Professional Nonprofit Theater on Martha's Vineyard
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On tap at the M.V. Playhouse

by Gwyn McAllister, The MV Times


Need a little entertainment in the off-season? The Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse keeps its doors open all winter long to bring Vineyarders a variety of excuses to get out of the house. Poetry readings, classic movies, live music, art shows, and even a bit of drama are among the options provided by the Playhouse on a regular schedule.

This month, you can check out any or all of the above. Poet Arnie Reisman will continue his long-running series Poetry and Pie (previously Poetry Cafe) with readings by established poets. Every month on a Wednesday night, Reisman invites a lineup of local poets to read, while the Playhouse supplies the pie and coffee.

The Monday Night Movie series will feature classic dance movies throughout the month of January. Let Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, and Gene Kelly brighten up your winter as the Playhouse screens a weekly film featuring the kind of dance spectacles that only old Hollywood can provide.

The upcoming exhibit, “Our Children,” in the Playhouse’s lobby ArtSpace is sponsored by Media Voices for Children, and features gorgeous photographs of children from around the world and on the Vineyard by U.R. (Robin) Romano and Melissa Blythe Knowles. The images are from a new series featuring joyful photos of children in the Bal Ashram rehabilitation and training center. The opening on Jan. 18 will include a screening of Galen Film’s “Children of Bal Ashram” followed by a Q & A with the filmmakers, Len and Georgia Morris. Attend one or both, admission to the photo exhibition opening is free. There is a suggested donation of $10 for the film screening. The exhibit opening begins at 5:30, with the film screening at 7 pm.

The Wicked Good Musical Revue series continues this month with the theme of “Something Old, Something New.” As always, the selection of show tunes and more will feature singers Molly Conole, David Behnke, Jenny Friedman, Ken Romero, and Rachel Enriquez, with accompanists Peter Boak and Molly Sturges. There will be three shows — on Jan. 24, 25, and 26.

The January offering from playwright, actress, and humorist Jenny Allen’s Jenny’s Drama Salon on Wednesday, Jan. 29, will be another exciting evening of theater trivia. Test your drama knowledge as you compete against your neighbors for fun prizes. Admission is $10 and includes a beverage and homemade dessert.

Shakespeare for the Masses returns on Feb. 1 and 2 with a playful staged reading of “Antony and Cleopatra” by the popular troupe dedicated to bringing abridged and enhanced versions of the bard’s work to Island audiences.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the second offering in the new series Wintertime Melodies will feature love songs for everyone on Feb. 14 and 15. Paul Munafo and Shelagh Hackett perform a variety of tunes in the Playhouse lobby.

Looking ahead, the Playhouse will offer a special treat in April when they host the play “Whose Aemilia?” by Rachel Eugster, playwright and lead actress. The four-character drama tells the story of the woman who may or may not have been the “Dark Lady” in Shakespeare’s sonnets.

The Playhouse’s afterschool theater program, Winter Stars, is expanding this year to include third grade students and now includes students grades three to eight, and will extend to twice-a-week sessions throughout the winter and early spring.

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