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Articles by Jane C. Elkin

Superb casting, sumptuous costumes, stunning sets and whimsical dance can transcend even the flimsiest plot

Remember Nelson Eddie and Jeanette MacDonald singing Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life, At Last I’ve Found You in their 1935 debut film, Naughty Marietta?
    No?
    How about Madeline Kahn in Young Frankenstein?
    Ah, I thought so.
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The dysfunctional family of this fractured fairy tale is the medieval equivalent of trailer park trash in a neighborhood populated by Grimms’ all-stars.

Ladies: Did you grow up on Cinderella dreams? How did that work out for you?
    Gentlemen: Is the prince for real?
    Parents: Which frustrates you more — the Disney princess culture or books such as the best-selling Cinderella Ate My Daughter that denigrate it?
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Volunteers take flight each year so that isolated Tangier Island has a green Christmas

The miracle of flight has long been Santa’s secret to guaranteed overnight delivery, but sometimes the reindeer need a break. During the pre-Christmas rush they’re in demand everywhere, including some pretty remote locales....

Louisa May Alcott’s classic is perfect for young romantics as well as nostalgic mature ladies

Louisa May Alcott’s classic Little Women is one of those novels you either love or love to forget. It’s sweet or cloying, buoyant or overblown, fiery or flagging — and so is the musical, Colonial Players’ last offering of 2011....

Take the Naval Academy Masqueraders’ magic carpet ride to ancient Persia and meet merchants, lovers, royalty and travelers

Mary Zimmerman’s The Arabian Nights is not your same old Ali Baba, Sinbad and Aladdin story. None of them appears in this 15-story sampling of the bawdy and moralistic tales. But if you take the Naval Academy Masqueraders’ magic carpet ride to ancient Persia, you will meet the masses: merchants, lovers, royalty and travelers.
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Plotting a course to triumph

The new Compass Rose Studio Theater in Eastport’s Bay Ridge Shopping Center has hit on a winning strategy for success, debuting with Neil Simon’s Pulitzer Prize winning play, Lost in Yonkers. That strategy: deliver family entertainment starring student-child actors alongside seasoned professionals, and watch them grow. It’s inspirational on a human and artistic level.
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Logistically challenging, Dignity Players’ attention to detail shows.

Sordid Lives, a black comedy about white trash, rode a wave of financial and critical success for over a decade, from L.A.’s theater scene to film and TV credits. Playwright Del Shores did it by playing on stereotypes that feed social discord, from homophobia to fundamentalism, from the country club to the trailer park. His characters are as big as Texas, comic diversions of tragic proportions....

Even the actors don’t know whodunit in this appealing mystery

The works of Agatha Christie, the queen of murder and reportedly the best-selling author of all time, are timeless because her characters transcend their settings. The privileged classes, it seems, are no happier than the rest of us, so we adore their frailties as much as the grandeur that surrounds them....

After two Irene cancellations, expect pent-up energy to enhance fine acting, staging and special effects in the last seven shows of this comedy about mis-communication

The lines of communication were abuzz all last week as first an earthquake and then a hurricane shook up our complacency....

My dad waited too long to learn to fly. I’m correcting his mistake.

A mile above the beach, I soar higher than the gulls, crisp air bathing my outstretched arms, bare feet dangling in the void. The faint whoosh in my ears could be my unfettered thoughts, some vacant, some frantic as bees.
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