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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, 19 December 2018 13:43

Cheer and loathing in Santaland

BANGOR – You’ve heard about the good elf. Now, it’s time to check out the bad elf. His name is Crumpet and he is more snark than sugar.

Penobscot Theatre Company is presenting the one-man show “The Santaland Diaries,” written by David Sedaris, at the Bangor Arts Exchange. The show – starring Dominick Varney – runs through Dec. 30 at BAE; for tickets or more info, you can contact the PTC box office at 942-3333.

It ain’t easy being holly jolly. Perhaps the Christmas season is starting to wear on you. Maybe you’ve had your fill of joyfulness and cheer and all that other Yuletide stuff. If so, then taking a trip with Crumpet to Santaland might be just the thing for you.

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, 12 December 2018 16:07

Celebrating a Christmas classic’s return

BANGOR – A beloved holiday classic returned to the Bangor stage recently.

Ten Bucks Theatre Company presented a staged reading of the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol” at the Bangor Arts Exchange December 7-9.

There’s no need for synopsis here; everyone is familiar with the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the spirits that helped turn him from a hard-hearted miser into a man with goodwill toward all his fellow man. It’s one of the most beloved Christmas stories in the literary canon.

As a rule, I don’t review performances such as this one, shows that are already fully in the rearview mirror before we go to print. But in this particular case, I'm making an exception. The reason?

Ken Stack.

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

Ten Bucks Theatre Company is once more bringing the Bard to area stages with their annual Shakespeare Under the Stars production.

This summer sees them tackle the tragedy of “Macbeth.” Directed by Ben Layman, the show is set to pop up at four different locales over the course of its run. Their opening weekend took place in Brewer’s Indian Trail Park July 19-22, while they’ll be doing a one-off at the Newport Riverwalk on July 25, the day this edition hits the streets. From there, they’ll be at the amphitheater stage at the Orono Public Library July 26-29 before closing their run with a weekend at Fort Knox in Bucksport, performing Aug. 2-5.

Published in Style
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