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STONINGTON – The love story behind one of history’s greatest love stories is currently playing out on the stage of the Stonington Opera House.

Opera House Arts is presenting Lee Hall’s acclaimed stage adaptation of the 1998 Oscar-winning film “Shakespeare in Love.” The show – directed by Julia Sears – runs through July 28.

Traditionally, OHA has presented one of Shakespeare’s plays, but as part of the celebration of their 20th season, the choice was made to mix things up. Thus, a play not BY Shakespeare, but rather one ABOUT him. It’s a clever pick that accentuates OHA’s usual strengths while also offering a chance to engage with something a little bit different.

It doesn’t hurt that it’s a fantastic story – a tale of one man’s desperate desire for greatness, on the page and in matters of the heart alike, and the woman whose own greatness may prove to be both blessing and curse. All of it set against a backdrop of backstage shenanigans as a handful of rogues and ruffians try to get their acts together long enough to put on a show – a show that’s still being written. Oh, and an unwanted marriage. And a queen. And a dog.

The wildest part of all? It’s even better than it sounds.

Published in Style
Wednesday, 20 March 2019 12:46

Love is in the air – ‘Five Feet Apart’

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a soft touch, emotionally speaking. My buttons can be pushed pretty easily. If a movie wants to make me cry, it will have little problem doing so. Whether or not that emotional manipulation is earned, well … it doesn’t really matter. It will work. However, just because my emotions are impacted doesn’t mean I’m unaware of the strings being pulled.

The new movie “Five Feet Apart” – directed by Justin Baldoni from a screenplay by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis – is nothing BUT strings. It is almost cynically manipulative, with a star-crossed love story featuring terminally ill teenagers falling for one another yet being kept apart by forces beyond their control. It is so formulaic, so boilerplate, that it almost feels algorithmically-generated – a product of maudlin mathematics.

Published in Movies
Friday, 03 February 2017 11:33

The Fault in our Mars

“The Space Between Us” fails to launch

Published in Movies
Sunday, 04 September 2016 17:23

'The Light Between Oceans' shines

Historical romance tugs hard at the heartstrings

Having our heartstrings tugged is one of the reasons that we go to the movies. Finding those moments of emotional connection can be a huge part of the cinematic experience. However, if a film goes to that well too often if it tries too hard to get us to feel it can come off as a little disingenuous and/or manipulative.

Published in Movies
Wednesday, 10 February 2016 13:35

Todd Parker 02-10-2016

(Editor's note: Since Mr. Parker was busy with this week's cover story, we thought we might share an old Valentine's Day favorite from the archives. Truly, a classic. Originally appeared on Feb. 8, 2012.)

Dear Todd Parker,

Valentine's Day is such bullst. Everyone knows that it's just one more scam for corporations to make more money. Why should I hand over my cash to those a-holes at Hallmark or Whitman's or whatever just to celebrate a completely arbitrary date?

Published in Ask Todd Parker
Wednesday, 10 February 2016 11:34

Smartphone dating etiquette tips

U.S. Cellular offers tips on enhancing your love life using a smartphone this Valentine's Day

Dating has changed drastically over the years, and with the newest smartphones, such as the iPhone 6s or Samsung Galaxy S 6, users can find 'the one' right from the palm of their hand. The Pew Research Center reports 21 percent of cellphone owners in a committed relationship have felt closer to their spouse or partner because of exchanges they had online or via text message. However, finding and maintaining the connection can be difficult, so U.S. Cellular is offering Maine smartphone users etiquette tips to enhance their love lives this Valentine's Day.

'The latest mobile devices on a high-quality network can enhance relationships and keep couples connected more than ever before,' says Matt Kasper, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in New England. 'No matter where you are, you can rely on your mobile device to enhance positive relationships and keep connected to loved ones from your first date to your anniversary.'

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 23:58

Romance with a capital R'

Why do you suppose grown women like Romance so much? I'm not talking about coming home to take-out and candles. I'm talking about Romance with a capital 'R,' a genre near and dear to my heart. In the name of all that's trashy, why do we care about Twilight?' How come Nora Roberts is a billionaire by now, and I just brought home the new version of Footloose' for my Friday night viewing? I teach high school I'm not in high school.

My husband rolls his eyes at me whenever he spies me reading a cheap paperback romance novel. 'You teach Shakespeare. How can you possibly be reading a book called Storm Over Paradise?'' It doesn't make sense to him, a literary snob reading Harlequins in her spare time, analyzing whether the stud on the cover matches the histrionic hero inside the book. What sort of sensible woman makes time for such frivolity?

Published in Style
Thursday, 30 August 2012 08:49

A relaxing, candlelit dinner for two

Every now and again my children surprise me. After spending a relaxing afternoon by the lake, we settled our sand- and sun-rumpled kids into our minivan for the two-minute drive home. I should have known something was up by the whispering.

'We have a surprise for you, Mumma, and we think you're really going to like it,' Meg said. As the middle child, Meg enjoys her role as the 'spoiler of all secrets' her two siblings are foolish enough to share with her.

'Meg, I told you not to tell her! Why do you always ruin everything?' Addie, the oldest, blurted from beside her in the backseat. Eye rolling, foot stomping and pouty staring out the window ensued.

Published in Livin'

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