A Singer’s Notes by Keith Kibler
Shakespeare and Company’s latest offering, “Lovers’ Spat: Shakespeare’s Famous Couples’ Encounters” was a frolic; gags and ad-libs abounded. It had an Elizabethan tinge. Actors were on-book and off-book; everybody was having a wonderful time. It has long been a positive aspect of the Company not to take everything so seriously. We remember that Shakespeare’s plays were new plays, experimental plays, which doubtless took a different path every performance.
Something compels me to go to the Berkshire Theatre Group’s A Christmas Carol late in the run. I hear two powerful forces—exhaustion and nostalgia—in the actors. This latest performance had both of these. I sat first near the back of the hall. One could often hear sounds of approval, quiet sounds, surprise after surprise from the children in the audience. These sounds were in the air when the stage was distant. After intermission I sat in the third row, and I could sense palpably the camaraderie of the actors in their last performance. Eric Hill has built a version of the story which tells the tale smoothly, not wading through the usual bumps that adaptations leave. His willingness to listen on stage gave the whole production a flavor.
Soooo, we are riding through a dark night, much too dark for late fall, to beautiful Hubbard Hall in Cambridge, New York. It looks warm, it smells warm, it is warm. When we got there, took our seats, we saw what very well may be the most intricate piece of theater ever played on this stage. I’m talking about Peter and the Starcatcher, a prequel to Peter Pan,
Singer’s Notes 129: The Consul, the Tramp, and America’s Sweetheart at Oldcastle; Hamlet at Shakespeare & Co.; Kožená at Union College
Yet another success for this Company. There was vivid acting. Elizabeth Aspenlieder, as Mary Pickford, is an arresting actress, her voice resonant, her intentions clear. Ms. Aspenlieder enlivens every role she takes. She makes the character happen. There was an exceptional performance from David Joseph in the role of Charlie Chaplin. His work on the role, particularly the physical aspect of the character had a completeness which he imagined carefully and made his own.
More in this category
- A Singer’s Notes 128: Alexina Jones leaves Hubbard Hall Opera Theatre; Two Gentlemen and Henry VI at Shakespeare and Company
- A Singer’s Notes 127: Great Things at the TMC, and Good Fun at the Berkshire Theatre Festival and Shakespeare and Company
- A Singer’s Notes 126: Lenox Nights—The Merchant of Venice at Shakespeare and Company and Fellows at the Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood
- A Singer’s Notes 125: Four Good Things—Aston Magna, Two from TMC Orchestra, and the Berkshire Theatre Festival