With the release of the 2013 season for the Williamstown Theatre Festival, the buzz for this year’s festival has begun. As always, this year’s festival looks to be a rich soup of fresh faces, veteran talent, and shows both known and anticipated.
June 26, the festival kicks off with a modern production of a Marx Brothers’ classic: Animal Crackers. Music, dancing and screwball comedy combine to engage the audience in a search for a thief.
Another 20th century classic, Pygmalion, runs from July 17 to July 27. George Bernard Shaw’s play is, of course, the one that later became the musical film My Fair Lady. What happens when you take a lower class girl from her flower-selling cart and transform her into a lady? On a bet? To say that extremely witty hilarity ensues would almost belittle what is a smart and truly pointed examination of class.
The Bridges of Madison County is a classic of another kind – a bestselling novel, interpreted for the stage. Love and passion are meant for the stage, and this play delves into these matters, with a woman who must choose whether she will follow her heart. What does the play have that the book does not? Music. The stage allows for the addition of a completely new dimension to a story that has already been enjoyed by millions of readers.
There will be (as always, truly) a number of familiar faces on stage this summer throughout the WTF season: Actors of television, Broadway and film. Heather Lind, who starred on Broadway opposite Al Pacino in “The Merchant of Venice” will appear as Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion. The Animal Crackers’ cast includes “Jonathan Brody, who has appeared on Broadway in ‘Monty Python's Spamalot’ and ‘Titanic,’ as well as the off-Broadway ‘Naked Boys Singing;’ Adams Chanler-Berat, of Broadway's ‘Peter and the Starcatcher;’ Mara Davi, who recently appeared on television's ‘Smash’ and in the movie ‘New Year's Eve;’ and Renée Elise Goldsberry, who has appeared as Olivia Warner on Fox's ‘The Following’ and as Geneva Pine on "The Good Wife," according to the North Adams Transcript.