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NEW YORK - 'The Book of Mormon' arrived on Broadway like a bawdy toddler, cursing and making poo jokes, but winning hearts anyway. Now it's ready for a road trip.

The nine-time Tony Award-winning musical opens its first national tour in Denver this month after its creators have gently prepared the little sister version to stagger off without them.

'Doing a musical is like having a kid,' says Trey Parker during a break in rehearsals in New York. 'It's out there alive somewhere. It's not like a movie or a TV show where what we intended is what everyone will see. The kid can act out. The kid's going to do what it wants to do.'

Published in Buzz
Line up to include popular acts in music, improv, comedy

BANGOR - The Gracie Theatre at Husson University is proud to announce its inaugural season for the 2012/13 academic year. Together with founding season sponsor Bangor Savings Bank, the Gracie will present four touring productions, including Chicago's Second City improv group, Tony-winner Jennifer Holliday, the popular Potted Potter show and the hilarious 'Deer Camp, the Musical.'

'We are very excited for this milestone,' said Jeri Misler, managing director for the Gracie Theatre. 'This inaugural season features something for everyone in the Greater Bangor area as well as the Husson community. The shows were selected not only for their current popularity around the country, but for the high quality entertainment they will bring to Bangor.'

'Bangor Savings Bank is excited to partner with Husson's Gracie Theatre to bring this exciting line-up for their inaugural season. We are proud to support the arts which have an economic benefit to Maine and its communities,' said Carol Colson, senior vice president, director of Marketing and Community Relations for Bangor Savings Bank.

Published in Happenings
Wednesday, 01 August 2012 12:04

Johnny Baseball' steps to the plate in Orono

New musical offers different take on The Curse of the Bambino'

ORONO It's always a welcome surprise when two of your (seemingly) disparate interests come together in an unexpected way.

The University of Maine at Orono's Summer Music Theatre Festival is currently in the process of building one of those improbable marriages with their upcoming production of 'Johnny Baseball,' a musical created around the history of the Boston Red Sox.

That's right a musical about the Red Sox.

Published in Cover Story
Outdoor Productions in Belfast and Searsport in July and August

BELFAST - The Belfast Maskers continue their 25th anniversary theatre season with open-air performances of the musical 'Brigadoon' by Lerner and Loewe in July and August. This lively show is the central production of the company's celebratory season with music, dance, live farm animals and humor in a magical evening of theatre.

The musical is set in the fictitious Scottish hamlet of Brigadoon, an enchanted village that is unchanging and unknown to the outside world except for one day every 100 years. Two visitors from New York stumble upon the village on its special centennial day and the town's magical spell is put in jeopardy.

Published in Happenings
Thursday, 14 June 2012 22:47

The frantic farce of The Foreigner'

UMaine summer theatre kicks off third season

ORONO The University of Maine Summer Music Theatre Festival is back with their 2012 season.

This season debuts with 'The Foreigner' by Larry Shue. The production is actually a collaboration between UMSMTF and Bangor Community Theatre. Performances are at the Cyrus Pavilion Theatre on the University of Maine campus and run through June 17.

Charlie Baker is a bit of a dull guy nice, but dull. Charlie's friend Froggy LeSueur is a British explosives expert who occasionally comes to the U.S. to run training sessions. Froggy brings Charlie along with him on one of these jaunts, putting him up in a rural fishing lodge in Georgia.

However, Froggy must tend to his duties and leave Charlie alone at the lodge, which serve only to exacerbate Charlie's feelings of shyness. In an attempt to help his friend, Froggy tells Betty, the lodge owner, that Charlie is from an exotic foreign country and neither speaks nor understands English.

Published in Happenings
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 14:50

Don't change a thing

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change' at PTC

BANGOR Love matters.

Once we grow past the 'girls/boys are icky' stage, love is one of our primary fixations as humans. It's one of the few journeys in life that every one of us has embarked upon. Love is a battlefield; engaging in that battle of the sexes can be scary, sure, but it's also one of the most meaningful parts of our lives.

'I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change,' a musical written by Jimmy Roberts and Joe DiPietro, is the sort of show that springs up as a response to the humor and heartbreak of romance not to mention the absurdity of love. Penobscot Theatre is producing the show through June 17 at the Bangor Opera House.

The show consists of a series of musical vignettes, songs and sketches that all share the same basic focal point love. Moments all along love's timeline are explored. There's a look at the complicated world of dating both early on and late in life. Couples are drawn close by passion, only to slowly cool due to familiarity. There are beginnings and endings and everything in between. The wins and losses pile up, but through it all love. 'ILYYPNC' manages to make a stop at all of love's various checkpoints, illustrating truths that are sweet and poignant.

Published in Happenings
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 14:13

New theater company debuts in Belfast

Mid Coast Actors' Studio to present Hedda Gabler'

BELFAST One of the wonderful things about living in a lush creative environment such as ours is the steady appearance of new and interesting projects and organizations. People with passion tend to find a way.

The latest outbreak of that passion can be found in Belfast, where the newly-formed Mid Coast Actors' Studio is preparing to mount their inaugural production. The group is tackling one of the true classics of dramatic literature, Henrik Ibsen's 'Hedda Gabler.'

Jason Bannister, a performing arts teacher in Belfast, founded the group and proposed this piece as their first production.

'MCAS is a group that I started this winter,' said Bannister. 'We are trying to focus on older plays in the public domain, classics that don't get produced often in this area.

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
Thursday, 26 April 2012 08:30

A killer show

Winterport Open Stage presents murderous comedy

WINTERPORT Marriage can be murder. And as presented by one local theater company, said murder can be very, very funny.

Winterport Open Stage is presenting 'The Smell of the Kill,' a play by Michele Lowe and directed by Dominick Varney, through April 29 at the Wagner Middle School in Winterport.

Nicky (Brianne Beck), Debra (Jenny Hart) and Molly (Christie Robinson) are three women whose relationships with one another are built almost entirely around the fact that their respective husbands have been friends since college. The men meet up monthly for cards, cigars and dining room golf (no really) while their wives retire quietly to the kitchen for chat, cards and Chardonnay.

Published in Happenings

LEWISTON/AUBURN The Public Theatre, Lewiston/Auburn's Professional Theatre, ends its 2011-12 season with the heartwarming and poignant comedy 'On Golden Pond,' running May 4 through 13. Featuring real life couple Ellen Crawford and Mike Genovese (from NBC's E.R.), tickets for this popular, much-loved play are already in high demand, and an additional 2 p.m. matinee performance has been added on Saturday, May 12.

The loons are back on Golden Pond, and so are Norman and Ethel Thayer, a retired professor and his feisty wife. Returning to their annual lakeside cottage in Maine, their summer is unexpectedly transformed by a visit from their middle-aged daughter, her fianc and his 13-year-old son.

The play explores the triumphs and difficulties faced by a couple in the twilight years of a long marriage as well as the complicated relationship between a daughter and her hard-to-please father. Along the way, a comical and touching bond develops between the young boy and the old man. Many people may be familiar with the much-loved film based on the play starring Henry Fonda and Kathryn Hepburn. According to Director Christopher Schario, "The play is somewhat similar to the film, with a touch more humor, and it's easy to understand why Maine audiences have fallen in love with the story." In fact, author Ernest Thompson spent his summers along the shores of Great Pond, located in Belgrade, Maine, where the play is based.

Published in Happenings
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