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'The Graduate,' 'My Way' in LI

Vincent Carbone as Benjamin and Brooke Alexander as

Vincent Carbone as Benjamin and Brooke Alexander as Mrs. Robinson star the Center Stage production of "The Graduate," opening July 12, 2012, in Southampton. Credit: Tom Kochie

'The Graduate'

For "The Graduate" to work, sex scenes between Benjamin and Mrs. Robinson must at least register on the icky meter. In casting the key licentious roles, Center Stage director Michael Disher's choice of Vincent Carbone and Brooke Alexander is a winner. Carbone and Alexander even resemble the 1967 movie pairing of dorky Dustin Hoffman and vampy Anne Bancroft.

Mrs. Robinson is the lush next door who seduces the title graduate who's young enough to be her son. In fact, daughter Elaine, home from college for the summer, is a bit younger. After the tawdry affair, Benjamin pursues unsuspecting Elaine (innocently played by Bethany Dellapolla) to her mother's horror. When Ben announces he's marrying Elaine, his parents (Barbara Jo Howard and John Tramontana) are as surprised as his intended--not to mention Mr. Robinson (Seth Hendricks).

Familiar as the conclusion is, we won't give it away, except to say that the cinematic ending is impossible onstage. But the play's denouement makes more sense.

If only we could see sparks between comic Benjamin and whining Elaine. Oh, well. They'll probably divorce.

WHAT 'The Graduate'

WHEN | WHERE 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday, through July 29, Levitas Center for the Arts, 25 Pond Lane, Southampton

TICKETS $12-$22;, 631-287-4377

'My Way'

Most of us can't get enough of Frank Sinatra -- even 14 years after his passing. "My Way," a cabaret-style revue at Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts, tips its hat to the master. Still, I couldn't help but suspect that on the summertime medley, for instance, the young foursome would prefer Springsteen's "Girls in Their Summer Clothes" to Sinatra's "Summer Wind."

Rob Gallagher, the most mature-looking of the quartet, takes a while to hit stride but finds his inner Sinatra on "That's Life" without trying to imitate. (That would be futile.) Adrienne Stiefel opens with a torchy "The Way You Look Tonight," lyrically dicey for a woman. Hannah Jane McMurray begins "It Was a Very Good Year" with an age-appropriate "when I was 17" lilt, followed by young James Larson on the "21" verse. Steifel soars on "35," and Gallagher winds down the vintage years.

Cara Brown's trio keeps the beat flowing -- 35 songs in 80 minutes -- interrupted minimally by biographical chatter.

WHAT "My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra"

WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, through Aug. 12, Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. Main St.

TICKETS $25-$35;, 631-724-3700

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