‘Next to Normal’ Is Extra Special: A Phantasmagoric Pop Opera

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Bruce caricatureBruce The Blog Beyond Broadway  

BY BRUCE APAR

When Bruce The Blog Watches… People Act!

The Armonk Players Present
NEXT TO NORMAL
Book + Lyrics by Brian Yorkey
Music by Tom Kitt
Directed by Christine DiTota
Musical Direction by Ricky Romano
Produced by Jeff Rocco + Rod Berro
Through June 9, 2018 (Thursday-Saturday)
Whippoorwill Theatre
19 Whippoorwill Road East
Armonk, New York 10504
Order Tickets on Website
Sponsored by Friends of the North Castle Public Library
Presented by special arrangement with Music Theatre International

Beyond Broadway, there are very few destinations closer to home where local theater-goers can get a great deal seeing a famous Broadway musical performed by top talent. It’s a very short list that begins near the end of the alphabet, with Westchester Broadway Theater in Elmsford and Yorktown Stage in Yorktown Heights.

After seeing Next to Normal at Whippoorwill Theater in North Castle Library, we now can go to the head of the alphabet by adding Armonk as another destination where Broadway-worthy musical productions can be seen for a song.

The cast of Next to Normal (from left) Jesse Herman as Henry, Anthony Malchar as Gabe, Adam Welsh as Dr. Madden, Christine Gavin as Diane, John Anthony Lopez as Dan, Jess Bulzacchelli as Natalie. Photo by Christine DiBuono

 

 

 

 

 

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Einstein Was Great, But Was He Good?

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Bruce caricatureBruce The Blog Beyond Broadway  

BY BRUCE APAR

When Bruce The Blog Watches… People Act!

Penguin Rep Theater Presents
RELATIVITY
By Mark St. Germain
Directed by Joe Brancato, Artistic Director, Penguin Rep
Andrew M. Horn, Executive Director, Penguin Rep
Through June 10, 2018 (Thursdays-Sundays)
7 Crickettown Road
Stony Point, New York 10980
845.786.2873
Order Tickets on Website

He is more myth than man, the Babe Ruth of brainiacs. Who doesn’t know the name Einstein? It’s as much a word as it is a name, a synonym for genius.

Apart from his celebrated scientific work, though, who was Albert Einstein the man? That’s a relative question, one that nimble playwright Mark St. Germain explores with wit, historical veracity and theatrical verve in his one-act play “Relativity.” It can (and should) be seen through June 10 at Penguin Rep, a professional theater of consistently high quality in Stony Point, Rockland County.

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The Return of Talented Mr. Ripley, Believe It or Not

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Bruce caricatureBruce The Blog Beyond Broadway  

BY BRUCE APAR

When Bruce The Blog Watches… People Act!

Hudson Stage Company Presents
New York Premiere of
Switzerland
By Joanna Murray-Smith
Directed by Dan Foster
Executive Produced by Denise Bessette & Olivia Sklar

Through May 5, 2018 (weekends)
Whippoorwill Hall Theatre at North Castle Library
Kent Place
Armonk, New York 10504
914.271.2811

Order Tickets on Website
or
Call 800.838.3006

The riveting drama Switzerland, now playing at Hudson Stage in Armonk through May 5, is a “two-hander.” That’s theater lingo for a play with two actors. If there seems to be more than two characters on stage in this novel idea for a drama, it’s a testament to actors Peggy J. Scott and Daniel Petzold, and to playwright Joanna Murray-Smith.

The trio brings to life a captivating conceit inspired by real-life crime writer Patricia Highsmith, who was quite a character in her own right. If her name isn’t instantly familiar, it’s likely two of her celebrated works are: The Talented Mr. Ripley was adapted into a Hollywood hit movie starring Matt Damon, and Strangers on a Train is an Alfred Hitchcock classic.

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The Art of Staging Turf Wars

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Bruce caricatureBruce the Blog By Bruce Apar When Bruce The Blog Listens, People Talk


Turf is turf, whether it’s auld sod in the Emerald Isle or pavement in Manhattan; whether it’s an in-your-mug Irish lass sparring over a patch of land with the feisty farmer next door or American hooligans pounding the pavement to protect their territory from an Hispanic street gang.

Two such scenarios are playing out to magical effect on a couple of the finest stages of entertainment in the Hudson Valley.

Outside Mullingar cast + producers

The insiders behind the outstanding “Outside Mullingar” are (from left) actor Davis Hall (Tony Reilly); producers Denise Bessette, Olivia Sklar, Dan Foster (who directed), actors Susan Pellegrino (Aoife Muldoon), Sean Hayden (Anthony Reilly), Susannah Schulman Rogers (Rosemary Muldoon). Photo by Bruce Apar

IMG_7352John Patrick Shanley, the supremely gifted dramatist who has spun contemporary classics like Oscar winner Moonstruck and Tony- and Pulitzer-honored Doubt, is very well served by Hudson Stage’s gloriously performed Outside Mullingar at Whippoorwill Theater, part of Armonk’s North Castle Library.

IMG_7353A few miles (or minutes) west, at Westchester Broadway Theatre in Elmsford, the Jets and Sharks are having at each other in the towering West Side Story, miraculously scored by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim with a veritable hit parade of hummable and infectious standards.

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