A Nose Is a Nose: Award-Winning Calvin Berger, Teenage Cyrano Musical, Begins

News   A Nose Is a Nose: Award-Winning Calvin Berger, Teenage Cyrano Musical, Begins Barrington Stage Company's Musical Theatre Lab, the Equity troupe's new-musicals initiative under the mentorship of Tony Award-winning songwriter William Finn, launches its second season June 26 with Calvin Berger — a high school-set version of Cyrano de Bergerac.
David Perlman gets
David Perlman gets "high profile" gig as Calvin Berger in Barrington Stage's Musical Lab.

The lauded project, featuring book, music and lyrics by Barry Wyner, won the 2007 Jerry Bock and Richard Rodgers Award. The fully-staged production (its second regional theatre production, following a 2006 premiere at Gloucester Stage) will play through July 14 at BSC's Stage II space, The Berkshire Athenaeum, 1 Wendell Avenue in Pittsfield, MA.

The BSC lab program offers full stagings (open to review) and workshop productions (not open to critics) of new musicals. The BSC airing of Calvin Berger will include revisions to the piece since the 2006 Gloucester run.

Directed and choreographed by Stephen Terrell, Calvin Berger is billed this way: "What if Cyrano de Bergerac's swashbuckling adventures took place not in 17th century France but in your average American high school? Anyone who has ever felt self-conscious will relate to this modern-day Cyrano — young comic-neurotic Calvin Berger. Too insecure about the size of his nose to ask out the girl of his dreams, Calvin communicates with her through the handsome new kid in school. The result is a hip, heartfelt musical comedy that is certain to delight audiences of all ages."

Calvin Berger features David Perlman (Calvin), Elizabeth Lundberg (Rosanna), Aaron Tveit (Matt) and Gillian Goldberg (Bret). The production is designed by Brian Prather, with costumes by Amela Baksic and lighting by Scott Pinkney. Justin Paul is musical director.

Writer-composer Barry Wyner received the Jerry Bock Award, the Richard Rodgers Award, and an IRNE nomination for best new play for Calvin Berger, which premiered in summer 2006 at Gloucester Stage. Other original musicals include Sugar Plum (Company Carolina), Something To Say (Manhattan Theater Club) and Stop! (Access Theater). He was the original arranger and music director of Gutenberg! The Musical! at UCB Theatre. Wyner holds degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill and Queens College, both in music composition. He is a member of the BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. Barrington Stage Company's Musical Theatre Lab performances play Tuesday through Friday evening at 7:30 PM, Saturday at 4 and 8 PM. Tickets are $25-$30 and are on sale now.

For information about a Musical Theater Lab pass, call (413) 236-8888, or visit www.barringtonstageco.org.

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Following Calvin Berger, this year's Musical Theatre Lab lineup includes barebones stagings of Funked Up Fairy Tales (July 31-Aug. 11) from Obie Award-winner Kirsten Childs, author of The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin and directed by Altar Boyz co-creator Kevin Del Aguila; and The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (Aug. 21-Sept. 1), a new musical by the creators of last season's The Burnt Part Boys, based on Chris Van Allsburg's children's book.

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The 2006 BSC Musical Theatre Lab premiered the original musical The Burnt Part Boys (book by Mariana Elder, music by Chris Miller and lyrics by Nathan Tysen) directed by Joe Calarco, the musical revue Travels With My Discontent (music by Deborah Abramson, with lyrics by Abramson and William Finn, Peter Mills, Rachel Sheinkin, and Amanda Yesnowitz), directed by William Finn, and Disorder: A Mother-Daughter Vaudeville (book by Katie Baldwin, music by Gihieh Lee and lyrics by Julianne Davis and Katie Baldwin), directed by Jack Cummings III.

Barrington Stage Company is the Equity theatre located in the heart of the Berkshires, in Pittsfield, MA. It was co-founded in 1995 by artistic director Julianne Boyd. BSC’s mission is three-fold: "to present top-notch, compelling work; to develop new plays and musicals; and to find fresh, bold ways to bringing new audiences into the theatre."