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Theatre: ‘Boeing Boeing’
 

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Talented Cast, Irresistible Evening

Theatre: ‘Young Frankenstein’

Warning: resistance is futile. Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein” is, frankly, not that great of a musical. Its bawdy jokes are repeated multiple times to make absolutely sure nobody in the audiences misses a single one. The songs are too long and not very musically interesting. 

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If It Works Once, It Will Work Every Time

Theatre: ‘The 39 Steps’

When Richard Hannay, the tweedy protagonist of “The 39 Steps,” flees the police, he is directed to the rear window. You know, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 thriller. The audience at The Ghent Playhouse got it. They got it the next time, too. They got the Dial M for room service sign, too, and all the other little salutes to the revered filmmaker in this giddy adaptation of his 1935 film, “The 39 Steps.”

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Born Yesterday, Relevant Today

Theatre: ‘Born Yesterday’

Up in One Productions’ newest show, “Born Yesterday,” opened at the Center for Performing Arts in Rhinebeck to a smallish audience who were engaged and laughing heartily at every turn. 

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A Complex Battle of Good Versus Evil

Theatre: ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’

If you’re of a certain age, the title “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” may evoke audio memories of Gene Pitney crooning on the AM radio in your parent’s 1962 Oldsmobile. If classic films are more your bent, then John Ford’s uniting John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Lee Marvin in a mega-star acting tug of war may elicit a nod.

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A Mother and Son Talk, Surrounded by Explosives

Theatre: ‘The Velocity of Autumn’

There are good ways and bad ways to die, Chris tells his 80-year-old mother. He figures blowing up a block of Park Slope in Brooklyn with Molotov cocktails is a bad way.
Zippo in hand, she figures it’s the only way to live and die on her own terms.

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Horror Meets Comedy

Theatre: ‘Young Frankenstein’

This production of “Young Frankenstein” — a musical based on the Mel Brooks film of the same name that stars the late Gene Wilder— shows how much passion a local theater troupe has for its craft.

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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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