Feb 11

Characters Takes Center Stage in “Glass Menagerie”

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photo credit: Michael Lutch

photo credit:Michael Lutch

Presented by American Repertory Theater

By Tennessee Williams
Directed by John Tiffany
Choreography by Steven Hoggett

February 2, 2013 to March 17, 2013
Loeb Drama Center
64 Brattle Street, Harvard Square

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Cambridge) In Tennessee Williams’s tragicomedy, The Glass Menagerie, my sympathy has often been with the antagonist, Amanda, here played by Cherry Jones.  Raised as a spoiled Southern belle given no higher goal than to be a wealthy wife, Jones’ Amanda has a sadly stunted maturity about her.  She isn’t prepared to deal with life outside the Antebellum South.  She’s at a loss when her children’s needs deviate so sharply from the accepted norms. Continue reading

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Feb 11

“Cinderella” Goes to Harvard

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dunster

presented by the Dunster House Opera at Harvard University
Cendrillon by Jules Massenet

Directed by Katherine Moon ’14
Music Directed by George Fu ’13
Produced by Stephanie Havens ’14 and Marina Chen ’15

February 9 – 6th at 8:30 p.m.
Dunster House, Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Review by Nicola McEldowney

(Cambridge) The thing about going to a college production is this: it takes place at college. Therefore, coming into this production, I felt a great sense of trepidation, because I recently got over my own bout with college and I am still susceptible to triggers. Fortunately, I only have a few symptoms left: occasional twitching, a diploma and a pair of college-apparel socks. But here, it was dangerous: there were post-college stress disorder triggers everywhere. There were all the trappings of university life: the dining hall (where the production took place), the ill-rendered student council campaign poster deftly incorporating the “M-F” word, and of course, the nearly-full take-out container of sushi casually tossed in the trash. This kind of thing can transport you back to your own college days with the kind of nostalgia so profound it requires Kaopectate. Continue reading

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Feb 10

Snowpocalypse/Snowmageddon/Snowzilla 2013: Cabin Fever Edition

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The New England Theatre Geek presents:

Terrific Moments in History

THE GREAT EMU WAR

They will get you

They will get you.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you an historic event of terror so great that the public school system deems it unacceptable teaching material.

In 1932, Australia was overrun by a population of emus so horrifying that soldiers recently returned from World War I were employed to eradicate the emu nuisance. The resulting conflict was dubbed the Emu War. My friends, the humans had machine guns, recent war experience, and the language skills; the emus had tiny brains and natural instincts.  Using guerrilla tactics such as remaining out of firing range and clumping into small groups, the emus outsmarted the humans. The emus WON.

Let this be a lesson to us all.

They look cute now. Will they be so cute in guerrilla warfare?

They look cute now. Will they be so cute in guerrilla warfare?

This posting of a random act of history is brought to you by cabin fever, a dearth of performances to review (due to the weather), and gross amounts of caffeine. The New England Theatre Geek will resume posting performance reviews once New England area theaters have been dug out of their snowy catacombs.

At least it isn’t raining spiders.

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Feb 06

“Fire On Earth” and at the Stake

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Photo by Rebecca Bradshaw, with James Fay, Bob Mussett and Omar Robinson

Photo by Rebecca Bradshaw, with James Fay, Bob Mussett and Omar Robinson

Presented by Fresh Ink Theatre

Written by Patrick Gabridge
Directed by Rebecca Bradshaw

The Factory Theatre
Boston, MA
February 1-16, 2013
Fresh Ink Theatre Facebook Page

Review by Gillian Daniels

WARNING: Scenes of torture.

(Boston) I’ve always been skeptical of the “martyr” concept but enjoy it when it’s depicted well.  A martyr trades one life for an immortal one, living beyond death through the ideas he championed in life.  He’s not always a hero and he doesn’t always come from a selfless place, but he sacrifices himself all the same.

In Patrick Gabridge’s Fire On Earth, William Tyndale (Bob Mussett) works to translate the Bible into English.  It’s 1524, King Henry VIII is contemplating divorce from his first wife, and the Catholic Church has a stranglehold on the Latin Bible.  The Church decides when it’s read, who’s able to understand it, and what it means to the largely illiterate English masses.  Religion isn’t personal, it’s a business.  Mussett’s Tyndale, with a blissful naïveté in his face, opts to preach with his new translation.  Sir Thomas More and the bishops are not pleased. Continue reading

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Feb 05

Moving Melodrama: “Oliver!”

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Photo by Gary Ng

Photo by Gary Ng

presented by Wheelock Family Theatre

Adapted from the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Book, music, and lyrics by Lionel Bart.
Directed by Susan Kosoff.
Musical direction by Jon Goldberg.
Choreography by Laurel Conrad.

January 25th – February 24th, 2013
200 The Riverway
Boston, MA
Wheelock Family Theatre Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

Because Charles Dickens has become such a part of our cultural tapestry, the edges of his work have been smoothed with time; but make no mistake, Dickens is a social commentator first and a storyteller second.  Often his stories are a series of unfortunate events, where good people must navigate the evils of society while trying to keep their souls intact. Continue reading

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Feb 04

Irish Nationalism and Irish Charm: “The Irish and How They Got That Way”

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Gregg Hammer, Janice Landry, Jon Dykstra, Meredith Beck, Andrew Crowe and Irene Molloy

Gregg Hammer, Janice Landry, Jon Dykstra, Meredith Beck,
Andrew Crowe and Irene Molloy

Frank McCourt’s The Irish and How They Got That Way

Directed by Danielle Paccione Colombo

Davis Square Theatre
255 Elm Street
Somerville, MA
January 24 – March 17, 2013
Frank McCourt’s Facebook Page

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Somerville) Frank McCourt’s The Irish and How They Got That Way is a musical revue that’s less about the Irish than what goes into being Irish American.  Lots of drinking and tragic songs, it says. The fare is light, airy, and mainly interested in adding to the mystique of the Emerald Isle.

The Irish and How They Got That Way is infectious in its charm.  It’s funny, sweet, and, at least for the first half of the show, sad.  Stirring versions of “Danny Boy,” “Fields of Athenry,” and “Mrs. McGrath” can be difficult to endure without a twinge of feeling.  The show never makes the mistake of taking itself too seriously, though, with a cast all too happy to lapse into “Give My Regards to Broadway” as well as the comic, “Finnegan’s Wake.”  Storytelling and scraps of history keep the action moving between numbers. Continue reading

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Feb 01

Comedy Without a Net: THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS

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Photo Credit: ArtsEmerson

Photo Credit: ArtsEmerson

Written by Carlo Goldoni
Adapted by Constance Congdon
Further adapted by Steven Epp and Christopher Bayes
From a Translation by Christina Sibul
Directed by Christopher Bayes

presented by Yale Repertory Theatre with ArtsEmerson

The Paramount Theater
Boston, MA
January 29th – February 10th, 2013
ArtsEmerson Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

In the 18th century, playwrights had to walk a fine line if they were going to earn their bread, as their plays had to appeal simultaneously to both the washed and unwashed.  A play had to allow both illiterate farmers and literate aristocracy to connect with the story and side with the protagonists.  A playwright needed to find a common denominator in a story and then layer it with tidbits that resonated with segments of the audience. Continue reading

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Jan 31

The US premiere of “Metáfora”: Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía

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WORLD MUSIC/CRASHarts presents Flamenco Festival 2013 featuring

the Boston debut of

Photo credit: Ballet Flamenco de Andalucia

Photo credit: Ballet Flamenco de Andalucia

Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía
performing the US premiere of Metáfora

 BOSTON, MA — World Music/CRASHarts presents the Boston debut of Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía on Friday, March 1, 7:30pm, Saturday, March 2, 8pm and Sunday, March 3, 3pm at the Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College, 219 Tremont St., Boston.

Flamenco Festival 2013 returns for a 12th glorious season of world-class flamenco dance and music with the massively popular Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía, coming to Boston for the first time, direct from Spain. This renowned company of 17 dancers, singers and musicians, directed by award-wining flamenco star Rubén Olmo, presents the US premiere of Metáfora, a dazzling kaleidoscope of castanets, fans, traditional flamenco bata de cola dresses, powerful footwork, demanding technique and jaw-dropping athleticism. It is a program that will inspire the audience with the emotion, drama and passion of Andalucía, the cradle of flamenco. Continue reading

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Jan 30

“Everything Can Happen; Everything is Possible and Likely”

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Heart & Dagger Productions

presents

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Heart & Dagger Productions plunge into their 3rd Season with A DREAM PLAY by August Strindberg.  The production opens February 22, 2013 at The Factory Theatre, Boston, MA.

Agnes, a daughter of the Vedic god Indra, descends to Earth to bear witness to problems of human beings. Following the logic of a dream in which characters merge, locations change in an instant and a locked door recurs obsessively-A DREAM PLAY is a potent mix of Freud plus Alice in Wonderland. “The characters split, double, multiply, evaporate, condense, dissolve and merge.”

Featuring:
Elizabeth Battey, Quentin James, Emily Kaye Lazzaro, Lauren Foster, Eric McGowan, Drew Linehan, Angel Veza, Michael Dix Thomas, Nicole Howard, Katie Drexel, Tony Dangerfield, Jenny Reagan, Erin Brehm, and Ryan Edlinger. Continue reading

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Jan 29

An Epic Act of Foley: “Lo-Fi Lowdown”

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Pictured: Tanya O’Debra Photo credit: Molly Peck

Pictured: Tanya O’Debra Photo credit: Molly Peck

Act One: Jazz Noir, by Bremner Duthie
Act Two: RADIO STAR, by Tanya O’Debra
Directed by Peter James Cook
Original Music by Andrew Mauriello

January 27th @ 7pm
Club Oberon
Cambridge, MA
Lo-Fi Lowdown Facebook Page

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge) Lo-Fi Lowdown was an homage to the Noir style and the art that it inspires. The first half of the performance was a jumping jazz concert lead by Bremner Duthie and his combo. The second half belonged to Tanya O’Debra and her one-woman radio play Radio Star. Together these two halves complied a fresh evening of cabaret and Foley fun. Continue reading

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