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MEGAN GRUMBLING

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THEATER_littledog_list

Hollywood heels

A dream cast in Good Theater's Little Dog
The exquisitely jaded Diane (Denise Poirier) describes her world as one in which Cobb salads are special-ordered with the intricacy and significance of Buddhist mandalas.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  September 23, 2009

10th_theater-good_list

Catharsis + rebirth

Portland theater's losses and gains since 1999
My own backward gaze over the last decade of local theater only takes in the second half of it, so I've consulted a few veterans.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  September 16, 2009

FALL09_theater-good_list

Mixin' it up

Fall's theater shows cover serious ground
First on my dance card this fall is the Good Theater's The Little Dog Laughed (September 17-October 11), a scathing comedy about Hollywood, a closeted actor's indiscretions with a hustler, and his agent's desperate clean-up duties.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  September 16, 2009

lesbos list

Lesbians unite

Reclaiming the state's history and image
For centuries, sundry artists have extolled Maine as a locale for all sort of idylls and creations. This weekend, a series of plays will limn our state's romanticism with seductive specificity: as a setting for imaginative and sensual women loving women.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  August 26, 2009

drowsy list

Musical power

MSMT's lively Drowsy Chaperone
The Man in the Chair (Charles Abbott) is a man of a certain age who wears both a sweater vest and a cardigan, feels pangs of a "non-specific sadness," and harbors an abiding nostalgia for the musical theater of yesteryear.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  August 19, 2009

mid list

A smooth course

Fenix's breathtaking Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream is arguably the Bard's sultriest, silliest, and most gossamer comedy. As such, of course, it is also among the most oft-produced al fresco summer offerings in the whole canon.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  August 12, 2009



hamlet list

A Danish punk

The Theater at Monmouth's Hamlet
The sad mad Danish prince is probably the most oft-quoted tragic hero in the English language, but he's a lot more than that. He is also, as I was reminded recently by a theater companion encountering him for the first time, pretty exasperating to be around, as well as "kind of a punk."
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  August 05, 2009

shakespeare list

Gilded stage

Monmouth shifts time with Twelfth Night
In the Theater at Monmouth's Twelfth Night , the Bard's gender-bending foibles play out in a proscenium within a proscenium — or, more strictly speaking, a sound stage within a proscenium:
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  July 29, 2009

09027_theater-list

Comic thunder

The Theater Project visits Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is a great, looming presence in David Lindsay-Abaire's Wonder of the World , and the Theater Project delivers it, in the powerful white-noise rush of its crash, in ethereal shifting mists and haunting glacial-blue light, and in a rise of four tiered platforms hung with translucent, back-lit fringe.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  July 22, 2009

chicago list

On the jazz

Legacy's Chicago dazzles
The fluid line between repulsion and fascination is a quintessentially American seduction — think of P.T. Barnum's creepy chimerical "creatures," of Lizzie Borden, of a certain rogue hate-monger up in the Great White North. Perhaps because of the nation's Puritan underpinnings, moral disgust holds a particular allure, prompting that guilty-pleasurable urge to rubberneck.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  July 15, 2009

godspell list

Cirque du Dieu

Arundel Barn's Godspell
Charisma, daring, showmanship, whimsy — these are just a few of the character qualities expected under any given Big Top. But they might be just as at home in the discovery and passing on of religious ideas, as a teacher delivers and seekers explore the possible tenets of spirituality.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  July 01, 2009



biz list

Profit secrets

Seacoast Rep has the keys to Business success
Considering the current climate of our feelings toward big business, it's kind of a relief to revert from the present to a bygone era, and from dreary reality to colorful stylizations. In Seacoast Repertory's How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying , the clock spins back to 1959.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  June 24, 2009

light list

Dark secrets

Hidden by The Light in the Piazza
Even the quotidian is lyrical here among Roman columns, lush sunsets, and the bare contours of ancient heroes. In this Florence of 1953, daily life is filled with flowers, fedoras, and waiters transporting girls on beautiful bicycles.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  June 17, 2009

shrew list

Snapping towels

Fenix's Taming of the Shrew gets wet
Through the rest of June, a classic battle of the sexes will be waged at the wading pool of Deering Oaks Park. The Fenix Theatre Co., Portland's premier purveyor of outdoor Shakespeare for the summer, stages a smart, wet, and aggressive Taming of the Shrew as its first summer show.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  June 17, 2009

bard list

More Bard, please

Lots of Shakespeare for summertime
The sultry season is soon upon us, and as always, it will bring area theater-goers such dependable balms as Shakespeare (both in and out of the park), classic musicals, and giddy misbehavior of various sorts. Between that manna and a few original productions, written and performed by local artists, we've got a rich season line-up.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  June 10, 2009

chorus list

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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