Feb 24

The Intimacy of Lingerie: INTIMATE APPAREL

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Photo by Glenn Perry.

Photo by Glenn Perry.

Presented by Lyric Stage Company of Boston
Written by Lynn Nottage
Directed by Summer L. Williams
Music directed/compositions by Allyssa Jones

Feb. 13 – March 14, 2015
140 Clarendon St
Boston, MA
Lyric Stage on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Intimate Apparel is a complicated show that discusses history, race, class, education, and gender in approximately two hours. It is summarized as being a play about a seamstress who crafts fancy underpants. She plans to open a beauty parlor but marries a man she’d only met through letters. It is so much more. Nottage gives a face to the women that history so frequently forgets: the sex workers, the day laborers, the socialites. The history books are filled to capacity with men who’ve changed history. Continue reading

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Feb 24

Because He Could: ALBATROSS

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Presented by the Poets’ Theatre in collaboration with Ocean Conservancy
Directed by Rick Lombardo
Written by Matthew Spangler & Benjamin Evett
Based on “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The poem can be read here.

Feb. 13 – March 1, 2015
The Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre
Emerson/Paramount Center
Boston, MA 02111
Poets’ Theatre on Facebook
Ocean Conservancy on Facebook

Trigger Warnings: graphic violence, harsh language

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Disney’s Captain Jack Sparrow is a poster boy for pirates. He’s grimy, clever thief with a heart of tarnished gold. Jack likely smells rank but has an unmistakable charisma that drives audiences  wild. Some want to be him; some want to f^ck him, etc. It’s no wonder that this franchise made so much money.

Sparrow is a lie. He is the Hollywood equivalent of a romantic adventure on the high seas with creatures great and majestic during a time that never was. Pirates are not charming; they are brutal criminals capable of unthinkable acts. Historically, pirates sailing the Atlantic sacked and ravaged rival merchant ships. Cruelty was de rigueur. Continue reading

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Feb 23

Crying Uncle: UNCLE JACK

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10929149_10152928903511072_1633828632893124184_nPresented by Boston Center for American Performance and Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
Written and Directed by Michael Hammond
Adapted from the play by Anton Chekhov

February 12 – March 1, 2015
BU Theatre, Lane-Comley Studio
264 Huntington Avenue, Boston
Boston Playwright’s Theatre on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) You know, I’ve never noticed it before, but there really is something innately Chekhovian about major summer-stock theatres (particularly in the New England Area). Out in the wilds of Western Massachusetts, a seasonal culture abounds. Large, stately mansions (mostly empty during the rest of the year) stand ready to receive their visitors; high-status patrons, family dear and estranged, and random acquaintances who have long been treated as family. The constant financial difficulties that running these estates entails weave through life upon them like a second soul. The back-to-nature feel of the Berkshires where city-slicker actors arrive to work, to fall in love, and to torment the people who call this big empty place “home” the rest of the year could very well be a cherry orchard or a provincial Russian estate. The incestuous, teeming nature of a long-standing summer-stock company almost reeks of Chekhov; the half-forgotten love affairs, the misbehavior that will never be spoken of again, and the half-cocked gun on the mantelpiece just waiting for its Act Four moment…. Continue reading

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Feb 20

Ignore what your Momma Told you: TALK TO STRANGERS

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LAB-tts-fbcover

Presented by Liars and Believers
In collaboration with the Boston Circus Guild
Directed by Jason Slavick
Music Direction by Chuck Lechien

One Night Only: February 19, 2015
The Oberon
2 Arrow Street, Cambridge MA
Liars and Believers on Facebook
Boston Circus Guild on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Cambridge, MA) Liars and Believers are well-versed in the art of collage. Bringing together dance, clowning techniques, poetry, music, mask-work, circus performance, and whatever you could call the live-improv style randomness that happens at Club Oberon, they have presented a beautiful ode to the pain of anonymity brought about by the modern technological era in their piece Talk to Strangers. Transient and fleeting, I could no more pin this piece down with words than replicate it. Continue reading

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Feb 06

“The Second Girl” Keeps to Familiar Territory

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Photo credit: Hunting Theatre Co

Photo credit: Hunting Theatre Co

Presented by Huntington Theatre Co.
Written by Huntington Playwriting Fellow Ronan Noone
Directed by Campbell Scott

Jan. 16 – Feb. 21, 2015
South End / Calderwood
Pavilion at the BCA
Huntington Theatre on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

The class war still rages on.  People from countries with fewer opportunities than ours wash up on the shores of America willing to work sixteen-hour days at thankless jobs.  In “The Second Girl,” the audience is transported to the influx of Irish immigration in the earlier twentieth century.  Specifically, we watch a full day in the life of Bridget O’Sullivan (Kathleen McElfresh) and aspiring actress Cathleen O’Leary (MacKenzie Meehan) in August 1912.  Both work as maids for the summer home of wealthy employers.  The carping and melodrama of our heroines’ everyday world is mined for a play that seems a little too grounded in the immigration stories that came before. Continue reading

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Feb 02

Where the Shadows Run from Themselves*: ECHOES

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echoesPresented by Brown Box Theatre Co.
Written by N. Richard Nash
Directed by Kyler Taustin
Brown Box on Facebook

January 30-February 1 & February 5-8
Atlantic Wharf @ 7:30
290 Congress Street, Boston, MA

February 13-16
Ocean City Center for the Arts @ 7:30
502 94th Street, Ocean City, MD

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger Warning: Panic Attacks, emotional violence, minor physically violent episodes – While the majority of the events are non-violent, actions depicted on stage may also trigger PTSD.

(Boston, MA) I must caution that extra-sensitive individuals or individuals with a negative associations with in-patient mental health facilities carefully consider attending Echoes. I mention this because the acting is very good, very realistic and, for this reason, potentially triggering. The play by N. Richard Nash focuses on the how the brain copes with trauma when faced with an unsafe reality. It is also about taking the first impossibly difficult steps from that reality towards treatment. This is difficult enough in real life. This production may impede the good work one has done outside of the theatre. Not attending this production falls under the category of  “self-care to stay safe and stable.” Everyone else and their Mom’s uncle’s sister should attend. Continue reading

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Jan 23

Bombasted by Science: COPENHAGEN

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copen

Presented by Porpentine Players
By Michael Frayn
Directed by Jon Taie

January 21 – 31, 2015
Nave Gallery
155 Powderhouse Blvd
Somerville, MA
Porpentine on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Somerville, MA) Science is having a moment in the public sphere; thanks to actors such as  Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch, physics and math are sexy and everyone wants a piece of these oh so marketable, oh so male institutions. Suddenly it’s very chic to flout one’s comprehension of STEM studies. While I’m grateful that movies such as The Theory of Everything  and The Imitation Game exist, the media forget that the theories discussed in these films aren’t as digestible as the script treatments suggest. Science and math are complicated beasts. So complicated that most American elementary and high school students have difficulty grasping remedial skills. Thus, a delicate balance must be maintained when explaining scientific and mathematical theory via the media to the hoi polloi. It must  educate while still communicating the advancement of skill required for application. Hollywood tends to over-simplify. Frayn’s Copenhagen, as produced by the Porpentine Players keeps in complicated. Continue reading

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Jan 20

A Resounding Meh: A FUTURE PERFECT

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Photo credit: Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo

Photo credit: Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo. Beers were harmed in the making of this play.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Co.
Written by Ken Urban
Directed by M. Bevin O’Gara

Jan. 9 – Feb. 7, 2015
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
SpeakEasy on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Inside every adult there is an 18 year old wondering what the Hell just happened. It feels like just yesterday you were a shy teenager prepping for college. You blink and there you are, 38 and wondering how you got into this mess. It’s a surprise to discover that we’re the adults now, the guys in charge. We’re the very people we protested against in our teens and 20’s and now we have to pretend it’s OK. While the initial money/freedom is nice, the rest feels like strange and unusual punishment for our childhood sins. Adulthood blows. Continue reading

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Jan 16

The Truth Always Gets Out: MUCKRAKERS

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Photo by Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures

Photo by Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures

Presented as part of the Next Rep Black Box Festival
Written by Zayd Dohrn
Directed by Bridget Kathleen O’Leary

January 10 – February 1
Arsenal Center for the Arts
Watertown, MA
New Rep on Facebook

Trigger warnings: sexual assault, nudity, sexual situations, adult language, suicide, depression, politics, implied violence

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Watertown, MA) This is the 30th season of New Repertory Theatre and the first show in the 2nd annual Next Rep Black Box Festival.  Despite all of the trigger warnings I would highly recommend Muckrakers for adults, particularly those folks interested in exploring the moral issues that are attached to the digital age regarding transparency versus privacy.  Here are the trigger warnings that New Rep provides:  nudity, sexual situations and adult language.  I add onto that these trigger warnings:  implied violence, suicide, depression and politics.  Also, I add on a big, honking trigger warning for people who have been sexually assaulted: you might experience some unpleasant flashbacks. Continue reading

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Dec 19

No NPR Regurgitation Here: WRITING HOME

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Presented by Ministry of Theatre
Written by Donna Daley, Alexandria Victoria Wong, Denice Lowery, Renee Luv, Pris Olivia, Veronica Pruitt, Shorty, Jes Ryan, Odelle Weaver
Music directed by Marissa Wahkuna
Choreography by Angelica Potter
Created and directed by Misch Whitaker

Dec. 18 – 21, 2014
Boston Playwright’s Theatre
949 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA
Ministry of Theatre on Facebook
On The Rise on Facebook
More Than Words on Facebook
Stories Without Roofs on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) During the height of Occupy Boston’s reign in Dewey Square, a friend told me a story about the transition of Dewey Square into public park space. Her story goes that the question of homeless people was brought to the Board managing construction. The Board almost unanimously decided that the Homeless shouldn’t be considered in their planning. One lone soldier of justice spoke up to say that the Homeless needed to exist somewhere. The soldier continued that Rich people didn’t want them in the private sector. Rich people didn’t want them in the public sector either. Should the Board kill them? The Board was shocked. No, of course the Homeless shouldn’t be killed. The Homeless should simply be somewhere else so the Rich wouldn’t have to think of them. The soldier of justice demanded to know where the Homeless should exist in order to please the Board. The Board then unanimously decided that maybe it was beneficial to consider the Homeless in their plans.

I have no idea if this story is actually true or if it’s a fantastical story created during a time when Boston was at its most activist. The moral still rings true: there are no worthless people; there are only people willing to treat others like they are worthless because it’s convenient. One doesn’t have to be rich think ill of someone in differing circumstances than their own. We’ve all done it and we should all make the conscious, continuous effort to stop. Class warfare is real. Continue reading

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