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Thursday Theater Roundup

Note: There is a performance of Shakespeare in Delaware Park's "Hamlet" tonight, but no performance of the Kavinoky Theatre's production of "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change." The Shaw Festival's productions are running as scheduled.

Shaun Sheley, as Hamlet, appears with Adam Rath as Laertes, in Shakespeare in Delaware Park's production of "Hamlet."

"Hamlet," through July 14 at Shakespeare in Delaware Park. ★★★

From the review: "Shaun Sheley, in his first attempt at the daunting character in Saul Elkin’s production of “Hamlet” for Shakespeare in Delaware Park, seems to have found a novel approach. His Hamlet, conceived in concert with Elkin, is an entirely pragmatic if occasionally jocular figure. He does not seem trapped in an existential crisis so much as stuck in the midst of a particularly bloody crossword puzzle, attempting to reason his way out of an entirely unreasonable situation." --Colin Dabkowski

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Brian Riggs and Charmagne Chi star in the Kavinoky Theatre's production of "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change."

"I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change," through July 7 in the Kavinoky Theatre. ★★★½

From the review: "Joe Demerly’s first directorial assignment for The Kavinoky is very impressive. Each skit, each song, is presented with great care . It matters little if the stellar quartet of a cast – Kelly Meg Brennan, Charmagne Chi, John Fredo, Brian Riggs – are in joyous relationships or suddenly on would-be love’s downside, the vignettes, for the most part, work. A few skits begin lamely and go nowhere. These are minority minutes." --Ted Hadley

At the Shaw Festival:

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"Lady Windemere's Fan," through Oct. 19 in the Festival Theatre. ★★★★

From the review: "The production design of the show, which provides an alternately light-drenched or shadow-plagued backdrop that amplifies the wide mood swings of its characters, is one of the most enthralling the Shaw Fest has ever conceived. Teresa Przybylski’s sets and Louise Guinand’s lighting conspire to create sumptuous and frightening stage pictures that seem to owe more to Caravaggio or Velazquez than anything from Hollywood or Broadway."  --Colin Dabkowski

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"Trifles," through Oct. 12 in the Court House Theatre. ★★★½

From the review: "Next to Glaspell’s beloved mini-masterpiece, Eugene O’Neill’s “A Wife for Life” looks like exactly the piece of unpolished juvenilia it is. Which makes sense, as it was the great American dramatist’s first play, which he later disowned and attempted, unsuccessfully, to destroy. We should be glad he didn’t. Though the piece is probably more interesting to O’Neill scholars and seasoned theatergoers interested in tracing the patterns of his career, its proximity to “Trifles” elevates it to something more." --Colin Dabkowski

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"Guys and Dolls," through Nov. 3 in the Festival Theatre. ★★★½

From the review: "For this production, directed by Tadeusz Bradecki with molecular fidelity to the original material and choreographed to within a millimeter of its life by Parker Esse, the Shaw has rounded up a phenomenal cast." --Colin Dabkowski

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"Major Barbara," through Oct. 19 in the Royal George Theatre. ★★★

From the review: "Director Jackie Maxwell’s production of Shaw’s long-winded but monumentally engaging play about the tug-of-war between public and corporate interests sets out to rescue Undershaft from her status as a weak protagonist all too willing to mold her ideals to the arguments of others. Alas, despite Maxwell’s laudable efforts and a remarkable performance from the magnetic Nicole Underhay in the title role, the show fails to transform Shaw’s projection screen of a protagonist into a living, breathing human." --Colin Dabkowski

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Claire Julien and Julia Course star in the Shaw Festival's production of "Our Betters."

"Our Betters," through Oct. 27 in the Royal George Theatre. ★★★

From the review: "The play, which explores the efforts of newly wealthy Americans to seek ancient British titles and the status that accompanies them, is timed to exploit our culture’s renewed obsession with the roaring ’20s and the surrounding decades. The play, though a bit clunky in its conceit, is positively 'Gatsby'-esque in its attempt to uncover the emptiness of the British aristocracy and the equally vapid American climbers who try to invade it." --Colin Dabkowski


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