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Mattress revival

Lyric doesn’t take these tales lying down
Fairy tales seem to have an enduring appeal — especially when they're tweaked to look just a little bit less rarified.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  February 27, 2013


Black-box results show success

Test flights
It's an on-stage-off-stage winter in Portland Stage Company's Studio Theater.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  February 20, 2013


A pair of Albee shorts on show at USM

Make my satire a double
Theatergoers who have been hankering for a shot of satire are in luck this week: The University of Southern Maine is serving up the biting spirits of playwright Edward Albee, and they're making it a double, with his one-act plays The Zoo Story and The American Dream.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  February 06, 2013


Good Theater premieres Death by Design

A theatrical mash-up
Someone doctors the Scotch early on, but it's brandy that playwright Edward Bennett (Rob Cameron) and his actress wife Sorel (Abigail Killeen) start in on first in Death by Design, by Rob Urbinati.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  February 06, 2013


Relish in the romp of Conan Doyle’s Hound

Great fare for groundlings
A certain kind of farce distinguishes itself among theatrical forms much as pigs distinguish themselves among the farm animals: by its fondness for playing in the mud, by its grinning, no-nonsense intelligence, and by the tasty saltiness with which it is often served.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  January 30, 2013


Mad Horse puts on a searing Pulitzer-nominated Iraq war play

Caging the tiger
Not too long into Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, most of the characters pacing the stage are either dead, near death, or intimate enough with it to see ghosts.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  January 23, 2013


Coward brings the upper class down a notch

Finding the medium
The most sympathetic character in Noel Coward's snarky little farce, Blithe Spirit, is neither the "astral bigamist" Charles Condomine nor the petulant ghost of his first wife Elvira, nor even his beleaguered current wife Ruth.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  January 16, 2013


Moving performances at SPACE

Warming up winter
Quite a few evolutions have taken shape over the last year at SPACE Gallery, including the opening of the Annex and the redesign of the main gallery, which just turned ten years old.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  December 31, 2012


Your cues for great shows in 2013

Places, everyone!
Both big performance festivals of 2012 promise to be even bigger in 2013: PORTFRINGE runs June 24-30 at four performing spaces, with another open call and even more performance slots available.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  December 26, 2012


2012’s many theatrical joys

A year in footlights
The past year in Portland theater saw a gain, a loss, and a move: First, summer brought us the first annual PortFringe festival and the inaugural Portland Performing Arts Festival.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  December 19, 2012


Acorn’s Jewish holiday tradition continues

A new Legend
While at this point in the season we are regularly deluged with plays set on or around Christmas, there's not usually a whole lot of holiday fare out there for Jews.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  December 12, 2012


No humbug here

But a good harrumph will do!
The singer Phoebe Snow has a great wry line about our next major secular holiday.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  November 28, 2012


NHTP’s wistful Godot

Stop making sense
Their tree is a coil of mottled cables tapering into two spindly branches, their mound for sitting on is a dull gray stone, and this terrain is simply lit by two blue and two bare lights.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  November 20, 2012


World premiere at PSC looks back, forward

Wait for the boom
Middle-aged, affluent Noel (David Adkins) and Anne (Corinna May) have arrived at the "comfortable" stage of marriage.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  November 14, 2012


Hapgood goes inside the human heart

Quantum of psyche
Here's a gloss on two basic theories about how things get weird at the subatomic level: First, a photon (light particle) is trickily capable of behaving like both a particle and a wave, and whether it acts as one or the other depends principally upon whether or not we are looking.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  November 07, 2012


A racial duet at Dramatic Rep

Brothers in arms
Their father meant nothing particularly serious when he named his sons, African-American like himself, Lincoln and Booth — in fact, Booth tells his little brother, the names were kind of a joke.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  November 01, 2012


Inverting, and illuminating, the story of Eurydice

Myth, updated
The memory-darkening waters of the Lethe run in unlikely channels — inside a blue-lit elevator, through a system of pipes and spigots, in the sound of a persistent drip always somewhere just out of sight.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  November 01, 2012


Ziggurat haunts the woods

Enchanted evening
We gather in the dark and the stray beams of each other's flashlights, on the edge of fields and woods just shy of Merrymeeting Bay.
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  October 24, 2012


Good Theater explores being stuck, and escaping

Understanding poverty
The wood walls are streaky and weathered in the homes of both Margie (Denise Poirier) and Mike (James Noel Hoban).
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  October 18, 2012


Mad Horse opens new home with classic comedy

Playing at politics
Charles P. Smith (Brent Askari) is in trouble. He has, according to his own closest advisor (Mark Rubin), "fucked up everything he's touched."
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  October 18, 2012


AIRE’s journey of a Faith Healer

Don’t stop believing
The assonant, guttural names of old Welsh and Scottish villages — Aberarder, Aberayron, Llangranog, Llangurig, Abergorlech — return often to the mouths of the characters in Brian Friel's Faith Healer .
By: MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  October 10, 2012

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