On the lighter side come two British farces — Noel Coward’s Private Lives, at Portland Players (March 21-April 6) and Oscar Wilde’s A Woman of No Importance, at Monmouth (summer, in rep) — plus a deluge of musicals: Maine State Music Theater brings us The Buddy Holly Story (June 4-21), Chamberlain: A Civil War Romance (June 25-July 12), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (July 16-August 2), and Footloose (August 6-23). At Lyric Music Theater, we’ll have Into the Woods (February 14- March 1) and Young Frankenstein (April 18-March 5), while the Ogunquit Playhouse stages Grease, Billy Elliot, Mary Poppins, and The Witches of Eastwick (dates TBA). Finally, Biddeford’s City Theater will present Gunmetal Blues (January 24-February 2), a noir spoof, and the ever-warming The Full Monty (July 11-27).
Next, some goodies for the young-at-heart: Mayo Street Arts will host a trippy new marionette version of Alice in Wonderland (in three parts, March 7-22), while the New Hampshire Theatre Project stages a new adaptation of The Little Prince called Finding the Little Prince (January 10-26).
Three festivals will return in 2014: Acorn Productions’ thirteenth annual Maine Playwrights Festival (April 21-May 4), the third annual PortFringe Festival (June 24-29), and NHTP’s Intelligent Theatre Festival (March 21-30).
Finally, two out-of-the-ordinary shows: Stephen Underwood stages his multi-media one-man Underwaterguy, about deep-sea diving; and Bess Welden goes interactive with her one-woman self-acceptance show Big Mouth Thunder Thighs at Mad Horse, facilitating audience workshops on “the inner critic.”
Meanwhile, this outer critic wishes a terrific new year to all.