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Review: Actors are concert pianists too, in PSC's 2 Pianos 4 Hands

Two roles
A good bout of slapstick goes on between tuxedoed pianists Ted (Tom Frey) and Richard (Jeffrey Rockwell) before they finally flip back their tails and get into Bach's Concerto in D Minor :
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  February 09, 2011


Review: Theater Project's Pride and Prejudice stays authentically powerful

Classical strength
Jane Austen's classic 19th-century novel of manners and morals, Pride and Prejudice , has undergone a truly weird range of reinterpretations. But the classics also deserve a little unalloyed love.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  February 01, 2011


Review: Mad Horse takes Albee's The Goat to the edge

There but for the grace of God
Famous architect Martin (James Herrera), his wife Stevie (Christine Louise Marshall), and their gay teenage son Billy (Benedetto Robinson) are a highly and self-consciously cultured family.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  January 27, 2011


Review: Dark nights with The Play About the Baby

Testing love
On the weeknights when The Goat is off and Lucid Stage would otherwise be dark, Mad Horse is doubling everyone's Albee pleasure, if that's quite the right word for what this master playwright's work evinces.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  January 26, 2011


Review: A composer’s jealousy drives Amadeus at NHTP

Sacred bargain
Early in his youth, an Italian named Antonio Salieri (the outstanding Blair Hundertmark) knelt in church, looked up, and saw a certain God: "An old, candle-smoked God with a mulberry robe, staring out at the world with a dealer's eyes."
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  January 19, 2011


Preview: The sweltering, classically elegant Blood Wedding

Lorca's murderous Spaniards visit SPACE
Just about a year ago, an irrepressible new grassroots theater ensemble in Portland surged to the stage with the gloriously unabashed boorishness of Ubu Roi , a gem of French proto-Absurdism.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  January 19, 2011


Review: A Streetcar Named Desire at the Players' Ring

The Williams masterwork, in Portsmouth
Fairly or not, my most immediate association with A Streetcar Named Desire tends to be Brando and his inimitable mournful bellow.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  January 05, 2011

New play based on L-A's Somali experience

Immigrant scenes
Maine's twin cities of Lewiston and Auburn gained national attention in the first few years of this century for its reception of Somali immigrants.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  January 05, 2011


Mad Horse must-see

Plus Blood Wedding, and other big shows of 2010
At the top of my 2011 must-see theater list is the remainder of MAD HORSE 's 25th season, a mouth-watering line-up of provocative scripts by some modern masters of the craft.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  December 29, 2010


Good Theater's marathon production, and other theatre highlights of 2010

August was tops
In my local orbits among both actors and theater-goers, one play of 2010 continues to be regularly hailed in conversation: GOOD THEATER 's momentous production of August: Osage County , a profane and exceptionally funny foray into Middle American generational pathos.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  December 22, 2010


Review: Jewish wit pervades Acorn's latest production

Wry humor
Around this time of year, the vast majority of holiday entertainment — Nutcrackers both Victorian and burlesque; innumerable A Christmas Carols ; even the rogue Sedaris debauchery of The Santaland Diaries — is some sort of riff on a holiday that's at least nominally Christian.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  December 08, 2010


Review: John Cariani's Last Gas premieres at Portland Stage

Pursuit of happiness
It's hard to get anywhere from Township 15, Range 8 — it's vast, empty, and hours from even Bangor.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  November 16, 2010


Review: USM's production of Pinter's Betrayal

Affairs of memory
For years, married literary agent Jerry (Sage R. Landry) has conducted a love affair with Emma (Meredith Lamothe), the wife of his best friend, Robert (Patrick Molloy), a book publisher.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  November 16, 2010


Review: Rolling Die gets Closer

How close is too close?
The relativity of truth is one of the enduring problems of the last half-century, and it is particularly gray and dangerous in Patrick Marber's 1996 drama Closer .
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  November 11, 2010


Review: Ghosts, people, booze flow together in AIRE's The Seafarer

Mixing spirits
When it comes to ghosts and other supernatural catalysts, Halloween's theatrical repertoire is actually rivaled by that of the Yuletide season.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  November 03, 2010


Review: Crushing heartbreak on the American plains

Family bonds
Osage County, Oklahoma is a hot, landlocked span of plains on the border of Kansas.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  October 20, 2010


Review: Summer Blink

Lovemaking, confrontations, and unanswered calls
If autumn and your imminent mid-30s are starting make you feel too sluggish, static, or reasonable, you might consider viewing Summer Blink , a new Seacoast-area movie that limns volatility and sexual curiosity circa age 18.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  October 20, 2010


Review: Mad Horse's new-venue debut with Six Degrees

Not far at all
Last weekend was momentous one for Mad Horse: The theater company launched its 25th season, and welcomed audiences into its much-anticipated new performance space at Lucid Stage.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  October 12, 2010

Acorn opens stripped-down Studio Series

Character study
This autumn Acorn Productions adds another venture to its already myriad theatrical offerings.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  October 13, 2010

Review: Mad Horse's Dark Night series returns

A pleasing menu
For three years now, on the midweek evenings when their main stage show is off and the theater is normally "dark," Mad Horse has staged a whole second batch of theatrical diversions.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  October 13, 2010


Review: Portland Stage's The 39 Steps works the funny bone

Comedy, not suspense
The driving force of Hitchcock's 1939 film The 39 Steps is suspense, as unwitting bachelor Richard Hannay gets caught up in espionage, train escapes, weapons technology, and the future of Europe and the world.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  October 07, 2010

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