Jul 27

A Remarkable Felicity of Expression: “1776”

Photo credit: The Company Theatre

Photo credit: The Company Theatre

Presented by The Company Theatre
Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
Book by Peter Stone
Directed by Zoe Bradford and Jordie Saucerman
Musical Direction by Michael V. Joseph
Staging by Sally Ashton Forrest

July 24 – August 16, 2015
30 Accord Park Drive
Norwell, MA 02061
Company Theatre on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Norwell, MA) For a town that takes its history so seriously, Boston doesn’t give much love to 1776 (the musical).  In fact, this was the first time I had ever caught the play staged.  Of course I’m a devotee of the film, but I’ve always wanted to see a staged production of the show.  When I moved to Massachusetts four years ago, I thought I would see it produced at least once a season but found myself sorely mistaken.  So of course I leapt at the chance to see The Company Theatre’s 1776 and I am heartily glad I was in the audience to witness their triumph! Continue reading

Jul 14

Thank you and Goodbye: MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG

Photo credit: FUDGE Theatre Co. (courtesy of Facebook)

Photo credit: Matt Phillips (courtesy of Facebook)

Presented by F.U.D.G.E. Theatre Company
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by George Furth
Music direction by Steven Bergman
Directed by Joey DeMita

July 10 – 18, 2015
Arsenal Center for the Arts
321 Arsenal St
Watertown, MA 02472
FUDGE on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Watertown, MAMerrily We Roll Along is Company meets Kiss Me Kate. This musical is what happens when Sondheim runs out of ideas and starts throwing what appear to be events based on an autobiographical story onto the stage. There’s singing, dancing and several broken hearts. This is a belty show with many great solos for singers. Mainly there’s a narcissist with his head so far up his own ass that he can’t tell when enough is finally enough. It’s also an incomplete mess that F.U.D.G.E. Theatre Co. did a pretty great job of making entertaining.      Continue reading

Jun 16

Sanitized Motown: DREAMGIRLS

Photo©Paul Lyden

Photo©Paul Lyden

Presented by North Shore Music Theatre
Book & lyrics by Tom Eyen
Composed by Henry Krieger
Directed & choreographed by Nick Kenkel
Music direction by Jesse Vargas

June 2-14, 2015
North Shore Music Theatre
62 Dunham Road
Beverly, MA 01915
NSMT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

Sometimes, a musical is cursed with potential. The action on stage may be enough to bring the crowd to its feet, but you can still walk away thinking it should have been something more. Continue reading

May 27

From You, OK. I Learned It From Watching You: PEDR SOLIS

Brian Church, Baritone in the title role of Pedr Solis. Photo by Liz Linder Photography.

Brian Church, Baritone in the title role of Pedr Solis. Photo by Liz Linder Photography.

Presented by Guerilla Opera and The Boston Conservatory
Music by Per Bloland
Libretto by Paul Schick
Directed by Laine Rettmer

May 15 – 23, 2015
The Zack Box
8 The Fenway
Boston, MA
Guerilla Opera on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Pedr Solis is an avant garde (i.e. strange), dark, messy beast of a prog rock opera. It’s set, props, and libretto are highly conceptualized and feature the most abstract of metaphors. The staging is full-contact. It should be a complete mess but it isn’t. Rather, as a logical, relatively objective reviewer I found it quite entertaining. As an over-educated audience member relying on her emotions to determine if she had a good time, I found my experience less than satisfying.   Continue reading

May 22

At World’s End: “The Last Two People on Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville”

Mandy Patinkin and Taylor Mac. Photo by Gretjen Helene/A.R.T.

Mandy Patinkin and Taylor Mac. Photo by Gretjen Helene/A.R.T.

Presented by The American Repertory Company
Conceived by Paul Ford, Taylor Mac, Mandy Patinkin, and Susan Stroman
Direction and Choreography by Susan Stroman
Music Direction, Arrangements, and Orchestrations by Paul Ford

May 12 – 31, 2015
Loeb Drama Center
64 Brattle Street
Cambridge MA
The A.R.T. on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Cambridge, MA) I’m not sure if I can really describe what I just saw onstage at the A.R.T.  I guess I could start with… an earthquake; birds, snakes, airplanes… Lenny Bruce is not afraid. Continue reading

May 07

Hate the Player, Not the Game: DON GIOVANNI

Costume Designer Tilly Grimes, © T Charles Erickson Photography, Set Designer Laura Jellinek, Each ticket holder receives free admission to Rock’s Gun Show.

Presented by Boston Lyric Opera
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
Conducted by David Angus
Stage Directed by Emma Griffin
Fight direction by Andrew Kenneth Moss
BLO Concertmaster: Sandra Kott
BLO Chorusmaster: Michelle Alexander

May 1 – 10, 2015
Boston Lyric Opera
The Shubert Theater
Boston, MA
BLO on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Opera singers are gifts that keep on giving. Along with my usual attendance of BLO’s Don Giovanni, I had the pleasure of experiencing a bonus adventure the Friday evening before while out with my wife. She and I were supposed to be on a romantic date. We did not count on a cameo by a premier performer. I was to be well-compensated for my diverted attention. Continue reading

Apr 16

“The Big One” Has Big Heart But Feels Under-Done

11107735_10206307386668624_3810527196770342390_nPresented by Lesley University
Written by Liv Cummins, Sandy McKnight
Directed by Liv Cummins
Music direction by Elena Blyskal

April 9-12, 2015
Lesley University
Marran Theater
34 Mellen Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
The Big One on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

Lesley University’s pop/rock musical is, at best, is benign and rather sweet. A number of struggling Los Angeles songwriters gather in the basement of a dilapidated building at the guidance of Paul (Ryan Bevard) to workshop their music. The goal of each workshop participant is to hit it big with their work, to be featured in a commercial, movie, or by a well-known artist. Meanwhile, California itself prepares for a “big hit” from the end result of a series of earthquakes. There’s a lot of charm to its plot and character arcs, but Liv Cummins and Sandy McKnight’s show doesn’t quite come together. Continue reading

Apr 01

You Won’t Sit in Solemn Silence: THE MIKADO

Photo: Steppenwolf Garage

Photo: Steppenwolf Garage

Presented by The Hypocrites
By Gilbert and Sullivan
Directed and Adapted by Sean Graney

March 31 – April 5, 2015
Club Oberon
2 Arrow Street, Cambridge MA
The Hypocrites on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Cambridge, MA) Hold onto your hats, the Hypocrites are back at the Oberon. The Mikado is alive, vivacious, and everything a modern audience could ask for from Gilbert and Sullivan unplugged. Continue reading

Jan 30

That Which Makes Us Different Makes Us Beautiful: BREATH & IMAGINATION

Elijah Rock, Nehal Joshi and Harriet D. Foy Photo credit: Mike Ritter

Elijah Rock, Nehal Joshi and Harriet D. Foy
Photo credit: Mike Ritter

Presented by ArtsEmerson
Created/written by Daniel Beaty
Directed by David Dower
Music directed/accompanied/arranged/additional music by Jonathan Mastro

Jan 27 – Feb 08, 2015
Paramount Center Mainstage
Boston, MA
ArtsEmerson on Facebook
Roland Hayes (School of Music) on Facebook, Wiki

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Black lives matter: Racism is alive and thriving everywhere. “But it’s 2015,” people will cry. Right, it’s 2015 and racism is still alive and thriving in Boston. To prove a point: check out which art makes the most money. For an institution greatly concerned with artistic expression, remaining significant in an ever modernizing world, and pushing boundaries, opera tends to steer clear of non-White people. Opera includes POCs in its casting but its stories are mostly about White people. Roland Hayes, first Black man to sing a concert at Symphony Hall would be an excellent subject for an opera.  Thank the great goodness that there’s Breath & Imagination to educate the masses. Continue reading

Jan 12

Breaking up is Hard to Do: THE LAST FIVE YEARS

The Nextdoor Theater Company

The Nextdoor Theater Company

Presented by Next Door Theater Company
Music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown
Directed by Steve Black
Music Direction by Dan Rodriguez

January 9 – 31, 2015
Next Door Theatre
40-50 Cross Street, Winchester, MA
The Hypocrites on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

The only thing better than seeing a small theatre company be successful is to see it do so because it knows itself. The Last Five Years simply triumphs at Next Door Theatre Company; and you’ll want to be its neighbor before it disappears. Continue reading