Nov 23

Festive and Fun: “A Civil War Christmas: an American Musical Celebration”

Photo image courtesy of the Facebook Page.

Photo image courtesy of the Facebook Page.

Presented by Wellesley College Theatre
Written by Paula Vogel
Music by Daryl Waters
Directed by Nora Hussey

November 18 – 22
Ruth Nagel Jones Theatre
Wellesly, MA
WCT on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

Christmas theatre is a very specific genre that requires a very particular mix to make effective (or even palatable).  The recipe starts with good old-fashioned holiday cheer; add a dash of nostalgia, a hint of history, a generous helping of family values, and (of course) finish with a generous sprinkling of festive music.  Paula Vogel’s A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration has all the necessary ingredients for the Christmas genre, but actually performing it requires a special touch.  The piece’s simplistic dialogue which features such tropes as characters telling you who they are before they begin to speak (“In the West Wing of the White House, President Lincoln’s maid was cleaning the floor…. Hi, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the show tonight?”) that have the danger to edge this play towards the realm of children’s theatre cheesiness, or satirical campiness. Continue reading

Nov 17

Fun Time Field Trip to NYC: “Who’s Your Baghdaddy? Or, How I started the Iraq War”

Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniels; Who's Das Man? You're Das Man.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniels; Who’s Das Man? You’re Das Man.

Presented by Charlie Fink, Lee Seymour
Produced by the New Musical Foundation, Inc
Music & Book by Marshall Pailet
Lyrics & Book by A.D. Penedo
Based on a screenplay by J.T. Allen
Directed by Marshall Pailet
Music directed, arranged, accompanied by Rona Siddiqui
Choreography by Misha Shields

Performances are ongoing
The Actors Temple
339 W 47th St, between 8th and 9th Ave,
New York, NY 10036

Review by Kitty Drexel

On occasion Geeks go to NYC. On occasion we review shows while we’re there. This is one such review.

(New York, NY) Sweet Mary Mother of God did George W. Bush, Colin Powell and, most specifically, Dick Cheney screw over the American people with the Iraq war. To say that the events leading up to and immediately after were FUBAR, would be putting it lightly. There were no weapons of mass destruction; the US pointlessly wasted lives, resources and oodles of money to appease Republican impotent bloodthirst. The people never received a refund or even a proper apology for this BS. Thank merciful Zeus the arts are here to save us from horrible truths. In particular, thank Pailet & A.D. Penedo for writing Who’s Your Baghdaddy? Or, How I started the Iraq War, a delightful treatment of the events of 2001 that gives them the severity and respect they deserve*. Continue reading

Nov 16

Black Nuns are Supposed to be Funny: “SISTER ACT”

Photos©Paul Lyden

Photos©Paul Lyden

Presented by North Shore Music Theatre
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Glenn Slater
Book by Cheri Steinkellner and Bill Steinkellner
Additional Book Material by Douglas Carter Beane
Based on the Touchstone Pictures Motion Picture Sister Act written by Joseph Howard
Direction and Choreography by Kevin P. Hill
Music direction by Andrew Bryan (with an assist by Adrian Ries)

November 3 – 15, 2015
Beverly, MA
NSMT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly, MA) What do you do with a musical version of a 90’s comedy that doesn’t age particularly well? You try and set it in the 70’s and hope for the best. The North Shore Music Theatre cast of Sister Act is winsome at times, but not crisp enough to transcend the problematic source material. Continue reading

Oct 27

“Menopause”: A Plotless Riot


Photo provided by Spectacle Management.

Presented by Spectacle Management
By Jeanie Linders

October 22-25, 2015
Cary Memorial Hall
Lexington, MA
Menopause the Musical Website and Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Lexington, MA) I wanted to review Menopause the Musical because I’ve never seen it, I wanted to laugh, and I am unfazed by excessive jokes about saggy breasts. And while I didn’t mind being literally the only twenty something male in the entire audience, the smell of red wine on the breath of many baby boomers around me was sign enough that I was not even a little bit in the demographic for Menopause’s target audience. Continue reading

Sep 25

Climb Every Mountain: “Earnest Shackleton Loves Me”

Presented by ArtsEmerson
Lyrics by Valerie Vigoda
Music by Brendan Milburn
Book by Joe DiPietro
Directed by Lisa Peterson
Musical Direction by Ryan O’Connell
Composers Ryan O’Connell and Brendan Milburn

September 20 – October 4, 2015
Paramount Mainstage
599 Washington Street, Boston
ArtsEmerson on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) At the heart of every impossible task is a glimmer of hope that, if followed, might just make the impossible happen.  As I enter the final stages of writing my dissertation for my PhD, this message simply can’t be repeated loudly or frequently enough.  Lucky me, the kind folks at ArtsEmerson understood exactly what I needed to hear tonight and so brought me (personally) Earnest Shackleton Loves Me to soothe my over-wrought mind and charm my tired adventurer’s heart. Continue reading

Sep 19

Expect More From Professionals: A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC

© T Charles Erickson Photography

© T Charles Erickson Photography

Presented by Huntington Theatre Company
Music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick
Suggested by a film by Ingmar Bergman
Book by Hugh Wheeler
Stage directed by Peter DuBois
Music directed by Jonathan Mastro
Choreographed by Daniel Pelzig

Sept. 11 – Oct. 11, 2015
BU Theatre
Boston, MA
Huntington on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) If you haven’t been dead the past few months, then you’ve heard about Patti LuPone snatching a cell phone an unforgivably rude patron during a no doubt exceptional performance of Shows for Days. Her act is being lauded as bravery in the face of a horrendous etiquette breach. I agree. I also believe that theatre patrons should be shushed by managements for conversing during theatre performances. Rolled up newspapers or spray bottles would suit purposes very well. Continue reading

Sep 15

Only Humans Can Be Wicked: JEANNE


Presented by Fort Point Theatre Channel in collaboration with Contrapose Dance & Ensemble Warhol
Libretto by James Swindell
Composed by Mark Warhol
Choreographed by Junichi Fukuda

September 11 & 12 at 8 p.m.
Boston University Dance Theater
915 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA
Fort Point on Facebook
Contrapose Dance on Facebook
The Boston String Quartet on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Fort Point Theatre Channel presented three scenes from Swindell and Warhol’s modern opera Jeanne, the story of a woman last weekend. It was a fully staged and accompanied by Robert Schulz on percussion, and The Boston String Quartet. The vocalists were joined onstage by the agile dancers from Contrapose Dance. Jeanne is not your grandma’s opera. It is more Rice’s The Adding Machine or Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock in style and sound than La Boheme or Traviata. Depending on what you want from opera, it was either very weird or fascinating art. Continue reading

Sep 11

Almost a Good Fit – KINKY BOOTS

Photo via

Photo via

Book by Harvey Fierstein
Music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper
Music orchestrator/arranger/supervisor: Stephen Oremus
Music direction by Brian Usifer
Directed/choreographed by Jerry Mitchell
Associate direction by DB Bonds
Associate choreography by Rusty Mowery

August 11 – 30, 2015
Boston Opera House
Boston, MA
Kinky Boots online

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston, MA) It’s amazing that even a play that prominently features a singing and dancing troupe of transvestites (gay or straight) can still be primarily about helping a heterosexual white male self-actualize and grow up. It’s as if Kinky Boots celebrity writer Harvey Fierstein and his musical partner Cyndi Lauper were given a directive to adhere to some guy version of the Bechdel test. Continue reading

Aug 31

“The Lion” Sends Audience Roaring with Applause

Photo by Meghan Moore

Photo by Meghan Moore.

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
By Benjamin Scheuer
Directed by Sean Daniels

Aug. 26 – Sept. 20, 2015
50 East Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA
Merrimack Repertory Theatre on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Lowell, MA) While no African cats ever pounced on stage, much to my dismay, I will say that the Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s production of The Lion, which marks both the start of the theatre’s 2015-16 season as well as Sean Daniel’s Artistic Directorial debut at the MRT, took me quite off guard. Continue reading

Aug 21

Fan Service Omitted: WAITRESS, A NEW MUSICAL

Keala Settle, Jessie Mueller, and Jeanna de Waal in Waitress. Photo: Evgenia Eliseeva

Keala Settle, Jessie Mueller, and Jeanna de Waal in Waitress. Photo: Evgenia Eliseeva

Presented by American Repertory Theater
Book by Jessie Nelson
Music & lyrics by Sara Bareilles
Based on the motion picture by Adrienne Shelly
Directed by Diane Paulus
Music direction by Nadia DiGiallonardo
Choreography by Chase Brock

Production is partnered with Harvard University’s Office of Sexual Assault Prevention & Response.

August 2, 2015 – September 27, 2015
Loeb Drama Center
Cambridge, MA
ART on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge, MA) Waitress the musical is an interpretation of the 2007 movie written and directed by Adrienne Shelly. It is beloved by a devoted fan base. Appeasing this fan base is a tall order. The A.R.T. does a good job of remaining true to Shelly’s masterwork. There are many hits and only one notable miss.  Continue reading