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Tuesday, 15 October 2019 20:43

Let ‘The Sunshine Boys’ in

BANGOR – Vaudeville is alive and well (well … sort of) on a local stage.

Ten Bucks Theatre Company is offering up their production of the Neil Simon comedy “The Sunshine Boys” at their theater space in the Bangor Mall. Directed by Ben Layman, the show runs through Oct. 20.

It’s a tale of a friendship gone sour, featuring a pair of stubborn men whose once-intimate connection is long in the past, courtesy of a number of slights both real and perceived. It’s about what a monumental task it can be to forgive (even if age has made it a little easier to forget). A love of show business can run deep, but deeper than a friendship?

Depends on the friend.

Published in Style

BREWER – The winter of our discontent shall be made glorious summer, courtesy of Ten Bucks Theatre Company.

TBT’s latest installment of their Shakespeare Under the Stars series is “Richard III,” which played last weekend in Brewer’s Indian Trail Park. Subsequent performances will take place at the Orono Public Library’s amphitheater (July 25-28) and at Fort Knox in Prospect (Aug. 1-4).

Directed by Daniel Hanchrow, it’s the story of one person’s twisted plan to usurp the British throne and their willingness to indulge in whatever vicious acts, terrible deceptions and base betrayals necessary to achieve that single-minded aim. Featuring fluid casting, stripped-down production values and some bold aesthetic choices, it’s a production that is both unique in the annals of TBT’s history with the Bard and very much of a piece with some of the big swings of Shakespeare past.

Seriously – with women cast in men’s roles (in a reversal of the tradition of Shakespeare’s day) and a visual palette inspired by the ‘90s gangster oeuvre of filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino and Guy Richie, this is outdoor Shakespeare the likes of which you don’t often see.

Published in Buzz

BREWER – One of central Maine’s beloved cultural traditions is marking a milestone this summer.

Ten Bucks Theatre Company’s production of “Richard III” – running July 18-21 at Brewer’s Indian Trail Park, July 25-28 at the Orono Public Library Amphitheater and Aug. 1-4 at Fort Knox in Prospect – marks the company’s 15th outdoor production.

Since their first Shakespeare Under the Stars production – “Taming of the Shrew” in 2004 – Ten Bucks has produced a show almost every summer since, with 2008 being the lone exception.

Julie Lisnet is one of the co-founders of Ten Bucks Theatre Company and was there at the table when the decision was first made to set off on this Shakespearean journey.

(Editor’s note: In the interest of full disclosure, I am also a co-founder of Ten Bucks Theatre and I was also part of the conversations that led down this path.)

“Hard to believe TBT will be 20 in 2020,” Lisnet said. “I’m getting old!

“So, it [Shakespeare Under the Stars] came about because in 2002, PTC shut down the Maine Shakespeare Festival. Most of us co-founding members – you, me, Catherine LeClair, Bob Libbey, Rebecca Cook, Ron Adams, Kenny Volock, Sharon Zolper – we had all been involved with Maine Shakespeare. After PTC shut it down and no Shakespeare was had in 2003, people started asking TBT to take up the mantle. So we did.”

What followed was the aforementioned “Taming of the Shrew” in Brewer’s Indian Trail Park and a long list of outdoor shows:

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (2005); “Macbeth” (2006; “As You Like It” (2007); “Twelfth Night” (2009); “Romeo and Juliet” (2010); “Hamlet” (2011); “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (2012); “The Tempest” (2013); “Julius Caesar” (2014); “Dracula,” the sole non-Shakespeare of the bunch (2015); “The Comedy of Errors” (2016); “The Merry Wives of Windsor” (2017); “Macbeth” (2018); and opening this weekend, “Richard III.”

Over the years, Ten Bucks has expanded into new venues. Early on, shows stayed put in Brewer, but subsequent productions have hit the road – the current run sees them play three venues in three weeks, starting at Indian Trail Park before spending a week at the Orono Public Library Amphitheater and then closing out the run with a week at Fort Knox in Prospect.

All of it done out of a love of Shakespeare and a passion for their craft. Scores of people coming together with a simple singular goal – to bring out the Bard.

In an effort to look back at this history, I spoke to six people who have been extensively involved with the outdoor productions of Ten Bucks. Joining Lisnet are Aimee Gerow, Katie Toole, Nathan Roach, Ben Layman and Adam Cousins. Each was invited to share thoughts and memories of their times on the outdoor stage. And share they did.

Published in Cover Story

Ten Bucks Theatre Company presents Shakespeare’s classic comedy

Published in Style
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 09:28

Checking back in to 'Fawlty Towers'

Ten Bucks Theatre Company presents evening of British comedy

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 01 May 2013 11:14

Nerd' is the word

Ten Bucks Theatre presents frantic farce

EDDINGTON There's an old saying that states 'Houseguests, like fish, begin to stink after three days.' But what if the host feels an obligation to that houseguest? Well, then one just plugs one's nose and tries to stick it out.

'The Nerd' features just such a houseguest and just such a host. Ten Bucks Theatre is presenting their production of Larry Shue's farce at Comins Hall in Eddington. The show runs through May 5; all tickets are $10.

 

Published in Buzz
Thursday, 01 November 2012 10:47

Down the Rabbit Hole'

Play explores the aftermath of tragedy

EDDINGTON Ten Bucks Theatre Company is bringing a heartbreaking tale of love and loss to the stage.

The company is presenting its production of 'Rabbit Hole,' the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Lindsay-Abaire, at Eddington's Comins Hall from November 1 through November 11.

Published in Happenings
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 14:13

The swaggering of hempen home-spuns

Ten Bucks Theatre presents A Midsummer Night's Dream'

BREWER The fine folks at Ten Bucks Theatre are at it again, bringing the Bard to the greater Bangor area masses.

Ten Bucks is presenting their eighth edition of 'Shakespeare Under the Stars' this year's offering is 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' - at Brewer's Indian Trail Park. Under the guiding hand of director Ben Layman and assistant director Julie Lisnet, the production runs through July 29. In addition, the show will be produced Aug. 2-5 at Fort Knox in Prospect. Thursday through Saturday performances start at 6 p.m., while Sunday shows start at 4.

'Midsummer' is perhaps the most famous of William Shakespeare's comedies. Young lovers Lysander and Hermia wish to be together, but Hermia's father Egeus has promised her to Demetrius. Meanwhile, Helena is in love with Demetrius. Theseus, ruler of Athens, upholds Egeus's will, leaving Lysander and Hermia to run away together. Demetrius pursues them while himself being pursued by Helena.

Published in Happenings
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 13:13

Running Wilde in Ellsworth

The Grand, Ten Bucks Theatre present 'The Importance of Being Earnest'

ELLSWORTH What's in a name?

It's a question asked by Shakespeare, but English poet, playwright and wit Oscar Wilde took a stab at answering it with 'The Importance of Being Earnest,' considered by many to be the author's masterpiece.

The Grand, in collaboration with Ten Bucks Theatre, is presenting a production of 'The Importance of Being Earnest' at the Grand in Ellsworth. The show is running through May 20.

'Earnest' is the story of one Jack Worthing (Greg Mihalik). Jack goes to London to pay a visit to his good friend Algernon Moncrief (Nathan Roach) with the intent of proposing to Algernon's cousin Gwendolyn (Amelia Forman-Stiles). There's just one small problem everyone in London thinks Jack's name is Ernest.

Published in Happenings

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