Spring theater is in full swing. With May just around the bend, theater companies are putting the final wraps on the season. There will be several shows in the days and weeks ahead:

The Maine Playwrights Festival, produced by Acorn Productions, continues through Sunday at the St. Lawrence Arts and Community Center, 76 Congress St., Portland. The festival features a dozen plays written by Mainers, including Jan Paetow, Roger Bechtel, John Rizzo, Kathy Hooke, Michael Kimball, Delvyn Case, Hugh Aaron, Bruce Pratt, Jefferson Navicky, Blaise Titus, Michael Tooher and Eric Worthley. Directors are Michael Levine, Julie Goell and Harlan Baker.

Performances continue tonight and Friday. On Saturday, all 12 plays will be presented in a marathon session divided into three programs, starting at 2, 5 and 8 p.m. Call 854-0065 or visit www.acorn-productions.org.

Lyric Music Theater, 176 Sawyer St., South Portland, continues its production of the musical “Guys and Dolls” through the weekend of May 7-8. The show was to close this weekend, but was extended by a week because of ticket demand. The musical closes the season at the community theater in South Portland. Call 799-1421 or 799-6509, or visit www.lyricmusictheater.org.

Gaslight Theater in Hallowell presents a series of one-act plays at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Hallowell City Hall. The lineup includes Anton Chekov’s “A Marriage Proposal” directed by Bruce Hertz; Gene Raffini’s “A Grave Encounter” directed by Jeralyn Shattuck; and “Ferris Wheel” by Mary Miller and “Heart of Fire” by Rich Orloff, both directed by Karen LaPlante. Call 626-3698 or visit www.gaslighttheater.org.

Portland Stage Company, 25A Forest Ave., closes its season with “Bach at Leipzig,” opening with previews on Tuesday and continuing through May 23. The comedy by Itamar Moses features several local professional actors and others who have worked here before, including Dustin Tucker, Daniel Noel, Ron Botting, Tom Ford and others. When the position of organ master at Leipzig Cathedral opens up, the greatest musicians of 18th-century Germany vie for the post. Samuel Buggeln directs. He’s worked at Portland Stage many times before, directing “Indoor/Outdoor,” “Noises Off,” “Wait Until Dark” and others. Call 774-0465 or visit www.portlandstage.org.

On May 6, American Irish Repertory Ensemble opens Sean O’Casey’s “Juno and the Paycock,” a tragicomic portrait of a poor Dublin family caught up in the upheaval of Ireland’s Civil War. Set in 1922, its message still resonates today. The play examines human nature, as Juno Boyle tries holding her family together despite the actions of her selfish spouse and troubled children.

AIRE will present the show May 6-23 at the St. Lawrence Arts and Community Center, 76 Congress St., Portland. Sally Wood, former artistic director at the Theater at Monmouth, directs. The cast includes AIRE regulars Maureen Butler, Paul Haley, Susan Reilly, Tony Reilly and Mark Rubin, as well as Joe Bearor, Matthew Delamater, Elizabeth Lardie, Nate Speckman and Tess Van Horn. Call 799-5327 or visit www.airetheater.com.

The Old Port Playhouse ends its first season with the musical comedy “Little Shop of Horrors,” opening May 6 and continuing through May 23 at its performance space, 19 Temple St., Portland. The musical is about a floral shop worker who raises a plant that feeds on human blood. The musical stars Mark Calkins and Linette Miles. Call 773-0333 or visit www.oldportplayhouse.com.

Also at Old Port Playhouse, comedian Julie Goell stages her production “Mopera” at 8 p.m. Saturday. She plays the cleaning lady of the Royal Opera, creating a miniature production of “Carmen” with the contents of a utility room. Avner Eisenberg directs. Call 773-0333 or visit www.oldportplayhouse.com.

In Lewiston, The Public Theatre opens a comedy about falling in love after 50, “Southern Comforts.” It opens May 7 and continues through May 16. Call 782-3200 or visit www.thepublictheatre.org.

A Company of Girls presents a multimedia performance of Jan Wahl’s “How the Children Stopped the War,” directed by Odelle Bowman. “How the Children Stopped the War” follows Willa, a girl who leaves her life as a shepherdess to stop the wars raging in the battlefields far away. The play will be performed May 7-9 and May 14-16 in the Sanctuary of the Irish Heritage Center, 34 Gray St., Portland. Call 874-2107 or visit www.acompanyofgirls.org.

Portland Players, 420 Cottage Road, presents “West Side Story” May 14-30. Michael Donovan directs the classic American musical.


Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or at:

[email protected]


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