Mar 18

Digging Our Graves, Hoping Someone Notices: THE WHALE

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Georgia Lyman and John Kuntz in the SpeakEasy Stage Company production of “The Whale.” Photo by Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
By Samuel D. Hunter
Directed by David R. Gammons

March 7th – April 5th, 2014
The Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
SpeakEasy on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston) No matter what you’ve heard, The Whale is not a play about obesity.  That may be hard to remember when you see a man drowning in his own corpulent flesh, the junk food wrappers strewn around his apartment serving as a testament to his mortal sin. Continue reading

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Mar 17

Awareness is Key: RIGOLETTO

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Michael Mayes as Rigoletto and Nadine Sierra as Gilda; Photo by Eric Antoniou for Boston Lyric Opera

Michael Mayes as Rigoletto and Nadine Sierra as Gilda; Photo by Eric Antoniou for Boston Lyric Opera

Presented by Boston Lyric Opera Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
Directed by Tomer Zvulun
Conducted by Christopher Franklin

March 14 – 23, 2014
Shubert Theatre
Boston, MA
BLO on Facebook

Sung in Italian with projected supertitles in English. Performed in 2 “acts” with 1 intermission.

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) The vocals of BLO’s Rigoletto are simply stunning. In particular, Michael Mayes as the title character and Nadine Sierra (Gilda) were a treasure to hear and watch. Audrey Babcock (Maddalena) smolders! This vocals of the male chorus were powerful but difficult to watch. It appears that they can only emote when given specific direction to do so. The sumptuous costumes by Victoria Tzykun mostly made up for this. Conductor Christopher Franklin leads his orchestra with admirable humility and confidence. His reverence for Verdi is evident from his first step into the pit. Continue reading

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Mar 17

“What Once We Felt” Feels Undercooked

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Photo credit: Jake Scaltreto

Presented by Flat Earth Theatre
By Ann Marie Healy
Directed by Lindsay Eagle

March 14 – 22, 2014
The Davis Square Theatre
255 Elm Street
Somerville, MA
Flat Earth on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Somerville) What Once We Felt is science fiction that distills contemporary anxieties into a thinly veiled future.  The bedrock of Ann Marie Healy’s dystopia, which premieres in Boston for the first time, is literary digitization, a bleak economy with a suppressed lower class, deplorable health care conditions, iPhone obsessions, and some unlikely but remarkable advances in artificial insemination. The play will make an excellent artifact of our age group.  Though the mask this society wears to disguise its relation to our own is transparent, so is the world-building and the logic behind a woman-only, caste-system culture.  The mechanics are questionable, but the anti-utopian horror that Flat Earth Theatre creates is sublimely creepy. Continue reading

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Mar 14

Touch a Dead Bird, Wash Your Hands: THE SEAGULL

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Photo T. Charles Erickson

Photo T. Charles Erickson

Presented by Huntington Theatre Co.
By Anton Chekhov
Translated by Paul Schmidt
Directed by Maria Aitken

March 7 – April 6, 2014
Boston University Theatre
264 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA
Hunting Theatre Co on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Chekhov intended The Seagull play to be a comedy. He wrote a famous letter to his friend Suvorin on October 21, 1895 describing his intent and further elaborated that Seagull would defy the conventions of theatre. No kidding. It is a comedy for the same reasons Springtime for Hitler is a comedy. The one exception being that no Roger DeBris character arrives to save us from our sensibilities. To sum up, without Roger, The Seagull is a drama about people being terrible to each other while lamenting their own misery. In Russia. While discussing the theatrical arts. It isn’t very funny (unless you’re a sadist). What it is, is deeply depressing. Continue reading

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Mar 10

For the Love of Bisexual Seahorses: BULLY DANCE

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Photo by Brett Marks

Presented by Argos Productions
By David Valdes Greenwood
Directed By Sarah Gazdowicz

March 7-22, 2014
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
949 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
Argos on Facebook

 

Trigger Warning: Gunshots are used in this production. Sexual abuse of minors is discussed albeit not in detail.

 

(Boston) The events of Bully Dance are based on the events of a multiple homicide that culminated in a suicide on public transportation in 2006. This is not a light, fluffy or otherwise hope inspiring production. It must be emphasised that playwright David Valdes Greenwood is not attempting to recreate the tragic events. Rather, he has constructed imaginary scenarios that explore the emotional truths of the victims and the survivors. Like an allegorical morality play, this production examines the effects of horrific violence on the heart and mind of Man. Continue reading

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Mar 10

A Very Bardy Soap Opera: BREAKING THE SHAKESPEARE CODE

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Photo by Paul Cantillon, LIDEC Photo

Presented by Vagabond Theatre Group
by John Minigan
Directed by James Peter Sotis

March 6th – 15, 2014
The Factory Theatre

791 Tremont Street
Boston, MA
Vagabond Theatre Company on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston) I went into this show knowing one thing: given the subject matter and my background, I was either going to hate it or love it.  There would be no in between.

I was mostly right.  I hated some things, and loved others.  Let’s go through these items one line at a time, shall we?

Let’s start with the writing: Minigan is definitely writing for Boston.  Much like it’s hard to imagine Avenue Q played anywhere but New York, I have a hard time imaging that audiences in other parts of the country would connect to this show in the same way as Bostonians.  This is doubly odd given that the show premiered at the Orlando Shakespeare Festival and continued on to the Utah Shakespeare Festival where, presumably, it did well enough that it’s back in Boston now.  The dialogue is expertly put together, and it held me in a way that most contemporary pieces don’t (…and not just because it had a passing relationship with my man Will).  My one fault with the piece was this: I left wondering “why?”  Why did I just see this?  Why did we go on this journey?  What was beneath this tale?  I felt like the story was too profound not to have a readily discernable crux; but I just couldn’t understand what that crux was. Continue reading

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Mar 07

Life is But a Dream: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

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Presented by Bristol Old Vic
in association with Handspring Puppet Company
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Tom Morris

March 6th – 15, 2014
ArtsEmerson Cutler Majestic Theatre
Boston, MA
Handspring Puppet Company on Facebook
Bristol Old Vic on Facebook
ArtsEmerson on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston) As much as I love my Willy (and, trust me, there’s no girl in the world who loves Willy more than I do), Midsummer has always been a problematic play for me.

It’s not the language; this play is simply beautiful linguistically with enough famous speeches to keep a casual listener engaged but not so much that it begins to feel like Hamlet (bopping from one pop culture soliloquy to another with nary a breath in between). This play has more rhyming couplets than you can shake a stick at; and natural imagery that can lull even a colicky infant into the show’s titular pleasant reverie. Continue reading

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Mar 05

Theatre@First: ROSENCRANTZ & GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD AGAIN!

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ROSENCRANTZ & GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD AGAIN!
Theatre@First celebrates 10th Anniversary with a return to Stoppard’s masterwork

Theatre@First kicks off their second decade of providing local audiences with superlative live theatre at affordable prices with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at the Davis Square Theatre, April 4-12.

In 2004, a small group decided to put on a show in a church basement in Davis Square.  That show was Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and that group has become Theatre@First, Somerville’s own community theatre.  Now founding Artistic Director Elizabeth Hunter returns to the beginning with a new production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

Tom Stoppard’s Tony Award-winning script focuses on two minor characters from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, imagining their confusion at being caught up in the tragic plot. Full of some of the greatest wordplay in English drama, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead examines the meaning of death and the questions of life from an absurdist perspective that leaves audiences laughing at their own folly and gasping at the truths revealed.

For tickets and more information about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Theatre@First, visit www.theatreatfirst.org.

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
7pm evening shows:                                            4pm matinee shows:
Friday April 4                                                      Saturday April 5
Sunday April 6                                                    Saturday April 12
Wednesday April 9
Thursday April 10
Friday April 11

PERFORMANCE SPACE
Davis Square Theatre
255 Elm St, Somerville
Wheelchair accessible space

TICKETS: $20 for adults
$15 for students/seniors.
brownpapertickets.com & goldstar.com
Group discounts available.

 

 

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Mar 04

World Music/CRASHarts Presents: LO’JO at Johnny D’s, March 15, 7:00 pm

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LO’JO presented by World Music/ CRASHarts
ONE NIGHT ONLY: Saturday, March 15, 7:00 pm
17 Holland St. Somerville, 02144
General Admission. 21+ with valid ID. Seating is limited and guaranteed with a dinner reservation $25.00
World Music/CRASHarts on Facebook
Lo’Jo on Facebook

Founded in Angers, France by singer-keyboardist Denis Péan and violinist and kora player Richard Bourreau, Lo’Jo’s musical adventurism is the stuff of legend. The globe-trotting French daredevils have traveled the world for 30 years, playing in remote outposts, soaking up sounds, and founding the annual Festival in the Desert in northern Mali with Tuareg rockers Tinariwen. The six-member band plays funky, dubbed-up chansons laced with a bewildering variety of jazz, pop, reggae, circus, cabaret, klezmer, Roma, West African, and Maghrebian traditions. Péan’s rough-edged Tom Waits–like voice contrasts beautifully with those of sisters Yamina and Nadia Nid el Mourid for a sound that’s totally unclassifiable but utterly enthralling.

Boston Debut

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Mar 03

Friday, March 28, 8pm: MASTERS OF TRADITION

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WORLD MUSIC PRESENTS

Masters of Tradition

Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, Cathal Hayden, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Seamie O¹Dowd, Máirtín O¹Connor, David Power

Friday, March 28, 8pm,
Somerville Theatre
Davis Square

BOSTON, MA ­ World Music/CRASHarts presents Masters of Tradition on Friday, March 28, 8pm at Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Sq., Somerville. Tickets are $28. For tickets and information call World Music/CRASHarts at (617) 876-4275 or buy online at www.WorldMusic.org.

An exceptional evening of Celtic music performed by some of Ireland¹s most esteemed traditional musicians, Masters of Tradition celebrates Irish music in its purest form and features Martin Hayes and Cathal Hayden on fiddle, Iarla Ó Lionáird on vocals, Dennis Cahill and Seamie O¹Dowd on guitar, Máirtín O¹Connor on accordion and David Power on uilleann pipes. Continue reading

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