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BANGOR – Sex sells. Even when the person discussing it might not be who you’d expect.

Penobscot Theatre Company’s latest production is “Becoming Dr. Ruth,” a one-person show celebrating the life and times of renowned sex therapist and pop cultural icon Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Starring Jen Shepard and directed by Julie Lisnet, the piece – written by Mark St. Germain – is running at the Bangor Opera House through May 22. For tickets or more information, visit the PTC website at www.penobscottheatre.org or call the box office at 942-3333.

The piece – which is set entirely within Dr. Ruth’s New York City apartment – takes place on a June day in 1997. It is a freewheeling tale of one woman’s incredible journey, one that took her all over the world and influenced her in ways large and small – all related to us by the woman herself. The vast majority of us think we know Dr. Ruth – the tiny smiling woman offering sex advice via radio and television – but that aspect of her life, while important, is just one part of her incredible story.

Published in Style
Wednesday, 30 March 2022 12:04

PTC hits the ice with ‘Hockey Mom’

BANGOR – Penobscot Theatre Company is taking to the ice with their latest production.

The fictional town of Clara, Maine, has been Travis G. Baker’s wellspring for three plays with world premieres at Penobscot Theatre Company. The latest, “Hockey Mom,” may well be the best; this new show runs through April 16 at the Bangor Opera House.

Published in Style

BANGOR – There are few tasks more difficult for a performer to execute than holding a stage solo. To be up there under the lights all by yourself – it’s a staggering responsibility. It demands a combination of presence and willpower that requires massive effort to generate and even more effort to maintain. To do this for even a few minutes is an incredible and admirable feat.

Now imagine doing it for an entire show.

That’s what Brianne Beck is doing in “Tell Me on a Sunday,” the latest production from Penobscot Theatre Company. Directed and choreographed by Dominick Varney, this show – with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Don Black – is a one-woman tour de force, a story of ambition and disappointment, both personal and professional. The show runs through January 23 at the Bangor Opera House.

This one-act show is a non-stop musical experience, with Beck vocally carrying the story forward with the help of a three-piece band (one that includes musical director David Madore on keyboards). It’s a story both sweet and sad, one told beautifully through song.

Published in Style

BANGOR – We’re all intimately familiar with the story of the Grinch. We all know about his disdain for Christmas and his malicious attempts to steal the joy of the season from the innocents of Whoville and, yes, his subsequent change of heart.

But what happened after that?

Penobscot Theatre Company looks to answer that very question with their production of Matthew Lombardo’s “Who’s Holiday,” running through December 26 at PTC’s secondary space at 51 Main Street in Bangor. However, you should be warned – while the original tale was aimed at kids, this show – directed by Cheryl Snodgrass and starring A.J. Mooney – very much is NOT.

What’s the show about? Let’s try to tell it like the maestro would, shall we?

Published in Style

BANGOR – Holiday-style theatre magic has returned to the Bangor Opera House stage.

After 20 months of dormancy, Penobscot Theatre Company is back in action with their season opener “Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Musical Radio Play,” adapted from the 1947 Lux Radio Broadcast by Lance Arthur Smith, with original songs and arrangements by Jon Lorenz. Directed by Jen Shepard with music direction by Larrance Fingerhut, the show runs through December 26.

It’s a retelling of the 1947 holiday classic film of the same name, a celebration of imagination and belief that truly embodies the spirit of the season with stylish delight. And don’t let the radio play designation fool you – there’s a LOT to look at here, with singing and dancing and memorable performances (including the best damned Kris Kringle you’ll ever see on an area stage).

It’s a familiar story, to be sure, but you’ve never experienced it quite like this.

Published in Style

ORONO – A unique theatrical experience featuring a collaboration spanning half the globe is currently taking place in Orono.

The show in question is “Anon(ymous),” by Naomi Iizuka; it will be running at the Cyrus Memorial Pavilion on the University of Maine campus in Orono through October 24. The production’s directors are Rosalie Purvis and Debaroti Chakraborty. Now, it’s not that unusual for a theatrical piece to have two directors, but in this case, the circumstances are unusual indeed. You see, these directors – and performers – are separated by thousands of miles. Purvis is the Libra Assistant Professor of Theatre and English at the University of Maine. Chakraborty is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Performing Arts at Presidency University in India.

They have come together – along with casts on either side of the world – to create this multimedia experience. Combining live performance and video, this show – a modern reimagining of Homer’s classic epic “The Odyssey” – unites students from both institutions in an effort to tell a story both familiar and unexpected, a tale of desperation and hope and, ultimately, of one person’s efforts to find their way home.

Published in Buzz

BANGOR – Clothes make the woman in the latest production from Bangor Community Theatre.

For their latest offering, BCT presents “Love, Loss, and What I Wore,” adapted for the stage by Nora and Delia Ephron from the Ilene Beckerman book of the same name. Directed by Irene Dennis, the show – a mediation on the lives of women as reflected through their relationships with their wardrobes – runs through Oct. 24 at Bangor Grange #372 on Ohio Street in Bangor.

All ticketing for the show is in advance. It is also available for on-demand viewing via the BCT website and Broadway World – visit www.bangorcommunitytheatre.org for more details.

Published in Style

BREWER – One of the region’s most beloved summertime cultural traditions is back in action in Brewer. Or should I say – the Forest of Arden.

Ten Bucks Theatre Company is presenting its annual Shakespeare Under the Stars production. This year’s offering is the pastoral comedy “As You Like It.” The show runs July 22-25 at Brewer’s Indian Trail Park, followed by a final weekend – July 29-Aug. 1 – at Fort Knox in Prospect. All performances start at 6 p.m.; tickets are $15 and available at www.tenbuckstheatre.org.

It’s a story of palace intrigue, love, family ties and the many ways in which country life and court life differ – as well as a few in which they are very much the same.

Published in Style
Wednesday, 17 March 2021 13:22

Get a clue with ‘Who Killed Zolan Mize?’

BANGOR – The latest offering from Penobscot Theatre Company is a mystery unlike any you’ve ever seen. It’s a tough one to solve – and you’re part of the solution!

“Who Killed Zolan Mize?” is an interactive livestreaming murder mystery created and executed by Rachel and Brendan Powers, a married couple of actors based in Florida. The show is part of PTC’s ongoing Digitus Theatrum season, with performances streaming through April 3. To purchase a link or to find more information, visit the PTC website at wwws.penobscottheatre.org or call the box office at 942-3333.

The show plays out live for a limited audience – there are only 20 tickets available for each performance – as a pair of hardboiled detectives question a number of weird and wacky suspects, all in an effort to solve this heinous crime. But here’s the thing – the detectives aren’t alone … because they have YOU!

Published in Style

Teenage pressure is universal. It comes in different forms and flavors for every generation, but every generation must deal with it. And remarkably, for many, the memories of those pressures largely dissipate as we grow older, leaving behind gauzy memories of pleasant vagaries. We forget because it hurts to remember.

Being a teenager is HARD. And in many ways, it has never been harder than it is today.

The demands on their time, the unending deluge of activities and extracurriculars, all in service to a relentless pursuit of what comes next. You have to get the right scholarship to the right school. You have to fill your calendar to bursting, leaving nary a minute unspoken for, all so that you might have a shot at whatever brass ring of higher education you’ve spent the last decade grasping at.

The latest production from the University of Maine School of Performing Arts is a reflection and representation of that struggle. SPA is presenting Sarah DeLappe’s play “The Wolves,” directed by Marcia Joy Douglas; due to COVID-19 restrictions, the show cannot be performed live, but on-demand streaming is available through March 14. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased through the School of Performing Arts website at www.umaine.edu/spa.

The play looks at this omnipresent pressure through the lens of a girls’ soccer team. It is a sharp, darkly funny glimpse at the inner lives of teenagers who have spent their entire existence defined by expectations of the looming future. It is a world where adults are rarely heard and even more rarely seen, leaving the girls to play out all of their hopes and fears alongside one another, even as they play the beautiful game on the field.

Published in Buzz
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