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Review: Cranston Theater Company Delights in Maine

Jules Feiffer's "Hold Me" opened in the Waldo Theatre in Waldoboro, Maine, last weekend and is coming to the William Hall Library this weekend.

Eleanor Cade Busby of the Lincoln County News in Newcastle, Maine, sent us this review:

Cranston’s “The Next Generation Theatre” company brought their production of Jules Feiffer’s “Hold Me” to The Waldo Theatre in Waldoboro, Maine last weekend.

“Opening out of town,” the company gave their first performances to a delighted audience at Saturday’s opening night.

The cast, under the direction of Robert A. DiMartino and management of Eileen Goretaya, skillfully blended the series of sketches, skits and vignettes into a delightful revue. The entertainment peopled the stage with engaging and all-too-human characters made famous through Feiffer’s renowned cartoons. The theme wound around the hang-ups, identity crises and assorted mishaps, which beset people everywhere. Staged with the utmost simplicity, and with each performer assuming a variety of roles, the production  was abundant  with warmth and humor, and with the sad/funny truths that, in the final essence, are the very stuff of life.

The company usually blends high school, college and young adult performers, but this particular production was comprised entirely of performers who have degrees in or are seeking degrees in performing arts and stage production. The talented cast included Rob Roy, Kaitlin Maynard, Kaity Menard, Dana Haley and Graham Stokes. Of particular note is that the young actors were  used their pauses, expressive faces, and sometimes just entrances, to elicit audience reactions. Not an actor overplayed, or tipped their hand, and they did it all swiftly on a stage where they had never rehearsed.

Back in RI now, the company  will open “ Hold Me” in their home city at  the , 1825 Brad St. Cranston. The production will run June 1 and 2, Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10.00 and tickets can be reserved by calling 595-5152.

The Group produces four minimalist shows a year. This was the third year the company brought theater from Southern New England to Maine.  Following their successes with “Almost, Maine” and “The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later”  at the Waldo Theatre, audiences were ready for a delight with Feiffer’s entertaining “HOLD ME.”  It was a gentle reminder that while life may not always be quite what was expected, it is always a great source of humor and introspection.

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