Nov. 12 – 16, 2014
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Review by Nick Bennett-Zendzian
(Wellesley, MA) My hat goes off to any company that is mounting a new or otherwise under-produced script. Helen Edmundson’s Mary Shelley received its première staging in Leeds in 2012, followed by a national tour and a run at the Tricycle Theatre in London. Near as I can tell, it has not been mounted in the United States prior to the production currently running at Wellesley College, and I commend director Nora Hussey for bringing this well-crafted play to us. Continue reading →
Don’t miss Luminarium’s largest production of the season during its two-weekend fall run. The production will take place at the beautiful and historic Multicultural Arts Center (41 Second Street, East Cambridge MA), highlighting the company’s signature imaginative choreography, lighting, and scenic design, while complementing the caliber of its past feature productions Mythos:Pathos (2012) and Secrets & Motion (2013).
What makes Luminarium uniquely dance & theatre?
Luminarium is the first dance company to be invited for, then granted, a Bob Jolly Charitable Trust Award, for its productions’ masterful theatricality in addition to dance. (All previous awards have gone to theatre companies and individuals.)
Luminarium was featured as one of 10 “Unsung Heroes” in the Boston performing arts scene, alongside New Repertory Theatre and Company One, by Improper Bostonian magazine.
Costumes for The Sleeprunner are being created by rising New York costume designer Sueann Leung, whose work was most notably featured in the runway section of the Wall Street Journal.
Luminarium’s The Sleeprunner marks another first for the local dance community as one of the smallest/youngest Boston-based companies to be adopting a theatre performance format, expanding to a two-week run.
Its performers come from an energetically-eclectic background that include a nationally-acclaimed colorguard performer, professional voice actor, internationally-touring classical Indian dancer, tap-dancing winner of the World Cup in Germany, and (just to add to the diversity) even a PhD candidate in Biology who is an aerial circus artist on the side.
The Sleeprunner will be lit and co-choreographed by professional theatre lighting design and choreographer Kim Holman, who does lighting design and choreography for local Boston theatre companies ranging from Babson College to the Boston Public Schools.
(Boston) Boston Playwright’s Theatre deftly handles heavy subject matter to thoroughly explore one family’s patterns in Chosen Child. Cleverly overcoming technical limitations, intertwined histories emerge and recede amidst light and shadow in this production. Continue reading →
(Boston) Dear crew of Turtles: What the heck was the squeaky noise we heard during the entirety of Act 1? I’m not particularly sensitive to repetitive noises but the sound of metal rubbing on metal kept pulling me out of the play.
Turtles is a play about single-Mom, Bella (Jackie Davis), and her two kids Foos (Lauren Foster) and Finn (Elle Borders). They are squatters living on/in garbage by a billboard advertising the next Rapture. They are surviving when Jesus, who may or may not be the magical zombie-savior of lore (Alexander Castillo-Nunez), falls into their laps. Jesus lacks any sort of social context (this dude could be anybody), gives no explanation for his presence, and has serious boundary issues. Yet, together they decide to move to Boston for its turtle sanctuary. Boston becomes a metaphorical sanctuary for all of them. Continue reading →
Presented by North Shore Music Theatre
Book by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg
Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer
Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg
Based on the novel by Victor Hugo; Original French text by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel; Additional text by James Fenton
Directed and Choreographed by Marc Robin
Music directed by Andrew Bryan
(Beverly, MA) For a Les Mis hater, I sure have seen the show enough times. I usually go in with a cloud hanging over my head. There is something about the show that rubs me the wrong way with its overwrought attitude, even as it brings me to tears each time I see it. To make matters worse, the play lends itself to overacting; heck, it practically demands it. Bad acting abounds on the street of Paris. Continue reading →
(Boston) The biopic or docudrama is a mainstay of the flatscreen and the silver screen, but it doesn’t get nearly as much play on stage. In theory, it should, as these types of stories appeal to those who want to learn something while they are being entertained, and that would seem to include the well-educated who can afford to go to the theatre on a regular basis. But even Shakespeare’s straight-up docudramas, the Henrys and such, don’t do as much business as Romeo and Juliet or Much Ado About Nothing. Continue reading →
(Boston) Ana Moura has a voice that captures your attention. It sounds the way raw silk feels against the skin. You are helpless to do anything but listen. She has a majestic stage presence and a unique storytelling style. Her concert on Nov. 7 was nothing if it wasn’t captivating.
Moura and her faithful band visited the Berklee Performance Center last Friday night to an audience besotted with her music… And ripe with family who celebrated the talents of bandmate player Angelo Freire. Moura stocks her band with equally as talented musicians but Freire would draw fans on his own merit. He displays excellent musicianship and exquisite skill on the Portuguese guitar. Continue reading →
Disclaimer: This production included Queen Geek, Kitty Drexel in its cast. For this reason, this review is tempered to accommodate the NETG reviewing policy on Geek performance involvement.
Review by Gillian Daniels
(Cambridge, MA) Joe (Felix Teich) is an artist who creates complex dioramas and a loving and temperamental caretaker of his brother, sixteen-year old Robert (Elliott Purcell). Due to his cerebral palsy, Robert spends his days bound to their run-down apartment, watching soap operas. The Accessible Theatre brings us a reading of a play about brothers who have built their own world, insulated from the impoverished, drug-addled reality of their Ohio city. As with many stories, the status quo is disrupted when a woman, social worker Marianne (Rachel Sacks), walks into their lives. Her intrusion is a benevolent one, however, an attempt to confirm Robert is getting the help he needs.
(Lowell, MA) Which watershed moments in our lives define us, the ones where we rise above our fears or the ones where we give in to our basest nature? That’s the central question of the beautiful and flawed production of Dusk Rings a Bell, playing at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre. Continue reading →
Joe and his younger brother Robert live off the grid in a run-down, inner-city neighborhood. Robert has cerebral palsy. Joe is an artist. They are in perfect control of their world until they are discovered by social services and into their lives comes Marianne, a bright and ambitious young therapist. Can art and imagination fuel the life spirit?
Felix Teich plays Joe, the older brother, an artist who is fiercely protective of his lifestyle and his brother Robert. Eliot Purcell plays Robert, the younger brother who is adjusting to adult life without his parents’ support, and while dealing with cerebral palsy. Rachel Sacks plays Marianne, a well-meaning social worker who is assigned to Joe and Robert. Kitty Drexel joins the cast to read the playwright’s text and help illuminate the world of the play during our staged reading.