Jan 26

As Exciting as Actual Ice Fishing: “Nice Fish”

Presented by the American Repertory Theatre
Written by Mark Rylance & Louis Jenkins
Drawn from the works of Louis Jenkins
Direction and compositions by Claire van Kampen

January 17 – February 7, 2016
Loeb Drama Center
Cambridge, MA
ART on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge, MANice Fish pairs the poetry of Louis Jenkins and self-aware post post-modern theatre on the frozen waters of a Minnesota lake. It is a small, white cast with one woman (Kayli Carter taking one for the team) about the humdrum comings and goings of ice fishers and their community. We are invited to experience the quiet contemplations of Erik (Jim Lichtscheidl) and Ron (Mark Rylance) on their technology-assisted jaunt into the wilderness. It’s a story of Man versus Nature versus Man’s Nature. In the end, the winner is always Nature.   Continue reading

Dec 14

Getting to Maybe: EXPOSED

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The TV has no context in this image.

Presented by Boston Center for American Performance and Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
Written by Robert Brustein
Directed by Steven Bogart
Compositions by Mark Bruckner
Musical direction by Catherine Stornetta

Dec. 10 – Dec. 18, 2015
Boston Center for the Arts
Wimberly Theatre
Boston, MA
BPT on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Normally, I adore a good potty-mouthed political satire.  I feel less alone knowing that my fellow humans also think that the Govt., its politicians, and processes are broken. As Republicans, Democrats, Independents, etc, we can all agree that the system needs an overhaul. Satires give me a modicum of hope for the future. Continue reading

Dec 04

I Missed “The Wiz” for This: THE SNOW QUEEN

Photo by Andrew Brilliant / Brilliant Pictures.

L-R: Nick Sulfaro as Kai, Aimee Doherty as the Snow Queen, and Victoria Britt as Gerda. Photo by Andrew Brilliant / Brilliant Pictures.

Presented by New Rep Theatre
Book by Kirsten Brandt and Rick Lombardo
Music by Haddon Kime
Lyrics by Kirsten Brandt, Rick Lombardo, and Haddon Kime
Additional music, stage direction and choreography by Rick Lombardo
Associate choreographer: Kelli Edwards
Musical direction by Emily Intersimone

Nov. 28 – Dec. 20, 2015
Arsenal Center for the Arts
Charles Mosesian Theater
Watertown, MA
New Rep on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Watertown, MA) We critics want to write positive reviews. For the most part (I can’t speak for everyone), we enter a performance space sincerely hoping that the performance that follows will blow us out of the water with its exceptional talent, creativity, ingenuity and expression of the human condition. We want everyone to do well. Writing a negative review is a draining experience for a critic. The truth can be a bitter pill to swallow. Continue reading

Nov 16

Royal Humanity: “Who Would Be King”

Photo credit: Liars & Believers

Photo credit: Liars & Believers

Presented by Liars and Believers
Conceived and Directed by Jason Slavick
Music and Lyrics by Jay Mobley
Dramaturgy by Amanda Martin
Fight choreography by Ted Hewlett

November 5 – 22, 2015
The Oberon
2 Arrow Street, Cambridge MA
Liars and Believers on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Cambridge, MA) I saw something extraordinary at Oberon last night.  Liars & Believers’ Who Would Be King is a beautiful patchwork of physical performance, storytelling, and boundless humanity.  An original work by artists in residence at the LAB, Who Would be King is a re-mixed trove of biblical tales told in a compelling and timeless way with great humor, and great humanity. Continue reading

Nov 09

“Next to Normal” a Next to Average Production

Photo provided by CCT Publicity

Photo provided by CCT Publicity

Presented by Curtain Call Theatre
Music by Tom Kitt
Book & Lyrics by Brian Yorkey
Directed by Jim Sullivan
Musical direction by Jose Merlo

November 6-8, 12-14, 2015
Braintree, MA
Curtain Call Theatre on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Braintree, MA) From my own upbringing, I thought I understood the definition of dysfunctional, but nothing could have prepared me for the family dynamic put on display in the rock musical Next to Normal. Continue reading

Oct 08

Goddess Dumps “Kansas City Choir Boy”: A Love Story

Photo: Evgenia Eliseeva

Photo: Evgenia Eliseev

 

Presented by A.R.T.
Music and Lyrics by Todd Almond
Directed by Kevin Newbury
Choreography by Sam Pinkleton
Musical Direction by David Bloom

October 1 – 10, 2015
Club Oberon
Cambridge, MA
ART on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Cambridge, MA) Courtney Love stars as Athena, the idealized, former girlfriend of the titular Kansas City Choir Boy (Todd Almond). The show begins when he sees a news story on TV that she’s been found dead in a New York City park.This touches off either a series of memories or a fantasy in which the two spend the show singing love songs to each other. Continue reading

Oct 05

COEUR DE PIRATE at Brighton Music Hall: World Music/CRASHarts

Presented by World Music/CRASHarts in collaboration with Crossroads Presents
COEUR DE PIRATE
Wednesday, October 21, 8:00 pm
158 Brighton Ave., Boston, MA.
General Admission, 18+
Cœur de Pirate (French for pirate heart) is the stage name for award-winning French-Canadian singer/songwriter and pianist Béatrice Martin. Her whimsical, magical pop songs blend cabaret music, French lyrics, and playful indie sensibilities. After releasing two albums to international acclaim, Cœur de Pirate returns in 2015 with a new album that finds her boldly expanding her horizons and modernizing her approach, cradling her beloved piano within a swirling ensemble of synthesizers, carefully crafted string arrangements, and layers of dynamic drum sounds. Opening act to be determined.
Biography can be read here.
Sep 28

For Better or Worse, “The Thing on the Doorstep” is a Shambling Beast

Artwork by Dan DeRosato

Artwork by Dan DeRosato

Presented by Salem Theatre Company
Adapted from the H.P. Lovecraft story
Directed & Adapted by Isaiah Plovnick

September 17 – October 4, 2015
Salem Theatre
90 Lafayette Street
Salem, MA, 01970
Salem Theatre on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Salem, MA) Devoted H.P. Lovecraft fans should prepare themselves for a sojourn to Salem before the end of this week. The Thing on the Doorstep has been lovingly adapted to stage, giving voice to one of the most foundational science fiction writers of the early twentieth century. What’s synthesized from the material is a creeping, gothic narrative, one that fights to stay true to the spirit of the original and hew closely to the author’s voice. The move from page to stage is a fraught one, though, and Lovecraft’s style (retro by the standards of the years he wrote in with a great deal of colonialist issues throughout) is ultimately clunky. Continue reading

Sep 15

Only Humans Can Be Wicked: JEANNE

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Presented by Fort Point Theatre Channel in collaboration with Contrapose Dance & Ensemble Warhol
Libretto by James Swindell
Composed by Mark Warhol
Choreographed by Junichi Fukuda

September 11 & 12 at 8 p.m.
Boston University Dance Theater
915 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA
Fort Point on Facebook
Contrapose Dance on Facebook
The Boston String Quartet on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Fort Point Theatre Channel presented three scenes from Swindell and Warhol’s modern opera Jeanne, the story of a woman last weekend. It was a fully staged and accompanied by Robert Schulz on percussion, and The Boston String Quartet. The vocalists were joined onstage by the agile dancers from Contrapose Dance. Jeanne is not your grandma’s opera. It is more Rice’s The Adding Machine or Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock in style and sound than La Boheme or Traviata. Depending on what you want from opera, it was either very weird or fascinating art. Continue reading