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Theatre Reviews

Can Canada’s answer to Neil Simon match the American’s wit?

Snows may soon cover the golf course, but golfers can escape to the links this winter at The Bay Theatre, where Norm Foster’s comedy The Foursome is now playing. If you long to crack open a few beers and play verbal tackle over a friendly wager, then this is the play for you.

With lines straight from Charles Dickens’ own hand, Twin Beach Players’ third adaptation of A Christmas Carol is its most realistic performance yet, according to director and producer, Regan Cashman.     It’s also the most endearing, as Ebenezer Scrooge’s tale of redemption is told through the eyes — and mouths — of children. As the all-kid cast learn their lines, they consult with adults in the company to understand Dickens’ meaning and language.

By November 25, almost two weeks before opening night, Colonial Players’ musical A Christmas Carol was sold out. That amazing feat speaks to the power of Charles Dickens’ classic and to Colonial Players’ place in the traditions of its community.     Colonial’s homegrown Carol — with play and lyrics by Richard Wade and composed by Richard Gessner — debuted in 1981. This is its 29th incarnation.

Great songs, strong voices and ­spirited dancing

Oklahoma!, the Pulitzer Prize-winning first collaboration between Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II, is a rousing night of theater with spirited and memorable music. 2nd Star Productions has the vocal talent to do justice to this great musical.     Director and set designer Jane B. Wingard has chosen to present an Oklahoma! with a beautifully painted set that is flat and one-dimensional. That works because it keeps the focus on the music and the voices.

You’ll welcome the light after two dark hours

Nostalgic for mudslinging yet? If so, you must see Colonial Players’ production of Sunlight, a thoughtful and well-acted tale of academic and family discord over post 9/11 foreign policy.

Plenty of gore and breathtaking power, but at 2¾ hours, it demands staying power

The online gore-ometer measuring gallons of blood spilled in The U.S. Naval Academy Masqueraders’ production of Titus Andronicus reached five gallons after opening night. With nine onstage murders, one rape, six dismemberments and one incidence of cannibalism, the midshipmen were determined to milk Shakespeare’s bloodiest play for every drop.

It will make good memories for the months the company revamps

With Crimes of the Heart, Dignity Players closes a season devoted to love conquers all and adds a new dimension to its billing as “theatre for change.”     After wowing audiences for eight years without technical smoke and mirrors, Dignity Players is upgrading its theatrical infrastructure. Crimes of the Heart, a family drama, makes good memories to carry through the six months when the theater goes dark.

Yes, it’s scary. My nails prove it.

Twin Beach Players works Gothic magic recreating Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in North Beach Boys and Girls Club’s gymnasium. On opening night, the 14-year-old community company sent a full house back in time to 1816, into Dr. Frankenstein’s madness and Arctic ice.     From the front row, I watched every detail, biting my nails. I’d have none were it not for Tyschka’s hilarious Grandmother, a welcome relief from the sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat dramatics and horror.

Compass Rose Studio Theatre sets a new standard for a classic

Now playing at Compass Rose Studio Theatre is a powerful, moving production of an American classic. The Pulitzer Prize went to Harper Lee in her first and only novel, and Oscars for the 1962 film went to Gregory Peck and to Horton Foote for his screenplay adaptation.  

The consequences of a moment last a lifetime

Remember the worst thing you ever said, the words you wish you could take back? The worst thing you ever, the act you wish you could undo? Of course we do, which is why Athol Fugard’s award-winning Master Harold … and the boys is so riveting.