Nov 18

Emotional Complexity on a Beige Stage: THE TROJAN WOMEN

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trojan ladiesPresented by Theatre@First
Written by Euripides
Translated by Edith Hamilton
Directed by J. Deschene

Nov. 14-22, 2014
Unity Church of Somerville
Somerville, MA
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Review by Kitty Drexel
In the interest of full disclosure and transparency, I did audition for this play and was not cast. It is my firm belief that only a narcissistic ass would allow this to taint their review.

 

“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”

Margaret Atwood

(Somerville, MA) The Trojan Women was first produced in 415 BCE but might as well have been written last year. In it, the women of Troy (now Turkey) are grieving over their beloved fallen city, and the men who have died defending the city from the Greeks. Euripides so captured the trauma of a country torn by war, that his play has been made into a very famous 1971 film (featuring the alluring Katharine Hepburn as Hecuba, a brave and unusual choice) and has survived several adaptations and manipulations. The translation by Edith Hamilton remains the most popular for staging. The movie featuring Hepburn, Irene Papas, and Vanessa Redgrave, etc. is a classic. Continue reading

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Nov 14

Where’s the Scandal? : “Mary Shelley”

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mary-shelley

Presented by Wellesley College Theatre
By Helen Edmundson
Directed by Nora Hussey

Nov. 12 – 16, 2014
Wellesley, MA
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Review by Nick Bennett-Zendzian

(Wellesley, MA) My hat goes off to any company that is mounting a new or otherwise under-produced script. Helen Edmundson’s Mary Shelley received its première staging in Leeds in 2012, followed by a national tour and a run at the Tricycle Theatre in London. Near as I can tell, it has not been mounted in the United States prior to the production currently running at Wellesley College, and I commend director Nora Hussey for bringing this well-crafted play to us. Continue reading

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Nov 13

Looking at the stars is looking at the past: “Chosen Child”

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http://www.bu.edu/bpt/files/2014/10/2014-10-29-CHOSEN_CHILD_035.jpg

Photograph credit: Kalman Zabarsky

Presented by Boston Playwright’s Theatre
Written by Monica Bauer
Directed by Megan Schy Gleeson

October 30-November 22, 2014
Boston Playwright’s Theatre
Boston, MA
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Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Boston) Boston Playwright’s Theatre deftly handles heavy subject matter to thoroughly explore one family’s patterns in Chosen Child.  Cleverly overcoming technical limitations, intertwined histories emerge and recede amidst light and shadow in this production. Continue reading

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Nov 11

Audience Trust Issues: TURTLES

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Photo by Joan Mejia

Photo by Joan Mejia

Presented by Boston Public Works
By John Greiner-Ferris
Directed by Jeffrey Mosser

Oct. 24 – Nov. 8, 2014
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
BPW on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Dear crew of Turtles: What the heck was the squeaky noise we heard during the entirety of Act 1? I’m not particularly sensitive to repetitive noises but the sound of metal rubbing on metal kept pulling me out of the play.

Turtles is a play about single-Mom, Bella (Jackie Davis), and her two kids Foos (Lauren Foster) and Finn (Elle Borders). They are squatters living on/in garbage by a billboard advertising the next Rapture. They are surviving when Jesus, who may or may not be the magical zombie-savior of lore (Alexander Castillo-Nunez), falls into their laps. Jesus lacks any sort of social context (this dude could be anybody), gives no explanation for his presence, and has serious boundary issues. Yet, together they decide to move to Boston for its turtle sanctuary. Boston becomes a metaphorical sanctuary for all of them. Continue reading

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Nov 10

Floating Above the Fray: ETHER DOME

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Photo: T. Charles Erickson

Photo: T. Charles Erickson

Presented by Huntington Theatre Company
By Elizabeth Egloff
Directed by Michael Wilson

Oct. 17 – Nov. 23rd
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Boston, MA
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Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston) The biopic or docudrama is a mainstay of the flatscreen and the silver screen, but it doesn’t get nearly as much play on stage. In theory, it should, as these types of stories appeal to those who want to learn something while they are being entertained, and that would seem to include the well-educated who can afford to go to the theatre on a regular basis. But even Shakespeare’s straight-up docudramas, the Henrys and such, don’t do as much business as Romeo and Juliet or Much Ado About Nothing. Continue reading

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Nov 06

“Safekeeping” Reading and Safety in Numbers

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Photo by Nile Scott Shots

Photo by Nile Scott Shots.

Presented by The Accessible Theatre
by Rob Zellers
Directed by Adam Sanders

Nov. 3, 2014 at 7:30PM
Central Square Theater
450 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
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Disclaimer: This production included Queen Geek, Kitty Drexel in its cast. For this reason, this review is tempered to accommodate the NETG reviewing policy on Geek performance involvement.

Review by Gillian Daniels
(Cambridge, MA) Joe (Felix Teich) is an artist who creates complex dioramas and a loving and temperamental caretaker of his brother, sixteen-year old Robert (Elliott Purcell).  Due to his cerebral palsy, Robert spends his days bound to their run-down apartment, watching soap operas.  The Accessible Theatre brings us a reading of a play about brothers who have built their own world, insulated from the impoverished, drug-addled reality of their Ohio city.  As with many stories, the status quo is disrupted when a woman, social worker Marianne (Rachel Sacks), walks into their lives.  Her intrusion is a benevolent one, however, an attempt to confirm Robert is getting the help he needs.

Continue reading

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Nov 04

Words vs. Action: DUSK RINGS A BELL

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Pictured Todd Lawson and D'Arcy Dersham. Photo by Meghan Moore.

Pictured Todd Lawson and D’Arcy Dersham. Photo by Meghan Moore.

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
By Stephen Belber
Directed by Michael Bloom

Oct. 23 – Nov. 16th, 2014
50 East Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA 01852
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Review by Craig Idlebrook

Trigger warning: Contains Adult Language

(Lowell, MA) Which watershed moments in our lives define us, the ones where we rise above our fears or the ones where we give in to our basest nature? That’s the central question of the beautiful and flawed production of Dusk Rings a Bell, playing at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre. Continue reading

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Oct 29

The Accessible Theatre presents a Staged Reading of “Safekeeping” on Nov. 3, 2013

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The Accessible Theatre presents a Staged Reading of

Safekeeping

by Rob Zellers
Directed by Adam Sanders

Nov. 3, 2014 at 7:30PM – one night only!
Central Square Theater
450 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Accessible Theatre on Facebook

Joe and his younger brother Robert live off the grid in a run-down, inner-city neighborhood. Robert has cerebral palsy. Joe is an artist. They are in perfect control of their world until they are discovered by social services and into their lives comes Marianne, a bright and ambitious young therapist. Can art and imagination fuel the life spirit?

Felix Teich plays Joe, the older brother, an artist who is fiercely protective of his lifestyle and his brother Robert.
Eliot Purcell plays Robert, the younger brother who is adjusting to adult life without his parents’ support, and while dealing with cerebral palsy.
Rachel Sacks plays Marianne, a well-meaning social worker who is assigned to Joe and Robert.
Kitty Drexel joins the cast to read the playwright’s text and help illuminate the world of the play during our staged reading.

We can’t wait to see you there!

 

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Oct 27

The Last Ones Standing: “Language of Angels”

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Photo credit: Mikey DiLoreto; Cast members: Michelle Rubich, Eliott Purcel, Elizabeth Battey, and David D’Andrea.

Presented by Happy Medium Theatre Company
By Naomi Iizuka
Directed by Lizette M Morris

Oct. 23 – Nov. 1, 2014
The Factory Theatre
791 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02118
HMT of Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warnings: depiction of rape and gun violence, smoking

(Boston, MA) Bruner/Cott & Associates, Inc. is turning our beloved Factory Theatre into a gym (to be absolutely clear, I am painting them as the greedy, black-hatted bad guys because they are, hats or not.). Because what Boston really needs is another dank, dark basement gym that draws in rich tenants. Tenants who will pay a monthly membership fee as part of their rent but may never actually step into the gym they pay for. Everyone knows theatre doesn’t make money. There’s nothing more important than money. What theatre does is make a difference but who cares when the landlord isn’t collecting on its potential fiscal value? Theaters are noisy and dirty and beautiful and desperately necessary and Bruner/Cott doesn’t give a fig because theaters don’t make money. There’s nothing we can do to save the Factory Theatre except commemorate the good (and bad) created in our beloved home. Continue reading

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Oct 14

Theatre on Fire Ignites IT FELT EMPTY

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Presented by Theatre on Fire
By Lucy Kirkwood
Directed by Maureen Shea

October 10 – November 1, 2014
The Charlestown Working Theater
Charlestown, MA 02129
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Review by Gillian Daniels

WARNING: SEXUAL VIOLENCE.

One of the most terrifying things about the circumstances of Dijana (Elizabeth Milanovich) is how convinced she is that she’s in control of them.  Theatre on Fire gives us a chilling story of a woman clinging to her mental well-being by playing a cheerful, even humorous Pollyanna in an unwilling career as a prostitute.  The American premiere of the show gets under one’s skin and stays there, emotionally and sometimes physically moving the audience further into Dijana’s claustrophobic, darkly comic misery. Continue reading

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