“The Birds” by Irish playwright Conor McPherson and directed by Barrington Stage Companies founder and artistic director Julianne Boyd landed on BSC’s Second Stage yesterday and Broadwayworld was nestled in with the rest of the opening night Pittsfield audience. Even though the play is not based on the 1960’s Alfred Hitchcock movie, the play still provides enough special effects to keep the audience unhinged as the birds periodically swoop in during the stressful story that unfolds. Nat (Stevie Ray Dalimore) and Diane (Kathleen McNenny)meet on the road and break into a nearby farmhouse to escape the birds. Julia (Sasha Diamond) a younger woman also appears and together with a neighbor Tierney (Rocco Sisto) keep McPherson’s tension filled drama airborne.
This play keeps pecking away at your emotions and you might leave the St. Germain theatre scratching your head, but it’s definitely not for the birds. It’s a well directed and superbly acted piece of thought provoking theatre.
Inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s chilling short story and the basis for Alfred Hitchcock’s legendary film, this suspense-filled adaptation by acclaimed Irish playwright Conor McPherson is an emotionally stirring, atmospheric thriller. Mysterious masses of birds have begun to attack at high tide, driving strangers Nat and Diane to take refuge in an isolated, abandoned cabin and to form a bond to survive their haunting new circumstance. Yet if two is company, three’s a crowd, as the sudden arrival of a young woman with a mysterious background ruffles feathers and quickly threatens to destroy their so-called sanctuary.
The production is designed by David Barber (sets), Brian Tovar (lighting), Elivia Bovenzi (costumes), and David Thomas (sound). Michael Andrew Rodgers is production stage manager.
Conor McPherson (Playwright) was born in Dublin in 1971. He attended the University College in Dublin, where he began to write and direct. His plays include Rum & Vodka, The Good Thief, This Lime Tree Bower, St. Nicholas, The Weir (Olivier Award, Best Play), Dublin Carol, The Night Alive, The Veil, Port Authority, Shining City (Tony Award nomination, Best Play), and The Seafarer. Film work includes “I Went Down,” “Saltwater,” Samuel Beckett’s “Endgame,” and “The Actors.” Other awards include the George Devine Award; Critics’ Circle Award; Evening Standard Award; Meyer Whitworth Award; Stewart Parker Award; two Irish Film & Television Academy Best Screenplay Awards; CICAE Best Film Award, Berlin Film Festival (“Saltwater”); Best Film and Best Screenplay Awards, San Sebastian Film Festival (“I Went Down”).
Performances: Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30pm, and Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 3:00pm. Opening night June 18, 2017. St. Germain Stage at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center (36 Linden Street). Tickets: $15-$48. Barrington Stage Box Office: (413) 236-8888 or online at www.barringtonstageco.org.
(For another article by Stephen & complete photos of this event go to BroadwayWorld.com)
(For complete photos of this event go to BroadwayWorld.com)
Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Remembering Angela Lansbury in Sweeney Todd
On Sunday look for a brand new charcuterie of Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford in Sweeney Todd.. I loved the new production, and it’s two leads.
Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Chicago
John Kander & Fred Ebb / Bob Fosse musical Chicago is now the longest running show playing on Broadway. Having played 10,338 performances, Chicago is the Tony Award-winning, record-breaking hit musical playing at the Ambassador Theatre, 219 W. 49th St., NYC.
Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Happy Birthday Richard Jay-Alexander
Yesterday was my good friend Richard Jay-Alexander’s birthday and I presented him with his own personal caricature. Fo those who do not know Richard J is an Broadway producer and director. He served as Executive Director of the New York City office of producer Cameron Mackintosh for twelve years, known for productions including Les Misérables, Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Five Guys Named Moe, Oliver! and Putting It Together.
His directorial credits include the staging of For The Girls (2020) on Broadway starring Kristin Chenoweth, Porgy and Bess for the South Florida Symphony (2019), the concert versions of Les Miz (2008) and Guys and Dolls (2009), both at the Hollywood Bowl.
Jay-Alexander is a long time board member of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and has directed benefits for the honored organization, as well as other causes he cares about, including animals and no-kill shelters, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of South Florida, The Actor’s Fund, National Asian Artists Project (NAAP), Broadway Dreams, and Hollywood’s Motion Picture and Television Fund (MPTF). Most recently he directed the star studded BroadwayWorld celebration.
He is passionate about young talent and teaches workshops and master classes, when possible. For the last few years, he has been the camp director of Kristin Chenoweth’s Broadway Bootcamp.
Jay-Alexander began his Broadway career in 1977 as a production assistant on the Broadway revival of Porgy and Bess, produced by Sherwin M. Goldman and the Houston Grand Opera. He also served as a production assistant on the pre-Broadway try out of Nefertiti which starred Andrea Marcovicci and directed by Jack O’Brien.
As a director, writer, and producer his career has taken him around the globe as far away as Alaska and Singapore and from London’s Royal Albert Hall and Royal Festival Hall to Carnegie Hall, The Sydney Opera House, The Village Vanguard, Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York City, Laxness Arena-Cologne, Germany, The Metropolitan Opera House, The Hollywood Bowl, Joe’s Pub at The Public Theatre, Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv, London’s O2 Arena, O2 World Berlin, and just about every other legitimate theatre, nightclub and cabaret in between.
Jay-Alexander has also contributed lyrics to projects for Disney Records. He is a regular contributor to Broadwayworld.com where he is particularly known for a series called “All Eyes On,” interviewing Angela Lansbury, Josh Groban, Sir Ian McKellen, Rose Marie, Bob Avian, Ann-Margret, and Barry Manilow about his Broadway-bound Harmony. He has also authored liner notes for reissues of musicals such as the original, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, and four titles from the Stephen Sondheim Columbia Masterworks/Sony canon: Merrily We Roll Along, Into The Woods, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and Sunday In The Park With George, giving them context all these years later as to their place in history and with 20-20 hindsight.
He has also worked Bernadette Peters, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Julie Andrews, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Lea Salonga, Sam Harris, Polly Bergen, Russell Watson, Il Volo, Il Divo, Norm Lewis, Laurie Beechman, Debby Boone, Mandy Gonzalez, Mary Cleere Haran, Roslyn Kind, Melissa Errico, Lea Michele, Betty Buckley, Donny & Marie Osmond, Ricky Martin, Well-Strung, Donna McKechnie, Melora Hardin, Jennifer Leigh Warren, and others. His work with Barbra Streisand can be seen on various DVD products or PBS specials including: Streisand: 2006 Tour; Barbra Streisand: One Night Only at The Village Vanguard; Barbra Streisand: Back to Brooklyn; Barbra: The Music, The Mem’ries, The Magic (Netflix).
My View: “Because I Have A Story With Each And Every One Of You”…Richard Jay-Alexander
If you never heard of a restaurant/bar called Milady’s on Prince Street, you’ll know it now! That’s where Richard Jay-Alexander chose to celebrate his 70th Birthday and it was truly a WOWZA evening…the setting, the food, the peonies, the curated music PLAYLIST (assembled by longtime friend and assistant, Nellie Beavers), the craft cocktails and even a film crew (led by longtime pal, Brian Morgan) in the back, taping BRAVO-style “confessionals” with each guest, about the BIRTHDAY BOY. The guests in attendance ranged in age and interests, like a perfect jambalaya of an accomplished life. Even friends from his High School, in Solvay, NY! The most impressive part of who Richard is was quickly revealed in his post “blowing out the candles of his cake” moment when he looked around the room (clearly moved) and explained that the reason we were all there was, “because I have a story with each and every one of you.” Needless to say, there was much talent present throughout the room and plenty of legendary New Yorkers, raising a glass to a pretty special guy. In reality, it is he that entered into our lives and our stories and happily so. This is how you do it!
Ken Fallin’s Broadway: The World Says Good-Bye To Tina Turner
Tina Turner, the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll has died, after a long illness at 83. Turner was diagnosed with intestinal cancer in 2016 and underwent a kidney transplant in 2017.
Her life story was told in the 1993 smash film What’s Love Got to Do with It and in the 2019 Broadway musical Tina – The Tina Turner Musical, starring Adrienne Warren in a career-making performance.
Born Anna Mae Bullock on November 26, 1939, in Nutbush, TN, Turner became famous in the late 1960s as the singer of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. Their major hits included: “River Deep – Mountain High” and “Proud Mary.”After leaving husband Ike Turner following years of physical and emotional abuse, she staged what remains one of the greatest comebacks in pop music history, scoring massive hits in the 1980s such as “What’s Love Got To Do With it”, “Private Dancer” and “The Best,” with an estimated 180 million albums sold worldwide, 12 Grammy Awards won and sold-out stadium tours around the world.
Turner scored another smash single in 1985 with “We Don’t Need Another Hero, from the Mel Gibson-George Miller threequel Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. She played the ruthless leader of Bartertown in the movie and delivered the memorable line, “Welcome to another edition of Thunderdome!”
She returned to the Top 20 later that year with “It’s Only Love,” a duet with Bryan Adams from his Reckless album, and also was part of the global smash “We Are the World.” That 1985 famine-relief single — written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, produced by Quincy Jones and credited to USA for Africa.
Turner also appeared at the intercontinental charity concert Live Aid that summer, performing a raucous, sexually charged duet with Mick Jagger in Philadelphia on a medley of his solo single “State of Shock” and the Rolling Stones’ “It’ Only Rock and Roll (But I Like It).”
Turner’s status as a musical pioneer extended to 1980s television when she became a staple of MTV.
A private funeral ceremony is expected for family and close friends and family.
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