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Berkshire Theatre Group Announces BOBBIE'S SUMMER SERIES Featuring Wanda L. Houston, Billy Keane and More

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Performances Begin Friday, August 14

Berkshire Theatre Group Announces BOBBIE'S SUMMER SERIES Featuring Wanda L. Houston, Billy Keane and More

Berkshire Theatre Group has announced another event for the community, Bobbie's Summer Series, where on select weekends in August, Berkshire County's talented musicians and dancers will provide diverse entertainment for adults and children alike. Following the same state, municipal and Union guidelines in effect at it's Pittsfield campus where Godspell is being produced outside under a tent, BTG will now open it's Stockbridge campus, where the historic Fitzpatrick Main Stage is located.

Seating will be under a tent outdoors just outside the beautiful Unicorn Theatre patio, and patrons are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket for use on the grass. For evening events, the grounds will open at 6pm and the performance will begin at 7pm. Food will be available for purchase, and includes a meal from the following: BB's Hot Spot on August 14th, KJ Nosh on August 15th, 21st, 22nd, 28th and TBD on August 29th. Bobbie's Summer Series is generously sponsored by Bobbie Hallig.

Maguire says, "Former Berkshire Theatre Group President and Emeritus Trustee Bobbie Hallig has been a major force in our ongoing activities. It seems appropriate that during this most significant summer, we should mount a season of entertainment for our beloved community on the wonderful Hallig Porch just outside our treasured Unicorn Theatre. Twenty-five years ago Bobbie Hallig spearheaded the fundraising campaign to build The Unicorn Theatre, now during these most complicated times, she again is building a series of events on the grounds of BTG in Stockbridge. We honor Bobbie and her commitment to the arts in naming this activity Bobbie's Summer Series."

Evening event only tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for children 16 and under. Food/beverage is an additional $20 per person and will be available for purchase in advance and on site. Saturday morning children's performances are $5 for children 16 and under and $10 for adults. Tickets for all front line workers are 50% off.

Tickets may be purchased in person at the Colonial Ticket Office at 111 South Street, Pittsfield, online at www.BerkshireTheatreGroup.org, by calling (413) 997-4444, or on any performance day from 10am until curtain. The ticket office is open Monday-Saturday from 10am-2pm. All plays, schedules, casting and prices are subject to change.

BOBBIE'S SUMMER SERIES SCHEDULE (IN DATE ORDER)

Misty Blues Duo: Queens Of The Blues

at Bobbie's Summer Series

Friday, August 14 at 7pm

Tickets: $20 Children 16 and under • $30 Adults

Food provided by BB's Hot Spot, for additional $20

For over 20 years, Misty Blues has been an institution in the vibrant Berkshire music scene. Lead vocalist extraordinaire Gina Coleman was born to sing the blues, and her performances, with gusto and pure vibrato, are unforgettable. For this special performance, Gina pays homage to the pioneering women of color who became the matriarchs of the blues, including: Bessie Smith, Big Mama Thornton, Ruth Brown and koko Taylor.

David Grover

at Bobbie's Summer Series

Saturday, August 15 at 10am

Tickets: $5 Children 16 and under • $10 Adults

David Grover, former lead guitarist for Arlo Guthrie, uses his songs to teach children about the important things in life: holidays with family, planet preservation and respecting each other. David and his wife Kathy Jo have performed for the last 40+ years making them a multi-generational tradition, time honored for his folky vocals and immaculate acoustic guitar work.

Billy Keane Solo: Alone But Together

at Bobbie's Summer Series

Saturday, August 15 at 7pm

Tickets: $20 Children 16 and under • $30 Adults

Food provided by KJ Nosh, for additional $20

Billy Keane began the reincarnation of his solo project in early February 2020, opening for the Gin Blossoms to a sold out crowd of over 600. Soon after, the world changed, and any thought of touring or live performance was erased overnight. Quarantine brought with it many themes, among them solitude, separateness, individuality, but also solidarity, togetherness, hope and compassion. Over the months to come, Billy wrote, sang, played, recorded and produced, trying to make the most of an unusual situation, driven by the themes of quarantine and the tenacity of creation. This performance will reflect those many themes, as he performs songs-many written during quarantine-as a true solo act, as many of us were for so many weeks, alone but together.

Keane, a Pittsfield MA based rocker, was discovered by the Berkshires first family of music, Kim and James Taylor. Keane writes and sings about things that are important to people: freedom, love and peace as well as other key issues in our time. With his blend of Neo-Americana and Indie Rock, Keane has built a solid following by playing clubs, bars, concert halls and festivals throughout the United States and abroad, both as a solo act, and as a founding member of The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow. In January of 2020, with The Whiskey Treaty, Keane released Band Together, a full length studio album featuring Steve Gorman of the Black Crowes, Pat Sansone of Wilco, and the Berkshire's own Arlo Guthrie. Band Together has received high praise from Rolling Stone, American Songwriter, No Depression, and other outlets, and tracks off the album can be heard playing on the radio the world over.

Wanda Houston with Rob Kelly: Celebrating The Diversity of Women of Jazz

at Bobbie's Summer Series

Friday, August 21 at 7pm

Tickets: $20 Children 16 and under • $30 Adults

Food provided by KJ Nosh, for additional $20

Wanda L. Houston has lived and performed professionally throughout the U.S., Europe and Australia. She has performed on Broadway stages, in films, recordings and television. Living on the East Coast, in New York and New England, has returned her to the roots of her career, and connected her with musicians who share her joy and belief in the power of music in the hearts of people who take the time to listen. She has worked in varying capacities with Michael Jackson, Barbara Streisand, John Tuturro, Eddie Izzard, Natalie Cole, Eartha Kitt, Patti LaBelle and Sam Harris on the stages of Pasadena Playhouse, Universal Studios, Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden and Carnegie Hall.

James Barry: Beatles Songs for Kids

at Bobbie's Summer Series

Saturday, August 22 at 10am

Tickets: $5 Children 16 and under • $10 Adults

James Barry is a Berkshire based actor, director and musician best known for his 700+ performances as Carl Perkins on the first national tour and several regional productions of Million Dollar Quartet, and as an original NYC cast member of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at The Public and on Broadway. James has enjoyed an extensive working relationship with BTG for the past 20 years, having appeared in dozens of productions including The Caretaker, The Who's Tommy and A Thousand Clowns, as well as serving as director for the recent award-winning BTG productions of Working: A Musical and Million Dollar Quartet. As a musician, James has music directed several regional productions of Million Dollar Quartet, composed original music for Chekhov's Three Sisters at The Studio Theatre (D.C.), and released original rock albums under his own name and with the band Secret Pint.

Bobby Sweet with Pete Adams & Abe Guthrie: The Grace of a Song

at Bobbie's Summer Series

Saturday, August 22 at 7pm

Tickets: $20 Children 16 and under • $30 Adults

Food provided by KJ Nosh, for additional $20

Bobby Sweet and friends will perform a set of original songs with a positive message of grace and love. Bobby has shared the bill with many top country and folk artists, including: Vince Gill, Bill Staines, Martin Sexton, Arlo Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Jonathan Edwards. As a sought-after lead guitarist, he has played shows opening for George Jones, Diamond Rio, Asleep at the Wheel, Willie Nelson, The Bellamy Brothers, Waylon Jennings and many others. He recently returned home from his fourth U.S. tour playing guitar with Arlo Guthrie on "Guthrie's 50th Anniversary of Alice's Restaurant" tour, which included performances at Carnegie Hall, New Orleans Jazz Festival, and A Prairie Home Companion, among many other landmark venues.

In 2011, he was selected as a New Folk Finalist at Kerrville Folk Festival, and his songs have also received honorable mentions from The New York Songwriters Circle Songwriting Contest, The UK Songwriting Contest, The Billboard Songwriting Contest and The Mountain Stage NewSong Contest.

Bobby has written many songs that have aired TV shows, including: Nashville, Touched By An Angel, Walker Texas Ranger, Soul Food, Judging Amy, Brotherhood and several others. He also had a featured song in the Danny DeVito/Bette Midler movie Drowning Mona. Further, his instrumental and vocal work have been featured on recordings by Arlo Guthrie, Sarah Lee Guthrie, and a host of other independent album projects. When not busy writing, recording and performing his own songs, he works as a freelance producer and recording engineer lending more than 20 years of studio experience to artists of varying styles, ranging from folk to Americana to world music.

Stylistically, Bobby's music resides somewhere between John Prine, Jackson Browne, Guy Clark and a countryfied Bruce Springsteen. An engaging storyteller, he is at home on the stage, whether performing solo, with his eclectic trio, or with the full band.

Dancers of The Berkshires

Pause and Pivot: A Works in Progress Showing

at Bobbie's Summer Series

Friday, August 28 at 7pm

Tickets: $20 Children 16 and under • $30 Adults

Food provided by KJ Nosh, for additional $20

Pause and Pivot: A Works in Progress Showing

An evening of virtual works come to life as dances created through Zoom are presented in a socially distanced outdoor space, featuring: Sarah Daunt, Briana Markovich, Olivia Martin, Melissa Martinez, Fiona Scruggs and Rachael Weber from the dance collective.

Dancers of the Berkshires create one of a kind dance pieces for local events and present an evening of complete works annually.

Terry A La Berry & Friends

at Bobbie's Summer Series

Saturday, August 29 at 10am

Tickets: $5 Children 16 and under • $10 Adults

Terry A La Berry has been performing for children for more than 30 years in venues stretching from the White House to the Miami Children's Museum and everywhere in between. In his other "life" as long-time drummer for Arlo Guthrie, he appears on many of Guthrie's recordings including the Grammy nominated Grow Big. He has recorded with numerous other artists including Grammy winner, Pete Seeger.

Other performers he has appeared with over the years include: Carly Simon, Bonnie Raitt, John Prine, John Denver, David Bromberg, Willie Nelson, Roger McGuinn, John Sebastian, The Detroit Philharmonic Orchestra and recently, Levon Helm and John Melloncamp. With Arlo he has performed in all 50 states and Europe and Australia. He performed last year at the New Orleans Jazz Festival and at Carnegie Hall for the fourth time.

Terry spent 20 years singing for children and their families at the White House, The Museum of Natural History, The Jewish Museum of New York, the Goodwill games, the Florida State Fair, The Today Show and several PBS Children's Specials including the multiple award-winning Chanukah at Grover's Corners, in which he a was principal writer and co-star along with Theodore Bikel. Also as an actor he originated the role of Arthur in William Gibson's, A Cry of Player with Anne Bancroft and Frank Langella. He appeared in the movie Alice's Restaurant as, what else, "a hippie."

He appeared with Arlo and the Guthrie Family as they celebrated the 100th birthday of Woody Guthrie with performances at The Newport Folk Festival, The Clearwater Festival, The Edmonton Folk Festival, Ravinia and The Tonder Festival in Denmark.

Hannah Lynn Cohen and Jeremiah Blacklow: The Evolution of The Violin Duo

at Bobbie's Summer Series

Saturday, August 29 at 7pm

Tickets: $20 Children 16 and under • $30 Adults

Food provided by TBD, for additional $20

Hannah Lynn Cohen and Jeremiah Blacklow's performance will explore the evolution of The Violin Duo. The set will include selections from the baroque era up to contemporary 20th century duets.

Hannah Lynn Cohen has been collaborating with and studying under master teachers on a national and global scale for over fifteen years. Cohen recently graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from Boston University School of Music. There, Cohen was a student of Peter Zazofsky. She began her violin studies at the age of four and her previous teachers include: Jan Repko, Wendy Sharp and Betty Jean Hagen. She made her orchestral debut with the Holyoke Civic Symphony Orchestra as the winner of their concerto competition in May of 2015. She has attended numerous festivals, including: National Music Festival, Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival and MusicAlp International Academy of Music. Additionally, she has performed in masterclasses led by Daniel Philips, Irina Muresanu, Robin Sharp, Klaudia Szlachta and Bayla Keyes. Cohen currently resides in New York City where she is pursuing a Master of Music in Violin Performance at New York University Steinhardt School with Kurt Nikkanen and Cyrus Beroukhim, while simultaneously holding the position of Adjunct Teacher of Violin Studies for non music majors at NYU.

Jeremiah Blacklow grew up in Boston, where he began studying violin at age three. He was a student of Catherine Cho and Joel Smirnoff at the Juilliard School and has also studied with Itzhak Perlman, Don Weilerstein and Li Lin. Recently, Blacklow performed Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with the Bach Society Orchestra, and in the past, he has appeared as a guest soloist with the Boston Civic Symphony and Concord Orchestra. His solo recitals include performances at Carnegie Hall, Neue Galerie and the Juilliard School. As a chamber musician, Jeremiah has worked with members of the Brentano, Shanghai and Cleveland Quartets. He has participated in summer and winter festivals at the Perlman Music Program, Taos School of Music, and Aspen Music Festival and School. Currently, he is pursuing a Master of Music in Violin Performance at the Juilliard School with Catherine Cho and Sylvia Rosenberg.

SAFETY MEASURES

BTG has outlined procedures and protocols in a manner that is consistent with state and local mandated health and safety guidelines. Temperature scans will be done for patrons at their point of entry. No-contact scanning stations for tickets will be placed at point of entry, spaced at least 6 feet from the temperature scan. Free-standing hand sanitizer stations will be placed at various locations throughout the space. Patrons will be required to wear masks. One way traffic patterns will be enforced. Additional safeguards will also be in place.


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