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Homer’s epic, in puppets

Stringed instruments
Our story thus far: The war is over! No, not the Iraq War, but one of even more mythological origins: After ten years of battle against Troy, the victorious war hero Odysseus, whose distinctively phallic sword arm has a life of its own, is poised to finally lead his troops back home to Ithaca.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  March 07, 2012


Acorn’s must-see production of a Pinter classic

Turning up the heat
Almost everything goes unsaid in Harold Pinter's 1958 classic, The Birthday Party .
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  February 29, 2012


Young actors take to the stage in Wiley and the Hairy Man

Finding courage
Deep in the Appalachian swamp, young Wiley (Luke Stickney, winningly) lives among tree toads, alligators, and plenty of magical spirits.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  February 22, 2012


Williams’s shattering Menagerie in Freeport

Fragile suffering
Tom's restlessness at home in St. Louis, where he's stuck providing for his plaintive mom and crippled sister, becomes particularly oppressive in the very architecture of the Freeport Factory Stage.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  February 22, 2012


Portland Stage goes noir

Adaptive ensemble
Dead guys, mysterious dames, mobsters, dirty cops, and a handsome array of handguns are all in a night's work for Philip Marlowe, novelist Raymond Chandler's quintessential LA private eye.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  February 15, 2012


Female poets step up to the mic

Could be verse
While down in Cambridge last August with a team of Portland poets for the semi-finals of the National Poetry Slam, Tricia Henley Pryce says, she never saw more than one woman up on stage at a time.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  February 08, 2012


Mad Horse’s Becky Shaw peers behind the love curtain

The one who knew too much
Three months after her father's death, the two people closest to thirty-something Suzanna (Elizabeth Chambers) don't have a lot of patience for her grief, which has her reduced to a weeping mess watching bad TV under a blanket.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  February 08, 2012


Good Theater wrestles with love and sin

There's only one major problem in the love between Adam (Rob Cameron), a sarcastic would-be teacher working in retail, and Luke (Joe Bearor), an aspiring young actor.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  February 01, 2012


Public Theater tries to save disappearing communication

Watch your tongue
George (James Hoban) has a knack for languages: He's a polyglot, can lovingly conjugate all tenses of even Esperanto, and has dedicated his life to preserving tongues on the brink of extinction.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  February 01, 2012


Thespian games at the Theater Project

Play acting
Five people lie supine on the floor, feet outward, like a star.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  January 25, 2012


Midsummer gets a twist, in midwinter

Steamy dreaming
When I learned that Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream was to be staged in frigid early winter, I wondered if the production's angle might be unabashed irony.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  January 18, 2012


Carolyn Gage interprets Lizzie Borden's case

Reclaiming history
Lizzie Borden, who allegedly murdered her father and step-mother in 1892, remains an iconic figure in American cultural memory.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  January 11, 2012


The second half of the season brings surprises

Comedy and danger
Those who missed out on LOREM IPSUM's Threepenny Opera this fall should get in line early for its spring production of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts, at SPACE Gallery (March 22-April 1).
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  December 28, 2011


Playwright Gage explains Lizzie Borden, on stage

Sharpened perceptions
Alleged ax-murderer Lizzie Borden is among the most notorious women in New England history.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  December 28, 2011


The highlights of 2011’s theatrics

From madness to mealtime
Some of the most exhilarating moments in theater this year happened in the Apohadion, as a pale and schizoid Michael Dix Thomas shrieked the opening strains of "The Ballad of Mack the Knife," summoning to stage the lurid, ghoulish menagerie of Bertolt Brecht's The Threepenny Opera .
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  December 21, 2011


Warming up to Portland Stage’s Snow Queen

Out in the cold
This week, we look at another theatrical alternative to the Dickens ghosts.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  December 14, 2011


New: Old traditions

AIRE spins Christmas with a Celtic charm
The winter holidays' bells, lights, and trees are already upon us, and along with them the first of the holiday-themed shows.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  December 07, 2011


PSC works through Reza's Carnage

Just bein' kids
The setting of God of Carnage is a sleek, upper-story apartment with a full-wall view of the 14th arrondissement, where wealthy Parisians eat delicate desserts. But it is also a playground, where spoiled brats duke out their rage.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  November 16, 2011


Acorn bares souls in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Illusions + pretenses
Edward Albee's heavyweight Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a horror story.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  November 16, 2011


The Originals stage Pinter's Betrayal

Reverse psychology
Harold Pinter's masterwork Betrayal is a story of a British triangle.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  November 09, 2011


Dramatic Rep digs deep for catharsis

Finding the Tigers within
Today is a good day for twenty-something Sherry (Casey Turner): She's out of bed, over her depression, and starting her first-ever job as an elementary art teacher and art therapist.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  November 02, 2011

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