Gregg Edelman-Helmed ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, THE MUSIC MAN and More Set for BTG's Expanded 2017 Summer Season

Gregg Edelman-Helmed ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, THE MUSIC MAN and More Set for BTG's Expanded 2017 Summer Season

Hot off the heels of its critically acclaimed revival of Fiorello!, which was named a Critic's Pick by The New York Times, Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG) and Kate Maguire (Artistic Director/CEO) have announced BTG's 2017 Summer Theatre Season.

Due to last summer's record-breaking season, BTG is expanding its 2017 summer festival offerings, including an extended run of the Colonial Theatre musical, Tony-Award winning The Music Man. Highlights of the 2017 Season also include the Tony-Award winning jukebox musical, Million Dollar Quartet, celebrated American classic, Arsenic and Old Lace, as well as two productions penned by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights, Edward Albee's At Home at the Zoo (Zoo story) and David Auburn's Lost Lake.

In addition to a season cast announcement, an additional Summer Season production will be announced in the next several weeks.

According to Maguire, "Our 89thth Season offers an array of award-winning, powerful plays and delightful musicals. We're excited to kick-off the 2017 season with the Tony Award-winning jukebox musical, Million Dollar Quartet. Presented at the intimate Unicorn Theatre, this production is filled with the songs of legendary rock and rollers, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis. James Barry, whose been with this show for several years and has been in over 14 productions at BTG, will serve as director and music director, and will give this production a fabulous flair."

Maguire adds, "For our Colonial Theatre musical, we are presenting the six-time, Tony Award-winning, The Music Man, with an extended run of 37 performances!"

"Edward Albee, who passed away this year, is undoubtedly one of the greatest American playwrights. The Zoo Story was a landmark production of American theatre. Edward Albee's At Home at the Zoo (Zoo story) will be directed by longtime BTG Artistic Associate, Eric Hill, who has directed many successful productions at The Unicorn Theatre, most recently The Homecoming by Harold Pinter. This production of At Home at the Zoo (Zoo story) will reunite BTG Alum's, David Adkins, Joey Collins and Tara Franklin," says Maguire.

Maguire continues, "Arsenic and Old Lace has been on my list for many years; it is simply the funniest play I have ever seen. I know audiences will be as delighted as I have always been while experiencing this piece, especially at our historic Fitzpatrick Main Stage. The characters are vibrant, the plot is colorful and attractive, and our production will be directed by Tony Award-nominated Gregg Edelman, who directed Constellations for us last summer."

Maguire adds, "Closing our 2017 Season is our fall production, Lost Lake. Written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winner, David Auburn, Lost Lake is a beautiful play about two lonely people growing to understand each other. David has an affection for creating complex characters in the midst of turmoil, characters that are flawed, fragile and real. This piece will be directed by Daisy Walker, who has been busy directing new work around the country.

Summer season passes are available for purchase at $99 for a three-show pass, and $175 for a six-show pass.

Tickets for all of BTG's exciting summer season productions will be on sale on Friday, February 17 at 10am. BTG continues its commitment to offering accessible theatre for everyone, with tickets starting as low as $32 for adults, and $22 for children 16 years or younger. 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 2017 OVERVIEW:

Million Dollar Quartet

book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux

original concept and direction by Floyd Mutrux

Inspired by Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins

directed and music direction by James Barry

at The Unicorn Theatre

The Larry Vaber Stage

BTG's Stockbridge Campus, 6 East Street

Previews: Wednesday, June 14 through Friday, June 16

Press Opening/Opening Night: Saturday, June 17 at 8pm

Talkback: Monday, June 19 after 7pm performance

Closing: Saturday, July 15 at 8pm

Tickets: Preview: $55

Tickets: $65

Sponsored by: Lead Sponsor, Bobbie Hallig and Furlano and Arace, PC

Tony Award-winning jukebox musical, and epic night of rock 'n roll, Million Dollar Quartet brings you into the recording studio with icons, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash,Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Based on a true story, set on December 4, 1956, Million Dollar Quartetfollows the tale of these four legendary musicians, as they come together for one monumental night of music at Sun Records in Memphis. Directed and music direction by James Barry (Broadway: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson;BTG: A Thousand Clowns, Tommy, The Caretaker), this smash-hit musical includes classic tunes such as: "Blue Suede Shoes," "Fever," "Walk the Line," "Sixteen Tons," "Who Do You Love?," "Great Balls of Fire," "Folsom Prison Blues," "Hound Dog," and more.

Director James Barry says, "I'm thrilled to be making my debut as a director at BTG, specifically in The Unicorn Theatre, where I made my professional acting debut 18 seasons ago, in The Einstein Project. Coming back to the Unicorn to direct a show that I have been involved with for years is an honor. I performed the role of Carl Perkins in the first National Tour of Million Dollar Quartet for two years, and since then, I have reprised the role many times, and provided musical direction. I am honored to take a seat in the director's chair for this production!"

The Music Man

book, music and lyrics by Meredith Willson

story by Meredith Willson and and Franklin Lacey

directed by Travis G. Daly

music direction by Mark Gionfriddo

at The Colonial Theatre

BTG's Pittsfield Campus, 111 South Street

Preview: Thursday, July 6 through Friday, July 7

Opening Night: Saturday, July 8 at 7pm

Closing: Sunday, August 6 at 2pm

Special Note: There is no press night

for The Music Man

Tickets: Adult A: $42; Adult B: $32 • Child A: $27; Child B: $22

Golden Circle Tickets: Adult: $52 • Child: $37

Sponsored by: Greylock Federal Credit Union, Greylock Insurance Company, Dr. Richard Ziter, Phyllis Parvin and The Berkshire Eagle

The Music Man is about a con-man who ultimately does good by a community. "Professor" Harold Hill's heart opens up through the course of one of America's most beloved musicals. In the magical number "'Till There Was You," we all recognize that the power of love is greater than all else, and change is always possible. In fact, Harold Hill and the children of River City, Iowa, remind us that the ordinary can indeed be changed to the extraordinary.

Sound the Seventy-Six Trombones, the Tony Award-winning musical, The Music Man comes to The Colonial Theatre! Directed by Travis G. Daly (BTG: Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, Seussical), with music direction by Mark Gionfriddo (BTG: Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, Seussical), this beloved musical features over 100 talented Berkshire youth, as well as Rylan Morsbach (BTG: Mary Poppins, The Homecoming), who was recently hailed as "terrific" by The New York Times in BTG's Off-Broadway transfer of Fiorello!. With eccentric characters and a warm, optimistic story, this charming musical is filled with memorable tunes such as, "Ya Got Trouble," "Gary, Indiana," and more.

Director Travis G. Daly says, "The Music Man is a musical love letter. An uplifting history lesson with great ideals, this production shows how infectious the power of love is. Harold has a metamorphosis throughout the play, and as he begins to grow, he inspires this entire community, bringing them together to be a part of something bigger than themselves."

Edward Albee's At Home at the Zoo (Zoo story)

by Edward Albee

directed by Eric Hill

with David Adkins, Joey Collins and Tara Franklin

at The Unicorn Stage

The Larry Vaber Stage

BTG's Stockbridge Campus, 6 East Street

Previews: Wednesday, July 19 through Friday, July 21

Press Opening/Opening Night: Saturday, July 22 at 8pm

Talkback: Monday, July 24 after 7pm performance

Closing: Saturday, August 26 at 8pm

Tickets: Preview: $47

Tickets: $52

Sponsored by: Lead Sponsor, Bobbie Hallig and Furlano and Arace, PC

"It's just that if you can't deal with people, you have to make a start somewhere. With animals. Don't you see? A person has to find a way of dealing with something. If not with people...something." Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright, Edward Albee, (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) At Home at the Zoo (Zoo story) delves deep into the complex concept of human loneliness and social disparity. Directed by Eric Hill (BTG: The Homecoming, Thoreau or, Return to Walden; Poe), Edward Albee'sAt Home at the Zoo (Zoo story) joins Albee's classic play, The Zoo Story (1959), the classic play which launched Albee's sensational career, with its prequel, Homelife (2004) written 45 years later. This production features David Adkins (BTG: Thoreau or, Return to Walden; Poe), Joey Collins (BTG: The Homecoming, Broadway: The Glass Menagerie)and Tara Franklin (BTG: The Homecoming, Lion in Winter, Equus).

Set in New York City, Act 1, Homelife opens with a look inside the isolated marriage of wealthy textbook company executive, Peter, played by David Adkins, and his articulate, Upper East Side wife, Ann, played by Tara Franklin. Unable to communicate their feelings to each other, the foundation of their marriage is built on unspoken agreements. Somehow, they find comfort in their boring relationship, yet, they are never truly on the same page. Act 2, The Zoo Story, follows Peter to Central Park. While sitting on a park bench, Peter encounters forlorn and forsaken stranger, Jerry, played byJoey Collins. This stranger, who appears desperate for human contact and connection, forces Peter to listen to his stories, as he digs deep into Peter's life, and his own.

Director Eric Hill says, "I was inspired by the opportunity to work on The Zoo Story again after many years, and to explore the new Albee one-act that is the first half of this evening (Homelife), to create Edward Albee's At Home at the Zoo (Zoo story). This new piece not only provides a brilliant backstory to The Zoo Story, but it also stands alone as a vintage piece of Albee, with all the gender tension of his great plays." In a 2011 interview with The Boston Globe, playwright Edward Albee states, "The Zoo Story is a good play...But it's a play with one and a half characters. Jerry is a fully developed, three-dimensional character. But Peter is a backboard. He's not fully developed. Peter had to be more fleshed out,' he continues, "it took me several years to get back to doing the proper first act, but it only took me a few weeks to write.'

Arsenic and Old Lace

By Joseph Kesselring

directed by Gregg Edelman

at The Fitzpatrick Main Stage

BTG's Stockbridge Campus, 83 East Main Street

Previews: Thursday, July 27 through Friday, July 28

Press Opening/Opening Night: Saturday, July 29 at 8pm

Talkback: Monday, July 31 after 7pm performance

Closing: Saturday, August 19 at 8pm

Tickets: Preview: $45

Tickets: $65

Sponsored by: Blantyre, Country Curtains and Red Lion Inn

Celebrated as playwright Joseph Kesselring's most successful play, Arsenic and Old Laceis a side-splitting, farcical tale. An American classic, Arsenic and Old Lace first debuted on Broadway in 1941, in whichNew York Times critic Brooks Atkinson raved that the production's "casual point of view that is so robustly entertaining." Filled with colorful characters and witty plot twists, this quirky comedy is one for the ages. This production is directed by Tony Award-nominated Gregg Edelman (Broadway: City of Angels, 1776, Into The Woods; BTG: Constellations, Deathtrap).

Good-hearted drama critic, Mortimer Brewster appears to lead a normal, happy life. Recently engaged to be married, Mortimer plans a trip to visit his charming, spinster aunts, Abby and Martha Brewster. However, shortly after Mortimer's arrival, he discovers that his innocent aunts have a deadly secret buried in the basement-about a dozen older gentlemen. To Mortimer's dismay, Abby and Martha deem their poisonous habits as charitable acts; convinced that they are putting these men out of their misery. Attempting to protect society without sending Abby and Martha to prison, hilarity and madness ensues as Mortimer tries to wrangle in his crazy aunts, along with his brothers-Theodore, who believes he is Theodore Roosevelt, and maniacal, murderous Jonathan.

Director Gregg Edelman says, "Arsenic and Old Lace is one of the great American comedies. It's one of those plays that makes you laugh-out-loud just sitting in your chair and reading it. I can't wait to get into rehearsal with the wonderfully funny actors that BTG is assembling. It's going to be a blast from start to finish."

Lost Lake by David Auburn

directed by Daisy Walker

at The Unicorn Stage

The Larry Vaber Stage

BTG's Stockbridge Campus, 6 East Street

Previews: Thursday, September 28 and Friday, September 29

Press Opening/Opening Night: Saturday, September 30 at 7pm

Talkback: Thursday, October 5 after 7pm performance

Closing: Sunday, October 22 at 2pm

Tickets: Preview: $45

Tickets: $50

Sponsored by: Lead Sponsor, Bobbie Hallig and Furlano and Arace, PC

Written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winner, David Auburn (Proof), Lost Lakeis an engrossing, evocative play. Part drama, part melancholy comedy, Lost Lake follows the story of Veronica and Hogan; imperfect strangers, tangled up in each other's lives by circumstance. Veronica, hopelessly in need of an escape from life's uphill battle, takes her children to a lakeside rental. Unfortunately for Veronica, not only is the property is less than ideal, it also includes a bedraggled and secluded estate owner, Hogan. Both fighting their own battles, the two outcasts find complicated comfort in their shared isolation. Directed by Daisy Walker (Assistant Director on Broadway's Jersey Boys, The Farnsworth Invention, Dracula: The Musical), this stirring, unexpected and visceral play is a recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award.

Playwright David Auburn says, "Lost Lake started with a scene about a summer house negotiation. Two people are bargaining over a rental. They've never met before. They're each putting their best foot forward. But what are they hiding from each other? The play grew from there. It focuses tightly on two complicated lives and the way those lives are changed over a few summer months. I wanted to write about people from different worlds getting dragged into each other's problems. How much do they owe each other? What are the limits of compassion, and what do we do when those limits get crossed? Of all of my plays this is perhaps the one I enjoyed writing the most, and have had the most fun with in rehearsal and production."


The Colonial Theatre, founded in 1903, and Berkshire Theatre Festival, founded in 1928, are two of the oldest cultural organizations in the Berkshires. In 2010, under the leadership of Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire, the two organizations merged to form Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG). Berkshire Theatre Group's mission is to support wide ranging artistic exploration and acclaimed performances in theatre, dance, music and entertainment. Every year, BTG produces and presents performances to over 68,000 attendees and, through our Educational Program, serves over 13,000 Berkshire County schoolchildren annually. BTG's celebrated stages reflect the history of the American theatre; they represent a priceless cultural resource for the community. The Fitzpatrick Main Stage, cataloged by the National Register of Historic Places, has been home to the Berkshire Theatre Festival since 1928. Nestled at the corner of Main Street and Yale Hill Road in Stockbridge, this 318-seat theatre epitomizes summer theatre for many of its faithful patrons. The intimate 122-seat Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, is BTG's home for new and experimental works, showcasing world premieres and reimagined classics. Built in 1903 and declared a National Historic Treasure in 1998, the 780-seat Colonial Theatre is a cornerstone of Pittsfield's revitalization. Re-opening to the public in 2006 after a $21 million restoration, the Colonial serves as a cultural resource for the community. Located in the lobby of the Colonial, the 150-seat Garage is a convertible space that serves as a dance floor, stage for comedians, bands, theatre and more.


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