‘Chorus Line,’ ‘Thousand Clowns,’ Holocaust Drama at BTF Summer 2012

Marvin Hamlisch wrote the music for the groundbreaking show, 'A Chorus Line,' which received the Pulitzer Prize.

(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – Beloved theatrical standbys including A Chorus Line and A Thousand Clowns will vie with world premiere dramas and weighty fare such as the Holocaust drama The Puppetmaster of Lodz at Berkshire Theatre Festival in summer 2012. The productions will play out across multiple stages, including the Fitzpatrick Main Stage and the Unicorn Theatre at BTF in Stockbridge, the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, and at The Mount in Lenox, which will play host to a family show.

The landmark musical A Chorus Line previews July 2-6, opens July 7 and runs through July 21 at the Colonial in Pittsfield. Conceived and originally directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett with book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban, originally produced by Joe Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival, the musical won the Pulitzer Prize and nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

A Thousand Clowns by Herb Gardner will be staged at the Fitzpatrick Main Stage and directed by Anders Cato. The show runs in previews July 16–July 20; opens July 21 and runs through July 28. In the play, a young boy named Nick lives with his eccentric Uncle Murray, portrayed by Jason Robards in the film version. When Murray walks off his job as a joke writer for “Chuckles the Chipmunk,” it’s time for “the system,” to make life “normal.”

The summer at BTF includes several world premieres. Kelly Masterson’s Edith, about First Lady Edith Wilson, will get its first staging on the Fitzpatrick Main Stage, in previews July 31–August 3; opening August 4 and running through August 11. Also premiering on the mainstage is Brace Yourself by David Epstein, in a production directed by James Naughton, in previews August 14–August 17; opening August 18 and running through August 25. The farcical comedy takes place as a hurricane is about to interrupt plans for a wedding.

The Puppetmaster of Lodz by Gilles Ségal, in a translation by Sara O’Connor, will be directed by Anders Cato at The Unicorn Theatre, previewing June 21–22; opening June 23, and running through July 7; then reopening September 13 and running through October 7. In this play, a Jew has escaped from one of the most notorious concentration camps in Germany only to be yet again imprisoned in an imaginary world.

A Class Act, a tribute to Edward Kleban, one of the collaborators of A Chorus Line, with music and lyrics by Edward Kleban; book by Linda Kline and Lonny Price; directed by Robert Moss, previews July 10–13; opens July 14; and runs through August 4 at the Unicorn Theatre. A Class Act was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and three Drama Desk Awards. It’s a behind the scenes glimpse of the joy and struggle that go into making music soar. This production will be performed by The Unicorn Company, BTF’s Pre-Professional Acting Company.

William Donnelly’s Homestead Crossing will receive its world premiere at the Unicorn Theatre in a staging directed by Kyle Fabel, previewing August 7–10; opening August 11; running through September 1. The drama takes place on a dark and stormy night, when Claudia, a young and lonely woman, taps on a window, seeking shelter in the home of Noel and Anne, an older married couple, followed by Tobin, Claudia’s young and impulsive lover. While the two couples wait out the storm, they begin to converse about life, love and relationships.

Other productions include Oliver! at the Colonial September 7–9; Pinocchio at The Mount in Lenox July 25–August 11; and Made in the Berkshires at the Colonial and the Unicorn Theatre, October 5–7.

Season pass and Member tickets are exclusively available starting Friday, March 9, 2012 and to all on Tuesday, March 20, 2012. Season Passes are still available for purchase.

Tickets may be purchased in person at the Colonial Ticket Office at 111 South Street, Pittsfield or by calling 413. 997.4444 or online at Berkshire Theatre Festival. The Ticket Office is open Monday-Friday 10am–5pm, Saturdays 10am–2pm or on any performance day from 10am until curtain.




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