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Theater

Let the Blood, and the Laughs, Flow

Theater: ‘Evil Dead: The Musical’

Prior to the opening night of “Evil Dead: The Musical” at the Warner Theatre in Torrington, I’d never been to a theatrical production that required me to sign a waiver acknowledging that I might be drenched in blood.
And let me tell you, there is a lot of blood. It sprays from the stage. It drips from the ceiling. It explodes out of wounds. The amount of the slippery red stuff that flows through the aisles is quite impressive, and it makes for a fun, unique night at the theater.

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Tension, Drama in the Drawing Room

What are we to make of a play like “The Chalk Garden,” with a sell-by date past 60 years? Written by Enid Bagnold, the Englishwoman best known for “National Velvet,” the story of a girl and her horse, “The Chalk Garden” is a curiosity: a deep dive into family dynamics masquerading as a drawing-room comedy. The awkward combination is exceedingly difficult to pull off. The new Sherman Players production struggles a bit in the beginning, but improves in the second half.

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Darkly Dreamy

Theatre: ‘Heathers: The Musical’

Admittedly, “Heathers” is one of the last films I would ever dream of being made into a swinging musical. As a child of the ’80s, I adored the flick — it was stylish, mean, murderous and full of the best quotable lines. Perhaps a dark comedy of suicide, homicide, homophobia, bullying and a mass attack on a school didn’t seem that controversial in 1988.

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A Fun, Tongue-in-Cheek Spoof

Theater: ‘Broadway Bounty Hunter’

There is an absolutely goofy flow of adrenalin that comes surging off Barrington Stage Company’s St. Germain Stage with their production of “Broadway Bounty Hunter.” 

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Balancing Comedy, Commentary

Theater: ‘The Two Gentlemen of Verona’

“The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” one of Shakepeare’s earliest plays, is hilarious and also very problematic. Filled with terrible (but funny) puns, double-entendres and lots of opportunity for slapstick, the play also has a loathsome protagonist and a very disturbing ending. Shakespeare & Company makes the most of the humor with a boisterous production that ends this weekend. Director Jonathan Croy soft-pedals the ending by adding a twist.

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They’re Creepy, Kooky and Superb

Theater: ‘The Addams Family’

“The Addams Family” is the final offering of Mac-Haydn Theatre’s 2016 season, and there is much to enjoy about John Saunders’s staging of Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice’s adaptation of Charles Addams’ quirky cartoon characters. 

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garland play runs to aug. 28

An actor’s life is tough. Every day, Caedmon Holland wakes up and checks out the audition calls online. Sometimes he heads for New York City. Sometimes he goes no farther than the village of Catskill, N.Y., where he opened last week in “The Property Known as Garland” by Billy van Zandt.

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The Title Says It All

Theater: ‘Theatre Farce’

Lakeville’s William Kinsolving has been writing a play called “Theatre Farce” for the past couple of years, and he’s ready to debut it to the public with a staged reading at The Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, Mass., on Friday, Aug. 26, at 2 p.m. 

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A Glamorous Actress Becomes a ’30s Star

Theatre: 'Lombard'

Walking on stage (at other times the altar of St. John in the Wilderness Church in Copake Falls, N.Y.) Susan Fullerton, twig slim and Hollywood blonde, took Carole Lombard out for Fullerton’s “last glamour puss” role, as she puts it. In slinky midnight blue and a small fist of a diamond brooch, Fullerton played the queen of screwball comedy with a light touch. Even the four-letter words came off as hoyden-like. Not slutty. Still, the movie star did offend now and then.

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An Elegant Stage, But Lacks Chemistry

Theater: 'Quartet'

Truth is often painful. For the four retired opera singers in “Quartet,” the play now ending the Sharon Playhouse summer season, truth is in the insults of aging, in no longer being able to sing and in living in a retirement home where they never wanted to be. For the playhouse, truth is that the production never lives or breathes.

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