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February Theatre Highlights

Fr-Su 2/4, 5, 6- Woodstock Players and CENTERstage present MAGUS, by CAREY HARRISON, at The Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck, Rhinebeck—Fans of the late Rex Harrison—My Fair Lady, Doctor Doolittle, Cleopatra, etc.—should be glad to know that in the case of son Carey Harrison, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. An acclaimed actor, director, and playwright in his own right, the junior Harrison’s plays have been seen in over 30 countries, and broadcast on Masterpiece Theatre in the U.S. His new play, Magus, celebrates the power of magic, bringing together William Shakespeare, Franz Kafka, and Miguel de Cervantes in the dreams of one man: the famous Elizabethan mathematician and sorcerer Sir John Dee, performed by the author/director himself. And speaking of magic, CPAR has more in store later in the month for young people, with an elementary school-age performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (We 2/16, 9:30 & 11:30 AM), and Magic & Beyond, featuring illusionist David Garrity (Sa 2/26, 11 AM). The Center for Performing Arts in Rhinebeck, 661 Rte. 308, Rhinebeck,, 845.876.3080. Fr/Sa 2/4 & 5 8 PM, Su 2/6 3 PM

2/5 through 2/19- County Players present THE LION IN WINTER, by James Goldman, at the County Players Theater, Wappingers Falls—If you think your family Christmas gatherings are dysfunctional, you should check out this bunch. It’s 1183, and King Henry II is having his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine—who, by the way, he has had imprisoned for ten years—visit his French château. Three sons vie for succession to the throne: he favors the youngest, she favors the oldest, while the one in the middle plays one off the other. James Goldman’s The Lion in Winter plays out the inevitable royal family conflicts with wit and intelligence, and the Broadway play (1966) has spawned an Oscar-winning film starring Peter O’Toole and Katherine Hepburn (1968), a made-for-television version with Patrick Stewart and Glenn Close (2003), and a 1999 revival on Broadway with Laurence Fishburne and Stockard Channing. One of the premier community theatres in the region—The County Players—takes on the now-classic work, with CP first timers Jeff DeRocker and Erle Bjornstad in the lead roles. Directed by Bill Peckham. County Players Theatre, 2681 W. Main St., Wappingers Falls,, 845.298.1491.Performances are Fr/Sa 2/4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19 8 PM, Su 2/13 2 PM

Sa 2/5- Actors & Writers presents “CREAM OF SHORTS,” a retrospective of short theatrical works by the company, at the Rosendale Theatre, Rosendale—Theatregoers in the Hudson Valley are in luck: Actors & Writers—a 26-member ensemble of theater, TV and film professionals who all live in the region—have made their new residence at the newly purchased and refurbished Rosendale Theatre. Now A&W performances can be produced year-round instead of just in the summer (there was no heat at their previous home at the Olivebridge Odd Fellows Hall). This enormously gifted group of writers and performers—which includes Academy Award nominees Melissa Leo and Ron Nyswaner, SNL alumna Denny Dillon, and stage and film luminaries Mary Louise Wilson and Adam LeFevre, among others—tends more toward the staged reading, often working out new scripts by company members. But they also host cabarets, short play festivals, and even productions in caves, with only one guiding artistic policy: “Nothing by Andrew Lloyd Webber.” They celebrate their 20th year in 2011, so they’re kicking it off with an evening of “vintage gems” from their annual Shorts Festivals, featuring pieces by company writers Katherine Burger, Mark Chmiel, Sarah Chodoff, Mary Gallagher, Mikhail Horowitz, Adam LeFevre, Nicole Quinn, Laura Shaine, Nina Shengold and David Smilow. Rosendale Theatre, 408 Main St., Rosendale,, 845.658.8989. 8 PM

Su 2/13- Rosendale Theatre Dance Film Sunday presents a tribute to dancer José Limón: a screening of LIMÓN: A LIFE BEYOND WORDS, at the Rosendale Theatre, Rosendale—As part of their ongoing Dance Film Sunday series, the Rosendale Theatre Collective will have a special screening of Limón: A Life Beyond Words (2001), an award-winning documentary about José Limón, the revolutionary modern dancer and choreographer (1908-1972) described by The New York Times as the “greatest male dancer of his own or any other time.” Directed by Malachi Roth and narrated by Uta Hagen and Isaiah Sheffer, the film details how the tumultuous events of Limón's childhood and youth directed his artistic life. Deborah Jowitt of the Village Voice wrote about Limón: A Life Beyond Words, “This film is important to the entire dance world, and to those everywhere who value artists.” With a post-movie discussion led by Sarah Stackhouse, who worked closely with Limón. Rosendale Theatre, 408 Main St., Rosendale,, 845.658.8989. 2 PM

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