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Nigel Gore as Prospero. Photo Stratton McCrady

A Singer’s Notes 137: The Tempest, at Shakespeare and Company(Comments Off on A Singer’s Notes 137: The Tempest, at Shakespeare and Company)

August 22, 2017

On Wednesday evening, Nigel Gore’s Prospero gave me The Tempest I have been waiting for. First, and not least, his performance was consistent. I have long waited for a performance that showed the profound loneliness of this character. A temperament carefully hidden makes it clear.

Meredith Meurs and Doria Bramante in Theresa Rebeck's Mauritius at the Oldcastle Theatre Company, Bennington

Mauritius, by Theresa Rebeck at the Oldcastle Theatre Company, Bennington. Closes August 6.

You have only two days left to see Theresa Rebeck’s philatelic thriller at the Oldcastle Theatre Company in Bennington. By all means drop any other plans you may have and treat yourself to a show that is both gripping and tartly amusing, with its sour, disillusioned view of sibling relationships and human behavior inspired by desirable objects.

Allyn Burrows emerges from a chest in "Or" at Shakespeare & Company, 2016. Photo Ava G. Lindenmaier.

Allyn Burrows, Shakespeare and Company’s New Artistic Director, talks to Michael Miller about the 2017 season…and much else.

Shakespeare and Company, a presence in Lenox since its foundation in 1978 by Tina Packer and Kristen Linklater, has undergone some seismic challenges in recent years, and there has at times been some concern about its future, but it continues to soldier on with its richly and solidly matured education programs and performances that seem to only to get better and better. Now, following a brilliant season (2016) and looking forward to what promises to be another equally exciting program this summer, all the upheavals seem basically of academic interest, and I’ll let you wait until someone publishes a history of this company, which wears its laurels so lightly that some, I believe, underestimate just how important it is, not only for the history of Shakespeare performance in this country, but anywhere.

Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County, directed by Omar Sangare, at Williams College

Every spring for some years now the brilliant Polish actor-director-playwright-poet Omar Sangare has created extraordinary productions at the ‘62 Center for the Performing Arts with his acting students at Williams College, and they keep on getting better. All of them have been highly unusual. There was a double-cast A Streetcar Named Desire: by that I mean that it was performed by two separate casts almost, but not quite simultaneously. Far from an weird distraction, the device emphasized the universality of the play…and gave the many interested student actors a chance to perform.


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