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Local colleges offer good theatrical productions.

Byline: Bronislaus KUSH

COLUMN: WORCESTER DIARY

If you're a rabid theater fan, there's nothing like Broadway.

However, most Central Massachusetts residents can't just motor down to the Big Apple.

Of course, Boston theater houses host a number of notable productions, but, once again, costs, travel, and other factors limit the trips one can make.

Thank goodness for the venerable Worcester Foothills Theatre Company, which provides a slate of quality work.

But insatiable theatergoers are constantly in search of other local venues to get their fix of Shakespeare, Arthur Miller, Eugene O'Neill and other playwrights, great and small.

So, what's a theater lover to do?

Interestingly, some of the best and most innovative theater can be found on local campuses, and the productions staged at the College of the Holy Cross' Fenwick Theatre are among the finest and most interesting.

The New England Theatre Conference, for example, recently bestowed its Moss Hart Award for best college play to HC's Theatre Department for its 2006 production of C.P. Taylor's "Good."

The play is still in contention for best overall production.

"This is a great external recognition of what we've long known: that our students are among the hardest working and most talented in New England," said Edward R. Isser, associate professor and chairman of the college's Theatre Department.

Theater fans can get a taste of the quality of the students' work in the upcoming production of "My Life with Albertine," a musical based partly on Marcel Proust's "Remembrance of Things Past."

The play is directed by theater professor Lynn Kremer and will be performed Nov. 1 to 3.

The production is believed to be the first since the play had its run off Broadway back in 2003.

The cast will feature 17 students, all of whom have taken theater courses of some sort at the school.

The story line involves a middle-aged Parisian's recollections of his love affair with an unpredictable, tempestuous woman he met while vacationing seaside with his grandmother.

Joe Mader, the show's producer, said the play will be difficult to perform because of the music.

"It's very operatic, with a number of close harmonies," explained Mr. Mader.

The sets and lights are designed by Barbara Craig, assistant professor of theater, and Kurt S. Hultgren, the department's costume designer, will handle the wardrobe.

Michael Lapomardo is the musical director.

* * *

They're still talking in the coffee shops about Bishop Robert J. McManus' rebuke last week of Holy Cross for renting out the Hogan Campus Center for a conference that includes workshops about abortion.

In all fairness, Holy Cross is not the only local Catholic educational institution to have crossed swords over the years with the chancery.

In 1999, Bishop Daniel P. Reilly declined an invitation to attend Assumption College's commencement because Lt. Gov. Jane M. Swift, an abortion rights supporter, was the commencement speaker.

ART: PHOTO

CUTLINE: Pianist David Pihl leads actors in a rehearsal of "My Life with Albertine."

PHOTOG: ED COLLIER
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Oct 17, 2007
Words:493
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