Colonial needs better choices

Colonial needs better choices

There are 8 comments on the Berkshire Eagle story from Mar 3, 2009, titled Colonial needs better choices. In it, Berkshire Eagle reports that:

Thanks to Nancy Fremont for her letter on Feb. 13 on the Colonial Theatre's need for better programming.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Berkshire Eagle.

“Everything is local”

Since: Apr 08

Great Barrington, MA

#1 Mar 3, 2009
Robin Hood would be a fun event for all ages.
From the Center

United States

#2 Mar 3, 2009
Well, I have been...twice. But I agree with both letter writers: The choices are abysmal.

I went to the Berkshire Opera (two seasons ago) and then to the Ballet Folkorico de Mexico. Both were very good.

For the latter I had two tickets that I had bought at a charity silent auction, only to find out they were limited to just a few performances and the choices were not something I would have paid $110 to see. It was a charitable contribution, of course...but folk music and two Jewish women making tired jokes do not good theater make!

I had to PLEAD with the manager of the theater (forgot his name) to let me see something not aimed at children and the musical-loving crowd that is happy to sit and listen to 50's style "life is good" sing alongs. I love New York theater but it is rarely a musical that I choose! I've probably seen dozens over the years but what I remember are the dramatic theater productions or quirky one man shows (Sandra Bernhardt was delicious).

So, if anyone is paying attention, please start putting on some better programming. B-grade regional musical artists don't cut it. Hey, I'd be happy with "main stream" musical acts that tour small theaters...I heard the B-52's are touring again and I'm not above that kind of fun music, if only every now and then.

There is so much to offer. Early on they seemed to have eclectic international music, dance and some theater. Now it is humming and strumming the likes of which we can get from WAMC's "the Linda" (that poor donor must cringe at how they honor her) and childrens programming.

Maybe I'm missing something....I do get weekly emails from them but stopped reading.

“Everything is local”

Since: Apr 08

Great Barrington, MA

#3 Mar 3, 2009
Old movies would be a nice idea. I brought it up before, but what the heck.

Imagine Gone With The Wind on a big screen, the way it was meant to be seen, or on Easter, The Wizard Of Oz. Bridge Over The River Kwai, Silverado, or any western for that matter would be fun on a big screen. When I was a kid one of the downtown theatres had old family movies on holidays, my father took us to see Captains Courageous, with Spencer Tracy, the place was packed and we all had a great time. Old horror movies on and around Halloween, like the House of Wax in 3D.
empty shell

Springfield, MA

#4 Mar 4, 2009
the director gets $80,000 per anum and perks. probably for a very short work week..don't get your hopes up as this white elephant was not created for the visitor but for the spin off dollars to its benefactors, politically connected contractors etc.

if some of Obamas stimulus money can be directed at it I am sure it will be. Otherwise your taxes are going up to keep it propped up
From the Center

United States

#5 Mar 4, 2009
empty shell wrote:
the director gets $80,000 per anum and perks. probably for a very short work week..don't get your hopes up as this white elephant was not created for the visitor but for the spin off dollars to its benefactors, politically connected contractors etc.
if some of Obamas stimulus money can be directed at it I am sure it will be. Otherwise your taxes are going up to keep it propped up
Do you mean he should be paid more? I don't get where that is an exorbitant salary, as I'm sure you were implying.

I'd support a director making more, if it was someone that could bring in better programming. But then I'm not on the board so who am I to say how they spend their money.

this is about programming choice, not the mediocre salaries of people running small regional theaters.
House of Pits

Easthampton, MA

#6 Mar 4, 2009
Programming? C'mon, get real -- the Colonial is a bottomless money pit, and will not survive as a programming org past 2010. By 2015 it will have begun the slow but steady reversion to rat house and roach motel. Our very own Bridge to Nowhere. Long live the Gilded Age.... what a sad joke.
Mike

Pittsfield, MA

#7 Mar 4, 2009
Just for comparison, look at what Infinity Hall, a small venue in a small town in Northern Connecticut has on their calendar. If those artists are willing to play in a town like Norfolk, just 20 miles south of Great Barrington, you'd think they'd be open to a gig in Pittsfield as well. Hearing Judy Collins, The Nields, or John Gorka at the Colonial would be very nice indeed. Their link is www.infinityhall.com
From the Center

United States

#8 Mar 5, 2009
Mike wrote:
Just for comparison, look at what Infinity Hall, a small venue in a small town in Northern Connecticut has on their calendar. If those artists are willing to play in a town like Norfolk, just 20 miles south of Great Barrington, you'd think they'd be open to a gig in Pittsfield as well. Hearing Judy Collins, The Nields, or John Gorka at the Colonial would be very nice indeed. Their link is www.infinityhall.com
Good point. I think the issue is the people at the Colonial creating the schedule are either locals that don't know there is a whole other world past Pittsfield or people that think we are all locals who don't know about the world so they schedule stupid stuff.

Of course, what goes around comes around. I really, really wanted to see one of the ancient music groups they schedule early on. Not too many people went, I was out of town, so maybe we shot ourselves in the foot.

Norfolk has a long standing tradtion, going back a few hundred years, of being a highly intellectual community that hosts the arts in the summer. The homes from the 18th through late 19th century there rival some of the wealthiest old seaports or resort communities.

Anyone in the arts would immediately recognize it as a safe place to go have a receptive audience. Pittsfield? I don't think so.

I'm just saying it might not be as easy as we all think, but they really should be able to attract better artists. I doubt they are trying at all.

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