Sep 29

Strange Women Laying in Ponds: SPAMALOT


Presented by Bill Hanney’s North Shore Music Theatre
Book and Lyrics by Eric Idle
Music by John du Prez & Eric Idle
Lovingly ripped off from the film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”
Directed and Choreographed by Billy Sprague, Jr.
Music Direction by Jesse Warkentin

September 27 – October 9, 2016
62 Dunham Road
Beverly, MA
Bill Hanney’s North Shore Music Theatre on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Beverly, MA) Hey guys, did you know that there’s a Broadway-quality equity theatre dedicated to bringing glittering seasons of musicals to the North Shore just a stone’s throw from Boston?  Maybe it’s because I’m non-native, but until last night I definitely did not.  I count myself among the most unhappy of masses to have missed what I’m certain were previous spectacular seasons at Bill Hanney’s North Shore Music Theatre.  Spamalot, their current offering, is a treat for any Python-head, musical enthusiast, or person with even a tiny sense of humor. Continue reading

Sep 21

Succeed at All Costs: LOOSE, WET, PERFORATED

Aliana de la Guardia as Loose and Brian Church as Wet. Photo credit: Liz Linder Photography

Aliana de la Guardia as Loose and Brian Church as Wet. Photo credit: Liz Linder Photography

Presented by Guerilla Opera
Music and Libretto by Nicholas Vines
Directed by Austin Regan

Sept. 21 – 24, 2016
The Zack Box Theater at Boston Conservatory at Berklee
8 The Fenway, Boston, MA
Guerilla Opera on Facebook

Performance for review was Sept, 20, 2016, an open dress rehearsal.

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger Warning: partial nudity, sexy times, crass language, sock puppet murder

(Boston, MA) Guerilla Opera is making a name for itself as a company that refuses to allow its actors to merely stand and sing. It’s frequently avant garde, often dark, and always giving us something unexpected. Continue reading

Sep 06

Go On and Shoot a President: ASSASSINS

Photo credit: Chantal Acacio

Photo credit: Chantal Acacio; it’s clobbering time.

Presented by The MIT Musical Theatre Guild
Music and Lyrics by Steven Sondheim
Book by John Weidman
Directed by Matt Putnam
Vocal Direction by David Favela
Music Direction by Marek Subernat

September 2 – 17, 2016
MIT Kresge Little Theatre
48 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA
MIT Musical Theatre Guild on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Cambridge, MA) As an American history buff (can you call yourself a “buff” anymore when you’re technically a professional historian?), I will be the first to admit that Assassins holds a special place in my heart.  Who else but the dynamic Steven Sondheim could take a subject matter like the murder of the president of the United States, and write a poignant, witty, yet ever-so-tenaciously perky musical about it?  The MIT Musical Theatre Guild has put together a fine production of the show, well worth your time despite the beginning-of-semester crunch. Continue reading

Aug 16

Hot as Hell in Philadelphia” “1776”

Photo credit: Eurah Joanna Ko

Photo credit: Eurah Joanna Ko

Presented by The MIT Gilbert and Sullivan Players
Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
Book by Peter Stone
Directed by Emma Brown
Vocal Direction by Tom Ostrowski and Johnnie Han
Orchestra Directed by Julie Henion

August 12 – 14
MIT Kresge Little Theatre
48 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA
MIT Gilbert & Sullivan Players on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Cambridge, MA1776 is one of those archaic mainstays of musical theatre that gets some seasonal adoration around the patriotic holidays of summer and spends the rest of the year hiding in its box waiting for people to remember how catchy the good songs are (and forget how atrociously lingering the bad ones get).  It’s also got some technical and social difficulties: the cast is large; dare I say ungainly; and made almost exclusively of men.  Costuming the show is serious business since it’s a period piece (rarely modernized).  And the script… oh the script… the script has not aged well.  Sherman Edwards wrote some poppy songs that still captivate, but Peter Stone’s book is definitely a product of its time.  Once again; the good parts are great.  The bad parts just linger a little too long.  Last, but certainly not least, the show attempts to tackle some very dark eras of American History and doesn’t exactly do it in the best possible way. Continue reading

Aug 10

A Massive Cuddle for the Ears and Eyes: A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE

Photo credit: Earl Christie Photography, earlchristie.com.

Photo credit: Earl Christie Photography, earlchristie.com.

Presented by Bad Habit Productions
Book by Terrance McNally
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Based on the 1994 film, “A Man of No Importance” by Suri Krishnamma
Directed by Daniel Morris
Music directed by Meghan MacFadden

August 6 – 28, 2016
The Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Bad Habit on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) 1994’s “A Man of No Importance” is a difficult movie to find (legally). My library didn’t have a copy that wasn’t on VHS. Amazon won’t let one buy a copy for less than $95.00. eBay has laserdisc copies but who still uses a laserdisc player? My journey to view the source material before writing a review yielded no positive results. Albert Finney is an excellent actor. It must be a good movie to produce such a lovely musical. Bad Habit’s is a lovely musical. Sad face.    Continue reading

Jul 27

Saving Mr. and Mrs. Banks: MARY POPPINS – THE MUSICAL

Kerry Conte (Mary Poppins) with Scarlett Keene-Connole (Jane Banks) and Jake Ryan Flynn (Michael Banks), Photo © Paul Lyden.

Kerry Conte (Mary Poppins) with Scarlett Keene-Connole (Jane Banks) and Jake Ryan Flynn (Michael Banks), Photo © Paul Lyden.

Presented by North Shore Music Theatre
Book by Julian Fellows
Original and lyrics by Richard Sherman & Robert Sherman
New materials by Anthony Drewe & George Stiles
Co-created by Cameron Mackintosh
A Musical based on the stories of P.L. Travers & the Walt Disney Film
Directed and choreographed by Kevin P. Hill
Music direction by Milton Granger

July 12 – July 31, 2016
62 Dunham Road
Beverly, MA 01915
NSMT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly, MA) It’s hard to tinker with a musical movie that many consider practically perfect in every way, but when there’s money to be made, many a scriptwriter will try. Mary Poppins – The Musical is more successful than most Disney rehashes at adding some new touches to a classic plot and score, even if the finished product feels a bit overlong, and the North Shore Music Theatre production of this spectacle does a solid job staging this spectacle. Continue reading

Jun 30

“Show Boat” A Successful Voyage

Photo credit: Eric Antoniou

Photo credit: Eric Antoniou

Presented by Fiddlehead Theatre Company
Music by Jerome Kern
Book & Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Co-Directed by Meg Fofonoff and Stacey Stephens
Musical Direction by Charles Peltz
Choreography by Wendy Hall

June 22-July 3, 2016
Shubert Theatre
Boston, MA
Fiddlehead on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) I grew up on classic musicals like The King and I and Call Me Madam. After seeing Fiddlehead Theatre Company’s production of Show Boat, I’m surprised that my grandmother never introduced the show to me at an early age. While knowing the show may have given me a higher appreciation for seeing the staged version, I can’t deny that I was caught off guard with how enjoyable Show Boat turned out to be. Continue reading

Jun 27

Rising Above: FUNNY GIRL

Shoshana Bean is Fanny Brice, Photo © Paul Lyden

Shoshana Bean is Fanny Brice, Photo © Paul Lyden

Presented by North Shore Music Theatre
Book by by Isobel Lennart (from an original story penned by Lennart)
Composed by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Bob Merrill
Directed and choreographed by James Brennan
Music directed by Mark Hartman

June 7 – 19, 2016
62 Dunham Road
Beverly, MA 01915
NSMT on Facebook

Review by Kate Idlebrook

I walked away from a showing of Funny Girl not at all a fan of the script, but a great fan of the production at the North Shore Music Theatre.  Continue reading

Jun 13

“Carousel” Not a Merry Show but a Pleasant Ride

Photo courtesy Reagle Music Theatre/©Herb Philpott

Photo courtesy Reagle Music Theatre/©Herb Philpott

Presented by Reagle Music Theatre
Music by Richard Rodgers
Book & Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Directed & Choreographed by Rachel Bertone
Musical Direction by Dan Rodriguez

June 9-19, 2016
Waltham, MA
Reagle Music Theatre on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Waltham, MA) It always feels a bit dissociative when I see a show that is technically a good production, but the show itself is rather terrible. While watching Reagle Music Theatre’s Carousel, I clapped, I scoffed, rolled my eyes, and was constantly asking myself, “Why?” Continue reading

May 12

Feelings Are Difficult for Marines: DOGFIGHT

Eddie & Rose Take In the View; Photo by Glenn Perry.

Eddie & Rose Take In the View; Photo by Glenn Perry.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Co.
Music and lyrics by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul
Book by Peter Duchan
Based on the Warner Bros. film and screenplay by Bob Comfort
Directed by Paige Daigneault
Music direction by Jose Delgado
Choreography by Larry Sousa

May 7 – June 4, 2016
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Speakeasy on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MADogfight is yet another musical with serious complications that SpeakEasy maneuvers with poise and dignity. It’s like Disney’s Newsies if the newsboys are replaced with marines and their fight for entrepreneurial justice is replaced with explicitly misogynistic displays of dudebro cruelty. Well, the music sounds a little like Newsies anyway. Continue reading