Apr 15

Bachelor’s Degree Preferred: TOP GIRLS

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Photos courtesy of Paul Cantillon for Bad Habit Productions

Presented by Bad Habit Productions
by Caryl Churchill
Directed by Liz Fenstermaker

April 12-27, 2014
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Boston, MA
Bad Habit on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Boston) Bad Habit Productions closes their seventh season, “Ambition & Sacrifice,” with a sharp focus on the feminine. Their interpretation of Caryl Churchill’s work provides representation of classic and modern stereotypes of females while maintaining a quick pace. Continue reading

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Apr 14

Three Days of (Bittersweet) Rain

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Presented by Hub Theatre Company of Boston
By Richard Greenberg
Directed by Daniel Bourque

April 4-19, 2014
First Church in Boston
66 Marlborough Street
Boston, MA 02116
Hub Theatre Co on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston) In Hub Theatre’s production of Three Days of Rain, audiences are gently tricked.  We are initially introduced to a family melodrama that takes place in 1995. Walker (John Geoffrion) comes to terms with his father’s death in the rundown apartment the man shared with his business partner during the sixties.  Stubborn and volatile, Walker doesn’t appear to have a great relationship with his sister, the “sane” Nan (Marty Seeger Mason), who takes him to the reading of their famous architect father’s will. They are joined by the son of his late business partner, Pip (Tim Hoover), a kind but not terribly bright soap opera actor.  With the reading of the will, the peace between the three of them deteriorates and their complex bond reforms.  So far, this is a story of despair, but it’s also just its maudlin surface. Continue reading

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Apr 10

“Far Away” is Close to Home

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Presented by Whistler in the Dark
by Caryl Churchill
Directed by Meg Taintor

April 3-19, 2014
The Charlestown Working Theatre
Charlestown, MA
Whistler on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

One of the most terrifying things about dictatorships, dystopias, and police states are how they turn what is savage and ridiculous into what is mundane and even acceptable.  Blood doesn’t flow on stage at any point during Whistler in the Dark’s production of Far Away.  No one pulls out a gun or stabs another character to prove a point.  With the power of playwright Caryl Churchill’s words and Meg Taintor’s direction, they don’t need to. Fear  lay heavily over the show already; we don’t need any clearer sign things are uncertain and wrong. Continue reading

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Apr 08

Our Differences are Our Similarities: NOT BY BREAD ALONE

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Presented by ArtsEmerson: The World on Stage
Created by Adina Tal and Nalaga’at Deaf-Blind Theater
Conceived by AdinaTal
Original music by Amnon Baaham
“Dancing Closely” written and performed by Zvi Tal

April 2 – 6, 2014
The Paramount Center
Theatre District
Boston, MA
ArtsEmerson on Facebook
Nalaga’at Deaf-Blind Theater on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Not by Bread Alone is the most sincere piece of theatre I have seen all year. Productions like this are why we artists create; it is why theatre exists. The tremendous talent of the Nalag’at Deaf-Blind Theater is awe-inspiring. It’s Boston run is over but it will be in the US for a while longer. I suggest doing everything in your power to attend this brilliant production. Continue reading

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Mar 20

No Condoms Were Harmed in the Making of This Musical: HELLO AGAIN

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Presented by Bridge Repertory Theatre of Boston
Book, lyrics and music by Michael John LaChiusa
Directed by Michael Bello
Musical direction by Mindy Cimini
Choreography by Stephen Urspung

March 12 – 29, 2014
Boston Center for the Arts
Hall A
Boston, MA
Bridge Rep on Facebook

TRIGGER WARNING: This musical has a lot of sex in it. So much of the sex. Fortunately, it’s all consensual.

(Boston) Not all sex is procreative. Sex should be a really good time for everyone involved*. A lot of it isn’t**. If you fundamentally disagree then stop reading now…

Hello Again presented by Bridge Repertory Theatre is an immersive musical that places the audience in the center of the action. And by “action,” I mean riding the skin-train to orgasm town. That being said, the musical is not actually about sex. It is about what leads to sex, why we do it and with whom we choose to do it. It is art focused on a very specific, necessary act. Continue reading

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Mar 18

Digging Our Graves, Hoping Someone Notices: THE WHALE

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Georgia Lyman and John Kuntz in the SpeakEasy Stage Company production of “The Whale.” Photo by Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
By Samuel D. Hunter
Directed by David R. Gammons

March 7th – April 5th, 2014
The Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
SpeakEasy on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston) No matter what you’ve heard, The Whale is not a play about obesity.  That may be hard to remember when you see a man drowning in his own corpulent flesh, the junk food wrappers strewn around his apartment serving as a testament to his mortal sin. Continue reading

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Mar 17

Awareness is Key: RIGOLETTO

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Michael Mayes as Rigoletto and Nadine Sierra as Gilda; Photo by Eric Antoniou for Boston Lyric Opera

Michael Mayes as Rigoletto and Nadine Sierra as Gilda; Photo by Eric Antoniou for Boston Lyric Opera

Presented by Boston Lyric Opera Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
Directed by Tomer Zvulun
Conducted by Christopher Franklin

March 14 – 23, 2014
Shubert Theatre
Boston, MA
BLO on Facebook

Sung in Italian with projected supertitles in English. Performed in 2 “acts” with 1 intermission.

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) The vocals of BLO’s Rigoletto are simply stunning. In particular, Michael Mayes as the title character and Nadine Sierra (Gilda) were a treasure to hear and watch. Audrey Babcock (Maddalena) smolders! This vocals of the male chorus were powerful but difficult to watch. It appears that they can only emote when given specific direction to do so. The sumptuous costumes by Victoria Tzykun mostly made up for this. Conductor Christopher Franklin leads his orchestra with admirable humility and confidence. His reverence for Verdi is evident from his first step into the pit. Continue reading

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Mar 17

“What Once We Felt” Feels Undercooked

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Photo credit: Jake Scaltreto

Presented by Flat Earth Theatre
By Ann Marie Healy
Directed by Lindsay Eagle

March 14 – 22, 2014
The Davis Square Theatre
255 Elm Street
Somerville, MA
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Review by Gillian Daniels

(Somerville) What Once We Felt is science fiction that distills contemporary anxieties into a thinly veiled future.  The bedrock of Ann Marie Healy’s dystopia, which premieres in Boston for the first time, is literary digitization, a bleak economy with a suppressed lower class, deplorable health care conditions, iPhone obsessions, and some unlikely but remarkable advances in artificial insemination. The play will make an excellent artifact of our age group.  Though the mask this society wears to disguise its relation to our own is transparent, so is the world-building and the logic behind a woman-only, caste-system culture.  The mechanics are questionable, but the anti-utopian horror that Flat Earth Theatre creates is sublimely creepy. Continue reading

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Mar 14

Touch a Dead Bird, Wash Your Hands: THE SEAGULL

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Photo T. Charles Erickson

Photo T. Charles Erickson

Presented by Huntington Theatre Co.
By Anton Chekhov
Translated by Paul Schmidt
Directed by Maria Aitken

March 7 – April 6, 2014
Boston University Theatre
264 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA
Hunting Theatre Co on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Chekhov intended The Seagull play to be a comedy. He wrote a famous letter to his friend Suvorin on October 21, 1895 describing his intent and further elaborated that Seagull would defy the conventions of theatre. No kidding. It is a comedy for the same reasons Springtime for Hitler is a comedy. The one exception being that no Roger DeBris character arrives to save us from our sensibilities. To sum up, without Roger, The Seagull is a drama about people being terrible to each other while lamenting their own misery. In Russia. While discussing the theatrical arts. It isn’t very funny (unless you’re a sadist). What it is, is deeply depressing. Continue reading

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Mar 10

For the Love of Bisexual Seahorses: BULLY DANCE

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Photo by Brett Marks

Presented by Argos Productions
By David Valdes Greenwood
Directed By Sarah Gazdowicz

March 7-22, 2014
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
949 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
Argos on Facebook

 

Trigger Warning: Gunshots are used in this production. Sexual abuse of minors is discussed albeit not in detail.

 

(Boston) The events of Bully Dance are based on the events of a multiple homicide that culminated in a suicide on public transportation in 2006. This is not a light, fluffy or otherwise hope inspiring production. It must be emphasised that playwright David Valdes Greenwood is not attempting to recreate the tragic events. Rather, he has constructed imaginary scenarios that explore the emotional truths of the victims and the survivors. Like an allegorical morality play, this production examines the effects of horrific violence on the heart and mind of Man. Continue reading

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