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Strong Cast For The Peanuts Gang

Theatre: ‘You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown’

This is a perfect show for the first few weekends post-New Year’s. “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” is a charming musical full of whimsy and nostalgia, brimming with gentle melancholy and significant glimmers of hope. 
 It’s also an ideal musical for a space like the Center for the Performing Arts at Rhinebeck with a small cast, such as the one provided by CENTERstage Productions.

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A Funny Tale of Relationships

Theatre: ‘Private Lives’

TheatreWorks New Milford’s production of “Private Lives” is a richly funny presentation that enlivens Noel Coward’s rapier-sharp script by bringing to the rather intimate theater five actors who are as agile with their lines as they are with their expressions, reactions and physical comedy. 
We may not see ourselves in every scene, but more often than not, the wonderfully clever dialogue reminds us of moments that we have experienced for ourselves. And it will surely make you laugh. 

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Classic Comedy, But Hard to Relate

Theatre: ‘Life With Father’

The Sherman Players go to impressive lengths to revive another old chestnut, “Life With Father,” which is said to be the longest-running non-musical in Broadway history, as well as the basis of a 1947 movie and a 1950s TV series. That they don’t entirely succeed has less to do with their efforts than it does with the difficulty of relating to the material, a supposedly comical memoir by Clarence Day Jr. of growing up in late-19th-century New York City with a dominating father.

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A Wonderful, Uplifting Holiday Classic

Theatre: ‘A Christmas Carol’

Most years, seeing a version of “A Christmas Carol” is on the to-do list along with, yet again, watching Jimmy Stewart in “It’s A Wonderful Life,” listening to Bing Crosby sing “White Christmas” and trying to find a pack of AA batteries on Dec. 26. The production at the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck may check off one of the boxes, but it truly entertains and uplifts in the process.

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A Fast-Paced Holiday Show

Theatre

I'm a little hazy on Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” — a tale of greed, as I recall, revelation and redemption. But that’s, reasonably, all kind of glossed over in The Ghent Playhouse’s 17th annual panto, that eccentric British musical pantomime employing cross-dressing, political barbs and salty chatter wrapped in a familiar fairy tale at Christmas time. 

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A Perfect Show, For One Night

Theatre: She Loves Me

This last year, the only Broadway show the musical-comedy nerds in my house could think about was “Hamilton.” When we tuned into the Tony Awards in June, we realized that there were, of course, other shows nominated. One was the revival of “She Loves Me” by Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock, who also wrote “Fiddler on the Roof.” 

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Telling Stories At An Intimate Country Theater

Theatre

A rural performance hall, they call it — which sums it up very nicely, I’d say. The Ancram Opera House started life as Ancram Grange #955 in 1927, a place to address the social, educational, economic and, likely, political concerns of farmers cultivating crops and cows and families in these rolling hills.
Now this building, a Colonial clapboard imaginatively topped by a Mansard roof, draws people to the arts: music, plays, cabarets and stories.

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New Leaders at Playhouse

Theatre

The leadership of the Sharon Playhouse has gone through a whirlwind of changes over the past few weeks, and now that the dust has settled, George Quick and Emily Soell are excited to get to work on the theater’s upcoming summer season.

Soell and Roberta Olsen have switched roles on the board of directors. Soell is now president, and Olsen is vice president.

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Thought-Provoking, Timely

Theatre: ‘Inherit the Wind’

Toward the end of “Inherit the Wind,” the classic fictionalized account of the famous 1925 Scopes “Monkey” Trial, lawyer Henry Drummond (based on Clarence Darrow) and newspaperman E.K. Hornbeck (based on H.L. Mencken) have an argument about Matthew Harrison Brady (aka William Jennings Bryan), the bombastic prosecutor who has just died offstage.
“There was much greatness in this man,” Drummond says in praise of his erstwhile courtroom foe.

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An Education in Shakespeare

Theatre

Approximately 500 students from 10 area high schools in Massachusetts and New York will perform the Bard’s classic plays during Shakespeare & Company’s 28th annual Fall Festival of Shakespeare from Nov. 17 to 20.
The event is the culmination of a nine-week program that places Shakespeare & Company Education Artists in schools to help students celebrate the works of Shakespeare and learn about all aspects of theater, including combat, dance and movement, costumes, lighting, stage management, sets, props — and, of course, performance.

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