Theater (167)

Battle wounds: Women at War in Iraq explores abuse, hostility in the ranks

In Helen Benedict’s play The Lonely Soldier: Women at War in Iraq, the women of the play are engaged in more than one war: They must contend not only with a hostile enemy, but with the disrespect, hostility and even aggression of their own fellow troops. The Lonely Soldier tells the true stories of seven real women whose experiences in the military left them disillusioned, hurt or damaged. This superb and important production -- a…

8 DAYS A WEEK: SO MUCH BLUEGRASS, AND CONCUPISCENCE FOR THE REST OF US

THURSDAY 3/19THE GLITTER DIVINE | Need an excuse to get glittery for a cause? On Thursday, Portland's venerable high-end eatery GRACE hosts THE TELLING ROOM'S annual SPARKLING LITERARY BALL to honor donors. It's called GLITTERATI. It's fancy, it's fun and it puts you in the same room as five featured, nationally-known authors, and free donuts (cost included in your ticket, that is). It'll cost you $50, at the base level — unless you and seven…

Life through a prism: The Other Place poses a medical mystery

It starts, Juliana tells us, when she sees a girl in a yellow bikini appear in a tropical conference room full of doctors. This bright cipher in the crowd is the first of many convoluted clues in the fragmented mystery of what’s ailing Juliana, in Sharr White’s unconventionally structured drama The Other Place. The marvelous Denise Poirier is a fierce and compelling Juliana in this excellent Good Theater production, directed by Brian P. Allen.

Calm before a storm: Gidion’s Knot builds with suspense, revelations

According to legend, the Gordion knot was an intricate, unsolvable knot on whose undoing a kingdom hung: Alexander the Great finally undid it by slashing it in half, rather than figuring out how to unknot it. Now, we use the phrase to refer to an intractable problem – one that is solved only by brute or cheating means, by ignoring rather than solving the intricacies of the problem. Such an impossibly complex problem is fifth…

American Gothic: Civil War drama The Whipping Man braces with Old Testament fervor

This almost-abandoned house looks haunted. Windows broken, walls rent, all ornament long looted, its ravaged roofline forms a broken horizon against a sky the color of a luminous bruise. The estate’s last inhabitant, newly freed slave Simon (Ray Anthony Thomas) is about to be surprised by the return of two young men – the master’s Confederate soldier son Caleb (Tom White) and John Brooks Brantly), a former slave of the house who was raised alongside…

Playing with food: Maine Restaurant Week gets theatrical

Maine Restaurant Week is once again upon us (March 1-14). Here in Portland, we’re very conscious of how much there is to the growing, crafting, serving and eating of food, but of course there’s more to it even than that: Food is also integral to family, romance, history and memory. To accompany your Maine Restaurant Week with a less literal, more literary take on food, consider reserving seats at The Maine Dish: A Feast of…

Strictly ballroom: Mechanics Hall to showcase historic space with performances

This First Friday, March 6, one of Portland’s most beautiful historical spaces – the third-floor ballroom of Mechanics Hall – will reopen to the public for the first time in 50 years, and to mark the occasion comes a showcase of art and performances. The last grand functions of the Mechanics Hall, a 200-year-old building on downtown Congress Street, took place in the 1950s. Now, thanks to a partnership between theater company Acorn Productions and…

Business as usual: Lyric captures amoral world of 1960s big business

There’s a certain kind of nostalgia by which we look back at the good-old-days of bad, limning reproachable behaviors of the past that are way more benign than what we’ve got going on now. A prime example is the business world: Given the chicanery of the last decade or so, doesn’t the sing-song sociopathy and career climbing of the 1960s corporate model seem like an escapist fantasyland? Hence Madmen, and hence the continuing popularity of…

Lorem Ipsum takes on two Churchill plays

We’ve grown rather fond of the anti-hero: the Don Drapers and the Piper Chapmans of our fictional worlds. We love them for their shortcomings, and even when they take it one step too far, it’s often hard not to admire them for it. So when Mariah Bergeron’s Marion snakes her way to the top of the London real estate scene in Caryl Churchill’s Owners, breaking and stealing any heart that gets in her way, it’s…
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