Now Playing Onstage in Boston - Week of 11/09/2014

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WATCH YOUR STEP
Follen Community Church
11/14-11/14/2014
American Classics presents two special hundredth anniversary concert performances of Irving Berlin's first Broadway show, Watch Your Step which premiered at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York on December 8, 1914. These are the only performances of the show in 2014. Bradford Conner and Benjamin Sears, producing directors of American Classics, have created a performing edition of the script, based on extant materials. Irving Berlin published a complete vocal score, unique for a Broadway show in 1914, and the score will be the star of the evening. In 2000 American Classics gave a rare revival of the show which received critical praise, "with delicious surprise after delicious surprise, American Classics delivered a classic in high style." There are only two performances of Watch Your Step, Friday, November 14, 2014 at 7:30 at the Follen Community Church, 755 Massachusetts Avenue in Lexington; and Sunday, November 16 at 3:00 at the Pickman Concert Hall of the Longy School of Music, 27 Garden Street, Cambridge. Tickets are $25/$20 for students and seniors. For tickets and information contact American Classics at 617-254-1125 or order online at www.amclass.org. The cast includes Caroline Musica and Ethan Sagin as Ernesta Hardacre and Joseph Lilyburn, both heirs to a two million dollar fortune to go to "the one of my relatives who has never been in love," with the stipulation that that person must not fall in love after the reading of the will before 1:00am. Other heirs conspire to claim the fortune by tricking Ernesta and Joseph into falling in love with each other. Complications ensue as the two young people are thrown up against many allurements including an aging matinee idol, a vamp, and a popular Italian tenor at the Metropolitan Opera House. All ends happily as Ernesta and Joseph find each other after 1:00am, gaining both the fortune and true love. Under the direction of David Frieze, with music director Bradford Conner and pianists Steve Sussman and Margaret Ulmer. The cast also includes Eric Bronner as Algy Cuffs, the matinee idol; Brian De Lorenzo and Stanley Wilson as the lawyers of the "Law Office de Danse," Steele and Flint; Bradford Conner and Benjamin Sears as the scheming heirs, Strange and Hardacre; Cynthia Mork as Birdie O'Brien, the proprietress of a Dance Hall; Valerie Anastasio as vamp Stella Sparks; Davron S. Munroe as Spaghetini, the Italian Tenor; Stephanie Yoder as Estelle, an office girl; and Lauren Frick in supporting roles. The original cast of Watch Your Step featured the popular husband-and-wife dance duo Vernon and Irene Castle. The Castles were hired for their dancing prowess and both script and score reflect that with references to the dances they made popular. The Act I finale, The Syncopated Walk, is a pointed allusion to their patented dance step, the Castle Walk. Vernon was the romantic lead, Joseph, though he regularly shifted from his on-stage character to being Vernon Castle when partnering his wife who appeared as "Mrs. Vernon Castle." Also in the cast were Frank Tinney (a popular stage personality, played a variety of roles) Elizabeth Brice, Justine Johnstone, Elizabeth Murray, and Charles King, most of whom are forgotten by modern audiences. The musical hit of the original production was Simple Melody, the first time Irving Berlin wrote a counterpoint song, pitting two tunes against each other. It regularly stopped the show and has remained popular since then. Of particular musical interest is Act II finale, the operatic parody Opera in Modern Time in which Berlin pits the Ghost of Verdi against the lovers of modern music who want to rag his Rigoletto. Along the way Berlin quotes not only Rigoletto, but also Verdi's Aida, Gounod's Faust, Bizet's Carmen, Puccini's La Boheme, and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci. American Classics is the Boston area's only organization devoted solely to the performance of American music, giving voice to forgotten gems and newly discovered musical treasures in concerts of vocal and instrumental music. Founded in 1996, American Classics presents concerts of music and song that are both popular and rare along with a wonderfully entertaining guided tour of many musical eras. American Classics was the only Boston musical organization to salute Fenway Park's one hundredth birthday with a special program, Fabulous Fenway, and in 2011 they gave the only concert worldwide celebrating the one hundredth anniversary of Irving Berlin's Alexander's Ragtime Band in a sold-out concert with Berlin's eldest daughter in attendance. Other highlights of past seasons include revivals of Irving Berlin shows Watch Your Step (1914), Stop! Look! Listen! (1915), Yip! Yip! Yaphank (1918), selections from his Music Box Revues, and the first revival of the 1931 revue The Band Wagon by George S. Kaufman, and Howard Dietz & Arthur Schwartz. In April 2013 they gave a special concert honoring the hundredth birthday of lyricist Sammy Cahn, which was also recorded.
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THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE
MERRIMACK COLLEGE
11/13-11/15/2014

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THE PRODUCERS
SMITH COLLEGE STUDENT GROUPS
11/13-11/15/2014

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AVENUE Q
VOKES PLAYERS INC
10/30-11/15/2014
AVENUE Q is a gut-bustingly hilarious modern musical focusing on a group of unique 20-somethings making their way in the big city, seeking their purpose in life. Although the show addresses humorous adult issues, it is similar to a beloved children's show;  a place where puppets are friends, Monsters are good and life lessons are learned.Winner of the Tony "Triple Crown" for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book, AVENUE Q is part flesh, part felt, and packed with heart. AVENUE Q is a laugh-out-loud musical that tells the timeless story of a recent college grad named Princeton who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. He soon discovers that although the residents seem nice, it's clear that this is not your ordinary neighborhood. Together, Princeton and his new-found friends struggle to find jobs, dates, and their ever-elusive purpose in life.Puppet RentalBe sure to visit MTI's Prop Shop to see our AVENUE Q puppets to rent!AVENUE Q NEW YORKVisit the official "Avenue Q New York" for NYC ticketing and more information.
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SEUSSICAL JR
CASTING CALL KIDS / GEORGE R MARTIN SCHOOL PTO
11/16-11/16/2014

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SPRING AWAKENING
BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY - STUDENT ACTIVITIES
11/13-11/16/2014

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DISNEY'S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
CAPACHIONE SCHOOL OF PERFORMING ARTS
11/15-11/16/2014

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LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
SHARON HIGH SCHOOL
11/13-11/16/2014

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ANNIE
Wang Center for the Performing Arts
11/5-11/16/2014
The worlda€™s best-loved musical returns in time-honored form. Directed by original lyricist and director Martin Charnin and choreographed by Liza Gennaro, this production of ANNIE will be a brand new incarnation of the iconic original. Featuring book and score by Tony Award-winners Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, ANNIE includes such unforgettable songs as "It's the Hard Knock Life," "Easy Street," "I Don't Need Anything But You," plus the eternal anthem of optimism, "Tomorrow."
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WATC
Longy School of Music
11/16-11/16/2014
American Classics presents two special hundredth anniversary concert performances of Irving Berlin's first Broadway show, Watch Your Step which premiered at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York on December 8, 1914. These are the only performances of the show in 2014. Bradford Conner and Benjamin Sears, producing directors of American Classics, have created a performing edition of the script, based on extant materials. Irving Berlin published a complete vocal score, unique for a Broadway show in 1914, and the score will be the star of the evening. In 2000 American Classics gave a rare revival of the show which received critical praise, "with delicious surprise after delicious surprise, American Classics delivered a classic in high style." There are only two performances of Watch Your Step, Friday, November 14, 2014 at 7:30 at the Follen Community Church, 755 Massachusetts Avenue in Lexington; and Sunday, November 16 at 3:00 at the Pickman Concert Hall of the Longy School of Music, 27 Garden Street, Cambridge. Tickets are $25/$20 for students and seniors. For tickets and information contact American Classics at 617-254-1125 or order online at www.amclass.org. The cast includes Caroline Musica and Ethan Sagin as Ernesta Hardacre and Joseph Lilyburn, both heirs to a two million dollar fortune to go to "the one of my relatives who has never been in love," with the stipulation that that person must not fall in love after the reading of the will before 1:00am. Other heirs conspire to claim the fortune by tricking Ernesta and Joseph into falling in love with each other. Complications ensue as the two young people are thrown up against many allurements including an aging matinee idol, a vamp, and a popular Italian tenor at the Metropolitan Opera House. All ends happily as Ernesta and Joseph find each other after 1:00am, gaining both the fortune and true love. Under the direction of David Frieze, with music director Bradford Conner and pianists Steve Sussman and Margaret Ulmer. The cast also includes Eric Bronner as Algy Cuffs, the matinee idol; Brian De Lorenzo and Stanley Wilson as the lawyers of the "Law Office de Danse," Steele and Flint; Bradford Conner and Benjamin Sears as the scheming heirs, Strange and Hardacre; Cynthia Mork as Birdie O'Brien, the proprietress of a Dance Hall; Valerie Anastasio as vamp Stella Sparks; Davron S. Munroe as Spaghetini, the Italian Tenor; Stephanie Yoder as Estelle, an office girl; and Lauren Frick in supporting roles. The original cast of Watch Your Step featured the popular husband-and-wife dance duo Vernon and Irene Castle. The Castles were hired for their dancing prowess and both script and score reflect that with references to the dances they made popular. The Act I finale, The Syncopated Walk, is a pointed allusion to their patented dance step, the Castle Walk. Vernon was the romantic lead, Joseph, though he regularly shifted from his on-stage character to being Vernon Castle when partnering his wife who appeared as "Mrs. Vernon Castle." Also in the cast were Frank Tinney (a popular stage personality, played a variety of roles) Elizabeth Brice, Justine Johnstone, Elizabeth Murray, and Charles King, most of whom are forgotten by modern audiences. The musical hit of the original production was Simple Melody, the first time Irving Berlin wrote a counterpoint song, pitting two tunes against each other. It regularly stopped the show and has remained popular since then. Of particular musical interest is Act II finale, the operatic parody Opera in Modern Time in which Berlin pits the Ghost of Verdi against the lovers of modern music who want to rag his Rigoletto. Along the way Berlin quotes not only Rigoletto, but also Verdi's Aida, Gounod's Faust, Bizet's Carmen, Puccini's La Boheme, and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci. American Classics is the Boston area's only organization devoted solely to the performance of American music, giving voice to forgotten gems and newly discovered musical treasures in concerts of vocal and instrumental music. Founded in 1996, American Classics presents concerts of music and song that are both popular and rare along with a wonderfully entertaining guided tour of many musical eras. American Classics was the only Boston musical organization to salute Fenway Park's one hundredth birthday with a special program, Fabulous Fenway, and in 2011 they gave the only concert worldwide celebrating the one hundredth anniversary of Irving Berlin's Alexander's Ragtime Band in a sold-out concert with Berlin's eldest daughter in attendance. Other highlights of past seasons include revivals of Irving Berlin shows Watch Your Step (1914), Stop! Look! Listen! (1915), Yip! Yip! Yaphank (1918), selections from his Music Box Revues, and the first revival of the 1931 revue The Band Wagon by George S. Kaufman, and Howard Dietz & Arthur Schwartz. In April 2013 they gave a special concert honoring the hundredth birthday of lyricist Sammy Cahn, which was also recorded.
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INTO THE WOODS
HUDSON HIGH SCHOOL
11/16-11/18/2014

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AVENUE Q
VOKES PLAYERS INC
10/30-11/22/2014
AVENUE Q is a gut-bustingly hilarious modern musical focusing on a group of unique 20-somethings making their way in the big city, seeking their purpose in life. Although the show addresses humorous adult issues, it is similar to a beloved children's show;  a place where puppets are friends, Monsters are good and life lessons are learned.Winner of the Tony "Triple Crown" for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book, AVENUE Q is part flesh, part felt, and packed with heart. AVENUE Q is a laugh-out-loud musical that tells the timeless story of a recent college grad named Princeton who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. He soon discovers that although the residents seem nice, it's clear that this is not your ordinary neighborhood. Together, Princeton and his new-found friends struggle to find jobs, dates, and their ever-elusive purpose in life.Puppet RentalBe sure to visit MTI's Prop Shop to see our AVENUE Q puppets to rent!AVENUE Q NEW YORKVisit the official "Avenue Q New York" for NYC ticketing and more information.
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A FUNNY THING...FORUM
RIVERSIDE THEATRE WORKS
11/14-11/23/2014

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Samuel Beckett's Classic Happy Days in Broadway" border="0" bheight="100" width="100" align="right"> COMMONWEALTH SHAKESPEARE COMPANY PRESENTS SAMUEL BECKETT'S CLASSIC HAPPY DAYS
Carling-Sorenson Theater at Babson College
11/18-11/23/2014
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC) will present its first indoor production as Theatre Company in Residence at Babson College, Samuel Beckett's classic Happy Days featuring Brooke Adams* (Lend Me A Tenor, CSC's The Last Will) and Tony Shalhoub* (Act One, Monk) November 18 - 23 at the Carling-Sorenson Theater at Babson College. Directed by Andrei Belgrader, performances are Tuesday, November 18, through Saturday, November 22 at 8 p.m and Sunday November 23 at 3pm (pre-performance talk with CSC's Associate Artistic Director Adam Sanders 2-2:30pm; FREE) at Carling-Sorenson Theater, 231 Forest Drive, Wellesley, MA. (Press performance will be Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 8pm). Tickets $15-80 A limited number of tickets to Opening Night on November 19th are available for $125 and include post-performance reception with the cast. For tickets go online at commshakes.org or call OvationTix at 866-811-4111. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Please call (617) 426-0863. CSC Founding Artistic Director and Director of the Sorenson Center for the Arts, Steven Maler says, "This will be an unforgettable night of theater, and for the history of CSC in its partnership with Babson College. Happy Days was one of the first Samuel Beckett plays I read years ago, and its tender humanity and provocative world view have remained with me throughout the years since that first reading. It is the ideal play for Commonwealth Shakespeare to begin this exciting new era in its history." Renowned director Andrei Belgrader will direct the re-examination of this classic, bringing forward its emerging relevance to new generations experiencing it in the context of the burden of climate change, and looming environmental catastrophes. Brooke Adams plays Winnie, a woman buried up to her bosom in a mound of dirt with nothing to pass the time but the ragged contents of her bag, her nimble wit, and her husband Willie, (Tony Shalhoub), lurking somewhere behind her. What could easily be a droll, existential allegory manages to vibrantly demonstrate the vitality of the human spirit in the face of a deteriorating world. "More than 50 years later, the play resonates just as forcefully with audiences and performers as the day it was written, and CSC has many reasons to be proud of this extraordinary production", says Maler. "Brooke Adams and Tony Shalhoub are the perfect duo to take on the delicate balance of humor and pathos, and "Andrei Belgrader, known locally for his brilliant work with the American Repertory Theater, remains one of the most acclaimed interpreters of Beckett's work. This work demands much, and we have the perfect team to bring it to life." Beyond the work's popularity and contemporary relevance, its place of esteem among the canon of Beckett's other works is also established among critics and literary experts. Writing for the New York Times in 1961 when the play first premiered, Howard Taubman said that Beckett "composed a song of rue that will haunt the inner ear long after you have heard it," and "in its muted, tremulous way, it shimmers with beauty." Samuel Beckett (1906 -1989) is widely recognized as one of the greatest dramatists of the twentieth century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969. Mr. Beckett is most renowned for his play Waiting for Godot, which launched his career in theatre. He then went on to write numerous successful full-length plays, including Endgame in 1957, Krapp's Last Tape in 1958, and Happy Days in 1960. Mr. Beckett received his first commission for radio from the BBC in 1956 for All That Fall. This was followed by a further five plays for radio including Embers, Words and Music, and Cascando. Like no other dramatist before him, Mr. Beckett's works capture the pathos and ironies of modern life yet still maintain his faith in man's capacity for compassion and survival no matter how absurd his environment may have become. Brooke Adams* (Winnie) Film/TV credits include: Days of Heaven, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Monk, Law & Order SVU, Family, Lace, and Moonlighting. Theatre credits include: The Old Neighborhood (American Repertory Theatre), Lost in Yonkers (Ahmanson Theatre), The Heidi Chronicles (Plymouth Theatre), The Cherry Orchard (Atlantic Theatre Company), Lend Me a Tenor (Music Box Theatre), Key Exchange (Orpheum), and If Memory Serves (The Pasadena Playhouse). She also produced and performed in the film, Made-­?Up, written by her sister Lynne Adams, and directed by Tony Shalhoub. Tony Shalhoub* (Willie) most recently performed in the five-­time Tony-­nominated play Act One on Broadway. Film/TV credits include: Men in Black, Cars, Frasier, Too Big to Fail, Addams Family Values, and Wings. Theatre credits include: The Odd Couple (Ahmanson Theatre), Conversations with my Father (Royale Theatre), The Scene (Second Stage Theatre), Golden Boy (Belasco Theatre), and Waiting for Godot (Classic Stage Company Theatre). He has been nominated for 3 Tonys for his work on Broadway and won 3 Emmys, 2 Screen Actors Guild awards, and a Golden Globe for the title role in the television series, Monk. Andrei Belgrader is a theatre and television director. He has also been a master teacher at the Yale School of Drama, a professor at UCSD, Head of the Directing Department at Juilliard and he currently teaches at USC School of Dramatic Arts. On television, he has directed numerous episodes of Monk as well as Law & Order: Criminal Intent and the sitcom Coach. He directed extensively at major regional theatres such as the American Repertory Theatre, Yale Repertory, the Goodman and Seattle Repertory, as well as in New York City. His recent projects in New York: Beckett's Endgame at BAM, with John Turturro and Elaine Stritch, and The Cherry Orchard at Classic Stage Company, with Dianne Wiest, John Turturro and Michael Urie and the 2013 production of Henrik Ibsen's The Master Builder also with John Turturro. All three productions were named among the 10 best productions of the year in major publications such as The New York Times and New York magazine and The Cherry Orchard was awarded the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Revival in 2012. This production originated at The Theatre @ Boston Court in Pasadena, CA. Their team included Takeshi Kata**, Scenic Design; Tom Ontiveros, Lighting Design; Melanie Watnick, Costume Design; Madison Orgill, Prop Design & Scenic Artist; Emma Fasler, Casting; Kate Jopson, Assistant Director; Matthew Quinlan, Dramaturg; Alyssa Escalante, Stage Manager; Ed Krieger, Production Photography. *Members of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States **Represented by United Scenic Artists Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, best known for its annual free performances on Boston Common, is a non-profit organization founded in 1996, and dedicated to bringing the works of William Shakespeare in vital and contemporary productions to the people of Boston and to exploring Shakespeare's works with Greater Boston's youth in innovative and creative ways. In addition to the annual Boston Common productions, CSC presents several free play-reading events during the year: Theatre in the Rough, Shakespeare and Law as well as Shakespeare and Leadership. CSC fulfills its educational mission with actor-training programs for both high school students and pre-professional actors with its Summer Academy. Throughout the year, CSC partners with area high schools and Boys and Girls Clubs to provide in and after-school theater activities to inner-city youth. Recent productions include Twelfth Night, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Coriolanus, All's Well That Ends Well (2012 Elliot Norton Award-winner for Best Production, Large Theater), Othello and The Comedy of Errors. CSC is the Resident Theatre of Babson College. CSC just kicked off its 20th Anniversary season with the first-ever Shakespeare At Fenway. Special thanks CSC's 20th Anniversary Season sponsors Babson College and Massachusettes Cultural Council. For more information, visit commshakes.org. BabsonARTS Creativity and innovation have long been hallmarks of Babson College's focus on entrepreneurship-and what better way to enrich the Babson experience than with an array of challenging and engaging arts events? BabsonARTS presents performances, exhibitions, films, and conversations designed to be entertaining and to shine a spotlight on global issues, social and environmental concerns, the creative process, and the arts as a business. The generosity of Richard W. '68 and Sandra L. Sorenson makes our programming possible. For more information about BabsonARTS visit babsonarts.org.
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