Jared Bowen's Arts Ahead For November 3–6

By Jared Bowen

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Nov. 4, 2011

BOSTON — Tweaked classics are the theme of the week, with fascinating takes on the "Oz" series, an Ibsen classic and "Peter Pan" competing for your literary and theatrical attention.

L. Frank Baum carried his “Oz” series out to over a dozen books… but with just four books (and one hit musical) Mass. author Gregory Maguire is getting “Out of Oz.” His reimagination of Baum’s world weaves in current world politics, stemming from one key question: What if the Wicked Witch of the West weren’t so wicked after all?
 
In a recent appearance on “Greater Boston,” Maguire said, “It’s true that probably in my mind until I’m willing to step into the grave, I will always be wondering what’s going on in Oz. But it is also true that eventually you have to give even your own characters, as one does with one’s children, the dignity of trusting them to live their own lives without you. And that’s where I try to leave my characters at the end of this novel.” Watch the full interview.
 
When pressed, however, he said the Muse is fickle and one should never say never.
 
But how about Neverland? Threesixty Productions has created a multimedia “Peter Pan” in a Boston City Hall Plaza tent that houses the world’s first 360-degree CGI set. The audience is part of the experience, surrounded by animation and actors, whether the performers are underwater wrestling with mermaids or flying over London. No “Spider-Man” malfunctions, either.
Through Dec. 30
 
Do you think of Madonna’s old pal as being caustic, sarcastic, angry? Sandra Bernhard’s new show at Oberon is an old-school cabaret performance: singing, stories, comedy, with Bernhard wearing a gown with pearls. She doesn’t hesitate to mock the Kardashians, though — and her appearance on “Greater Boston” makes it clear she hasn’t gone soft.
Ends Friday, Nov. 4
 
 Think you’ve seen the Ibsen classic too many times already? In 'Mabou Mines DollHouse,’ all the men are under four feet tall and all the women over six feet — putting a new twist on the play’s examination of the struggle for power between men and women.. Sheaking up the tone, there’s lots of humor and a searing punch at the end.
Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston
Ends Sunday, Nov. 6
 

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