Jan 28

Older Than Most College Students and Still Relevant: TOP GIRLS

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Top Girls

Presented by Theatre@First
by Caryl Churchill
Directed by Liz Adams

January 23 – February 1, 2014
Davis Square Theatre
Somerville, MA
Theatre@First on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Somerville)

Theatre@First offers an earnest take on Caryl Churchill’s meditation on womanhood in the 1980s.  The production is best in the lighter moments, when the realities of the character’s lives seem far less crushing.

Top Girls itself is not traditional, but is and was a groundbreaking piece which provides incisive snapshots of women beyond as well as within classical archetypes. A show which only represents female voices is not necessarily feminist by default, but feminism as it relates to the time as well as the past pops up regularly.  Central themes such as success and sacrifice are embodied by Marlene, played effectively as a witty and ruthless vamp by Kathy-Ann Hart, who has achieved autonomy by choosing the advancement of her career over other areas of her life. Continue reading

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Jan 27

Historical Footnote: THE CLEARING

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Photo credit: The Wellesley Summer Theatre Company

Presented by The Wellesley Summer Theatre Company
by Helen Edmundson
Directed by Nora Hussey

January 9 – February 2, 2014
Ruth Nagel Jones Theatre
Dana Chapman Walsh Alumnae Hall
Wellesley MA 02481

The theatre is handicapped accessible, for disability services Jim Wice @ 781-283-2434

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Wellesley) If, like me, you have a history degree that you find yourself using as a doorstop or a paper weight, then you might like any play or movie that has cannons, bodices, and acts of Parliament.  But it’s hard to judge whether a work of historical fiction is actually good, or if it’s just an excuse to geek out on people talking about legislation and wars of yesteryear. Continue reading

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Jan 24

Asaf Avidan to Play Somerville Theatre, February 22, 2014 at 8PM

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ASAF AVIDAN Presented by World Music/CRASHarts

Saturday, February 22, 8pm, Somerville Theatre For Tickets and Information: 617-876-4275 or www.WorldMusic.org BOSTON, MA — World Music/CRASHarts presents the Boston debut of Asaf Avidan on Saturday, February 22, 8pm at the Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, Somerville. Tickets are $28, reserved seating. For tickets and information call World Music/CRASHarts at (617) 876-4275 or buy online at www.WorldMusic.org. Perhaps the most interesting voice in the Israeli music scene today, 32-year-old Asaf Avidan has become a huge sensation in Israel and Europe. Singing primarily in English, Avidan¹s powerful voice is unmatched. He has been called “a hoarse angel,” a “force of nature,” and “the love child of Dylan and Joplin.” Continue reading

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Jan 24

Come for the Puppets, Stay for the Bread: SHATTERER OF WORLDS

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The Shatterer of Worlds

scene from The Shatterer of Worlds; photo credit: Mark Dannenhauer

Presented by Bread and Puppet Theatre
Directed by Peter Schumann

January 23 – February 2, 2014
Cyclorama
Boston Center for the Arts
529 Tremont St
Boston, MA
Bread and Puppet on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston) There aren’t many opportunities in your modern New England life to actually be a part of something that has deep, continuous, traditional roots.  I don’t count Civil War Reenacting.[1]  Experiencing Bread and Puppet is an honest-to-goodness moment of oneness with theatre history, even if you don’t quite understand what’s going on in the performance. Continue reading

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Jan 22

Sweetness Through Unbearable Cruelty: “The Color Purple”

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Lovely Hoffman in The Color Purple. Photo by Glenn Perry Photography

Presented by Speakeasy Stage Company
Based on the novel written by Alice Walker and the Warner Bros/Amblin Entertainment motion picture of the same name
Book by Marsha Norman
Music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, Stephen Bray
Directed by Paul Daigneault
Musical direction by Nicholas James Connell
Choreography by Christian Bufford

January 10 – February 8, 2014
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont St
Boston, MA
Speakeasy on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Two Disclaimers:
1. Brief nudity is used to abruptly symbolize the stark differences between the lives of Shug and Celie. Prudes should stay at home.
2. This is a musical predominantly about Black women. The only role White people play are as silent, historically accurate oppressors. Racists and sexists won’t enjoy themselves either.

(Boston) The Color Purple is exquisite. It is a tour deforce presentation of musical theatre at its finest. With only one small hiccup, this production achieves greatness on the stage. Run, do not walk, as fast as you are able and get tickets to this show. Do it. Continue reading

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Jan 21

Gritty Art: THE DEVIL’S MUSIC – THE LIFE AND BLUES OF BESSIE SMITH

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 Photo by John Quilty.

Photo by John Quilty.

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
By Angelo Parra
Concept, Musical Staging, and Direction by Joe Brancato

January 9th – February 2nd, 2014
Lowell, MA
MRT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell) Do you know the blues?  I mean really know the blues?

I’m not talking about some wannabe pop singer appropriating the blues to make the crowd gasp on American Idol.  I’m not talking about the rock n’ roll hybrid blues that the Rolling Stones used to distance themselves from the Beatles.  I’m talking the unsanitized blues, rife with onion-skin-thin innuendo about graphic sex and domestic violence.  It’s raw and splintered music, the kind where you can taste hunger and oppression and yet you laugh so you don’t cry. Continue reading

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Jan 17

Modern Application of Ancient Greek Pathos: “The Bacchae”

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When Bacchae attack. News at 11.

Presented by Oberon New Works Series, Komoi Collective and Tubiforce Media Productions
By Euripides
Translated by T.A. Buckley
Script treatment by Steve Dooner
Directed by Steve Dooner and Jen Kenneally
Musical direction by Adam Brooks
Dramaturg – Mike Nuell

January 16 & 17, 2014
Club Oberon
Cambridge, MA
Tubiforce on Facebook
The Bacchae on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

**This show is for adults. There is artful nudity and general sexiness. The naked body is a beautiful thing but parents tend to freak out when their kids see one. Sex is great. ***

(Cambridge) As a tot, I remember asking my Mom about the god Dionysus (I was reading The Odyssey and was confused by his role). She told me simply that he was the god of liquids like wine… and semen. She continued that he liked to have a good time and preferred his ladies on the wild side. My understanding of mythology has never been the same.

To wit, Euripides’ The Bacchae is the story of how life got flipped, turned upside down when Dionysus (Gene Dante) became the god of a town called Thebes. Long story short, Zeus impregnated Semele, killed her with lightning and then gestated their son Dionysus in his “thigh.” Semele’s family assumed she got knocked-up illegitimately and refused to believe that Dionysus was a god. Tiresias (Eric Dwinnells) the oracle tries to warn them but the idiots don’t listen*. This is when all Hell breaks loose. Dionysus drives all the Theban ladies crazypants. They throw an epic party in the mountains and trash the town. Only King Pentheus (Brandon Homer) has the balls to question their antics (lame). It does not end well for anyone – except for Dionysus who finally receives the recognition he deserves. Along the way there’s some cross-dressing, nudity and a tiny bit of bondage. Continue reading

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Jan 16

Performing Fusion Theatre presents the Somerville Theatre Festival

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Performing Fusion Theatre presents the Somerville Theatre Festival, an exciting weekend of short plays, music, food and drink.

Please join us at The Somerville Center for Arts at the Armory on January 24th and 25th, 2014. Show starts at 7:15pm and will showcase the same plays both nights.
Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Cash and credit bar for food/drink.
Free parking is available behind the Armory or in their overflow lot (allow a little extra time!). The Armory is just a 15 minute walk from the Davis T (Redline) and is accessible by several bus lines.

Buy tickets here:
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/somerville-theatre-festival-tickets-8575865645

The plays include:

  • Angled Light, by Andrea Fleck Clardy
  • Take Out The Trash, by Con Chapman
  • Drinks, Dinner, and DNA and Press Pray, by Seth Freeman
  • Caliban’s, by Raymond Salcedo
  • The Space Behind Her Heart, by Steven Simoncic
  • It Doesn’t and The Philosophy of Dog, by George Smart
  • After Death and Another Day in Paradise, by Joe Starzyk

The festival takes place at The Center for Arts at the Armory. You can learn more and get tickets at the festival’s eventbrite page.

Mission

Performing Fusion Theatre’s mission is to promote multiculturalism by producing work that showcases multicultural talent, provides a space for shared culture through the integration of other art forms, and unifies members of the greater Boston community by exposing them to a creative atmosphere which idealizes cultural pluralism and equality. A crucial element to the realization of Performing Fusion’s mission is to encourage intercultural dialogue between all members of the community, while actively giving a voice to our underrepresented members, including women and people of color, and those of the LGBT, disabled, foreign born, and/or otherwise politically alienated identities. Performing Fusion will stage transformative theatre that fosters intercultural value, acceptance and openness to understanding our differences. Our theatre will encourage work which may embody history, but speaks to issues currently affecting the intercultural community.

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Jan 16

“The Haberdasher!” A Tale of Derring-Do

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Photo Credit: Brett Marks

By Walt McGough
Presented by Argos Productions
Directed by Brett Marks
Fight Direction by Angie Jepson

January 11 – 25, 2014
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
949 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston MA
Argos Productions on Facebook

(Boston) Well, this season theatre has really shown Boston that girls can kick some serious butt.  From the A.R.T.’s Robin Hood, to Imaginary Beast’s winter Panto Rumplestiltskin, we’ve seen our share of swashbuckling dames on the Boston stage this winter.  The Haberdasher! doesn’t buck the trend and delivers ungenderbiased asskickery in the form of rapier-crossing adventure and witty banter.

Simply and sweetly: this is a fun show with high entertainment value that would be particularly attractive to the young or young-at-heart. Continue reading

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Jan 15

Potty humor, Puns and a Ripping Good Time: “Rumpelstiltskin, or All That Glitters”

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Photo credit: Roger Metcalf. The cast is wonderful – whether they wore pants or not.

Presented by Imaginary Beasts
Conceived and directed by Matthew Woods
Written by The Ensemble
Choreography by Kiki Samko, Daniel J. Raps, and The Ensemble

January 11 – February 1, 2014
Plaza Black Box Theatre
BCA
Boston, MA
Imaginary Beasts on Facebook

(Boston) The low-brow humor of the pantomime* is not for everyone. Not unlike the like satyr plays of the ancient Greeks, panto isn’t intended to educate an audience but to show it a ripping good time. It’s a celebration of adult immaturity heaping with potty humor, puns and physical comedy. Imaginary Beasts’ winter pantos deliver this and so much more. This year’s treat, Rumpelstiltskin, or All That Glitters, packs in the family-inappropriate funny while also tantalizing the brain with witty pop culture references, dance, and a dash of Alice in Wonderland. You can’t bring a kid to a satyr play but you should bring your baby of any age to Rumplestiltskin. Continue reading

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