Allen Adams

Allen Adams

edge staff writer

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UMaine presents a grown-up puppet musical
ORONO - From childhood, I've had an affinity for puppets. There's a wonderful anarchy that puppets seem to inspire that can result in moments that are engaging and absurd at the same time. Throw in the element of music and the potential for joyful chaos is maximized. It's the chance to create work that tells a story in a very unique way.

'Avenue Q,' the musical by Robert Lopez, Jeff Marz and Jeff Whitty, is that sort of work. A production of the Tony-winning show is currently being mounted by the University of Maine's School of Performing Arts. The show is directed by Sandra Hardy and musically directed by Danny Williams; it is being performed in Hauck Auditorium and runs through Feb. 19.

Original adaptation to appear at inaugural NY Children's Theatre Festival
BANGOR - When I saw Penobscot Theatre Company's production of 'The Velveteen Rabbit' a couple of years ago, I came away very impressed. Playwright Andrew Frodahl - who also happens to be PTC's technical director - had managed to adapt a beloved story respectfully while still making it very much his own. It was a wonderful production of an excellent script. Like I said - impressive.

Apparently, I'm not the only one who thought so. Frodahl's script has been selected for production at the inaugural New York Children's Theatre Festival, one of only three to receive a slot. The show will hit the stage at the end of the festival, running the first weekend in May.

Of course, it took a whole lot of work to get there.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012 11:00

Tower Heist (PG-13)

The staff of a luxury apartment building loses their entire pension fund to the big-deal financial adviser who lives in the penthouse. So they decide to steal it back.
5 out of 5
Wednesday, 18 January 2012 10:45

Hugo (PG)

That's right Martin Scorcese made a movie for kids. But his haunting Paris landscape combined with a complex, fact-based story and exceptional performances make this a movie that anyone can enjoy.
5 out of 5
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 10:43

Patriots Progress Report - Halftime

The 2011 season is proving to be quite a roller coaster ride for the New England Patriots. This team has Jekyll and Hyde written all over it. Sure the team is sitting at 5-3, but they've lost their last two games. They've got one of the most prolific offenses in the league (although that squad has sputtered a bit in recent weeks), but they've also got a defense that, at least at the halfway point, appears to have the potential to be historically inept.

Of course, there's still plenty of football to be played. While the offense likely isn't quite as good as it looked early in the season, odds are that the defense isn't nearly as bad.

On to the Progress Report:

Wednesday, 09 November 2011 12:02

High-rise hilarity with Tower Heist'

Action comedy pairs heists and hijinks

Sometimes, there's nothing quite like a good heist movie. The intrigue, the elaborate plans, the witty repartee - it all adds up to an enjoyable moviegoing experience. Honestly, even when a heist movie is kind of bad, it's still pretty good.

Thus bringing us to 'Tower Heist,' the latest from director Brett Ratner.

Wednesday, 09 November 2011 11:46

Happy holidays from Harold and Kumar

Christmas comedy crude and clever

Living as we do in the era of sequels, prequels and gritty reboots, I suppose I should have been less surprised to hear that there was yet another Harold and Kumar movie in the works. Still, I was hesitant to say the least. Sure, I enjoyed the first two movies, but time passes and tastes change. Would this movie still have the same appeal?

Yes and no, as it turns out.

Wednesday, 09 November 2011 10:14

Living in the past - 11/22/63'

New King novel explores the possibilities of changing history

What if the past wasn't as immutable as we believe? What if you could go back and set right a terrible wrong? What if you could change what was, hence changing what is?

Those sorts of 'what ifs?' serve as the basis for Stephen King's latest novel '11/22/63' (Scribner, $35). With that date as the title, it should come as no surprise that the assassination of John F. Kennedy is the central 'what if' of this sprawling, epic story.

Wednesday, 02 November 2011 20:40

A marvelous time with the Wonderettes'

PTC's latest features harmony, humor and hubris

BANGOR - Looking for a nostalgic walk through a different time via the popular songs of the 1950s and 60s? Perhaps sprinkled with a few laughs, some pathos and a whole lot of harmony?

Then look no further than 'The Marvelous Wonderettes,' directed by Nathan Halverson. This latest production from Penobscot Theatre Company runs through Nov. 13 at the Bangor Opera House.

In 1958, the Marvelous Wonderettes are an all-girl singing quartet at Springfield High (Go Chipmunks!) who have been pressed into service as the entertainment for the prom after some questionable decisions by members of the glee club, who were originally going to perform.

Wednesday, 02 November 2011 20:36

Puss in Boots' almost purr-fect

Dreamworks film for kids, adults alike

I am unapologetic in my love for animated movies. Sure, they're aimed at children. So what? I'm just a kid at heart. Besides, companies like Pixar and Dreamworks have long been crafting multilayered animated extravaganzas that work on one level for the kiddies and a much different, more sophisticated level for us grown-ups.

If there was any doubt that 'Puss in Boots,' the latest offering from Dreamworks, would have that same dual sensibility, it was put to rest right from the opening moments, as we watch the title character dress himself and tiptoe away from a snoozing kitty and her pillow bed. We adults certainly register the naughty implications, but stuff like that barely registers with the youngsters.
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