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Bob Keyes

Bob Keyes has written about the arts in Maine since 2002. He’s never been much an artist himself, other than singing in junior high school chorus and acting in a few musicals. But he’s attended museums, theaters, clubs and concert halls all his life, and cites Bob Dylan as most influential artist of any kind since Picasso. He lives in Berwick.

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Posted: January 26, 2016

5 reasons to see live Maine theater in January

Written by: Bob Keyes
Maine theater

Portland Stage’s “The Hound of the Baskervilles, Public Theatre’s “The Ladies Foursome.” Mad Horse’s “Trevor” and  Good Theater’s “Shear Madness”

The Portland theater scene is like a well-engineered muscle car: It goes from zero to 60 in the blink of eye. After being mostly quiet since Christmas, several theaters are back in business.

1. Portland Stage Company presents a spoof of the detective story, “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” complete with misty moors, a menacing dog and fast-paced antics from a three-person cast. Preview 7:30 p.m. Thursday; opens 7:30 p.m. Friday and continues through Feb. 21 with performances at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to Friday; 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Additional performance at 2 p.m. Feb. 18; $32 to $47; (207) 774-0465 or portlandstage.org Read more about this show.

2. Good Theater is staging the whodunnit comedy “Shear Madness” at the St. Lawrence Arts Center in Portland. This is an audience-participation play, where ticket holders solve the murder mystery based on evidence and clues that are revealed in the script. The play has been running in Boston since 1980; 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 7:30 p.m. Fridays; 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays; and 2 p.m. Sundays through March 20; $22 to $30; (207) 885-5883 or goodtheater.com  Read more about this show.

3. The Public Theatre in Lewiston closes its two-week run of “The Ladies Foursome” this weekend. Two-time Tony Award-winner Judith Ivey directs the comedy, which involves a group of women who get together for a round of golf in honor of their friend and golf partner, who recently died. It’s been described as “Sex and the City” on a golf course; 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday; $20; (207) 782-3200 or thepublictheatre.org Read a review of the show.

4. Mad Horse Theatre Company continues “Trevor” at its home at 24 Mosher St., South Portland. The comedy is about fame, success and the conflicts that follow. The play centers on Trevor, a chimpanzee who once performed in commercials, and his owner Sandra, who fights to keep people from taking him away; 7:30 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Jan. 31; $17 and $20; pay what you can on Thursday; (207) 747-4148 or madhorse.com Read a review of the show.

5. Maine College of Art dips into theater with “The Great Play Reading Series” through March 13. The college will host readings of famous plays that deal with family. Several local theater companies will present readings on sporadic Sunday nights through the winter. Dramatic Repertory Company reads Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia” at 4 p.m. Feb. 7; Acorn Productions reads “Curse of the Starving Class” by Sam Shepard at 4 p.m. Feb. 21; Mad Horse reads Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull” at 4 p.m. Feb. 28; Lorem Ipsum Theater Collective reads “Rhinoceros” by Eugene Ionesco at 4 p.m. March 13. Readings will be at the Osher Lecture Hall on MECA’s second floor; free. meca.edu

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