Cider Mill’s ‘Trying’ is a triumph

Reviewed by George Basler

At first glance the plot of Trying seems to be the worst kind of theatrical cliché. One character in the two-character play is a cantankerous, demanding old man. The other is a bright, efficient young woman who goes to work for him. Of course, they’re going to start the play clashing with each other. Of course, there going to end up feeling mutual respect and affection.
But don’t let the plot summary discourage you. Trying, now playing at the Cider Mill Playhouse in Endicott, is a funny, warm and poignant play that skillfully explores both the issues of aging and the stresses of young dreams yet to be realized. Canadian playwright Joanna McClelland Glass skillfully intermixes humorous and emotional moments without ever descending into false sentimentality. Like a skillful jazz musician finding new riffs on an old tune, Glass finds new insights in the off-repeated odd couple genre.
And the Cider Mill production is first-rate, with Paul Falzone and Marjorie Donovick giving outstanding performances. Read the rest of this entry »

United Cultural Fund grants total $228,000 for 2013

By Barb Van Atta

Broome County Arts Council Board Chairman Fred Xlander and Executive Director Sharon Ball today (March 13) announced the awarding of more than $228,000 in United Cultural Fund (UCF) grants for 2013. Seven arts and cultural organizations will share in $210,428 in UCF general operating support grants. Project grants totaling another $18,298 will be shared by 14 organizations and individual artists. Read the rest of this entry »

Cider Mill cast makes the most of humor in ‘Leading Ladies’

Reviewed by George Basler

Even in an age of political correctness, a time-honored way to get laughs is to put a couple of guys in dresses and let the fun begin.
The technique has been used, with varying degrees of success, in comedies from Some Like It Hot to Tootsie to Bosom Buddies. It’s on display again in Leading Ladies, a 2004 comedy which opened Thursday (Jan. 24) at the Cider Mill Playhouse in Endicott.
The bad news is that Leading Ladies, which opened this weekend, doesn’t reach the heights of Some Like It Hot or Tootsie, which are classics of the genre. The good news is that, taken on its own terms, Leading Ladies is a lot of fun, and the Cider Mill production supplies its share of laughs to ease the mid-winter blahs. Read the rest of this entry »

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Talented Cider Mill cast finds all the color in ‘Tintypes’

Reviewed by Lee Shepherd

Tintypes, a nostalgic look back at the best and the worst of the turn of the (last century), is a lightweight but highly energetic and thoroughly entertaining evening of pantomime, song and dance.
Presented by the Cider Mill Playhouse Thursday through Sunday every week in November, Tintypes features a fabulous cast of actor/singer/dancers who are mostly Binghamton University-educated. Read the rest of this entry »

Cider Mill actors strong, but opening show is weak

Reviewed by George Basler

Alan Ayckbourn is a busy guy. In his career, the British playwright has produced a remarkable 76 plays. Although it can’t be proven, some have called him the most produced English playwright in history, other than William Shakespeare.

One hopes, then, that It Could Be Any One Of Us, is one of his lesser efforts. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cider Mill director charting a new course for established theater

EDITOR’s NOTE: Over the next few weeks, BAMirror will be chatting with recently appointed leaders of local arts organizations. We begin, appropriately, at the Cider Mill Playhouse, which opens its 37th season tonight (Sept. 13).

By George Basler

As he begins his first full season as executive director of the Cider Mill Playhouse in Endicott, Robert Rogers knows he has taken over a theater with a proud heritage.. He knows that the venerable playhouse, which is starting its 37th season this week, has become an important part of the region’s cultural fabric. Read the rest of this entry »

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Razzle, dazzle: Cider Mill shines in new production of ‘Chicago’

Reviewed by George Basler

You don’t have to be a cynic to like Chicago, but it sure helps.

There’s not an ounce of sentiment in the new production of the acclaimed musical now being staged at the Cider Mill Playhouse in Endicott, and that’s the way it should be, because Chicago is one of the most caustic shows ever to be a hit on Broadwway. The musical’s world is one in which innocence gets crushed, goodness is for saps and corruption wins the day. Don’t look for “heart” because none of the main characters have one, even though the main character is named Roxie Hart. Read the rest of this entry »

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