Jan 16

The Truth Always Gets Out: MUCKRAKERS

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Photo by Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures

Photo by Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures

Presented as part of the Next Rep Black Box Festival
Written by Zayd Dohrn
Directed by Bridget Kathleen O’Leary

January 10 – February 1
Arsenal Center for the Arts
Watertown, MA
New Rep on Facebook

Trigger warnings: sexual assault, nudity, sexual situations, adult language, suicide, depression, politics, implied violence

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Watertown, MA) This is the 30th season of New Repertory Theatre and the first show in the 2nd annual Next Rep Black Box Festival.  Despite all of the trigger warnings I would highly recommend Muckrakers for adults, particularly those folks interested in exploring the moral issues that are attached to the digital age regarding transparency versus privacy.  Here are the trigger warnings that New Rep provides:  nudity, sexual situations and adult language.  I add onto that these trigger warnings:  implied violence, suicide, depression and politics.  Also, I add on a big, honking trigger warning for people who have been sexually assaulted: you might experience some unpleasant flashbacks. Continue reading

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Jan 14

WORLD MUSIC/CRASHarts presents The Bad Plus, January 24 @ 8PM

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Photo by Jay Fram

Photo by Jay Fram

WORLD MUSIC/CRASHarts presents

The Bad Plus

Performing the Boston premiere of Ornette Coleman’s Science Fiction
With specials guests Tim Berne, Ron Miles, and Sam Newsome

Saturday, January 24, 8pm,
Berklee Performance Center
WORLD MUSIC/CRASHarts on Facebook
The Bad Plus on Facebook

Boston, MA — World Music/CRASHarts presents the Bad Plus performing the Boston premiere of Ornette Coleman’s Science Fiction on Saturday, January 24, 8pm at the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. Tickets are $28-$42. For tickets and information call World Music/CRASHarts at (617) 876-4275 or buy online at www.WorldMusic.org.

Widely heralded for its innovative reworkings of rock, indie, electronica, and modernist classical music, the Bad Plus now turns to Ornette Coleman’s landmark 1972 album Science Fiction to honor the great master of free jazz. Bassist Reid Anderson, pianist Ethan Iverson, and drummer David King pay tribute to Coleman by boldly interpreting Science Fiction song for song, with help from an esteemed horn section of fine improvisers including Tim Berne, alto saxophone; Ron Miles, trumpet; and Sam Newsome, soprano saxophone.

Continue reading

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Jan 13

A Love Letter to the General: “Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass wit of Molly Ivins”

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Photo by Mark S. Howard. MacDonald with Shrub.

Photo by Mark S. Howard. MacDonald with Shrub.

Presented by the Lyric Stage Company of Boston
By Margaret Engel & Allison Engel
Directed by Courtney O’Connor

Jan. 2 – 31, 2015
Boston, MA
Lyric on Facebook
Molly Ivins on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) I’ve already purchased my ticket to see Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass wit of Molly Ivins again. This show is so good that writing a review isn’t enough*. I want the Lyric to have my money. Continue reading

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Jan 12

Breaking up is Hard to Do: THE LAST FIVE YEARS

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The Nextdoor Theater Company

The Nextdoor Theater Company

Presented by Next Door Theater Company
Music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown
Directed by Steve Black
Music Direction by Dan Rodriguez

January 9 – 31, 2015
Next Door Theatre
40-50 Cross Street, Winchester, MA
The Hypocrites on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

The only thing better than seeing a small theatre company be successful is to see it do so because it knows itself. The Last Five Years simply triumphs at Next Door Theatre Company; and you’ll want to be its neighbor before it disappears. Continue reading

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Jan 12

A Winsome Hot Mess: MIDSUMMER

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Midsummergraphic5inPresented by Apollinaire Theatre Company
By David Greig & Gordon MacIntyre
Directed by Danielle Fauteux Jacques
Music Direction & Sound Design by David Reiffel

December 26th – January 18th, 2014
189 Winnisimmet St
Chelsea, MA
Apollinaire on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

Perhaps we’ve never puked at the front door of our sister’s wedding or stolen and spent a mobster’s money on one weekend, but the effervescent play MidSummer makes us wish we had.

Because this play lacks anything resembling pretension, David Greig and Gordon MacIntyre’s well-crafted script and Daniele Fauteux Jacques’ pitch-perfect staging makes us recognize the low notes and high notes of our lives in this 95-minute yarn. There is something surprisingly universal about the story of a low-rent con artist and a desperate divorce lawyer who are thrown together for a lost weekend that enables them to find themselves, if only in the telling. Continue reading

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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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