REVIEW: “The Chalk Garden” at the Ghent Playhouse

by Fred Baumgarten Every generation, it seems, must have its “Chalk Garden.” Major revivals pop up every decade or so like crocuses sprouting in spring. And then there’s the popularity the 1955 Enid Bagnold play enjoys in regional theater, perhaps owing to its meaty dialogue and eccentric characters. Is it any wonder that the Ghent…

REVIEW: “Working: A Musical” at the Berkshire Theatre Group

by Fred Baumgarten At the risk of stating the extremely obvious: it’s 2019. American goods are manufactured in Mexico, Vietnam, and China. Something called “Democratic Socialists” are making a political stir. The wealth gap continues to grow to obscene proportions. I mention this not to start an argument, but because “Working,” the musical adaptation of…

REVIEW: “La Traviata” at Panopera

by Fred Baumgarten Panopera’s presentation of La Traviata at the Academy of Music in Northampton straddled the line between professional quality and amateur production. On the strength of some good singing, sincerity, and charm, let’s call it a win. La Traviata (roughly, “The Fallen One”), arguably Giuseppe Verdi’s most popular opera and certainly his most breezily tuneful, tells…