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August Theatre Highlights

Though 9/6- HUDSON VALLEY SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL at Boscobel Restoration, Garrison—Here’s how it works. One summer’s afternoon, pack a nice picnic, maybe a bottle of wine, and swing over to the East side of the Hudson (I-84 to Beacon works). Get on 9D going south, and enjoy a pleasant riverside drive through the charming town of Cold Spring. Keep going until you see the signs for Boscobel, turn in and park. Stroll across the grounds and gardens of one of those great old New York mansions, while admiring the stellar view of the river and West Point. Enjoy the picnic and view, and then mosey over to a large white tent with audience seating, lighting rigs…but no set pieces or backdrop. This is where you will see and hear Shakespeare’s legendary works come to life, thanks to great directors and technicians, and a top-shelf Equity cast. This year it’s the lesser-known drama Pericles, Prince of Tyre, the perennially popular comedy Much Ado About Nothing, and recent audience favorite The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), where the Bard’s 37 plays are whipped through in 97 minutes flat. Applaud loudly, drive home safely, and pat yourself on the back for an afternoon and evening well spent. Boscobel Restoration, Rte. 9D between Cold Spring and Garrison,, 845.265.9575 (Box Office), 845.265.7858 (main office). Tu/We/Th 7 PM, Fr/Sa 8 PM, Su 6 PM. No shows Mo.

Pericles, Prince of Tyre: August 11, 15, 19, 21, 27, 30,
September 2, 5
Much Ado About Nothing: August 12, 14, 16, 20, 25, 29,
September 1, 4
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged),
August 13, 18, 22, 23, 26, 28, September 3, 6

8/21 through 8/23, 8/28 through 8/30- PLAYFAIR 2009 at the Shandaken Theatrical Society Playhouse, Phoenicia—Now in its seventh year, this year’s Playfair in Shandaken features six comedies by Hudson Valley playwrights, performed in a span of two hours. Familiar characters from fairy tales make an appearance in Once Upon a Session by Karen Rich, where seven women attend a group support session and behave, well, insupportably. A would-be super hero convinces his far more dashing friend to be his sidekick in Man of Faith, Man of Science, Man I Think You’re an Idiot by Aaron Hall. A hot-to-trot couple reluctantly take a “time out” to discuss the pros and cons of using a machine to genetically engineer the child they might be about to create in Tug by Marcia Slatkin. Psychotherapy by Tom Cherwin has Leonard Arnold, your average wimp, making his first venture into the world of psychoanalysis only to find that he may be the only sane man on stage. Grace Under Pressure—written by Lewis Gardner and performed by Deborah Warren—is a divorcee's Christmas Video monologue that is so very sad…it’s funny. And in How The Dinosaurs Became Extinct, playwright David Rich gives us something that’s always worth laughing at; humans acting like animals, with Noah’s wife Sadie using all her chutzpah to convince him to leave the troublesome dinosaurs off the Ark. Shandaken Theatrical Society Playhouse, 10 Church St., Phoenicia,, 845.688.2279. Fr/Sa 8 PM, Su 4 PM

Through 9/6- Woodstock Fringe 2009 FESTIVAL OF THEATRE & SONG, at Byrdcliffe Theatre, Woodstock—Around these parts, August means it’s time again for the Byrdcliffe Festival of Theatre and Song, where new theatre and musical works are workshopped and performed in the woods just up the hill from Woodstock. This summer it starts with the world premiere of The Night the Cardiff Giant Sang Rossini on the Lawn (by Charles R. Traeger, directed by Wallace Norman), a modern fable concerning the famous stone giant hoax of 1869. Then it’s Richard 3.5: Light Ruminations on Murder (presented by Sandglass Theater with Bob Berky and Eric Bass), where Shakespeare’s bad guy gets an update; the king’s victims performed by….wax puppets? Speaking of puppets, the next show up—Archaeology of a Storm (directed by Suzanne Stokes, performed by the Cave Dogs dance troupe)—incorporates sculptures, props, costumes and the human body to create larger-than-life shadow images to tell a compelling intergenerational tale. “Clown” Bob Berky returns with his one-man comedy show Out of the Box, and Joe Raiola hosts a weekly “evening”, each of which features a musician, a humorist, and a wisdom guest. All this, plus First Looks at the Fringe, staged readings of new plays, and special music nights. Byrdcliffe Theater, Upper Byrdcliffe Rd., Woodstock,, 845.810.0123.

The Night the Cardiff Giant Sang Rossini on the Lawn: Th/Fr 8/13-14 8 PM, Sa 8/15 7 PM, Su 8/16 2 PM, Th/Fr/Sa 8/20-22 8 PM, Su 8/23 2 PM
Richard 3.5: Light Ruminations on Murder: Fr/Sa 8/21-22 5 PM, Th/Fr/Sa 8/27-29 8 PM, Su 8/30 2 PM
Archaeology of a Storm: Sa 8/29 2 PM, Su 8/30 8 PM, Fr/Sa 9/4-5 8 PM
Out of the Box w/ Bob Berky: Su 8/23 5 PM, Su 9/5 5 PM
Evening of Music, Humor & Wisdom w/ Joe Raiola:
Su 8/16—Gilles Malkine, Mikhail Horowitz, and Sharon Gannon, 5 PM
Su 8/23—Marshall Crenshaw, Denny Dillon, and Stephan Rechtschaffen, 7 PM
Fr 9/4—Gus Mancini & Studio Stu, Patrick Carlin, and Doug Gunther, 5 PM
Music at the Fringe: Odd City— We 8/19 8 PM, Su 9/6 5 PM; Joe Veillette & Jerry Melnick— Sa 8/15 9:30 PM, We 8/26 8 PM

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