Jun 07

More Fun Than Interviewing Pigeons: “The Birds and the Bees”

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Presented by Sleeping Weazel
Written by Kate Snodgrass (Bark), Adara Meyers (Birds), Charlotte Meehan (Beesus)
Directed by Melia Bensussen (Bark & Beesus), Shana Gozansky (Birds)

June 2 – 11, 2016
Plaza Black Box Theater
539 Tremont St
Boston, MA
Sleeping Weazel on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MAThe Birds and the Bees: A Festival of New Plays is good albeit strange theatre. Play #1, The Last Bark is the most concrete of the three plays that make up this production. Birds is post post-modern theatre. Beesus & Ballustrada is even more abstract than Birds. The performances are compelling. The scripts are perplexing. Continue reading

Jun 07

Tracing Lines of Humanity in “Brilliant Traces”

Photo credit: Kyler Taustin

Photo credit: Kyler Taustin

Presented by Brown Box Theatre Project
By Cindy Lou Johnson
Directed by Kyler Taustin

June 4-12, 2016
All performances are free to the public
Atlantic Wharf, 290 Congress Street
Boston, MA
Brown Box Theatre Project on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) A remote cabin in Alaska during a treacherous snowstorm is the perfect setup to isolate the characters in Cindy Lou Johnson’s Brilliant Traces. And while having one of these two people burst in wearing a wedding gown was quite shocking, what was even more captivating about this play was the emotional depths to which it was willing to plunge. Continue reading

Jun 06

Beyond the Bard: “Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)”

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Photo back to front: Victoria George, Lily Odekirk, Marta Rainer* AEA*

Presented by Wellesley Repertory Theatre
Written by Ann-Marie MacDonald
Directed by Nora Hussey

May 26 – June 26
Ruth Nagel Jones Theatre
Wellesley, MA
WRT on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Wellesley, MA) Having just recently completed my own Doctorate in Shakespeare, I can relate deeply to the struggles of Constance Ledbelly, the heroine of Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet).  To those who spend any amount of time studying Shakespeare’s works, the bard’s characters become constant companions; roommates, lovers, friends; nearly corporeal in their presence in our lives.  They haunt us; whispering echoes of themselves on loop day and night; and sometimes (if we are very lucky) revealing secrets of themselves only to us.  These secrets we prize at a worth beyond compare for they are the true goal of such study. Continue reading

Jun 04

Keep Going: “Killer Maples: The Musical”

The Cast of "Killer Maples," photo via http://www.yellingmantheatre.com/

The Cast of “Killer Maples,” photo via http://www.yellingmantheatre.com/

Presented by Yelling Man Theater
Book and lyrics by Trip Venturella
Music by Andres Ramos
Directed by John Scala

June 3-5, 2016
POP Allston
Allston, MA
Yelling Man on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Allston, MA) Killer Maples is a cute chamber musical with exceedingly raw potential. It will eventually be a diamond in the rough. It’s still pressurized coal right now. The creators have a lot of work ahead of them if that’s something they are interested in. The performances set for this weekend are a preview of what the show can become with edits and rewrite for emotional and plot clarity. Continue reading

Jun 01

Caravan Palace is Here for All Your Science Fictional Swing Dance Needs

Presented by WORLD MUSIC/CRASHarts
CARAVAN PALACE
Sunday, May 22, 8:00 pm
House of Blues Boston
15 Lansdowne St., Boston
World Music/CRASHarts on Facebook
Caravan Palace on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) Caravan Palace came out strong the other night when it started its engagement at House of Blues with, “Comics.” The song, simultaneously upbeat and chilling, is a rhythmic single off of their latest album, <|°_°|> [Robot Face]. The energy brought the room up to a high that stayed there through the entirety of the show and two encores. Continue reading

May 31

La Donna è divertente!

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Looking fierce.

La Donna Improvvisata
Presented by ImprovBoston
Starring, improvised by Lisa Flanagan
Musical accompaniment by Mike Descouteaux

May 29, 2016 @11pm
Improv Boston
Cambridge, MA
La Donna on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Cambridge, MAMusical improv is a special permutation of improvisational comedy.   I think it appeals to people who both love comedy and have a lot of experience in listening to different genres of music.  I’ve certainly been subjected to short form musical improv in which the creation of mostly unrelated individual song-scenes  felt much longer than the allotted two minutes.  Stringing short song-scenes together into a long form musical improv set can be challenging even for mid-sized groups to tackle.  Musical abilities and frequently a pianist are required.  One supporting piece that can be useful is the addition of a premise.  In “La Donna Improvvisata,” Lisa Flanagan did a unique send-up of opera tropes entirely with the help of one accompanist on keyboard. Continue reading

May 25

“Mud Blue Sky”: A Comedy About Turbulent Lives

Photo by Marc J. Franklin

Photo by Marc J. Franklin

Presented by Bridge Repertory Theater of Boston
By Marisa Wegrzyn
Directed by Bridget Kathleen O’Leary

May 15-June 5, 2016
Deane Hall, Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Bridge Repertory Theater on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) I tend to get bored easily when watching comedic plays. They need to be clever but relatable, funny but with strokes of brutal honesty. Most times, shows fail to live up to my expectations, but I continue to see them because when one does I have an amazingly good time. Thankfully, Marisa Wegrzyn’s Mud Blue Sky was a perfect example of the latter. Continue reading

May 24

Cirque du Soleil’s “Kurios”: Raising the Tent

Photo by Gillian Daniels

Photo by Gillian Daniels

Exposé by Gillian Daniels

(East Boston, MA) The day I watch the tent raised in Boston, the sky is blue and cloudless. The tent itself is partially up but looks like a deflated balloon. Men and women in hard hats stand around the interior circumference, speaking French Canadian-accented and Boston-tinged English. Continue reading

May 20

On Behalf of Women’s Bodies: IN THE BODY OF THE WORLD

Photo Evgenia Eliseeva.

Photo Evgenia Eliseeva. Ensler transcends. 

Presented by the American Repertory Theater
Written and performed by Eve Ensler
Directed by Diane Paulus

May 10 – 29, 2016
Loeb Drama Center
64 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA
ART on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warnings: nudity not for the purpose of female objectification, implied drug use, graphic depictions of violence and cruelty, raw feminism

(Cambridge, MA) Our iPads, tablets, game consoles, phones and anything else that requires processed natural minerals and metals are the by-products of systematic rape. This is an oversimplified statement but it is true. The ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and complications within the mineral supply chain means that conflict minerals end up in everyday items. The computer I’m using to write this review likely has conflict minerals in it. The device you’re using to read this review likely has conflict minerals in it. By not pushing for a transparent mineral supply chain, we are aiding the conflict in the Congo. By not taking an active stance, we are telling the companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, etc. that we approve of their trade dealings with companies that don’t require transparency. As ignorant consumers, we are part of them problem.   Continue reading

May 17

A Few Eyes Lost Between Brothers: EYES SHUT. DOOR OPEN.

Photo by Marc J. Franklin

Photo by Marc J. Franklin; nothing says family like violent hugs.

Presented by CMS Productions & Wax Wings Productions
Written by Cassie M. Seinuk
Directed by Christopher Randolph

May 13 – 26, 2016
Warehouse XI
11 Sanborn Court
Somerville, MA
ESDO on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Somerville, MA) Eyes Shut. Door Open. was not what I expected. I anticipated a dramatic play about two brothers sorting out their issues after an art exhibit. One of the characters wears an eye patch, I expected some silly pirate jokes and an origin story. There’s a lady in the show. I expected a feminist twist or two. I did not expect to be creepy out of my seat by jaw-clenching psychological thrills. This play starts out tame but it doesn’t stay that way. Continue reading