Nov 29

All We Like Sheep: H+H’s “Messiah”

Georg Friederich Händel’s Messiah
Presented by Handel + Haydn Society
Performed by Harry Christophers, conductor
Carolyn Sampson, soprano
Emily Marvosh, contralto*
James Way, tenor
Roderick Williams, baritone
H+H Orchestra and Chorus

November 26, 27, & 28, 2021
Boston Symphony Hall
301 Massachusetts Ave
Boston, MA 02115
H+H on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON — We were granted tickets to Handel + Haydn’s Messiah. It was lovely: the orchestra was in good form on their period instruments; the choir sang in four voices with rich purity; the soloists were attuned to the orchestra. It was a nice afternoon at the symphony. Our first since the quarantine.

In the program, H+H included a note: “We regret to announce that countertenor Reginald Mobley has been forced to withdraw from this week’s performances due to illness. We are pleased to announce that contralto Emily Marvosh has graciously agreed to take his place.” Continue reading

Nov 19

And still those voices are calling from far away: “Zoo Motel”

Presented by ArtsEmerson
A play by Thaddeus Phillips
Cocreated and directed by Tatiana Mallarino
Designed by Steven Dufala
Magic by Steve Cuiffo
Night Clerk: Newton Buchanan

November 16—21, 2021
The final performances! A virtual event via Zoom
ArtsEmerson on Facebook

AE Production Program featuring leadership team bios, a synopsis of the performance, and the full list of staff, artist and creative team credits for the production.

Originally presented via Miami Light Project Sept. 28 – Oct. 25, 2020. It is the longest running theatre play on the world wide web.

Review by Kitty Drexel

Virtual Boston, Mass — New England Theatre Geek reviewed Zoo Motel on October 14, 2020. The Quarantine was a dark time that produced some dark writing. Our ridiculously written review can be read here.

We were interested in seeing Zoo Motel again to see if it had updated since its 2020 run. Its creators have taken this show to audiences all over the world: Stockholm, Madrid, Perth, London, and now Boston. We can say that Zoo Motel still inspires wonder and awe. Continue reading

Nov 17

Science, History, & Humanity: “The Half-Life of Marie Curie”

Produced by The Nora@Central Square Theater
A Catalyst Collaborative@MIT Production
Written by Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Bryn Boice
Dramaturgy by Julie-Anne Whitney
Voice & text direction by Christine Hamel 
Starring Lee Mikeska Gardner & Debra Wise

November 11 –  December 12, 2021
Central Square Theater
450 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
CST on Facebook

Digital streaming: The digital stream of The Half-Life of Marie Curie is available from November 28 to December 26, 2021. 

Review by Kitty Drexel

Cambridge, Mass. — The Half-Life of Marie Curie presented by The Nora Theatre Company is a platonic love story between two adult scientists separated by distance and their fields. It’s a show to see with your best friend. It is warmly written and bravely acted. 

In the summer of 1912, two-time Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie (Lee Mikeska Gardner) hermited herself with friend and confidant Hertha Aryton (Debra Wise who entered wig first), renowned mechanical engineer. Curie was hounded by pigeonous journalists for daring to love in her widowhood. Aryton opened her seaside home to Curie and her daughters. They spoke of science, nature, womanhood, and many other things.   Continue reading

Nov 09

Seated in the Tonsorial Parlour: “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”

Presented by The Longwood Players
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheeler
Directed by Kaitlyn Chantry
Music Directed by Jeremy Lang

November 5 – 20, 2021
Chelsea Theatre Works
189 Winnisimmet St.
Chelsea, MA
TLP on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Chelsea, Mass. — TLP’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a forthright production. It takes no risks, but it lacks pretension. The staging is simple but the vocals are strong. The orchestra performs mightily. It is exactly what a good Sweeney Todd should be at a community level.  Continue reading

Nov 08

Witches, Vamps, and Rock & Roll: “Macbeth in Stride”

Steven Cuevas at the piano with Kira Helper, Charlie Thurston, Reggie D. White, and Whitney White in rehearsal for Macbeth In Stride.
Photo: Lauren Miller

Presented by American Repertory Theatre
Created and performed by Whitney White
Orchestrations Steven Cuevas and Whitney White
Music Director Steven Cuevas
Choreography Raja Feather Kelly
Directed by Tyler Dobrowsky and Taibi Magar

October 23 – November 14, 2021
Audio Described Performances: Friday, November 12 at 7:30PM and Saturday, November 13 at 2PM
Open Captioned Performances: Thursday, November 11 at 7:30PM and Saturday, November 13 at 2PM
Loeb Drama Center
Cambridge, MA
ART on Facebook

Review by Diana Lu

Macbeth in Stride is a lush pop, rock, gospel, and R&B musical theater event that can only be described as An Experience. It is the first of a five-part series by Obie Award-winning artist Whitney White examining the women of Shakespeare through a black, queer, feminine lens. I’m often skeptical of shows with stated agendas like this, but Macbeth in Stride delivered far more than what was promised, in more ways than I expected. Continue reading

Nov 06

To Laugh Without Restraint: “BLKS”

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
Written by Aziza Barnes
Directed by Tonasia Jones
Fight & Intimacy choreography by Ted Hewlett
Dramaturgy by Raul Avila Munoz

Oct. 29 – Nov. 20, 2021
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Boston, MA 
SpeakEasy on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON — Last Thursday night, I had the privilege to see BLKS with an audience that contained a larger population of non-white people than most. It was revelatory to watch a cast perform for an audience they could identify with. The cast relaxed into their excellent performances. They took risks. We appreciated them. It was great until it wasn’t. 

When a cast relaxes, the audience does too. This is wonderful if the art is for you. It’s not when the art is for someone else.  Continue reading

Oct 25

New House, New Problems: “Someone Else’s House”

Official screen shot of Mezzocchi. No photos or recordings of the performance are allowed.

Presented by TheatreWorks Hartford and Virtual Design Collective 
Written & performed by Jared Mezzocchi 
Directed by Margot Bordelon 
Playbill

TheatreWorks on Facebook  
October 21-31, 2021
TICKETS
A Live Virtual Performance: Performed over Zoom, watch live from your home or at the TheatreWorks theater

HAUNTED VIEWING from home* – Showtimes
Tuesday through Sunday at 8 pm
Saturdays at 8 pm and 12 Midnight

HAUNTED VIEWING in the theater – Showtimes 
Oct. 22, 23, & 24 and Oct. 29, 30 & 31 at 8 pm
IN-THEATER STREAMING watch parties @ 233 Pearl Street, Hartford, CT 06103

Review by Kitty Drexel

ZOOM/Hartford, CT — The new house/new problems horror movie trope follows a naive (usually white) family moving into their dream home. Strange, spooky things happen and the idiot family stays until the bodies are piled up.  Blood can hemorrhage from the walls and this family thinks it’s a tax write-off. 

A dank meme; Hooray, we’re going to die!

Speaking of obtuse families, Jared Mezzocchi’s lovely family moved into a 200-year-old house in Enfield, New Hampshire in 1977. TheaterWorks Hartford’s production of Someone Else’s House tracks the Mezzocchis move into a gorgeous mansion in Enfield. Mom and Dad had new jobs teaching at the elementary school. The kids had a pastoral town to grow up in. It should have been perfect. Continue reading

Oct 23

It Was the 90s: “Lorena: A Tabloid Epic”

Presented by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre 
By Eliana Pipes
Directed by Erica Terpening-Romeo
The digital program 

Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
949 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
BPT on Facebook

Content advisory: Because it follows Lorena Bobbitt’s case, this play contains descriptions (not depictions) of sexual assault and domestic violence. A strobe light is also used in the performance.

Review by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON — Lorena: A Tabloid Epic by Eliana Pipes re-examines the public spectacle that was the 1993 Bobbitt trial. Lorena (Bobbitt) Gallo’s voice wasn’t heard then. It takes center stage now. 

The 90s were a mess. One of the biggest messes was the Bobbitt trial. Lorena Bobbitt was a young Ecuadorian immigrant woman living in Virginia who survived years of abuse from her husband. One night, after she was raped again, Bobbitt cut off her husband’s penis with a kitchen knife while he slept upstairs. The tabloids (talk shows, trashy magazines, new media, and other outlets) could only focus on what she did to John, not on her story.  Continue reading

Oct 16

Everything And More; or, Why My Ex is Straight Now: “The Rocky Horror Show”

Richard O’Brien’s THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW / MOONBOX PRODUCTIONS 2021
Photography: Molly Shoemaker

Presented by Moonbox Productions
Music, lyrics and book by Richard O’Brien
Directed by David Lucey
Music Directed by Mindy Cimini
Choreography by Daniel Forest Sullivan
Dramaturgy by Allison Olivia Choat

October 16 – 31, 2021
Oct. 23 & 24 @ 7PM (ASL Interpreted Performance)
Fri 10/29 8pm (Audio Described Performance)
“The Lab” 
25 Brattle Street
Cambridge MA 02138
Moonbox on Facebook

Please note: Masks and either Proof of Vaccination/Negative PCR Covid Test Results (within 72 hours) are REQUIRED for entry. Thank you for helping us keep everyone safe!

Tickets are General Admission with Pay-What-You-Can* Seating available at the box office prior to each performance.

Content warning: Language, SEXual content, and fabulous drag queens across the gender spectrum

Review by Kitty Drexel

Cambridge, MA — The Rocky Horror Show at The Lab in Harvard Square is everything Rocky Horror could be during these COVID-times and more. Its energy is electric. The cast is damn brilliant. The band is brilliant. Every single person involved in the preview on Friday night knows how to get down (and get back up again). 

Moonbox’s The Rocky Horror Show will cure what ails you – removing the cause but not the symptom. The Lab is awash in bisexual lighting when you enter; we were all lit up in pinks, purple and subtle blues. Gobos twirled above our heads as we sat in rows facing the audience. OMGs, it was so much fun!  Continue reading

Oct 15

It’s “Rent”: “RENT 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour ‘Farewell Season of Love'”

RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, Credit Amy Boyle 2019.

Produced by Work Light Productions
Book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson
Directed by Evan Ensign 
Based on the original staging by Michael Greif
Choreography by Marlies Yearby  
Music Supervision and Additional Arrangements by Tim Weil 

Shubert Theater COVID-19 protocols

Boch Center Shubert Theatre
265 Tremont St 
Boston, MA 02116
Rent tour on Instagram

Review by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON — RENT 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour “Farewell Season of Love” at the Shubert Theater is Rent.  You will love it or hate it based on your preferences for the dated rock musical.

My lovely wife and I had a fun time. We like the show. The people sitting immediately behind us had a better time. They said they’d seen it every time it came through New England. That’s a lot of Rent. 

Rent is now a period piece. It was first performed on Broadway in 1996; I was a sophomore in high school. Bill Clinton had taken office for his first term that January.  Continue reading