, Joe Calarco, Writer/Director, SSDC

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The Burnt Part Boys
book by Marianna Elder, music by Chris Miller
lyrics by Nathan Tysen


Barrington Stage Company, Pittsfield, MA



Photos from The Burnt Part Boys

photography: Kevin Sprague

Cast: Daniel Zaitchik, Charlie Brady, Rob Krecklow, Brandon Ellis, Katherine McClain, Halle Petro, and Tim Ewing

 click thumbnail for full-sized photo

Charlie Brady 
Halle Petro and Charlie Brady 


"A new tuner that spotlights fresh talent in a production that embraces the theatrical imagination, the no-frills production not only focuses on the material, it empowers it. Joe Calarco drives the production with energy, speed and the simplest of props and staging to create a rich theatrical experience. With rolling ladders, wooden chairs and Brian Prather's wonderfully claustrophobic, environmental set, Calarco creates a production that focuses on the characters and the coming-of-age story."

"The Burnt Part Boys gives hope that the American musical is not dead yet. Joe Calarco's direction is exceptional. Spare and simple, it leaves much to the imagination and that is the most effective stagecraft of all."
The Associated Press

"Audiences should feel lucky to be in on the creation of something bright, heartfelt, and new. From the first plaintive chant of the lost miners singing to the sky they will never see again, to the last triumphant echo of that song by their children, The Burnt Part Boys takes us through deep sorrows and high hopes and leaves us glad to have made the trip."
The Boston Globe

"A simple, heartfelt plot, driven by a lovely score. Director Joe Calarco creates some stunning visual imagery with minimal stagecraft. Calarco has assembled a first-rate cast.
The music evokes both the natural beauty of the setting, and the anguish and anticipation of young people on the verge of adulthood."
The Boston Herald

"Bring tissues… A rich, moving story that could be torn from any number of tragic headlines, told through beautifully crafted characterizations, and with directorial imagination and resourcefulness. A stand-up ovation for Joe Calarco. He makes do with some ladders on wheels, chairs and ropes to suggest the lush but tricky mountain terrain. With the help of set designer Brian Prather and Chris Lee's mood-appropriate lighting, Calarco has turned the basement auditorium of the Pittsfield public library into another world. It's a world well worth visiting by anyone who cares about innovative theater."
Curtain Up

"Directed with tremendous clarity and imagination by Joe Calarco. Male audience members struggled to hide tears. Clearly, the collaborators have struck a chord here."
The Pittsfield Gazette

"4 Stars. Under the inventive direction of Joe Calarco, The Burnt Part Boys is strong and deeply satisfying. Oh, how wonderful it is to be moved by musical theater again…"
Talking Broadway

"Powerful, surging melodies and robust singing are but two of the diverse elements that rivet one to every moment of this adventurous work. Joe Calarco directs with imagination and constant vigor. Entertaining throughout, The Burnt Part Boys is strikingly original and often does the unexpected, as when it touches one with a sense of communal sharing and teamwork that begets a new family and restores that sort of faith in humanity that one thought went out of fashion with Thornton Wilder, or William Saroyan."
The Advocate

"It is a special sort of evening… It takes you to places you don't usually go in a musical and it takes you home again."
Berkshires in Focus


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