It seems as though all the theatre artists not involved in the current Broadway season have flocked to Massachusetts for the summer, where some amazing productions are being premiered or revived.
The Williamstown Theatre Festival's all-star season features the American premiere of Arthur Miller's The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, as the centerpiece of the season, running (July 17-28). The play, which originally opened in London in 1991, will be directed by Scott Elliot, who recently won several awards for his direction Off-Broadway. Starring in The Ride Down Mt. Morgan is F. Murray Abraham, Patricia Clarkson, and Michael Learned.
Opening the Williamstown Main Stage is Olympia Dukakis in Tennessee Williams' The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (June 19-30), which also features Mary Louise Wilson, who recently received several awards for her one-woman show Full Gallop. Then Kate Burton and Victor Garber star in the hilarious The Royal Family by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber, with Blythe Danner, Hope Davis, Andrea Martin, and Marian Seldes (July 3-14).
The two final Main Stage productions are The Learned Ladies by Moliere, (July 31-Aug. 11) and Filumena by Eduardo de Filippo, translated by and featuring Maria Tucci (Aug. 14-25).
While Jon Robin Baitz's A Fair Country is preparing to close after a successful run at New York's Lincoln Center, The End of the Day is closing on the Other Stage at Williamstown on June 23. Scott Elliot directs a cast including Patrick Cassidy, Michael Hayden and Claudia Shear. Other productions on the Other Stage is the world premiere of MACS (A Macaroni Requiem) by David Simpatico about a Sunday family dinner at which the table is piled high with revelation, under the direction of Jenny Sullivan (June 26-July 7); another Arthur Miller play All My Sons (July 10-21) and Miss Julie by August Strindberg featuring Campbell Scott (July 24-Aug. 4). Rocket to the Moon by Clifford Odets, featuring 1996 Tony nominee Reg Rogers, will be directed by Joanne Woodward (Aug. 14-24).
Joanne Woodward will also star this summer with Keene Curtis ("Cheers") in Noel Coward's Hay Fever at the Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, (July 10-27). Currently playing at the Festival on the Jane & Jack Fitzpatrick Mainstage through July 6 is the world premiere of Visiting Mr. Green by Jeff Baron. The play stars Tony Award-winner Eli Wallach in the role of an elderly Jewish widower who forms a fiery and ultimately forgiving relationship with the younger up-and-coming corporate executive who is assigned by the courts to help him out.
Next, Dianne Wiest will star in Jitta's Atonementadapted by GB Shaw from a play by Sigfried Trebirsch (July 30-Aug 10). The cast, rounded out by Liev Schreiber and Calista Flockheart, portray a group of people who lovingly, painfully, and comically discover what love is truly about when the rose colored glasses are removed.
The season closes with the world premiere of Free Fall by Sandy Duncan & Marc Alan Zagoren, starring Sandy Duncan. The piece is labeled as a play with music," and celebrates life's process, embracing the challenges of change (Aug 13-31) .
Shakespeare and Co. just received a special citation of "Continued Excellence on Stage in Education" at the 3rd Annual Boston Theatre Awards. The summer season has an 18 show variety of contemporary and classic theatre to offer. Shakespeare's comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor will play throughout the season on the outdoor mainstage.
In the Edith Wharton Theatre, Faith and Hope: Edith at War a portrait of Edith Wharton's charitable acts during World War Two by Artistic Associate Gary Mitchell (May 31-Sept 1). In the same theatre upcoming and also playing are Wharton One-Acts: Madame de Treymes & Love Story adapted by Mitchell from Wharton (June 21-Aug 31) and Songs From the Heart adapted from Wharton by Mickey Friedman (June 27-Aug 30).
Women of Will by and starring Artistic Director Tina Packer, traces the women throughout the whole of Shakespeare's plays in the Stable Theatre (May 24-July 20). Also playing in the Stables theatre is Shakespeare's Measure for Measure (June 21-Aug 25); Mercy by Laura Harrington, the story of a sculptor whose final creative act is drawing her missing children back to her on the eve of her own death (1996 Clauder Competition Winner July 23-Aug 25); a brief run of the Clauder finalist script The Death of the Father of Psychoanalysis (& Anna) by Bridget Carpenter, watches Anna Freud at her father's deathbed, pointing out Freudian theory and father/daughter relationships in this very funny and dark comedy (Aug 15-23); The Two Gentleman of Verona by William Shakespeare (June 28-Sept 1); and Ethan Frome adapted from Wharton by Dennis Krausnick (Sept 20-Oct 20, then Oct 24-Nov 2).
The Barrington Stage Company will perform their three show season in several Berkshire locations. Three Viewings, a dark funeral comedy by Jeffrey Hatcher runs June 26-July 7 at Searles Castle in Great Barrington; Avenue X, an a capella doo-wop musical with book and lyrics by John Jiler runs July 10-27 at Consolati Performing Arts Center in Sheffield, and at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield July 28; and Room Service a comedy by John Murray and Allen Boretz plays in Sheffield (July 31-Aug. 18).
For more tickets or more information about the above-mentioned seasons and shows, refer to the regional theatre listings on Playbill On-Line.