THEATER REVIEW: This ‘concept’ does little to enhance the Bard’s charms

‘As You Like It’/ Shakespeare & Co/ Lenox, MA

TO THE SHAKESPEARE & COMPANY PRODUCTION of “As You Like It” director Tony Simotes adds his own ornaments: a mixture of brilliantly staged bits and over-the-top bits. Over-the-top suggests a lack of trust in Will’s wit, wisdom, etc. To Shakespeare’s ornaments, he also adds an actors-on-uppers physicality and “a concept.”

In the beginning, from Sandra Goldmark’s beautiful blue-gray stage with mottled blue-gray curtain, blue-gray miniature Eiffel Tower and miniature Paris buildings, one gathers (and Tony tells us in the program) that the play will be set in Paris just after the First World War. Read more…

MUSIC REVIEW: Tannery Pond offers concert as lively as weather

Andrés Díaz, cello/ Wendy Chen, piano/ Tannery Pond, New Lebanon

VIGOR was the word of my evening, Saturday at the Tannery Pond Concert.

The crowd walked briskly, with vigor, on a suddenly chilly night from the parking area to the simple, two-story tannery that’s the concert hall on the grounds of the Mount Lebanon Shaker Village and Darrow School in New Lebanon.

The wind blew vigorously, bending ancient trees in my view through the hall’s many windows. Read more…

Opera House show paves way for new view of Warren Street

HUDSON – Saturday, June 11, the Hudson Opera House opened its doors to “Warren Street,” an exhibition in which some 33 artists, many with local connections, take as their inspiration Hudson’s main shopping and dining street.

Richard Roth, the exhibition’s curator, said he was inspired by a body of work created by photographer Lynn Davis, who photographed every building on Warren Street in 1994 to document the city’s eclectic mix of architectural styles. From pyramids and other forms of architecture, to icebergs, Ms. Davis, a contemporary and friend of the late Robert Mapplethorpe, tackles large scale subjects with vigor and iconic style. Visitors to “Warren Street,” will get to see her 314-foot-long work in its entirety. Read more…

REVIEW: With classic timing, comic strip comes to life in ‘Charlie Brown’

You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown/ Ghent Playhouse

GHENT PLAYHOUSE HAS a winner! To capture Charles Schulz’s particular brand of comic-strip subtlety (Peanuts) is too much to ask of anyone; but Clark Gesner in his musical “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” has put his own mark on the characters; and, with director Judy Staber and her cast, they deliver a delightful production.

In Act I, the piece borrows a vaudeville tradition of enter/setup fast/punch-the-punchline/& exit fast. It tickles the funny bone and doesn’t tax anyone’s attention span. Later the writing gathers some hints of a through-line but not much, and we observers don’t miss it at all. Read more…

REVIEW: Curious casting undercuts classic ‘Fantasticks’ at Ghent

The Fantasticks/Ghent Playhouse

IT IS INDEED AN ODD production of “The Fantasticks” in which the actor playing the Mute delivers the most consistently able and interesting performance. In this case it is Lindsey Sikora who, throughout the evening, simply does and is — her lovely, serene face registering fantastical worlds without the person within having any need to judge or shine.

Yes, the show has some other compelling moments and attributes, including pianist Paul Leyden’s knowing theater-energy in the overture; the beauty of Michael Meier’s voice and person as Matt (The Boy); the way the young couple never acknowledges the irony embedded in the playwright’s flowery language; the excruciatingly effective scenes of the boy’s torture; and the hilarious dying and delightful goofiness of Paul Murphy, as Mortimer, the Man Who Dies. Read more…