Nov 20

“Love Potion” Number Nine

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Photos by Eric Antoniou, Boston Lyric Opera 2014.

Photos by Eric Antoniou, Boston Lyric Opera 2014.

Presented by Boston Lyric Opera
Music by Frank Martin
Based on Joseph Bédier’s 1900 novel Roman de Tristan et Iseut
New English translation by Hugh Macdonald
Stage Director David Schweizer
Conductor David Angus (Ryan Turner on Nov. 22)

November 19 – 23, 2014
Temple Ohabei Shalom
1187 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA
Boston Lyric Opera on Facebook

Of all the art forms out there, the slowest to adapt to the shifting sands of time is theatre. This is true for many reasons (how long it takes to produce a piece of theatre, how many fingers have to be in the theatre pie, and how many minds have to be shifted about the fundamental precepts of the art form just to name a few…). Some might call this a devotion to tradition; theatre (after all) does have a long and vibrant history to honor at every step of the production process. Others might call it a weakness which, Darwineanly, will be the very demise of the art form if it doesn’t find some way to evolve. Continue reading

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Nov 20

A Story Worth Telling: “The Old Man and the Old Moon”

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Presented by ArtsEmerson
Created by PigPen Theatre Co.

November 19 – 23, 2014
Emerson/Paramount Center Mainstage
Boston, MA
ArtsEmerson on Facebook
PigPen Theatre on Facebook

Review by Nick Bennett-Zendzian

(Boston) Theatre is storytelling. Hopefully that’s not a revelation to anyone reading this, but given that theatre covers such a broad spectrum, I find it helpful to remember that no matter what art forms get incorporated into a production, the story is what lies at the heart of every play, musical, opera or what have you. And the young men who make up the ensemble of the NYC-based fringe group PigPen Theatre Company have proven themselves to be masterful storytellers with their contemporary folktale-style production of “The Old Man and the Old Moon,” running until this Sunday at the Paramount Theatre in Downtown Boston. Continue reading

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Nov 18

The Strange Sensation You Feel is Part of the Process: BAT BOY

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bat boyPresented by The Office for the Arts at Harvard
Book by Kythe Farley & Brian Flemming
Music & Lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe
Directed by Ally Kiley
Music directed by Cynthia Meng

Nov. 14-22, 2014
The Farkatorium
10 Holyoke St
Cambridge, MA
Bat Boy on Facebook
Harvard Office for the Arts on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warning: sexy animal orgy, partial male nudity, incest

(Cambridge, MA) The Office for the Arts at Harvard has had the rare privilege to host the creators of Bat Boy for a workshop on their monster musical. They have made some significant edits: shortening the run time from 3 hours to 2, cutting of songs, cutting of incidental plot lines and some script editing. The current production presented in the Farkatorium Center for the Arts is still the same Pygmalion meets Edward Scissorhands meets Christ child storyline as the original except a lot simpler. The edits have smoothed over the wrinkles of the original show and kept the endearingly off-putting essence of the off-Broadway science fiction jewel. Continue reading

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Nov 17

Argentina Still Weeps: “EVITA”

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Photo courtesy of The Umbrella Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of The Umbrella Facebook page.

Presented by The Umbrella
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Directed by Brian Boruta
Music Direction by Maria Robinson
Choreography by Lara Finn
Presented at the Emerson Umbrella Center for the Arts
November 14 – 29
Emerson Umbrella Center for the Arts
40 Stow St., Concord, MA 01742
Emerson Umbrella on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Concord, MA) Alright, Andrew Lloyd Weber. Here’s the deal.

I know that your career has sprouted some of the longest-running Broadway hits in the history of Broadway. Cats was my first Broadway musical, and I would be delusional if I said that Phantom of the Opera was anything other than a Broadway legend. But why, oh why, do you allow unsuspecting community theatres (or theatres of any degree of professionalism) to lease the rights for your early works? Continue reading

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Nov 17

Bloomingdale’s Empowerment: MENOPAUSE: THE MUSICAL

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Image courtesy of the Menopause Facebook Page. Apologies to the cast and staff. Photo link was not working properly.

Presented by Spectacle Management
Created by Jeanie Linders
Produced by GFour Productions

The Larcom Theatre
Beverly, MA
November 12th-16th, 2014
Spectacle Management on Facebook
Menopause: the Musical on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly, MA) Sometimes, it is impossible to decide the value of a show until you can decide on its politics. Menopause: the Musical, playing at the Larcom Theatre, is giddy and infectious, to be sure, but does its very existence set back women’s rights by a few decades? This is the question the theatergoer must ask as his or her foot starts tapping to the fun on stage. Continue reading

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Nov 10

Less is Indeed More: LES MISERABLES

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Photo by Paul Lyden

Photo by Paul Lyden

Presented by North Shore Music Theatre
Book by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg
Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer
Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg
Based on the novel by Victor Hugo; Original French text by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel; Additional text by James Fenton
Directed and Choreographed by Marc Robin
Music directed by Andrew Bryan

October 28th – November 16th, 2014
62 Dunham Road
Beverly, MA
NSMT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly, MA) For a Les Mis hater, I sure have seen the show enough times. I usually go in with a cloud hanging over my head. There is something about the show that rubs me the wrong way with its overwrought attitude, even as it brings me to tears each time I see it. To make matters worse, the play lends itself to overacting; heck, it practically demands it. Bad acting abounds on the street of Paris. Continue reading

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Oct 23

Not your Momma’s Mozart: “The Magic Flute”

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Created by the Isango Ensemble
Adapted and Directed by Mark Dornford-May
Music Arrangement by Pauline Malefane and Mandisi Dyantyis
Based on the opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Emanuel Schikaneder
Presented by Eric Abraham and ArtsEmerson

October 21 – 26th
Cutler Majestic Theatre
219 Tremont street, Boston
ArtsEmerson on Facebook
Isango Ensemble on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) Dispense with any ideas you might have about corseted Victorian Opera when you walk into the Culter Majestic to see The Magic Flute. This modern (perhaps even post-modern) adaptation of a classic piece of canon receives energetic, vivacious, and absolutely infectious treatment from its cast of boundless performers. This is absolutely not your momma’s Mozart. Continue reading

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Oct 22

The Touring Blues: J.A.S.O.N.- Myth, Murder & Mayhem in a Punk Rock World

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Photo credit: O.W.I. Facebook page

Photo credit: O.W.I. Facebook page

Edited to Add: The originally published article misspelled Mr. Riesenberg’s last name. The spelling of Mr. Riesenberg’s name is now correct. Our apologies, no disrespect was intended.

Presented by The Office of War Information (Bureau of Theatre)
Written by Pete Riesenberg
Directed by Hatem Adell

October 4-26, 2014
Club Bohemia
Cantab Lounge
Cambridge, MA
OWI on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Cambridge, MA) The Office of War Information (Bureau of Theatre) plugs the classics into amps and rocks the Cantab Lounge this October. 300 BCE and and the gritty 1970s combine to fill Club Bohemia with noise and fury.

If you experienced the punk rock world firsthand, you should remember the substance abuse, strong language, violence and gore portrayed onstage.  (The gore is less than you’d expect from a Greek tragedy.) Young teenagers, particularly those in high school, might appreciate a re-telling of classics they have been forced to read.  Adults friendly with the tales of Jason, the Argonauts and Medea should also be pleased by this remix. Continue reading

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Oct 20

Between the Modern and Bygone: LATER THE SAME EVENING

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EDWARD HOPPER

Room in New York

Presented by the BU Fringe Festival
Composed by John Musto
Libretto by Mark Campbell
Based on 5 paintings by Edward Hopper: A Room in New York, Hotel Room, Hotel Lobby, Two on the Aisle, and Automat
Music direction by Allison Voth
Stage direction by Jason King Jones
Conducted by Tiffany Chang

October 18 & 19, 2014
BU Theatre, Lane-Comley Studio 200
264 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA
BU Fringe Festival on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Later The Same Evening is a concept opera based on five paintings by Edward Hopper. Edward Hopper (1882–1967) was an American artist who employed watercolor (Impressionist) techniques in his paintings of everyday life. His style is defined by the Metropolitan Museum of Art as utilizing, “clearly outlined forms in strongly defined lighting, a cropped composition with an almost “cinematic” viewpoint, and a mood of eerie stillness.” His influences include cityscapes, Cape Cod, his wife Josephine Verstille Nivison. He is famous for capturing the tensions between the modern and the old, people, and mood lighting. His most famous painting, Nighthawks, is used frequently in popular culture (including this sassy adaptation) to depict late night melancholy. Continue reading

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Oct 20

Egypt Unfinished: AIDA

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Photo credit courtesy Fiddlehead Theatre Company/Matt McKee Photo

Presented by Fiddlehead Theatre Company
Presented at the Historic Strand Theatre
Music by Elton John
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Book by Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls and David Henry Hwang
Directed by James Tallach and Meg Fofonoff
Music directed by Balint Varga
Choreography by Kira Cowan

October 17 – 26th, 2014
The Strand Theater
543 Columbia Rd
Dorchester, MA 02125
Fiddlehead Theatre on Facebook

Fiddlehead Theater Company, in collaboration with Aids Action Committee, is proud to present AIDA. 5% of every ticket sold will go to Aids Action Committee.

Review by Danielle Rosvally

Dear Sir Elton John,

I have loved Aida since you first wrote it in 2000 and it took Broadway by storm. It has made me wish many things about myself: that I had the range to successfully best to belt out the craziness that is “My Strongest Suit” somewhere other than my shower so that I could be a part of your glittering romantic someday; that I was an Egyptian Princess so that I could have a wardrobe extensive enough to be sung about this way (….but only in the strictest cartoon sense of the term since being a real Egyptian Princess is a bit more complicated than romantic intrigue and Lady Gaga like clothing choices); or, failing all else, that I could at least appreciate a production which transported me to these places in my head with all the glimmering splendor which belongs to it. Continue reading

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