May 27

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

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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

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May 22

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

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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

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May 07

Hate the Player, Not the Game: DON GIOVANNI

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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

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Apr 16

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

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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

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Apr 01

You Won’t Sit in Solemn Silence: THE MIKADO

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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

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Jan 30

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

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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

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Jan 12

Breaking up is Hard to Do: THE LAST FIVE YEARS

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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

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Jan 12

A Winsome Hot Mess: MIDSUMMER

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Midsummergraphic5inPresented by Apollinaire Theatre Company
By David Greig & Gordon MacIntyre
Directed by Danielle Fauteux Jacques
Music Direction & Sound Design by David Reiffel

December 26th – January 18th, 2014
189 Winnisimmet St
Chelsea, MA
Apollinaire on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

Perhaps we’ve never puked at the front door of our sister’s wedding or stolen and spent a mobster’s money on one weekend, but the effervescent play MidSummer makes us wish we had.

Because this play lacks anything resembling pretension, David Greig and Gordon MacIntyre’s well-crafted script and Daniele Fauteux Jacques’ pitch-perfect staging makes us recognize the low notes and high notes of our lives in this 95-minute yarn. There is something surprisingly universal about the story of a low-rent con artist and a desperate divorce lawyer who are thrown together for a lost weekend that enables them to find themselves, if only in the telling. Continue reading

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Dec 08

Delightfully Off-Kilter: “13 Things About Ed Carpolotti”

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Photo by Meghan Moore.

Photo by Meghan Moore.

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Book, Music and Lyrics by Barry Kleinbort
Based on a play by Jeffrey Hatcher

November 28 – December 21, 2014
50 East Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA
MRT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell, MA) It’s one thing to create a play that mimics the feeling of being trapped in a conversation with someone who is batty; it’s another to make such a play entertaining. As the play 13 Things About Ed Carpolotti demonstrates, the difference is all in the storytelling prowess of the off-putting character. Continue reading

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Dec 01

Busy With Important Things; or, Leggings Are Not Pants: THE LITTLE PRINCE

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Photo by Andrew Brilliant / Brilliant Pictures

Photo by Andrew Brilliant / Brilliant Pictures

Presented by the New Repertory Theatre
Adapted from the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Book and lyrics by John Scoullar
Music by Rick Cummins
Directed by Ilyse Robbins
Musical Direction by Todd C. Gordon

Nov. 22 – Dec. 21, 2014
Charles Mosesian Theatre
Watertown, MA
New Rep on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Watertown, MA) The novella The Little Prince is part memoir, part analogy for a grown man’s relationship with his inner child. Scoullar and Cummins adapted Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s most famous work into a parent-friendly children’s science fiction musical. It has the subject matter to entertain kids and the emotional complexity to interest adults. This is a show heavy with metaphor and analogy. Continue reading

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