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Theater

Two Superb Plays

Theater: 'At Home at the Zoo'

Edward Albee was only 32 in 1960 when he stunned New York audiences with “Zoo Story,” the play that established him as a playwright who plumbed the feral, animalistic impulses lying within humans. Forty-one years later he wrote “Homelife,” a prequel to “Zoo Story” that gives Peter, the character who appears in both plays, a back story.

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Fresh, Funny And Delightful

Theater: ‘Cymbeline’

Tina Packer’s production of “Cymbeline,” one of Shakespeare’s late plays, has a valedictory quality about it. In the 40 years since she founded Shakespeare & Company, she has directed all of Shakespeare’s plays except “Cymbeline.” Soon to be 79 years old, Packer has saved this strange, theatrical hodgepodge for last.

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Grumbling Gryphons Hosts Theater Camp, Two Plays

Theater

Grumbling Gryphons Traveling Children’s Theater, a nonprofit organization that is celebrating its 37th year, will once again host its annual theater arts camp for children ages 6 to 16 at Cornwall Town Hall from July 30 to Aug. 6.
“This camp is a tradition,” said Artistic Director Leslie Elias. “Students come from all over. We’re like a family, but we always welcome new people.”

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A Radio DJ Shares His Love Of Jazz

Theater: ‘The Holler Sessions’

A tiny stage at the intimate Ancram Opera House has been meticulously transformed into a tight, cramped, messy studio.
Photos, bulletin boards, newspaper clippings and colorful Post-it notes are plastered all over the walls. Boxes are piled high next to filing cabinets.

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Young Actors Bring Joy To Playhouse

Theater: ‘Footloose’

Happiness and fun arrived at Sharon Playhouse last weekend. The Main Stage patio was jammed with excited parents, family, friends and longtime Playhouse supporters ready to enjoy musical theater after two experimental productions in the small Bok Gallery.

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No Blood, No Gore, Just Campy ’50s Fun

Theater: ‘Zombie Prom’

There’s a good chance you haven’t heard of “Zombie Prom,” a rock ’n’ roll musical set in the 1950s. 
The show had a short life Off-Broadway in the early 1990s, and Matt Austin — the director of the current production at TheatreWorks New Milford — stumbled upon the original cast recording as a kid. He became obsessed with “Zombie Prom” and has always wanted to direct it. His wish has come true in this cozy theater, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

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'Saturday Night Fever': Euripides Meets The Bee Gees

At its heart, “Saturday Night Fever” is a latter-day Greek tragedy. The flaws of the central character, Tony Manero, are shared by his buddies, and they stumble through the sometimes painful coming-of-age story. The haunting refrain of the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” opens the musical and telegraphs the message of the evening. “I’m goin’ nowhere … somebody help me …”

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'Far Away': A Tense, Muddled Take On Churchill’s Short Fairy Tale

Caryl Churchill is one of the finest playwrights in the English-speaking world. Any of her plays — and she has written nearly 50 in the last 45 years — can surprise, shock, challenge conventional assumptions, mix horror with her own notions of humor, find seemingly endless ways to explore the dystopian world in her head, even mix historical figures with contemporary characters. No wonder young directors want to bring her plays to stage with their fresh eyes and ideas.

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Everybody Cut Footloose

‘Footloose” started life as a 1984 movie musical with a cute Kevin Bacon playing Ren, who tries to tame his bushy hair and Chicago ways to survive life in Bomont, a small farming town out west. Of course he irks Bomont’s minister, who sees song and dance as the devil’s work. But for Ren and his new friends, it’s a way to let off steam and adolescent stress.

Sarah Combs, a longtime director for the Sharon Playhouse, has presented the musical many times. Her version opens there for a three-day run on Friday.

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50 Years Later, It’s Still A Must-See

Theater: ‘Hair’

I’m old enough to remember the original Broadway run of “Hair.” It would be difficult to overestimate what a groundbreaking experience that was. The country was as divided then as it is now, but in addition to the liberal/conservative rift there was a schism between “the establishment” and those young people who didn’t want to go gently into their expected roles. This was a time when simply refusing to put on suit and tie and go to work in an office for the rest of your life was considered an act of rebellion. 

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