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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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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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