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Theater

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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Tartuffe. Poof!

Theatre: 'Tartuffe'

Some of us search endlessly for Louis XIV furniture. Others cherish the modern work of Eames and Aalto. Some of us delight in the music of Francois Couperin. Others pine for tickets to a Bruce Springsteen concert. “You say to-MAY-to … I say to-MAH-to.”
It would appear that some of those who revel in Moliére’s 1664 comedy “Tartuffe,” the current production at The Sherman Playhouse, are firmly ensconced in the former camp. 

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‘Big River’ in Rehearsal for Sharon Playhouse

‘Big River’ in Rehearsal for Sharon Playhouse

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A New Musical Flails at Sharon Playhouse

Theatre: ‘Judge Jackie’

Sharon Playhouse has produced some delightful new works in the last three years: “Nine Wives,” “Next Thing You Know,” and last year, the wonderful “Georgie.” But this season’s “Judge Jackie: Disorder in the Court” is so confused that even terrific direction and some fine performances cannot save it.

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Alive, Fresh and Imaginative, A New ‘Tattoo’

Theater: "‘The Rose Tattoo’

Trip Cullman’s production of “The Rose Tattoo” at Williamstown Theatre Festival is a triumph of visual, aural and dramatic reimagining of this singular play by Tennessee Williams. It is also a triumph for Marisa Tomei and the cast that supports her.

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‘Assassins’ Builds Its Case

Theater: ‘Assassins’

“Assassins” by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman has had a curious production history. Originally a play by Charles Gilbert, Jr., it was adapted into a musical and had its Off-Broadway debut in 1990. The play evolved, was scheduled for a run that was delayed for three years due to the sensitivities over what we now casually refer to as 9/11. It opened on Broadway in 2004.