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Big starts

2009 was full of newness + energy
I kick off my highlights of 2009 with praise for a theater company that has just finished its inaugural season: The Legacy Theater Company, founded by former City Theater artistic director Steve Burnette.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  December 22, 2009


Holiday shorts

Dark Water's five-piece celebration
I have nothing against A Christmas Carol , but there's a lot of it out there right about now.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  December 16, 2009


Local love

Acorn keeps the spotlight on Maine playwrights
For nearly a decade, Acorn Productions has been staging world-premiere works of playwrights who live right here among us.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  December 09, 2009


Basking in life

Two humans and two lizards, in Albee's Seascape
Nancy and Charlie (Kate Braun and Peter Josephson) have made it to the other side: Their kids are raised, released into the world, and producing their own offspring.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  November 18, 2009


Step right in

USM's spot-on view of '50s angst
Laura Reynolds, the young wife of a schoolmaster at a New England boys' boarding school in the '50s, has been advised about her proper role there: "Interested bystander."
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  November 11, 2009


Spot on

Good Theater’s top-notch Frost/Nixon
After Watergate and an opened China, Nixon’s next most recognized legacy is probably the warning to make sure you know your medium: His infamously sweaty, maladroit television appearance in the Kennedy-Nixon debate was widely perceived to have cost him that year’s presidency.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  November 04, 2009


Soft thrusts

 Players’ Ring’s Master is a tease
Seeking the gore-porn stimulations of mutilations, leather, and fellatio to get your Halloween on? Well, Players’ Ring is offering severed fingers, wanton women with whips, and a very, very demanding master, not to mention a mordant punchline. Rolling Die Productions does it all in the spirit of the early 20th-century French horror spectacles of the Grand Guignol Theater.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  October 28, 2009


Time and tide

Harbor Light bring local records to life
"The tide goes in, and the tide goes out," refrain the players of Lamplight Dialogues: A Nighttime Journey into the Ghost Lives of Puddle Dock . In the show's setting, the nearly 400-year-old city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the literal tide is the force of the mighty tidal Piscataqua River.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  October 21, 2009


Looking deep inside

Jekyll finds the Hyde in all of us
"None of us," says Mr. Utterson, recalling the small group peering into Edward Hyde's dark flat, "wished to go inside."
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  October 21, 2009


To Sir, with love

Mad Horse's Dresser unmasks theater
"Sir, it's time to age," Norman wryly prompts "Sir," an esteemed Shakespearean actor about to play Lear for the 272nd time.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  October 14, 2009

A Dark Night with Mamet and a Mad Horse

Circling the central mystery of The Cryptogram are a camping trip, the provenance of a German pilot's knife, and a young boy's "sleep issues."
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  October 14, 2009


Clever or klepto?

Third examines dogma, preconceptions
A certain branch of modern liberal academia could stand a little likening to Lear, as stubbornly entrenched in its own theories, deconstructions, and Weltanschauungen as it is.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  October 14, 2009


All for jazz

Freeport Players' Side Man dominates the stage
Clifford Glimmer (Paul Menezes) goes into advertising after college, but he got his name -- plus a lot of other blessings and problems -- from jazz.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  September 30, 2009


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


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


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

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