Thursday, October 11, 2018

Pioneer Valley Theatre News October 11, 2018

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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 October 11 - 31, 2018

Hey! Sometimes you just need to take a break from everything and go see a show! 

The next issue will include events through November 7. Submit upcoming events via the link below or by emailing me before Tuesday at midnight. Any questions, comments or feedback? Email me at

Submit Your Theatre Event
from Howlround
Diversity for Dummies Part Two
by Ralph B. Pena

From the article: 

“A request for more diversity isn't really a plea to embrace stimulating heterogeneity. It's a plea to embrace minimal decency.”

Noah Berlatsky wrote those two sentences in the Los Angeles Times in 2017. The words tug at the heart. Who can argue against embracing minimal decency—being more mindful of others? Didn’t our own mothers drill as much into our little heads? But what is most striking in Mr. Berlatsky’s statement isn’t the altruism implied by the word “embrace,” it’s the power dynamic embedded in the word “plea.” It’s an accurate description of how the mandate of diversity has played out, with those on the outside pleading to be let in, hoping those on the inside has some reserve of minimal decency. Forget getting embraced.

Have you read an interesting article about theatre recently? Send it to me!
Want to know even more about events in the Pioneer Valley and beyond,
including reviews, interviews, and previews?
In the Spotlight, Inc.

Berkshire on Stage
Click to Access: Pioneer Valley Theatre Personnel Spreadsheet
Smith College Department of Theatre presents 
New Play Reading Series presents a few short plays

Thursday, October 11 at 7:30 PM
Acting Studio 1


written by Rosemary Ewing '19J
directed by Tari Owei '21

Fuzz and Powder—your typical late night stake-out but one officer has something heavy hanging over her head

The Clinic—a visit to the college health services turns inappropriate

The Crash—a couple copes with the aftermath of an accident

Trio—will an affair with a serious age-gap lead to a broken engagement?

an excerpt from Never Catch a Falling Knife—Hazel and Jane try to navigate early post-graduation lives while together they attempt to deal with Jane’s worsening mental illness

John 1:5—pizza night goes horribly, horribly awry

Free and open to the public.

October 11-21

The Majestic Theater celebrates the launch of its 22nd Season with the opening of “Johnny Guitar” on September 6. The madcap musical, by Nicholas Van Hoogstraten, Martin Silvestri and Joel Higgins, is based on the legendary Joan Crawford cult Western from the 1950s. The play is a send-up of fifties-style acting, melodramatic romance, and rough and tumble cowboy action, set to a doo-wop/country ballad musical score. The story follows what happens to a sultry saloon keeper and her jealous nemesis when a handsome stranger rides into town. Screwball comedy reminiscent of a Mel Brooks spoof is the result.

The cast includes Billy Clark Taylor (Johnny), Myka Plunkett (Vienna), Bethany Fitzgerald (Emma), Michael Morales (Dancin' Kid), Walter Mantani (McIvers), Joe Duda (Turkey), Michael King (Bart), Steven Sands (Eddie) and Michael Garcia (Sam). The play is being directed by Producing Director Danny Eaton, and Mitch Chakour is the music director. Greg Trochlil is set designer, Dawn McKay is costume designer and stage manager is Gary Lamagna. 

Tickets for these shows range from $24-$33 and are now available by calling or visiting the box office during its hours of operation, which are Monday through Friday 10am – 5pm and Saturday 10am – 1pm. Subscriptions are still being accepted for the five Season shows.
For additional information, visit
The Northampton Center for the Arts will hold an Open House at 33 Hawley Street on Saturday, October 13, from 11 AM to 3 PM.

The day will feature classes, workshops, and performances for artists and arts lovers of all ages. There will be free theatrical previews, behind-the-scenes dance rehearsals, free introductory classes, and more!

The day also provides a fantastic opportunity for all to look over the new spaces that have opened up on Hawley Street, particularly The Flex, a space designed to hold extraordinary events of all kinds! Community members are invited to discover the Center’s offerings and consider opportunities to teach a class or stage a show.

Admission is FREE!
Happier Valley Comedy
The Ha-Ha's & Friends: ImprovBoston's AllForm Cast

October 13 at 7:00 PM
Happier Valley Comedy Theater, 1 Mill Rd, Hadley, MA

Longtime local favorites The Ha-Ha's perform a completely improvised comedy show on the second Saturday of every month! Each show has a new special guest - this month we welcome ImprovBoston performing their signature format AllForm! Saturday, October 13th at 7pm at the new Happier Valley Comedy Theater (1 Mill Valley Rd, Hadley, on rte.9). And stick around after for the 9pm showcase and open improv jam! Tickets: $13 online and at the door. For more info:
Greenfield Community College presents 

Oct 18, 19, 20, 26, 27 at 7:30pm, Sunday Matinee Oct 28 at 2pm, Halloween Night Oct 31 at 7:30pm
GCC's Sloan Theater, Main Campus, One College Drive, Greenfield, MA

A new adaptation by Roddy Barnes, based on the novel by Mary Shelley. This version of FRANKENSTEIN has comedic and poignant dialogue, along with the ever-present eeriness that defines the best of FRANKENSTEIN. Directed by Tom Geha, this production has a cast of eleven characters and a combined cast and crew of over twenty students, alumni, and faculty. Please join us for the excitement.

K and E Theater Group presents Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
October 18, 19 & 20 at 7:30 PM, October 21 at 2:00 PM
Gateway City Arts, 92 Race Street, Holyoke, MA

Western Massachusetts’ bold, new theater company, the K and E Theater Group presents Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – A Musical Thriller, one weekend only, Oct. 18-21 at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke.

Book by Hugh Wheeler and Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. This production of Sweeney features Emily Bloch, Paula Cortis, Paul DiProto, Melissa Dupont, Mimi Goodman, Zach Gray, Tomm Knightlee, Joshua Aaron Mason, Shaun O'Keefe, Christine Voytko, David Webber, and Mallory Wray. Musical Direction by Bill Martin and Direction by KETG President and Artistic Director, Eddie Zitka. 

Visit to learn more about our company and the production. We invite you to attend the tale!

Tickets $25

Smith College Department of Theatre presents WORLD PREMIERE performance of MOONLIGHT ON THE MISKATONIC

Music & Lyrics by Clifton J. Noble, Book by Samantha Noble, and Directed by Ellen W. Kaplan

October 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 at 7:30 PM in Theatre 14

The campus of Miskatonic U is decked out for Illumination Night. Four alums have arrived for their five-year reunion, only to find creepy goings-on hidden behind the ivy-covered walls, and the terrifying disappearances of students keep happening. There’s a snake in Paradise….or something much, much worse. Based on the super-scary stories of HP Lovecraft, this new musical is about love, friendship, and growing up – and about horrors that lurk very near.

Tickets $10 General, $5 Students and Seniors, Free for Smith Students. 

Tickets online or call 413-585-3220.

Double Edge Theatre presents 
Leonora's World: An Autumn Spectacle

October 19, 20, and 21 at 6:00 PM
Double Edge Theatre

Performed rain or shine

We are excited to announce that this October Double Edge will present our first Fall Outdoor Spectacle, inspired by the world of Leonora Carrington. This Spectacle will take place in the autumnal landscape of the Farm, traveling across multiple sites.

For tickets:
Pilgrim Theatre presents Moon Over Dark Street
October 19 & 20 at 7:30 PM, October 21 at 2:00 PM
Shea Theater Arts Center, Turners Falls, MA

Moon Over Dark Street, a cabaret of Theatre and Song by Bertolt Brecht gears up with the jazz-hot tunes of Kurt Weill from such theatre classics as “Threepenny Opera” and “Happy End” and the wrenching ballads of Hanns Eisler. The production tracks the devastation of the Second World War and the McCarthy Era. Moon Over Dark Street travels from Berlin to Hollywood, offering songs of love, sex and agitation-with great resonance to today’s political scene!
Tickets: $25 /$18 for students and seniors.
To Purchase Tickets today - call 413-648-7432

“’Moon Over Dark Street’ aims for the moon and hits its mark. The show is a kick-ass mix of songs that pair Brecht’s dark lyrics with the twisted tunes of Kurt Weill and Hanns Eisler. Like a top-shelf sipping whiskey, ‘Moon Over Dark Street’ starts off with a teasing bite and kicks in smooth and strong…Belle Linda Halpern and Kermit Dunkelberg, in their solo turns, both perform with subtlety and panache. And
together they’re downright intoxicating.”
- Anne Marie Donahue, Boston Phoenix
Exit 7 Players presents Sweeney Todd
Oct 19-Nov 2 (Fridays/Saturday’s at 8pm, Sunday’s at 2pm)
Exit 7 Theater, 37 Chestnut Street, Ludlow, MA

An infamous tale, Sweeney Todd, an unjustly exiled barber, returns to nineteenth century London, seeking vengeance against the lecherous judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife. The road to revenge leads Todd to Mrs. Lovett, a resourceful proprietress of a failing pie shop, above which, he opens a new barber practice. Mrs. Lovett's luck sharply shifts when Todd's thirst for blood inspires the integration of an ingredient into her meat pies that has the people of London lining up... and the carnage has only just begun!

Directed by Kim Overtree, Musically Directed by Dan Monte. 

Cast List:
Sweeney Todd - Ryan Bird
Mrs. Lovett - Stephanie Gilbert
Anthony - Jeff Baum
Johanna - McKenna Troy
Beggar Woman - Marguerite Durant 
Tobias Ragg - Johnny Gordon
Aldolpho Pirelli - Erik Gladwin
Judge Turpin - Brian Cipoletta 
The Beadle - Drew Gilbert
Jonas Fogg - Jim Brennan

Jim Brennan
Phoebe Blaisdell
Angie Bourdeau
Regina Diemand
Monique DuBois
Leon Jerfita
Craig Judicki
Peter Kochanek
Mary Marcil-Labbe
Andy Price
Krista Stoops
Kerry Turok
Lucy Tew
Bridget Venezia
Amelia Weatherbee
Emily Yesu

The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
A Musical Thriller

Music and Lyrics by

Book by
From an Adaptation by

Originally Directed On Broadway by HAROLD PRINCE

Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick

Originally Produced on Broadway by Richard Barr,
Charles Woodward, Robert Fryer, Mary Lea Johnson, Martin Richards
in Association with Dean and Judy Manos

Sweeney Todd

Is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). 
All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.
Happier Valley Comedy
Happier FAMILY Comedy Show

October 20 at 3:00 PM
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (125 W Bay Rd., Amherst)

Monthly family-friendly improv comedy show, great for 5-12 year olds and their adults. It's funny for the whole family! Saturday, October 20th at 3pm at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (125 W Bay Rd., Amherst). Tickets at the door: $10/Adults, $5/Kids, Free/4 yrs and under (Reduced admission for museum members). For more info:
Happier Valley Comedy
Happier Valley Comedy Presents: Not In Charge

October 20 at 7:00 PM
Happier Valley Comedy Theater, 1 Mill Rd, Hadley, MA

Join the talented new group Not In Charge for a fast-paced, high-energy short form improv show! For a limited run on the third Saturday of each month. Saturday, October 20th at 7pm at the new Happier Valley Comedy Theater (1 Mill Valley Rd, Hadley, on rte.9). And stick around after for the 9pm showcase and open improv jam! Tickets: $10 online and at the door. For more
UMass Theater presents Snowflakes, or Rare White People
Oct. 25, 26, 27, Nov. 1, 2, 3 at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. School Matinee Oct. 31 at 10 a.m.
The Rand Theater, Fine Arts Center, UMass

Directed by Gabriel Harrell
Tickets: $15 general admission, $5 students and seniors. Purchase online
If you purchase an individual ticket to Snowflakes and decide to subscribe, you can apply your Snowflakes ticket price toward the cost of your subscription! (Contact the box office by Nov. 10 with proof of purchase; some restrictions may apply.)

We start our season funny, with Dustin Chinn's pointed, futuristic comedy Snowflakes, or Rare White People. In Nueva New York in the 23rd Century, a cadre of nearly-extinct white hipsters escape the museum exhibit in which they live, bringing a perilous level of Caucasity to the rest of society. We’re thrilled for a second opportunity to engage with Chinn's sly, hysterical commentary, which we first encountered in last year’s Play Lab.
Request for Proposals
Eggtooth Productions Radical Interconnectedness Festival

Turners Falls, MA
April 26, 27, 2019

We are seeking proposals from artists to address the concerns of marginalized communities.
We invite stories that engage issues of race, age, gender, religion, economic class, and those aspects of cultural identity that have been suppressed.
We seek a wide range of artistic expression: music, dance, theatrical, visual, immersive, installation.
Commission fee will be $500 and Eggtooth will provide the venue, the audience, and promotions for the work.
Email proposals to:
Deadline is October 31, 2018
Real Live Theatre's open training session
Sunday October 14 12.30-3.30pm
45 Amherst Road, Sunderland
Cost is a sliding scale of $5-$25.
Come play with RLT company members in a relaxed yet rigorous setting! We will engage in many different activities, including Suzuki, Viewpoints, and Compositions, all to do with the idea of Time. It will be playful and deep. See what we get up to in our weekly training sessions as a company!
rsvp to

Phantom Sheep Productions in association with J-ART
Comedy Improv Classes Fall Session

Mondays for 6 weeks, beginning October 22 at 7:00 PM
Springfield Jewish Community Center

Comedy Improv classes return to the JCC for our next 6 week session! Open to the general public!
Adults & Teens 15+

Sharpen quick thinking!
Unleash creativity and characters!
Build confidence!
Enjoy the power of collaboration!
Improve acting and stage presence!
Relax and laugh! (a lot)!
Taught in a very fun, encouraging, and constructive atmosphere.

This session will focus on the usual blend of creating characters, exploring the game, quick thinking drills, and living in the present moment finding the funny. All levels welcome and challenged at own pace.

Lead instructor: Eric Boucher assisted by other Phantom Sheep troupe members.

Tuition for entire session:
$86, General Public 
$68, JCC members and employees
10% additional discount for previous students

Sign up Today! 

Facebook event.

Phantom Sheep is also offering a Youth Puppetry class for grades K-4 that begins October 15th. Contact the JCC for more info: 413-739-4715
Pioneer Valley Theatre Companies
Is your theatre company missing? Email me!
Academy of Music Theatre

Arena Civic Theatre

Black Cat Theater

Chester Theatre Company

The Country Players

Eggtooth Productions

Exit 7 Players

Ghost Light Theater

Hampshire Shakespeare Company

Happier Valley Comedy

Ja'Duke Center for the Performing Arts

K and E Theater Group

Ko Theater Works/Ko Festival of Performance

Majestic Theater
New Century Theatre

PaintBox Theatre

Pauline Productions

Real Live Theatre

Red Thread Theater

Serious Play Theatre Ensemble

Silverthorne Theater

Smith College Department of Theatre

St. Michael's Players

Starlight's Youth Theatre, Inc.


Turbulent Times Theater

Westfield Theatre Group

Wilbraham United Players
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