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ORONO – If you seek the Holy Grail, you might well find it at the Collins Center for the Arts next week.

The national touring production of “Monty Python's Spamalot” lands at the CCA on the campus of the University of Maine on February 20.

With book and lyrics by Eric Idle and music by John Du Prez, “Spamalot” is largely inspired by the beloved 1975 film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” Since its Broadway premiere in 2005, the show has been produced with great success all around the globe.

And now it’s coming to the Collins Center for the Arts.

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 06 February 2019 13:53

‘Honky Tonk Laundry’ good clean fun

BANGOR – Songs and suds are spinning together into a foot-stomping good time at the Bangor Opera House.

Penobscot Theatre Company’s latest production is “Honky Tonk Laundry,” a jukebox musical written by Roger Bean (author of “The Marvelous Wonderettes” and many others) and arranged by Jon Newton. The show – directed and choreographed by Dominick Varney with musical direction by Phil Burns – runs through February 24.

It’s the story of two women brought together by fate at a small-town laundromat, an unlikely pairing whose worlds become bound together through the power of dirty laundry – both figurative and literal. Through a collection of some of country music’s most beloved songs, the two work their way through their issues of love and loss as they seek ways to undo the regrets of the past.

Published in Buzz
Saturday, 22 December 2018 12:11

Nanny nostalgia – ‘Mary Poppins Returns’

On its surface, it would appear to be the most unnecessary sequel in a cinematic landscape already littered with unnecessary sequels. The mere idea seems to epitomize the monetization of nostalgia. Its title sounds more like a punchline than an actual movie.

Despite how we might feel about its existence, there’s no getting around it: beloved magical nanny Mary Poppins has returned in Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns.” And yet, even with the perceived strikes against it, the filmmakers have managed to make a decent film. Better than decent, in fact – this movie is actually pretty good.

Obviously, it doesn’t measure up to the original – no movie could, and it would be ridiculous to expect otherwise. There are stretches where it doesn’t quite click. However, for the most part, “Mary Poppins Returns” is a light and lovely story, a chance to spend a little more time with an iconic character. And it’s generally time well-spent.

Published in Movies

WINTERPORT – Theatergoers are being treated to some marvelous music in Winterport.

Winterport Open Stage has opened its 25th season with a production of “The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On” at the Samuel Wagner Middle School in Winterport. The musical, written and created by Roger Bean, directed and choreographed by Dominick Varney and with musical direction from Jason Cross, runs through Nov. 4.

The show – the fourth in the wildly popular “Marvelous Wonderettes” series – follows the formula set forth by the previous incarnations, using the titular girl group as the foundation upon which a structure of popular songs is erected. Like the others, it’s a fun nostalgia trip – a chance to venture down Memory Lane and experience beloved songs of yesteryear.

Published in Style

I love me a movie musical. My deep and abiding affection for the joy and wonder of the genre is well-documented. So it should come as no surprise that I was interested in checking out “Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again,” the sequel to 2008’s blockbuster hit “Mamma Mia.”

But here’s the thing – I had never SEEN “Mamma Mia.” This despite not just the aforementioned movie musical love, but an actorly crush on Meryl Streep AND a long-standing affinity for the music of ABBA! It makes zero sense that I would not have seen that film. And so, I rectified that fact before taking in the sequel.

You don’t need me to tell you about the first film, but I can tell you that “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” stays largely true to the unabashedly dorky spirit of its predecessor, packed with impromptu musical numbers and hammy scenery chewing and the inarguably outstanding music of ABBA. It also makes the unusual choice of serving as both a sequel AND a prequel to the original, roughly splitting the story between the two timelines. It is campy, winking and just delightful.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 27 December 2017 13:47

‘The Greatest Showman’ not that great

Musical has its moments, but mostly falls short

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 14 June 2017 11:04

Putting it on to take it all off

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An inside look at Penobscot Theatre’s “The Full Monty”

Published in Cover Story

Live-action remake loyal to spirit of animated classic

Published in Movies

Penobscot Theatre Company’s latest production a fun-filled musical romp

Published in Buzz
Sunday, 08 January 2017 18:29

'La La Land' is la-la-lovely

Movie musical a wonderful blend of old and new

Published in Movies
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