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July Theatre Highlights

7/7 through 7/31- PS21 and Walking the Dog Theater presents EURYDICE, by Sarah Ruhl, at The Tent at PS21, Chatham—It’s one of the most enduring classic Greek myths. Orpheus, an incomparable musician and poet, is distraught when his new wife, Eurydice, dies. Orpheus follows her to the underworld, hopeful that his talents and pleas will convince Hades to allow Eurydice to return with him. Completely seduced and swayed by Orpheus’ music, Hades surprisingly agrees, under the condition that Orpheus not look at Eurydice until they are out of the underworld. So does Orpheus look? If you don’t know the answer—or even if you do—you might want to make the trip out to PS21, just outside of Chatham, and catch this modern version written by MacArthur “genius” grant recipient and Pulitzer Prize finalist Sarah Ruhl, which enjoyed a hot run off Broadway in 2007. Ruhl takes the audience on a gripping trip to an underworld filled with surreal imagery: stones that talk, rooms made of string, and an elevator that rains. Plot twists, and vivid visuals add to this funny and heartbreaking tale, and music by Jonathan Talbott is—can’t do a play about Orpheus without music, now can we?—woven into the staging, which includes musicians in the ensemble. With David Anderson directing. The Tent at PS21, 2980 Rte. 66, Chatham,,, 518.392.6121. Previews: Th 7/7, Sa/Su 7/9 &10. Performances: We-Su 7/13-17, Th-Su 7/21-24, 7/28-31. All shows 8 PM

We 7/13- Woodstock Film Festival presents SALVATION BOULEVARD (cinema), with following Q&A with director GEORGE RATLIFF and author LARRY BEINHART, at Upstate Films in Woodstock, Woodstock—One of the bonuses of living in this area is proximity to the Woodstock Film Festival (9/21 through 9/25), which starts the Fall season off with a large portion of cinematic excitement, offering four days of cinema in four towns, plus workshops, panels, celebrations, and, of course, the fascinating people who make movies. There is also a series of fundraising events between festivals, oftentimes screenings of new cinema with WFF connections, featuring Q&A sessions with cast or crew members, directors, cinematographers, producers, and writers. From the Sundance synopsis: “Based on the hit book by renowned author and Woodstock resident Larry Beinhart, Salvation Boulevard is the story of Pastor Dan (Pierce Brosnan), a charismatic preacher who has captivated a city with his charm. Ex-deadhead and recovering hippie Carl (Greg Kinnear) is one of the loyal sheep in his flock. When Dan finds himself in a compromising situation, Carl is called into service in a most unconventional way. The mega-church is cast into shadow, and a hellish storm begins brewing that could jeopardize its entire existence.” Also starring Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, and Marisa Tomei. Author Larry Beinhart (Wag the Dog) and film director George Ratliff host the Q&A session after the screening, with a book signing to follow next door at Varga Gallery. Upstate Films in Woodstock, 132 Tinker St. (Rte 212), Woodstock,, 845.810.0131. 8:30 PM

Through 9/4- 25th ANNUAL HUDSON VALLEY SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, at Boscobel House & Gardens, Garrison—Said it before, we’ll say it again: a visit to the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival at Boscobel House & Gardens as a date is a sure success. It’s a pleasant drive along the Hudson River on Rte. 9D, going south from Beacon. Pull into the grounds at Boscobel, and bring your picnic basket over to the open green, with one of the best views in New York, high on the ridge overlooking the river. As the sun sets, you are called to the large white tent, where you are seated facing the open green, which becomes transformed into a vast extension of the stage. Soon a stellar cast has you in the grip of the Bard, with only sound, lighting, costume, and a minimum of props—no set—enhancing the evocatively delivered language. For their 25th Anniversary, HVSF presents two of the most popular Shakespeare works of all time, plus a modern adaptation of a Jules Verne classic. THE COMEDY OF ERRORS is pretty much the definitive “mistaken identity” comedy, with two sets of identical twins—separated from birth—arriving in the same town simultaneously, with ensuing hilarity, slapstick, and heartwarming ending. Then there’s “something rotten in Denmark.” It’s brooding/dithering prince HAMLET versus usurping father-killing/mother-bedding uncle Claudius, with only one major character left standing in the end (hint: it’s neither Rosencrantz nor Guildenstern). And if there’s one thing the HVSF cast is really good at, it’s quick-fire multi-role comedy like last year’s The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). This year, audiences will enjoy Mark Brown’s madcap adaptation of Jules Verne’s AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, with five actors taking on (gulp) 39 parts to portray the notorious voyage of Phileas Fogg and company. See website for more information about Family Nights, Wine Tasting Nights, and the popular “Caught in the Act” program. Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Boscobel House & Gardens, 1601 Rte. 9D, Garrison,, 845.265.9575. THE COMEDY OF ERRORS: 7/3, 7, 9, 13, 15, 17, 21, 23, 26, 28, 29; HAMLET: 7/1, 2, 6, 8, 12, 16, 20, 22, 24, 30; AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS: 7/5, 10, 14, 19, 27, 31. Closed Mo, Tu/We/Th 7 PM, Fr/Sa 8 PM, Su 6 PM

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