adkins, Corinna May, Kate Baldwin and Graham Rowat with a further casting announcement and details to be made within the next several weeks.

Kate Maguire says, “Our 88th Season offers a mix of treasured musicals and powerful plays. We are thrilled to present an array of productions, from Tony Award-winning classics, to American and World Premieres, this season is not to be missed!”

Tickets are now on sale. Summer season passes are available for purchase at $100 for a three-show pass, and $175 for a six-show pass, $75 for a three-show preview pass, $125 for a six-show preview pass.

Tickets may be purchased in person at the Colonial Ticket Office at 111 South Street, Pittsfield or by calling (413) 997-4444 or 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. All plays, schedules, casting and prices are subject to change.

SUMMER SEASON 2016 OVERVIEW

Fiorello!
book by Jerome Weidman and George Abbott
music by Jerry Bock
lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
original production presented by Robert E. Griffith and Harold S. Prince
directed by Bob Moss
choreography by Michael Callahan
at The Unicorn Theatre
The Larry Vaber Stage
BTG’s Stockbridge Campus, 6 East Street

Previews: Wednesday, June 15 through Friday, June 17
Press Opening/Opening Night: Saturday, June 18 at 8pm
Talkback: Monday, June 20 after 7pm performance
Closing: Saturday, July 23 at 8pm
Tickets: Preview: $50
Tickets: $60
Lead Sponsor: Bobbie Hallig

What is a progressive politic? Look no further than Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning Fiorello!. A big-hearted look at Mayor LaGuardia and his battle for the people of New York City. With music and lyrics by Tony Award-winners Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler On The Roof, She Loves Me) and book by Tony Award and Drama Desk-Winner George Abbott (The Pajama Game, Damn Yankees) and Jerome Weidman (Tenderloin), this production is directed by Playwrights Horizons founder, Bob Moss (BTG: A Class Act, A Man for All Seasons).

Tammany Hall is in dire need of an honest leader, and Fiorello LaGuardia is just the man for the job. Battling against the corrupt, political puppets of New York City, Fiorello vows to clean up the Big Apple. A man of the people, Fiorello must use his wit and charm to fight for the right of the citizens. Based on the real-life rise to power of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, Fiorello! is one of only eight musicals to have been awarded the esteemed Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Bob Moss says, “Mayor LaGuardia was long gone by the time I moved to New York, so I never lived under his tenure in City Hall. But the “Little Flower,” as he was called, lives on in memory. The music is toe-tappingly delightful, the characters are richly drawn and a story about good guys is desperately needed in today’s jaded and vitriolic politics. It’s great to be reminded, as the music lifts us aloft, that good can triumph over selfishness.”

Performance Dates
Wednesday, June 15 at 7pm (Preview)
Thursday, June 16 at 7pm (Preview)
Friday, June 17 at 8pm (Preview)
Saturday, June 18 at 2pm and 8pm (Press Opening/Opening Night)
Monday, June 20 at 7pm (Talkback)
Tuesday, June 21 at 7pm
Wednesday, June 22 at 7pm
Thursday, June 23 at 7pm
Friday, June 24 at 8pm
Saturday, June 25 at 2pm and 8pm
Monday, June 27 at 7pm
Tuesday, June 28 at 7pm
Wednesday, June 29 at 7pm
Thursday, June 30 at 7pm
Friday, July 1 at 8pm
Saturday, July 2 at 2pm and 8pm
Monday, July 4 at 7pm
Tuesday, July 5 at 7pm
Wednesday, July 6 at 7pm
Thursday, July 7 at 7pm
Friday, July 8 at 8pm
Saturday, July 9 at 2pm and 8pm
Monday, July 11 at 7pm
Tuesday, July 12 at 7pm
Wednesday, July 13 at 7pm
Thursday, July 14 at 7pm
Friday, July 15 at 8pm
Saturday, July 16 at 2pm and 8pm
Monday, July 18 at 7pm
Tuesday, July 19 at 7pm
Wednesday, July 20 at 7pm
Thursday, July 21 at 7pm
Friday, July 22 at 8pm
Saturday, July 23 at 2pm and 8pm (Closing)

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
by Tennessee Williams
directed by David Auburn
at The Fitzpatrick Main Stage
BTG’s Stockbridge Campus, 83 East Main Street

Previews: Wednesday, June 22 through Friday, June 24
Press Opening/Opening Night: Saturday, June 25 at 8pm
Talkback: Monday, June 27 after 7pm performance
Closing: Saturday, July 16 at 8pm
Tickets: Preview: $45
Tickets: $62
Sponsored by: Blantyre, Country Curtains and The Red Lion Inn

“I’ve got the guts to die. What I want to know is do you have the guts to live?” asks the towering and domineering Big Daddy. Sometimes described as Williams’ greatest play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof was the playwrights’ favorite. A powerful depiction of greed and deception that lies in the heart of a Southern American family, this Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning play will be directed by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning David Auburn (Proof), returning to the Fitzpatrick Main Stage where he has directed A Delicate Balance, Period of Adjustment and Anna Christie.

Mississippi plantation owner, the cantankerous Big Daddy, is celebrating his 65th birthday. His family has returned for the occasion, including his favorite son, the masculine Brick, and Brick’s wife, the lonely and longing Maggie. Brick and Maggie’s strained marriage plagues Big Daddy’s mind, and he demands answers to why they haven’t given him a grandchild yet. However, Big Daddy’s family holds a powerful secret, and an ulterior motive as to why they have returned to the plantation. The families’ troubled relationships and emotional lies become exposed in the timeless American treasure, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Performance Dates
Wednesday, June 22 at 7pm (Preview)
Thursday, June 23 at 7pm (Preview)
Friday, June 24 at 8pm (Preview)
Saturday, June 25 at 2pm and 8pm (Press Opening/Opening Night)
Monday, June 27 at 7pm (Talkback)
Tuesday, June 28 at 7pm
Wednesday, June 29 at 7pm
Thursday, June 30 at 7pm
Friday, July 1 at 8pm
Saturday, July 2 at 1pm and 8pm (note earlier matinee time)
Monday, July 4 at 7pm
Tuesday, July 5 at 7pm
Wednesday, July 6 at 7pm
Thursday, July 7 at 7pm
Friday, July 8 at 8pm
Saturday, July 9 at 2pm and 8pm
Monday, July 11 at 7pm
Tuesday, July 12 at 7pm
Wednesday, July 13 at 7pm
Thursday, July 14 at 7pm
Friday, July 15 at 8pm
Saturday, July 16 at 2pm and 8pm (Closing)

Little Shop of Horrors
book and lyrics by Howard Ashman
music by Alan Menken
directed by Ethan Heard
choreography by Parker Esse
music direction by Joel Fram
at The Colonial Theatre
BTG’s Pittsfield Campus, 111 South Street

Previews: Wednesday, July 6 through Friday, July 8
Press Opening/Opening Night: Saturday, July 9 at 8pm
Talkback: Monday, July 11 after 7pm performance
Closing: Saturday, July 23 at 8pm
Tickets: Preview: $55 • Opening Night: $35-$75 (includes post-show dance party with cast)
Tickets: A: $65 B: $50 C: $25
Sponsored by: Blantyre, Country Curtains and The Red Lion Inn, Greylock Federal Credit Union and Greylock Insurance Agency

The Drama Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk Award-winning rock, horror, musical comedy, Little Shop of Horrors, is open for business! Directed by, Ethan Heard (BTG: Bells Are Ringing, A Little Night Music, Cat and The Canary), this celebrated, farcical production, has music by Academy Award, Golden Globe Award and Tony Award-winners Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin).

Seymour Krelborn, a timid, poor floral assistant, lives downtown on Skid Row. Constantly berated by his boss, Mr. Mushnik, and longing to be noticed by his beautifully flawed co-worker, Audrey, Seymour serendipitously discovers a mysterious plant in town. Aptly naming it the Audrey II, Seymour takes the plant back to his run-down flower shop. Suddenly Seymour’s life is filled with recognition and riches, all thanks to the Audrey II. Unfortunately, the plant has an unconventional thirst for something other than water. Seymour is faced with the tough decision of giving into the lewd Audrey II’s demands and continuing down the path to success, or returning back to his simple life. Hit-filled and hair-raising, ludicrous laughs unfold in this unconventional, killer comedy musical.

Ethan Heard says, “Having directed two grandly romantic shows the past two seasons (Bells Are Ringing, A Little Night Music), this year I’m thrilled to get down and dirty with the desperate denizens of Skid Row. Drawing inspiration from the show’s roots in Camp and B Horror flicks, our production pumps fresh blood into the carnivorous plant Audrey II, bringing her to life in unexpectedly fabulous ways.

Performance Dates
Wednesday, July 6 at 7pm (Preview)
Thursday, July 7 at 7pm (Preview)
Friday, July 8 at 8pm (Preview)
Saturday, July 9 at 8pm (Press Opening/Opening Night)
Monday, July 11 at 7pm (Talkback)
Tuesday, July 12 at 7pm
Wednesday, July 13 at 7pm
Thursday, July 14 at 2pm and 7pm
Friday, July 15 at 8pm
Saturday, July 16 at 2pm and 8pm
Monday, July 18 at 7pm
Tuesday, July 19 at 7pm
Wednesday, July 20 at 7pm
Thursday, July 21 at 2pm and 7pm
Friday, July 22 at 8pm
Saturday, July 23 at 2pm and 8pm (Closing)

Judd Hirsch
in a World Premiere of
Shem Bitterman’s
The Stone Witch
directed by Steve Zuckerman
Produced in association with Darlene Kaplan Entertainment
and Brierpatch Productions
at The Fitzpatrick Main Stage
BTG’s Stockbridge Campus, 83 East Main Street

Previews: Wednesday, July 20 through Friday, July 22
Press Opening/Opening Night: Saturday, July 23 at 8pm
Talkback: Monday, July 25 after 8pm performance
Closing: Saturday, August 20 at 8pm
Tickets: Preview: $45
Tickets: $62
Sponsored by: Blantyre, Country Curtains and The Red Lion Inn, Natalie and Howard Shawn

In this World Premiere, written by Pen/USA Award-winning playwright Shem Bitterman (Harm’s Way, Open House, Influence; Film: Whitney, The Job), reality and fantasy collide when a struggling, young writer is chosen by a powerful book editor for a special assignment—to help a reclusive children’s book author and illustrator complete his first manuscript in over a decade. Directed by Drama Desk and Humanities Award-winning theatre and television director Steve Zuckerman (Broadway: Nuts; TV: Everybody Loves Raymond; Film: Israel Horovitz’s North Shore Fish), and featuring Tony Award, Golden Globe Award, Emmy Award and Obie Award-winning actor Judd Hirsch (Broadway: Talley’s Folly; TV: Taxi; Film: Independence Day), this production is produced in association with Darlene Kaplan Entertainment and Brierpatch Productions.

Peter, an aspiring children’s book author, is sent to the cabin of his idol, Simon, played by Judd Hirsch, a reclusive award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books, to help him finish what might be his last book. Desperate to save his own career, Peter hopes to discover the secret of Simon’s genius, but first he must accept the impossible task: helping Simon confront the monsters that populate the woods inside his mind. This darkly humorous-play makes us question the cost of success.

Performance Dates
Wednesday, July 20 at 7pm (Preview)
Thursday, July 21 at 7pm (Preview)
Friday, July 22 at 8pm (Preview)
Saturday, July 23 at 2pm and 8pm (Press Opening/Opening Night)
Monday, July 25 at 7pm Talkback
Tuesday, July 26 at 7pm
Wednesday, July 27 at 7pm
Thursday, July 28 at 7pm
Friday, July 29 at 8pm
Saturday, July 30 at 2pm and 8pm
Monday, August 1 at 7pm
Tuesday, August 2 at 7pm
Wednesday, August 3 at 7pm
Thursday, August 4 at 7pm
Friday, August 5 at 8pm
Saturday, August 6 at 2pm and 8pm
Monday, August 8 at 7pm
Tuesday, August 9 at 7pm
Wednesday, August 10 at 7pm
Thursday, August 11 at 7pm
Friday, August 12 at 8pm
Saturday, August 13 at 2pm and 8pm
Monday, August 15 at 7pm
Tuesday, August 16 at 7pm
Wednesday, August 17 at 7pm
Thursday, August 18 at 7pm
Friday, August 19 at 8pm
Saturday, August 20 at 2pm and 8pm (Closing)

Constellations
by Nick Payne
directed by Gregg Edelman
with Kate Baldwin and Graham Rowat
at The Unicorn Stage
The Larry Vaber Stage
BTG’s Stockbridge Campus, 6 East Street

Previews: Wednesday, August 3 through Friday, August 5
Press Opening/Opening Night: Saturday, August 6
Talkback: Monday, August 8th after 7pm performance
Closing: Saturday, August 27 at 8pm
Tickets: Preview: $45
Tickets: $50
Lead Sponsor: Bobbie Hallig

Have you ever wondered if one simple interaction could change your life’s trajectory? The infinite question of “what if?” is raised in Nick Payne’s Drama League Award and Tony Award-nominated drama, Constellations. Directed by Tony Award-nominated Gregg Edelman (Broadway: City of Angels, 1776, Into The Woods BTG: Deathtrap, A Little Night Music),and featuring Tony Award-nominated Kate Baldwin (Broadway: Finian’s Rainbow; BTG: Bells Are Ringing, A Little Night Music) and Baldwin’s real life husband, Broadway and television actor, Graham Rowat (Broadway: Mamma Mia, LoveMusik; BTG: Bells Are Ringing, A Little Night Music), Constellations is a sensual, mesmerizing piece of theatre.

This heartfelt and poignant two-character drama follows Marianne, a quirky quantum physicist, played by Kate Baldwin, and Roland, a beekeeper, played by Graham Rowat. Their first encounter is seemingly ordinary—crossing paths at a mutual friend’s barbeque. Exploring the endless possibilities of their budding romance, the characters create their own multi-verse to see how their relationship would play out if they had chosen fate over chance.

Gregg Edelman says, “Constellations is a play of extraordinary beauty; touching and humorous, it explores the many ways we try to connect with those we love or hope to love. I fell under the spell of this play at first reading and each time I go back, my love for it deepens. This year’s BTG production boasts a cast of two amazingly talented actors, Kate Baldwin and Graham Rowat. Their wit and sensitivity, not to mention their real-life marriage, promises to inform this elegant play with a level of wisdom that will make this a memorable experience for our audiences.”

Performance Dates
Wednesday, August 3 at 7pm (Preview)
Thursday, August 4 at 7pm (Preview)
Friday, August 5 at 8pm (Preview)
Saturday, August 6 at 2pm and 8pm (Press Opening/Opening Night)
Monday, August 8 at 7pm (Talkback)
Tuesday, August 9 at 7pm
Wednesday, August 10 at 7pm
Thursday, August 11 at 2pm and 7pm
Friday, August 12 at 8pm
Saturday, August 13 at 2pm and 8pm
Monday, August 15 at 7pm
Tuesday, August 16 at 7pm
Wednesday, August 17 at 7pm
Thursday, August 18 at 2pm and 7pm
Friday, August 19 at 8pm
Saturday, August 20 at 2pm and 8pm
Monday, August 22 at 7pm
Tuesday, August 23 at 7pm
Wednesday, August 24 at 7pm
Thursday, August 25 at 2pm and 7pm
Friday, August 26 at 8pm
Saturday, August 27 at 2pm and 8pm (Closing)

Beauty and The Beast
music by Alan Menken
lyrics by Howard Ashman & Tim Rice
book by Linda Woolverton
originally directed by Robert Jess Roth
originally produced by Disney Theatrical Productions
directed by Travis G. Daly
music direction by Mark Gionfriddo
choreography by Kathy Jo Grover
at The Colonial Theatre
BTG’s Pittsfield Campus, 111 South Street

Preview: Thursday, August 11
Opening Night: Friday, August 12 at 7pm
Closing: Friday, August 19 at 7pm
Special Note: As a community production, there is no press night
for Beauty and The Beast
Tickets: Adult A: $40; Adult B: $30 • Child A: $25; Child B: $20
Rose Circle Tickets: Adult: $50 • Child: $35
Sponsored by: Greylock Federal Credit Union and Greylock Insurance Agency

Beauty and the Beast will share its “tale as old as time” at The Colonial Theatre for Berkshire Theatre Group’s 11th Annual Community Theatre Production. This beloved Tony Award and Drama Desk Award-nominated musical will feature over 100 talented Berkshire County natives. Be our guest as BTG flies actors through The Colonial for the fourth time in a BTG community production.

A spell is cast on a conceited, immature prince and his castle, turning the strikingly handsome young man into a hideous, cruel creature: The Beast. To break the curse, The Beast must discover how to love someone for the kindness of their heart, and be loved in return in his grisly form. Meanwhile, in a small, mundane French town, Belle, a bright and beautiful bookworm, has always felt out of place. Picked on by her peers, and constantly sought after by the superficial town hunk, Gaston, Belle aches for adventure. The only person that truly believes in Belle is her father, Maurice, an affectionate, eccentric inventor. After losing his way in the woods, Maurice is captured by The Beast. Belle agrees to become prisoner in exchange for her father’s freedom. With the aid of The Beast’s enchanted, charming servants—Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts and Chip—Belle finds that there is more to The Beast than meets the eye. Beauty and The Beast is bursting withstunning dance numbers and memorable songs, such as: “Be Our Guest,” “Beauty and The Beast,” “Gaston,” and more!

Performance Dates
Thursday, August 11 at 7pm (Preview)
Friday, August 12 at 7pm (Opening)
Saturday, August 13 at 2pm and 7pm
Sunday, August 14 at 2pm and 7pm
Monday, August 15 at 7pm
Wednesday, August 17 at 7pm
Thursday, August 18 at 2pm and 7pm
Friday, August 19 at 7pm (Closing)

American Premiere
The Bakelite Masterpiece
by Kate Cayley
directed by Kristen van Ginhoven
with David Adkins and Corinna May
a co-production with WAM Theatre
at The Unicorn Stage
The Larry Vaber Stage
BTG’s Stockbridge Campus, 6 East Street

Previews: Thursday, September 29 and Friday, September 30
Press Opening/Opening Night: Saturday, October 1 at 7pm
Talkback: Thursday, October 6 after 7pm performance
Closing: Sunday, October 23 at 7pm
Tickets: Preview: $45
Tickets: $50
Lead Sponsor: Bobbie Hallig

After a critically-acclaimed World Premiere at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, Canada, Berkshire Theatre Group and WAM Theatre are joining forces to present the American Premiere of The Bakelite Masterpiece. This stirring production is directed by Co-Founder and Artistic Director of WAM Theatre, Kristen van Ginhoven, and features David Adkins (BTG: Benefactors; Love, Valour, Compassion; Thoreau or, Return to Walden; Poe) and Corinna May (BTG: Benefactors, Homestead Crossing; Two-Headed).

It’s the end of World War II, and Holland is in chaos. The artist Van Meegeren is arrested. His crime? Selling a long-lost painting by the Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer to the Nazi Leader, Hermann Goering. His defense? It was a perfect forgery painted by him. His proof? In front of his prosecutor Geert Piller, art historian and resistance fighter, he must paint another flawless Vermeer to save his life. The Bakelite Masterpiece is a play that debates beauty, faith, memory and the reconstruction of a country.

“As the daughter of Dutch parents who lived through WWII, I feel compelled to tell this story,” said Kristen van Ginhoven. “The play came to me via a close colleague in Canada who acted in the original production and I immediately envisioned it at The Unicorn Theatre. WAM Theatre is very excited that Berkshire Theatre Group has opened their doors to make this a co-production. This collaboration makes it possible for this story to reach a wider audience.”

Performance Dates
Thursday, September 29 at 7pm (Preview)
Friday, September 30 at 7pm (Preview)
Saturday, October 1 at 7pm (Press Opening/Opening Night)
Thursday, October 6 at 7pm (Talkback)
Friday, October 7 at 7pm
Saturday, October 8 at 2pm and 7pm
Sunday, October 9 at 2pm
Thursday, October 13 at 7pm
Friday, October 14 at 7pm
Saturday, October 15 at 2pm and 7pm
Sunday, October 16 at 2pm
Thursday, October 20 at 7pm
Friday, October 21 at 7pm
Saturday, October 22 at 2pm and 7pm
Sunday, October 23 at 2pm (Closing)

CALENDAR OF 2016 PRESENTED SHOWS
(condensed)

Laugh Lounge Series: Ben Kronberg:
The Garage, Wednesday, February 24 at 8pm
Marc Cohn: The Colonial, Thursday, February 25 at 8pm
The Receiver: The Garage, Thursday, March 10 at 8pm
John Mayall: The Colonial, Thursday, March 24 at 8pm
Popovich Comedy Pet Theatre: The Colonial, Wednesday, March 30 at 7pm
Adam Ezra Group: The Garage, Friday, April 1 at 8pm
Laugh Lounge: Giulia Rozzi: The Garage, Wednesday, April 6 at 8pm
Bella’s Bartok: Change Your Life CD Release Show:
The Colonial, Saturday, April 16 at 8pm
Through The Looking Glass: Musings from the Pens of Berkshire Women Writers:
The Unicorn, Sunday, April 17 at 3pm
Laugh Lounge Series: Kevin Meaney: The Garage, Wednesday, May 11 at 8pm
On The Stage Series: Jonathan Edwards:
The Colonial, Thursday, October 6 at 8pm

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