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Jungle, History, Ten Thousand Things theaters return to the stage

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Jungle, History, Ten Thousand Things theaters return to the stage

It’s curtain time for more Twin Cities theaters, with shows opening from History Theatre, the Jungle and Ten Thousand Things.

History Theatre’s “Not in Our Neighborhood!”

Opens Oct. 14: When Nellie and William Francis decided to move into St. Paul’s Groveland Park in 1924, the couple knew that their presence in a previously all-white neighborhood would create a stir. They perhaps didn’t anticipate the marches in front of their home, the cross burnings in their yard and the threatening phone calls and letters. This new script from Tom Fabel and Eric Wood tells the true-life tale at the History Theatre, with Erin Farste and Darius Dotch as Nellie and William. Through Oct. 24; 30 E.10th St., St. Paul; $48-$30; 651-292-4323 or historytheatre.com.

Ten Thousand Things’ “The Comedy of Errors”

Opens Oct. 14: Mistaken identities! Twins! Shipwrecks! Shakespeare pulls these comedic tricks and more out of his metaphorical hat. Shenanigans, of course, ensue. Katie Bradley, Cristina Florencia Castro, Nubia Monks, Will Sturdivant, Danielle Troiano and Sally Wingert are featured in a Ten Thousand Things Theatre Company production helmed by Marcela Lorca. Through Nov. 21; Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis; $35; 612-203-9502 or tenthousandthings.org.

Jungle Theater’s “Every Brilliant Thing”

Opens Oct. 16: In response to their mother’s attempted suicide, our narrator starts a list of things to live for … a list that runs from “ice cream” to “the alphabet” and beyond, Playwright Duncan Macmillan (with Jonny Donahoe, the British comedian who starred in the original one-person show) shines a light on the sometimes-dark corners of the human condition. The Jungle Theater production features JuCoby Johnson, with Joy Dolo stepping in for Thursday performances. Through Nov. 14; 2951 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis; suggested ticket price $45; 612-822-7063 or jungletheater.org.

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Girls soccer All-Scholastics and league All-Stars

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Girls soccer All-Scholastics and league All-Stars

GIRLS SOCCER ALL-SCHOLASTICS

Bria Abbiati (Newton South)

Juliana Anastopoulos (Brookline)

Megan Banzi (Plymouth North)

Arianna Bezanson (Danvers)

Carolina Bettaro (Revere)

Olivia Borgen (Whitman-Hanson)

Rory Clare (Wellesley)

Lauren Dwyer (Silver Lake)

Abbey Finn (Dedham)

Giulianna Gianino (Norwell)

Kyra Hacker (Natick)

Nia Hislop (Concord-Carlisle)

Claudia Keith (Bishop Fenwick)

Caroline Kennard (Nauset)

Maddie Ledbury (Needham)

Jane Maguire (Hamilton-Wenham)

Maya Mathis (Acton-Boxboro)

Kailee McCabe (Foxboro)

Molly McGlame (Hanover)

Ava Murphy (Winchester)

Camryn O’Connor (Oliver Ames)

Anne Pearl (Bishop Feehan)

Maddi Peck (Westwood)

Ashlee Purcell (Wakefield)

Sophie Reale (Hingham)

Ella Slayton (North Andover)

ALL-SCHOLASTICS

BRIA ABBIATI, Newton South

Abbaiti scored 13 goals to go with five assists for the Newton South team that went to the Div. 1 State Semifinals. The junior has been the Lions leading scorer in each of her first three years. A standout student, Abbiati also skis and plays lacrosse.

JULIANA ANASTOPOULOS, Brookline

The senior set a school record by allowing just four goals during the regular season. In addition, she set Warriors school records for shutouts with 15 on the year. The four-year varsity starter is hoping to continue her playing career in college and is a member of National Honor Society.

MEGAN BANZI, Plymouth North

The All-State senior midfielder scored 20 goals and added seven assists as she earned Patriot League All-Star honors. A three-time Herald All-Scholastic selection, Banzi has been a league All-Star since her freshman year. Banzi will play her college soccer and study nursing at UMass-Lowell.

CAROLINA BETTERO, Revere

Bettero scored 33 goals while also tallying 13 assists to earn Greater Boston League Co-MVP honors. The senior finished her career with a school-record 109 goals and a pair of Greater Boston League MVPs. A three sport athlete, Bettero is also a league All-Star in basketball and outdoor track. She plans on pursuing a degree in criminal justice.

ARIANNA BEZANSON, Danvers

Bezanson scored 22 goals and added 12 assists to finish her time as a Falcon with 86 goals and 36 assists. Bezanson is set to continue her playing career at Colgate University.

OLIVIA BORGEN, Whitman-Hanson

The senior led the Div. 2 state champion Panthers, scoring 23 goals to finish her career with 62 goals and 39 assists. An All-New England selection, Borgen is also the school record holder for the 100-meter dash in track and field. Borgen will continue her playing career at Penn State.

RORY CLARE, Wellesley

The senior forward led the Raiders in goals and assists for the fourth consecutive year. Scoring 21 goals, she earned Bay State Herget Division MVP and All-New England recognition. She is also a track standout, being named a USATF All-American in 2021. A high honor roll student and a member of the National Honor Society, Clare is committed to run track at Columbia University.

LAUREN DWYER, Silver Lake

Dwyer led Silver Lake to the Div. 2 state title game as she scored seven goals and six assists while being a standout outside defender. A two-time Patriot League All-Star and four-year varsity starter, Dwyer is committed to play Division 1 women’s soccer at Florida Gulf Coast University.

ABIGAIL FINN, Dedham

The senior midfielder took home Tri-Valley League MVP honors and All-New England recognition. She was team MVP as a sophomore. A member of the National Honor Society, Finn will continue her playing career at Providence College.

GUILIANNA GIANINO, Norwell

The senior midfielder was the South Shore League Player of the Year after scoring 16 goals and adding 17 assists in leading the Clippers to a 20-1-2 record and the Div. 3 state title. In the offseason, Gianino competes as a member of the South Shore Select. A high honors student, she will play her college soccer at Boston University.

KYRA HACKER, Natick

The center back helped guide the Redhawks to 14 shutouts in 2021. During Natick’s run to the Div. 1 state championship they allowed just two goals largely due to Hacker’s play. A member of National Honor Society, Hacker will continue her playing career at Bowdoin College.

NIA HISLOP, Concord-Carlisle

The senior forward was All-New England for the second year in a row as she scored eight goals to go with 17 assists. Hilsop’s play earned her Dual County League All-Star recognition. A member of the FC Stars ECNL club team in the offseason, Hislop is committed to UMass Amherst for soccer.

CLAUDIA KEITH, Bishop Fenwick

Keith finished the season with 12 shutouts and just five goals against, garnering Catholic Central League MVP honors and All-New England recognition. For her career, Keith racked up 40 shutouts and was a three-time CCL All-Star. A member of Aztec Soccer Club, Keith will continue her playing career at Southern New Hampshire University.

CAROLINE KENNARD, Nauset

Kennard totaled 23 goals and 13 assists despite being only a sophomore. The 2021 Cape & Islands league MVP now has 28 career goals. A high-academic student with a 4.52 GPA, Kennard is hoping to attend a Division 1 school that excels in both academics and athletics.

MADDIE LEDBURY, Needham

The senior center forward scored 14 goals and had seven assists to become the highest-scoring player for Needham in 21 years. A first team all-state selection from the United Soccer Coaches Association, Ledbury totaled 60 points over her career. The captain of the Rockets varsity hockey team will play soccer at Hamilton College.

JANE MAGUIRE, Hamilton-Wenham

The senior piled up 21 goals and 11 assists as the top player in the Cape Ann League. The CAL Baker’s MVP finished her career with 30 goals and 15 assists. Also a CAL All-Star on the basketball court and a member of National Honor Society, Maguire is committed to continuing her playing career at Colby College.

MAYA MATHIS, Acton-Boxboro

The junior had 12 goals and nine assists to earn Dual County League Player of the Year. Mathis plays for the FC Stars on the club circuit. Mathis is committed to the University of Connecticut beginning in the fall of 2023.

KAILEE MCCABE, Foxboro

The striker scored 32 goals, a program single season record. A four-year starter, McCabe finished her career with an astounding 78 goals. The Hockomock MVP in 2020 and 2021, McCabe is committed to Holy Cross.

MOLLY MCGLAME, Hanover

The senior forward scored 23 goals to earn Patriot League Fisher Division MVP honors. Between her freshman and senior seasons, McGlame totaled 43 goals including 20 in her freshman season when she helped the Hawks reach the South Sectional Final. An honor roll student, McGlame will continue her playing career at St. John’s University.

AVA MURPHY, Winchester

The junior forward scored 21 goals and tallied four assists to Middlesex League Liberty Division MVP. Murphy was named to the United Soccer Coaches Association All-Region team. A member of National Honor Society, Murphy hopes to play college soccer.

CAMRYN O’CONNOR, Oliver Ames

The senior midfielder scored 22 goals and had six assists to lead the Tigers to the Hockomock crown and earn All-New England recognition. The National Honor Society student will continue her playing career at Boston University.

ANNE PEARL, Bishop Feehan

The Shamrocks center back scored eight goals while also being part of a defense that allowed just seven goals all season. The Shamrocks reached the Div. 1 state semifinals two year after she helped them capture the crown in 2019. Pearl will continue her playing career at Union College.

MADDI PECK, Westwood

Peck had six goals and 10 assists while serving as the Wolverines attacking midfielder. The Tri-Valley League Large MVP, Peck’s efforts helped lead Westwood to the Div. 2 State quarterfinals. A member of the New England Futbol Club (NEFC) in the offseason, Peck will play soccer at Fordham University.

ASHLEE PURCELL, Wakefield

The senior striker scored 20 goals and had three assists, finishing her varsity career with 45 goals and 19 assists. The Middlesex League Freedom Division’s MVP guided her team to a league championship. The three-sport star also won league MVP honors in basketball and was a Middlesex League All-Star in track last spring. Purcell is committed to Merrimack College to continue her soccer career in 2022.

SOPHIE REALE, Hingham

The junior striker scored 27 goals and added 21 assists in leading Hingham to the Div. 1 state championship game. An All-New England and United Coaches All-American, Reale has 48 goals for her career. One of the top junior recruits, Reale has already given a verbal commitment to UCLA.

ELLA SLAYTON, North Andover

Slayton scored 16 goals and had six assists to earn the Merrimack Valley Conference’s Div. 1 player of the year. An All-New England selection, Slayton is also a standout runner as she has led the Scarlet Knights to state relay titles in both indoor and outdoor track. A member of Seacoast United Girls Academy on the club circuit, Slayton is planning to continue her soccer career at a premier academic school.

LEAGUE ALL-STARS

BAY STATE CONFERENCE

Rory Clare, Catherine Smith, Abigail Tucker (Wellesley); Kyra Hacker, Allison Jeter, Briar Grady, Mikayla Henderson, Zoe Graves (Natick); Juliana Anastopoulos, Hope Leschly, Cecelia Wager (Brookline); Brooke Haarala, Ali Jones (Framingham); Maddie Ledbury, Caroline Hood, Jackie Pucillo, Ava Chiappinelli (Needham); Riley Grable (Wellesley); Brooke Walonis (Walpole); Lily Ranalli (Newton North); Loli Morales (Braintree)

MVP: Rory Clare, Maddie Ledbury

BOSTON CITY LEAGUE

Petranella Duross Conklin, Majella Alice Cremin, Lillian Casey Crowley, Lilah Rose Fleischer, Alexa Desforges Poremba (Latin Academy); Rosandra Batista Silva (Boston International); Emanuela Estrela, Mariana Tavares (Burke); Fallow-Me Charles (CASH); Roberssi Reynoso (Charlestown); Brandy Hernandez Augilar, Valeria Erazo, Diana Melgar, Jenifer Sanabria Vasquez (East Boston); Brianna Duran, Dana Duran, Juliana Green (Madison Park); Karina Correa Restrepo (Snowden/Fenway); Lavinia Gomes, Mila Lord, Kaylee Orellana, Jane Yannis (O’Bryant)

CAPE AND ISLANDS

ATLANTIC DIVISION: Caroline Kennard, Olivia Avellar, Brady Deschamps, Emma Easley, Sam Schiffenhaus (Nauset); Macy Crowell (Nantucket); Grace Cohen, Lily Hofmann, Megan Jukubicka (Sandwich); Ella Sieger, Mia Cavossa, Elizabeth Janes, Tisharona Blackwood (Falmouth 10); Madelyn Brennan (Dennis-Yarmouth); Livi Varetimos, Lexi Varetimos, Dakota Hesse (Barnstable); Paige Malowski (Martha’s Vineyard)

MVP: Caroline Kennard, Macy Crowell

LIGHTHOUSE DIVISION: Alexandra Palmer, Kara Olonam, Kendal O’Brien, Ella Cheney, Hannah Kalkus (St. John Paul); Lexie Hyora, Audrey Smith, Karah Deveau, Hanna Slater (Monomoy); Kate Donahue, Alexa Bound, Jocelyn Hurrie, Raquel Collins, (Sturgis West); Peyton Joyce, Ellie Smith, Lily Goldmann (Rising Tide); Julietta Marzot (Falmouth Academy); Lilian Shanahan (Cape Cod Academy)

MVP: Kate Donahue

CAPE ANN LEAGUE

Jane Maguire, Claire Nistl, Jackie Chapdelaine (Hamilton-Wenham); Deirdre McElhinney, Gabriella Loughran, Katelyn Gallagher (Newburyport); Mollie Cahalane, Sabrina Campbell (Pentucket); Samantha Bunar, Adriana Parisi (Lynnfield); Carter King (Ipswich); Madison DiNapoli, Elizabeth Janasiewicz (North Reading); MaryKate McElaney (Amesbury); Casey Mahoney (Georgetown); Morgan Hall (Triton); Kylie Shrock (Rockport)

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Deirdre McElhinney, Jane Maguire

CATHOLIC CENTRAL LEAGUE

Allyson Carey, Maeve White (Archbishop Williams); Michelle Donahue (Arlington Catholic); Delaney McNinch, Isabella Tenreiro, Sydney Deroche, Samantha MacCormack, Catherine Gallagher (Austin Prep); Anne Pearl, Grace Robison, Kileigh Gorman, Kaitryn Franchino, Brooke Kennedy, Briana Marrero , Ava Detorie (Bishop Feehan): Claudia Keith, Amy Hatfield, McKenna Gilligan, Isabella Delvecchio, Ella Morgan (Bishop Fenwick); Lily Shields, Taylor Oliveira, Sophie Caldwell (Bishop Stang); Jessica Pulsifer, Alyssa Belmont (Cardinal Spellman); Sophie Skabeikis (St. Mary’s); Kelsie McNamara, Cece Yee (*Matignon); Emmaline Nolan, Katie-Lynne Anderson (*St. Joseph)

* – played an independent schedule

CATHOLIC CONFERENCE

Jenna Savaria, Olivia Mucci, Sydney Comeau (Notre Dame); Krista Murphy, Nuala Rodgers (Ursuline); Maddie Turner, Kayla Francillon (Malden Catholic); Ava Duffy (Fontbonne); Catherine MacLeod (Mt. Alvernia)

COMMONWEALTH ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

UPPER DIVISION: Hope McCarthy, Deanna DelBene, Carrie Martinez, Isabella Santana (Essex Tech); Emily Haas, Athenna Mao, Emily Sandelli (Greater Lowell); Keira Frazier, Delaney Scanlon, Felicia Vitorino (Innovation Academy); Charlotte Morey, Taylor West (Lowell Catholic); Lucia Antonucci, Gianna Gray, Hailey Hickey, Reilly Hickey, Millie Reynolds (Mystic Valley); Falyn Hunt (Northeast); Brielle Pigott, Caitlyn Aprile (Shawsheen)

MVP: Hope McCarthy

LOWER DIVISION: Katharine McNamee, Katherine Vieira (Academy of Notre Dame); Briana Peralta, Lisette Perez (Greater Lawrence); Rebecca Unubun (KIPP); Maria Barrios, Sandy Garcia, Helen Poloy (Lynn Tech); Annie Brosnan, Zoe Callahan, Alice Dalton, Eleanor Silvadurso (Minuteman); Tayla Contino, Carolyn Dorman, Sadie Tracy (Nashoba Tech); Madison Dawkins, Madison Gosse, Ariella Jones, Madison Noury, Natalie Vienneau (Whittier)

MVP: Helen Poloy

DUAL COUNTY LEAGUE

THORPE: Maya Mathis, Kacie Benn, Sadie Mathis (Acton-Boxboro); Charlotte Beakley, Nia Hislop (Concord-Carlisle); Bria Abbiati, Sienna Masood (Newton South); Izzy Doherty (Westford Academy)

FOLEY: Emilia Tutun, Brady Jacobson, Lily Swanson, Morgan Rome, Natalie Ladocsi, Julia Hanson, Emma Darling (Weston); Sydney Cox, Gianna Missiti, Sabrina Harris (Bedford); Reagan O’Brien, Allie Golden (Boston Latin); Lauren Medeiros, Sophie Ellenbogen, Samantha Tyska (Wayland); Gabriella Anserlian, Emilie Zinda, Christina LaFauci, Abigail Wilder (Waltham)

GREATER BOSTON LEAGUE

Anna Flaherty, Delaney Dana, Lauren Wilson, Jayda Mateo (Lynn Classical); Emma Casey, Maria Colombo (Medford); Carolina Bettero, Nahomey Martinez, Samarah Paiva (Revere); Elizaberth DaSilva, Kailegh Kosta (Somerville); Olivia Doanhue, Sara Dzaferagic (Malden); Marian Madrigal Orrego, Layla Bettancur-Cardona (Everett); Anadia Whelton (Lynn English); Katie Arias (Chelsea)

MVP: Carolina Bettero, Anna Flaherty

HOCKOMOCK LEAGUE

Kailee McCabe, Jordan Carman, Meg Burke (Foxboro); Emily Dunlea, Emily Khang (Attleboro); Emily McCabe , Ava Gilmore (Canton); Anya Zub, Stella Regan, Norah Anderson, Rachel Welch (Franklin); Ella Pisani, Grace Lawler (King Philip); Katherine Miller, Kara Santos, Gabrielle Smith (Mansfield); Dani Atherton (Milford); Haley Sinacola, Steph McKenna, Emma Pratt (North Attleboro); Camryn O’Connor, Lucinda Li Cotter, Allison Evin, Lauren Sellmayer (Oliver Ames); Sofia Goclowski (Sharon); Shayla Ford (Stoughton)

MVP: Kailee McCabe

MAYFLOWER ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

LARGE SCHOOLS: Emily Lehane, Bella Prisco, Kathleen Murphy, Nicole Nihtila (Blue Hills); Isabelle Dias, Noelle Kennedy, Hannah Clarke (Tri-County); Emily Gonzalez, Elizabeth Kinnane (Diman); Paige Crockett, Agapi Kouvlis (Southeastern); Rylie Riendeau (Bristol-Plymouth)

MVP: Isabelle Dias

SMALL SCHOOLS: Josie Ammons, Monica Coghlan, Nevaeh Towne, Brianna Poles (Norfolk Aggie); Heather Cormier, Jessica Rotondo, Paige Borgault (Upper Cape); Haylie Fernandes, Melanie Wood (Old Colony); Aubrie Lindo, Eva Washko (Bristol Aggie); Madison Saben-Hambleton (Cape Cod Tech)

MVP: Josie Ammons

COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOLS: Rachael Geniuch, Arianna Georgantas, Amanda Jacques, Kylie Fuller (West Bridgewater); Emily Cochran, Dalice Viera-Rodriquez, Marissa Todd (Holbrook); Hannah Anselmo, Bethany Slivka (Bishop Connolly); Laura Martel, Jesse Skov (Westport); Emma MacDonald (Avon)

MVP: Rachel Genuich

MERRIMACK VALLEY CONFERENCE

Emma Slayton, Maddie Jackson, Samantha Klimas (North Andover); Courtnee Pickles, Brooke Tardugno, Hailee Pickles (Methuen); Maci Gould, Mallory Amirian (Haverhill); Michaela Buckley, Ashley Sheldon, Dylan Troy (Andover); Sara MacLeod, Sofia Manne (Billerica); Adrianna Marinello, Zarina Pinto (Central Catholic); Allie LoCoco, Eliana Parreira (Chelmsford); Larissa Agostino (Dracut); Daniela Almeida (Tewksbury)

MVP: Emma Slayton, Hailee Pickles

NORTHEASTERN CONFERENCE

Arianna Bezanson, Gabby Chisholm, Georgia Prouty (Danvers); Elena Lindonen, Taylor Bovardi (Masconomet); Kayleigh Crowell (Beverly); Emma Bloom, McKayla Fisher (Peabody); Maddie Hudson, Victoria Quagrello (Swampscott); Darcy Muller (Gloucester); Ella Kramer (Marblehead)

MVP: Arianna Bezanson

PATRIOT LEAGUE

KEENAN: Sophie Reale, Claire Murray, Ava Maguire, Emily Gibbons, Maddie Aughe (Hingham); Megan Banzi, Carly Schofield, Kylee Carafoli, Erin Richards (Plymouth North); Lauren Dwyer, Shea Kelleher, Mckenna Sylvester, Emma Hudson (Silver Lake); Olivia Borgen, Ava Melia (Whitman-Hanson); Bridgett Barrowman, Samantha Zaslaw (Marshfield), Beth Yucius (Duxbury)

MVP: Sophie Reale

FISHER: Molly McGlame, Mia Pongratz, Ava Toner, Sophia Foley, Mary Carven (Hanover); Brooke Pireotti, Sarah Fogarty, Tess Railton, Hayley Mccarthy (Scituate); Kendra Foley, Ella Rose, Paige Kunkle (Plymouth South); Abigail Flynn, Carleton Gough, Maggie Eva (Pembroke); Jamie McAleavey, Melanie Chretien (North Quincy); Avery Pitta (Quincy)

MVP: Molly McGlame

SOUTH COAST CONFERENCE

Devin Sylvia, Abigail Menendez, Morgan Hayward (Apponequet); Abigail Sirois (Case); Carleigh Hall, Caroline Reed, Caitlin Morgado, Julia Tavares (Dighton-Rehoboth); Liza Pinette (Fairhaven); Gracie Maloney, Kaitlyn Duarte (Greater New Bedford); Maddie Wright, Cameran Weaver (Old Rochester); Emily Chin, Lauren Couitt (Seekonk); Alex Cook (Somerset Berkley)

MVP: Devin Sylvia

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Jennah Quill, Ava Forbes-Smith, Lily Ford, Isabella Johnson, Lily Coelho, Maya Daryanani (Bridgewater-Raynham); Jarah Rodrigues, Olivia Spadea, Ashley Demosthenes (Brockton); Alexia Almeida, Serena Carnes, Kaitlyn DaSilva (Dartmouth); Margaret O’Connell, Camryn Letendre, Meadow Worsley (Durfee); Madalena Morris, Victoria Perry (New Bedford)

SOUTH SHORE LEAGUE

Shannon Groom (Abington); Claudia Peirce , Morgan Reed-Davis (Carver); Catrina Herman, Georgia Barrett, Gracyn Lord, Mia Froio, Tess Barrett (Cohasset); Arinana Snelgrove, Caroline McCormack, Chloe Lang, Erin Condon (East Bridgewater); Bridget Fleming, Elsie Harper, Nina Tiani (Hull); Callia Eaton, Samantha Kersey (Mashpee); Addison Enos, Mallory McKenna, Shawn Gallagher (Middleboro); Anna Kirchner, Bridget Shaw, Chloe Kirchner, Guilianna Gianino, Grace Oliver, Paige Flanders, Sarah Kenney, Smilla Spasic (Norwell); Ngozi Nwaoha (Randolph); Emilee Dunham, Emma Cameron, Emma Radzik, Shea McDougal (Rockland)

MVP: Tess Barrett, Guilianna Gianino

TRI-VALLEY LEAGUE

Abbey Finn, Lily Roslonek, Alyssa Keane, Jamie McDonough (Dedham); Rachel Herman, Waverly Sumner, Tessa Broderick, Eloisa Luczkow (Dover-Sherborn); Mia Luisi, Mia Wolfgang (Holliston); Ashley Butler (Hopkinton); Isabella Brown, Bella Gangemi, Shannon Burns, Kate Olenik (Medfield); Shannon Mejia, Mikayla Perez (Medway); Caroline Mundy (Millis); Lily Newell (Norton); Cecilia Venditti (Norwood); Maddi Peck, Haley Jacobson, Sofia Roberts (Westwood)

MVP: Abbey Finn, Maddi Peck

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‘Flee’s stark animation matches grim tale of peril, struggle

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‘Flee’s stark animation matches grim tale of peril, struggle

MOVIE REVIEW

“FLEE”

Rated PG. At Coolidge Corner Theatre.

Grade: B+

“Flee,” an animated documentary directed and co-written by Danish filmmaker Jonas Poher Rasmussen, tells the harrowing true story of Amin Nawabi, a gay Afghan man who as a boy escaped from the mujahedeen with his family in the 1980s. The story of Amin’s journey from Kabul to Copenhagen rivals such fictional childhood escape tales as “The Painted Bird.” “Flee,” of course, also resembles Ari Folman’s great 2006 Academy Award-nominated “Waltz with Bashir.”

“Flee,” which was produced by Riz Ahmed and Nicolas Coster-Waldau, begins with the adult Amin, engaged to be married to his partner and very successful professionally, telling his therapist the story of his life, how he was a “different” boy, who would play in his sisters’ dresses and how there is no word for homosexual in Dari, one of the two official languages of Afghanistan (the other is Pashto).

After the spent and demoralized Russians withdraw from Afghanistan, the mujahedeen seeks revenge against many fellow Afghans, and Amin’s father is taken and disappeared. Amin, his mother, his two sisters and his beloved older brother Saif escape the country with the aid of greedy and sadistic traffickers. Eventually, after great suffering, they end up in a Moscow apartment, hiding from the greedy and sadistic cops and trying with the help of an older brother to get to Sweden. The story is almost relentlessly bleak with the exception of Amin’s crush on Jean-Claude Van Damme especially as the action film star appeared in “Kickboxer” (“1989) and “Bloodsport” (1988).

“Flee” looks like rotoscoped animation. The drawing is rudimentary. Visually, it cannot compare to such 2021 animated releases as “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” and “Luca.” But because of its dire, real world content, it has an edge in some people’s minds over the — shall we say? — happier films. I guess there is a point to that reasoning. But for the most part I do not believe that the miserabalist tone of “Flee” makes it instantly superior to films that dare to be fun, antic and droll.

Certainly, Amin has led a remarkable life. In one scene, we see him (Nawabi voices himself ) and his family watching Mexican soap operas to pass the time in their Moscow hideout. It’s Kafka-esque. Later, the adult Amin translates some old journal entries written in Dari into Danish. Imagining what he went through as a traumatically dislocated boy to learn Danish and attend school there is a tribute to human resilience. When Amin has troubling thoughts and is at his lowest ebb, director Rasmussen shows us ghostly figures on the screen. He also enlists archival, live-action footage at times.

“Flee” is no laugh riot to be sure. A-ha’s “Take on Me” plays a crucial role, and the score by Uno Helmersson (“The Painter and the Thief”) is lovely and plaintive. It’s odd that we do not learn the fate of Amin’s mother until we see a caption in the end credits. But “Flee” tells quite a story.

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There’s malice at the palace in opulent ‘King’s Daughter’

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There’s malice at the palace in opulent ‘King’s Daughter’

MOVIE REVIEW

“THE KING’S DAUGHTER”

Rated PG. At Regal Fenway, suburban theaters and VOD.

Grade: B

It’s good to be the king, even if it’s 17th century French King Louis XIV played with joie de vivre, but not very credibly by Irishman and former James Bond Pierce Brosnan. In the cock-eyed, fairy tale-like “The King’s Daughter,” the beautiful heroine is a girl named Marie-Joseph D’Alember (Kaya Scodelario, “Maze Runner: The Death Cure”), who has grown up locked inside a seaside convent, where she has learned to play the cello like a virtuoso and likes to take dips in the sea, even though the mean Abbess (Rachel Griffiths) threatens her with burning her cello.

At about the same time, hunky young sea captain Yves De La Croix (Liam Neeson look-alike Benjamin Walker) has captured a real mermaid for the king, who believes, thanks to his evil court scientist Dr. Labarthe (Pablo Schreiber), that the mermaid can give the king eternal life. Unfortunately, this will require cutting out the mermaid’s heart during a solar eclipse. Pardon?

“The King’s Daughter,” which was partly shot on location in Versailles, boasts opulent production values, fabulous costumes, coifs and a first-rate cast. That narration you hear is by Mary Poppins herself, Julie Andrews. That is Chinese star Bingbing Fan, also in the current release “The 355,” as the CG mermaid with magical powers and a baby and male partner back in Atlantis.

The fact that Marie-Joseph is the king’s daughter is a secret for reasons never clearly explained. She becomes the king’s new composer and is inspired by the “song” of the captured sea creature, who is tended by Capt. Yves and lives in a pool beneath Versailles’ fountains and whom Marie-Joseph befriends and with whom she swims. Marie-Joseph and Capt. Yves make a fine-looking couple, on foot and horseback on the grounds.

The king’s confessor Pere La Chaise (William Hurt) is nervous and uncertain about the king’s plans. Are they blasphemy? Marie-Joseph is at first alone at court, where she was summoned. But she makes a new friend in the form of her handmaiden Magali (Scotswoman Crystal Clarke). The Sun King is partial to fruit and wine. He teaches the sylph-like newcomer to court how to dance the minuet. Because the royal coffers are empty, Marie-Joseph is acknowledged by the king and then ordered to marry the super-rich, but vile Duke Lintillac (Ben Lloyd-Hughes).

Director Sean McNamara (“Soul Surfer”) keeps the story ambling along, however predictable it may be. The screenplay by Academy Award-winner Ronald Bass (“Rain Man”), Barry Berman (“Benny & Joon”) and Laura Harrington based on a novel by Vonda N. McIntyre (“Dreamsnake”) is appealingly fanciful and occasionally evocative of the work of the great Alexandre Dumas (yes, there are musketeers). The score by a trio of composers has a decided Disney/pop music vibe. This includes the power ballad over the end credits performed by Australian singer-songwriter Sia.

In the title tole of this middling effort, Scodelario is appealing and convincingly headstrong, and she looks truly fab in her semi-modernized frocks that might have been designed by Cruella herself.

(“The King’s Daughter” contains violence and mature themes.)

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