Signs of Summer
I don't know about you, but I'm looking for all the help I can get to convince me that winter is going to end. Berkshire Theater Festival, in Stckbridge, Mass, announcing their summer season is a good start.
Nonetheless, I find it hard to get excited about a main stage season that includes a musical review to open, followed by a dense work about Einstein that appeared at their small Unicorn Theatre a couple of seasons ago, and a dark Neil Simon comedy as the third play.
I applaud the risk of selecting "Ghosts," an Ibsen play, to run during August and I can understand expanding the season into September with the family musical "Peter Pan."
As has become normal for theater festivals, the adventurous work is to be found at the Second Stages - at BTF the space is called The Unicorn Theatre. I have to admit the show I am most anxious to see is "Red Remembers." As a dedicated (fanatical) former-Brooklyn Dodger fan (long, long ago) a one-man show about the team's radio announcer Red Barber is a trip down memory lane. As Red would have said, "It's the catbird seat." But, I'm said to have to wait until nearly World Series time to see it.
"Faith Healer" is a three-person show using monologues; "Sick" is a new play. I wonder how the musical "The Wiz" (an updated version of "The Wizard of Oz") is going to play on the small stage. I believe this is the fourth season BTF is producing "A Christmas Carol" for the holidays.
Clearly this is a schedule put together with two eyes on the economic climate. There are enough good plays in the offering for BTF to keep its reputation, but any season by a professional theater company that depends on both Peter Pan and Dorothy is - in my mind - a bit suspect.
Broadway by the Year®-June 19-June 27
The Einstein Project-June 30-July 18
The Prisoner of Second Avenue-July 21-August 8
Ghosts-August 11-August 29
Peter Pan: The Musical*-September 4-September 13
Faith Healer-May 21-July 4
The Wiz-July 7-August 15
Sick-August 18-September 6
Red Remembers-September 11-November 1
A Christmas Carol*-December 10-December 30