Mar 20

First Do Harm: “Mrs. Packard”

Photo credit: Marc J. Franklin; Mrs. Packard and inmates.

Presented by Bridge Repertory Theatre & Playhouse Creatures Theatre Company
Written by Emily Mann
Directed by Emily Ranii

March 15 – April 9, 2017
Multicultural Arts Center
East Cambridge, MA
Bridge Rep on Facebook
Playhouse Creatures on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger Warnings: Torture, domestic abuse, nudity, implied horror, gaslighting

Peter, Peter, pumpkin-eater,
Had a wife and couldn’t keep her;
He put her in a pumpkin shell,
And there he kept her very well.”
– Traditional nursery rhyme about “Peter” who couldn’t control his (allegedly sexually adventurous) wife so he killed her.  

(East Cambridge, MA) The more things change; the more they stay the same. Mrs. Packard is about how a panel of straight, white men made uninformed decisions on a woman’s health without her consent. Sound familiar? It should. It’s 2017, and treating women with respect is still a revolutionary act. Continue reading

Mar 18

“Silent Sky”: Fearless Feminism in the 19th Century

Photo credit: Jake Scaltreto

Presented by Flat Earth Theatre
By Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Dori A. Robinson

March 10-25, 2017
The Mosesian Center for the Arts
321 Arsenal Street
Watertown, MA 02472

Review by Travis Manni

(Watertown, MA) The impact that women have had in shaping our view of the world is so profound and infinite it could fill the sky. Often, their significance is overlooked, but it’s lovely seeing these roles brought to light in the arts. In its New England premiere production, Flat Earth Theatre brings to life the love, loss, and feminism of Lauren Gunderson’s Silent Sky. Continue reading

Mar 07

Boston’s Unfortunate History of Complicity: “The Boston Abolitionists”

Presented by The Poets’ Theatre, and the Boston Athenaeum
Written by David Gullette
Directed by Bob Scanlan

Sunday, March 5, 2017 @ 1:00 P.M.
The Boston Athenaeum
10½ Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108

Review by Polly Goss

(Boston, MA) The Boston Athenaeum was the perfect setting for a performance that delved into the city’s complex past. Surrounded by portraits of Boston’s founding fathers, The Poets’ Theatre gave voice to some of Boston lesser-known revolutionaries in this unusual piece.

Challenging the stock image of the 19th century abolitionist as ‘a white man in a black suit’, the actors gave voice to some of the nation’s bravest and most controversial pioneers: escaped slave David Walker, the formidable Maria Stewart and white Southern activist Angelina Grimké among others. The story of Anthony Burns, the escaped slave, who was sent by a Massachusetts judge to return to Virginia and slavery, added a darker tone to the piece. Highlighting the North’s complicity with Southern slavery, Burns’ story reminded the audience that Boston’s history, like the whole country’s, is stained by slavery. Continue reading

Mar 02

On the realistic level: “The Night of the Iguana”

Presented by the American Repertory Theater
Written by Tennessee Williams
Directed by Michael Wilson

Current-March 18, 2017
ASL Interpreted, Mar. 12, 2PM & Mar. 15, 7:30PM
Audio Described, Mar. 16, 7:30PM & Mar. 18, 2PM
Open Captioned Logo Open Captioned, Mar. 16, 7:30PM & Mar. 18, 2PM
Loeb Drama Center
Cambridge, MA
ART on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Cambridge, MA) One may not immediately think of The Night of the Iguana as an American classic even though the film version is considered a classic and it was a success by every measure.  Tennessee Williams fans themselves are content to see it or hear of it onstage maybe once a decade, if even that frequently since its debut in 1961.   The A.R.T.’s recent production pays homage to the time period without becoming a stale museum piece.  Tennessee Williams may not be a favored son of every American, but he is a recent one.  Loeb Drama Center had a clever setup when I attended which allowed the audience to ponder correspondence  from archives as well as attempt to bang some literary work out with Royal typewriters rented out by Arlington’s own Cambridge Typewriter.    Continue reading

Feb 27

Vouchers Will Not Save Our Schools: “Exit Strategy”

UPDATED on 2/28/17: Because holy crapping fudge DeVos is either a sincere idiot, or a racist ass (mostly likely, both). https://twitter.com/AdamHSays/status/836416602736312320

Photo by Joel Benjamin. With Robert Bonotto, Victoria George, Johnny Quinones, Jalani Dottin-coye and Matt Fagerberg.

Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company
Written by Ike Holter
Directed by David Miller

Feb. 17- March 11, 2017
Plaza Theater
Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont St in Boston’s South End
Zeitgeist on Facebook

This production is made possible in part by The Bob Jolly Charitable Trust, which was established by the late Boston actor Bob Jolly to support local theater artists.

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MAExit Strategy opens with a quote for Betsy DeVos’s Senate Hearing on Jan. 17, 2017. DeVos is a rich, white women with no experience in public education and a strong preference for charter schools. She’s in love with vouchers. To her, “accountability” is just a 14 letter word. She is completely oblivious of the hard work public school teachers do every single damn day in order to teach their students. Her ignorance, arrogance and entitlement are the three donkeys of the educational system’s apocalypse. Our kids, especially the underprivileged, deserve better. Her philosophies are the kind that allow schools to crumble apart with children still in them. Continue reading

Feb 22

Tell Your Own Story: “Informed Consent”

With Dale J. Young, Demetrius Fuller, Alexa Lambert, Becca A. Lewis, Danielle Jacques, Deniz Khateri, Camilo Atehortua, Paola M. Ferrer Collazo and Chrissy Tina. Photo credit: Apollinaire Theatre Co.

Presented by Apollinaire Theatre Company
Written by Deborah Zoe Laufer
Directed by Dale J. Young

Feb. 17- Mar. 12, 2017
Chelsea Theatre Works
189 Winnisimmet St., Chelsea, MA, 02150
Apollinaire on Facebook

90 minutes, no intermission.

Review by Polly Goss

(Chelsea, MA) Having originally opened to critical acclaim at The Duke on 42nd Street in August 2015, Laufer’s hard hitting play is the most recent production from Chelsea’s Appolinaire Theatre Company. Resident company of Chelsea Theatre Works, Appolinaire endeavours to “offer audiences direct, intimate encounters with works of modern and contemporary theatre.” Informed Consent does exactly that. Deborah Zoe Laufer is an accomplished writer, marrying the universal with the personal, in this heart-wrenching story of one woman’s struggle to beat fate and save her daughter…“whatever the cost”. Continue reading

Feb 21

“The Honey Trap” Sweet Like Honey, Sting Like a Bee

Maureen Keiller, Barlow Adamson. Photograph credit: Kalman Zabarsky

Presented by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre & Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Theatre
Written by Leo McGann
Directed by Adam Kassim

February 16-26, 2017
949 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre on Facebook
Boston University New Play Initiative

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) According to the old cliché, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. The truth of this is debatable, but it’s true that, when luring something, or someone, to its doom, it’s much simpler to do it in a soft, sweet way. On multiple levels, this was the crux of how Leo McGann’s The Honey Trap told a story of history, guilt, and revenge. Continue reading

Feb 14

Deja Vu All Over Again: “I, Snowflake”

The cast; photo discovered on Anthem Theatre Co’s Facebook page.

Devised and presented by Anthem Theatre Company
Conceived, written and directed by Bryn Boice

Feb. 10 – 11, 2017
BU Dance Theatre
915 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA
Anthem on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger Warnings: Adult themes, gunshot sound effect, feminism

(Boston, MA) Bless you, Merriam-Webster. On January, 29, 2017 at 6:32PM, the hero in charge of the Dictionary’s Twitter account posted this lovely article on the slang origins of “snowflake.”  The article’s existence implies that the social movement currently applying this term to liberals are doing so incorrectly. Similarly Anthem Theatre Company strikes back at detractors with a timely, necessary production of I, Snowflake: A Post-election Reaction. Continue reading

Feb 03

Pretty is Not an Even Exchange for Powerful : REALLY

Rachel Cognata in REALLY (Photo by Jeremy Fraga)

Presented by Company One Theatre
With Matter & Light Fine Art, SoWa
With support from Gallery Kayafas
Written by Jackie Sibblies Drury
Directed by Shawn LaCount
Dramaturgy by Ilana M Brownstein and Francisca De Silviera

January 25 – March 12, 2017
63 Thayer St
Boston, MA 02118
C1 on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(SoWa,Boston, MA) Subscribers to American Theatre Magazine will recognize Really from its September 2016 issue. I was excited at the chance to see Company One perform a play I’d only read before. C1 did not disappoint. Still, I had more questions after seeing the show than I did after reading it. Continue reading

Jan 27

Colors, Flavors and Spices: THE ATHEIST

Photo by Kalman Zabarsky, Georgia Lyman as Augustine Early.

Presented by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
Written and directed by Ronan Noone
Performed by Georgia Lyman

Jan. 19 – Feb. 5, 2017
BPT
949 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA
BPT on Facebook

Trigger warnings: “alternative fact” telling, domestic abuse, discussion of rape, invasion of intimate privacy, crooked politics  

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) It’s as if Ronan Noone timed his production of The Atheist with Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative fact” BS on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Noone’s Atheist captures the distasteful spirit of dirty tactics to make the untrue plausible. Trump’s team is gaslighting its way into our heads. Noone shows us how. Continue reading