Mar 18

“Lysistrata”: Adorably Filthy

Bookmark and Share
The lovely ladies of Lysistrata refusing to get sexy. Photo Credit: Theatre@First.

The lovely ladies of Lysistrata refusing to get sexy. Photo Credit: Theatre@First.

Presented by Theatre@First

Written by Aristophanes
Directed by John Deschene
Choreographed by Alex Nemiroski

Unity Somerville
6 William Street
Somerville, MA
Theatre@First Facebook Page

Review by Gillan Daniels

(Somerville) Comedies, especially those that depend on references contemporary to when they’re written, don’t often age well.  Plays survive on the universal quality of their themes, like mortality, revenge, and hope, most of which belong to the sphere of drama. For a long shelf life, they must be built on ideas that resonate down the ages. It certainly says something about the nature of humor that Lysistrata, produced in 411 B.C.E. and one of Aristophanes few surviving plays, continues to be well remembered and celebrated for its bawdiness. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share
Mar 17

Muito Obrigado: Ana Moura at the Berklee Performance Center

Bookmark and Share
Photo borrowed from the lovely Ms. Moura's Facebook Page

Photo borrowed from the lovely Ms. Moura’s Facebook Page

World Music/CRASHarts presents, in collaboration with the Mass Cultural Council

Saturday, March 16, 2013
Berklee Performance Center
Boston, MA
World Music/CRASHarts Facebook Page
Ana Moura Facebook Page

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston by way of Portugal) While a large percentage of Bostonians were celebrating St. Patrick’s Day (a made up holiday to celebrate something that never happened) there was a smaller part of Boston reaping the benefits of Portuguese culture. The concert given by Ana Moura and her exquisite band (Portuguese guitar player Angelo Freire plays with incomparable skill. His performance was virtuosic.) on Saturday, March 16 was as near perfect as fate can make it. She performed traditional Fado, Portuguese folk, and jazz standard from her 2012 CD, Desfado. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share
Mar 17

Random Waves and Good Promise: THE SEABIRDS

Bookmark and Share
With David Lutheran and Brendan Mulhern. Photo credit: Argos Productions.

With David Lutheran and Brendan Mulhern. Photo credit: Argos Productions.

Presented by Argos Productions
by William Orem

Boston Playwrights Production
949 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA
March 15th – March 30th, 2013
Argos Productions Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston) Purgatory can be the hardest thing on a man, the play The Seabirds seems to suggest. It also can be very difficult on an audience. And that’s what makes a new script so deliciously maddening to watch take shape.

There are so many good elements to this play, which revolves around a Union lighthouse keeper, Laben Shadfield (David Lutheran), and a Confederate deserter, Mickey Leance (Brendan Mulhern) who are forced to share a spit of rock on the sea. Great central characters, winning snatches of dialogue and nuanced touches of historical accuracy help immerse the audience into a time when the nation was tearing itself in two. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share
Mar 17

There’ll Be a Whole Lotta Sunlight Someday*: “A Raisin in the Sun”

Bookmark and Share
Keona Welch ("Beneatha Younger") and Corey Allen ("George Murchison") in the Huntington Theatre Company's production of Lorraine Hansberry's A RAISIN IN THE SUN. Mar. 8 - Apr. 7, 2013 at Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre. huntingtontheatre.org. photo: T. Charles Erickson

Keona Welch (“Beneatha Younger”) and Corey Allen (“George Murchison”) in the Huntington Theatre Company’s production of Lorraine Hansberry’s A RAISIN IN THE SUN. Mar. 8 – Apr. 7, 2013 at Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre. huntingtontheatre.org. photo: T. Charles Erickson

Presented by Huntington Theatre Company 
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
Directed by Liesl Tommy

March 8-April 7
BU Theatre
Boston, MA
Huntington Theatre Company Facebook Page

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Boston) Theatre with an African American focus owes its considerable roots to Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, which debuted on Broadway in 1959.  The Younger family’s struggle against external limitations has been the inspiration behind the musical Raisin (1973) as well as the play Clybourne Park (now at Speakeasy Stage Co, running through March 30th) to name a few.  The racial oppression that existed then hid behind God and country, and now decades after the gains of the civil rights movement in the 1960’s has the power to still do so, to hold prisoner hard-working men and women and to frame that incarceration as well deserved. The Huntington’s current production is definitely not a re-staging of their 1995 show, and makes a bold statement about resistance to the status quo and the courage it takes to insist on fair treatment in any era. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share
Mar 14

Moonbox Productions presents A NEW BRAIN

Bookmark and Share

Moonbox Productions presents
William Finn and James Lapine’s
Hilarious, Engaging and Uplifting Musical
A NEW BRAIN

602030_401652353263389_2084651339_n

Directed by Allison Choat
Music Direction by Dan Rodriguez

March 15 – April 6, 2013
BCA Plaza Theatre
530 Tremont Street
Boston, MA
Moonbox Production’s Facebook Page

 A musical based on the actual life experience of composer William Finn. This engaging and fast-paced musical by the author of Falsettos and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee recounts the life-changing experience of fictional composer, Gordon Schwinn.  Barely enduring a frustrating job working on a children’s TV show, Gordon suffers a sudden life-threatening brain disorder which sends him into emergency surgery.  The tumultuous, comical and surreal ordeal that engulfs Gordon and those closest to him — his mother, partner and publicist — teaches everyone, especially Gordon, something profound about what is truly important in life, and in love.

Approximate Running Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes with no intermission. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share
Mar 11

Sex, Sexy, Sexy (Sometimes Not), SEX: SUCH TIMES a SEX FESTIVAL

Bookmark and Share

This is a website primarily for educated adults. We do review some Children’s theater for the benefit of all participants. If offended by the content below, one is cordially invited to skip this post. There are other delightful offerings on this site that will suit you better.

SUCH TIMES a SEX FESTIVAL of new work by Boston’s SEXIEST Playwrights

Presented by Heart & Dagger Productions

heartanddagger2

Audience members were invited to share their secret fantasies. They did. A lot.

The Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
949 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215
Friday, March 1st @ 8pm – Saturday, March 9th @ 8pm
Heart & Dagger Productions Facebook Page

It should go without saying that with such a title that this production is not safe for children and prudish adults. It may lead an audience member to expect live-action porn. This was not the case. The production did not contain explicit acts of carnal engagement but the stagings were otherwise immediately revealing to all but the most innocent of eyes and ears.  Continue reading

Bookmark and Share
Mar 11

Dead Nuns and Stubble: NUNSENSE A-MEN

Bookmark and Share

The Little Sisters getting jiggy.

Presented by LynnArts After Hours
by Dan Goggin

Directed by Kevin Cirone
Choreographed by Nicole Spirito
Music directed by Mario Cruz,

LynnArts
Rantoul Black Box Theatre
25 Exchange Street
Lynn, MA 01901
March 7th – March 23rd, 2013
Lynn Arts After Hours Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lynn) Traditional nuns make such easy targets for comedy, dressed so imposingly and yet looking so much like penguins.  Dan Goggin, the creator of the Nunsense  series, makes comedic scriptwriting look easy when nuns get involved; his scripts read like a group of friends began to one-up each other over drinks to devise funny scenes about nuns.  If nuns are funny, the script seems to say, then nuns at a leper colony are funnier.  If leperous nuns are funny, then nuns getting high are even funnier.  And if nuns getting high don’t give you a case of the guffaws, then nothing beats a bunch of dead nuns in the freezer. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share
Mar 11

Thoroughly Marvelous “Millie”

Bookmark and Share

Presented by The Boston Conservatory Theater Ensemble
Directed by Michael Susko; Music Directed by Steven Ladd Jones

The Boston Conservatory Theater
31 Hemenway St. in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood
March 7—10, 2013
Boston Conservatory Facebook Page

Review by Nicola McEldowney (reviewed 3/8/2013)

(Boston) Occasionally, a performance comes along that reminds you what a certain genre is all about – be that genre Greek tragedy, or Renaissance lute songs, or shadow puppetry. For me, the Boston Conservatory’s Thoroughly Modern Millie is one of these performances. Helmed by director Michael Susko and music director Steven Ladd Jones, this production encapsulates the heart and soul of American musical theatre at its most energized, polished and professional. All the more remarkable, it is performed by students. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share
Mar 04

Clybourne Park: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Bookmark and Share
8519616048_c4b78e35f2_c

Michael Kaye, Thomas Derrah, Marvelyn McFarlane, DeLance Minefee, Paula Plum, and Tim Spears in a scene from SpeakEasy Stage’s production of Clybourne Park, running March 1-30 at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts. Tickets/info at speakeasystage.com or 617.933.8600. Photo by Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo.

By Bruce Norris

Directed by M. Bevin O’Gara

Presented by Speakeasy Stage Company

March 1 – March 30

Nancy & Edward Roberts Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts Boston, MA

Speakeasy Stage Co Facebook Page

Review by Becca Kidwell

A strong script elevates a performance or points out the flaws of the company.  Speakeasy Stage’s production of Clybourne Park demonstrates its mastery through a strong ensemble, innovative set, and smart direction.  After seeing Clybourne Park, there is no question why this clever, dark play won at the Tony Awards in 2012.  When Boston sees Speakeasy Stage’s production, they will be talking about it for the rest of 2013 (Norton and IRNE awards in its future?).  The ensemble, comprised of Paula Plum, Thomas Derrah, Marvelyn McFarlane, Tim Spears, DeLance Minefee, Michael Kaye, and Philana Mia, pulls the audience into a dynamic confrontation between politics and politeness that never apologizes Continue reading

Bookmark and Share
Mar 03

A Night with “Metáfora”

Bookmark and Share

Apologies to the cast and crew of Ballet Flamenco de Andulucia and World Music/CRASHarts! This review has been posted late to the compromised health of the Queen Geek. The work ethic of Mademoiselle Daniels is impeccable. 

Photo credit: Ballet Flamenco de Andalucia

Photo credit: Ballet Flamenco de Andalucia

Presented by World Music/CRASHarts Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía performing the US premiere of Metáfora Friday, March 1, 7:30pm, Saturday, March 2, 8pm and Sunday, March 3, 3pm Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College, 219 Tremont St., Boston World Music/CRASHarts Facebook Page 

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston) Ballet Flamenco de Andulucía’s Metáfora begins with a live band and several female dancers taking the stage. They drag skirts of frothing layers but with the elegance of peacock tails sighing along the floor.

When the music begins, the flurry with which they dance continues through the rest of the show. For two acts, whether the stage is sparse or full, the energy is potent and seems to fill the Cutler Majestic Theatre.

For the first half of Metáfora, the audience is treated to unfiltered flamenco. Soloists Patricia Guerrero and Eduardo Leal are briefly isolated from the rest of the company, each doing their best to enflame the crowd. They are accompanied by the voices of Juana Salazar and Cristian Guerrero. The combination brings life to a stage that feels often very isolated.

 In the second half, the “ballet” part of the Ballet Flamenco de Andulucía becomes more prominent. The dancers, when the curtain rises, move in closer formation. The clothing is also more economical, meaning no more frothing skirts. Instead, viewers are treated to the addition of castanets.

Some of the dances drag here, though, where the first half seemed tighter. The pacing is off even if the dance still remains largely hypnotic. It all ends on a high note, the entire company taking the stage as they send the audience off.

I left Metáfora feeling content, but something about the set up felt too sterile to achieve the mood the company seemed to be aiming for. While I enjoyed the performance, I couldn’t help but wonder about the staging. It felt like the entire show was made for a stage at the center of a room, surrounded by people cheering on the dancers, not a stage up front divorced from the audience. The effect feels alienating. When showcasing a dance that feeds off Spanish culture and style, I hoped to be as engaged as I was the first moment the dancers of the Ballet Flamenco de Andulucía revealed themselves. I liked the show deeply but the moment of falling in love with it never came.

Bookmark and Share