Swimming to Martha’s Vineyard

Swimming to Martha’s Vineyard

Spalding Gray was a brilliant monologist. He walked onstage, sat down at an empty desk, except for a glass of water, and proceeded to mesmerize the audience. He did not need props, a backdrop, nor bells and whistles of any kind. His subject was his own life, weaving autobiography with an emotional terrain of depth and complexity.

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Playhouse Gets Its Mojo Working

This week the play 5 Mojo Secrets began its run at the Vineyard Playhouse. The play tells the story of a successful African American couple as they try to sort out what happened to their once happy marriage. It is a subject every married couple, even the happiest, can relate to. After all, how do two separate individuals retain their own identity and aspirations while also becoming that one unit known as husband and wife? It is a challenge that many decide is just too great.

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And He’ll Do it His Way, Yes His Way
Holly Nadler

He never thought of the era when he wrote TV comedy as the Golden Age. For him that honorific was reserved for the earlier epoch of Sid Caesar and Carl Reiner. But Marty Nadler, staff writer and producer in the 70s and 80s of Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Chico and the Man, The Odd Couple, Perfect Strangers, Valerie, and Amen, was part of a time in Hollywood entertainment that, hands down, is considered Most Funny.

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Improv Campers Perform

Improv Campers Perform

The results of Imp Camp will be on display once again today beginning at noon at the Edgartown School.

For those out of the loop, Imp Camp is an improv retreat for kids under 18 where they not only learn the craft, they take it to the stage. How’s that for hands-on camping?

Today’s performance includes songs from the Lion King, scenes from All I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, My Homework, and Bears, Beware; Goldilocks Is in Your Town.

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Free-for-All Defines Both Dance Festival and Audience Ticket Prices
Jonah Lipsky

Built on Stilts, the annual dance festival held at the Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs, opened last night to begin its eight day run with a bit of drumming, belly dancing and a group of five-year-olds taking the stage fresh from their yearlong “Stiltshop” choreography class. What’s on the schedule for tonight is anyone’s guess, though, as the show never repeats itself.

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Sassy Start to African American Theatre Festival at Playhouse
Holly Nadler

Not to start on too bossy a note, but do go out and catch all five plays and musical productions of the African American Theatre Festival being performed, mostly, at the Vineyard Playhouse and running this week through early September.

The festival began this past Wednesday with Root, a one-woman play written and performed by Vanessa German and directed by Heather Arnet. The play travels from 1980s Los Angeles to the Civil Rights marches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to drug-saturated Juarez, Mexico to a battered and drenched New Orleans.

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Talk-Back Theatre at Shakespeare’s Shrek

By NICOLE GALLAND

For people who are scared (or uninterested) in the work of William Shakespeare, the Vineyard is a good place to get over it. The Vineyard Playhouse’s summer Shakespeare in the Amphitheatre is as playful and robust as anything on Nickelodeon, and in the off-season, Shakespeare for the Masses makes the Bard seem as accessible as an HBO series.

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Surprise Performance Nets Playhouse Support for New Patricia Neal Stage
Jonah Lipsky

The Vineyard Playhouse raised $350,000 at its annual fundraiser on Sunday night, a huge boost for the capital campaign now under way to renovate the historic playhouse building on Church street in Vineyard Haven. The renovation project includes remodeling the stage, which will be named after the late actress Patricia Neal, it was announced at the event early Sunday evening.

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Comedy Delights as Lost Boys Reunite
Holly Nadler

First, let it be said that on the evening this critic attended the Vineyard Playhouse’s outdoor performance of The Comedy of Errors, Friday, July 22, when the weather was so warm it felt as if the entire Island was holding a Bikrum hot yoga class (for those unfamiliar with the workout, the purpose is to reproduce a boiling afternoon in Calcutta), the heat itself became a starring character.

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Ninety-Nine Per Cent Perspiration Plays Major Role in Show’s Genius
Peter Brannen

Acting is an endurance sport. Don’t believe it? Go to the Grange Hall any Thursday, Friday or Saturday night for the rest of the summer and see one man’s theatrical version of the Ironman Triathlon.

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