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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.

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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.

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Wednesday, 31 October 2018 12:32

BCT keeps things hopping with ‘Harvey’

BANGOR – Local audiences can expect a hopping good time courtesy of Bangor Community Theatre.

BCT is presenting their production of Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize-winning classic 1944 comedy “Harvey” at Bangor Grange Hall #372. The show – directed by Irene Dennis – runs through Nov. 4.

It’s the story of a man and his best friend - a friend who just happens to be a six-foot tall rabbit that only he can see. Despite that – or perhaps because of it – he is one of the most amiable, friendly fellows you could ever hope to meet. However, there are those around him who want to relieve him of his friend … and not all of them have his best interests at heart.

“Harvey” is a story about the difference between being grounded in reality and having your head in the clouds … and about whether it really matters as long as you manage to be a good person. If your fantasy isn’t hurting anyone, then what’s the harm? Not to mention – who’s to say what’s real, anyway?

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ORONO – A classic allegory is coming to animalistic life at UMaine.

The University of Maine School of Performing Arts (SPA) is presenting Orwell’s “Animal Farm” inside the intimate Al Cyrus Pavilion Theatre on the Orono campus. The show, directed by Alan Liam Estes, runs through Oct. 28.

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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.

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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.

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ORONO – Family gatherings can be a real pain, but they can also lead to some unexpected fun – just so long as you mind your manners.

Orono-based theater company True North Theatre is giving you a chance to join in one such family gathering. Their production of Alan Ayckbourn’s beloved comedy “Table Manners” is taking place at the Cyrus Pavilion Theatre on the University of Maine campus. Directed by Tricia A. Hobbs, the show runs through June 24.

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ORONO - If I were to tell you about seeing a possessed puppet and the disaffected teenager attached to it take over a small-town Texas church basement, you might think I was describing some sort of fever dream.

In fact, I’d be talking about “Hand to God,” the latest production mounted by Orono’s Some Theatre Company. The Tony-nominated play – written by Robert Askins – is directed by Elaine Bard; the show runs through June 23 at the Keith Anderson Community House in Orono.

It’s a dark and provocative comedy, packed with blue language and blasphemy; the piece offers up challenge after unapologetic challenge, daring to cross any line you might think of. It is profane and wicked and thoughtful – as smart as it is discomfiting.

And it is REALLY funny.

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BANGOR – Local theatergoers are being asked to pitch in and solve a hilarious whodunit.

Penobscot Theatre Company’s latest production is “Shear Madness,” adapted by Marilyn Abrams and Bruce Jordan from Paul Portner’s “Scherenschnitt.” It’s a freewheeling comic mystery – one that makes great demands of both its cast and its audience – and it’s running at the Bangor Opera House through July 8.

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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.

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