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October Theatre Highlights

10/16 through 10/25- Shakespeare’s HAMLET; 10/30 through 11/8- PIPPIN, by Stephen Schwartz, at Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck, Rhinebeck—Ah, what can be said about Hamlet that hasn’t been said already? Having seen the thing oh . . . I don’t know . . . a million times, done old school, modern day, Mel Gibson, and—I kid you not—in Japanese . . . I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t love it. Everybody in the play seems to represent a person I know who’s a flat out drag to be around. Hamlet takes for-freaking-ever to get his act together, and really, does everybody have to die? But hey . . . it’s Hamlet, and it’s going to be a really good production by Diana DiGrandi’s Up In One—with an adaptation by director Marcus D. Gregio, who, as well as being a respected book author and editor, has training and directorial credits that include the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon and Shakespeare’s Globe in London. Then, at the top of November, Golden Stone Productions presents Stephen Schwartz’ Pippin, a brightly pop-influenced musical based on the historical story of the son of King Charlemagne. Fans of Godspell—also by Schwartz—will recognize the same sunny melodicism in this tongue-in-cheek, anachronistic fairy tale that captivated Broadway audiences and continues to appeal to the young at heart everywhere. The Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck, 661 Rte. 308, Rhinebeck,, 845.876.1163.

HAMLET: Fr 10/16 10 AM, 8 PM; Sa 10/17 8 PM; Su 10/18 2 PM; Tu 10/20 10 AM; Th 10/22 10 AM; Fr/Sa 10/23,24 8 PM; Su 10/25 2 PM
PIPPIN: 10/30 through 11/8, Fr/Sa 8 PM, Su 2 PM

Sa 10/17- STAGE FRIGHT: Benefit for Unison Arts, at McKenna Theatre, SUNY New Paltz, New Paltz—From the press release: STAGE FRIGHT is a theatrical evening of hilarious and harrowing monologues, short plays and sketches, performed by some of the finest actors in the Hudson Valley and possibly by a small cast of undead thespians. Participants include Adam LeFevre, who has appeared in over 50 films, including Philadelphia and The Manchurian Candidate and is currently filming The Bounty with Jennifer Anniston; And They Flew Theater, featuring Heidi Eklund, Amy Gunderson and Wayne Pyle; members of Actors & Writers, including Sarah Chodoff, Mikhail Horowitz, Nicole Quinn, Nina Shengold, David Smilow, and Lori Wilner; and Mohonk Mountain Stage Company, plus some very special guests. Proceeds go to benefit Unison Arts, a much-valued local resource for music and art based just outside of New Paltz. McKenna Theatre, SUNY New Paltz Campus, New Paltz,, 845.255.1559. 8 PM

Th 10/22- SHAOLIN WARRIORS, at Ulster Performing Art Center (UPAC), Kingston—Shaolin Warriors . . . Shaolin . . . where have I heard that before? Oh yeah! Wasn’t that where David Carradine’s character in the ‘70s TV show Kung Fu got his training? The old blind monk: “If you can snatch the pebble from my hand . . .” Well if you liked that show—I did—the real deal is going to blow your mind. For over one thousand years, Shaolin kung fu has been the heart and soul of Chinese martial arts culture. The Shaolin Warriors troupe consists of more than 20 kung fu masters, who have each perfected the art of hand-to-hand and weapons combat. With the precision of Olympic gymnasts, the grace of ballet dancers and the magic of Cirque du Soleil, the Shaolin Warriors demonstrate their sacred and deadly art form in a dazzling kung fu theatrical display. These guys are in unbelievable condition, trained from a young age, and flesh is shown to be stronger than wood, rock, and sword. UPAC, 601 Broadway,, 845.339.6088. 7 PM

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