Jul 24

Change takes one step at a time, one person at a time: “The Walk Across America for Mother Earth”

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Photo credit: Julie Fox

Presented by Circuit Theatre Co
Written by Taylor Mac
Directed by Christopher Annas-Lee
Music by Ellen Maddow

July 9-July 27
Club Oberon
2 Arrow St
Cambridge, MA
Circuit Theatre on Facebook

Review by Noe Kamelamela

(Cambridge) If you’ve never been part of a political action, this show will be eye-opening and uncomfortable. Its both of those things in many other ways, and I recommend leaving the little ones at home due to violence, sexuality, sexual violence and nudity. Taylor Mac’s ode to the political march and the people who do them gets a spirited revival at Club Oberon. Continue reading

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Jul 15

A Sinking Feeling: DISNEY’S A LITTLE MERMAID

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Adrienne Eller as Ariel in North Shore Music Theatre's Production of Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID running July 8 - 27, 2014. Photo©Paul Lyden

Adrienne Eller as Ariel in North Shore Music Theatre’s Production of Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID running July 8 – 27, 2014. Photo©Paul Lyden

Presented by North Shore Music Theatre
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater
Book by Doug Wright
Based on the Hans Christian Andersen Story and the Disney Film produced by Howard Ashman & John Musker and written & directed by John Musker and Ron Clements
Direction by Michael Heitzman
Music directed by Bruce Barnes
Choreography by AC Ciulla

July 8th – July 27th, 2014
62 Dunham Road
Beverly, MA
NSMT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly) Whenever you are suspending disbelief, there are rules that must be followed to create a new reality. It doesn’t matter if you are writing Game of Thrones or playing make-believe with a 2-year-old, the ground rules, once established, have to be enforced or the whole thing falls apart.

That is perhaps the main reason why the musical version of Disney’s A Little Mermaid, playing at the North Shore Music Theatre, couldn’t hook either me or for my 8-year-old daughter. This show is largely aquatic, but director Michael Heitzman fails to create a sea for our imagination. Sometimes, the merpeople and fish hobble awkwardly in tight fin-like gear; other times, they use the same wires and pulleys to occupy the same air as the seagull. Merpeople aren’t allowed on land, until they are at the end of the play. Too often, they crossed the streams. Continue reading

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Jun 30

Revamped *Cough* Vampire Comedy for Modernity: DER VAMPYR

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Photo © OperaHub

Presented by OperaHub
1828 music by Heinrich Marschner
1828 German libretto by Wilhelm August Wohlbrück
1828 libretto based on the play Der Vampir oder die Totenbraut by Heinrich Ludwig Ritter
2014 arrangement by Moshe Shulman
2014 libretto by John J King
Music direction by Lina Marcel Gonzalez
Stage direction by Christie Lee Gibson

June 19 – 28, 2014
Boston Center for the Arts
Plaza Theatre
Boston, MA

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warnings: Light smut, Feminism

(Boston) Der Vampyr is a decadently feminist adaptation of Marschner’s original. This new arrangement presented by OperaHub tackles the difficult truths of male entitlement, victim blaming and rape culture that all women face on a daily basis. If you, the reader, do not believe in gender equality, this opera is not for you. If you believe that rape culture is not a pervasive truth all women face, then this opera is not for you. It would be best if you pulled your fedora over your eyes and stopped reading this review now. Continue reading

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Jun 17

OperaHub Announces: DER VAMPYR

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vampyrwebgraphic

OperaHub Announces June 2014 Show:

Heinrich Marschner’s

DER VAMPYR

in a new English-language adaptation
Boston’s “opera punks” say, “Bite me!”

Librettist: John J King
Stage Director: Christie Lee Gibson
Music Director: Lina Gonzalez

June 19 – June 26, 2014

FREE ADMISSION!
In the spirit of accessible opera for all, tickets are absolutely free, and may be reserved in advance online here!

 

BOSTON, MA – OperaHub broadens their ambitions with their June 2014 production: a new adaptation of Heinrich Marschner’s 1828 gothic opera DER VAMPYR. Though the work had its American premiere at the Boston Conservatory in 1980, it has not been seen in Boston since. Several companies around the world have produced it in recent years, including the American Symphony in Spring 2013 and the New Orleans Opera last fall. Hailed by the New York Times as a “gem of an opera,” it falls stylistically between Weber’s DER FREISCHUTZ and Wagner’s FLYING DUTCHMAN, with a thematic debt owed to Mozart’s DON GIOVANNI.

In the original version of DER VAMPYR, Lord Ruthven, the blood-sucker in question, has not been sucking his fair share of blood. The other vampires in his coven gather at the witches’ dance to charge him with taking three virgins by the end of the third day, or he will perish as a mortal. Tragedy ensues in the local village until the vampire is vanquished. Continue reading

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May 20

Blood, Gore and Mediocrity: CARRIE THE MUSICAL

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Presented by Speakeasy Stage Company
Music by Michael Gore
Lyrics by Dean Pitchford
Book by Lawrence D. Cohen
Based on the novel by Stephen King
Directed by Paul Melone
Music directed by Nicholaus James Connell
Choreographed by Larry Sousa

Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Speakeasy on Facebook
Stephen King on Facebook
This awesome goat on Facebook

Trigger Warning: Fanatical Christianity, Gore, Attractive Youths Kissing, Depictions of High School  

Review by Kitty Drexel mediocrity

(Boston) The story of Carrietta White is supposed in invoke sympathy from its reader. Stephen King wrote a story about a young woman so hopelessly naïve and sheltered from the world that she has no tactics to cope with common life stressors. It’s easy enough to relate to her story, to put ourselves in her shoes because everyone feels like an outsider at one time or another. Unfortunately, Carrie is not actually a relatable character. Her life is in no way comparable to another’s. The impossible fantasy of Carrie is what makes the novel/movie/musical. Attempting to make her relatable or identifiable is a stretch that is in no way feasible. And yet, as long as there are outsiders who wish they had super powers, the comparison will be made anyway. Continue reading

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May 16

Right is Better Than Nice: INTO THE WOODS

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Photo by Mark S. Howard. The cast; kicking ass and taking names in The Woods.

 

Presented by Lyric Stage Company of Boston
Music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by James Lapine
Directed & staged by Spiro Veloudos
Music directed by Catherine Stornetta

May 9 – June 15, 2014
140 Clarendon Street
Boston, MA 02116
The Lyric on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(BostonInto the Woods is a tough nut to crack. On the one hand, it’s a classic and butts will fill seats faster than Satan fills a church on Sunday. On the other, it’s a classic and everyone who loves this show will have an opinion that they swear it’s the only legit one because they saw that Broadway performance that one time… on DVD. The Lyric Stage Co’s production is good but not good enough to silence the naysayers (the lines to the bathrooms were all atwitter with sarcasm). The audience community of Boston is protective of their favorite shows. This one falls under the blanket of shows that the community will fight for to the death (of their subscription). Continue reading

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May 14

Good Songs and Good Cheer: NEIL BERG’S 100 YEARS OF BROADWAY

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Uncredited photo snagged from Larcom Theatre Facebook page.

Presented by Spectacle Management
By composer, lyricist and producer Neil Berg

Larcom Theatre
Beverly, MA
May 9th – May 11th, 2014
Larcom Theater on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly, MA) It is regrettable that Broadway too often is a business for the young, as this cult of youth cuts out so many talented actors who have finely honed their abilities through years of practice. Instead of making use of this talent in New York, actors over 35 too often are shunted off to regional tours or repertory theaters.

The show Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway, stopping in Beverly for the weekend, shows that New York’s loss is the country’s gain. A straightforward concert of some of Broadway’s most memorable tunes, this show smartly forgoes the spectacle that consumes cruise ship concerts to give the performers space to truly connect with their audience and showcase their abilities to entertain. Continue reading

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May 06

Tale of clipped wings an homage to a tragic page in American history: ICARUS

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Photo appropriated from LAB Facebook page

Presented by Liars & Believers
Based on the Greek Myth “Icarus”
Conceived and Directed by Jason Slavick
Music and lyrics by Nathan Leigh

May 1-11
Club Oberon
2 Arrow St
Cambridge, MA
Liars & Believers on Facebook

Review by Noe Kamelamela

(Cambridge) ICARUS was developed and premiered by five year old company Liars & Believers (LAB) in Cambridge last year.  It is fitting that it would come back to roost after a successful flight through Boston and New York.  Clearly using their official residency with the ART to their advantage, LAB refreshes their hit for a longer and stronger run. Continue reading

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Apr 28

Idina At the Crossroads: “If/Then”

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The New England Theatre Geek occasionally reviews theatre outside of our typical jurisdiction. Reviewer Kate Idlebrook attended If/Then while on vacation in The Big City.

Photo by Joan Marcus

Photo by Joan Marcus

Presented by The Richard Rodgers Theatre
Music by Tom Kitt
Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey

Richard Rogers Theatre
New York City, New York
If/Then on Facebook

Review by Kate Idlebrook

(NYC) If you have been in the vicinity of a kid under the age of 12 in the past six months, you probably know Idina Menzel, or at least her voice. She’s the star behind the Disney phenomenon Frozen. But if you’re a Broadway aficionado, you already knew her name and have been following her since she came on the scene as Rent’s Maureen Johnson in 1995. Or, perhaps you remember her best as Wicked’s original Elphaba. Continue reading

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Apr 22

Delicious Raunch Never for the Entire Family: SNOW WHITE AND THE 7 BOTTOMS

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Photo claimed from the Gold Dust Orphans facebook page.

Presented by The Gold Dust Orphans
Written and Conceived by Ryan Landry
Directed by James P. Byrne

April 18th – May 18th, 2014
The Ramrod Center for the Performing Arts
MACHINE – 1254 Boylston Street, Boston.
Gold Dust Orphans on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Mr. Ryan Landry excels at writing fast-paced, raunchy pantos. His shows are regularly engorged with punchy, LGBTQ+ inclusive, sexy humor unsuitable for family-minded audiences. Snow White is no exception. This beauty based on the classic Disney movie is sure to leave your mouth dry and your seat wet. Continue reading

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