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Julie Stern

  • Theater Review: Ruh’s ‘Clean House’ Is Good In Ridgefield, But Don’t Expect Funny

    RIDGEFIELD — Winner of one of those MacArthur “genius” awards, and a Pulitzer Prize finalist, Sarah Ruhl, who turns forty this year, is one of America’s most prolific and successful playwrights. Her works are performed on Broadway, at repertory theaters from Yale to Berkeley, and, frequently, on local amateur stages as well.

  • Theater Review: Second Round Of St Germain At TheaterWorks Seriously Entertaining

    HARTFORD — Last year Hartford’s TheaterWorks mounted a delightful production of Mark St Germain’s Becoming Dr Ruth, a one-woman dramatic monologue about how an orphaned Holocaust survivor became America’s most popular sex therapist.

  • Theater Review: An Excellent Collection Of One Acts In Ridgefield

    RIDGEFIELD — Once again Ridgefield Theater Barn is warming up the winter doldrums with a special festival of eight short plays that showcase a wide assortment of local talent and keep the audience laughing. Fitting eight “plays” into a time slot normally geared for two acts means that each work must be really short — more along the lines of a television comic sketch, than a complete dramatic work.

  • Theater Review: Sherman’s Third Panto, ‘Aladdin’ Continues A Great Tradition

    SHERMAN — For the third year in a row, The Sherman Players are presenting a “Christmas Panto” — something that is traditional in Britain, and hopefully will become a tradition here as well, since the two that I’ve seen (last year’s Cinderella, and this year’s Aladdin) — are rollicking good fun, designed to entertain young children, but delightful fun for grownups as well.

  • Theater Review: ‘Fences’ Is Good For A Number Of Reasons

    I never saw the play when it was on Broadway, but I can’t imagine a stronger, more perfect cast than the one assembled for this production.  

  • Theater Review: ‘Tom, Dick and Harry,’ The Stuff Of Sitcoms, Done Well By Town Players

    Ray Cooney has long been considered one of the most successful practitioners of the French style farce on the English stage, winning himself the nickname “The English Feydeau” (the French master of the comedies of infidelity involving multiple doors, beds, and mistresses). In particular, Cooney’s Move Over Mrs Markham and Run For Your Wife (which ran for eight years on the London stage) are performed regularly by local theater groups looking to entertain the homefolks.

  • Theater Review: Marvelous Performances In Theater Barn’s ‘Oleanna’

    RIDGEFIELD — When four people see a play and then spend the 45-minute ride home arguing about it, and then the next day continue the discussion with family and friends who didn’t get to see it, well that must mean something, doesn’t it?

  • Theater Review: Drama And Humor In Westport’s "Dining Room"

    WESTPORT — An elegant realtor is showing off the gracious old formal dining room to a harried corporate exec who has one day to find a house for his family in this, his latest  posting.

    “Look at this beautiful dining room,” she chirps. “I grew up in a dining room just like this one.”

    “I did too,” he recalls. Together they spend a few minutes sharing happy memories.

  • Theater Review: Highly Enjoyable Mindless Fluff At Goodspeed, Just Like Musicals Used To Be

    EAST HADDAM — The original Broadway production of Good News! ran for 557 performances back in the Gatsby era, starting in 1927, and closing months before the stock market bad news that initiated the Great Depression. In short, it was  the kind of mindless fluff that entertained the punters and employed the starlets who flocked to those outrageous parties at Gatsby’s West Egg mansion.

  • Theater Review: "Seascape" At TheatreWorks New Milford Offers Thurberesque Fable, Another Great Production

    NEW MILFORD — In recent months we’ve been approached by attractive young (but not indecently young) women with earnest smiles and degrees in marketing, plying us with free lunches and ballpoint pens in return for allowing them to explain the benefits of their employers — the such and such Continuing Care Community which will free us from the drudgery of shoveling and mowing, while bestowing on us all the joys of spacious floor plans, indoor pools with water aerobics, fine dining and on site medical staff…