Whew! Thanks for sticking with me, readers! Welcome to the Epic Conclusion of Dani’s Grand Bardopalooza Adventure: 2K14. Over three days, I have attended and reviewed three different American Shakespeare remixes. Tonight’s grand finale: Romeo Juliet presented by The Hypocrites at Club Oberon.
(Cambridge) Let’s start here: this is probably best titled a “remix” of Shakespeare’s play rather than a straight-up performance or adaptation. Sean Graney took the original text, cut it, cropped it, zoomed in on some things, and re-arranged everything else to befit the story he wanted to tell. And, as I said in my review of 12 Nights, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that treatment. As an audience member, you should just be aware that you’re not going to be seeing Shakespeare on this stage; you’re going to be seeing work inspired by a timeless story. As such, I think familiarity with the source text is a must. I definitely saw plenty of kids in the audience, but I wasn’t certain that this was the best vehicle for introducing our well-known story to them. The story itself, in this form, felt rushed and improbable; like Graney was trying to slot too many elements into his slim sixty-minute time window. There were moments that even I barely followed (and that’s saying something). Continue reading →
Welcome back dear readers! I am reporting to you from day two of Dani’s Grand Bardopalooza Adventure: 2K14. Over three days, I will attend and review three different American Shakespeare remixes. Tonight’s Oreo filling show: 12 Nights presented by The Hypocrites at Club Oberon. Stop back later this week to catch the stunning conclusion of this Epic Shakes-Series.
(Cambridge)Watch out, Boston; The Hypocrites are back in town.
After their stunning production of The Pirates of Penzance (first performed at Oberon in June 2012, then again on the A.R.T. main stage this past May), I had high expectations for 12 Nights. The Hypocrites excel at high-octane performance which engages and illuminates for audiences who might otherwise have given this style of theatre a miss. As such, I thought that Shakespeare was a perfect fit for this Chicago-based company. What better way to interest people in the Bard than to introduce them at a Hypocritical party. Continue reading →
Presented by Moonbox Productions
Music & lyrics By Stephen Sondheim
Book by George Furth
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick
Directed by Allison Olivia Choat
Music directed by Dan Rodriguez
Super fun choreography by Rachel Bertone
(Boston) They say that Stephen Sondheim is one of those composers that people either love or hate. I disagree. There is so much in his catalogue that there could easily be something for everyone. Company, like Sondheim himself, is one of those shows that people have decided others love or hate. Again, I disagree. There are many moments in Company that are golden. Some are not. Depending how much one enjoys Sondheim (or not) opinion fluctuates greatly. This production by Moonbox has several golden moments that I feel reflect the truths Sondheim sharing in his musical. Other moments are not so effective. Continue reading →
Hello dear readers; I am reporting to you from the front lines of Dani’s Grand Bardopalooza Adventure: 2K14. Over the next three days, I will be attending three different American Shakespeare remixes and reviewing them right here just for you. First up: Chicago’s Improvised Shakespeare Company. Stop back later this week to catch the rest of this Epic Shakes-Series.
(Cambridge) I have wanted to see the Improvised Shakespeare Company in performance for years. Years. They’ve fallen on and off my radar several times since I first discovered their existence and, despite my living in veritable theatre Meccas for the entirety of my earthly existence, I’ve not yet had a chance to catch their show. Continue reading →
From the Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental Website:
“On September 27, 1849, Edgar Allan Poe set out on a lecture tour from Virginia to New York. Days later a train conductor saw Poe in Havre de Grace, Maryland, wearing a stranger’s clothing and heading south to Baltimore where he died on October 7.”
(Boston) Boston is the birthplace of E.A. Poe. He was born on Boylston St. not far from the Paramount Center Mainstage theater. The building is commemorated by a small plaque. It’s fitting then that Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental brought Red-Eye to Havre de Grace, a macabre but unique perspective into the abstraction of the writer’s brain, to Poe’s home. Continue reading →
Does Interference work as a play? No, but I’m not sure if it’s meant to cohere as the kind of story with a single start and finish. Liars and Believers have created an immersive experience with mixed results, one that works well enough when staged at a fantastic venue like the Oberon. Similarly to Lunar Labyrinth, though, the last effort I saw by Liars and Believers, Interference is a series of vignettes inspired by a single work. Here, the theater group takes its cues from Pablo Picasso’s 1937 painting, “Guernica.” Continue reading →
Photo: Gretjen Helene Photography; Adeola Role with Griffin Matthews and Emma Hunton.
Presented by American Repertory Theatre
By Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews
Directed by Diane Paulus
Music Directed by Remy Kurs
Choreography by Darrell Grand Moultrie
Based on true events.
February 4 – March 16, 2014 ASL Interpreted performances: Tues, March 4 at 7:30pm; Sun, March 9 at 2:00pm. Audio Described performances: Wed, March 5 at 7:30pm; Sat, March 8 at 2:00pm. Loeb Drama Center
64 Brattle St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
A.R.T. on Facebook Witness Uganda on Facebook
Review by Kitty Drexel
(Cambridge)In Witness Uganda, Griffin (character inspired by co-creator Griffin Matthews) goes to Uganda on a mission to build a school for needy children. He hopes to make the world a better place and find life purpose. He discovers that American aid workers are not building schools for the community. The Ugandan children are not receiving an education. Together, Griffin, his best friend Ryan and a group of orphans fight to better the lives of Ugandans. Witness Uganda is about the complications of international giving in third world countries, the role community plays on a global scale, and Man’s eternal struggle for purpose. Continue reading →
February 7 – March 1, 2014
Chelsea Theatre Works
189 Winnisimmet Street Chelsea, MA
Apollinaire on Facebook
Review by Craig Idlebrook
(Chelsea) We cling to words as if they were a trail of breadcrumbs in a deep, dark forest. The cadence of conversations is the most important music in our lives. The collective expectation of how words flow in human speech, hardwired into our brains, can be the playwright’s best friend or worst enemy. As soon as a script is spoken aloud, the dialogue is judged for whether or not it rings true. If, however, the script can present a few verbal twists and turns that take us to unexpected places, the playwright has the audience eating out of the palm of his/her hand. Continue reading →
(Boston) Absence, Peter M. Floyd’s first full length play, is a multi-layered and filmic production at Boston Playwright’s Theatre which was both a terror and a joy to see.
At a slim 90 minutes without intermission, it is finely focused on Helen, who in her 70s experiences the slowly squeezing hand of time on her body and mind, but not her soul. Kippy Goldfarb, who stepped up when Joanna Merlin took ill, as Helen is a clear and self-possessed woman, and it is hard to believe that Helen could, in fact, be suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s at all. Helen’s passion play is underscored by a serious exploration of how her family and herself must undertake to keep her as safe and as sane as possible. Continue reading →
With apologies to Fresh Ink Theatre Company. The Queen Geek was waylaid by illness and could not complete her review until now.
(Boston) Handicapping by James McLindon combines three heavy subjects into one script: gambling addiction, physical incapability, and the deep holes we dig ourselves when we deny reality. It is a short but effective play. From the moment the lights come up, with the help of the Fresh Ink crew, McLindon’s script relentlessly reveals the exacting scarcity that is his cast and plot. There is no hope for the denizens of the betting booth. There is hope for the audience. Continue reading →