“There were once between seven and nine opera houses in Bangor,” said Bari Newport, Penobscot Theatre Company’s producing artistic director. Today there is only one — Bangor Opera House. And Penobscot Theatre Company is lucky enough to call it home.
A stop in Bangor to catch a show and tour the opera house is a nice artsy contrast to Maine’s natural wonders. “Bangor is en route to Bar Harbor and the Great North Woods,” Newport said.
This fall kicks off the 44th season of the year-round theater company. Seven productions are performed each year. For the upcoming season, the lineup includes The Fabulous Lipitones (Sept. 7-24), which Newport says is great for groups.
“It’s funny and it’s written by one of the writers of The Cosby Show. There’s a funny theme running through it about acceptance,” Newport said.
Also because Stephen King, one of America’s most famous authors, lives nearby, the Maine premiere of the stage adaptation of his 1987 novel Misery will be performed at Penobscot Theatre Company Oct. 12-Nov. 5.
“His foundation has been our biggest donor,” Newport said.
Penobscot Theatre Company’s holiday show is a big deal, with 25 show dates that are often sold-out. This year’s production is Disney’s Beauty & the Beast, and it runs Dec. 7–30.
Groups might like to schedule a visit on the first Sunday of a show’s run because that’s when there is a 20-minute post-show talkback. For those who haven’t been to the theater in some time, they are in for a surprise.
“Starting in September, the entire inside of the theater will look different,” Newport said, the result of an extensive renovation.
Since the company is inside the opera house, guided tours are available. These tours must be arranged in advance. Tour companies should call the box office to discuss motorcoach parking options. Restaurants within walking distance make it easy for a group to grab lunch or dinner while in town.
For more information, call 207-942-3333 or visit penobscottheatre.org.
Article by Kristine Hansen