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Campy send-up

Irma Vep mocks show biz
The Mystery of Irma Vep . Portland Stage Company's excellent, giddy production, directed by Christopher Grabowski, stars Tom Ford (who portrayed some dozens of characters in PSC's superlative I Am My Own Wife ) and Steven Strafford.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  February 03, 2010


Ordinary people

Pontine's latest Jewett adaptation
Born and raised in South Berwick, the writer Sarah Orne Jewett spent her life noticing the lives of ordinary Maine people. Her esteemed 1896 The Country of the Pointed Firs is a series of wise, gentle sketches of the aging folks of several small maritime villages.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  February 03, 2010


Finding her voice

An ex-con, a village, an opera
"There is a balm in Gilead," an old African-American spiritual has it, and sure enough, Percy Talbott (Kelly Caufield) finds that balm.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  January 27, 2010


Hedonism at its best

Absurdist mirth and wonder in Ubu Roi
In 1888, a 15-year-old French kid and a couple of his buddies wrote a script, modeling its gross and laughable anti-hero on a school teacher whom they had it in for.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  January 27, 2010


Open lines

What if the dead could talk?
In our hyper-connected day and age, a woman laments in Dead Man's Cell Phone , there exist only three sanctuaries from the ringing: the theater, the church, and the toilet — and even these havens are ring-less only in principle.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  January 20, 2010


Greater Tuna in the Texas two-step

Greater Tuna parodies the Lone Star State
Our first introductions to Tuna come over the airwaves on the Wheelis Struvis Report , as hosts Wheelis (Barrasso) and Struvis (Donovan) announce the winning student-essay contest entry ("Human Rights: Why Bother?") and weatherman Harold Dean (Donovan) forecasts the weather (rain, dust, and locusts).
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  January 13, 2010


Food on stage

Locavores + thespians = understanding
Maine is home to a nationally renowned locavore culinary scene, the oldest organic farming association in the nation (MOFGA), and a plenitude of farms that has increased by nearly 1000 in the past five years — and yet economic pressure to develop acreage remains.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  January 06, 2010


Into new worlds

Theatrical journeys for the year ahead
The New Year opens with a duo of two-man, many-character comedies.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  December 30, 2009


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

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