Mar 04

World Music/CRASHarts Presents: LO’JO at Johnny D’s, March 15, 7:00 pm

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LO’JO presented by World Music/ CRASHarts
ONE NIGHT ONLY: Saturday, March 15, 7:00 pm
17 Holland St. Somerville, 02144
General Admission. 21+ with valid ID. Seating is limited and guaranteed with a dinner reservation $25.00
World Music/CRASHarts on Facebook
Lo’Jo on Facebook

Founded in Angers, France by singer-keyboardist Denis Péan and violinist and kora player Richard Bourreau, Lo’Jo’s musical adventurism is the stuff of legend. The globe-trotting French daredevils have traveled the world for 30 years, playing in remote outposts, soaking up sounds, and founding the annual Festival in the Desert in northern Mali with Tuareg rockers Tinariwen. The six-member band plays funky, dubbed-up chansons laced with a bewildering variety of jazz, pop, reggae, circus, cabaret, klezmer, Roma, West African, and Maghrebian traditions. Péan’s rough-edged Tom Waits–like voice contrasts beautifully with those of sisters Yamina and Nadia Nid el Mourid for a sound that’s totally unclassifiable but utterly enthralling.

Boston Debut

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Mar 03

Friday, March 28, 8pm: MASTERS OF TRADITION

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WORLD MUSIC PRESENTS

Masters of Tradition

Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, Cathal Hayden, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Seamie O¹Dowd, Máirtín O¹Connor, David Power

Friday, March 28, 8pm,
Somerville Theatre
Davis Square

BOSTON, MA ­ World Music/CRASHarts presents Masters of Tradition on Friday, March 28, 8pm at Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Sq., Somerville. Tickets are $28. For tickets and information call World Music/CRASHarts at (617) 876-4275 or buy online at www.WorldMusic.org.

An exceptional evening of Celtic music performed by some of Ireland¹s most esteemed traditional musicians, Masters of Tradition celebrates Irish music in its purest form and features Martin Hayes and Cathal Hayden on fiddle, Iarla Ó Lionáird on vocals, Dennis Cahill and Seamie O¹Dowd on guitar, Máirtín O¹Connor on accordion and David Power on uilleann pipes. Continue reading

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Mar 03

Upbeat in the midst of despair: “The Joshua Show”

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Presented by Puppet Showplace Theatre
Written and Starring Joshua Holden

February 28-March 1, 2014
Brookline, MA
Puppet Showplace on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Brookline) Puppet Showplace Theatre mostly runs shows geared towards young children, with lessons and surprises aplenty for the tiny set.  Puppets@Nite brought a special two night only show to the space with the sprightly, multi-talented and effervescent Joshua Holden.  Continue reading

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Mar 03

Character-Building: EQUALLY DIVIDED

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Photo by Meghan Moore. Pictured: Jill Tanner, Felicity La Fortune, Will Lyman and Anthony Newfield.

Photo by Meghan Moore. Pictured: Jill Tanner, Felicity La Fortune, Will Lyman and Anthony Newfield.

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
by Ronald Harwood
Directed by Charles Towers

February 13th – March 9th, 2014
Lowell, MA
MRT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell) Professional baseball player Ichiro Suzuki once got into hot water for saying that when his team is losing year after year he focuses instead on playing for his own individual accomplishments.  To some, it showed selfishness, but to me it showed professionalism. Continue reading

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Mar 03

Do the Research Before Enjoying: MAN IN A CASE

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Presented by ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage
Adapted from Two Stories by Anton Chekhov
Adapted and Directed by Annie-B Parson & Paul Lazar/Big Dance Theater
Choreographed by Annie-B Parson
Featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov, Tymberly Canale, Chris Giarmo, Paul Lazar and Aaron Mattocks

February 25 – March 2, 2014
Emerson/Cutler Majestic Theatre
219 Tremont Street
Boston, MA
ArtsEmerson on Facebook
Baryshnikov Productions on Facebook
Big Dance Theater on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

My apologies to ArtsEmerson, Big Dance Theatre, Baryshnikov Productions and anyone else I forgot to mention for the tardiness of this review. I was waylaid by illness this weekend and couldn’t complete my review.

(Boston) Man in a Case is effective theatre that turns Chekhov on its head while retelling the two classic stories “Man in a Case” and “Almost Love.” It does not bridge the 19th and the 21st centuries as advertised. It does, however, transport the viewer into an existential dreamspace/nightmare of meta and experimental theatre. Just in case one is mislead by my description, this was an interesting, thought-provoking performance but it’s not light fare for a family hoping to experience “culture” in the city. Man in a Case could be considered “weird” and weird theatre can be exquisite. It all depends on perspective. Continue reading

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Feb 27

Sins of the Father: DEATH OF A SALESMAN

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Photo by Mark S. Howard.

Photo by Mark S. Howard.

Presented by Lyric Stage Co of Boston (40 Years)
By Arthur Miller
Directed by Spiro Veloudos

February 14 to March 15, 2014
Boston, MA
Lyric Stage on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

From the program notes: Robert N. Wilson, The Writer as Social Seer

“Willy’s failure is our failure, for we are also involved in the cult of success, and we, too, measure men by occupational attainment rather than by some sympathetic calculus of the whole human being. We are all partners in the American Dream and parties to the conspiracy of silence surrounding the fact that failures must by definition outnumber successes, given our cultural ground rules and or singular interpretations of the words ‘success’ and ‘failure’.”

(Boston) There is so much that The Lyric’s production of Death of a Salesman gets right. This is a fantastic production – the best of theirs I’ve seen all season, which is saying a lot for a theatre that regularly that creates solid art. It is the same cut and dried script that generations have come to love with a few spins that make it new and poignant.   Continue reading

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Feb 25

“Baby with the Bathwater”: Dysfunctional Family and Oddly Cheerful Dark Comedy

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DSC_0233 (2)

Photo credit: Happy Medium Theatre Co

Presented by Happy Medium Theatre Co.
By Christopher Durang
Directed by Lizette M. Morris

February 14-22nd, 2014
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 8 pm, Saturdays 4 pm, Sundays 3 pm
The Factory Theater
791 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02118
Happy Medium on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston) Happy Medium Theatre’s Baby with the Bathwater is searing, cruel, and weirdly loving.  A lopsided family portrait, the play is a satire on abusive upbringings dramatized for entertainment.   The show appears to take place in a warped alternate universe where new parents John (Jeremy Towle) and Helen (Denise Drago) are too dimwitted to understand one holds a baby when it cries or that children aren’t allowed Nyquil. Their misnamed son, Daisy (Mike Budwey), endures a home life so skewed but with parents so achingly human, it becomes chillingly akin to real dysfunction. Continue reading

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Feb 24

Voluptuous Bluesy, Folksy Glam Rock: Asaf Avidan

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Presented by World Music/CRASHarts
A concert by Asaf Avidan

Attended performance was on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014
Somerville Theatre
Davis Square
Somerville, MA
World Music/ CRASHarts on Facebook
Asaf Avidan on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Somerville) Asaf Avidan is compared to Janis Joplin and Billie Holiday. The timbre of his voice has similarities to that of the Joplin rasp and the warmth of Holiday, Avidan’s voice is vulnerable and striking in a way uniquely his own. Joplin and Holiday were distant from their audiences whereas it appeared that Avidan sang as if he wished to become one with us through his music. Continue reading

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Feb 20

I’m of Two Minds (Both Alike in Dignity): “Romeo Juliet”

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Photo borrowed from Club Oberon “Romeo Juliet” event site.

Presented by The Hypocrites
Directed and Adapted by Sean Graney
Adapted from the play by William Shakespeare

February 19 – 22, 2014
The Oberon
2 Arrow Street, Cambridge MA
The Hypocrites on Facebook

Whew!  Thanks for sticking with me, readers! Welcome to the Epic Conclusion of Dani’s Grand Bardopalooza Adventure: 2K14.  Over three days, I have attended and reviewed three different American Shakespeare remixes.  Tonight’s grand finale: Romeo Juliet presented by The Hypocrites at Club Oberon.

(Cambridge) Let’s start here: this is probably best titled a “remix” of Shakespeare’s play rather than a straight-up performance or adaptation.  Sean Graney took the original text, cut it, cropped it, zoomed in on some things, and re-arranged everything else to befit the story he wanted to tell.  And, as I said in my review of 12 Nights, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that treatment.  As an audience member, you should just be aware that you’re not going to be seeing Shakespeare on this stage; you’re going to be seeing work inspired by a timeless story.  As such, I think familiarity with the source text is a must.  I definitely saw plenty of kids in the audience, but I wasn’t certain that this was the best vehicle for introducing our well-known story to them. The story itself, in this form, felt rushed and improbable; like Graney was trying to slot too many elements into his slim sixty-minute time window.  There were moments that even I barely followed (and that’s saying something). Continue reading

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Feb 19

An Improbable Fiction Played Upon The Stage: “12 Nights”

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Photo borrowed from Oberon website. No photo credit available on site. Notice from sources will prompt immediate update to give credit where it is due.

Presented by The Hypocrites
Directed and Adapted by Sean Graney
Adapted from the play by William Shakespeare

February 18 – 21, 2014
The Oberon
2 Arrow Street, Cambridge MA
The Hypocrites on Facebook

Welcome back dear readers! I am reporting to you from day two of Dani’s Grand Bardopalooza Adventure: 2K14.  Over three days, I will attend and review three different American Shakespeare remixes.  Tonight’s Oreo filling show: 12 Nights presented by The Hypocrites at Club Oberon.  Stop back later this week to catch the stunning conclusion of this Epic Shakes-Series.

(Cambridge) Watch out, Boston; The Hypocrites are back in town.

After their stunning production of The Pirates of Penzance (first performed at Oberon in June 2012, then again on the A.R.T. main stage this past May), I had high expectations for 12 Nights.  The Hypocrites excel at high-octane performance which engages and illuminates for audiences who might otherwise have given this style of theatre a miss.  As such, I thought that Shakespeare was a perfect fit for this Chicago-based company.  What better way to interest people in the Bard than to introduce them at a Hypocritical party. Continue reading

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