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David Butler

Latest Articles

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Review: Fenix Theatre's poignant, funny Waiting for Godot

Samuel Beckett's masterpiece, the tragicomedy Waiting for Godot, might not be everybody's idea of a summertime al fresco romp.
Laughing while it hurts
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  July 22, 2011
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Review: Theater Project's Pride and Prejudice stays authentically powerful

Jane Austen's classic 19th-century novel of manners and morals, Pride and Prejudice , has undergone a truly weird range of reinterpretations. But the classics also deserve a little unalloyed love.
Classical strength
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  February 04, 2011
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To Sir, with love

"Sir, it's time to age," Norman wryly prompts "Sir," an esteemed Shakespearean actor about to play Lear for the 272nd time.
Mad Horse's Dresser unmasks theater
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  October 16, 2009
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Snapping towels

Through the rest of June, a classic battle of the sexes will be waged at the wading pool of Deering Oaks Park. The Fenix Theatre Co., Portland's premier purveyor of outdoor Shakespeare for the summer, stages a smart, wet, and aggressive Taming of the
Fenix's Taming of the Shrew gets wet
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  June 19, 2009
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History's mysteries

Melodrama is a particularly satisfying popular art form for a financial crisis, filled as it is with unambiguous types and tropes — rich ruthless villains, poor but warm-hearted heroes and heroines, music that spiritedly cues our hisses and cheers, and
Explore Portland's past with AIRE
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  May 29, 2009
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Teen scenes

The show fills this summer’s void of outdoor theater with a light and gleeful touch.
Giving love a bad name in the park
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  August 05, 2008


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Aching leave

Compared to the staid, changeless Irish village of Balleybeg, America seems like a “vast restless place,” a land of “impermanence and anonymity,” and a country where “nobody gives a damn about the past.”
Philadelphia, Here I Come! explores the internal and external struggles of home
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  April 30, 2008

Theatrical progress

As an avid theater-goer, there are times when I hanker to positively consume a fine play.
A venue-to-venue tour of Portland
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  January 02, 2008
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Myth and legend

With no ado, here are some of the last year’s theatrical highlights.
Portland theatre: 2007 in review
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  December 19, 2007
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Myth making

Middle-aged Michael O’Neal just wants a little bit of the epic in his life.
To thine own story be true
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  March 21, 2007
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Papa performances

Concise and elegant, the prose of Ernest Hemingway in some ways resembles particularly beautiful stage directions.
Bringing Hemingway back to life
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  January 03, 2007


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Christmas spirits

Christmas in Lisnacoo involves an avenging Santa, wanton women, and, above all, an impressive amount of spirits — both the kind in bottles and the kind within the lively Irish.
Drinking and living it up Irish-style
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  December 06, 2006
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Playing with boys

The cult of celebrity and sensationalism gets a rollicking and poignant treatment in John Synge’s classic comedy The Playboy of the Western World , directed by Tony Reilly for the American Irish Repertory Ensemble.
Irish tongues are wagging
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  May 24, 2006

Back to life

Well, it was a close call, but now that we’ve crossed the Stygian flood of Christmas Carols and other holiday fiascos, we can get back to the business of theater that might occasionally surprise, scandalize, and even keep us breathing.
Theater stirs in the new year
By Megan Grumbling  |  December 28, 2005