Paul Simon isn't the only pop composer making a connection to legitimate theatre. Billy Joel will kick off the 70th anniversary of Massachusetts' Berkshire Theatre Festival with his popular solo turn, Questions, Answers, And...A LITTLE MUSIC, wherein the singer/songwriter talks about his life and career, plays a few songs on the piano and interacts with the audience.
The performance, Oct. 4, at Tanglewood, will be recorded for National Public Radio's "Performance Today" classical music program. (Joel has stated that he's giving up the pop music field to concentrate on classical compositions.)
Joel's solo career began inauspiciously 1970 with the album "Cold Spring Harbor" -- which was so badly engineered in its original pressing, Joel's voice was sped up to a nearly cartoonish high pitch. By 1977, Joel had already scored with the songs "Piano Man" and "New York State Of Mind," and then released his landmark album, "The Stranger." Later albums included "The Nylon Curtain" and "River Of Dreams." He's won five Grammy Awards and received honorary doctorates from Boston, MA's Berklee College of Music and L.I.'s Hofstra University.
The Berkshire Playhouse was founded in 1928 and now includes the Unicorn Theatre for emerging artists, the Young American Playwright Program, and the Lavan Center for the Performing Arts.
Tickets are sold out. For information, call (413) 298-5536. --By David Lefkowitz