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The Winter’s Tale at Payomet

July 28, 2011 5:42 pm0 comments

It’s been called one of Shakespeare’s “problem” plays, but there were very few problems with Payomet Performing Arts Center’s production of The Winter’s Tale, currently on stage in North Truro.
Much of the production’s success rests on the shoulders of Ben Griessmeyer playing the twin roles of Leontes and Autolycus. While other actors have portrayed Leontes’ paranoid perception that his pregnant wife is having an affair with his friend Polixenes (Nathaniel Hall Taylor) in an approachable (if somewhat panic-stricken) manner, Griessmeyer’s Leontes is, quite frankly, losing it. He’s almost immediately convinced of the infidelity and just as quickly allows a dark and unbalanced side of himself to emerge. “You lie, you lie!” he snarls at Camillo, who protests that Hermione has not in fact betrayed the king. “I say thou liest, Camillo, and I hate thee!” Killing his wife, his friend, and his child are thoughts that come easily to him; and he deftly brings the audience along with him, allowing them to share in this evil craziness.
A frightening Leontes indeed; but Griessmeyer is just as captivating when he moves into comedy as an amazingly over-the top Autolycus, delighting in his own prowess at villany —“what a fool honesty is!”— and not above a self-deprecating remark or two about his situation and his future.
Sometimes marred and occasionally enhanced by the extremely loud ongoing flapping of the Payomet tent in the high wind thoughout the performance, the play moves the audience from gasps of surprise and even fear to delighted laughter.

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A Pirouette in Provincetown

5:32 pm0 comments

Dance is a rare form of entertainment in Provincetown, especially in the summer, so The Patrick Notaro Dance Project is an exciting addition to the seasonal line-up. The August 3 – 7 performances at The Provincetown Theater will feature a program of classical and contemporary ballet, and a special Children’s Dance Camp for young people of varying ages during Family Week. 
Founder and namesake, Patrick Notaro promises, “There is something for everyone, from the balletomane, (ballet enthusiast) to the curious.”
Notaro founded the organization in the summer of 2010. His husband of 21 years, Gregg Saulinier, serves as managing director, and plays a key role in the success of the company.  On the subject of Gregg, Patrick takes a deep breath and sighs. “Gregg does so much work for me. Running a dance company is a huge project and Gregg and I do it alone. Gregg not only gives me emotional support but does all the marketing and promotion. I am the creative person so I’m all over the place. Gregg organizes me,” he says.
Notaro fell in love with dance at the age of nine, but growing up in Clinton, MA, he didn’t have the opportunity to take classes. For a classically trained dancer, he started late in life, at age 19. Notaro notes, with some residual amazement, “I went to college for one year and said, ‘Forget it. I’m gonna be a dancer’.”
So at age 19, without ever having taken a dance class, Notaro began his training and eventually became an accomplished dancer. He has performed with such renowned companies as the Boston Ballet, Oakland Ballet, and the Cincinnati Ballet.  He retired from dance at age 42 and transitioned into a second successful career as a well-respected instructor and dance coach. In 2005, his young students at the Cincinnati Ballet’s Otto M. Budig Academy took first place at The America Grand Prix Ballet Competition in Chicago.

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A Night at the Opera

5:22 pm0 comments

There is a distinct possibility that when you read the headline to this story, your mind automatically thought of stuffy, arrogant, and noticeably plump opera singers and an even stuffier, pretentious audience. But David McCarty, Artistic Director of Cape Cod Opera says the idea that opera is something only for the rich, the self-designated “cultural elite” is simply not true.
“Most [opera composers], like Shakespeare, wrote for the people,” he asserts. “I believe the really great composers wanted their work heard and wanted it understood by the people that surrounded them, the people of their day,” he says.
“If that’s true, then what about the exorbitant ticket prices?” you might protest. Again, McCarty has an answer to that perception problem – the Cape Cod Opera is coming to Provincetown and if you want the best seat in the house, it’ll cost you no more than $25.
This is all part of the mission of Cape Cod Opera, which makes its Provincetown debut on Monday, August 1st, after entertaining audiences in other parts of the Cape for close to two decades, including 15 years of fully staged operas.

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My God, My God Why Have you Forsaken Me?

July 17, 2011 3:05 am0 comments

Walking in to the Parish hall everyone hushed. They were all staring at us. They all had these frowns and wrinkled foreheads. The kids just stared blankly at me. And I hated it. I wanted to leave. I wanted to quit. I didn’t want to be Jesus anymore. Hugs. Mumbled [...]

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Dendrophilia

July 16, 2011 8:19 pm0 comments

altThere is no one like Justin Vivian Bond. With a voice like peppered honey, sex appeal that seems a product of the glory days of cabaret in Paris and Berlin, and a performance spirit that can both make you laugh and break your heart, Bond is a star for the new millennium. 
While Bond is known as a mesmerizing talent both here and abroad, the most recent news stories have focused on Bond’s identification as a trans person; more specifically that Bond’s identity does not fit into the binary gender terms used in our language and culture. As such, Bond’s full name is now Justin Vivian Bond, and rather than “he” or “she,” Bond uses the pronoun “v” and the prefix “mx” to best express the most accurate gender identity (and this article will use those pronouns).
This weekend, Bond make v’s Provincetown debut at the Crown and Anchor with the cabaret act Dendrophile, featuring songs from the album of the same name.
“A dendrophile is a person who gets an erotic charge out of nature,” says Bond via e-mail from Paris where v just performed at Les Sentiers des Halles.  “As someone who will probably never have children I like the idea that sexual energy can lead to a creative manifestation in other ways. So when I’m in nature I’m not just charged sexually but also creatively. Most of the original songs on the record were written while I was straddling a moss covered log on a mountain in Tennessee.”

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A Q & A with The Screw You Review

8:12 pm0 comments

altThe most homophobic entertainer in America is coming to P’town (No, we aren’t talking about Tracy Morgan). Bigoted entertainment legend Wayburn Sassy comes to the Cape for his Provincetown debut with his unbelievably tall, “suspiciously statuesque” girlfriend, Miss Didi Panache, in The Screw You Revue, an evening of comedy and music in the vein of Don Rickles and Lisa Lampanelli. The comedy team is the creation of real life partners Dewey Chaffee and Douglas McGeoch, who have taken the act around the country, recently making their New York City debut, as well as overseas at the Dublin Fringe Festival. Emmy Award-winning actor Leslie Jordan caught the show and said, “So funny I nearly sh*t myself and fell back in it!” The Screw You Revue is not for the over-sensitive or for those lacking a sense of humor! We had some time to chat with Wayburn and Didi as they prepared to travel to Provincetown.

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Mama and Her Boys

7:52 pm0 comments

alt After a sold-out winter premiere at the Cape Rep Theater in Brewster, the musical revue Mama and Her Boys kicks off a summer run in Provincetown with a fun, fresh, and heartfelt exploration of a mother’s love.
Starring Wendy Watson, Ethan Paulini, and Christopher Sidoli, who all also conceived and created the show, Mama and Her Boys is a clever and creative cabaret show featuring Broadway standards, pop songs, folk tunes, and several surprises. Though there is no dialogue, the show tells a sweet and tender story through its structure and the choice of songs. With everything from ABBA’s “Mamma Mia” to Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” to “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” from Gypsy, Mama and Her Boys tells the story of a fiercely devoted mother, who’s a bit of diva, and her two loving gay sons who are about to leave home and start lives of their own, leaving Mama to decide what to do with her own.

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Neighborhoods 3: Requisition of Doom

7:43 pm0 comments

altThe topic of Jennifer Haley’s Neighborhood3: Requisition of Doom is the increasingly difficult to define line between reality and fiction. Specifically, she asks us to look at the hyperreal world of online video gaming here, in the process not only providing a forum for discussing reality vs. fiction, but also for examining today’s generation gap between overindulgent, clueless parents and their disaffected teenaged children.
The play is set in a suburban subdivision. The family life in these homes is what you would expect from any play written about families these days – dysfunctional, with moody teenagers, bored housewives, and confused fathers trying desperately to connect with their sons and daughters. The kids are completely absorbed in a video game called Neighborhood3. This is how they connect with one another. No one goes outside to play. No one meets up on weekends for dinner and a movie. And absolutely no one looks their parents in the eye, if they even bother to acknowledge mom or dad’s presence. But this is not just a play about dysfunctional family life. Rather, Haley looks at these things through a horror movie plotline, wherein the occurrences in the video game begin to affect real life violence.

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Flying High With Pam Ann!

7:28 pm0 comments

altThere was a time when flying was a sophisticated affair. There was a time when airlines served three-course meals and gave complimentary fluffed pillows. There was a Golden Age of Flying. And it’s gone. But there is hope, for the glory days of air travel live on with Pam Ann.
Savagely funny and wickedly hip, Pam Ann is the creation of Australian comedian Caroline Reid. Pam Ann first landed in Provincetown in 2006 for a sold-out weekend run at the Crown and Anchor to rave reviews. And now Pam Ann is returning for a one-night-only layover performance at Town Hall this Thursday.
Tapping into the universal misery and absurdities of modern air travel with razor sharp camp, Pam Ann has become a global gay icon. Tours of her native Australia and of the United Kingdom have sold out and led to a continental European tour this past winter and spring, a challenge in non-native English-speaking countries.
“I think they just like the color and movement,” says Reid, from New York City where she has landed on her tour. “I’m big in Serbia and Poland. Who knew? Can I get popular in America? No. Apparently I am very big in war torn countries where no one speaks English.”
Pam Ann is indeed big in Serbia and Poland, and throughout Europe. And in America she is gaining in popularity, especially within the LGBT community, which is where Pam Ann came from in the first place.

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There She Is, Miss Richfield 1981!

7:07 pm0 comments

altAs soon as Miss Richfield 1981 arrived in Provincetown in the summer of 2002, she became an instant hit! And this summer Miss Richfield continues the everlasting tour celebrating her triumphant crowning 30 years ago. As she zipped down Commercial Street on her scooter, Miss Richfield took some time out of her busy schedule to talk about the day she won the crown, her ministry of beauty, and how she keeps her figure with a specially designed diet of Tic Tacs and Sanka.

Provincetown Magazine:
Wow! It’s been 30 years since you were crowned Miss Richfield in Augsburg Park in Richfield, Minnesota! What has life as a beauty queen taught you?
Miss Richfield 1981: Thank you for naturally and quickly introducing my beauty pageant title into the very first question! It is my fondest memory of myself, and the theme of my new multi-media spectacular  30 Years On the Throne! I’d love to give you details, but I left my reading glasses on the bus again. Suffice it to say that most of my shows have a message. And I hope this isn’t getting too close to home for your readers, but the homos have such a history of crazy life choices and questionable decision-making, so I think it’s a great time to bring them a show about a successful life – mine!

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