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The Bard Comes To Winsted

Theater: ‘Secret Shakespeare’

The Whiting Mills artist studio building in Winsted was transformed into stages for a unique theatrical production called “Secret Shakespeare” on Aug. 25 and 26.
The event was presented by the Desultory Theatre Club and the Northwest Connecticut Arts Council, and it featured performances by members of multiple Connecticut theater companies: The Backyard Theater Ensemble of Cheshire, puppeteers from Elmwood Productions in Bristol, Sova Dance and Puppet Theater in Ridgefield, The Shipwreck Theatre Company of Guilford and the Desultory Theatre Club.

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The Light Is Not Dark Enough

Theater: ‘The Tempest’

This show in the round and out of doors begins at 5:30 in the afternoon. It’s daylight. And daylight dilutes drama as water weakens whiskey. Though it’s charming to see flocks of black birds skim the sky, darkness makes magic. And magic is what “The Tempest” is about. 

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The Story Of Mrs. Fitzgerald

Theater: ‘The Last Flapper’

It’s not easy to be rebellious, sexy, daring, ambitious, female and youthful all at once. It was especially not easy in the South at the start of the 20th century. But there she was, the adolescent Zelda Sayre, bobbing her hair, drinking, running out at night, teasing boys, relishing impropriety and wild to leave Montgomery, Ala.
F. Scott Fitzgerald gave her a way out, and, she hoped, a way up.

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Funny Adaptation Will Please Fans

Theater: ‘Pride and Prejudice’

Dip into the world of Jane Austen fan-fiction and you’ll discover a whole shelf of books dedicated to Mary Bennet, the dour middle sister in “Pride and Prejudice.” Mary isn’t pretty or smart like Lizzy or Jane, and she despises her flighty younger sisters Kitty and Lydia. She delivers pompous moral lessons at the most inopportune moments. 

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Two theaters plan galas

Two area theaters are hosting festive events this weekend.
The Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck is hosting its annual fundraiser on Saturday, Aug. 26. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the show begins at 8 p.m.

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A Splendid, Timeless Piece

Theater: ‘Company’

‘Company” is a difficult musical to like, much less love as I do. There is no traditional story or plot, and George Furth’s script is a rickety, skeletal structure on which hang Stephen Sondheim’s 14 wonderfully observant, wise songs. It was the first show for which he wrote both lyrics and music, the show that made his reputation and pointed musical theater in an entirely new direction.

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You’ll Laugh A Lot And Clap A Lot

Theater: ‘Spamalot’

Monty Python’s “Spamalot” is a silly play. That’s not a criticism. Every once in a while, it’s refreshing to be silly.
There are sight gags and word play that demands the audience keep their wits about them — as well as plenty of belly laughs. The fact that Eric Idle’s musical comedy is an adaptation of the 1975 film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” should be fair enough warning that nothing serious is about to happen.

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Don’t Let The Title Scare You Away

Theater: ‘We’re Gonna Die’

The mission of the Ancram Opera House and its co-directors, Jeffrey Mousseau and Paul Ricciardi, is to forge connections in the small, intimate space. They have certainly succeeded with “We’re Gonna Die,” a short piece that mixes theater and live music during a surprisingly uplifting performance that will leave you singing the catchy title song all the way home.
Yes, that’s right. By the end of the show, you’ll be tapping your toes and shouting along with the band: “We are going to die!”

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It’s A Midsummer Delight

Theater: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

There are no sets. Off stage is … well, it’s off into the woods. There are no footlights, follow spots, fly curtains, hidden microphones or sets on rollers. In fact, the only set is the gentle hill that signals where The Dell at the Mount — Edith Wharton’s home in Lenox, Mass. — meets the forest. 

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An Inconsistent Show

Theater: ‘The Music Man’

Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” is a near-perfect musical that is as all-American as apple pie and football. 
Willson was an Iowa musical prodigy. (At only 22, he began a five-year stint as first flute in Arturo Toscanini’s New York Philharmonic.) And it was Iowa and his hometown, Mason City, that he immortalized years later as River City in “The Music Man,” for which he wrote book, music and lyrics, and beat out “West Side Story” for the 1957 Tony Award.

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