Presented by ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage
Adapted from Two Stories by Anton Chekhov
Adapted and Directed by Annie-B Parson & Paul Lazar/Big Dance Theater
Choreographed by Annie-B Parson
Featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov, Tymberly Canale, Chris Giarmo, Paul Lazar and Aaron Mattocks
My apologies to ArtsEmerson, Big Dance Theatre, Baryshnikov Productions and anyone else I forgot to mention for the tardiness of this review. I was waylaid by illness this weekend and couldn’t complete my review.
(Boston) Man in a Case is effective theatre that turns Chekhov on its head while retelling the two classic stories “Man in a Case” and “Almost Love.” It does not bridge the 19th and the 21st centuries as advertised. It does, however, transport the viewer into an existential dreamspace/nightmare of meta and experimental theatre. Just in case one is mislead by my description, this was an interesting, thought-provoking performance but it’s not light fare for a family hoping to experience “culture” in the city. Man in a Case could be considered “weird” and weird theatre can be exquisite. It all depends on perspective. Continue reading →
From the program notes: Robert N. Wilson, The Writer as Social Seer
“Willy’s failure is our failure, for we are also involved in the cult of success, and we, too, measure men by occupational attainment rather than by some sympathetic calculus of the whole human being. We are all partners in the American Dream and parties to the conspiracy of silence surrounding the fact that failures must by definition outnumber successes, given our cultural ground rules and or singular interpretations of the words ‘success’ and ‘failure’.”
(Boston) There is so much that The Lyric’s production of Death of a Salesman gets right. This is a fantastic production – the best of theirs I’ve seen all season, which is saying a lot for a theatre that regularly that creates solid art. It is the same cut and dried script that generations have come to love with a few spins that make it new and poignant. Continue reading →
From the Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental Website:
“On September 27, 1849, Edgar Allan Poe set out on a lecture tour from Virginia to New York. Days later a train conductor saw Poe in Havre de Grace, Maryland, wearing a stranger’s clothing and heading south to Baltimore where he died on October 7.”
(Boston) Boston is the birthplace of E.A. Poe. He was born on Boylston St. not far from the Paramount Center Mainstage theater. The building is commemorated by a small plaque. It’s fitting then that Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental brought Red-Eye to Havre de Grace, a macabre but unique perspective into the abstraction of the writer’s brain, to Poe’s home. Continue reading →
Does Interference work as a play? No, but I’m not sure if it’s meant to cohere as the kind of story with a single start and finish. Liars and Believers have created an immersive experience with mixed results, one that works well enough when staged at a fantastic venue like the Oberon. Similarly to Lunar Labyrinth, though, the last effort I saw by Liars and Believers, Interference is a series of vignettes inspired by a single work. Here, the theater group takes its cues from Pablo Picasso’s 1937 painting, “Guernica.” Continue reading →
(Boston) Absence, Peter M. Floyd’s first full length play, is a multi-layered and filmic production at Boston Playwright’s Theatre which was both a terror and a joy to see.
At a slim 90 minutes without intermission, it is finely focused on Helen, who in her 70s experiences the slowly squeezing hand of time on her body and mind, but not her soul. Kippy Goldfarb, who stepped up when Joanna Merlin took ill, as Helen is a clear and self-possessed woman, and it is hard to believe that Helen could, in fact, be suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s at all. Helen’s passion play is underscored by a serious exploration of how her family and herself must undertake to keep her as safe and as sane as possible. Continue reading →
With apologies to Fresh Ink Theatre Company. The Queen Geek was waylaid by illness and could not complete her review until now.
(Boston) Handicapping by James McLindon combines three heavy subjects into one script: gambling addiction, physical incapability, and the deep holes we dig ourselves when we deny reality. It is a short but effective play. From the moment the lights come up, with the help of the Fresh Ink crew, McLindon’s script relentlessly reveals the exacting scarcity that is his cast and plot. There is no hope for the denizens of the betting booth. There is hope for the audience. Continue reading →
(Boston) The Brown Box Theatre Project’s Two Wrongs is a comedy-drama that concerns the tenuous, complex nature of doctor/patient relationships and the temptation to abuse authority. It’s an entertaining show, but it never interrogates its wrongdoers too sharply. Its tone is ultimately one of sympathy, perhaps a little too gentle. Continue reading →
(Watertown) Sometimes you can check off all the boxes for what makes an interesting play without the play adding up to great theatre. The Whipping Man, playing at the New Repertory Theatre, has all the ingredients (interesting slice of history, family drama, a striking set, a strong cast), but they don’t create something bigger. Continue reading →
January 10 – February 1, 2014
The Jackie Liebergott Black Box at the Emerson/Paramount Center 559 Washington St.
Boston, MA 02111
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Arts Emerson on Facebook
Performance run from 90 to 100 minutes. There is no intermission.
Review by Kitty Drexel
(Boston) We Are Proud to Present a Presentation about the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, from the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915 is a scripted, semi-interactive history lecture cum improv experiment dissecting the historical events of the German occupation of what is now Namibia. 6 actors attempt to reenact the experiences of German soldiers as they ousted the Herero tribe from their lands. It starts with a chipper cast playfully giving a lecture. As with much of history, it has a somber ending. Continue reading →
Theatre@First offers an earnest take on Caryl Churchill’s meditation on womanhood in the 1980s. The production is best in the lighter moments, when the realities of the character’s lives seem far less crushing.
Top Girls itself is not traditional, but is and was a groundbreaking piece which provides incisive snapshots of women beyond as well as within classical archetypes. A show which only represents female voices is not necessarily feminist by default, but feminism as it relates to the time as well as the past pops up regularly. Central themes such as success and sacrifice are embodied by Marlene, played effectively as a witty and ruthless vamp by Kathy-Ann Hart, who has achieved autonomy by choosing the advancement of her career over other areas of her life. Continue reading →