Jan 12

Happily Ever After A Few Slip Ups: “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”

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Photo: Jim Cox Martin; Martin Moran, Candy Buckley, Marcia DeBonis, and Tyler Lansing Weaks

Photo: Jim Cox Martin; Martin Moran, Candy Buckley, Marcia DeBonis, and Tyler Lansing Weaks

Presented by Huntington Theatre Company
By Christopher Durang
Directed by Jessica Stone
Based on the Broadway direction of Nicholas Martin

Jan. 2 – Feb. 1, 2015
BU Theatre
Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA
Huntington on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
– Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Boston has seen a lot of brilliantly performed Chekhov and Chekhov-adjacent theatre in the past two years. His dramatic writing style is sadistic and depressive,  yet he inspires new generations anyway. The Russian tragedian also wrote comedy. He wrote several handfuls of short, comedic plays and an anthology worth of short stories.

There’s a tie in between the Huntington’s 2014 production of The Seagull and the 2015 production of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (VSMS). Durang’s “corny but sincere” play touches the soul similarly as The Seagull but does so with a vastly different effect; It warms the heart rather than chill the bones. It’s an entirely different beast using the same moving parts and ingredients. Continue reading

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Jan 02

Church Class Recovery: SISTER’S CHRISTMAS CATECHISM – THE MYSTERY OF THE MAGI’S GOLD

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Photo c/o Spectacle Management

Photo c/o Spectacle Management

Presented by Spectacle Management
Sister’s Christmas Catechism online
Written by Vicki Quade and Maripat Donovan
Directed by Marc Silvia

December 16 – 31, 2014
The Larcom Theatre
Beverly, MA
Spectacle Management on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly, MA) What is it about the simple black-and-white getup of the nun’s habit that makes its inhabitant seem so powerful? The nun has become a fixture in theatre and film because the costume demands attention. Continue reading

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Dec 27

The ImprovBoston Holiday Spectacular

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IB spectacular

Photo credit: Scott Istvan; About half of the cast: they have a lot of joy to cram down your pie hole.

Presented by ImprovBoston
Improv director: John Serpico
Writers: Jamie Loftus, Dave Grinstead, Andy Hughes, Allen McRae, Ramy Abdelghani, Scott Kremer, Steve Sarro
Original score by Steve Sarro
The Cast: Ryan Burrill, Dave Grinstead, Ashley Voltz, Alex Tennant, Dennis Hurley, Shiyan Bee, Amanda Sousa, Andy Short,Matt Fear, Ian Dyer, Lydia Jane Graeff, Danny Balel

Nov. 28 – Dec. 27, 2014
40 Prospect St
Cambridge, MA
IB on Facebook
Holiday Spectacular on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warning: Shock humor alluding to blood and feces, child abandonment, Regis Philbin

(Cambridge, MA) December is a magical time of year. It’s alive with childlike wonder, joy and deep-seated loathing for the holiday obligation to spend every waking moment with your family who all are either sick or getting over something in a tiny house and the promise of no social boundaries. Everyone needs an excuse to get out of the house to let off some steam, so why not head over to ImprovBoston to check out their Holiday Spectacular show this week to beat the desperation before it hits? While not exactly spectacular, it is very fun. Continue reading

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Dec 19

No NPR Regurgitation Here: WRITING HOME

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Presented by Ministry of Theatre
Written by Donna Daley, Alexandria Victoria Wong, Denice Lowery, Renee Luv, Pris Olivia, Veronica Pruitt, Shorty, Jes Ryan, Odelle Weaver
Music directed by Marissa Wahkuna
Choreography by Angelica Potter
Created and directed by Misch Whitaker

Dec. 18 – 21, 2014
Boston Playwright’s Theatre
949 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA
Ministry of Theatre on Facebook
On The Rise on Facebook
More Than Words on Facebook
Stories Without Roofs on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) During the height of Occupy Boston’s reign in Dewey Square, a friend told me a story about the transition of Dewey Square into public park space. Her story goes that the question of homeless people was brought to the Board managing construction. The Board almost unanimously decided that the Homeless shouldn’t be considered in their planning. One lone soldier of justice spoke up to say that the Homeless needed to exist somewhere. The soldier continued that Rich people didn’t want them in the private sector. Rich people didn’t want them in the public sector either. Should the Board kill them? The Board was shocked. No, of course the Homeless shouldn’t be killed. The Homeless should simply be somewhere else so the Rich wouldn’t have to think of them. The soldier of justice demanded to know where the Homeless should exist in order to please the Board. The Board then unanimously decided that maybe it was beneficial to consider the Homeless in their plans.

I have no idea if this story is actually true or if it’s a fantastical story created during a time when Boston was at its most activist. The moral still rings true: there are no worthless people; there are only people willing to treat others like they are worthless because it’s convenient. One doesn’t have to be rich think ill of someone in differing circumstances than their own. We’ve all done it and we should all make the conscious, continuous effort to stop. Class warfare is real. Continue reading

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Dec 15

No, Thank YOU Susan: NECCESARY MONSTERS

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Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo

Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Co.
By John Kuntz
Directed by David R. Gammons
Dramaturgy by Walt McGough

Dec.5, 2014 – Jan. 3, 2015
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
SpeakEasy on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warning: Strobe lighting, smoking, unsexy sex, murder, drugs, wiring from an electrical engineer’s worst nightmare

(Boston, MA) The proverb goes, “some people are only alive because it is illegal to kill them*.” The majority of the people who advertise that they apply this statement to their life philosophies are frequently ignorant, bigoted and deeply stupid. One just doesn’t say such things (lest your friends and loved ones think you’re one of them. No one wants to be considered one of them). That doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t agree. On the contrary, we frequently do but refuse to publicly admit it because our Mommies taught us better than that. We only admit we agree with this proverb in the quiet of the night, privately and alone. But it’s true isn’t it? There are certain people that we believe are bad and therefore must be stopped. Sometimes it’s a terrible man like Hitler, and sometimes it’s Celia in 24B across the hall with her 4 incessantly yapping corgis, 2am vacuuming, and magazine stealing habits. Sometimes Celia, and what she represents, must die. It’s thoughts like these that fuel Necessary Monsters. Continue reading

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Dec 08

Delightfully Off-Kilter: “13 Things About Ed Carpolotti”

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Photo by Meghan Moore.

Photo by Meghan Moore.

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Book, Music and Lyrics by Barry Kleinbort
Based on a play by Jeffrey Hatcher

November 28 – December 21, 2014
50 East Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA
MRT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell, MA) It’s one thing to create a play that mimics the feeling of being trapped in a conversation with someone who is batty; it’s another to make such a play entertaining. As the play 13 Things About Ed Carpolotti demonstrates, the difference is all in the storytelling prowess of the off-putting character. Continue reading

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Dec 08

“Distant Neighbors” and Close Encounters

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Sheldon Brown (Adams) & Louise Hamill (Talia). Photo by E. Milanovich Photography

Presented by Fresh Ink Theatre
Written by Patrick Gabridge
Directed by Liz Fenstermaker

December 5 – 13, 2014
Boston Playwrights Theatre
949 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA
Fresh Ink on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

Fresh Ink Theatre’s Distant Neighbors hits at the heart of what the best science fiction is about: people reacting to technological advancement.  If you read (or watch the film adaption of) Jurassic Park, you’re not just consuming entertainment to see how people create dinosaurs, but how people react to creating dinosaurs.  Similarly, the characters of Distant Neighbors react to a change in an intimate environment.  Here, however, the source of upheaval is the wing of an apparent spacecraft that comes crashing down into the backyards of Adams (Sheldon Brown), Talia (Louise Hamill), and Griffin (Daniel Boudreau), three neighbors who know nothing about each other.  It’s a wonderful starting point for a story about intimacy and paranoia, but I’m not sure it pans out well.

Continue reading

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Dec 08

A Tangible Metaphor: THE SLEEPRUNNER

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Sleeprunner_4

Merli V. Guerra and the cast perform Luminarium Dance Company’s The Sleeprunner. Photo: Ryan Carollo.

Presented by Luminarium Dance Company
Choreography by Merli V. Guerra & Kimberleigh A. Holman
Music arranged by Merli V. Guerra, Kimberleigh A. Holman, Christos Zevos

December 5 – 13, 2014
Multicultural Arts Center
41 Second St, Cambridge MA
Luminarium on Facebook

1hr, 20 mins. no intermission

Review by Kitty Drexel

“Well dreams, they feel real while we’re in them, right? It’s only when we wake up that we realize how things are actually strange. Let me ask you a question, you, you never really remember the beginning of a dream do you? You always wind up right in the middle of what’s going on.”

-Cobb, Inception (2010) written and directed by Christopher Nolan

(Cambridge, MA) In the director’s note, Merli V. Guerra and Kimberleigh A. Holman describe the most relatable elements of the Sleeprunner as “sleep, dreams, and the surreal.” The production incorporates the human need for sleep, modern dance, and tech design to create a tangible metaphor for a universal experience. At times grotesque but always beautiful, this production explores through motion what it is to experience a deep, meaningful rest. Continue reading

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Dec 05

Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays, December 9, at 7:30pm @ Club Cafe

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STANDING ON CEREMONY: THE GAY MARRIAGE PLAYS
Written by: Mo Gaffney, Jordan Harrison, Moisés Kaufman, Neil LaBute, Wendy MacLeod, José Rivera, Paul Rudnick, and Doug Wright
Conceived by: Brian Shnipper
Produced by: Happy Medium Theatre
www.happymediumtheatre.com

Directed by: Mikey DiLoreto, Danielle Lucas, Lesley Moreau, and Zach Winston
Performed by: Kendall Aiguier, Michael Amaral, Brian M. Balduzzi, Kitty Drexel, Matt Fagerberg, Nicole Howard, Kim Klasner, and Zach Winston

(Boston, MA) Happy Medium Theatre (HMT) proudly announces a one-night-only, free staged reading of Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays on Tuesday, December 9, at 7:30pm, in the Moonshine Room of Club Café, 209 Columbus Avenue, Boston.

About the Production:
Saying two simple words might be the biggest challenge of your life. But what if the battle started before saying “I do,” and continued long after the ceremony? In Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays, prolific playwrights Moisés Kaufman (The Laramie Project), Paul Rudnick (Jeffrey), and Neil LaBute (The Shape of Things), among others, offer their own unique takes on the issues of equality, the universality of love, and the challenges and humor of living with someone for a lifetime. These short plays form an evening of theatre ripe for discussion, following the current legislation and litigation across the United States revolving around marriage equality.

A panel discussion will follow the staged reading, led by:

  • Attorney Janson Wu, Executive Director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
  • Professor Katharine B. Silbaugh, Professor of Law at Boston University School of Law
  • Mal Malme, Co-Founder of Queer Soup Theatre & Performer

 

“All you have to do is listen, shed an occasional tear and laugh a lot. There is something for everybody. . . . STANDING ON CEREMONY holds a magnifying glass to the highs and lows, joys and fears, courage and silliness, of people bucking trends and making history.” – THE NY OBSERVER

STANDING ON CEREMONY: THE GAY MARRIAGE PLAYS
A Free Staged Reading
Happy Medium Theatre
Tuesday, December 9, at 7:30pm
The Moonshine Room of Club Café, 209 Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA 02116
Panel Discussion following the 90-minute production

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Dec 05

Kissing Ass and Dropping Names: “The Tale of The Allergist’s Wife”

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Photo credit: Mark S. Howard

Photo credit: Mark S. Howard. Their mortgage must be astronomical!

Presented by the Lyric Stage Company of Boston
By Charles Busch
Directed by Larry Cohen

Nov. 21 – Dec. 20, 2014
Boston, MA
The Lyric on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warnings: nontraditional sexy times, liberal politics, poop jokes

(Boston, MA) Just as Busch’s other works, The Tale of The Allergist’s Wife features a diva resplendent in her advancing glamour, highly stylized hilarity, and juxtaposes low brow against high brow comedy. There is an overwhelming amount of name dropping (philosophers, celebrities, book titles, places, historical events) but this is de rigeur for Busch’s work. Allergist’s Wife wastes no time explaining anything but the emotional realities of its characters (which are diverse and complicated). It’s the product one would get if you bleached the crap out of How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, tossed in a quartet of rich Manhattan intelligentsia, and sauteed in a heaping spoonful of scatological humor. Allergist’s Wife is a highly enjoyable production if you can settle your stomach and keep up.   Continue reading

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