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About Hollywood, Naturally

Theater: 'Natrually'

For a number of years now, Susan Fullerton has left home on Vancouver Island to visit her childhood friend, playwright, actor, producer and director Carl Ritchie, who lives in a rather rustic gated community in Craryville, N.Y. (And, just recently, a pastel bungalow in the Bahamas.)

Intimate One-Man Play Shines a Light on Veterans

Theater: ‘Cry ‘Havoc!’’

During the American Civil War, General William Tecumseh Sherman said, “War is Hell!” What he forgot to mention was that after the war, many veterans would never leave their Hell. This is one of the core themes in Stephan Wolfert’s one-man play, “Cry ‘Havoc!’” It is directed by Eric Tucker and is currently at Shakespeare & Company’s Bernstein Theatre.

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A Skillful Cast Covers Love and Marriage

Theater: ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change’

Oh, the first date. It swamps ordinary, fairly competent, reasonably attractive people, in this case Manhattanites, with typhoons of anxiety.
“Will I show how wonderful I am, or will I be the date from hell?” a woman wonders as she creams, sprays, spritzes, waxes and shaves for the event.

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Funny, Touching, And Not A Musical

Theater: ‘Quartet’

Elizabeth Franz wants you to know that “Quartet” is not a musical. The Tony-winning actress — she played Linda Loman to Brian Dennehy’s Willie Loman in the 1999 revival of “Death of a Salesman” — is starring in the play, which opens at Sharon Playhouse on Thursday, Aug. 18. 

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A Lavish Show for a Classic Film

Theater: 'Sunset Boulevard'

This is a kinder, gentler “Sunset Boulevard” than Billy Wilder’s 1950 film, which opens with a corpse in a Hollywood swimming pool. Up In One’s production at the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck begins instead with a series of snappy tableaus with cops, reporters and gawkers hungering for details of the sensational homicide of screenwriter Joe Gillis (Jim Nurre), in silent movie star Norma Desmond’s (Barbara Rankin) Sunset Boulevard mansion.

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A Masterful, Exciting, Swashbuckling Performance

Theater: ‘The Pirates of Penzance’

Borne on waves of theatrical invention and magic, “The Pirates of Penzance” has landed at Barrington Stage Co. in the most exciting, exhilarating and seductive musical production since BSC’s 2013 “On the Town,” which went on to conquer Broadway. 
Again, Director John Rando, Choreographer Joshua Bergasse and the splendidly named Scenic Designer Beowolf Borritt have delivered a meticulously thought-out show that seems entirely spontaneous.

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An Endearing Cast Takes on Huck Finn

Theater: ‘Big River’

Sharon Playhouse’s current production of “Big River,” the musical adaptation of Mark Twain’s great novel, “Huckleberry Finn,” is rollicking and boisterous. Playhouse Artistic Director John Simpkins, a whiz with young actors, directs the show as an energetic, picaresque tale filled with colorful characters who sing — and dance — Roger Miller’s bluegrass-influenced songs with verve and conviction. Even the  ballads that interrupt the tumult on stage are directed expertly, tenderly.

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Write, Submit, Don’t Worry

Theater: '[title of show]'

Prepare To Be Razzled, Dazzled

Theater: 'Chicago'

You can tell the storyline of “Chicago” in a few sentences. The problem would be that by just telling the story, you’d miss out on the incredible Bob Fosse choreography, the John Kander music with lyrics by Fred Ebb, the vivid characterizations of the denizens of 1920s Chicago and their entirely crazy world.

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A Challenging, Exciting Play

Theatre: ‘The Merchant of Venice’

Tina Packer’s new production of “The Merchant of Venice” is bursting with ideas and antic energy. It’s a tremendously difficult play to stage because of its theme of anti-Semitism, but Packer goes all-in on the play’s bigotry and hate, as well as the broad physical and verbal comedy. The contrast is jarring, but feels a lot like being alive in 2016.  

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