Dec 02

Looocy, You Got Some ‘Splaining to Do: Heart & Dagger’s SWEENEY TODD

Promotional Art by Heart & Dagger

Promotional Art by Heart & Dagger

Presented by Heart & Dagger Productions
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheeler
Directed by Joey C. Pelletier
Music direction by Michael Amaral

Nov. 19 – Dec. 4, 2016
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center For The Arts
527 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02116
H&D on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MAHeart & Dagger’s approach to Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is highly unusual. It’s design harkens back to the original “Penny Deadfuls” in a way fancy pants professional productions don’t. It revels in its everyday horrors. It’s design brings creative license to the next level. Many strong, risky choices were made in this production. Most of them paid off. Unfortunately, some of the bigger ones did not. Continue reading

Nov 18

Our Town? YOUR Town: URINETOWN

urinetown-300

The world is your toilet!

Presented by The MIT Musical Theatre Guild
By Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann
Directed by Daniel Epelbaum
Music and Vocal Direction by Paul Gallagher
Produced by Caroline Walsh and Anni Zhang

November 17 – 20, 2016
MIT’s La Sala de Puerto Rico
84 Mass Ave, Cambridge
MIT Musical Theatre Guild on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Cambridge, MA) Urinetown is a tough piece to tackle.  It’s a satire and, as such, full of clichés that are meant to be hit precisely right in order to ring hilarious and not maudlin.  It’s a dark musical with dark themes, a dark plot, and a dark ending.  Last, but certainly not least, there are several technical demands that make it an interesting theatrical problem to solve (one character is thrown off a building onstage…. Try staging that without a fly rig). Continue reading

Nov 11

Scarily Relevant Once More: WEST SIDE STORY

Presented by North Shore Music Theatre
Beverly, MA
November 1- 20, 2016
NSMT on Facebook

BOOK BY: Arthur Laurents
MUSIC BY: Leonard Bernstein
LYRICS BY: Stephen Sondheim
Director: Bob Richard
Music Director: Milton Granger
Choreographer: Diane Laurenson
Based on Conception of Jerome Robbins
Based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly, MA) How quaint – working class whites and Hispanics fighting for control of a few city blocks. West Side Story is a fun period piece hearkening back to a time when institutionalized racism was the norm and …
Continue reading

Oct 27

Beautiful and Painful: “The Scottsboro Boys”

Nile Hawver / Nile Scott Shots; The ensemble getting down.

Nile Hawver / Nile Scott Shots; The ensemble getting down.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
Music and Lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb
Book by David Thompson
Original Direction and Choreography by Susan Stroman
Directed by Paul Daigneault
Musical Direction by Matthew Stern
Choreography by Ilyse Robbins

October 21 – November 26
Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont Street
Speakeasy on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) It’s difficult to know what to say about The Scottsboro Boys.  The piece is uncomfortable to watch not because of its incredible talent or flawless direction and design, but rather because it’s meant to be uncomfortable to watch.  The show is a remixed account of the historical case of The Scottsboro Boys, nine young black men who in 1931 were accused of raping two white women on a train, told through the lens of American Minstrelsy.  Performed with gusto and amazing energy, SpeakEasy’s production is a triumph that should be mandatory viewing for any American (particularly in an election year as fraught with the urge to “just give up” as this one has been). Continue reading

Oct 17

Laugh Until You Hate Yourself Less: SILENCE! THE MUSICAL

Photo credit: Seth Albaum, Upsidemedia; Clarice and Hannibal getting close.

Photo credit: Seth Albaum, Upsidemedia; Clarice and Hannibal getting close.

Presented by Arts After Hours
Music and lyrics by Jon and Al Kaplan
Book by Hunter Bell
Directed by James Tallach
Music directed by Tim Lawton
Choreographed by Nicole Spirito

October 7 – 29, 2016
LynnArts
25 Exchange St
Lynn, MA
AAH on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Lynn, MA) If there is a Hell, and I’m not sure if there is, then sitting through this musical may assure there’s have a seat saved for you. It is deeply offensive, crass, disrespectful, tacky and trashy. Equally dubious Heavens forgive me, I loved every minute of this explosive diarrhea of a shit show. We laughed our asses off. Continue reading

Oct 08

Yaass Qween! “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”


Presented by Fiddlehead Theatre Company and CITI Performing Arts Center
Book by Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott
Directed by Stacey Stephens
Music directed by Jose C. Simbulan
Choreography by Arthur Cuadros

September 29-October 9, 2016
Shubert Theatre
Boston, MA
Fiddlehead on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel and Noelani Kamelamela

(Boston, MA)For a show that kicks and sparkles, look no further than Fiddlehead’s Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. This is the sexiest, fleshiest show Boston will see this year. The make dance ensemble leaves little to the imagination while breaking it down on the dance floor. The leads whisk us over the rainbow to Oz. Prepare yourselves for a good time and plenty of audience participation.   Continue reading

Oct 03

“Carmen” Triumphs, Seduces, and Saddens

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© T Charles Erickson Photography; Carmen (Jennifer Johnson Cano) scrawls “love” on the chest of solider Joseph Yonaitis.

Presented by Boston Lyric Opera and San Francisco Opera
Conducted by David Angus
Production by Calixto Bieto
Music by Georges Bizet
Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy

September 23 – October 2, 2016
Boston Opera House
539 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02111
BLO on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) So, okay, say you know this girl, right? More of a “broad,” maybe—flirts with the boys but won’t take shit from them, never lies to appease some dude’s ego, takes lovers and throws them away with ease. Say she gets in a tough situation—but it’s hard to say what’s tough for her, really, she’s not from a great background. But she’s in this situation, right? And it’s either go to prison or go home at the end of a long work day at the cigarette factory. So she flirts some with the poor, idiot small town officer that has her captive. Naïve guy, sweet enough. Continue reading

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