Feb 07

In Homage to the Bastard: “Brecht on Brecht”

Matthew Stern (piano), Carla Martinez, Brad Daniel Peloquin, Jake Murphy, Christine Hamel
in “Brecht on Brecht”   (photo: Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures)

Presented by New Rep Theatre
Prophetic Portraits: Exploring history at the level of the individual
By Bertolt Brecht
Arranged by George Tabori from various translations
Co-Produced with Boston Center for American Performance
Directed by Jim Petosa
Music direction by Matthew Stern

Feb. 4 – March 5, 2017
Mosesian Center for the Arts
321 Arsenal St
Watertown, MA
New Rep on Facebook

90 minutes with no intermission

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Watertown, MABertolt Brecht was a selfish, arrogant, exceedingly charismatic dick. He was also a “genius” thanks to the help of collaborators such as Elisabeth Hauptmann and Kurt Weill. Brecht did not support them. He could turn a phrase, though. 
Continue reading

Feb 02

Boston Arts Academy’s “The Wiz” Finds a Place to Call Home

Dorothy, portrayed by Kamiya Parkin; Photo credit Ella Snyder

Presented by Boston Arts Academy
Book by William F. Brown
Music and Lyrics by Charlie Smalls
Adapted From “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum
Directed by Maura Tighe
Musical Direction by Tyrone Sutton
Choreography by William McLaughlin

January 26-28, 2017
The Strand Theatre
543 Columbia Road
Dorchester, MA 02125

Review by Travis Manni

(Dorchester, MA) In a world where the future of the arts is unclear, and many would like to be transported from reality for a while, it is refreshing to see the next generation of artists from Boston Arts Academy not only take pride in their art, but convey a powerful message of pride in one’s roots. In BAA’s production of The Wiz, I was blown away at the maturity and emotional depth that a group of young adults still in high school not only understood, but also was able to convey to the audience. Continue reading

Dec 07

Sanctioned Hate is Still Hate : Fiddler On the Roof

Photo by Andrew Brilliant / Brilliant Pictures; The cast of Fiddler on the Roof.

Photo by Andrew Brilliant / Brilliant Pictures; The cast of Fiddler on the Roof.

Presented by New Rep Theatre
Based on the stories of Sholem Aleichem
By special permission of Arnold Perl
Book by Joseph Stein
Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Directed by Austin Pendleton
Music direction by Wade Russo
Choreographed by Kelli Edwards

Dec. 2, 2016 – Jan. 1, 2016
Charles Mosesian Theater
The Dorothy and Charles Mosesian Center for the Arts
Watertown, MA
New Rep on Facebook

Trigger warning: Patriarchy, arranged marriage, lack of personhood

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Watertown, MA

New Rep’s Fiddler On the Roof is an extraordinary production… With one not inconsiderable snag. Largely, the performances in this show are spectacular. This production doesn’t make up for New Rep’s lackluster musicals but it certainly resets the standard for its productions. The cast and crew have delivered to us something very special with this Fiddler. Continue reading

Dec 05

Begin the Pegeen: MAME

The cast of Mame (2016). Photo Credit: Nile Hawver/Nile Scott Shots.

The cast of Mame (2016). St. George center stage, looking exquisite in red. Photo Credit: Nile Hawver/Nile Scott Shots.

Presented by the Stoneham Theatre
Book by Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee
Music & lyrics by Jerry Herman
Based on the novel by Patrick Dennis, and the play Auntie Mame by Lawrence and Lee
Directed and choreographed by Ilyse Robbins
Music direction by Matthew Stern

Nov. 25 – Dec. 23, 2016
Stoneham Theatre
395 Main Street, Stoneham, MA
ST on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

“Put the blame on Mame, boys
Put the blame on Mame
Mame gave a chump such an ice-cold “No”
For seven days they shovelled snow
So you can put the blame on Mame, boys
Put the blame on Mame”

Put the Blame on Mame,” from the film “Gilda” (1946), by Allan Roberts & Doris Fisher

(Stoneham, MA) Stoneham Theatre’s production of Mame dazzles. It’s a classic show with all the trimmings. Themes of classism and resulting conflicts will be only slightly offensive to gossipy, snooty attendees. It’s a nearly perfect Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa/etc. treat that anyone from any doctrine can enjoy. Continue reading

Nov 02

Shakespeare Wins, The End: SOMETHING ROTTEN!

SOMETHING ROTTEN!
Conceived by Karey Kirkpatrick and Wayne Kirkpatrick
Book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell
Music and lyrics by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick
Directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw
Music directed  by Phil Reno

Now through January 1, 2017
St. James Theatre, a Jujiamcyn Theater
246 W. 44th Street
New York, NY
(Between 7th & 8th Avenues)
Something Rotten! On Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(New York, NYIt is a perk and a privilege to write complimentary reviews for people I know or used to know in a different life. There’s a certain joy in spinning a glowing critique for someone who deserves it. My joy is incalculably multiplied when done for a personal acquaintance. It’s best if it’s a surprise. It’s even better if it’s a special occasion. Continue reading

Oct 02

Rebel Theatre Without Activism is as Pointless as Sending Thoughts and Prayers After a Tragedy: “The Plough and The Stars”


Presented by A.R.T.*
Abbey Theatre on Tour in association with Cusack Projects Limited
Written by Sean O’Casey
Directed by Sean Holmes
Voice direction by Andrea Ainsworth

Loeb Drama Center
Cambridge, MA
ART on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warnings: gun fire, siren and other loud effects, punk rock

(Cambridge, MA) Ladies and gentlemen, Unions are legal and necessary. Unions are one of the only protections low to middle income wage earners have against power-hungry suits with no regard for struggles that aren’t their own. Please support your local unions to ensure that they remain strong, honest, and transparent. Continue reading

Sep 23

Dabs of Drama on a White Stage: “Sunday in the Park with George”

The cast; Photo: Paul Marotta

The cast; Photo: Paul Marotta

Presented by the Huntington Theatre Company
Music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by James Lapine
Directed by Peter DuBois
Music directed by Eric Stern
Choreographed by Daniel Pelzig
Orchestrations and new chromolume music by Michael Starobin

Sept. 9 – Oct. 16, 2016
BU THEATRE/ AVENUE OF THE ARTS
264 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115
Huntington on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Sunday in the Park with George (SitPwG) is a Sondheim/Lapine musical not frequently performed. That’s probably because it’s not nearly exciting as his more popular shows. Yet, It behooves the hundreds of area artists to go see it for their own personal education. Theatre advocates and appreciators should attend because it simply gorgeous across the board. The Huntington gives us a fine production. Continue reading

Sep 15

A Dear John letter to modern American politics: “The Return to Morality”

Photo courtesy of TTC Facebook page

Photo courtesy of TTC Facebook page; the cast, looking much happier here than their characters do in the production.

Presented by Titanic Theatre Company
Written by Jamie Pachino
Directed by Michelle M. Aguillon

September 8-25, 2016
Central Square Theatre
Cambridge, MA
Titanic Theatre on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Cambridge, MAIt is a presidential election year in these United States.  Ordinary campaigns are already the cesspools of public opinion where good policies raise their hands and get passed over for workable compromises.  Presidential campaigns are therefore a special circle of our own red, white and blue hellscape where we, the people, can gather together and worry about our future as a nation.  It is a Sisyphean task, which means the situation is ripe for comedy.  Titanic Theatre Company’s production of The Return to Morality elicits anxious laughter in this context.   Continue reading

Jun 18

No One is Exempt From Pain:”I Was Most Alive With You”

© T Charles Erickson Photography; Russell Harvard and cast.

© T Charles Erickson Photography; Russell Harvard and cast.

Presented by the Huntington Theatre Co. 
Directed and written by Craig Lucas

Through June 26, 2016
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Boston, MA
Huntington on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

This is a bilingual production; the text is expressed in English and ASL through interpreters. My heartfelt thanks to the crew of the Huntington for respecting the limitations of the hearing community.

(Boston, MA) Bad things happen to people. They just do. Religious pessimists might believe that the Powers That Be punish sinners but even good people experience tragedy. Piety provides no exemption. Bad things happen because they do. If we could understand why, maybe we could prevent them from happening. Continue reading