(Boston) Local playwright Elizabeth DuPre is making progress, if her new comedy Thinking of You is any indication. It is a sparse and fairly entertaining sitcom-style take on corporate culture rebellion. While there is little ground broken here, there are funny moments and witty dialogue that show DuPre’s progress as a writer. She backs off from imposing her vision and leaves space for the audience to have fun. Continue reading →
(Boston) New drama is a tricky game that needs to be practiced over and over again. Even after all of that practice, the playing field is the only true test of its mettle. Girls’ Sports has gone to court to test itself and it’s come up short. Continue reading →
(Worcester) You’re probably sick of hearing about Les Miserables, and how Russell Crowe can’t sing and how Anne Hathaway can’t pick out her dress. I know I am, and I didn’t really like the musical that much in the first place. “Ornate” might be a generous way to describe how this play’s music reaches my ears; “overdone” might be more accurate. But if you can strip away the hype, it’s possible to see a really good storyline that materializes from this spectacle. After all, that Victor Hugo guy may have been no Stephen Sondheim, but he was no slouch. Penned a few novels, something about a hunchback. I hear he sold a few copies. Continue reading →
(Cambridge) At times, beautiful, sassy and hypnotic, at times purposely pointless, crass and heartbreaking, the play Bouncers hits all the right notes to catch the highs and lows of a night of clubbing. If you were an anthropologist and wanted to study the alcohol-fueled mating rituals of the young, you wouldn’t find a more accurate snapshot than these 1.5 hours of traffic playing at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge. Continue reading →
Directed by Charles Towers
Listing by Craig Idlebrook
Greed may not be good, as fictional stockbroker Gordon Gekko once famously espoused, but it never goes out of style.
In the 1987 film Wall Street, Gekko’s ode to greed was devastating to hear for Americans who had just suffered through insider trading and junk bond scandals. The late eighties also produced Glengarry Glen Ross, a razor-sharp play by David Mamet which examines greed on the micro-level, as bottom-feeding real estate agents in Buffalo lie, cheat and steal to sell tracts of land in Florida. While focusing on everyday financial crimes, Mamet creates an allegory for Wall Street greed that resonated with Main Street theatergoers in the late eighties. Continue reading →
Chelsea Theatre Works Chelsea, MA
April 5th – May 4th, 2013
Performances will be followed by a Reception with the actors in the Gallery.
The Apollinaire Theatre Co Facebook Page
Review by Craig Idlebrook
(Chelsea) Is it possible that we have slept through two of the longest wars in U.S. history? Not only that, but we slept through those wars because we stayed up too late watching theJersey Shore. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were fought by professional soldiers far away, their impact reduced to a stream of debate on the nightly news. Now, as the wars wind down, a generation of damaged soldiers walks among us, haunted by what they have experienced on the battlefield. We lionize these warriors, but many of us don’t know what to do with them. Many soldiers likewise are unable to reintegrate into society, and feel like aliens in their homeland. Continue reading →
(Watertown) Amelia Broome doesn’t use a Greek accent in her portrayal as international treasure and opera superstar, Maria Callas. The audience doesn’t have the luxury of knowing why Broome chose not to use an accent. Broome’s performance is effective without one so the reasons don’t matter.
Master Class is a grand opportunity for non-Classical singers (plebes) to experience the horror and joy that is operatic study. It is a (relatively) cheap vocal coaching for its length and history wrapped in a convenient package. The dialogue is only slightly dramatized for the benefit of the audience. The majority of Callas’ lessons and helpful hints are comments that any voice teacher could and would give her student. The majority of these same lessons and hints are conveyed in a similar manner as well. Continue reading →
Photo Credit: Mark S. Howard; Hannah Husband, Kami Rushell Smith, Kelby T. Akin, Gregory Balla
by Lynn Nottage
Directed by Summer L. Williams
The Lyric Stage Company
March 29, 2013 – April 27, 2013
The Lyric Stage Facebook Page
Running time: Approximately 2 hours & 15 minutes, includes one intermission
Review by Kitty Drexel
(Boston) The events of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark appear to be comedic. In truth, viewed with the perspective of historical racial prejudice, it is more like a tragedy. Vera Stark is a Black actress living in Los Angeles and nursing a dream of appearing on the big screen as more than an anonymous face in a club scene. She dreams of being a character that isn’t a slave and definitely isn’t a “Mammy” role. Determined to make her mark in Hollywood, Stark rallies her friends and boss Gloria, and manages to slightly alter bureaucratic race relations at the same time. It was one small step for woman and a held breath for the rest of mankind. Continue reading →
by Jackie Sibblies Drury
directed by Curt Columbus
Providence, Rhode Island
Trinity Rep Co Facebook Page
March 14 – April 21
Review by Craig Idlebrook
This play contains graphic violence. Running time is 95 minutes with no intermission.
(Providence) It didn’t look like a good setup for good theater. Post-apocalyptic zombie invasions have become all the rage for script-writers, and there have been several new plays in Boston which have attempted to turn flesh-eating marauders into viable drama; few have been successful. The best resembled family dramas with zombies tacked on; the worst became fan fiction.
But Jackie Sibblies Drury’s sharp script for Social Creatures powers the best production of a new play I’ve seen in a long time. This tense and gory tragicomedy, debuting at Trinity Rep, avoids so many pitfalls of both new plays and zombie drama. It creates a credible atmosphere of real danger, both physically and emotionally, and Drury uses the threat to effectively explore what we lose as a society when we lose intimacy. Continue reading →