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Showing It All

Theater: 'The Full Monty'

The word for the Rhinebeck’s Center for Performing Arts production of “The Full Monty” is “rollicking.”

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Of Land, Family and Eternity

Theater
leong@lakevillejournal.com

In Horton Foote’s “The Carpetbagger’s Children,” the decline of a rich East Texas family is told by three sisters in monologues that are both collective and individual. Time shifts, emotions are hidden then revealed, and the family moves inexorably toward its ultimate fate. No wonder Aglet Theatre Company has chosen this surprisingly rich play for its current, staged (no scripts) production.

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The Demon Child

Theater
karaw@lakevillejournal.com

There’s just something so lovable about maniacal children. Especially the sweet, murderous ones like Rhoda Penmark (Campbell Coughlin) in the Sherman Players’ production of Maxwell Anderson’s “The Bad Seed.”
The play first introduces us to Rhoda as a practically-perfect-in-every-way 8-year-old who is neat as a pin, astonishingly polite and overwhelmingly smart.
But alas, this could not last for long.

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Three Women; Three Tales

compass@lakevillejournal.com

Aglet Theatre Company winds up its spring season of staged readings with Horton Foote’s next to last play, “The Carpetbagger’s Children.”
Set in a small Texas town after Reconstruction, three sisters
singly tell family stories, each story skewed slightly by memory, personality and time, each giving their own version of the same tales.
Foote is known for his film scripts “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and “Tender Mercies.” For his play “The Young Man From Atlanta,” Foote won a Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1995.

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Daring Makes It So

Theater: ‘Fahrenheit 451’
compass@lakevillejournal.com

For such a grim play, Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” (the temperature at which books burn) has a delightful and witty finish with Tolstoy and Aristotle and Dostoevsky and Lewis Carroll and Emily Bronte and others milling about, and shaking hands with each other in some woodsy retreat.
“Call me Ishmael,” Melville says, introducing himself to Poe, a newcomer.
These readers have escaped to “tell and remember books,” to memorize great works, preserving them like Irish monks in a shattered world.

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Raising Big Questions

Theater: ‘Good People’

David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Good People” is about being down and out in Boston and why some people get out of the ghetto, and others do not.
In the opening scene, with some of the best writing in the play, Margie Walsh (Frances McDormand) tries hard to avoid being fired for chronic lateness by her supervisor/friend, Stevie (Patrick Carroll). She bobs and weaves around the complaints (she says she has a daughter who is retarded), all to no avail. Stevie says he has orders to fire her or be out of a job himself.

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Pinter’s Mystery

Theater: ‘The Collection’
leong@lakevillejournal.com

“The Collection” is an early Pinter work. Yet it contains the hallmarks, if less subtley, of later Pinter masterpieces, such as “The Homecoming,” “No Man’s Land” and “Betrayal.” It’s almost a writing exercise, in which the various possibilities of infidelity — in fact and in fancy — are explored geometrically. A wife may, or may not, have been unfaithful with another, probably gay, man. He in turn may, or may not, have been unfaithful to his much older, presumed lover.

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Smart Play, And Disturbing, Too

Theater: ‘The Heiress’
compass@lakevillejournal.com

It’s a smart, tidy play, “The Heiress,” and, even with no surprises, riveting.
No surprises because we know Catherine Sloper (Jill Wanderman), a plain and graceless woman, is being wooed for her fortune (back in the 19th century when $30,000 a year was real money in New York).
No doubt about it. Penniless Morris Townsend (Jonathan Slocum) may be courting the doctor’s daughter, but he makes clear in a moment alone in the Washington Square drawing room, sweeping his arm along the fireplace mantel, that what he wants is to live as rich people do.

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Theater: Hilarity and Horror

Live simulcasts of the Metropolitan Opera have become a popular way for area residents to see opera in an entirely new way: lush, intimate and very affordable. For several local theaters, including The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington and Time & Space Limited in Hudson, the simulcasts aren’t just limited to the Met. Later this month, both are showing what is currently the hottest show in the UK’s West End, “Frankenstein,” directed by Danny Boyle and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller. The two actors are alternating the main roles of Dr.

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Taking Talk To New Lows

Theater: ‘Talk Radio’
compass@lakevillejournal.com

Eric Bogosian’s “Talk Radio,” that plunge into toxic chatter on the public’s airwaves, feels like a one-act play. Its high-pitched, one-note course can grab audiences fast. But TheatreWorks’ production in New Milford cuts the play in two, giving audiences a break.

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