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Next at TriArts: ‘Altar Boyz’

Theater Scene
leong@lakevillejournal.com

Before “The Book of Mormon” aimed its Tony-winning, full-frontal, raunchy humor at Mormonism and religion in general, there was “Altar Boyz,” a sweet-natured, gentle spoof of Christian pop and rock music — the kind played daily on half the radio stations in the South and Southwest. Drawing on the boy band styles of Backstreet Boys, ’N Sync and New Kids on the Block among others, the show was built on sly musical parodies, good dancing and five talented young men.

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For the Fun of It

Theater: ‘Tartuffe the Imposter’

Tartuffe has been residing as a guest in Orgon’s palatial residence; he has convinced his host that he is a pious and somber man. The deceived Orgon, who trusts his apparent friend, decides to betroth his reluctant daughter, Marianne, to Tartuffe. But, naturally, she is deeply in love with Valer.

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It’s All About the Songs

Theater: ‘A Class Act’
leong@lakevillejournal.com

Ed Kleban was a difficult man burdened with phobias and psychological problems that sent him to mental hospitals more than once. He was also a prolific composer and brilliant lyricist who best communicated with his friends and the world through his songs. Hundreds and hundreds of songs.

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Hey Kids, Let’s Put on a Show

compass@lakevillejournal.com

Twenty or so years ago, Michael Baldwin produced many shows with singing, dancing and dialog he wrote himself to entertain his parents, their friends and anyone else in the Salisbury neighborhood who liked to see kids practicing stardom.
He played any stage he could get. “I used to stand on a piano bench in my parents’ living room, holding a mock microphone,” he told me.
And he recalls every word of the donkey’s song from the Christmas pageant at St. Mary’s Church when he was 5.

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Hey Kids, Let’s Put on a Show

compass@lakevillejournal.com

Twenty or so years ago, Michael Baldwin produced many shows with singing, dancing and dialog he wrote himself to entertain his parents, their friends and anyone else in the Salisbury neighborhood who liked to see kids practicing stardom.
He played any stage he could get. “I used to stand on a piano bench in my parents’ living room, holding a mock microphone,” he told me.
And he recalls every word of the donkey’s song from the Christmas pageant at St. Mary’s Church when he was 5.

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Once you've created an account, you will be given a free 30-day subscription to the site where you can view all content unrestricted. After 30 days, you can extend your account by purchasing a subscription.

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About Paper and Creation and Love

Theater: ‘Animals Out of Paper’
compass@lakevillejournal.com

Uncommon love stories. That’s the theme for the season at the Chester Theatre Company out in woodsy Chester, MA, beyond Stockbridge, beyond Lee, beyond Becket. But definitely worth the drive.
“Animals Out of Paper” by Rajif Joseph is not only uncommon in its look at love. It’s funny and a little disturbing. It’s about origami and paper and what folding does to it.

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You Are Who You Were

Theater: ‘Dr. Ruth, All the Way’

Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer is the four-foot-seven-inch dynamo who made “sex” a household word in America through her radio show, television and books.
The matter-of-fact handling of all topics sexual informed the country and removed the mystery that had cloaked sex matters at the time. Her story of profound adversity and triumph is the focus of Mark St. Germain’s new play “Dr. Ruth, All the Way,” now at Barrington Stage’s St. Germain Stage in Pittsfield, MA.

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A Raunchy and Entertaining Musical

Theater: ‘The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas’

TriArts’ production, “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” is rollicking, raucous and raunchy fun.
If the musical itself is forgettable, the singers and dancers here are not. Directed masterfully by John Simkins, TriArts’ artistic director, and given stomping, good, original choreography by MK Lawson, the cast of both young and older actors delivers a delightful summer diversion.

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Still Wrangling After All These Years

Theater: ‘1776’

It’s hard to imagine anyone writing a musical comedy about the wranglings of Congress in 2012. If someone can find a way to set John Boehner’s or Bernie Sanders’ words to music, more power to them, although I don’t think I’d want to go see it.
But the stakes were higher, and the characters more compelling, in 1776, and this musical, though occasionally hoary, still has the power to entertain and instruct.

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Awesome, Really

Theater: ‘Endurance’

A bare stage, tables, chairs, a file cabinet, three wastebaskets and four disciplined actors create an exciting and dynamic theater experience at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA. The 1914 voyage of the ship “Endurance” commanded by Sir Ernest Shackleton, from which the play takes its title, is ingeniously woven into the story of four men employed by an insurance company in present-day Hartford. Presented by the visiting Split Knuckle Theatre, the play evolved outside the normal creative process. There is no formal playwright and no director.

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