Apr 05

imaginary beasts’ “Alice in Wonderland”

alice

Created by the Manhattan Theatre Project
Based on the novel by Lewis Carroll
Presented by Imaginary Beasts
Directed by Matthew Woods

April 1 – 23, 2016
Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street, Boston
Imaginary Beasts on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) It is no small challenge to take on a piece with so much cultural baggage as Alice in Wonderland.  Audiences have seen, heard, and read this story over and over again from our childhoods unto the present day.  Alice is everywhere in so many forms that adding something new to the tale is a Herculean task.  Unfortunately, I don’t think that artistic director Matthew Woods quite had a handle on it. Continue reading

Apr 01

Geeks Review Books: Suzan-Lori Parks’ “The Book of Grace”

Review of The Book of Grace by Suzan-Lori Parks
Published by Theatre Communications Group (TCG)
New York, NY
$14.95

Review by Kitty Drexel

The Book of Grace is a three-person drama set in rural Texas near the Mexican/American border. Grace is a kind-hearted waitress who stubbornly believes in hope and the human capacity for good. She invites her step-son Buddy home to reunite with his father, Vet. Vet is an honored border security guard obsessed with the wall with abusive tendencies. Buddy is the adult-son, military dropout that Vet abandoned for a new life with Grace. While all three search for common ground, Vet’s unforgivable sins surface to haunt their new lives. The Book of Grace is a companion piece to Parks’ Topdog/Underdog. Continue reading

Mar 22

“MBTA Musical”: For the T-Hating Bostonian in All of Us

Photo from the 2012 production at Oberon.

Photo from the 2012 production at Oberon.

Presented by ImprovBoston
Music and Lyrics by Melissa Carubia
Directed by John Michael Manship
Musical Direction by Shannon Jacob

February 26-May 20, 2016
Cambridge, MA
ImprovBoston on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Cambridge, MA) When I found out that the MBTA was going to cut Friday and Saturday extended hours, I wept for at least 5.5 seconds. My displeasure quickly morphed into absolute fury with the board members for making such a rash decision that effects hundreds of workers, students, and other Bostonians. I was revved up to come see the performance of ImprovBoston’s T-shaming show, T: An MBTA Musical and it was the perfect slap-in-the-face comeback to Boston’s poor excuse for public transit that I could’ve received. Continue reading

Mar 21

Catching the Beat: THE REALNESS: A BREAK BEAT PLAY

 Photo by Meghan Moore.

Photo by Meghan Moore.

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Written by Idris Goodwin
Directed by Wendy C. Goldberg

March 16 – April 10, 2016
50 East Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA
MRT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell, MA) The power of hip hop as an art form comes from seizing the rhythm of the moment. The same could be said for The Realness: a break beat play, which is making its world premiere in Lowell. Writer Idris Goodwin has embedded a few dozen profound beats in this play, and it is a beautiful thing to watch when this cast catches one, and then another; the stage crackles to life in these moments. Often, however, it feels like these beats have yet to be uncovered on stage, making this play feel like a work in progress. Rarely do I wish to go back to see a play with the same cast, but I’d like to see how this production grows toward the end of its run in Lowell. Continue reading

Mar 19

One Lick of “Bootycandy” and You’re Hooked

Photo credit: Glenn Perry Photography

Photo credit: Glenn Perry Photography

Presented by Speak Easy Stage Company
Written by Robert O’Hara
Directed by Summer L. William

March 12-April 9, 2016
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Speak Easy on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) Growing up gay and black is a very specific experience, and not one with which I will ever be able to identify. But Robert O’Hara’s hilarious and honest show gives the closest to an authentic experience anybody could possibly get. Continue reading

Mar 19

“Lesbians”: Living in an Elementary School Near You

Photo credit: Jake Scaltreto

Photo credit: Jake Scaltreto

Presented by Flat Earth Theatre
Written by Gina Young
Directed by Mariagrazia LaFauci

March 11-26, 2016
Arsenal Center for the Arts
Flat Earth Theatre on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Watertown, MA) This play is super gay. I mean, yeah it’s really funny, and mega 90s, but it is super gay. And that is why it was pretty damn amazing. Continue reading

Mar 18

Songs, Storytelling, and Riffing on Stupid Movies: UN-SHOWCASE Comes to Arlington April 8

9873_10153275267177294_6276132035994547684_nMarch 14, 2016, Arlington, MA—Unreliable Narrator, the home of strange, homemade theatre in the
Boston area, presents UN-Showcase, Friday April 8 at 8 PM. Performances are at Arlington Center
for the Arts at 41 Foster Street in Arlington, MA, 02474.

Tickets are $10, available at http://www.unreliable-narrator.com or by phone at (800) 838-3006. More information can be found by phone at (617) 386-9595, or online at http://www.unreliable-narrator.com.

UN-Showcase is a grab bag of local DIY artists. See the work of excellent local storytellers, musicians,
and other fine performers, capped off by Unreliable Narrator’s first experiment with a great form of
comedy: live, scripted riffing of bad short films.

This artistically robust evening is also a celebration of Unreliable Narrator’s 2016 season and will feature
scenes from the next UN show Ultimate Things, which comes to Boston Playwrights Theatre in July.
UN-Showcase is an Unreliable Narrator tradition, but the live movie-riffing group is something we’ve
never tried before.” says producer Carl Danielson. “Watching crazy talented people doing their thing is
a great way to spend a spring Friday night.”

The night’s featured performers are:
Folk musician Audrey Ryan.
Author Patrick Gabridge, reading from his novel Moving.
Indie-rock musician The Pluto Tapes, playing songs from his new album ‘The Dawnzer Lee Light.’
Storyteller Jenny Gutbezahl.
Electronic musician JOSS.
The short film-based comedy of the UN Movie Riffing Group: comedians Jenny Gutbezahl, Brian
Rust, and Joye Thaller.

Founded in 2008, Unreliable Narrator produces strange, homemade theater in and around Boston. Their
most recent production was 2014’s Human Contact: Short Sci-Fi Plays at Boston Playwrights’
Theatre. Other productions include 2010: Our Hideous Future: The Musical!, which began at Boston
Playwrights’ Theatre in 2010 and played at several venues across the northeast over the following two
years; 2008’s Schmolitics; 2009’s Paranormal; and 2011’s The Way of the Warrior Bunny.

Mar 14

“The Launch Prize”: Everybody Wins

photo credit: Andrew Brilliant

photo credit: Andrew Brilliant

Presented by Bridge Repertory Theater of Boston
Written by MJ Halberstadt
Directed by Tiffany Nichole Greene

March 3-20, 2016
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts

Review by Travis Manni

A note from the Queen Geek: Dear good people of Bridge Rep, my most sincere apologies for the very late posting of this review! I have been on vacation in England and have been unable to post until now.

(Boston, MA) The closest I’ve ever been to an art exhibition opening was during an elementary school field trip to an art museum at least 10 years ago, or more recently when I lived the experience vicariously through the season 3 premiere of Broad City. I’m not a huge art buff, but I do enjoy the arts, so The Launch Prize was a welcoming experience that merged both of these worlds with the theme of race at its epicenter. Continue reading

Mar 14

The Good Ship: H.M.S. PINAFORE

photo credit: Evgenia Eliseeva

photo credit: Evgenia Eliseeva

Presented by The Hypocrites
By Gilbert and Sullivan
Directed by Sean Granny
Co-Adapted by Sean Graney, Andra Velis Simon, and Matt Kahler
Co-Directed by Thrisa Hod its
Music Directed by Andra Velis Simon

March 8 – 20, 2016
The Oberon
2 Arrow Street, Cambridge MA
The Hypocrites on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosalie

A note from the Queen Geek – My apologies to the good people of The Hypocrites and Oberon. I have been on vacation in England and was not able to post the review until now. Mademoiselle Rosvally was perfectly punctual with her writing. It is my posting that is at fault. Please forgive me!

(Cambridge, MA) Ladies and gentlemen, I got my wish.  You might remember last year about this time when The Hypocrites came to town with their glorious production of The Mikado that I expressed a hopeful prayer that Boston might lure them back with their production of H.M.S. Pinafore.  Apparently someone in operetta heaven was listening, because (oh wonder of wonders) they came!  They sang!  And they conquered! Continue reading

Mar 07

Gallivanting Amongst the Cakes: CAKEWALK

Photo by Richard Hall/Silverline Images

Photo by Richard Hall/Silverline Images, contestants and their cakes

Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company
Written by Colleen Curran
Directed by David J. Miller

Feb. 26 – March 19, 2016
Plaza Back Box
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Zeitgeist on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) It is Independence Day 1984. The ladies of a small town in Vermont have won a place in the annual cakewalk competition and are patiently awaiting the critique of guest judge, Julia Child. First prize is a glamorous trip for two to Paris, France. Among the other prizes are a lifetime supply of flour and accolades from the citizenship for an entire year. Most of the gang looks forward to the friendly competition. Ruby Abel (Kelley Estes) is out for blood. Ready to slow down her paranoid manipulations are fellow contestants Martha (Aina Adler), Augusta (Maureen Adduci) and Leigh (Victoria George). Taylor (Matt Fagerberg) just wants to find the registration room. Each has their own secrets to keep and insecurities to air. A seemingly safe summer fair turns into a conundrum of colliding small town politics. 
Continue reading