The Williamstown Theatre Festival isn’t exactly the straw hat circuit — unless you count the likes of Sam Rockwell, Blythe Danner and Bradley Cooper in seasonal mufti during their off hours at the Tunnel City Cafe. Instead, the WTF (don’t think the popularization of those three letters is lost on the marketing folks up there in the Berkshires; they’ve made WTF Is Going On the company mantra) has become a place where first-string Hollywood and New York talent comes to try out new work or shine in classy revivals that frequently end up on Broadway. That was the case with last year’s big tryout, Jason Robert Brown and Marsha Norman’s musical adaptation of The Bridges Of Madison County. In the fall, Cooper will reprise on Broadway the festival revival of The Elephant Man that he led in 2012.
With that in mind, I headed up to see the latest buzz-generating productions, a revival of Sam Shepard‘s killer romance, Fool For Love starring Rockwell and Nina Arianda, and The Visit, a musical adaptation by John Kander, Fred Ebb and Terrence McNally of the play by Friedrich Durrenmatt. (more…)