Jul 23

Hops Along at a Hip Clip: “Welcome To Arroyo’s”

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Photo from Circuit Theatre website. Look at all these POCs!

Presented by Circuit Theatre Company
By Kristoffer Diaz
Directed by Jen Diamond

July 9-July 27
Club Oberon
2 Arrow St
Cambridge, MA
Circuit Theatre on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Cambridge) Performed in repertory with The Walk Across Mother Earth, Taylor Mac’s ode to the political march, Kristoffer Diaz’s coming of age tale features a brother and sister from Manhattan’s Lower East Side.  The Circuit Theatre Company hands in a breezy summer confection, heavy on fun and low on substance. Continue reading

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Jun 23

He Who Watches the Watchers: PATTERN OF LIFE

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Nael Nacer as Rahmat Lewis D. Wheeler as Carlo; Photo: Courtesy of New Repertory Theatre.

Handsome devils: Nael Nacer as Rahmat, Lewis D. Wheeler as Carlo; Photo courtesy of New Rep/BCAP Facebook page.

Presented by New Repertory Theatre and Boston Center for American Performance (BCAP)
By Walt McGough
Directed by Bridget Kathleen O’Leary

June 14 – 29, 2014
Boston University Theatre – Lane-Comley Studio 210
264 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA
New Rep on Facebook
BCAP on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) President Obama has received flak from all political sides for his decision to back govt.-sourced  drone proposals. It has been 5 years and 5 months since the CIA conducted the first strike during Obama’s term and he shortly thereafter ramped up the attacks in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. He went so far as to say that “he wrestle[s] with civilian casualties. But, he said, he has a solemn duty and responsibility to keep the American people safe. That’s my most important obligation as President and Commander-in-Chief. And there are individuals and groups out there that are intent on killing Americans — killing American civilians, killing American children, blowing up American planes.” (Huffington Post) While drone attacks have decreased once his numbers started suffering, attacks have not stopped entirely. Clearly, Obama “wrestles” with casualties enough to make a statement but not enough to discontinue drone use. Continue reading

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Jun 16

The Smartest Play in Town: SMART PEOPLE

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Roderick Hill as Brian White and McKinley Belcher III as Jackson Moore in Smart People. Photo: T. Charles Erickson

Roderick Hill as Brian White and McKinley Belcher III as Jackson Moore in Smart People. Photo: T. Charles Erickson

Presented by the Huntington Theatre
Written by Lydia R. Diamond
Directed by Peter DuBois

June 25th – July 6th, 2014
Calderwood Pavelion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Huntington Theatre on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston) How we view race defines us, but we often don’t like to examine how we view race, at least not directly. To write well about race in America requires both a deep understanding of society and a deeper self-examination of one’s own feelings to sort out fact from feeling, and to know when to use both to create an artistic vision. Successful attempts to write well in fiction about this dicey subject are rare; most either skitter across the surface or descend into lecture. Continue reading

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Jun 13

Something to Think About: “Doubles, Demons, and Dreamers”

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image taken from Sleeping Weasel FB page

image taken from Sleeping Weasel FB page

Presented by Sleeping Weazel Productions
Ugmo and Eenie Go Down the Ruski Hole
Written and directed by Kenneth Prestininzi

June 12-21, 2014
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Sleeping Weazel on Facebook
Johnny Blazes on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston) As a heterosexual cisgendered woman living in what essentially constitutes the suburbs of a low-key city like Boston, it’s easy to let things like Pride Week fall off my radar. As such, it took the reminder of my accompanying companion and a couple of big honking rainbow flags spotted on the way to BCA to remind me what time of the year it was. In a lot of ways, this situation is allegorical to the overall message of the current incarnation of Doubles, Demons, and Dreamers.
Continue reading

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Jun 10

Securing the Myth-ing Link: GIDEON’S KNOT

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Presented by Bridge Repertory Theater
By Johnna Adams
Directed by Karen MacDonald

June 5 – 22, 2014
the Boston Center for the Arts
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston, MA
Bridge Rep on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger Warnings: Graphic depiction of rape and violence, controversial and political arguments, full-body hugging

“Turn him to any cause of policy,
The Gordian Knot of it he will unloose,
Familiar as his garter”
(Shakespeare, Henry V, Act 1 Scene 1. 45–47)

(Boston) Alexander the Great is famous for marching through Asia and Africa in the name of Greece when he was 18 years old. He was a merciless conqueror and much of his work shaped the known BCE world. According to popular myth, in 333 BCE Alexander was shown a intricate knot in tying a chariot to a pole left by the sloppy founder of the city of Gordium. It was foretold that only the future ruler of Asia could untie the knot. Alexander, being the sensitive and thoughtful boy he wasn’t, instead hacked through the knot with his sword. Earlier versions of the myth imply Alexander first tries cunning to sort out the mess but eventually uses the pointy end of a sword to solve the riddle. These are the origins of the term “cutting the Gordian Knot.” It has come to mean using creative measures (cheating) in order to solve an convoluted problem. Continue reading

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Jun 09

War Wounds and “Widows”: Ariel Dorfman Reading

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Presented by Flat Earth Theatre and Open Theatre Project
By Ariel Dorfman
Directed by Lindsay Eagle

Saturday, Jun 7, 2014 8PM
The Democracy Center
45 Mt Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA
Flat Earth on Facebook
OTP on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Cambridge) In one of Widows most wrenching scenes, Fidelia Fuentes (Mariagrazia LaFauci) struggles to figure out how to tell the story of her father’s disappearance. She starts by talking about a bird, then starts again by describing how soldiers kicked down the front door, and then talks about flying. The narrative spins and, it seems, so does she. With each false start, Fidelia tries to find the language that will successfully communicate her anxiety. She can’t, however, certainly not within a country under a lethal dictatorship. Her narrative has been compromised. Continue reading

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Jun 04

Getting Your Kicks Off Route 66: Sex Fest 2

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This review is for mature audiences only: While the review is relatively safe for work, the production is not. The Geeks of the New England Theatre Geek are all adults. We sometimes review productions with “adult themes*”. The title of the production is a clear indicator of both the subject matter and performance content. If this is not something for you, please help yourself to another review.

You have been warned.

*Although why they are described that way is beyond me. Being over the age of 18 is no clear indication of adulthood.
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May 28

Buchenwald, Those Were the Days: LEBENSRAUM

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Photo Credit: Josephine Anes

Photo Credit: Josephine Anes; photo chosen specifically for its derp factor.

Presented by Happy Medium Theatre Co.
By Israel Horovitz
Directed by Brett Marks

May 9 – 23, 2014
The Factory Theater
Boston, MA
Happy Medium on Facebook

Featuring: R. Nelson Lacey, Audrey Lynn Sylvia, Michael Underhill

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger Warning: Nazis, Holocaust, Death, Violence, Microaggressions, Gloucester references

(Boston) “Lebensraum” literally translated means “living space.” For the Nazis, it was local colonialism, an expansion of territory in order to displace inferior people. It is based on the manifest destiny principle*.

Lebensraum, the drama, is about the world reaction to a German Chancellor’s televised invitation to the Jewish community to return to Germany. It has a tender love story, media hype and politics to poke your eye out. While the events of the script are not real, the characters’ reactions to the fictional events are. Horovitz’s script is striking because, were the events of the show to actually occur, they would likely occur as they do in his script. His argument is convincing and his psychology is sound. Horovitz has analyzed the human population and found us territorial, racist and surprisingly resilient. It is horrifying to know that while we teach the Holocaust in history, humans have learned almost nothing from it. Continue reading

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May 27

Dedicated to the Proposition: ABE LINCOLN’S PIANO

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Presented by ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage
Music by Stephen Foster, Hershey Felder, and Others
Book by Hershey Felder
Produced by Eighty-Eight Entertainment

May 20 – 31, 2014
Cutler Majestic Theatre
Boston, MA
ArtsEmerson on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston) When you go to see a one-man play, you know that you’re either in for a real treat or a real travesty. When I saw the grand stage of the Cutler Majestic arrayed with nothing but drapery, lumpy parcels, and a Steinway, my mind was not set at ease. Continue reading

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May 19

Style and Form as a Metaphor for Life: SONTAG:REBORN

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Photo by James Gibbs

Photo by James Gibbs

Presented by ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage
Produced by The Builders Association and New York Theatre Workshop
Based on the books Reborn and As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh by Susan Sontag, edited by David Rieff
Adapted by Moe Angelos
Directed by Marianne Weems
Assistant directed by Shannon Sindelar
Dramaturgy by James Gibbs

May 6-18, 2014
Paramount Mainstage Theater
Boston, MA
ArtsEmerson on Facebook
The Builders Association on Facebook
Susan Sontag on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Susan Sontag was a feminist journalist who wrote extensively on the topics that inspired her. She directed, produced and wrote for the stage. She was an atypical mother. She was unabashedly herself. She is/was not readily consumable for the masses (although very good, her writing is chewy and requires time for adequate digestion). It should come as no shocker that art dedicated to her life and artistic style is not either. Sontag: Reborn is not a sweet show that idealizes Sontag’s life. It is a dramatic rendering of her thought process through stream of consciousness monologues and quotes from her works. Attendees should prepare themselves accordingly.

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