OSTF’s gimmick free, updated ‘All’s Well’ a delight that resonates

OSTF’s gimmick free, updated ‘All’s Well’ a delight that resonates OBERLIN — William Shakespeare meets “Downton Abbey” in the Oberlin Summer Theatre Festival’s impressive production of the sophisticated, engrossing comedy “All’s Well That End’s Well,” running through Aug. 8 at Hall Auditorium in this college town.Director Paul Moser has set...

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‘The Odd Couple’ somewhat amusing but getting old

HURON — Ahhhhhh … Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple.”
Where have I heard that title before?
It’s been so long since I’ve seen slob Oscar Madison and neatnik Felix Ungar.
And so, seeing one of beloved playwright Neil Simon’s most popular and well-known plays on Tuesday at the Huron Playhouse was a little like seeing a friend you haven’t seen in ages. You’ve seen him countless times and you’re as familiar with his peculiar idiosyncrasies as you are with your own habits. Yet you expect that due to the time that’s elapsed, you’ll encounter an all-new, fresh face.

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An unorthodox, but captivating ‘Camelot’ at Mercury Theatre Company

’m not sure you’ll find “Doylesque” in any dictionary, but it’s an apt adjective for the vibrant, creative production of “Camelot” Mercury Theatre Company is staging for its second production this summer.
In the above, I’m referring to director John Doyle, who’s known for his “actor-musicianship” approach to productions he’s directed.
Simply, the actors play their own instruments.
Doyle has said his concept began out of economic necessity and evolved into a storytelling approach.

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In Edison’s student’s version of the Scottish play, Lady Macbeth says ‘Double, double, toil and trouble’

MILAN —The imagination of recent Edison High School graduate Zane Fannin has given Lady Macbeth even more urgency to ensure her husband becomes king of Scotland.
Fannin has penned a backstory to the lady, a woman of steely determination, one who strives to keep her ambitious husband from becoming too passive in his quest for the throne.
Fannin’s play, “Bloodstained Hands,” was given a staged reading at the Ohio Educational Theatre Association’s state thespian conference at Bexley High School.

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‘West Side Story’ has eerily familiar appearance in today’s shattered world

HURON — In The Huron Playhouse’s tender, tough and heartbreakingly timely production of the timeless “West Side Story,” there are moments onto which we want to grasp so hard that, if the instances were hands, they’d crunch and go limp.
Those moments include scenes during which the delicate, dreamy young couple Tony and Maria touch each other so gently, you’d think they’re as breakable as the “Glass Menagerie” of animals in the Tennessee Williams play of that title. As embodied by Benjamin Frankart and Jennifer Barnaba, the couple sing to each other quietly and lovingly under soft lighting and a pink, dream-like backdrop.

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A hearrrty, touching ‘Treasure Island’ offered by area theater company

For all the swashbuckling fun, colorful villains, good guys, suspense and even Shakespeare offered by Ken Ludwig’s stage adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island,” playing through Aug. 8 as part of the Oberlin Summer Theatre Festival, the playwright keeps intact the coming-of-age tale’s heart : Childhood innocence interrupted.
These three words have endeared us to a myriad of fictional youngsters who’ve had to come of age too quickly, missing out on carefree moments we fondly recall from our own youthful days.

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Who says nothing in life is free?

OBERLIN — A mixed team of college students and professionals are working hard building the pirate ship set for “Treasure Island,” one of three plays that will be performed for the seventh season of the Oberlin Summer Theater Festival July and August.The festival provides the surrounding communities with six weeks...

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Man who impacted Norwalk High School musical program dies

By AARON KRA– USE Reflector Staff Writerakrause@norwalkreflector.com Jack Carstensen sang from the time he was a young boy.Recently, more than 90 years later, soft strains of music filtered into his ears while he lay in his Norwalk home, stricken with dementia and near death, under the care of Stein Hospice.Music...

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Mercury finds the love story in ‘Ghost’ amid dizzying visual effects

Overdoing technical effects and visuals can bury the simple message at the heart of a show such as “Ghost.” The musical adaptation of the 1990 film is opening Mercury Theatre Company’s 2015 season with a mostly solid production of a so-so musical that stays true to the powerfully moving movie...

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A Q&A with Huron Playhouse Artistic Director Jennifer Wertz as the season nears

By AARON KRA– USE Reflector Staff Writer akrause@norwalkreflector.com In less than a month, the curtain will go up on the 2015 season of Ohio’s oldest continuing summer theater. This year’s Huron Playhouse season appears to be a bit more drama-oriented than the seasons I’ve covered in past years. To view...

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