three of thirty-nine rainbow teardrops by Jim Day adorning Park Square, Pittsfield; photo: J. Peter Bergman
MY FIRST EDITORIAL IN THIS SPACE
Tuesday, June 14. Several hundred people, a completely non-oriented representation of the population, gathered in Pittsfield's Park Square for a vigil for the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting. There were a dozen speakers including Mayor Linda Tyer from Pittsfield and Mayor Richard Alcombrite from North Adams, several religious leaders, political moguls and private citizens, all with their own particular take on the subjects of "hate" and "love" and the universality of human lives. It was a moving event. In particular the rousing rhetoric of Dennis Powell, head of the regional NAACP who used the word "Hate" in particular to make an enormous impact on the crowd. He left a feeling of total revulsion and compulsive regret about ever having used the word in any context.
On the opposite side of the coin Tricia Farley-Bouvier, currently campaigning for re-election on the State level, spoke of grief and "grieving." Unlike the riveting Powell, she went for the emotional jugular and was, in fact, the most effective speaker at the event, moving most of us to tears with her cry for deeper commitment and understanding.
Pittsfield City Council President Peter Marchetti and Rainbow Seniors Founder Ed Cedarbaum spoke of their fears in dealing with personal identity and the casual disarray of so many people's lives. Both were effective and so was the reading of 49 names and bios of the dead women and men who lost their lives in a "safe place" in Orlando. It is clear that we all must consider the world we live in and the vast array of humanity whose personal feelings can be delightful or dangerous. There is a long way to go in this world to achieve both acceptance and peace and, for this individual, these are difficult times with the likes of Donald Trump preaching out of both sides of his vaguely stuffed head and Bernie Sanders whose idealism inspires many but is unfortunately peculiar and unattainable.
Leadership in this nation will have to be bigger than the rhetoric that inspires votes. It must inspire the best in all people and leave little room for the worst. Leave none at all.
Alice Liddell Hargreaves at 80; subject of the play DREAM CHILD at the Bridge Street Theatre
We're in it - the 2016 summer theater season is moving forward and taking us with it to -- hopefully -- new heights. Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield officially started it off with PRESTO CHANGE-O, a new musical about a family of magicians. The Mac-Haydn in Chatham, New York followed suit with a delicious MY FAIR LADY. Both of these, of course, followed by nearly a month THE NORMAN CONQUESTS trilogy of plays which began at Northern Stage in White River Junction at the end of April with LIVING TOGETHER and continues its story at the Dorset Theater Festival in June.
We have added the Goodspeed in Connecticut with their first of the year, ANYTHING GOES, and the Bridge Street Theater in Catskill, NY with LUCKY LINDY. Below you will find the next set of shows and that section will be constantly updated so you know when to watch for our reviews. Your reaction to the shows you read about here is very important to us, so please let us know if you agree, disagree, or have a strong opinion about what you've seen that we may not be covering.
Keep in touch; visit often; go to the theater!!
Watch this space for Things to focus on:
Don't Talk to the Actors at Theatre Barn 6/24
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Berkshire Theatre Group 6/25
Ugly Lies the Bone at Shakespeare and Company 6/29
The Rose Tattoo at the Williamstown Theatre Festival 7/2
Man of LaMancha at the Weston Playhouse 6/30
The Cost of Living at the Williamstown Theatre Festival 7/2
My Jane at the Chester Theater 7/3
Chicago at the Mac-Haydn 7/7
Dear Elizabeth at the Dorset Theatre Festival, 7/8
Big River at Oldcastle Theatre 7/9
WATCH THIS SPACE - MORE LATER !
and there'll be much, much more
Click on any underlined title below to go directly to the review. Otherwise use the drop-down menues above.