MONMOUTH – The Theater At Monmouth, the Shakespearean theater of Maine, which is celebrating its 35th year, will feature 10 shows this year and many special events.

The Theater At Monmouth is a classical repertory theater that now has a three-season schedule. It performs in historic Cumston Hall, a Victorian-style opera house.

In recent years, a $1.8 million revitalization project of the hall has included an addition, new restrooms, air-conditioning, an elevator and 288 new theater seats.

The 2004 season begins with the spring touring production of “Arabian Nights,” created and performed by Dennis A. Price and Pitcher. This story, based on the tales of “1001 Arabian Nights,” is expected to be seen by more than 25,000 Maine schoolchildren.
How odd
Also in May, the troupe will take on its first Neil Simon production, a comic favorite of theater, film and television, “The Odd Couple.” Monmouth favorites Bill Van Horn and Mark S. Cartier will play Oscar and Felix. This opens May 14 and runs until May 22.

Kicking off the summer will be the “Black Fly Follies.” This pre-season favorite is a night of music, comedy and unique performances in the style of an old-fashioned variety show.

The summer repertory season opens July 2 with William Shakespeare’s romantic comedy “As You Like It.” This classic masterpiece celebrates love and romance, and the mysterious ways in which they work.

On July 9, the troupe plans to produce its funniest play ever, with David Greenham and Bill Van Horn’s original adaptation of Carlo Goldoni’s “The Liar.”

Cumston Hall will be transformed into Venice for this fast-paced 18th century Italian comedy. “The Liar” will be directed by TAM Producing Director David Greenham.

“Idiot’s Delight,” a Pulitzer Prize winning play by Robert Sherwood, opens July 23. Adapted into a 1939 film starring Clark Gable, this ensemble story tells the tale of a hotel in the Italian Alps, with a large cast of unforgettable guests. Many remember Gable’s famous “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” song and dance. Harry Van and his Les Blondes chorus girls will be featured in this tale of comedy and drama set on the eve of World War II. Artistic Director Sally Wood will make her directing debut with this theater with “Idiot’s Delight.”

Taking the stage July 30 is William Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra.” Monmouth veterans Janis Stevens and Mark S. Cartier will play the famous couple.
‘Pippi Longstocking’
This summer’s children’s show will feature a favorite of European literature, “Pippi Longstocking.” Astrid Lindgren’s charismatic Pippi and her crazy adventures with friends and neighbors begins on Aug. 3.

The theater will again set aside Tuesday nights in August for new works. Eve Ensler’s popular play “The Vagina Monologues” will be performed Aug. 3. On Aug. 10 and 17, Marie Jones’ comic “Stones in His Pockets” will make its Maine professional premiere. Dustin Tucker, who was a comic favorite as Thurio in last season’s “The Two Gentleman of Verona,” teams up with Bill Van Horn to play multiple characters.

New this season are special performances by the Two Lights Theatre Ensemble of “El Cid au Flamenco,” based on a 14th century French tale. On the weekend of Aug. 27, this ensemble will bring flamenco dancing and drama to the Monmouth stage.

The summer season includes a variety of extra programs, known as The Monmouth Fringe Programs. These will include “7 O’clock in the Parking Lot” shows on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as play readings. People can check with the box office in June for a complete listing.

The theater’s fourth Gilbert & Sullivan musical, “Iolanthe,” will open in September.

Season and single ticket certificates are available now. Season ticket packages range from $35 to $90. For prices, descriptions and more information, people can go online at www.theateratmonmouth.org or call (207) 933-9999.


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