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Show and Tell and Sing

Shakespeare & Co. marks its 40th with one-person shows and music––during August



Photo by Jake Borden

 On a stone walkway, a young man in city-dark clothing looks into an empty night, and his thoughts are bitter: What a piece of work is a man—how noble in reason, how infinite in faculty … And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?

Hamlet debates with himself on life and death. In another city, an older man with similar thoughts walks at night in “streets that follow like a tedious argument ... to wonder, ‘Do I dare?’

T.S. Eliot’s Alfred J. Prufrock says he is not Hamlet, but his indecision echoes the Dane’s. 

On Saturday, August 12, 2017 Shakespeare & Company brings together the two poets in T.S. Eliot and His Love of Shakespeare. Artistic director Allyn Burrows will perform the one-man show in the words of both poets, with original compositions by violinist Michi Wiancko. Burrows is creating the show with playwright Joan Ackermann as part of a series of one-night performances this month. Shakespeare & Co. actors will celebrate the company’s 40th summer season with “Storytellers and Songwriters”—seven evenings of theater often combined with music. “Many of our veteran actors have one-person shows in their pockets and can roll them out,” Burrows says, and he wants to honor them.

The performances range from screwball to sad and comic to somberly contemporary. In some, the music underscores the text; in others, a performance leads into a concert of folk, jazz, blues, or, for Eliot, contemporary solo strings. 

Eliot is known as the poet of empty cities, hollow men, and bitter spring mornings. His verse aches with understated emptiness: This is how the world ends—not with a bang but a whimper. 

He is also known for the wry comic poems that became  the musical Cats. Like Shakespeare, he can write with humor, beauty, and despair. In his poems, he walks 20th-century city streets with allusions to The Tempest, Othello, and Antony and Cleopatra.

“He said unequivocally that he had as high a respect for Shakespeare as anyone living, no one greater,” Burrows says. “In writing about Hamlet, he must have had a twinkle in the eye—there had to be a sense of irony.”

Eliot wrote a famously controversial critique “Hamlet,” calling it a problem play and claiming Hamlet has no clear motivation. He says creative critics often see themselves in the prince of Denmark—and Eliot himself had his own share of pain and loneliness. 

He was a soft and generous man, but also exacting, Burrows says. His wife became mentally ill. His father cut him off when he married. And he lived through two World Wars. He loved Shakespeare’s play of Roman conquest, Coriolanus. He was keen on the regimentation and the austerity, Burrows says, and attracted to order. 

Burrows’s performance follows a close look at a modern conflict, and a deeply timely one, says company actor Jonathan Epstein. On Friday, August 11, Epstein will reenact David Hare’s Via Dolorosa, a one-man performance drawing on intense moments during Hare’s trip to Tel Aviv, Gaza, and Jerusalem in 1997. In many ways, the tension in Israel and Palestine has not shifted in these 20 years, Epstein says, only deepened across generations. 

Hare talked with politicians on both sides, Palestinian theater people who condemned extremism of any kind, liberal Jews who protested the intransigence of the Israeli right, settlers in the West Bank, an Arab scholar who knew all about the Jewish rituals to re-found the temple with an unblemished heifer.

 Epstein finds the range of perspectives powerful. In Hare’s monologue he plays at least 30 characters. “What’s really important to them is threatened,” he says, “and everybody’s asserting a right of ownership to the land.”

The settlers argue over rights to property based on Biblical claims at least 4,000 years old, and the Israeli novelist David Grossmann tells Hare, “Yes, I want Israelis to have access to the Wailing Wall, but I don’t need to own it, nor do I need to own any of these holy places. It’s new, this idea that you have to own things. It’s new and profoundly un-Jewish.”

These people are fighting for their lives and their homes, and Hare reaches back to Shakespeare as he tries to understand their love and fear. On his trip, he spoke with an Arab actor who performed in a Romeo and Juliet where Arab and Israeli actors played the feuding families—and they felt anger and grief from their own lives as they stood on stage.


The series continues with these performances

Friday, August 18, 2017
Nehassaiu deGannes appears in Door of No Return. She looks closely at New England through various perspectives—a woman enslaved in Rhode Island 300 years ago, a young Columbian man today, an Iraqi-American woman after 9-11, an indentured Wampanoag, and the slave dungeons of Cape Coast.

Saturday, August 19, 2017
Tod Randolph weathers deep loss with In Light of Jane by Joan Ackermann, with a concert by folk singer/songwriter Kris Delmhorst. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017
Elizabeth Aspenlieder brings the comedy Bad Dates with Berkshire blues vocalist Vicky True. 

Friday, August 25, 2017
Tina Packer and Nigel Gore bring Women of Will: Coming Home after an international tour.

Saturday, August 26, 2017
John Hadden performs Travels with a Masked Man with a concert by singer/songwriter Bobby Sweet.

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Cost: Free

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library Stairwell Gallery
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View map »


Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
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More information

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Cost: Free

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View map »


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Cost: Free

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View map »


Website »

More information

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Kent, CT  06757
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Sponsor: RT Facts
Telephone: 860-927-1700
Contact Name: Natalie Randall
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Here’s a holiday idea for the whole family – a private tour of the Peter Parley Schoolhouse! The Ridgefield Historical Society maintains and operates the 1756 Schoolhouse, also called the...

Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

Where:
Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Intersection of West Lane and CT Rte 35
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Sponsor: Ridgefield Historical Society
Telephone: 203-438-5821
Contact Name: Peter Parley Schoolhouse
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We invite families to drop-in and enjoy interactive pop-up activity stations, gallery games, and art projects around the KMA.  Get inspired by Outrageous Ornament: Extreme Jewelry in the 21st...

Cost: Member price: Free Non-Member price: Free with Museum admission

Where:
Katonah Museum
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
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Sponsor: Katonah Museum of Art
Telephone: 914-232-9555
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Calling all fans of Scottish food and Diana Galbaldon’s Outlander series. Don your tartan, make like Jamie’s clan motto and be ready! You’re invited to an amazing Outlander...

Cost: 100.00

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
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Telephone: 860-355-0300
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Friday, Jan. 25 Wilton Library Mini Golf Tourney for Adults, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. The kids had so much fun at last year’s Mini Golf fundraiser, that Wilton Library is holding one for adults only...

Cost: $50 and up

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT  06897
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Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Contact Name: Wilton Library
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Original members of the Billy Joel Band featuring Liberty DeVitto on drums, Richie Cannata on saxophone and Russell Javors on rhythm guitar. The band recorded and toured extensively with Billy Joel...

Cost: $40

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
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Telephone: (203) 438-5795
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Born from humble beginnings in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport, CT The Alpaca Gnomes cut their teeth in the neighborhood bar scene by playing marathon shows filled with originals and a wide...

Cost: $15.00 - $20.00

Where:
Wall Street Theater
71 Wall Street
Norwalk, CT  06850
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Sponsor: Jeanne Moore
Telephone: (203) 831-5004
Contact Name: Jeanne Moore
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Are you a lifelong with a passion for sharing history? Find out about becoming a Museum Docent! Docents are trained volunteer educators who present guided tours and other education programs to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
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Bring the baby and enjoy a lively conversation inspired by the art on view. Enjoy light snacks while socializing with newly-made friends. Crying babies welcome and activities provided for older...

Cost: Member price: Free Non-Member price with Museum admission: Free

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
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Sponsor: Katonah Museum of Art
Telephone: 914-232-9555
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Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Jae Ko: 漂流 Drift,” the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.   In addition to showcasing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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In this key moment in our national history and the struggle for women’s equality and freedom of expression, the Fairfield Museum’s exhibition “Flappers: Fashion and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairfield Museum and History Center
370 Beach Road
Fairfield, CT  06824
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Blending nature and spirituality, Connecticut artist Lori Barker explores the rhythms of life in a new collection of mixed media works on display at the Gunn Memorial Library Stairwell Gallery from...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library Stairwell Gallery
5 Wykeham Rd.
Washington, CT  06793
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Sponsor: Gunn Memorial Library
Telephone: 860-868-7586
Contact Name: Sharon Morrissey

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Winter Guided Hike @ Woodcock Nature Center Saturday January 26th, 10-11:30am, FREE ​ Join Mr. Sam for a hike where we'll investigate whats going on in nature in the winter season and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Woodcock Nature Center
56 Deer Run Road
Wilton, CT  06897
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Sponsor: Woodcock Nature Center
Telephone: (203) 762-7280
Contact Name: Sam Nunes
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The Bruce Museum is organizing an exhibition of small artworks created entirely by the public for the public. We invite art lovers of all ages, interests, and abilities to submit a depiction of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
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Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
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Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Jae Ko: 漂流 Drift,” the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.   In addition to showcasing...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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Saturday, Jan. 26 Mini Golf Family Day in the Stacks at Wilton Library, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Wilton Library will hold its 2nd mini golf fundraising event. There will be food (each paid admission will...

Cost: $5

Where:
Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
Wilton, CT  06897
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Sponsor: Wilton Library
Telephone: 203-762-3950
Contact Name: Wilton Library
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  Touchon transforms verbal language into handsome geometric compilations, to reveal the beauty and musicality of language characterized by warmly colored shapes, interlocking irregular grids and...

Cost: free

Where:
Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
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Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
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Zachary Zaitzeff is a painter living in the Hudson Valley who has incorporated his extensive world travel, including his 2011 summit of Mount Everest, into his artwork. Zachary spent 2018 studying...

Cost: free

Where:
RT Facts Gallery
8 Old Barns Rd
Kent, CT  06757
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Sponsor: RT Facts
Telephone: 860-927-1700
Contact Name: Natalie Randall
Website »

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Here’s a holiday idea for the whole family – a private tour of the Peter Parley Schoolhouse! The Ridgefield Historical Society maintains and operates the 1756 Schoolhouse, also called the...

Cost: Suggested donation $10 for adults, kids are free

Where:
Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Intersection of West Lane and CT Rte 35
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Historical Society
Telephone: 203-438-5821
Contact Name: Peter Parley Schoolhouse
Website »

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Saturday, January 26th from 1:00 - 2:00 PM, Ages 4+ Attend for groovy crafts, snacks, games, and more in celebration of the Pete the Cat book series. This event is free and no registration is...

Cost: Free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
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Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
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Hudson Chorale, the area’s largest mixed voice chorus, is poised to please.  The group will begin its 2019 season with two matinee concerts on Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 3:00 pm and Sunday,...

Cost: Advance Sale-$25; Door-$30; Students-$10.

Where:
The Chapel at Maryknoll
55 Ryder Rd
Ossining, NY  10562
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Sponsor: Hudson Chorale
Telephone: 1-800-838-3006
Contact Name: Anne Norum
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Join us for a very special evening of music from these four accomplished singer songwriters: David Ray, Mike Latini, Dave Goldenberg, George Mallas.  

Cost: 20.00

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
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Telephone: 860-355-0300
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Join us for another incredible evening of music featuring four local singer songwriters performing original music! Doors open at 7pm in New Morning’s handicapped accessible Community Room on the...

Cost: Free

Where:
New Morning Market
129 Main St North
Woodbury, CT  06798
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Sponsor: New Morning Market
Telephone: 203-263-4868
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