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Penguin Productions will round out 2019 with a series of comedic stories this weekend

SUBMITTED PHOTO - The Penguin Productions troupe will continue its performances of 'The Good Doctor,' a composite of stories by Russian author Anton Chekhov done by playwright Neil Simon, on Friday and Saturday.

Penguin Productions will close out its 2019 season with the final performances of the comedy "The Good Doctor" this weekend.

The final performances will begin at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the outdoor venue off Dopp Road on Northeast Terry's Lane. The slate of shows began on Aug. 2, following the earlier summer staging of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet."

"The Good Doctor" is based on a Broadway hit written by Neil Simon and is a composite of stories by Russian author Anton Chekhov. It features a series of stories told from the perspective of a narrator.

Penguin Productions Marketing Director Stephanie Spencer said the performance is collaborative, in that a more modern writer took Chekhov's work and put a "contemporary lens" on them.

"You get to see five actors play over 10 roles and you get to laugh a whole bunch," she said.

She added that the group chose a comedy to wrap up the season, as it was a nice contrast to "Romeo and Juliet."

"The run has been great," she said of the comedy's earlier shows. "We've had good crowds (and) it's been well received. The audiences are really seeming to enjoy it. They are always laughing, definitely getting the jokes. And it's a good time."

Spencer said now that the troupe's season is wrapping up, the production company will formulate and announce its 2020 slate of shows later in the year.

Spencer said "Romeo and Juliet," which ran on June 28-29, July 5-6 and July 12-13, was also received well by audiences.

"People really seemed to love the story and what we had to add," she said. "Our goal is to keep taking these pieces that everyone knows and loves and breathing new life and that these stories stay timeless and still seem relative today."

She said that is particularly true of "The Good Doctor," as it's taking stories by a Russian writer from the late 1800s and retelling them in a way that contemporary audiences will "still love and enjoy and find such humor and human experience" in.

"You go from anything from a trip to the dentist to a woman in love with someone," Spencer said. "It's the extreme, it's the mundane, it's life."

For their outdoor shows, Penguin Productions has limited physical seating, so guests are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets to sit on. Guests are also encouraged to pack a picnic dinner to have during the show, and wine is for sale on site. Tickets range between $10 and $15, and are available online through the group's website at www.penguinsonstage.org/buy-tickets.

Spencer said for anyone interested, coming to the final shows will be worth their time, saying a show was "definitely a night well spent under the stars …"


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