Pittsfield’s Colonial Theatre Offers Diverse 2013 Events, from Blues Brothers to Oklahoma!

The Berkshire Theatre Group has posted its schedule for the first half of 2013, and there has to be something there for just about every age group and musical taste.

Of course, being very theatre-oriented, the news of a full production of Oklahoma has sent some theater-goers into ecstasy, some jaded souls on Facebook are already giving it a wide yawn. For those of us who have been fed the small stage and amateur productions of the classic Rogers and Hamerstein musical, it is welcome news that the big stage of the Colonial will soon see the Berkshire Theatre Group’s take on it. With their successful and critically acclaimed Tommy and A Chorus Line productions in 2011 and 2012, Oklahoma may well show us how it should be done. Wile no dates or personnel have yet been announced, it would be my guess that it will be directed by Eric Hill who led the first two productions through their rehearsal periods, and it will open for a 2 week run a few days after the July 4 weekend.


music by Richard Rodgers
book & lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
based on the play “Green Grow the Lilacs” by Lynn Riggs
original dances by Agnes de Mille
at The Colonial Theatre
Dates and Tickets: TBA

Set in the heart of America, where the corn is as high as an elephant’s eye, comes Oklahoma!, one of Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s most cherished musicals. Follow the beloved story of Laurey Williams and her suitors, Curly McLain and Jud Fry; as well as spitfire, Ado Annie and her patient beau, Will Parker. Featuring timeless songs such as “Oh What a Beautiful Mornin,'” “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top,” “I Cain’t Say No,” “People Will Say We’re in Love,” and of course “Oklahoma!” and performed at the iconic Colonial Theatre, this landmark, Pulitzer Prize winning musical will have you saying, “Oklahoma O.K.!”

Kate Maguire and Simon Shaw Look at the Coming Season

Kate Maguire the Artistic Direcor and CEO of Berkshire Theatre Group elaborates on the choices just announced: “We have really striven to provide programming that satisfies a wide variety of tastes, interests and budgets this Spring at The Colonial. We believe that great live performances and entertainment, presented by the most vibrant artists, provides a sense of fun and lifts spirits during challenging times. All of our Spring events will put a smile on your face. We are also excited to announce one of our shows for our summer season. Berkshire Theatre Group will be producing the iconic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma! at The Colonial Theatre in the summer of 2013!”

Programmer Simon Shaw agrees, “Kate and I really wanted to focus on taking into consideration all of our audience members. We think this season has a very wide appeal and maintains our commitment to presenting the finest in performing arts, while also lifting the spirits of our fellow community members.”

Berkshire Theatre Group’s Spring Season is filled with musical artists, comedy, farce, and family-friendly programming. Firstly, up and comers, The David Wax Museum will begin the New Year at the Colonial with their Mexo-Americana folk rock, followed by Power Balladz: The Ultimate ’80s Sing-a-long providing an unparalleled interactive concert experience, then The Official Blues Brothers Revue will bring Jake and Elwood to the Berkshires for a night of comedy and blues, The Popovich Comedy Pet Theater will entertain and inspire animal lovers of all ages, International Guitar Night will present audiences with an evening of internationally acclaimed musicianship, SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody, a perfect girls’ night out, will have audiences rolling in the aisles, The Hit Men will bring to life the timeless music from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, award winning musician Jimmy Sturr will perform the best of Polka music, Joan Rivers will perform an evening full of hilarious and uninhibited stand-up, and finally, Audra McDonald will finish the Spring with a solo concert featuring her incomparable vocals.

After selling out The Colonial Theatre in 2006, Audra McDonald returns with a solo show highlighting her unparalleled voice. McDonald’s record breaking five Tony Awards place her in the illustrious company of Broadway legends Julie Harris and Angela Lansbury as the only performers in Tony history to win five acting awards. She was even featured in the PBS television special A Broadway Celebration: In Performance at the White House, at the request of President Obama and the First Lady. Having appeared in theatre, opera, concert, television and film, McDonald is one of the defining performers of our age. Her classically trained voice and Broadway caliber story telling will make for an unmatched evening of music and entertainment.


The David Wax Museum
at The Colonial Theatre
Friday, January 4 at 8pm
Tickets: A: $18 B: $10

David Wax and Suz Slezak form the artistic core of the David Wax Museum, and together with multi-instrumentalist Greg Glassman, fuse traditional Mexican folk with American roots and indie rock. After having toured with the likes of The Avett Brothers, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and the Old 97s, NPR called their concert at the 2010 Newport Folk Festival a highlight of the entire weekend, and the Museum was invited back to Newport to play the 2011 main stage. Recipients of the Boston Music Awards’ Song of the Year for 2011 and 2012, and named by TIME magazine as one of the top ten acts of 2011’s South by Southwest, David Wax Museum has become one of the hottest new indie bands around.


Power Balladz: The Ultimate ’80s Sing-a-long!
at The Colonial Theatre
Saturday, February 9 at 8pm
Tickets: $25

This rock and roll extravaganza invites you to relive the ’80s soundtrack of your youth! According to Backstage, this interactive concert experience is “For anyone who wants to relive a time when music was loud and the hair was big.” Featuring songs such as “Sister Christian,” “Faithfully,” “November Rain,” “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” and “Dream On.” Get ready to rock on!


The Official Blues Brothers Revue
at The Colonial Theatre
Sunday, February 17 at 7:30pm
Tickets: A: $40 B: $25

The Official Blues Brothers Revue strikes the perfect balance of humor, music and mayhem; featuring Wayne Catania and Kieron Lafferty as Jake and Elwood Blues, musical director Paul Shaffer of Late Show with David Letterman, and an eight piece band as they recreate a live concert experience, integrating the humor and songs from the original film and subsequent albums. Produced by Judy Belushi Pisano and Dan Aykroyd, The Revue pays homage to Chicago’s rich history of blues, soul music and gospel in the true spirit of the original Blues Brothers!


Popovich Comedy Pet Theater
at The Colonial Theatre
Tuesday, February 19 at 2pm
Tickets: $15

The Popovich Comedy Pet Theater is a family-oriented blend of the unique comedy and juggling skills of Moscow Circus member, Gregory Popovich, and the extraordinary talents of his performing pets. Rescued from shelters all over the country, Popovich’s Pets, which include cats, dogs, geese, doves and parrots, are now Las Vegas stars. Popovich and his Pets have been featured on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with David Letterman, and as a finalist on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. Audiences will be delighted to see this extravaganza of European-style clowning, amazing juggling and balancing acts, and of course, extraordinarily talented performing pets!


International Guitar Night
at The Colonial Theatre
Saturday, February 23 at 8pm
Tickets: A: $35 B: $25 C: $15

International Guitar Night is North America’s premier mobile guitar festival, bringing together the world’s foremost acoustic guitarists to perform their latest original compositions and exchange musical ideas in a public concert setting. Each tour features a new cast of guitar luminaries performing solos, duets and quartets. At The Colonial Theatre, founder Brian Gore will be joined by jazz legend Martin Taylor from Scotland with his smooth chord/melody stylings; Solorazaf, a great Madagascar guitarist and singer with a unique rhythmic sense, and Brazil’s renowned singer/songwriter and guitarist Guinga. The unique brand of “guitar positivity” the forum provides has made International Guitar Night the most successful guitar showcase of its kind.


SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody
at The Colonial Theatre
March 14-16 at 8pm
Tickets: A: $47.50 B: $37.50 C: $24.50

SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody is the hilarious unauthorized musical satire that brings the naughty fun of the saucy best-selling book to life in one laugh-filled high-energy show. Enjoy a Spanktini at intermission and after the show, stay for a photo with the handsome devil himself. SPANK! promises a fun night out for adventurous adults with an appreciation for farce at its best. SPANK! is not associated with, nor authorized by, author E.L. James or Vintage Press. Mature audiences only.


The Hit Men
at The Colonial Theatre
Thursday, March 21 at 7:30pm
Tickets: VIP: $44.50 A: $39.50 B: $24.50

A group of amazing performers, superb musicians, superior vocalists, great arrangers and creative composers, The Hit Men are the hitmakers of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s—including original performing members of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons and Tommy James and the Shondells, The Critters, and band-mates who played and performed with Jim Croce, Cat Stevens, Carly Simon and other mega-star acts. Performing hits such as “Oh What a Night,” “Who Loves You,” “Marianne,” “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” “You’re So Vain,” and “You Belong To Me,” these guys are the real performers who traveled all over the world, creating music and memories.


Jimmy Sturr
at The Colonial Theatre
Sunday, April 7 at 2pm
Tickets: VIP: $45 A: $35 B: $25

Often called the King of Polka, Jimmy Sturr, recipient of eighteen Grammy Awards, is the hottest musical attraction in the polka field. No one has done more for polka than this talented man from the little village of Florida, NY. Sturr has performed with the likes of Willie Nelson and Arlo Guthrie, as well as appeared on Fox News, Saturday Night Live and Grand Ole’ Opry’s Backstage. When you see Jimmy Sturr and his Orchestra in person, you know why they draw huge crowds, have been voted #1 in the country and are considered the best in polka music.


Joan Rivers
at The Colonial Theatre
Friday, May 10 at 8pm
Tickets: VIP: $125 A: $100 B: $75 C: $50

A force of nature and one of the hardest-working celebrities in the world, Joan Rivers is an entertainment legend of unparalleled accomplishments. A woman of many talents, Joan is perhaps best known as an internationally renowned comedienne. Joan has also appeared in many movies and television shows including, WEtv’s Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best?—now in its third season, and E!’s Fashion Police. Don’t miss Joan as she performs her uncensored, uninhibited standup comedy for one night only at the Colonial.


Audra McDonald in Concert
at The Colonial Theatre
Saturday, June 15 at 8pm
Tickets: A: $125 B: $95 C: $50

Broadway legend Audra McDonald returns with a solo show to the Colonial stage after winning a record-tying fifth Tony Award® for her unforgettable performance in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess and after four seasons on ABC’s Private Practice. The two-time Grammy® Award-winner will perform an intimate evening of favorite show tunes, classic songs from movies and original pieces written for this extraordinary artist who is at the height of her expressive powers. “Ravishing of voice and Olympian of stature, she’s an overwhelming presence,” (New York Times). She has performed at The Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall and with virtually every major American orchestra. Blessed with a luminous soprano and an incomparable gift for dramatic truth-telling, she is truly a unique force; known for her singing voice, respected for her passion, and celebrated for her distinctive ability to weave a musical portrait that envelops audiences.

For tickets, contact the Colonial Ticket Office at 111 South Street, Pittsfield by calling 413-997-4444. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.berkshiretheatregroup.org. 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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