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MSMT’s fabulous New York, in 42nd Street

A glorious homage
You know how this story goes: Lovely, ambitious, and impossibly nice tap-dancing ingénue arrives in Depression-era New York City to make it on Broadway, and — by a mingling of pluck, luck, and looks — she gets herself cast as a chorus girl.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  August 22, 2012


Doing the Time Warp at Arundel Barn

Absolute pleasure
The Arundel Barn Playhouse has given its production of The Rocky Horror Show a "PG-14" rating, and attendees are asked by artistic director Adrienne Grant (in both a pre-show speech and a detailed online document that is itself a work of art) to observe a few niceties.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  August 15, 2012


Carson Kressley in Damn Yankees

The Devil went down to Ogunquit
This year marks the Ogunquit Playhouse's 80th season of breezily sophisticated, classic American musical entertainment.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  August 08, 2012


Monmouth’s Henry IV is stunning

No Shallow Hal
Shakespeare's Henry IV is considered one of his "histories," as it enacts actual acts and battles of the British king who deposed Richard II.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  August 01, 2012


Fenix Theatre face the challenges of the Scottish play

They dare do all
Theater's al fresco season is upon us, and once again the Fenix Theatre Company regales us with a Shakespeare classic as we nestle against a hillside in Deering Oaks Park.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  July 25, 2012


Molière than thou

The master of mockery at Monmouth
Religious hypocrisy has been one of the lowest-hanging fruits for satire in the last few years: Think of those fervid denouncers of homosexual acts, like New Life Church pastor Ted Haggard, who were discovered to be clandestinely engaging in those very acts (in Haggard's case, with a hired masseur and under the influence of crystal meth).
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  July 18, 2012


The world of Aquitania is a pleasure

The play within the play
The stirrling billing for the original play Aquitania is "Alice in Wonderland meets Magritte."
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  July 11, 2012


Notes from the Fringe

Three shows not to miss
As you read these very words, the great Portland Fringe 2012 is already up and running. Herein we highlight three of the Fringe's more beguilingly strange offerings.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  June 27, 2012


Portland’s Fringes are full of energy

Living on the edge
Starting Tuesday, Portland will be briefly and absolutely awash in new, experimental, and edgy works of theater — more than 60(!) shows to be staged in a little under a week.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  June 20, 2012


Monologue peels the screen back for a look at the core of Apple

Under the smooth exterior
The narrator of Mike Daisey's one-man show has long had a worshipful relationship with Apple electronics.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  June 20, 2012


A Chorus Line explores the many, and the one

E pluribus, unum
The ensemble dancers in a big Broadway musical are meant to function like one seamless, glittering organism, with no one dancer drawing attention from the others or from (perish the thought) the stars.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  June 13, 2012


Alternatives, and standbys, for summer

Life on the Fringe
The big theater buzz this summer is of course is the Fringe, which actually comprises two overlapping programs from June 26 to July 1.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  June 06, 2012


A friendly take on fear

Stage Presence
The theologian John Calvin (Peter Brown) trudges about the set of Keith Reddin's Life During Wartime , spreading his cheery take on the human condition: "All human works are nothing but filth and defilement."
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  June 06, 2012


Wit at the Players’ Ring honors life and death

For whom the bell tolls
An array of disciplines have taken on the puzzle of life and death.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  May 23, 2012


A cautionary tale from 18th-century France

Honoring the masses
Though there's no hard evidence that Marie Antoinette actually uttered "Let them eat cake," she remains a larger-than-life symbol of ruling-class decadence and a culture of gaping wealth disparity.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  May 16, 2012


Play: Beware what lies beneath

Disaster Preparation
The US Bureau of Land Management estimates that 90 percent of existing natural-gas wells in this country use hydraulic fracturing techniques — commonly known as "fracking" — that inject pressurized water and toxic chemicals into the ground.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  May 09, 2012


Circle Mirror transcends theater

Beyond the wall
"Are we going to do any real acting?" complains the one teenager enrolled in a small Vermont community center's drama class.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  May 09, 2012


The Originals explore the soul of America

Go West, young woman
"I savor the boundlessness of it all," exalts life-loving Macon (Sally Wood) to timid Bess (Jennifer Porter), under the vertiginously open sky of 1860s Wyoming Territory.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  May 02, 2012


Acorn performs ten plays by Maine writers

Ups and downs in new works
This year, the ten short plays of Acorn Productions' 11th Annual Maine Playwrights Festival, chosen from more than 50 submitted to this year's open call, tends toward the dark: it includes specters of AIDS, the economic downturn, child abuse, and death by wild animals.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  April 27, 2012


Freeport Factory gives Holiday her due

Meeting Billie
With its low lighting, cocktail tables, scarlet-draped piano, and old-timey microphone, the scene at Freeport Factory Stage is set as a small club readied for an intimate night of jazz.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  April 11, 2012


Portland Stage’s comedy about hope and age

Taking their time
In one sense, time is the most plentiful possession of World War I veterans Gustave (Edmond Genest), Henri (Munson Hicks), and Philippe (Philip Goodwin), who live together in a military retirement home in the French countryside.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  April 04, 2012

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