Barrington Stage's ROMANCE IN HARD TIMES Features New Book; Opens Tonight

Barrington Stage Company (BSC), the award-winning theatre in downtown Pittsfield, MA, under the leadership of Julianne Boyd, Artistic Director, and Tristan Wilson, Managing Director, presents the BSC Musical Theatre Lab new workshop production of two-time Tony winner William Finn's acclaimed Romance in Hard Times, featuring a new book by Finn's Spelling Bee collaborator, Tony winner Rachel Sheinkin (pictured left).

Romance in Hard Times begins performances tonight, August 14 and will run through August 31 at the St. Germain Stage, located at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield.

Directed by Joe Calarco (BSC's Kiss Me, Kate and Breaking the Code), with choreography by Josh Prince and musical direction by Jeff Tanski, the cast features David Benoit, Lance Fletke, Alan H. Green, Demond Green, Anne Kanengeiser, Theresa Kloos, Alix Korey, Andrea Leach, Michael Mandell,Christina Acosta Robinson, Aaron Serotsky and Matthew Gregory, Gabriel Elizabeth Kadian, Jordana McMahon, and Ross Yoder.

A soup kitchen in the Depression. A pregnant woman refuses to give birth until she sees more hope in the world. Former socialites, unemployed actors, capitalists down on their luck, and Eleanor Roosevelt try to get through the Depression with some dignity intact.

The design team of Romance in Hard Times includes Brian Prather (scenic design), Sara Jean Tosetti (costume design), Robert Brown (lighting design), and Patrick Calhoun (sound design). Michael Andrew Rodgers is production stage manager. Stephanie Yankwitt is the Blatt Center Producer.

William Finn revisits his celebrated score, and along with his Spelling Bee collaborator, Rachel Sheinkin, re-imagines the musical's book for new hard times. Finn penned Romance in Hard Times in 1989 at the Public Theater as part of Joseph Papp's "musical laboratories" where it received two engagements in May/June and Nov/Dec. David Warren directed a cast that featured Lillias White, Cleavant Derricks, Victor Trent Cook, Rufus Bonds Jr., James Stovall, Alix Korey. White won a 1990 OBIE Award for her performance. Alix Korey returns to the role of Zoe in this workshop production, a role she played off-Broadway at the Public.

Romance in Hard Times is sponsored by Sydelle and Lee Blatt and is also sponsored in part by Laurie and Martin Schwartz. Romance in Hard Times is a production of the Musical Theatre Lab which is sponsored in part by Elayne Bernstein and Sol Schwartz & The Elayne P. Bernstein Foundation.

August 21. CONVERSATIONS WITH: The Process is the Thing (Part 2): Reimagining Romance in Hard Times. August 21 at 4pm. Free admission, general seating. St. Germain Stage the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield. How does an author go back and reimagine a work that was created 25 years ago? A conversation with composer/lyricist William Finn and bookwriter Rachel Sheinkin. Moderated by Artistic Director Julianne Boyd. While all Conversations with... events are free, reservations are highly recommended. All seating is general admission. Call the Box Office at 413-236-8888.

Join the cast for a Free Post-Show Discussion following the Tuesday, August 26 at 7:30pm performance of Romance in Hard Times at the St. Germain Stage at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield.

Performances of Romance in Hard Times will take place August 14-31 at Barrington Stage Company's St. Germain Stage at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield. Performances times are Tuesday-Saturday at 7:30pm, Saturday and Sunday at 3pm, (additional matinee on Thursday, August 28 at 3pm). Tickets start at $40. Low priced previews August 14-15 are $15. Youth ages 6-18, tickets $15 all performances (subject to availability). (413) 236-8888.

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