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Review: A CROSSING at Barrington Stage Company Serves Up a Veritable Feast For The Eyes And Ears.

Una fiesta para los ojos y los oídos.

Review: A CROSSING at Barrington Stage Company Serves Up a Veritable Feast For The Eyes And Ears.
Photo: Daniel Rader

As we filed out of the theatre following the performance of the World Premiere Musical, A CROSSING, I leaned in toward BSC Artistic Director Julianne Boyd and said, "I am torn between two words - magnificent and gorgeous". She replied, "I will take them both", and I assure you deservedly so.

Pulsing with energy and emotional intensity, this story about a group of migrants crossing the southern border is raw, visceral, and electrifying - demonstrating the personal impact of crossing an "invisible line." The group faces many dangers, including the coyote - a human smuggler. This new dance musical ingeniously combines compelling lyrics, athletic choreography, and elements of Mexican folk music to tell a remarkable tale of courage, fear, and struggle. The result is truly unique and well worth experiencing directly. If one needs something more descriptive it is kind of like what might happen if SPRING AWAKENINGS, RENT, and INTO THE HEIGHTS were mashed-up.

Review: A CROSSING at Barrington Stage Company Serves Up a Veritable Feast For The Eyes And Ears.
Diego Luis Cortes, Gabriella Enriquez,
Caleb Marshall-Villarreal photo: Daniel Rader

Since performers who excel at acting, singing, and dancing are referred to as a "triple threat", A CROSSING should be referred to as a triple homerun hit. Years in the making, this poignant, stunningly beautiful, and highly relevant production began with a story written by BSC Associate Artist, Mark St. Germain. Notice the use of the term "story" and not book or libretto which are more traditional references for a show's script. St. Germain's story was used by Zoe Sarnak and George Saenz to craft a collection of original songs as well as traditional Mexican folk music. While many of the songs contain and use lyrics, some use dance only to convey and move the story along. There are no spoken lines of dialogue, and none are necessary. Audience members most certainly feel all the feels. We also marvel at the twelve cast members. Some are primarily singers, some primarily dancers, but all are undeniably talented and skilled. They are Diego Luis Cortes, Carlos L. Encinas, Gabriella Enriquez Ashley Perez Flanagan, Justin Gregory Lopez, Caleb Marshall-Villarreal, Aline Mayagoitia, Omar Nieves, Andres Quintero, Monica Tulia Ramirez, Stefanie Renee Salyers, Mikaela and Secada.

Review: A CROSSING at Barrington Stage Company Serves Up a Veritable Feast For The Eyes And Ears.
Stefanie Renee Salyers, Gabriella Enriquez,
Caleb Marshall-Villarreal Photo: Daniel Rader

The production was created in association with Calpulli Mexican Dance Company. A CROSSING is directed by Joshua Bergasse, with Musical Direction by Jeffrey Campos, Scenic Design by Beowulf Boritt, Costume Design by Alejo Vietti, Lighting Design by Jason Lyons, Sound Designed by Leon Rothenberg and Musical Supervision by Rick Hip-Flores.

The 85-minute production is presented with both English and Spanish. You don't have to speak or understand Spanish, but I found my cursory abilities helpful in enjoying some of the Spanish only numbers. As the audience showed overwhelming approval with a standing ovation, A feeling similar to that when I had the pleasure of seeing the Broadway production of RAGTIME with the original cast washed over me.

Review: A CROSSING at Barrington Stage Company Serves Up a Veritable Feast For The Eyes And Ears.
Justin Gregory Lopez, Ashley Pérez Flanagan
Photo: Daniel Rader

We in the Berkshires are fortunate to have a significant amount of new works mounted in our region and many of them by Barrington Stage Company. This latest of which, A CROSSING continues on the Boyd-Quinson Mainstage in Pittsfield through October 16 may be the best to come along in quite a while. It certainly has huge potential and I suggest you will be sorry if you don't experience while you can. Visit: https://barringtonstageco.org/ for tickets and more information..



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From This Author - Marc Savitt

Marc Savitt has a life-long passion for, and association with the performing arts, particularly Musical Theatre. He has performed with choral groups in several US cities, and London, and appears on... (read more about this author)


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