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Theater

See How They Run . . . Or Not

Theater: ‘Running’

It’s a grand, old, West-Side Manhattan apartment, with ridged molding around the doors and windows, notched at each corner with bull’s eyes. And, magically, the apartment’s back wall is transparent, opening onto new buildings towering in the dark.
Just the spot for confusion, apprehension, awakening and other things in Arlene Hutton’s “Running.”

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A Wonder To See And To Hear

Theater: ‘The Tempest’
leong@lakevillejournal.com

“The Tempest” is a wonderful, accessible play. Probably Shakespeare’s last, it is full of wisdom, comedy, music, romance, anger, vengeance, forgiveness and redemption; and it is a near perfect vehicle for a large group of actors who are in various relationships with one another: ruler and ruled, master and servant, father and child.

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A Great Show in a Great Show

Theater: ‘Kiss Me Kate’
compass@lakevillejournal.com

This musical, “Kiss Me Kate,” has everything: Cole Porter, Shakespeare, actors, gangsters, a terrific book by Sam and Bella Spewack, wit, charm, joy. And it’s just the right piece for the Mac-Haydn, that time machine of a theater company in Chatham, NY, that harkens to summer nights when ladies wore hats and gloves to rural theaters and men wore pale linen suits that wrinkled like mad.

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Omigod, It’s on Stage Now

Theater: ‘Legally Blonde’
darrylg@lakevillejournal.com

If you saw the 2001 movie starring Reese Witherspoon, then you already know the plot of this song-and-dance-filled show by Up In One Productions, at Rhinebeck’s Center for Performing Arts. Sorority girl Elle Woods (played perfectly by Victoria McCarthy) longs for a proposal from her boyfriend Warner (Ryan Waterman), but he breaks up with her because she’s not serious enough for his political aspirations. She follows him to Harvard Law School in an attempt to win him back. Comedy, life lessons and musical numbers ensue.

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From Harmless Banter . . . . . . To Psychopathic Intentions

Theater: ‘The North Pool’

Within the first five minutes of Rajiv Joseph’s play, “The North Pool,” a sense of tension and terror evolves. Barrington Stage’s production at the St. Germain Stage, where it is receiving its East Coast première, has some fine acting but the script and direction have problems.

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There’s Something About That Swan,

Theater: 'The Swan'
compass@lakevillejournal.com

The second of Chester Theatre Company’s uncommon love stories is Elizabeth Egloff’s “The Swan,” uncommon because this play is about a love affair between Dora and Bill, Bill being the name Dora gives to the great white swan that crashes into her disordered and unhappy prairie home one night.

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Just for the Fun of It

Theater: ‘Altar Boyz’
leong@lakevillejournal.com

The musical “Altar Boyz” at TriArts’ Sharon Playhouse is a triumph for five talented young men, a brilliant choreographer, a splendid onstage band and John Simpkins, the director who pulled it all together. In only 90 minutes of sweet, musical parody and gentle satire, “Boyz” manages to charm, surprise and send its audiences out of the theater smiling and laughing.

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Funny Then, Funny Now

Theater: ‘The Imaginary Invalid’

The genius of comedy is that it never changes much. The same things that make us laugh now made people laugh 300 years ago, or a 1,000 years ago. Jokes about sex, marriage, infidelity, body parts, bodily functions and the like are as much in evidence in ancient humor as in an Adam Sandler movie.
Add equal measures of slapstick and verbal jousting (think Marx Brothers and “Who’s on First”) and you have the makings of a classic comedy like Molière’s “The Imaginary Invalid,” a work that perfectly balances broad lunacy and rapier-like wit.

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An Actor Takes on a Magician

compass@lakevillejournal.com

Olympia Dukakis has played lawyers, doctors, a cop, a psychiatric patient, a mother, a variety of ethnic characters and three different women named Rose. Now this Academy-Award winning actor for her role in “Moonstruck” is playing Prospero, turning the powerful magician of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” into a different kind of sorcerer: a woman bent on revenge and securing her daughter’s rights. This is Prospera.

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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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