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MEGAN GRUMBLING

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Uniquely human

The social underpinnings of A Chorus Line
When A Chorus Line won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1976, America was experiencing what was then the worst economic downturn since the Depression, vibrant women's-lib and gay-rights movements, and such trends in popular psychology as the encounter group.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  June 03, 2009

theater list

History's mysteries

Explore Portland's past with AIRE
Melodrama is a particularly satisfying popular art form for a financial crisis, filled as it is with unambiguous types and tropes — rich ruthless villains, poor but warm-hearted heroes and heroines, music that spiritedly cues our hisses and cheers, and reversals of fortune that reward honest, ordinary people just like us.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  May 27, 2009

richard list

Rise and fall

Naked Shakespeare's Richard II
For years now, the Naked Shakespeare Ensemble has brought its signature fare — stripped-down productions and ravishingly acute attention to the Bard's language — into a slew of non-traditional settings, including the Wine Bar on Wharf Street, SPACE Gallery, and the Sacred and Profane festival.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  May 20, 2009

word images list

Creative play

Words and Images 2009 is less serious, but headier, than in the past
It has now been 40 years since the University of Southern Maine began publication of its literary and arts journal Words and Images .
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  May 06, 2009

Sholl list

Smooth lyricism

Betsy Sholl's Rough Cradle rocks
In "The Sea Itself," Betsy Sholl writes of a No said to the storm tide: "...such a total No , it became a kind of Yes ,/so the world was suddenly everything at once,/solid and shifty, stormy and calm."
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  May 06, 2009

Creek Man finds Harbor Light

Beneath the Surface
Over the last three years, Harbor Light Stage has established an ethos at once quirky and sophisticated, known for unusual locations
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  May 06, 2009



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Rich power

Pontine lushly retells Jewett's stories
The Maine writer Sarah Orne Jewett, born in South Berwick in 1849, memorably focused her work on the ordinary people of rural nineteenth-century Maine.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  April 29, 2009

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Dueling morals

Mad Horse's masterful The History Boys
A battle of pedagogies is raging at an English grammar school for teenage boys.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  April 29, 2009

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True de-Light

Moss Hart and Good Theater send up thespians
It's opening night, and in the leading lady's suite at the Ritz-Carlton, key players are drinking a litany of pre-curtain toasts: Fast-talking financier Sidney Black (Stephen Underwood) blesses his first-ever investment in the theater.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  April 22, 2009

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Farcing facts

Seacoast Rep knows some funny Rumors
The Brocks' posh house in the suburbs of New York is a study in contrasting eras: Its turn-of-the-century architecture is trimmed with gorgeous wood moldings and banister, with austere green and amber stained glass.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  April 15, 2009

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Facing facts

Struggling at the end of a life well lived
The title assumes an evolution of meanings in Trying , an autobiographical drama by Joanna McClelland Glass, based on her experiences with the real-life Judge Biddle.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  April 08, 2009



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All in the timing

Acorn's Maine Playwrights Festival springs eternal
Acorn's Maine Playwrights Festival springs eternal
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  April 01, 2009

Stage blogging

A chat room sex scandal
The main characters of the play Speech and Debate, three Oregon high school misfits, do a lot of their living among the modern technologies of chat rooms, Google, and personal video blogs.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  April 01, 2009

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Just-so stories

Noel Coward's Fallen Angels wait for love
There's plenty of room for neurotic misbehavior in Noel Coward's Fallen Angels .
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  March 25, 2009

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Divine operas

USM shows off two Puccini one-acts
USM shows off two Puccini one-acts
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  March 18, 2009

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Breaking away

Exploring womanhood at Portland Stage
Out of Sterno  is a quirky feminist comedy by Deborah Zoe Laufer, directed by Casey Stangl for Portland Stage Company.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  March 11, 2009



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Review: The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet

In this Verona, small children dwell
For young love, kiss, and star-cross, you're hard-pressed to get/more quintessence than Romeo and Juliet...
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  March 04, 2009

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City of Angels at Lyric Music Theater

Parallel lives: See both in City of Angels at Lyric Music Theater
It's 1940s Hollywood, and we swerve between Stine's reality and Stone's parallel one, in City of Angels , a musical comedy-cum-musical noir , directed by Mary Meserve for South Portland's Lyric Music Theater.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  February 25, 2009

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Super-curious

A conversation with a Nobel-winning polymath: QED
A conversation with a Nobel-winning polymath: QED
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  February 11, 2009

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Norse myths

Creating Peer Gynt at PSC
A troll, according to folklore, can conceive by lust alone. That's one presumptuous genesis, and one that Peer Gynt learns the hard way.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  February 04, 2009

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Friends, Romans...

...Courtesans? Funny Thing, that
Colorful archetypes abound in this super-stratified society of ancient Rome.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  January 28, 2009


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