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Joyous Art Exhibit Honors Hotchkiss School’s Legacy

Art: ‘Becoming: 30 Hotchkiss Artists’

I laughed out loud reading Leslie Horn’s online piece, “A Completely Attainable Guide To Getting Rich and Following Your Dreams.” It’s about a sculptor, John Mosler, who went to The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, then Princeton, prospered mightily in the derivatives market and gave it all up to work in a fabulously renovated Brooklyn warehouse, now sculpting for a living and getting attention in arts magazines and newspapers like The New York Times.
First, Horn cheekily advises in her guide, be born rich. Mosler was. Mosler Safes.

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The Mac’s Season Opens In Style

Theater: ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’

You likely know the storyline of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” Boy gets coat, boy loses coat and ends up in an Egyptian prison, Pharaoh has a bad dream, chaos ensues, boy gets new coat.
So, should you choose to visit the Mac-Haydn Theatre for a two-hour high-energy production, you likely won’t be shocked by the way things unfold. Be assured, however, it’s not the storyline that will draw you into the venue’s 49th season opener, it’s the great cast and the stellar production.

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This Play Is A Clever History Lesson In The Courtroom

Theater: ‘Kunstler’

First come jokes: “What do you call a lawyer with an IQ of 70? Your honor!”
Then the apologia for a legal career defending society’s outsiders.
We are watching and listening to the flamboyant William Kunstler (Jeff McCarthy), a courtroom showman with flowing hair, glasses perched on his head, rumpled clothes and the persona of a great character actor, as he tells us about his most famous cases. 

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This Farce Is Sure To Make You Laugh

Theater: ‘Rumors’

‘He’s bleeding all over the room!” Ken Gorman shouts down the stairs to his wife, Chris. “I don’t know why people decorate in white.”
This joke immediately sets the tone for “Rumors,” a farcical play by Neil Simon. The fast-paced script is full of clever lines to keep cast members on their toes. Luckily, the performers of this local production have great comedic timing.

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Destruction Rules In Entertaining Play

Theater: ‘True West’

Brothers. Two of them. One, Austin, has an Ivy league education, a career writing movie scripts and a wife; the other, Lee, has a filthy T-shirt, a belly, a life of petty crime and a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Why ever would there be trouble ahead?
Well, there’s jealousy, between them, irritation, anger and regret. 
But everyone has sorrows in “True West,” an entertaining play that is running at the Ghent Playhouse.

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The Perfect Venue for ‘Follies’

Theater: 'Follies'

The orchestra plays, the lights come up and a bevy of elegant ladies begins descending the stairs. But these women aren’t lovely young chorus girls. They are aging, watching each step carefully. Some clutch at the rail, some are off the beat, but they still know how to show off their star quality. They wear frumpy gowns and banners emblazoned with the year they were a Follies girl — 1940, 1930, 1918. Now it’s 1971, and the theater is about to be torn down for a parking lot.

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Humanity For Animals

Theater: ‘Animal Farm’

The cast of “Animal Farm” has pulled off an impressive feat on the intimate stage at TheatreWorks New Milford. 
Since the production features minimal props, simple costumes that look like long thermal underwear (there are no fuzzy animal suits in sight) and only a few well-placed pieces of music, the play hinges on the performers to bring George Orwell’s 1945 novella to life. For the 90-minute run time, the cast members shine as they give humanity to these animals.

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A Wild Show

Theatre: ‘The House of Blue Leaves’

It was a wild world out there in 1965, the year John Guare set his “very dark comedy” “The House of Blue Leaves,” which is currently running at the Sherman Playhouse. The Vietnam War was gaining steam and Pope Paul VI was coming to New York to address the United Nations, marking the first papal visit to America.

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Aglet Presents An Unsung Hero

Theater

Henrietta Leavitt worked at the Harvard Observatory from 1895 until her death in 1921. She created a standard for the photographic measurement of stars, and she discovered a fundamental relationship of properties in a certain type of star that enabled — for the first time — the accurate measurement of distances in the cosmos. 
Other astronomers — male astronomers — made those measurements, because she wasn’t allowed to do the follow-up work that sprang from her discovery.

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Great Cast For A Discomforting Play

Theatre: ‘The Taming of the Shrew’

I don’t know how a theater company can put on “The Taming of the Shrew” nowadays. I will confess to my lack of a classical education — the production at the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck was my first time seeing it. 
As far as I could tell, the plot concerns a sociopathic woman named Kate who chooses to marry Petruchio, a man she hates, to get out of her father’s house. He abuses her, gaslights her, starves her and deprives her of sleep until she is broken and submits to his will. 

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