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Theater

‘Adjustments’ Gets Another Reading

Ilene Tetenbaum and Gloria Miller, both from Salisbury, will see their play “Adjustments: A Gentle Comedy for Cynical Times,” get a partial reading at 7:30 p.m., March 23 at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, MA.
This play, about a woman losing a husband and seeking another, is part of an evening about women and their stories being presented by Made in the Berkshires, part of the Berkshire Theatre Group. In addition to several play and poetry readings, the evening will conclude with a conversation with the writers and a glass of prosecco.

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Theater, for the Joy of It

The Theater Scene
compass@lakevillejournal.com, leong@lakevillejournal.com

Shakespeare & Company’s production of Moliere’s “The Learned Ladies” is a nonstop romp through the rarefied, shallow, upper class world of Louis XIV.
Gorgeously costumed and playing on a sumptuous set, a talented cast of young actors hurls translator Richard Wilbur’s rhyming couplets at each other in a game of “who gets the last word.”

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Theater of Hotchkiss

Avery Baldwin and Evangeline DiMichele rehearse their roles in Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town,” playing Feb. 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 19 at 2:30 p.m., at Hotchkiss School’s Walker Auditorium.
This Pulitzer Prize-winning play is directed by Marcus Olson, the school’s new director of theater.
For information, call 860-435-3203.

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Like No Other

Theater: ‘Urinetown, The Musical’
compass@lakevillejournal.com

Musicals are fairy tales. Some are jolly, like “Annie.” Some are grim: “Urinetown, The Musical,” for one.
Grim, perplexing, riveting.
At its heart, “Urinetown,” about a drought-ridden city and the corporate takeover of all toilets, is one long potty joke surrounding a tale of political domination and urban struggle. “Let my people pee” is scrawled on one wall of the grimy and admirably baleful set in this Ghent Playhouse production. But the UGC, the Urine Good Company, is totally in charge, forcing people to stand, squirming, in line waiting to pay for the UGC latrine.

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A Fairy Tale for Hard Times

Theater: ‘Annie’
compass@lakevillejournal.com

For a pretty standard fairy tale, complete with evil witch, imperilled orphan, a Titanically benevolent fairy godfather and, of course, a happy ending, the CenterStage production of “Annie” is smart and entertaining.
That is due in part to fine direction by AnnChris Warren, who’s good at keeping kids on stage from looking like headlight-stunned robots. Also, the music is smart. And the script is fine and often political (One of the shantytown residents sings out, “I’d like to thank you Herbert Hoover, you made us what we are today”).

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For the Fun of It

Theater: ‘Sleeping Beauty’
compass@lakevillejournal.com

Along with the program for a panto (a second lick of something Brit creeping into New England, the first being the annual Ghent panto) Sherman Playhouse staff hands out a song sheet and an invitation to a christening. And so “Sleeping Beauty,” a pantomime with all the trimmings — men in drag, women in drag, the wicked witch, a fairy queen, a boy and a girl (both girls in this case) a few cracks about local politics, a dose of burlesque whenever possible and plenty of audience participation ­— has settled into the holiday landscape.

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Noel Coward and Friends

Theater: ‘Present Laughter’
compass@lakevillejournal.com

In Noel Coward’s play about self-centered, histrionic and mostly attractive theater people, Garry Essendine stands out. That’s because Coward was re-creating himself in “Present Laughter,” the drawing room comedy he wrote in 1939, when the world was falling apart.
This handsome, mannered and articulate actor is always on. “I’m watching myself go by,” he tells us.

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A Gift of Theater in Torrington

This Saturday, Elizabeth Erwin and Ed Walsh of Fifth Letter Productions will perform a reading of O. Henry’s touching tale of love and sacrifice, “The Gift of the Magi,” at the Warner’s Nancy Marine Studio Theatre in Torrington, CT.
Erwin and Walsh performed “Last Train to Nibroc” in Nutmeg Ballet’s former studio in Torrington on Water Street last July.
The reading begins at 8 p.m., Dec. 17. Admission is canned or packaged food for the local food pantry.
For information, call 860-489-7180.

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Taking the Sweet With the Bitter

Theater: ‘The Santaland Diaries’
compass@lakevillejournal.com

David Sedaris tells us he’s 33 years old, yearning for a soap opera spot on TV, just $20 away from walking dogs and is so desperate he’ll take a job at Macy’s as a Christmas elf, if he can get it.

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Christmas, British Style, And an Interesting Marriage

Theater Scene
compass@lakevillejournal.com

The British panto (short for pantomime) has rules. Strict ones: Ties to children’s stories are essential; current events must be alluded to; some of the jokes should be a tad smutty; good must triumph over evil; the audience must participate. And it has to be fun. And funny.
Once again, The Ghent Playhouse panto, a production of the Panto-Loons, egged on by the very witty and very British (even though she has lived here for 52 years) Judy Staber, brings the novel holiday treat to American audiences, titled this year “Menagerie à Trois.”

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