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Animal Crackers; plus Passing Strange and At Home at the Zoo

The classic Marx Brothers films are like anarchy in a bottle.  
Marx madness
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  May 13, 2011
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A buff Hair hits the Colonial

At the close of the second act of last Thursday's performance of Hair , as the cast disrobed, an audience member began yelling loud enough to be heard over the mawkish ensemble number, "Where Do I Go."
Aging Aquarian
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  April 01, 2011
Carolyn Clay review's The A.R.T.'s 21st-century Ajax

The A.R.T.'s 21st-century Ajax

An embittered soldier who snaps and commits a heinous act of violence? It's a wonder Sophocles's Ajax isn't performed as often as Hamlet .
Soldier's  tale
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  February 25, 2011
Mark O’Rowe’s Terminus at Paramount Theatre in Boston

Rhyme time at the Paramount Theatre

Rhyme time at the Paramount Theatre for Mark O’Rowe’s Terminus.
Mark O’Rowe’s Terminus
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  February 11, 2011
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Morality play

The ghosts of Arthur Miller and Sam Shepard hover over Vengeance Is the Lord's in its world premiere by the Huntington Theatre Company.
Huntington's Vengeance is sweet
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  November 26, 2010
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Review: The Lyric does Dickens

Plenty of theaters make A Christmas Carol sing. But the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, under the frenzied baton of Spiro Veloudos, is rendering an entire Dickensian symphony in The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby.
Plus Iraq in the Aftermath
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  November 05, 2010


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Muddled histories

The work of Actors' Shakespeare Project is generally smart and imaginative, so the company's thoroughly misbegotten Henry IV, Part I , the first half of ASP's The Coveted Crown (at Midway Studios through November 21), comes as a surprise.
ASP's Henry IV, Part I
By STEVE VINEBERG  |  October 15, 2010
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Reversal of fortunes

Timon of Athens is Shakespeare’s least characteristic tragedy, and the toughest to pull off.
Timon of Athens from Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Prelude to a Kiss from the Huntington
By STEVE VINEBERG  |  May 28, 2010
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Street corner symphonies

We’d be happy enough if Jersey Boys were just a musical revue, thrumming with the the Four Seasons’ hit parade. But on top of that we get a compelling story, following the lives of ’60s heartthrob Frankie Valli and those who rocketed to fame with him.
The Four Seasons live in Jersey Boys
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  May 21, 2010
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A modest epic tale

What beautiful voices and music in this event. Steven Jobe’s Joan of Arc: An Opera In Three Acts is at once ambitious and quite modest, but vocally and musically it remains a pleasure throughout its three brief acts at the Blackstone River Theater in Cum
Steven Jobe’s haunting Joan of Arc
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  May 21, 2010
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We band of brothers

This is the first independent production by the group of five friends who met at Boston’s Emerson College, where they helmed incarnations of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet and Sam Shepard’s True West .
Young actors bring a Spartan production of Henry V to the Apohadion
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  May 21, 2010


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Glee and sympathy

If Ryan Landry gets any more respectable, he’ll be hosting Masterpiece Theatre.
The Gold Dust Orphans’ The Gulls; Nora’s The Lady with All the Answers
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  May 21, 2010
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In search of light

Many of us here in Maine are guilty of having at one time or another harangued the forces of spring to hurry it up already, are guilty of cold-month mopery or worse. Imagine, then, living in the Arctic, where the winter is far darker for far longer, and
USM’s dreamlike Inuit storytelling
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  April 30, 2010

Learning to live

Fanny Kemble is known for being a celebrated British actress in her early 19th-century youth and again toward middle age.
URI Theatre’s sprawling Unbound
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  April 30, 2010
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Dancing the night away

The cat is back; the clock is back; the fire is back.
Festival Ballet’s heartfelt Cinderella
By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  April 30, 2010
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New voices

For nearly a decade now, Maine playwrights have had a fine friend and benefactor in Acorn Productions.
Acorn’s latest Maine Playwrights Festival
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  April 23, 2010


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Dynamic duo

There are King Oedipus and his mom, there are Romeo and Juliet, and there are Oscar and Felix.
Trinity Rep’s over-the-top The Odd Couple
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  April 23, 2010
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Twisted sister

Wow. An explosive performance could be anticipated, since Hedwig and the Angry Inch is the story of an anguished life transformation.
Perishable’s knockout Hedwig and the Angry Inch
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  April 23, 2010
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Dogging it

There isn't much that's cuter than little doggies, except maybe kittens and babies, but try getting them to parade in a line.
The 101 Dalmatians Musical has legs
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  March 19, 2010
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Classic drama

Theater classics are at a significant disadvantage: overfamiliarity.
The Gamm’s masterful Glass Menagerie
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  March 19, 2010
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Moral surgery

You know upon meeting Becky Shaw that you're in the presence of a smart, snappy writer. But you picture playwright Gina Gionfriddo as someone more akin to Theresa Rebeck than William Makepeace Thackeray.
Becky Shaw at the Huntington; Entertaining Mr. Sloane at the Publick; Othello at Actors' Shakespeare Project
By CAROLYN CLAY  |  March 19, 2010


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Planting seeds

For nearly a decade, spring in Portland has heralded the emergence not just of all of us from hibernation, but of playwrights, en masse, from quiet writing rooms.
Acorn tries out four new local plays
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  February 26, 2010
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Hedonism at its best

In 1888, a 15-year-old French kid and a couple of his buddies wrote a script, modeling its gross and laughable anti-hero on a school teacher whom they had it in for.
Absurdist mirth and wonder in Ubu Roi
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  January 29, 2010