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Wednesday, 16 January 2019 14:13

Wake up Maggie – ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’

ORONO – A classic of the American stage from one of the 20th century’s greatest playwrights is currently in Orono – a sultry Southern night to warm audiences caught in the grip of a bracing Maine January.

The Orono-based True North Theatre is presenting the Tennessee Williams masterpiece “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” at the Cyrus Pavilion Theater on the University of Maine campus. Directed by TNT artistic director Angela Bonacasa, the show runs through January 20.

This piece – a personal favorite of Williams that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1955 – is a magnificent deconstruction of a Southern family in crisis. Insularity and infighting, fault-finding and favoritism – audiences bear witness to it all as some of the most iconic characters in American theater history crawl and sprawl across the stage.

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 12 December 2018 16:17

PTC’s latest brimming with ‘Elf’-confidence

BANGOR – There’s a new elf in town – and good luck keeping him on a shelf.

Penobscot Theatre Company’s latest holiday production is “Elf: The Musical,” based on the Will Ferrell film of the same name, with book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin, lyrics by Chad Beguelin and music by Matthew Sklar. This production, directed and choregraphed by Ethan Paulini with music direction by Larrance Fingerhut, runs at the Bangor Opera House through December 30.

It’s a madcap romp that follows a young man who ventures forth on a journey to find out who he really is, leaving behind an idyllic life at the North Pole to track down his father and discover just where he might fit in the wider world. It is a journey for which he is both utterly ill-equipped and uniquely well-suited – figuratively and literally.

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 05 December 2018 14:48

Season’s greetings from area stages

If your holiday tradition involves taking in a show, you’re in luck – performances abound.

Area performing arts groups are bringing a wealth of holiday shows to local stages over the coming weeks. From longstanding traditions to fun new experiences to beloved classics, all manner of Yuletide fun will be treading the boards. No matter what kind of showgoing experience you’re looking for this season, you’ll be able to find it.

Published in Happenings
Wednesday, 14 November 2018 12:34

‘The Curious Savage’ a satisfying surprise

ORONO – There are some curious goings-on currently afoot at the University of Maine.

UMaine’s School of Performing Arts is presenting John Patrick’s classic 1950 comedy “The Curious Savage.” The production, directed by Julie Arnold Lisnet, is taking place at Hauck Auditorium on the University of Maine campus; the show runs through November 18.

The show tells the story of a widowed woman whose deceased husband placed a lot of money in her care – money that her unpleasant stepchildren would like to get their hands on. They’re willing to go so far as to have her committed, but what they don’t count on is the strength and smarts of their stepmother – or the help she might find in unexpected places.

Published in Style
Wednesday, 12 September 2018 11:39

PTC’s ‘The Graduate’ achieves highest honors

BANGOR – Here’s to you, Penobscot Theatre Company.

For the first show of its 45th season, PTC presents the Maine premiere of “The Graduate,” directed by Bari Newport. The play was adapted by Terry Johnson from the novel of the same name, written by Charles Webb, as well as the screenplay, written by Buck Henry and Calder Willingham.

Published in Style
Wednesday, 15 August 2018 11:55

Great shows grace the Gracie in 2018-19

BANGOR – There are some great shows that will be gracing the stage of the Gracie Theatre – located on the campus of Husson University – over the next year.

This marks the seventh season for the Gracie. Seven seasons of quality programming aimed at enhancing the cultural landscape of the region. Seven seasons of wonderful performances offering something for audiences of all ages to enjoy. Seven seasons of seeing things you won’t find anywhere else in the area.

Whether you’re looking for music or comedy or one-man shows featuring Hollywood icons, Gracie Theatre Managing Director Jeri Misler has come up with something for you. Misler was kind enough to chat with The Maine Edge about what’s going on at the Gracie and talk about some of the highlights, as well as about the process of assembling such a diverse season.

Published in Cover Story

ORONO – The Collins Center for the Arts is heading into its 33rd season of exceptional arts programming on the campus of the University of Maine in Orono.

The CCA – formerly known as the Maine Center for the Arts – has been a vital hub for the performing arts in the region ever since the Bangor Symphony Orchestra christened its stage all the way back in 1986. The iconic building has played host to memorable acts large and small over the years, bringing a wonderful variety of arts and entertainment to our area.

The Collins Center has long been a foundational piece of the cultural community, offering high-quality programming year after year after year. This season is no exception, with a wonderful variety of music, theater and dance aimed at audiences of all ages. As per usual, the powers that be at the CCA have managed to ensure that there really is something for everyone.

Published in Cover Story

Once again, summer’s arrival is upon us. The weather is warming up and the days are approaching their greatest length. People near and far are going to descend on our state’s beaches, mountains and forests; people are going to swim and hike and boat and generally experience the outdoors in a fashion that one can only achieve in Maine.

But there are other summertime perks, too.

For those who love live theater, there are loads of options. Companies near and far are bringing exciting work to stages all over the region; no matter where you might be, there’s a good chance that you’ve got some excellent theater happening nearby.

Some of these companies are stalwarts of the scene, having been around for decades. Others are relative newcomers, bringing a new energy to the proceedings. Bangor, Belfast, Bar Harbor – they’ve all got something for you; Orono and Ellsworth and Stonington too.

It’s well worth your time to experience some of what our area’s summer stages have to offer. Here’s a look at just some of what’s to come.

Published in Cover Story

ELLSWORTH – Two nights of something a little different will be hitting the stage in Ellsworth this weekend.

The Grand in Ellsworth is presenting an evening of short plays they’re calling “On the Fringe” on May 18 and 19. The bill features two plays – “House of Yes,” written by Wendy MacLeod and directed by Angela Bonacasa, and “Cold Summer,” written and directed by Georgia Williamina Zildjian; the show starts at 7 p.m. both nights. Tickets are $15 and available at the box office or via grandonline.org.

Published in Buzz

BANGOR – Penobscot Theatre Company has cooked up another crowd pleaser.

PTC’s “The Spitfire Grill” – with music and book by James Valcq and lyrics and book by Fred Alley – is currently running at the Bangor Opera House. Based on the 1996 Lee David Zlotoff film of the same name, the production – directed by Dominick Varney with musical direction by William Shuler – runs through May 13.

It’s the story of a young woman adrift in life who seeks a place to call home. Having almost randomly selected a small town in Wisconsin as her destination, she arrives to discover a slowly dying place populated largely by closed minds. But as time passes, she finds friendships unlike any she’s ever had before – friendships that may ultimately be threatened by looming shadows of the past.

Published in Style
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