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Expanding Horizons at the Playhouse

Theatre

The Sharon Playhouse welcomed two new leaders in November 2016: Emily Soell became president of the board of directors, and George Quick was hired as managing director.
At the time, the duo had no plans to fill the artistic director position that was left vacant by the departure of John Simpkins,  and they were also considering “Guys and Dolls” and “The Fantasticks” for the Playhouse’s summer season.
Well, a lot has changed in three months.

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A Pinball Wizard Rocks The Stage

compass@lakevillejournal.com

By the time I left the Warner Theatre after the opening night of “The Who’s Tommy,” I couldn’t stop singing the lyrics to “Pinball Wizard” — “That deaf, dumb and blind kid sure plays a mean pinball!”
Of course, this was accompanied by my amazing air guitar moves.

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It’s Passionate, But Not Universal

Theatre: ‘Our Town’

Although “Our Town” is a theater staple, particularly with community theaters, I had never seen a performance until I sat in the audience during the current run at the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck. 

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Pleasant, Wry And Cheerful

Theatre: ‘Once Upon a Mattress’

The year is 1428 and no one in court may marry until Prince Dauntless does. And since his mother, Queen Aggravain, nixes every prospective bride with impossible-to-answer quizzes, wedded bliss has ground to a halt (although other aspects of a happy union appear to thrive). 
From here, “Once Upon A Mattress” — a leisurely song-and-dance-version of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Princess and the Pea” — spins out pleasantly, and sometimes wryly, at The Ghent Playhouse.

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Strong Cast For The Peanuts Gang

Theatre: ‘You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown’

This is a perfect show for the first few weekends post-New Year’s. “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” is a charming musical full of whimsy and nostalgia, brimming with gentle melancholy and significant glimmers of hope. 
 It’s also an ideal musical for a space like the Center for the Performing Arts at Rhinebeck with a small cast, such as the one provided by CENTERstage Productions.

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A Funny Tale of Relationships

Theatre: ‘Private Lives’

TheatreWorks New Milford’s production of “Private Lives” is a richly funny presentation that enlivens Noel Coward’s rapier-sharp script by bringing to the rather intimate theater five actors who are as agile with their lines as they are with their expressions, reactions and physical comedy. 
We may not see ourselves in every scene, but more often than not, the wonderfully clever dialogue reminds us of moments that we have experienced for ourselves. And it will surely make you laugh. 

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Classic Comedy, But Hard to Relate

Theatre: ‘Life With Father’

The Sherman Players go to impressive lengths to revive another old chestnut, “Life With Father,” which is said to be the longest-running non-musical in Broadway history, as well as the basis of a 1947 movie and a 1950s TV series. That they don’t entirely succeed has less to do with their efforts than it does with the difficulty of relating to the material, a supposedly comical memoir by Clarence Day Jr. of growing up in late-19th-century New York City with a dominating father.

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A Wonderful, Uplifting Holiday Classic

Theatre: ‘A Christmas Carol’

Most years, seeing a version of “A Christmas Carol” is on the to-do list along with, yet again, watching Jimmy Stewart in “It’s A Wonderful Life,” listening to Bing Crosby sing “White Christmas” and trying to find a pack of AA batteries on Dec. 26. The production at the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck may check off one of the boxes, but it truly entertains and uplifts in the process.

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A Fast-Paced Holiday Show

Theatre

I'm a little hazy on Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” — a tale of greed, as I recall, revelation and redemption. But that’s, reasonably, all kind of glossed over in The Ghent Playhouse’s 17th annual panto, that eccentric British musical pantomime employing cross-dressing, political barbs and salty chatter wrapped in a familiar fairy tale at Christmas time. 

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A Perfect Show, For One Night

Theatre: She Loves Me

This last year, the only Broadway show the musical-comedy nerds in my house could think about was “Hamilton.” When we tuned into the Tony Awards in June, we realized that there were, of course, other shows nominated. One was the revival of “She Loves Me” by Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock, who also wrote “Fiddler on the Roof.” 

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