Barrington Stage Company (BSC), the award-winning theatre in Downtown Pittsfield, MA, under the leadership of Artistic Director Julianne Boyd and Managing Director Tristan Wilson, presents the Berkshire premiere of Sharr White’s The Other Place, starring Emmy Award-winner and Golden Globe nominee Marg Helgenberger.
Directed by BSC Associate Artist Christopher Innvar, The Other Place runs from May 21 through June 14 on the St. Germain Stage. Making their BSC debuts opposite Marg Helgenberger are Katya Campbell (Woman), Adam Donshik (Man), and Brent Langdon (Ian).
In The Other Place, Juliana Smithton (Helgenberger) is a successful neurologist whose life seems to be coming unhinged. Her husband has filed for divorce, her daughter has eloped with a much older man, and her own health is in jeopardy. But in this brilliantly crafted work, nothing is as it seems. Piece by piece, a mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, past collides with present, and the elusive truth about Juliana boils to the surface.
The Other Place has scenic design by Brian Prather, costume design by Krissy Sneshkoff, lighting design by Scott Pinkney, and original music and sound design by Anthony Mattana. Michael Andrew Rodgers is production stage manager.
Currently featured in the new CBS TV series, Intelligence, Marg Helgenberger is best known for her role as Catherine Willows in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. She won an Emmy for her break-out role of K.C., a hard-bitten prostitute who catered to Vietnam War soldiers, in the series China Beach. She also was George Clooney’s love interest in a multi-episode arc of the TV series ER. Marg starred as Patsy Ramsey in the highly rated CBS miniseries, Perfect Murder, Perfect Town based on the best-selling book about the unsolved murder of Jon Benet Ramsey. She played opposite Julia Roberts as a chemical exposure victim in the award-winning movie Erin Brockovich, and has also appeared in Tootsie, Steven Spielberg’s Always,Species, and In Good Company.
The Other Place will be presented at the St. Germain Stage at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield. Performances of The Other Place are Tuesday-Saturday at 7:30pm, Saturday at 4pm (excluding May 24), and Sunday at 3pm. There will be an additional matinee Thursday, June 12 at 4pm. Press Opening: Sunday, May 25 at 3pm. Tickets start at $40. Low priced previews May 21 and May 22 are $15. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Barrington Stage Box Office at 413-236-8888 or visit www.barringtonstageco.org. The Box Office is located at 30 Union Street, Pittsfield.
In anticipation of the broadcast premiere of Intelligence on Australian television this week, the Sydney Morning Herald interviewed Marg. I’m not posting the entire article because the writer is too focused on Intelligence being on the bubble for renewal and I have no interest in perpetuating rumors. Marg, however, makes many valid and relevant observations so I’ve pulled her responses and pasted them below.
Marg on how she would feel if Intelligence were not renewed:
“I’ll be disappointed but I won’t be devastated,” she says. “I have had a few TV shows, and I had one that will probably go down in history as the most successful TV show of all time – certainly one of the top five. I would really love for this show to be picked up. I had a wonderful time working with everyone, it was a wonderful group of actors, and I love (writer) Michael Seitzman.”
When she talks about the most successful TV show of all time, she means CSI, where she played investigator Catherine Willows for 12 years. When she talks about her latest series, she means Intelligence, about a Jason Bourne-style agent implanted with a chip that lets him access the communications systems of the world. It has just completed a run of 13 episodes in the US and Channel Seven is launching it here on Wednesday – just in time for the announcement from the CBS network on whether it will be renewed for another season.
Most US media pundits expect the worst, because ratings were not impressive. Helgenberger blames that on the timeslot – 10pm on a Monday. “We need a different night,” she says. “There’s four comedies leading into Intelligence, and they are completely different audiences. It is smartly written and you kind of have to pay attention. At 10 o’clock at night a lot of people are shutting their brains down.”
Helgenberger would love the opportunity to develop her character Lillian Strand, head of an organisation called Cyber Command, which built the six billion dollar Bourne. When I remark that Lillian seemed “uptight” in the first episode, Helgenberger leaps to her defence: “I wouldn’t describe her as uptight. I am trying to put out fires all throughout the globe. This is an experimental piece of technology that we’re working with, worth a lot of money and a lot of governmental oversight. A lot of people are waiting for me to fall and second-guessing my decisions, so I have to be pretty firm in the way I come off with my colleagues.”
Helgenberger says viewers love to see her playing a strong woman, and she’s proud of the two hashtags she’s been given: “Margincharge” and “BAMF” (which she would like Australians to know is an Americanism for “Bad Ass Mother F—er”). But now she wants to give Lillian a softer side.
“We’re yet to see a love life, although I purposely wore a wedding ring in the pilot episode and I never took it off,” she says. What sort of husband might Lillian have? “I’m hoping he’s a really nice supportive husband, that’s my desire, because I think the job she has is tough and she goes home and she has somebody there that gives her emotional support and brings out her sense of humour, her girlish side, and allows her to relax.”
So which of her two best-known characters – CSI’s Catherine or Intelligence’s Lillian – is more like the real Marg Helgenberger? “Oh probably Catherine.” Then she adds: “She used to be an exotic dancer.”
Intelligence starts on Seven at 9pm on Wednesday.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Before I jump into my recap and review of the Intelligence season one finale, I just want to take a moment and say a huge thank you to everyone involved with Intelligence, but especially to those who are active on social media: Michael Seitzman, PJ Byrne, Michael Rady, Aaron Ginsburg, John Dixon, Lance Reddick, Tomas Arana, Faye Kingslee, Octvavius J. Johnson, and last but most certainly not least, my favorite leading lady, Marg Helgenberger. The social media tie-in, the sharing of behind-the-scenes photos and script pages, and the interaction with the fans through live tweets really enhanced my viewing experience — it’s, by far, the most fun I have ever had watching a television series. Thank you so much for all of your efforts. And now on to the recap…
If you’ve come to expect heart pounding action and plot twists galore, you will not be disappointed with the Intelligence Season 1 finale. “Being Human” delivers a full order of both as Lillian and her team set out to clear Gabriel’s name by finding who is really responsible for the murders that he has been framed for.
Part 2 picks up immediately where we left off last week — with Gabriel, Riley, and Mei Chen fleeing from their would-be assassin. They have no idea who they can trust at this point so they’re trying to stay off the grid, but at the same time, they also know Gabriel needs medical attention. Gabriel knows one person he can definitely trust and directs Riley to drive to his mother’s house. Mary Vaughn, played by the fabulous Debra Mooney, is a retired Army field nurse who is full of spitfire and vinegar and knows her way around an operating room. As Mary and Riley prep Gabriel for surgery, he loses consciousness and Mei Chen seizes the opportunity to get into Gabriel’s head and cyber-render with him.
Mei Chen has decided that she needs to educate Gabriel about the truth, specifically the truth about the people he works for. In their cyber-render, she tells Gabriel that a potential candidate for the Presidency, Governor Christy Cameron, is being targeted for assassination. According to Mei Chen, the conspirators are the same people who hired her to kill those men and frame Gabriel and who then tried to murder both Gabriel and Mei Chen. She knows that they are U.S. government employees but says she doesn’t know specifically who because whoever it is has been very careful. After telling Gabriel she doesn’t care if he believes her or not, Mei Chen exits both the render and Mary Vaughn’s house.
Back at CyberCom, while trading barbs about who is responsible for what happened at the park, Lillian and Jeff Tetazoo brief the Director of National Intelligence Adam Weatherly about the attempt on Gabriel’s life and the fact that he is now on the run with both Riley and Mei Chen. Tetazoo vows that he will find them and reiterates to the CyberCom staff that they are to find and bring in Gabriel, Riley, and Mei Chen dead or alive. Lillian questions the logic of Tetazoo’s orders, especially now that they know there’s an unknown shooter out there who could prove Gabriel’s innocence. She says that we shouldn’t be killing our own people and looks to Weatherly for support. To her dismay, Weatherly sides with Tetazoo and says that Gabriel is a threat due to those vulnerabilities in the chip that were documented by Dr. Cassidy. They all must be brought down.
While recovering from surgery, Gabriel asks Riley if she thinks one of their own is behind the shooting. They immediately rule out Lillian but say they wouldn’t put it past Tetazoo. As they discuss the possibilities Mama Vaughn points out the obvious — that someone should warn Governor Cameron that her life may be in danger. Riley’s ex, played by Michael Trucco, is in charge of Governor Cameron’s security detail and Riley convinces him to give her an audience with the Governor.
Lillian convenes a second secret meeting with Jameson, Nelson, and Dr. Cassidy to relay to them everything she knows about ‘The Flood’, an Iranian program designed to recruit high ranking U.S. Government officials and turn them into sleeper agents for Iran. Lillian shares her belief that Colonel Hatcher discovered the identity of one or more of these sleeper agents and was turning their names over to the FBI when he and the FBI Deputy Director were murdered. Dr. Cassidy pieces together that they then framed Gabriel to get him out of the way because they knew that Gabriel and the chip would be the best way to find and stop the sleeper agents. The team concludes that Gabriel and Riley’s lives depend on them finding out the identities of the sleeper agents and to do that, they first need to find Gabriel and Riley. Jameson thinks this will be nearly impossible considering that since he wiped Gabriel’s hacking of the minivan computer off the grid, the entire Intelligence apparatus has been tracking Gabriel with no success. Nelson reminds them that Gabriel needs medical assistance and Dr. Cassidy and Lillian remember that Gabriel’s mom is a former Army nurse. They surmise that Gabriel very likely would have sought her help.
Lillian and her team, however, aren’t the only ones who come to this conclusion. The assassin also figures it out and before Riley returns from the governor’s office, makes another attempt on Gabriel’s life. With a little help from Mom in the form of a can of hairspray and a ‘cannon’ of a gun that she keeps in her nightstand, Gabriel takes out the assailant and using facial recognition technology, he identifies the man as Thomas Olivier.
Here’s a PSA for the Artists & Athletes Alliance in which Marg and her former CSI costar Jorja Fox appear to answer the question “What’s your cause?” Marg’s cause is the Race to Erase MS.
Summary from the Artists & Athletes Alliance YouTube Channel:
“The Artists & Athletes Alliance recently gathered a number of our advisory board members as participants in a new campaign we are calling the “What’s Your Cause? Campaign.” We filmed public service announcements (PSAs) highlighting our members’ favorite causes, charities and foundations. The purpose of our campaign is to showcase a variety of important organizations that occupy the non-profit space and encourages all people to get get involved and support a cause that interests them. What’s Your Cause? | Make a Difference. Support a Cause.”