Sep 09

The pandemic isn’t over just because you’re over it: Player’s Ring Theatre Reopens

Player’s Ring building; performances are indoors

Produced by the Player’s Ring Theatre
An original play by Irene Kelleher
With Emily Karel
Directed by Peter Josephson
Presented by Glass Dove Productions

October 2 – 11, 2020
105 Marcy Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801
Player’s Ring on Facebook 

Critique by Kitty Drexel

Portsmouth, NH — According to an email press release from Player’s Ring Theatre in New Hampshire sent on September 8, the company will open its doors to the public beginning on October 2 for its production of Mary and Me by Irene Kelleher.

The company closed its doors in March due to the pandemic. It is reopening for live performance after making adjustments for audience safety. These include a new air handling and ventilation system, reduced capacity, social distancing at six feet, a health check at the door, and a mandatory mask policy.

The theater seats 75 patrons at capacity but only 33 seats are for sale to ticketholders. Only bottled drinks will be for sale. Seat assignments will be allocated by the Player’s Ring box office.

Production manager Margherita Giacobbi said in the press release, “Our number one priority in our decision to reopen has been the safety of our artists, volunteers, and audiences. We are following all State and CDC guidelines to ensure a safer environment (emphasis mine).”

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Sep 09

It Might as Well Be 1963: “A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline”

Presented by the Peterborough Players
A musical about the legendary country singer by Dean Regan
Directed by Tom Frey
Music directed by Ellen Mandel

Sept. 3 – 14, 2014
55 Hadley Road
Peterborough, NH 03458
Peterborough Players on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger Warnings – vintage racism

(Peterborough, NH) The musical’s title, A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline references her cover of the gospel song and last single, “Just A Closer Walk with Thee.” Just as Cline sings about her desire to walk with God, this musical expresses Dean Regan’s wish for just one more concert communion with Cline. To those who worship at the church of song, A Closer Walk was a spiritual experience of the musical variety. Bridget Beirne is so good in the title role that audiences might have gotten their wish. Continue reading

Aug 26

Sweet and Playful Ladies: LITTLE WOMEN

Presented by Peterborough Players: Second Company
Adapted by Gus Kaikkonen
from the novel by Louisa May Alcott
Directed by Charlie Morgan
Compositions by/adapted by Ellen Mandel

August 23, 26, 29, 30 at 2pm; August 25 at 7pm
55 Hadley Road
Peterborough, NH 03458
Peterborough Players on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Peterborough, NH) The adaptation of Little Women by Gus Kaikkonen for Peterborough’s summer stock is sweet and playful without being saccharine. Kaikkonen has concentrated the lengthy classic by Louisa May Alcott into five charming scenes. This play gives us the same adventures of the March family within a toddler-approved time frame of 90 minutes. The acting is strong from the Players’ Second Company. There is lovely entr’acte music by Ellen Mandel. Little Women is a healthy summer diversion in the forests of New Hampshire. Continue reading

Jan 16

Laugh-Out-Loud Ridiculousness: LEND ME A TENOR

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Lend Me A Tenor by Ken Ludwig, Ciitizen’s Bank Performing Arts Series,The Palace Theatre,  1/13/12-1/28/12,  http://www.palacetheatre.org/event-calendar.aspx?event=442&dt=1/13/2012&category=ALL.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Manchester, NH)  They usually don’t hand out acting awards for comedies, and that is a crying shame.  Is it really harder for an actor to emote than pratfall down the stairs a dozen times a show?  Is biting dialogue really harder to memorize than fifty quick entrances and exits?  A farce may be light on character development, but it is a full-court press of physicality and split-second acting.

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Nov 28

The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged) Review–SERIOUSLY!

Reed Martin, Austin Tichenor & Matt Rippy (L-R) Photo by Meghan Moore

The Ultimate Christmas Show by Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor, Reduced Shakespeare CompanyMerrimack Repertory Theatre, 11/25/11-12/18/11,  http://www.merrimackrep.org/season/show.aspx?sid=110.  Contains scatological humor and some Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor flesh.   

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

(Lowell, MA)  They’re baaack!  Every so often, a rustle of popular culture floats through the air, gets put into the Reduced Shakespeare grinder and out comes some side-splitting fun.  At their east coast premiere of The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged), the Reduced Shakespeare Company exceeds expectations.  Blending holiday traditions from ancient times to modern, religious to secular, The Ultimate Christmas Show presents a jolly evening for anyone who can appreciate a little irreverence with sincere heart. Continue reading

Sep 25

‘I Love’ traveling through the stages of love

Rehearsal photo by Jeff Blim

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro, music by Jimmy Roberts, Ciitizen’s Bank Performing Arts Series, The Palace Theatre, 9/23/11-10/8/11, http://www.palacetheatre.org/event-calendar.aspx?event=438&dt=9/23/2011&category=ALL.

Reviewed by Leah White

(Manchester, NH) The opening show of the 2011-2012 Season at New Hampshire’s Palace Theatre is I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.  It has four actors, several singles and marrieds, and many, many chairs.

The first act of this enormously funny show focuses on the dating scene.  With Jeff Blim, Kiley L. McDonald, Shane Patrick O’Neill, and Kelsey White onstage, and the audience rolling in the aisles, the preview performance was sensational.  Even the minor staging gaffes contributed to a wonderful evening of theatre. Continue reading