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Taken in by Puppets

Theater: ‘Avenue Q’
compass@lakevillejournal.com

An interesting thing about the triple Tony-Award-winning “Avenue Q,” (Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book), a show largely peopled by puppets and first produced in 2002, is life has not changed much for young urbanites since then.
College used to guarantee work and status. No more. Now, all degrees promise is debt. Princeton (Luke Garrison), for one, wonders “What do you do with a B.A. in English?”

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Israel First, Always

Theater: ‘Golda’s Balcony’
compass@lakevillejournal.com

Golda Meir was one tough woman.
No. Make that one tough person.
Playwright William Gibson in “Golda’s Balcony” has Israel’s fourth prime minister begging Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger for arms as Arab forces moved on the Jewish state in 1973.
Kissinger’s heritage gave Meir no advantage, though.

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Hearing The Voice That No One Heeded

Theater: ‘Cassandra Speaks’

Dorothy Thompson’s name has faded into history, but for three decades in the mid-20th century she had a voice that mesmerized people. Regrettably, like Cassandra of Greek mythology whose predictions were ignored, Thompson’s warnings about Hitler’s Germany and the growing power of Japan were ignored, too.
This remarkable woman is the subject of Norman Plotkin’s engrossing one-woman play “Cassandra Speaks” at Shakespeare & Company’s Bernstein Theatre in Lenox, MA. Tod Randolph plays Thompson with insight and passion as one of the country’s foremost female journalists.

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What’s in a Conversation? . . . Everything

Theater Scene: ‘Lungs’

What is more important, the planet or the child you bring to the planet? This matter is debated and rationalized throughout “Lungs,” Duncan Macmillan’s riveting play at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA. Not only is the play engrossing, it’s wonderfully theatrical, too.
The play has two themes. First, we have the story of a young couple gnawing on a decision that will change their lives. Second, how their decision fits into broad, global issues.

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Divas, Divas, Divas (And Four Guys)

TriArts opens the season with music director Michael Berkeley’s “Divas Do the Decades.” Rockette and choreographer Amber Cameron (third from left) will perform with 39 more female dancer/singers and four guys. Shows run at TriArts’ Sharon Playhouse June 8 and 9 at 8 p.m., and June 10 at 5 p.m. For tickets, call 860-364-7469, ext. 100, or go to www.triarts.net.

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Coming to a Theater Near You

. . . And a Look at What Lies Ahead at BIFF

Now that The Moviehouse in Millerton, NY, has gone digital, local filmgoers have been able to see broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera and the National Theatre in London. Coming next week is a rebroadcast of the NT Live’s most successful and popular production, “Frankenstein.”

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Oh, Take Me Back to 1985

Theater: ‘The Wedding Singer’
darrylg@lakevillejournal.com

Sadly, time-traveling DeLoreans don’t really exist (yet, anyway). So if you want to see the “Thriller” dance, cell phones the size of bricks and parachute pants this weekend, your best bet is “The Wedding Singer” at the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck.
If the title sounds familiar, that’s because this comedic musical is based on the film starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore.

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Oil in Troubled Waters

The Theater Scene
leong@lakevillejournal.com

You have had them. Those mornings when you wake up and remember the previous evening, hoping it was only a dream. Then your head clears, you reach for your scribbled notes, and it all comes back: Yes, it was really that bad.
I had one of those mornings last Sunday, after spending an interminable Saturday evening with “The Madwoman of Chaillot” at the Ghent Playhouse. The anticipation I felt entering the theater — after all, my sainted mother loved this poetic farce — quickly yielded to glum resignation. But unlike half the audience, I couldn’t leave after the first act.

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Theaters Revive Some Venerable Hits

Theater Scene
compass@lakevillejournal.com

For these pious Russian Jews at the turn of the 20th century, it’s a narrow world of poverty, grinding labor and religious custom. God hovers. Marriages are arranged. Men are educated, some of them, women, not so much — and everyone in the shtetl lives in fear of expulsion. Pogroms in Eastern Europe have scattered Jews all over the globe.
“May God bless and keep the czar . . . far away from us,” the Rabbi prays.
It was not to be, of course.
We already know that.

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Theater Life, After School

Starting Out on Stage
compass@lakevillejournal.com

To the music, “Step, step, slide, kick,” teacher chants as her dozen students passé and pivot to a recording of “Dance With Me Tonight,” a bouncy little bass-heavy number recorded by Olly Murs.
This is a special Saturday morning dance workshop run by Kristin Altfather, a Rockette invited by the Warner Center for Arts Education in Torrington to give these youngsters a taste of the professional dancing life.

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