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Harrington bares all in 'The Graduate'

If you're a regular theatergoer here in Central New York, you may think you've seen a lot of actress Moe Harrington.

After all, she played Fanny Brice in "Funny Girl," Keeley Stevens in "Pete'N Keeley," Ellen in Jeff Kramer's "Lowdown Lies" and Officer Celeste Luna in Donna Stuccio's "Elegy in Blue," not to mention any number of other leading roles as well as her annual self-produced cabarets.

Unless you're her husband, however, you've never seen her the way she appears as Mrs. Robinson in "The Graduate," playing through this weekend at the Civic Center's Bevard Theater.

That's right, Moe sheds every stitch in one memorable scene early in Act 1.

Not only is the actress's flesh exposed in this stage version of the famous 1967 film. So is her soul.

Her acting chops have never been better, and Harrington capably captures Mrs. Robinson's devil-may-care approach to life and love. Her portrayal of the booze-addled, unfaithful wife is a dynamic performance full of highs and lows including shouting and whispering, dressing and undressing, fighting and fornicating...

Under the watchful eye of director Garrett Heater, the entire cast of this "Graduate" follow Harrington's lead to turn in yeoman performances.

Rob Fonda portrays Benjamin, the recent college graduate who's the object of Mrs. Robinson's seduction. Wil Szczech plays the cuckolded Mr. Robinson. Bob Fullenbaum and Katheryn Guyette portray Benjamin's pushy parents and Kimberly Panek plays the Robinson's attractive, college-age daughter.

In minor roles Geno Parlato, Erica Dutelle, Basil Allen and Bruce Paulsen round out the cast.

Since playwright Terry Johnson adapted the story for the stage by drawing upon the original novel by Charles Webb, don't expect a scene-for-scene recreation of the film. But do expect an often gripping, occasionally humorous and always well-acted version of this coming-of-age classic.

The Covey Theatre Company continues its run of "The Graduate" at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 20-21, at the Bevard Theater in the Mulroy Civic Center, 411 Montgomery St. Tickets cost $20; 420-3729; thecoveytheatrecompany.com.

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