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January Theater highlights

Fr/Sa 1/23 & 24- Mohonk Mountain Stage Company presents THE SEARCH FOR INTELLIGENT SIGNS OF LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE, by Jane Wagner, at Unison Arts Center, New Paltz—This funnily insightful and enormously popular play, made famous by the performance on Broadway (and an HBO film) by partner Lily Tomlin, won Jane Wagner a basketful of awards in the 1980’s—including honors from the New York Drama Critics’ Circle, New York Drama Desk, and the Cable Ace Awards. Wagner’s thirty some-odd years of collaboration with Tomlin has been fruitful, resulting in memorable characters like precocious Edith Ann, Ernestine the Operator, and Trudy the Bag Lady. The humorous multi-character monologue style works well for the readers theatre of MMSC, and these performances are the second part of their Encore Series, the third being on Fr/Sa 2/6 & 7: SYLVIA, by A. R. Gurney. Unison Arts Center, 68 Mountain Rest Rd., New Paltz,, 845.255.1559. 8 PM

Fr 1/23- Woodstock Day School Student collaboration with ARM-OF-THE-SEA THEATER, at Woodstock Day School, Woodstock—Well known to fans of large-scale puppet-based theatre, The Arm-of-the-Sea troupe has been delighting audiences of all ages for over twenty years now, with their special form of magical realism. Utilizing music, movement, and eye-catching visuals, this Saugerties-based non-profit tours extensively around the eastern U.S., with the goal of “illuminating the links between human communities and the life-support processes of this living planet.” This performance is the culmination of a week-long residency at the Woodstock Day School, whose upper-school students are participating in the fun. Woodstock Day School, Glasco Turnpike & John Joy Rd., Woodstock,, 845.246.3744. 7 PM

Sa/Su 1/31, 2/1- ERICK HAWKINS DANCE COMPANY at The Center for Performing Arts, Rhinebeck—A student of the great George Balanchine and collaborator with Martha Graham, Erick Hawkins became one of the seminal figures in the evolution of modern dance. An ardent student of Eastern philosophies and human kinesiology, Hawkins applied what he learned to his choreography, giving it a signature natural grace and fluidity. He also insisted on performing to live—not recorded—music, with frequent collaboration with composers including his partner Lucia Dlugoszewski. Presently the New York-based EHDC is celebrating Hawkins’ 100th anniversary (he passed away in 1994) with performances of dances specially chosen by artistic director Katherine Duke as definitive examples of his technique, intermixed with vintage clips of Hawkins himself. The Center for Performing Arts, 661 Rte. 308, Rhinebeck,, 845.876.3080. Sa 1/31 8 PM, Su 2/1 3 PM

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