May 12

Absurd Political Escapism: HOME OF THE BRAVE

Photo by Meghan Moore

Photo by Meghan Moore

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Written by Lila Rose Kaplan
Directed by Sean Daniels
Featuring Karen MacDonald

April 20 – May 15, 2016
50 East Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA
MRT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell, MA) Finally, a political play that is as absurd and as over-the-top as the 2016 presidential election! Um, I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Continue reading

May 11

More Meth-Girl, Less Romance Could Have Saved Apocalyptic Doom of “End of the World”

Photo credit: Drew Linehan Jacobs

Photo credit: Drew Linehan Jacobs

Presented by Boston Actors Theater
By Elizabeth DuPré
Directed by Drew Jacobs

May 6-21, 2016
Rehearsal Hall A at the Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
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Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) As a manager at a movie theatre, I see quite a lot of mediocre movies come and go rather quickly. I always feel a special type of sympathetic pity for the rom-coms that just don’t do the business studios had expected, and I have to say I felt a similar way after going to see the Boston Actors Theater premiere production of End of the World. Continue reading

Apr 19

Bedroom Games and War Crimes in Terrifying “Threesome”


Presented by Apollinaire Theatre Company
by Yussef El Guindi
Directed by Danielle Fauteux Jacques

April 8-May 7, 2016
Chelsea Theatre Works
189 Winnisimmet St., Chelsea.
Apollinaire on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Chelsea, MA) Leila (Alison Meirowitz McCarthy) and Rashid (Mauro Canepa) are introduced to the audience in their pajamas as self-styled intellectuals, struggling to be distant from their emotions. They’re Egyptian-Americans who open the play conversing like an editorial on gender politics, feminism, and cultural differences. Then comes in Doug (Geoff Van Wyck), the photographer they have invited into their bedroom for a sexual adventure. He’s blunt, cheerful, and thoroughly naked. He is the chaotic element that opens them up to the insecurities that run deep through their relationship. His attitudes don’t represent some enlightened, Western view as a cure-all to their squeamishness, however. No, Doug has his own insecurities he’s bringing in, too. What begins as an adult comic drama ends as a dark exploration of the political and personal. Continue reading

Mar 19

One Lick of “Bootycandy” and You’re Hooked

Photo credit: Glenn Perry Photography

Photo credit: Glenn Perry Photography

Presented by Speak Easy Stage Company
Written by Robert O’Hara
Directed by Summer L. William

March 12-April 9, 2016
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Speak Easy on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) Growing up gay and black is a very specific experience, and not one with which I will ever be able to identify. But Robert O’Hara’s hilarious and honest show gives the closest to an authentic experience anybody could possibly get. Continue reading

Mar 19

“Lesbians”: Living in an Elementary School Near You

Photo credit: Jake Scaltreto

Photo credit: Jake Scaltreto

Presented by Flat Earth Theatre
Written by Gina Young
Directed by Mariagrazia LaFauci

March 11-26, 2016
Arsenal Center for the Arts
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Review by Travis Manni

(Watertown, MA) This play is super gay. I mean, yeah it’s really funny, and mega 90s, but it is super gay. And that is why it was pretty damn amazing. Continue reading

Mar 07

Gallivanting Amongst the Cakes: CAKEWALK

Photo by Richard Hall/Silverline Images

Photo by Richard Hall/Silverline Images, contestants and their cakes

Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company
Written by Colleen Curran
Directed by David J. Miller

Feb. 26 – March 19, 2016
Plaza Back Box
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Zeitgeist on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) It is Independence Day 1984. The ladies of a small town in Vermont have won a place in the annual cakewalk competition and are patiently awaiting the critique of guest judge, Julia Child. First prize is a glamorous trip for two to Paris, France. Among the other prizes are a lifetime supply of flour and accolades from the citizenship for an entire year. Most of the gang looks forward to the friendly competition. Ruby Abel (Kelley Estes) is out for blood. Ready to slow down her paranoid manipulations are fellow contestants Martha (Aina Adler), Augusta (Maureen Adduci) and Leigh (Victoria George). Taylor (Matt Fagerberg) just wants to find the registration room. Each has their own secrets to keep and insecurities to air. A seemingly safe summer fair turns into a conundrum of colliding small town politics. 
Continue reading

Feb 24

Nice Legs Fellas: THAT 1770’s SHOW

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Image care of Google

Presented by The Hasty Pudding Club
Written by Daniel S. Milaschewski,, Jacob D. Rienstra, and A.J. Unitas
Music composed by Dylan MarcAurele

Feb. 6 – March 6, 2016
Farkas Hall
12 Holyoke Street
Harvard Square
Cambridge, MA

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge, MA) HPT168: That 1770’s Show is like a Ru Paul’s Drag Race production of “A Day in the Life on Plimouth Plantation” if the budget were slashed and the performers given a strict diet of cafeteria food. It’s good ole’ drag satire in which Massachusetts institutions are the butt of the jokes. It’s hilarious if that’s your thing. If it’s not: the show’s still funny but you won’t enjoy yourself as much as everyone else. Continue reading

Jan 26

As Exciting as Actual Ice Fishing: “Nice Fish”

Presented by the American Repertory Theatre
Written by Mark Rylance & Louis Jenkins
Drawn from the works of Louis Jenkins
Direction and compositions by Claire van Kampen

January 17 – February 7, 2016
Loeb Drama Center
Cambridge, MA
ART on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge, MANice Fish pairs the poetry of Louis Jenkins and self-aware post post-modern theatre on the frozen waters of a Minnesota lake. It is a small, white cast with one woman (Kayli Carter taking one for the team) about the humdrum comings and goings of ice fishers and their community. We are invited to experience the quiet contemplations of Erik (Jim Lichtscheidl) and Ron (Mark Rylance) on their technology-assisted jaunt into the wilderness. It’s a story of Man versus Nature versus Man’s Nature. In the end, the winner is always Nature.   Continue reading

Jan 19

Out of the Mouths of Babes: CARDBOARD EXPLOSION

Presented by Puppet Showplace Theater through their Incubator program
Sponsored by the Jim Henson Foundation and the Bob Jolly Charitable Trust
Created and performed by Brad Shur
Music and sound consultants: Matt McLaren, Brendan Burns

Jan. 9 – 24, 2016
Puppet Showplace Theater
Brookline Village, MA
PST on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Brookline Village, MA) The pre-show of Cardboard Explosion consists of resident-artist, Brad Shur, encouraging his child audience to use their imaginations constructively. He asked them if they knew what shapes would be made if he cut a cardboard square in a diagonal line. They responded enthusiastically: triangles. He then asked them what these triangles could be used for, halving them again and again, on the body of a puppet. Via the use of raised hands and waiting to be called upon, various answers from the mundane to the abnormal were called out. Using his wits, kindness, and gentle sincerity, Shur convinced his child and adult audience alike that he was safe, despite the scissors, and trustworthy with burgeoning young minds. Continue reading

Jan 19

Somewhere Over, Under, in Front of, Behind the Rainbow: “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”

Photo credit: Diane Anton

Photo credit: Diane Anton; the cast stepping out

Presented by imaginary beasts 
Written and Directed by Matthew Woods
Based on the Oz novels of L. Frank Baum

January 9-30, 2016
imaginary beasts on Facebook
BCA Plaza Black Box Black Box Theatre
Boston, MA

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Boston, MAPlaying fast and loose with both Oz canon and popular culture, imaginary beasts returns to the marvelous lands and characters L. Frank Baum created to amuse and entertain children at the turn of the century in Winter Panto 2016:  The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  People unfamiliar with the pantomime tradition should not come expecting a regular play, or the musical version of the show, or even a rundown of all of Baum’s Oz books.  Rather, it’s a rollicking variety of scenes that parodies both the source and contemporary mores. Continue reading