Apr 25

Integrity Sells for So Little: CITY OF ANGELS

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Photo by Mark S. Howard

Photo by Mark S. Howard

Presented by Lyric Stage Co. of Boston
Book by Larry Gelbart
Music by Cy Coleman
Lyrics by David Zippel
Vocal arrangements by Cy Coleman and Yaron Gershovsky
Directed by Spiro Veloudos
Music direction by Catherine Stornetta
Choreography & musical staging by Rachel Bertone

March 27 – May 2, 2015
Boston, MA
Lyric on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) City of Angels pays homage to film noir with tongue firmly in cheek sexual innuendo and integrated design film tropes. The Lyric Stage Co. of Boston brings life to this beloved musical with panache and two shakes of wit with inspired clever projection design by Jonathan Carr and zippy choreography by Rachel Bertone. This production is great fun. The book and lyrics are clever. The score, vocal and instrumental, is inherently singable. The artistic upsides far outweigh the downsides. An evening spent at COA is one well spent. Continue reading

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Dec 27

The ImprovBoston Holiday Spectacular

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IB spectacular

Photo credit: Scott Istvan; About half of the cast: they have a lot of joy to cram down your pie hole.

Presented by ImprovBoston
Improv director: John Serpico
Writers: Jamie Loftus, Dave Grinstead, Andy Hughes, Allen McRae, Ramy Abdelghani, Scott Kremer, Steve Sarro
Original score by Steve Sarro
The Cast: Ryan Burrill, Dave Grinstead, Ashley Voltz, Alex Tennant, Dennis Hurley, Shiyan Bee, Amanda Sousa, Andy Short,Matt Fear, Ian Dyer, Lydia Jane Graeff, Danny Balel

Nov. 28 – Dec. 27, 2014
40 Prospect St
Cambridge, MA
IB on Facebook
Holiday Spectacular on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warning: Shock humor alluding to blood and feces, child abandonment, Regis Philbin

(Cambridge, MA) December is a magical time of year. It’s alive with childlike wonder, joy and deep-seated loathing for the holiday obligation to spend every waking moment with your family who all are either sick or getting over something in a tiny house and the promise of no social boundaries. Everyone needs an excuse to get out of the house to let off some steam, so why not head over to ImprovBoston to check out their Holiday Spectacular show this week to beat the desperation before it hits? While not exactly spectacular, it is very fun. Continue reading

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Feb 14

Unattainable Excellence for Boston: WITNESS UGANDA

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Photo: Gretjen Helene Photography; Adeola Role with Griffin Matthews and Emma Hunton.

Presented by American Repertory Theatre
By Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews
Directed by Diane Paulus
Music Directed by Remy Kurs
Choreography by Darrell Grand Moultrie

Based on true events.

February 4 – March 16, 2014
ASL Interpreted performances: Tues, March 4 at 7:30pm; Sun, March 9 at 2:00pm.
Audio Described performances: Wed, March 5 at 7:30pm; Sat, March 8 at 2:00pm.
Loeb Drama Center
64 Brattle St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
A.R.T. on Facebook
Witness Uganda on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel
(Cambridge)In Witness Uganda, Griffin (character inspired by co-creator Griffin Matthews) goes to Uganda on a mission to build a school for needy children. He hopes to make the world a better place and find life purpose. He discovers that American aid workers are not building schools for the community. The Ugandan children are not receiving an education. Together, Griffin, his best friend Ryan and a group of orphans fight to better the lives of Ugandans. Witness Uganda is about the complications of international giving in third world countries, the role community plays on a global scale, and Man’s eternal struggle for purpose. Continue reading

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Oct 15

The Artist is Human: BARITONES UNBOUND

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Photo Credit: ArtsEmerson Facebook Page

Baritones UnBound: Celebrating the UnCommon Voice of the Common Man
ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage
Conceived by Marc Kudisch
Created by MarcKudisch with Merwin Foard, Jeff Mattsey and Timothy Splain
Performed by Marc Kudisch, Jeff Mattsey, Ben Davis, accompanied by Timothy Splain on piano
Music Direction by Timothy Splain
Directed by David Dower
Production Design by Alexander V. Nichols

Oct. 8 – 20, 2013
Review is based on the Oct. 12 performance
Paramount Center Mainstage
559 Washington St. in Boston’s Theatre District
ArtsEmerson on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) I’m not going to go on about how famous the three baritones in Baritones Unbound are. I’m not going to compare this production to The Three Tenors. These baritones and those tenors have different interests. This production isn’t just about the glorious voices of Marc Kudisch, Jeff Mattsey and Ben Davis (and they do sound seraphic). It is a living history of the baritone in popular music as they worked and performed through the ages. It’s also a boys night at the Paramount Center (complete with Act 2 “man cave”). Continue reading

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Jul 19

Strung Together with Friends and Family: THE SHAKESPEAREAN JAZZ SHOW

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Photo Credit: Tripp Clemens

Presented by ArtsEmerson
“Conceiver”, Director – Alex Ates
Composer, Musical Director: Patrick Greeley
Puppeteers – Christina Kuchan, Orrin Whalen
Created by Alex Ates & Patrick Greeley

The Shakespearean Jazz Show is a Boston-born project created by young artists from Emerson College and Berklee College of Music.

July 18 & 19, 2013 at 8pm
Paramount Center Mainstage
Boston, MA
ArtsEmerson Facebook Page
Berklee College of Music Facebook Page
The Nine Worthies band Tumblr

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) There is so much potential for greatness in The Shakespearean Jazz Show that it’s truly tragic that it falls so far from its mark. Patrick Greeley writes some damn fine music; the Nine Worthies are a great band (I’m looking at you Jamila Dunham); the vocalists are quite sincere, the shadow puppets are very clever… But these separate elements do not make art on their own. They must be strung together. The talented members of Jazz Show did not make this happen. Continue reading

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Jun 07

Paris in the Rain: Coeur de Pirate at Paradise Rock Club

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WORLD MUSIC/CRASHarts and Crossroads
Presents PRESENTS COEUR DE PIRATE
with Kandle

Thursday, June 6, 8pm,
Paradise Rock Club
, 18+
World Music/CRASHarts Facebook page
Coeur de Pirate Facebook page
Kandle Facebook page

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Coeur de Pirate vocalist, Béatrice Martin, has a lovely voice and charismatic stage presence. Her music sounds they way Paris in the rain feels; it is touched with lyric and pop influences. She was “under the weather” a.k.a. visibly ill yesterday evening. Therefore, giving her a review based on her performance would be unfair. What I saw was exemplary given the circumstances. You can decide on your own by listening to her CD (which I’ve been listening to on repeat all week) on Spotify, iTunes, or her website. Continue reading

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May 06

Dancing with Sergent Garcia and the Devil

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Presented by World Music/CRASHarts

Thursday, May 2, 7:30 PM
Johnny D’s
17 Holland St Davis Square
Somerville, 02144
World Music/CRASHarts Facebook Page

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Somerville) “Let’s dance the dance of the Devil! One step forward and two step backward!” said Bruno “Sergent” Garcia through his thick French accent. It was right in middle of his performance at Johnny D’s this past Thursday and the audience, including the couples who had gotten up to dance, responded with a cheer. Then the Sergent and the Cumbiamuffin All Stars launched into their next, Caribbean, Afro-Columbian tinged
song. Continue reading

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Apr 08

Sing Along with the Common People: BOUNCERS

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Cantab Lounge, Club Bohemia
Cambridge, MA
April 5th – April 27th, 2013
Stickball Productions Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Cambridge) At times, beautiful, sassy and hypnotic, at times purposely pointless, crass and heartbreaking, the play Bouncers hits all the right notes to catch the highs and lows of a night of clubbing.  If you were an anthropologist and wanted to study the alcohol-fueled mating rituals of  the young, you wouldn’t find a more accurate snapshot than these 1.5 hours of traffic playing at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge. Continue reading

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Mar 25

Masterly, Fun Fiddling: NATALIE MACMASTER

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Photo Credit: Care of the Natalie MacMaster Facebook Page

Presented by World Music/Crasharts Festival: Winter/Spring 2013

Sanders Theatre
Cambridge, MA
Saturday March 23, 2013
World Music/CRASHarts Facebook Page
Natalie MacMaster Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idebrook

(Cambridge) When done right, there is something so unpretentiously fun about the Celtic music that comes from the little Nova Scotian island of Cape Breton.  Rooted in Scottish musical traditions and honed in kitchen parties on long winter nights, it is a musical form that is vibrant, heartfelt and accessible.  And few Cape Breton products so embody the spirit of this musical scene better than Natalie MacMaster, a world-class fiddler from world-class fiddling stock.  Continue reading

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Mar 22

Not Your Daddy’s Rock Opera: URO’s JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

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Courtesy of the URO Facebook Page

Words and Music by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Weber.

Presented by The Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra*

The Norwood Theatre
109 Central St.
Norwood, MA
March 21st at 7:00 pm – March 24th at 2:00 pm
URO Facebook Page

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Norwood) The Ultrasonic Rock Orchestra (URO) rocks. They have made a brilliant career out of rocking classics by musicians such as The Beatles, Bowie, and Queen. Last night’s performance of Jesus Christ Superstar was no exception. Put simply, they capture all the funk that Andrew Lloyd Weber missed. Continue reading

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