The 70th season for Stockbridge, MA's Berkshire Festival swings into the home stretch, July 28-Aug. 8 with Eugene O'Neill's Desire Under The Elms, a drama about a new wife joining a feuding family.
According to Berkshire spokesperson Trevor Ward, Ashley Gardner plays Abbie Putnam, Jon De Vries is Ephraim Cabot, and Jeremy Davidson plays Eben. The show replaces the previously announced A Moon for the Misbegotten.
De Vries' NY credits include Sight Unseen and One Flea Spare; Gardner starred on Broadway in Hay Fever. Also in the cast are Boris McGiver, Timothy Wheeler, Deron Bayer, Chris Anderson, Susan Buchholtz, Ilona Garce, Corrine Kiluk, Karen Lee, Dawn Mancarella, Brian Plouffe and Drew Wallace. Richard Corley, a four-year veteran of the Berkshire Fest, directs.
Designing Desire are Tony winner (The Lion King) Donald Holder (lighting), Christine Jones (set) and Murell Horton (costumes). Adam Wernick has composed original music for the drama, which opens July 29.
Still to come at the Festival:
Aug. 12-Sept. 5: An Empty Plate in the Cafe Du Grand Boeuf (A Comic Tragedy in Seven Courses). Michael Hollinger's wacky comedy will be staged by John Rando. It replaces another comedy, A Shot in the Dark. Charles Ludlam's typically wild farce, Secret Lives of the Sexists, follows at the Unicorn, Aug. 12-Sept. 5, opening Aug. 14. Mistaken identities and cross-dressing abound, with such characters as beauty parlor owner Madame Grossfinger and her husband, Phil Landers, causing the chaos. Steven Samuels, who co-produced the show's world premiere at Ridiculous Theatricals back in 1982, directs.
Eva Le Gallienne founded the Berkshire Festival in 1928 with The Cradle Song. The playhouse itself was built by Stanford White, initially as a gentlemen's club. It wasn't until the 1960s that the venue was named the Berkshire Theatre Festival. Among the luminaries appearing there over the years have been Buster Keaton, Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Thornton Wilder, Eli Wallach and Joanne Woodward. Casting has yet to be announced for this season's roster.
-- By David Lefkowitz