Thursday, November 8, 2018

Pioneer Valley Theatre News November 8, 2018

Pioneer Valley Theatre Newsletter
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 November 8  - 28, 2018

Want to learn more about the future of Easthampton's Old Town Hall? Come to the public presentation tonight at 6pm in the Easthampton Municipal Building to hear about project costs, design, and plans. (See the listing below for more). I'll be there - say hi!

Also tomorrow night: you can see POOK written and performed by Mary Beth Brooker at Smith, In The Heights at HCC, or We Will Rock You at Baypath. Not to mention about ten other shows performing this weekend. 

The next issue will include events through December 5. 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
Regional Stories, Regional Artists, Regional Audiences
by Lauren Smith

From the article: 

I grew up in rural Missouri and went to college in the Midwest. While I participated in high school theatre, the idea of attending performances in New York (which felt then, as it still does in some ways, like the center of the theatrical universe) was not an option I could consider until well into my college career. Because of regional theatres in St. Louis and other midwestern cities, however, I was able to see a number of live productions at student matinees and with rush tickets. Without those theatres, I would have had little opportunity to engage with live performance before attending college, and my parents, who still live in the small town where I grew up, might never have seen a professional production.

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
CitySpace Public Meeting
November 8 at 6:00 PM
50 Payson Ave, Easthampton, MA

Join us for a public presentation and Q & A about the 2nd floor grand hall restoration in the Easthampton's Municipal Building, 2nd Floor Meeting Area, 50 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, MA on November 8, 2018 at 6 p.m. Project costs, design, and construction plans will be presented. This event is free and open to the public. 

To see renderings of the project and for more information on the project costs, documents and plans for funding /construction see

This project was made possible by the Mass Cultural Council Facilities Fund, Easthampton's CPA and CitySpace.
Smith College Department of Theatre New Play Reading Series: POOK by Mary Beth Brooker
Thursday, November 8 at 7:30 PM
Acting Studio 1, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Smith College

Written and performed by Mary Beth Brooker 

Part clown, part spirit, part riddle, the solitary storyteller of Pook invites us to laughter and contemplation.

Free and open to the public. 


Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Book by Quiara Alegría Hudes
Conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Directed by Patricia Sandoval
Musical Direction by Ellen Cogen
Choreography by Tiffany Joseph

Set around Fourth of July in the primarily Hispanic neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City, "In the Heights" tells the universal stories of three generations living in this vibrant community. Their neighborhood is on the brink of change, and the characters sing about their hopes and struggles. These songs tell audiences about the dreams of first-generation college student Nina Rosario; Abuela Claudia, who left her home country of Cuba as a child; Usnavi de la Vega and Daniela, who fight to keep their small businesses open as the neighborhood faces gentrification; and many others. Each character negotiates which traditions are important for them to keep and which ones they should leave behind.


FRI NOV 16 @ 7PM
SAT NOV 17 @ 7PM

In the Leslie Phillips Theater in the Fine & Performing Arts Building of Holyoke Community College (park in LOT F)

Tickets available online and at the door:
$10 General Admission
$8 for Seniors and non-HCC Students
$5 for HCC Faculty, Staff, and Students

This production is made possible, in part, by the support of the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts. IN THE HEIGHTS is presented through a special arrangement with R & H Theatricals:
Bay Path University "We Will Rock You" - The Musical by Queen
Thursday, November 8 at 7:30, Friday, November 9 at 7:30, Saturday, November 10 at 2:00 and 7:30, Sunday, November 11 at 2:00
588 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA 06106

Get ready to rock! Based on the legendary music of Queen, “We Will Rock You” follows two revolutionaries as they fight to save rock n’ roll in a post-apocalyptic world, where free thinking, fashion, and live music are forbidden. Featuring a fantastic score of more than 20 killer Queen tunes, including “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” and “Somebody to Love,” this hilarious, multi-award-winning and record-breaking phenomenon is the world champion of musicals, and the show that parties harder than any other! This November, will you do the fandango?

2 Hours and 15 Minutes (including one intermission)

Adults: $14.00
Senior Citizens: $10.00
Children (up to age 18): $5.00
Family Bundle (2 Adults and 2 Children): $35.00 (with code “FamilyBundle”)
College Students with ID: Free

Buy tickets online starting October 1 at or visit|call the Student Information Desk (413) 565 – 1307.

Killer Queen’s School of Rock | The Hard Rock Cafe
30 minutes prior to each performance in Carr 202 and 212
Get on your bikes and ride to the Killer Queen School of Rock for that crazy little thing called crafts! Young Bohemians will see a little silhouetto of complimentary coloring pages, activities, and show-related arts and crafts on site 30 minutes prior to each performance. Budding young rockstars can walk the red carpet and strike a righteous pose at the photo booth, before making a pit stop at the Hard Rock Cafe for some rocket fuel and rebel fare!
This beloved tale, in which a Kansas farm girl travels over the rainbow to discover the magical power of home, has been entertaining audiences for generations. We invite you to joins us on our
journey to Oz

Tickets: $15 General Admission $12 Senior/Students
Military and First Responders Free
For reservations call 413-563-6023 or email blackcattheater@gmail.
Premiere Production of Latest Play Written by Majestic’s Producing Director Danny Eaton

“The War and Walt Whipple,” a comedy/drama written by Danny Eaton, makes its debut at West Springfield’s Majestic Theater November 1 – December 9. Eaton is the producing director at the Majestic.

The play, based on events in Eaton’s family history, tells the story of Walt and Alice Whipple, parents to four sons. When World War II erupts, three of the sons immediately join the services, but before shipping out, each marries and sends their wives to the Whipple family homestead for the duration of the war. The arrival of three daughters-in-law, following a lifetime raising sons, challenges Walt on many levels.

I was inspired to write this play because I wanted my children and grandchildren, who are generationally removed, to better understand the life my parents and my grandparents led,” said Eaton. “World War II was a time of common purpose in America, and those families who endured such hardships deserve to be remembered and honored. It was a great experience for me, as one of three survivors of my generation, to look back into my family's history and to bring life to it. My dad was the story teller in the family, and I hope this play not only carries on that tradition, but maybe even inspires a few people to reach back into their own lives.”

The War and Walt Whipple” features several actors who have appeared in previous Majestic plays including J. T. Waite, Sue Dziura, Ron Komora, Tom Dahl, Margaret Streeter and Mark Dean. They join other cast members including Katie Mack, Jami Wilson, Jordan Reed, Chris Rojas, Joshua True and Cliff Blake.

Eaton will direct the play, and set design is by Greg Trochlil. Dawn McKay is costume designer, Dan Rist is lighting designer and Stephen Petit is production stage manager.

Tickets range from $24-$34 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.
The Wilbraham United Players will present the hysterically funny PLAY ON! written by Rick Abbott
November 9, 10 at 7:30 and November 11 at 2:30 in Fellowship Hall.

This show is a “play within a play” about a group of community players attempting to present a play by a very hands-on local author who fancies herself the next Agatha Christie.  Laughs abound – the cast includes many WUP favorites including David Chivers, Carolyn Averill, Christine Arruda, Kevin Bechard, Catherine and Jim Martin, along with Meaghan Callahan and Casey Dion.  Newcomers to WUP Theresa Allie and Carol Cisek join the group for this production.  The show is directed by Joe Van Allen.

Tickets may be purchased online or by calling Karen Kielb at (413)204-8125. Premium Reserved Seats are $25 and General Seating is $20 with a $5 discount available for Students and Seniors.

Valley Light Opera presents Gilbert and Sullivan's The Gondoliers
November 9,10 7:30PM and November 4,11 at 2:30PM
Academy of Music Theater, Northampton

Set in Venice and Spain, this lively and colorful comic opera includes some of Sullivan’s most beautiful and soaring tunes along with extravagant dancing and ensemble numbers. The Gondoliers is the most popular and often-performed of the Gilbert and Sullivan comic operettas after the “Big Three”- Mikado, Pirates and Pinafore. True to form, the operetta is also full of Gilbert’s most biting satire and hilariously clever wit. No one is safe and the society and government targets are still relevant to modern times. Valley Light Opera will be performing The Gondoliers as a complete, elaborately staged production with a full orchestra and choral ensemble, splendid sets and the sumptuous costuming for which the company is renowned. Performed with supertitles. 

Music Director: Aldo Fabrizi
Artistic Director: Michael Budnick
Choreographers: Sue Dresser and Nicole Newell

Company website

November 9, 10, 11 

This is an immersive experience to honor the legacy of Anne Frank, through the mediums of live theater performance, music, and visual arts and includes:

A Full Scale Production of the award winning stage version of "The Diary of Anne Frank"

Traveling Art Exhibit from The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect entitled "Art and Propaganda"

Music Performed and Underscoring the Play in collaboration with the Leo Smit Foundation

Cost: Payment required - Play & Art Exhibit: $20 adults, $15 seniors & students Art Exhibit only: Suggested donation
Ghost Light Theater presents Sex With Strangers by Laura Eason
November 9, 10, 15, 16, 17 at 8:00 PM, November 11 at 2:00 PM
Gateway City Arts, 92-114 Race St. Holyoke, MA

How far will you go to get what you want? Will you be the same person if you do? When twentysomething
star sex blogger and memoirist Ethan tracks down his idol, the gifted but obscure
forty-ish novelist Olivia, he finds they each crave what the other possesses. As attraction turns
to sex, and they inch closer to getting what they want, both must confront the dark side of
ambition and the trouble of reinventing oneself when the past is only a click away.

Featuring Susanna Apgar as Olivia and Ethan Blake as Ethan

Directed by Kevin Tracy

*This production is not appropriate for young audiences.*

More information.

On Friday, November 9, 2018, Silverthorne Theater is proud to present Humorist and Storyteller DYLAN BRODY’s special benefit performance in theHawks & Reed Ballroom of THE GREATEST SHOW EVER: Hilarious Stories and Poignant Meditations on the World We Share.  Mr. Brody describes this full evening of comedy as the “long-awaited follow-up to his 2009 hit show, More Arts/Less Martial.”

Attendees will have a choice of intimate stage-front table seating, or theater seating. When they arrive, they will walk the red carpet in front of Hawks & Reed, and smile for the paparazzi! )  Anyone buying their ticket online by October 20 will be eligible to win a free limousine ride to and from the Event (donated by West County Limos.) Centennial House Bed & Breakfast in Northfield will provide housing for Mr. Brody during his stay.

Premium table seating is $50 per person; general admission theater seating is $35 per person. An intimate lunch with Mr. Brody at Thai Blue Ginger Restaurant is $20 per person. Tickets available now at or by calling 413-768-7514. The Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center is located at 289 Main St., Greenfield.

Happier Valley Comedy presents Scripted/Unscripted
November 10 ay 7:00 PM
Happier Valley Comedy Theater, 1 Mill Rd, Hadley, MA

Our most popular show is back! SCRIPTED/UNSCRIPTED pairs one professional actor following a published script line-by-line with one plucky improviser doing their best to play along without having any idea what scene they're in. It's a dazzling display of acting chops, quick thinking, and the magic of the moment! Saturday, November 10th at 7pm AND 9pm at the new Happier Valley Comedy Theater (1 Mill Valley Rd, Hadley, on rte.9). Tickets: $13 online and at the door. For more info:
Ghost Light Theater
November's Wednesday Workshop

November 14 ay 7:00 PM
Gateway City Arts, Holyoke, MA

November's piece is The Examiner by Richard Ballon. After traveling over a thousand miles from Scotland, Dr. John Rogerson arrives at the Russian Court of Catherine the Great. Although it is winter, things get hot, real hot.

Wednesday Workshop is a monthly reading series hosted by Ghost Light Theater and Gateway City Arts, presenting staged readings of local and new works to showcase the broad range of creative theatrical talents in the Valley. As well as a performance, the intention is to make Wednesday Workshop an opportunity for artists from our many communities to come together to meet and socialize.

In the interest of making the event financially accessible, the series runs on a pay-what-you-will model with a suggested donation of $5. The donations will be split between Ghost Light and each month's featured author(s). Please also consider coming early to order dinner from The Bistro, to support our generous venue; food and drink from The Bistro can also be brought into the performance. After the show, The Bistro will be open for food, drinks, and socializing.

Facebook event.
St. Michael's Players presents A Christmas Story, The Musical
November 15, 16, 17 at 7:00 PM, November 18 at 2:00 PM
St. Michael's Community Center, 53 Somers Rd, East Longmeadow MA

Based on the classic movie, Young Ralphie tries to scheme his way to his ultimate Christmas gift, a Red Ryder BB gun. Along the way, Ralphie and his family and friends encounter all kinds of obstacles, including bullies, a tongue stuck to a flagpole, a mouth washed out with soap, the infamous leg lamp award, and a Christmas dinner ruined by the Bumpus hounds. Join us as we set the scene for the upcoming Christmas season!
Josies Magical Flute w/Laura Patrick, and Not in Charge
November 15 at 7:30 PM
The Shea Theater, Turners Falls, MA
Josie's Magical Flute, special guest Laura Patrick of the Ha-Ha's, and guest troupe Not in Charge perform a variety of fast-paced high-energy short form scenes and games, as well as Josie's signature long form "The Ride."
Josie's is a long form improv troupe comprised of Julie Waggoner, Sally Ekus, and Mandy Anderson. The three women have been playing together since 2016, and perform regularly as part of their short form'ish troupe Not In Charge (NIC) which performs monthly at the Happier Valley Comedy Theater in Hadley, Ma on the third Saturday through Spring '19. 

Julie Waggoner is a Valley comedy veteran who performed standup comedy for 10 years, and then played with the Villa Jidiots for another 10 years. She’s a member of The Majesters Comedy Troupe, a frequent guest performer with The Ha-Ha’s, and a long-time actress with a variety of local plays and play readings. She teaches improv comedy through Happier Valley Comedy (HVC), a local school and comedy organization founded by Pam Victor.

Mandy Anderson is a member of the Happier Valley Comedy HVChampionship Team and also a member of the Majesters Comedy Troupe. Sally Ekus is the producer as well as a cast member of the Happier Family Comedy Show, and both she and Mandy are guest performers with The Ha-Ha’s.

This month’s Friends at the Shea are local troupe Not In Charge, comprised of Jim Young, Kate Jopson, Maddy Benjamin, as well as all three members of Josie's. 

This month's show welcome special guest Laura Patrick of the Valley's long running and wildly popular improv troupe The Ha-Ha's. 

Not In Charge (NIC) is a 6-person improv comedy troupe, playing together since 2016.  The troupe performs fast-paced, high-energy improv scenes and games, and keeps their audiences (and each other) in peals of laughter. They are honored to be performing for the Valley CDC’s Annual Meeting, and promise to deliver fun and frolic!

The troupe features Mandy Anderson, Maddy Benjamin, Sally Ekus, Kate Jopson, Julie Waggoner, and Jim Young.

Not In Charge has performed to sellout or near-capacity audiences at the Happier Valley Comedy Theater in Hadley, and they regularly perform as a guest troupe at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls with the Shea’s house team, Josie’s Magical Flute.

More info.
Ja'Duke Center For The Performing Arts

November 16 and 17 at 7pm & November 18 at 2pm
Greenfield High School, 21 Barr Ave. Greenfield, MA


Purchase tickets online

Ja’Duke’s 2018 season continues with the Franklin County premiere of the mega-hit musical comedy Mamma Mia!, which has been seen by millions of people worldwide and launched two enormously popular movies.  The plot involves a woman who, on the eve of her wedding, attempts to discover the identity of her father by bringing three men from her mother’s past back to an island paradise.  Featuring more than 20 hit songs by pop super-group ABBA, including “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance on Me,” “The Name of the Game” and “The Winner Takes It All,” this high-spirited, feel-good international sensation has audiences singing and dancing in the aisles.  Performances of Mamma Mia! are November 16, 17, 18  at the Greenfield High School.  Purchase tickets at the door or online

$12.00 Adults
$10.00 ages 12 and under
$10.00 ages 65 and over


Get ready to say “I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do!” and “GO, GO, GO” to Ja’Duke’s 
Blockbuster Fall Show – MAMMA MIA!!!!
Happier Valley Comedy presents Happier FAMILY Comedy Show

November 17 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, November 17th 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 presents Not In Charge
November 17 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 inspired by the improvisers' life experiences! Saturday, November 17th 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 info:
The Other Mozart
written, created & performed  by Sylvia Milo

Little Matchstick Factory’s The Other Mozart is the true, forgotten story of Nannerl Mozart, the sister of Amadeus – a prodigy, keyboard virtuoso and composer, who performed throughout Europe with her brother, to equal acclaim, but her work and her story faded away, lost to history. Directed by Isaac Byrne, The Other Mozart is based on facts, stories and lines pulled directly from the Mozart family’s humorous and heartbreaking letters. Actress Sylvia Milo won the New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Solo Performance for this piece.

“Strikingly beautiful” – New York Times
“A gem of a show” – The Stage, London

Show Date/ Time:
Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 8:00 pm
Doors at 7:30 pm

Ticket Prices:
$20 (plus applicable fees)

Where/ How Tickets Can be Purchased: 
Academy of Music Box Office Open Tuesday- Friday 3:00PM-6:00PM
Call: 413-584-9032 ext.105 (Service fees will apply with purchase)

Online Tickets

Request for Proposals to Performing Artists!

O come all ye faithful be part of Eggtooth Productions’ 3rd Holiday Spectacular!
Submissions due by November 15, 2018 to

Eggtooth Productions & Mr Drag and Karl are now taking submissions for participation in the Third Holiday Spectacular on Dec. 14 and 15, 2018.  Performances must be holiday themed.  This can be from any holiday which happens at the end of December including Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, etc.  In fact, we encourage diversity!  Performances will be limited to 5 minutes (1 song) for a musical/dance number and 3-4 minutes for a spoken word/other performance.  Try to keep submissions upbeat (remember we are trying to keep it light and entertaining and holiday feeling for the audience), but we will accept some sentimental holiday numbers.

The concept is simple.  Mr Drag and Karl will be hosting.  The set will look like Mr Drag’s living room.  Everyone will be coming on as guests of Mr Drag and Karl and will be performing at their home just like an old TV holiday special.  He may invite the guests to sit on his couch and chat before or after their number.  There is an opening number being performed by Mr Drag, Karl and the Karl-a-like dancers.  Lori Holmes-Clark will be choreographing. There will be a finale.  Anyone interested in the finale, will have to agree to two rehearsals prior to tech.

If interested, please include your name, contact info a brief description of your performance, limited to 3-5 sentences.  Also, if you are interested in being a part of the finale, being interviewed by Mr Drag or being one of the Karl-a-like dancers please mention that in your submission.
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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