It is the winter doldrums here in North Country, but what better way to combat those blues than to take in an entertaining, moving, or inspiring evening at one of Maine's fine theatre companies? And if not in winter, why not plan ahead by subscribing to some of these companies or buying seats for one of the many exciting upcoming events for 2019?
To assist you in your planning, BWW offers these picks of the ten productions and company repertoire to which we look forward most. (more...)
The nationally regarded Fulton Theatre is proud to present the 2018/2019 Eichmann Family Series Holiday production, A Christmas Carol, December 1 through 30, 2018. Created by Lancaster's own Marc Robin and Curt Dale Clark, this Fulton Holiday classic is full of love, laughter, and a heartwarming message for audiences both young and young at heart! (more...)
Maine seems to be enjoying a theatrical renaissance with large and small companies vigorously engaged in producing a wide range of repertoire throughout the state. Several of the leading professional theatres have become destinations in and of themselves - (witness the inclusion of Maine State Music Theatre and Ogunquit Playhouse in Scott Andrews' upcoming book, Vacationland) - while venerable community groups continue to raise the bar for their work. I am privileged to get to sample these performances as Broadway World's Maine editor and to be able to compare many of them favorably with shows I see across the country, in New York and London. These are my personal choices of the best in Maine for 2018, grouped by theatre company and show.
MAINE STATE MUSIC THEATRE delivered a 60th anniversary season that redefined the meaning and substance of 'gala.' (more...)
Two of Maine's leading cultural institutions - Maine State Music Theatre (MSMT) in Brunswick and The Public Theatre (TPT) in Lewiston - have partnered together for the first time to bring Grease the Musical to the stage. (more...)
BroadwayWorld presents a comprehensive weekly roundup of regional stories around our Broadway World, which include videos, editor spotlights, regional reviews and more. This week, we feature GYPSY, HUNCHBACK, FUN HOME, and More! (more...)
The historic Fulton Theatre is ready to set sail on Sept. 20, 2018 with a major new musical…TREASURE ISLAND. Based on the treasured classic by the Robert Louis Stevenson, this epic adventure eclipses the scale of the Fulton Theatre's recent productions of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Les Miserables, and Disney's Beauty and the Beast with expansive Broadway sets, a cast of 36 and a 17-piece orchestra bringing to life an exhilarating and majestic score! After more than a decade of development, Treasure Island is ready for the spotlight. (more...)
In an enchantingly fresh take on Carlo Collodi's classic tale, Robin and Clark's musical version of Pinocchio explores the inner journey of the wooden puppet who must learn the meaning of truth, compassion, and courage in order to become 'a real live boy.' MSMT closes its Theatre for Young Audiences series with a colorful, amusing, and tender retelling of this touching story, directed and choreographed by Raymond Marc Dumont and entirely produced and performed by MSMT's Educational Fellows. (more...)
In the midst of what has proved to be an extraordinary week for the company, Maine State Music Theatre fans turned out in a capacity crowd at the Curtis Memorial Library's final Peek Behind the Curtain panel to celebrate the concluding events of this Diamond Jubilee season. In the Brunswick season's penultimate week, MSMT presented nine performances of its smash hit, Singin' in the Rain, as well as two sold-out gala 60th anniversary concerts and a free Concert on the Mall that drew close to 2500 people. The panel, moderated by BWW's Carla Maria Verdino-Sullwold, featured Nicolas Dromard, Kate Fahrner, Brian Shepard, and Kim Sava, the stars of the production, two returning stars closely associated with MSMT's history, Sue Cella and K.K. Preece, as well as Artistic Director Curt Dale Clark. The resulting discussion, which focused on the joyful new staging by Marc Robin of Singin' in the Rain and the special anniversary events, was filled with warmth, laughter, and substance. (more...)
Anniversaries are times to reflect, to evaluate, but also to celebrate. Yesterday with its 60 Years of Musical Theatre: The Best of Maine State Music Theatre gala concert, the Brunswick theatre pulled out all the stops with a big, beautiful Diamond Jubilee gala that proved a stunning culmination to this milestone season. And indeed, six decades after Victoria Crandall launched her dream at the Pickard Theater on the Bowdoin College campus, MSMT can boast numerous reasons to celebrate its history, as well as its present accomplishments and future aspirations.
In a matinee and evening stagings that featured musical performances by twenty-one soloists and an ensemble of ten, as well a number of spoken tributes, Artistic Director Curt Dale Clark architected a program that was classy, heartfelt, and rich and deep in the talent it showcased. As with any commemorative event, the program tapped into nostalgia and memory but blended these with a strong sense of the vigorous, energetic, imposing presence this company has become - not only in Midcoast Maine but also as a force in national regional theatre. (more...)
As its main stage finale in this Diamond Jubilee season, Maine State Music Theatre chose to present the stage version of one of the most beloved musicals of all time, Singin' in the Rain. With its book by Betty Comden/Adolph Green, and songs by Nacio Herb Brown/Arthur Freed), based on the famed MGM musical, this iconic classic receives a production that recreates the glitter of Hollywood's Golden Age on a dazzlingly grand scale. MSMT's staging, directed/choreographed by Marc Robin, sparkles with the effervescence of fine champagne, bubbles with energy and originality, exudes sunshine and joy, and offers its audiences an exhilarating, entirely magical entertainment experience. (more...)
Replying to a question about how he has chalked up such an impressive performance roster, Broadway triple threat actor Brian Shepard, who plays Cosmo Brown in Maine State Music Theatre's new production of Singin' in the Rain, smiles and says," Good fortune, a lot of hard work, and I LOVE this! I am doing what I have always wanted to do. It was this or bust. I never had a fallback." (more...)
As part of Maine State Music Theatre's 60th Anniversary season, and as a thank to you the community that has supported it, the theatre will present a free concert - in collaboration with Brunswick Downtown Association - on the Brunswick Mall on Wednesday, August 15 at 5:30 PM. (more...)
' 'If laughter cures all ills, Nunsense will make doctors obsolete.' That is one of my favorite all time review quotes,' says Dan Goggin. 'Hearing an audience laugh and knowing you had something to do with it is one of the most rewarding experiences I can think of.' Despite the enduring international sensation Goggin's brainchild has become, the writer, director, and creator of a thirty-five-year musical theatre phenomenon and franchise that embraces seven musicals, three spin offs, television specials, a possible upcoming new television series, recordings, and an entire line of merchandise remains a bit bemused and amazed at his runaway success. (more...)
The very first number in the stage version of Saturday Night Fever is an ensemble piece, Stayin' Alive, which sets the tone for the raw, realistic musical drama which follows. 'This show gave us a little bit of an edge and by bookending it with Beauty and the Beast and Singin' in the Rain, which are sweet and a little sugary, this enabled us to do something a bit different - something with an edge, bite and grit,' says Maine State Music Theatre's Artistic Director Curt Dale Clark. Clark, together with cast members Jacob Tischler (Tony Manero), Alexandra Matteo (Stephanie Mangano), Christina Carlucci (Pauline), and Anthony J. Gasbarre III (Joey), are speaking to BWW's Carla Maria Verdino-Sullwold in the season's third Peek Behind the Curtain panel discussion at Curtis Memorial Library, devoted to the exploration of the company's current main stage production of Saturday Night Fever, playing on the Pickard stage until August 4. (more...)
Maine State Music Theatre's collaboration with Portland Stage continues with a production of Nunsense by Dan Goggin beginning August 14th has been extended to September 2nd by popular demand. (more...)
"Beauty and the Beast is the essence of that Disney magic! It brings people together and it is such a joyful experience!" Actress Lexi Rabadi plays Belle in Maine State Music Theatre's new blockbuster production of the Disney classic which closes its run July 14th. She and fellow cast members Darick Pead (the Beast) and Matthew Ragas (Gaston), together with MSMT Managing Director Stephanie Dupal are talking with Broadway World's Carla Maria Verdino-Sullwold about the experience of creating this timeless fairytale on stage. The panel discussion, the second in the annual Peek behind the Curtain Series at the Curtis Memorial Library drew a full house, as audience members and patrons listened to the group explore the factors they believe make this show a classic and make this particular production a work of incredible enchantment. (more...)
With what is arguably the largest production in Maine State Music Theatre's history, the company brings a level of opulence, sophistication, and magic to the Pickard stage that makes this production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast a fitting jewel in the Diamond Jubilee Crown. It is no secret that the company has used every single ounce of its resources (and overcome a number of unforeseen obstacles along the way) to create this magnificent production, but the result has been entirely worth the effort. This beloved fairytale dazzlingly comes to life in all its heartfelt beauty. (more...)
“I love telling stories; it doesn't matter what the form is. I like the struggle, the journey, the narrative,” says actor Darick Pead. Pead, who is about to open in Maine State Music Theatre's Beauty and the Beast in the title role of the Beast, has enjoyed a fascinating personal journey of his own in pursuing his dream of becoming an actor.
Born and raised in Utah in a large Mormon family – he was the seventh child among ten – Pead says, “Except for doing my Mormon mission in Pennsylvania for two years, I had never been outside the state of Utah until I was twenty-seven.” Pead remembers that “I always enjoyed theatre, and I would go to watch my older siblings in school plays and think what fun that must be. Then in fifth grade my teacher suggested that I should try out for Wizard of Oz. I wanted to play Toto and get to bark onstage, and I was super disappointed when I was cast as the Scarecrow . But that was the start of it all.” (more...)