Mar 20

No Condoms Were Harmed in the Making of This Musical: HELLO AGAIN

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Presented by Bridge Repertory Theatre of Boston
Book, lyrics and music by Michael John LaChiusa
Directed by Michael Bello
Musical direction by Mindy Cimini
Choreography by Stephen Urspung

March 12 – 29, 2014
Boston Center for the Arts
Hall A
Boston, MA
Bridge Rep on Facebook

TRIGGER WARNING: This musical has a lot of sex in it. So much of the sex. Fortunately, it’s all consensual.

(Boston) Not all sex is procreative. Sex should be a really good time for everyone involved*. A lot of it isn’t**. If you fundamentally disagree then stop reading now…

Hello Again presented by Bridge Repertory Theatre is an immersive musical that places the audience in the center of the action. And by “action,” I mean riding the skin-train to orgasm town. That being said, the musical is not actually about sex. It is about what leads to sex, why we do it and with whom we choose to do it. It is art focused on a very specific, necessary act. Continue reading

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Mar 18

Snuggle Inspiring: SOUL MATES

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The Cast of Soul Mates (Laura Menzie, Joe Kidawksi, Angela Keefe and Brett Milanowksi.)

The Cast of Soul Mates (Laura Menzie, Joe Kidawksi, Angela Keefe and Brett Milanowksi.) Photo borrowed from BAT Facebook page.

Presented by Boston Actors Theatre
by Kirsten Knisely
Directed by Caroline L. Price

March 7 – 22, 2014
Boston Center for the Arts
Plaza Black Box
Boston, MA 02116
BAT on Facebook

Trigger warnings for drug use and super fun, adult naked times.

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) In The Symposium, Plato famously describes three human genders (man, woman and androgynous) whose strength equaled that of the gods. They were made of two faces, 4 arms, 4 legs and 2 sets of genitalia. Zeus, rather than kill the humans for pride, uses his lightning to tear them asunder. Their powers halved, humans were cursed to spend the rest of their existence looking for their second half, their “soul mate,” so they could be complete again. Most people assume that their “other half” is their one romantic partner to have and to hold for all time. Life isn’t so simple. People are complicated animals. Continue reading

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Mar 18

Digging Our Graves, Hoping Someone Notices: THE WHALE

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Georgia Lyman and John Kuntz in the SpeakEasy Stage Company production of “The Whale.” Photo by Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
By Samuel D. Hunter
Directed by David R. Gammons

March 7th – April 5th, 2014
The Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
SpeakEasy on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston) No matter what you’ve heard, The Whale is not a play about obesity.  That may be hard to remember when you see a man drowning in his own corpulent flesh, the junk food wrappers strewn around his apartment serving as a testament to his mortal sin. Continue reading

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Mar 17

Awareness is Key: RIGOLETTO

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Michael Mayes as Rigoletto and Nadine Sierra as Gilda; Photo by Eric Antoniou for Boston Lyric Opera

Michael Mayes as Rigoletto and Nadine Sierra as Gilda; Photo by Eric Antoniou for Boston Lyric Opera

Presented by Boston Lyric Opera Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
Directed by Tomer Zvulun
Conducted by Christopher Franklin

March 14 – 23, 2014
Shubert Theatre
Boston, MA
BLO on Facebook

Sung in Italian with projected supertitles in English. Performed in 2 “acts” with 1 intermission.

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) The vocals of BLO’s Rigoletto are simply stunning. In particular, Michael Mayes as the title character and Nadine Sierra (Gilda) were a treasure to hear and watch. Audrey Babcock (Maddalena) smolders! This vocals of the male chorus were powerful but difficult to watch. It appears that they can only emote when given specific direction to do so. The sumptuous costumes by Victoria Tzykun mostly made up for this. Conductor Christopher Franklin leads his orchestra with admirable humility and confidence. His reverence for Verdi is evident from his first step into the pit. Continue reading

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Mar 17

“What Once We Felt” Feels Undercooked

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Photo credit: Jake Scaltreto

Presented by Flat Earth Theatre
By Ann Marie Healy
Directed by Lindsay Eagle

March 14 – 22, 2014
The Davis Square Theatre
255 Elm Street
Somerville, MA
Flat Earth on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Somerville) What Once We Felt is science fiction that distills contemporary anxieties into a thinly veiled future.  The bedrock of Ann Marie Healy’s dystopia, which premieres in Boston for the first time, is literary digitization, a bleak economy with a suppressed lower class, deplorable health care conditions, iPhone obsessions, and some unlikely but remarkable advances in artificial insemination. The play will make an excellent artifact of our age group.  Though the mask this society wears to disguise its relation to our own is transparent, so is the world-building and the logic behind a woman-only, caste-system culture.  The mechanics are questionable, but the anti-utopian horror that Flat Earth Theatre creates is sublimely creepy. Continue reading

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Mar 14

Touch a Dead Bird, Wash Your Hands: THE SEAGULL

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Photo T. Charles Erickson

Photo T. Charles Erickson

Presented by Huntington Theatre Co.
By Anton Chekhov
Translated by Paul Schmidt
Directed by Maria Aitken

March 7 – April 6, 2014
Boston University Theatre
264 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA
Hunting Theatre Co on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Chekhov intended The Seagull play to be a comedy. He wrote a famous letter to his friend Suvorin on October 21, 1895 describing his intent and further elaborated that Seagull would defy the conventions of theatre. No kidding. It is a comedy for the same reasons Springtime for Hitler is a comedy. The one exception being that no Roger DeBris character arrives to save us from our sensibilities. To sum up, without Roger, The Seagull is a drama about people being terrible to each other while lamenting their own misery. In Russia. While discussing the theatrical arts. It isn’t very funny (unless you’re a sadist). What it is, is deeply depressing. Continue reading

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Mar 10

For the Love of Bisexual Seahorses: BULLY DANCE

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Photo by Brett Marks

Presented by Argos Productions
By David Valdes Greenwood
Directed By Sarah Gazdowicz

March 7-22, 2014
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
949 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
Argos on Facebook

 

Trigger Warning: Gunshots are used in this production. Sexual abuse of minors is discussed albeit not in detail.

 

(Boston) The events of Bully Dance are based on the events of a multiple homicide that culminated in a suicide on public transportation in 2006. This is not a light, fluffy or otherwise hope inspiring production. It must be emphasised that playwright David Valdes Greenwood is not attempting to recreate the tragic events. Rather, he has constructed imaginary scenarios that explore the emotional truths of the victims and the survivors. Like an allegorical morality play, this production examines the effects of horrific violence on the heart and mind of Man. Continue reading

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Mar 10

A Very Bardy Soap Opera: BREAKING THE SHAKESPEARE CODE

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Photo by Paul Cantillon, LIDEC Photo

Presented by Vagabond Theatre Group
by John Minigan
Directed by James Peter Sotis

March 6th – 15, 2014
The Factory Theatre

791 Tremont Street
Boston, MA
Vagabond Theatre Company on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston) I went into this show knowing one thing: given the subject matter and my background, I was either going to hate it or love it.  There would be no in between.

I was mostly right.  I hated some things, and loved others.  Let’s go through these items one line at a time, shall we?

Let’s start with the writing: Minigan is definitely writing for Boston.  Much like it’s hard to imagine Avenue Q played anywhere but New York, I have a hard time imaging that audiences in other parts of the country would connect to this show in the same way as Bostonians.  This is doubly odd given that the show premiered at the Orlando Shakespeare Festival and continued on to the Utah Shakespeare Festival where, presumably, it did well enough that it’s back in Boston now.  The dialogue is expertly put together, and it held me in a way that most contemporary pieces don’t (…and not just because it had a passing relationship with my man Will).  My one fault with the piece was this: I left wondering “why?”  Why did I just see this?  Why did we go on this journey?  What was beneath this tale?  I felt like the story was too profound not to have a readily discernable crux; but I just couldn’t understand what that crux was. Continue reading

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Mar 07

Life is But a Dream: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

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Presented by Bristol Old Vic
in association with Handspring Puppet Company
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Tom Morris

March 6th – 15, 2014
ArtsEmerson Cutler Majestic Theatre
Boston, MA
Handspring Puppet Company on Facebook
Bristol Old Vic on Facebook
ArtsEmerson on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston) As much as I love my Willy (and, trust me, there’s no girl in the world who loves Willy more than I do), Midsummer has always been a problematic play for me.

It’s not the language; this play is simply beautiful linguistically with enough famous speeches to keep a casual listener engaged but not so much that it begins to feel like Hamlet (bopping from one pop culture soliloquy to another with nary a breath in between). This play has more rhyming couplets than you can shake a stick at; and natural imagery that can lull even a colicky infant into the show’s titular pleasant reverie. Continue reading

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