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September Theatre Highlights

Sa & Su 9/18 & 19- Dangerous Ground Productions presents OEDIPUS AFTER COLONUS, a new play by Robert Kelly, at Byrdcliffe Theater, Woodstock—Fresh off a Manhattan run at Tribeca’s HERE, this new play by renowned poet Robert Kelly gets an upstate run courtesy of Dangerous Ground Productions, The Woodstock Players, and Byrdcliffe Theater. Oedipus After Colonus—directed by Crichton Atkinson, with Carey Harrison as Oedipus—attempts to answer the question: What happens the moment that Oedipus dies at the end of Oedipus at Colonus? Sophocles tells us he vanishes, that he is snatched away by the gods. But where does he go, what happens to him? The event of Oedipus’ death was witnessed by two people, the politician Theseus who saw nothing because he hid his face in his hands, and a lowly messenger, who, having seen very little, has nothing much to report. It’s a mystery: the Greeks, known for their logic, mathematics, philosophy and theater, allow their most famed character to just disappear. This is the point of departure that Robert Kelly takes in order to create his own answers. Oedipus After Colonus looks at the loss of a life as a death in all who loved them, one that questions identity and reveals the flexibility of human will and desire. Byrdcliffe Theater, Upper Byrdcliffe Rd., Woodstock,, 303.913.7595, 845.901.2893. Both nights 8 PM

Su 9/19- Preview of the new opera SÉANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON, performed by author/composer STEPHEN SCHWARTZ and soprano LAUREN FLANIGAN, at Copland House at Merestead, Mount Kisco—When it comes to quality contemporary American musical theatre, it’s a mighty short list of composers/librettists that surely has to start with the name Sondheim. But the next spot could easily be occupied by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin, Wicked), whose supple scores and winsome lyrics have held up very well under heavy repetition. For this “intimate afternoon” at the Copland House at Merestad, Schwartz and soprano Lauren Flanigan preview the New York City Opera’s forthcoming premiere production of Schwartz’s acclaimed new opera, Séance on a Wet Afternoon. Schwartz will explore how this dark, intense story brought him to the operatic stage for the first time in his long, illustrious career on Broadway and in film. Flanigan, joined by pianist Michael Boriskin, will sing several arias from the opera, and Schwartz will explore the origins of this intriguing work, a psychological thriller based on the novel by Mark McShane about an ambitious psychic who devises an elaborate kidnapping scheme to win the fame she desperately craves. (The book also inspired British director Bryan Forbes’ famous 1964 film noir.) Schwartz will also remain afterwards to autograph copies of Defying Gravity, the comprehensive book about his work. Copland House at Merestead, Mount Kisco,, 914.788.4659. 3 PM

Fr 9/24- Rosendale Theatre Collective presents a sneak preview of NOWHERE BOY, featuring a performance by THE QUARRYMEN, at the Rosendale Theatre, Rosendale—Now that the Rosendale Theatre Commission has officially purchased the theatre, we’ll soon see what the group has in mind for programming. They’re off to a good start with this event: a sneak preview of the movie Nowhere Boy, which tells the story of John Lennon’s formative years growing up in Liverpool, learning and developing an interest in music, and the family undercurrents shaping the creative and inspirational qualities that eventually made him one of the planet’s most popular artists. Of course, no story about the genesis of the Beatles can be complete without mentioning the Quarrymen, the skiffle band that Lennon played in with Paul McCartney, their first band together. The three remaining Quarrymen—Colin Hanton, Rod Davis, and Len Garry—have reunited to celebrate Lennon’s 70th birthday, and will perform at the Rosendale screening. This is rock history you’ll only get one chance to check out, so don’t miss this! Rosendale Theatre, 408 Main St., Rosendale,, 845.658.8533. Cocktails 6 PM, Movie 8 PM, Quarrymen 10 PM

10/7 through 10/17- Tangent Arts presents DOUBT, A PARABLE, by John Patrick Shanley, at the Watts de Peyster Hall, Tivoli—The hamlet of Tivoli—which has mostly been somewhere for Bard students to get off campus for awhile—has nevertheless become a bit more of a destination, thanks to some fine restaurants like Luna 61, Madalin’s Table, and Santa Fe. Now, they have an off-Broadway theatre company in town: Tangent Arts has been producing shows in the City since 2000, and, after recently moving upstate, has been holding a monthly pub-reading series at the Black Swan, which has become quite popular. For their first regional full performance, they’re coming out strong with the Powerhouse work-shopped Doubt, a Parable, which catapulted playwright John Patrick Shanley to international acclaim, winning both the Tony and Pulitzer Prizes in 2005, with a movie version in 2008, starring Meryl Streep as the bitter, suspicious parochial school principal, and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the embattled parish priest. Watts de Peyster Hall, 1 Tivoli Commons, Tivoli,, 845.230.7020. Th/Fr/Sa 8 PM, Su 3 PM

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