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Weekend Preview May 19-24
Bob Dylan tributes, Deborah Voigt, Tom Paxton, Bill Kirchen, John Kirk and Trish Miller

Celebrating Bob Dylan's 70th Birthday in Style
Paying tribute to the greatest rock songwriter ever

FILM REVIEW: In a Better World and Of Gods and Men
Review by Seth Rogovoy

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Deborah Voigt Headlines Mahaiwe Gala
Opera star to sing arias, show tunes on Saturday, May 21

Famed Spiritual Teacher to Speak on Nonviolence
Mother Maya in free talk at Sruti Yoga in Great Barrington, Mass., on Friday May 20 at 7pm

Special Effects Wizard to Be Honored by Film Festival
Doug Trumbull to be Feted by BIFF

Weekend Preview May 12-16
Cultural Highlights of the Berkshire Weekend

Talk about a small world
Elaine and I grew up together, but only just recently met....

Berkshire Living to Cease Publication
A Farewell from Publisher Michael Zivyak

twiGs Branches Out
Lenox boutique launches new e-tail site

[MUSIC REVIEW] Avalon Quartet in Close Encounters at Mahaiwe
Review by Seth Rogovoy

[MUSIC REVIEW] Avalon Quartet in Close Encounters at Mahaiwe
Review by Seth Rogovoy

[FILM REVIEW] Bill Cunningham New York
Review by Seth Rogovoy

[FILM REVIEW] Bill Cunningham New York
Review by Seth Rogovoy

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[THEATER REVIEW] Our Town at Hartford Stage


Our Town

Hartford Stage, Hartford, Conn.; 489 seats; $64 top)

A Hartford Stage presentation of a play in three acts by Thornton Wilder. Directed by Gregory Boyd. Sets, Jeff Cowie; costumes, Alejo Vietti; lighting, Rui Rita

Stage Manager - Hal Holbrook
Dr. Gibbs - Ross Bickell
Joe Crowell - Jacob Lombardi
Howie Newsome - Bill Kux
Mrs. Gibbs - Josie de Guzman
Mrs. Webb - Annalee Jefferies
George Gibbs - Donovan Patton
Rebecca Gibbs - Erin S. Courtney
Emily Webb - Ginna Carter
Editor Webb - Frank Converse
Simon Stimson - Noble Shropshire

To kick off its 44th year and 10th for artistic director Michael Wilson, the Hartford Stage opens its season with the perennial crowd favorite Our Town. Here, legendary star Hal Holbrook takes his turn as the Stage Manager, just as Paul Newman did in Westport only a few years back. And while other townspeople ably fulfill their familiar roles as newspaper editor, mother, doctor, daughter, in a mostly by-the-book production, it's Holbrook's night as he provides a tender poignancy and appropriate melancholic note to the sold-out proceedings.

Looking almost as spry and battle-ready as ever, Holbrook, 82, is no doubt approaching the end of his long, varied and illustrious career. This isn't, however, merely a case of trotting out a popular actor in his waning years, but more a case of perfect casting.

Holbrook, who's played the part twice before (at the Long Wharf Theater and for television), has the audience in the palm of his hand from the moment he wanders out onto Jeff Cowies' minimalist stage. One has trouble imagining a more appropriate stage manager -- and that includes Newman.

Capably helmed here by Gregory Boyd with look-sharp period costumes from Alejo Vietti and subtle, evocative lighting by Rui Rita, the rest of the company is more than able as well; it's the play that is a little worse for wear.


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