Jun 15

Geek Book Review: “Madeline Kahn: Being The Music, A Life”

Madeline Kahn book cover

Designed by Peter D. Halverson

Madeline Kahn: Being The Music, A Life

By William V. Madison
University Press of Mississippi
Jackson, 2015
www.upress.state.ms.us
(336 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 48 b&w photographs, filmography, index
9781617037610 Cloth $35.00)
Found wherever fine books are sold

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Madeline Kahn: Being the Music, A Life is distinct for being one of the only in print books devoted to Kahn’s life. A notoriously private woman, she kept her personal secrets close. Rather, she was known for her stage and screen capacity for uproarious humor, and striking beauty. She was less known for her demons and deep insecurities.

This biography by William V. Madison catalogs her ascent to stardom from her birth in Boston, her childhood in New York City, and her adult life everywhere else. It details her work in Mel Brook’s movies, and her ongoing partnership with director Peter Bogdanovich. She was nominated for Academy Award for Blazing Saddles, and also for her vulnerable performance as Trixie Delight in Paper Moon. She was a Broadway darling of the second degree. Her stage career never reached the heights she had hoped it would. Her life was cut mercilessly short by ovarian cancer in 1999 but this biography lives on to tell her story. Continue reading

Jun 12

Don’t Image Search ‘Felching': “After All The Terrible Things I Do”

© T Charles Erickson Photography

© T Charles Erickson Photography

Presented by Huntington Theatre Co.
Written by A. Rey Pamatmat
Directed by Peter DuBois

May 22 – June 21, 2015
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Boston, MA
Huntington on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Huntington Theatre’s production of  After All The Terrible Things I Do has a start so rough that it was surprising that it ended so well. Our first impression is of the glorious stage by Clint Ramos. The bookstore set where are heros interact evokes the recognizable bittersweet nostalgia of favored reading holes. There are nooks and crannies, patches of light and dark. It’s nearly perfect. All it needs is a fat tabby napping on a pillow of paperbacks. Continue reading

May 25

ADDENDUM! – The Last Two People on Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville

Dearest Readers,

Should you need a better explanation of The Last Two People on Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville that Danielle Rosvally’s review provides, the good people at the A.R.T. sent us this slightly insightful, mostly cryptic email with a link from The New York Times. Their helpful email and link are included (word for word) below for posterity. Non-Geek names have been removed to protect the “innocent.”

With love,
The Queen Geek

“From: “********, *******” <****_*******@harvard.edu>
Date: May 25, 2015 at 10:05:40 AM EDT
To: Danielle Rosvally
Subject: “Last two people” explained to you….

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/25/theater/review-the-last-two-people-on-earth-offers-soft-shoe-apres-deluge.html?_r=0

****** *******
******* Press and Public Relations
American Repertory Theater
64 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
****_********@harvard.edu
617-496-****”

May 22

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

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

May 11

On Golden Bay: THE OUTGOING TIDE

David Adkins, Ross Bickell, Felicity LaFortune. Photo by Meghan Moore.

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
By Bruce Graham
Directed by Charles Towers

April 23 – May 17, 2015
50 East Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA 01852
MRT on Facebook.

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell, MA) The decline of old age comes for so many of us, and yet there are few who are prepared to meet it on our own terms. In the powerful drama The Outgoing Tide, one patriarch races against time and his own failing memory to decide his fate in the face of dementia. This production is sure to spur thought-provoking discussions on aging and death, and it largely avoids the feel of a Lifetime Original medical drama of the week. We never lose sight of the individuality of the main character even as what makes him an individual slowly disintegrates. Continue reading

Mar 24

Major and Minor Details: BIG FISH

Photo credit: Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo

Photo credit: Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Co.
Book by John August
Music & Lyrics by Andrew Lippa
Based on the Novel by Daniel Wallace and the Columbia Motion Picture Written by John August
Directed by Paul Daigneault
Assistant Director Alex Lonati
Musical Direction by Matthew Stern
Choreography by Larry Sousa

MAR 13 – APR 11, 2015
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont St.
SpeakEasy on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) I did not enjoy Big Fish. I did enjoy SpeakEasy’s production. The performances from the cast were, as always, exemplary but the script has many problems. Follow along as I list the major issues and make the conscious decision not to detail the minor ones. Continue reading

Feb 06

Arts in Action Petition to Gov. Baker

 

MASSCreativeFrom the MassCreative Website:

“Dear Governor Baker,

I encourage you to provide the arts and cultural community with the support it needs to build vibrant and connected communities across the Commonwealth.

In your first budget, please increase the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s FY2016 budget by $3 million to $15 million.

These funds are critical to the creative community’s ability to help drive the economy, enhance education, and help build community across the Commonwealth.”

arts-in-action-graphic-v3.png

click for link to sign

 

Jan 26

The Midnight Mischief Cabaret Presents: A Raucous Revival

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The Midnight Mischief Cabaret presents: A Raucous Revival!
January 31, 2015 @ 9pm
Somerville, MA
Calling all sinners, saints and sojourners!
Hosts Allix Mortis and Ginny Nightshade call upon you to witness, testify, and party till the end of days. 

Join us at The Davis Square Theatre for an old school variety show with an edge sharper than your grand pappy’s straight razor!
Our cast will leave you filled with the spirit, speaking in tongues, and booty-bumping your bibles!

Featuring:
Old School Game Show’s, Michael D’Angelo
Comedians:
Casey Malone
Nonye Brown West
Will Smalley
Burlesque & Performance Artists:
Dewie Decimator
Butch Sassidy
Claude Kitten
Fruit On TheBottom (Special Appearance)
Contortionist:
BelleGunzAnd musical worship from Thee Legendary Rockin Prophets!

About :
The Midnight Mischief Cabaret is the brainchild of award winning burlesque artists Allix Mortis and Ginny Nightshade. Hotter than a revival tent in the middle of summer, The Midnight Mischief Cabaret aims to bring old school variety with an updated edge to late night New England.The duo combine their backgrounds in comedy, theater, burlesque and music to bring a new kind of show with a familiar feel and diverse appeal. Fringe sways alongside pointed studs, black velvet gloves match black lipstick, and beer is sipped from champagne glasses.

In a smoky back room, in a sweltering revival tent, in a haunted attic, on the boards of a historic theater lives The Midnight Mischief Cabaret.

Jan 23

Bombasted by Science: COPENHAGEN

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Presented by Porpentine Players
By Michael Frayn
Directed by Jon Taie

January 21 – 31, 2015
Nave Gallery
155 Powderhouse Blvd
Somerville, MA
Porpentine on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Somerville, MA) Science is having a moment in the public sphere; thanks to actors such as  Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch, physics and math are sexy and everyone wants a piece of these oh so marketable, oh so male institutions. Suddenly it’s very chic to flout one’s comprehension of STEM studies. While I’m grateful that movies such as The Theory of Everything  and The Imitation Game exist, the media forget that the theories discussed in these films aren’t as digestible as the script treatments suggest. Science and math are complicated beasts. So complicated that most American elementary and high school students have difficulty grasping remedial skills. Thus, a delicate balance must be maintained when explaining scientific and mathematical theory via the media to the hoi polloi. It must  educate while still communicating the advancement of skill required for application. Hollywood tends to over-simplify. Frayn’s Copenhagen, as produced by the Porpentine Players keeps in complicated. Continue reading