Jun 10

Blood on the Snow: A journey back in time to Boston’s bloody beginnings

The Cast of Blood on the Snow. Photo by Justin Saglio.

Presented by The Bostonian Society
Written by Patrick Gabridge
Directed by Courtney O’Connor

June 1 – August 20, 2017
The Old State House
Boston, MA
Bostonians on Facebook

Review by Polly Goss

(Boston, MA) It is March 6, 1770, bloodshed, discontent and rebellion bubbles in the air. Four Bostonians lie dead on the streets outside the Council Chamber and British soldiers are held responsible. The people of Boston are sick of British rule, the soldiers and their taxes – they want them out. Inside Governor Hutchinson is faced with an impossible choice: defy his King, or defend his country? This site specific play takes the audience back in time to a forgotten night that helped shaped the course of, not only the city’s history, but the world’s. Blood on the Snow sold out at its world premiere last Spring and returns to The Old State House in Boston this summer. O’Connor’s naturalistic direction is spot on, allowing the audience to be unnoticed voyeurs alongside the table where history was made. Continue reading

Jun 05

Odyssey Opera’s “Patience” is Pitch Perfect

Photo by Kathy Wittman

Odyssey Opera
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Libretto by W.S. Gilbert
Conductor: Gil Rose
Stage Director: Frank Kelley
Choreographer: Larry Sousa

June 2&3, 2017 at 7:30pm
Huntington Avenue Theatre
Boston, MA
Facebook Event

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) After seeing the most recent Gilbert and Sullivan to delight Boston last night, I’ve decided to become an aesthete. One need only find an English poet with opaque poetry to adore, dress in long, flowing garments, talk about the wonders of Aestheticism, lay around, and sigh. But while Patience mocks the women who fawn over pale, tragic poet Reginald Bunthorne (the remarkably funny Aaron Engebreth), it also mocks the Dragoons who are their forgotten fiancees, the vain rival poet Archibald Grosvenor (an airily confident Paul Max Tipton), and the humble, befuddled milk maid, the titular Patience (Sara Heaton), who’s too innocent to understand what the concept of love even is. In short, this is a Gilbert and Sullivan show at its most Gilbert and Sullivan: staunchly lighthearted. Continue reading

Jun 02

An Introvert’s Nightmare: RIPCORD

© Photo: T. Charles Erickson

Presented by Huntington Theatre Co.
By David Lindsay-Abaire
Directed by Jessica Stone
Original music by Mark Bennett
Choreography by Misha Shields

May 26 – June 25, 2017
South End
Calderwood Pavilion of the Arts
Boston, MA
Huntington on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MATimes are not good right now in America. It’s hard being a freedom loving, feminist, liberal during a reign of political terror. Thank goodness there’s escapist theatre that warms the heart and only lightly pings the brain. Ripcord at the Huntington Theatre is just such a show. It isn’t high art. It isn’t activist art. It is a reminder that none of us are free until we’re all free. Continue reading

May 26

Theatre On Fire Presents: THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES

THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES is a genre-defying festival of theatre, movement, music, puppetry and more, united under one theme: take a risk.

Experience one last weekend of chaotic and dangerous, new and re-imagined work where we’ve challenged artists to present work that “scares” them. Featuring one-act and full-length pieces from Imaginary Beasts, Anthem Theatre, Sleeping Weazel, The American Family Happily Institute, Heart & Dagger Productions, Alley Cat Theater, Exiled Theatre, Mass. Theater Experiment, Ingrid Oslund, Fool’s Journey, Travis Amiel & Riley Fox Hillyer, Laura Detwiler, Daniel Morris, and Libby Schap & Caitlin Brzezinski.

Purchase tickets HERE.
Staged readings in the Cabinet Workshop Series are free and open to the public.
When ordering tickets for the readings, use the code FREE.
442 Bunker Hill Street
Charlestown, MA 02129
TOF on Facebook
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Friday, May 26
A trio of performances starting at 8:00pm​
Sleeping Weazel: Nocturne and Nina
Libby Schap and Caitlin Brzezinksi: Flying Lessons
Fool’s Journey: Singing Bones

Pianist and composer Kirsten Volness will play Nocturne, her electroacoustic piece inspired by Madison Cawein’s poem of the same title, and Nina, a three-song cycle tribute to jazz great Nina Simone composed by Judah Adashi.
Flying Lessons is told through shadow puppetry using moving screens and found object puppetry to examine three stories exploring identity and female relationships, inspired by the artwork of Audrey Niffenegger.
Singing Bones is an experimental, devised performance which focuses on direct physical engagement with traditional songs that have personal and/or ancestral significance to the performers.

Saturday, May 27
Mass. Theater Experiment: The Country Wife – 2:00pm
A workshop performance of a modern, sexy adaptation of William Wycherley’s The Country Wife. The smash hit of 1675 London was created in a period of artistic tolerance , but was later considered too immoral to perform. This imaginative, energetic, and spirited ensemble gives the Wife a trim and shapely makeover and adds a few curves of their own; part of the Cabinet Workshop Series.

Daniel Morris: I Am My Own Wife – 5:00pm
The fascinating tale of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a real-life German transvestite who managed to survive both the Nazi onslaught and the repressive East German Communist regime. Actor Gabe Graetz takes on more than 30 characters, staged up close and personal in CWT’s upstairs second stage.

A trio of performances starting at 8:00pm​
Sleeping Weazel: Nocturne and Nina
Libby Schap and Caitlin Brzezinksi: Flying Lessons
Fool’s Journey: Singing Bones

Pianist and composer Kirsten Volness will play Nocturne, her electroacoustic piece inspired by Madison Cawein’s poem of the same title, and Nina, a three-song cycle tribute to jazz great Nina Simone composed by Judah Adashi.
Flying Lessons is told through shadow puppetry using moving screens and found object puppetry to examine three stories exploring identity and female relationships, inspired by the artwork of Audrey Niffenegger.
Singing Bones is an experimental, devised performance which focuses on direct physical engagement with traditional songs that have personal and/or ancestral significance to the performers.

May 23

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in Midspring

The “Mechanicals” in the play within a play: Mac Young, Elle Borders, Monica Giordano, Jake Athyal and a prone Steven Barkhimer. Photo by Nile Scott Shots.

Presented by Actor’s Shakespeare Project
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Patrick Swanson

May 10-June 4, 2017
Multicultural Arts Center
41 Second Street
Cambridge, MA 02141
Actors’ Shakespeare Project on Facebook and Instagram

Review by Travis Manni

(Cambridge, MA) Any fan of Shakespeare’s work knows how malleable his plays are. You could see the same show for years and years and still experience something different each time. In Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s most recent production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, this trend continues. Continue reading

May 19

“The Demon” Serves in Heaven and Raises Hell

Presented by Commonwealth Lyric Theater Orchestra and Chorus PESVEBI Georgian Dance Ensemble
By Anton Rubenstein
Based on a poem by Mikhail Lermontov
Conductor: Lidiya Yankovskaya
Artistic/Stage Director: Alexander Prokhorov
Production Director and Stage Manager: Steven Kunis

May 18th and 20th, 2017 at 8pm
Cutler Majestic Theatre
219 Tremont Street, Boston, MA
Facebook

By Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) In the world of Anton Rubenstein’s The Demon, the danger of Hell is ever-present, princesses are virtuous, princes are valorous, and Heaven is an ethereal step away. Aleksey Bogdanov is the titular Demon, a creature that informs the audience and the angel with whom he spars, Anna Cley, he has chosen freedom over God. In the course of the play, he also chooses Tamara (played with wide-eyed innocence by Zhanna Alkhazova) and upends her life. Continue reading

May 19

Poverty is Not an Indication of Criminality: “Jesus Hopped the A Train”

Photo credit: Alex Aroyan — with Danny Mourino, Dawn Davis, Harry Garo and Daniel Boudreau.

Presented by Praxis Stage
By Stephen Adly Guirgis
Directed by Dayenne C. Byron Walters & Daniel Boudreau

May 4 – 21, 2017
Dorchester Art Project
Dorchester, MA (across from the Field’s Corner T stop)
DAP on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Dorchester, MA) The law isn’t interested in justice. It’s purpose is to execute “due process” as cheaply and swiftly as possible. It is historically, contemporarily, and immediately evident that the law performs based on the golden rule: he with the most gold (and the whitest skin) rules. Poverty means that an innocent man can spend the rest of his life in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. People of color get fucked by the legal system regularly. Praxis Stage’s Jesus Hopped the A Train isn’t fiction. It’s non-fiction utilizing fiction to blast unfortunate truths. Continue reading

May 16

Blessed Be the Patron Saint of Iowa Housewives: “The Bridges of Madison County”

Glenn Perry Photography; Jennifer Ellis & Christiaan Smith.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
Book by Marsha Norman
Music, lyrics and orchestrations by Jason Robert Brown
Based on the novel by Robert James Waller
Directed by M. Bevin O’Gara
Music directed by Matthew Stern
Choreography by Misha Shields

May 6 – June 3, 2017
Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
SpeakEasy on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) The Bridges of Madison County is a musical about sacrifice and neglect. Ladies and gents, if you’re feeling underappreciated, please bring tissues. You’ll need them. Continue reading

May 15

Captivating Recollections: “My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend”

Photo by Meghan Moore

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
By Christian Duhamel and Edward Bell
Conceived and performed by Charissa Bertels
Directed by Sean Daniels

April 26 – May 21, 2017
Merrimack Repretory Theatre
Lowell, MA
MRT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell, MA) A one-person play is like a long blind date – you are stuck with a stranger for the evening, so you inwardly pray beforehand that you’ll like them. But when that one person is actress Charissa Bertels performing her passion project, My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend, you might find yourself cursing time for flying so fast through an entertaining evening. Continue reading

May 12

The Federation of Belligerent Writers Presents The Gauntlet of Belligerence

The Federation of Belligerent Writers Presents The Gauntlet of Belligerence
Rockwell Theatre in Somerville
Saturday, May 13th
Doors at 9:30pm, 21+
$13.50 online, $15 at the door.

Facebook Event

Promo by Gillian “Demoness Bixen” Daniels

(Somerville, MAThe Federation of Belligerent Writers is back at the Rockwell on Saturday, May 13th! I hope you’re ready to chant, dance, and throw things at the stage!

Who are we? FBW!
The Federation is a bracketed style, masked writing tournament. We started as a luchador wrestling-inspired contest at Ralph’s Rock Diner in Worcester. Now we’re so much more. Want to come drink and party with us?

Here’s this months matches:
Match 1: Princess Consuela Bananahammock vs. Shithead the Clown!
The Disney-esque and sublime push-up princess goes head to head with a brand-new competitor, who definitely is not an evil hell clown.

Match 2: Demoness Bixen vs. Space Casey!
Yours truly, trying her best to be despicable and almost certainly failing while wearing demon horns, fights the spaciest, burger-shirt wearing man in the galaxy.

Match 3: Fumblebee vs. El Hermano del Semental!
A sweet, little, murderous bumblebee takes on a horse of a different color, specifically a brony.

Match 4: Amazing vs. Kevin, the FBW Intern!
Innocent, put-upon fangirl goes against innocent, put-upon intern. Who will out-awkward the other?

How does this work?
During each round, two competitors take the stage, one in the red corner, the other in the blue. Three words are chosen at random by MCs Cassie Tai Tortorici as Becky, a Starbucks-and-gin-swilling, foul-mouthed stage manager, and Ethan White as “El Locutor Fabulso,” also known as “That Guy.”

Competing writers have five minutes to write virtually anything in any style within the scope of their characters as long as they use said words. During the round, the audience is encouraged to throw balls at the stage and dance.

At the end of five minutes, each writer is asked to share what they’ve committed to paper, laptop, or memory. Then, the audience votes on who will advance and who will not.

Buy a drink, pull up a chair, and come decide their fate this Saturday

Queen’s Note:
We elected a thin-skinned bigot to the office of the President dead set on turning our “democracy” into a fascist, totalitarian oligarchy dominated by the 1%. Trump is a monster. His policies, when he names them, are destructive. His narcissistic behavior is more so.

Congressional “negotiators” released a spending bill that saves the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for Humanities, and National Public Radio until September at which time, the President and his impotent cronies may still cut arts funding. It is ever important to remain vigilant. And, for the love of all that’s sacred, keep creating. If you need help, ask for it. Our existence is our resistance. May the force be with you. – KD

TCG has a list of things you can do to help.

#blacklivesmatter #translivesmatter #brownlivesmatter #yellowlivesmatter #lgbtqialivesmatter #immigrantlivesmatter #muslimlivesmatter #disabledlivesmatter #theatreartsmatter #NODAPL