May 26

Theatre On Fire Presents: THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES

THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES is a genre-defying festival of theatre, movement, music, puppetry and more, united under one theme: take a risk.

Experience one last weekend of chaotic and dangerous, new and re-imagined work where we’ve challenged artists to present work that “scares” them. Featuring one-act and full-length pieces from Imaginary Beasts, Anthem Theatre, Sleeping Weazel, The American Family Happily Institute, Heart & Dagger Productions, Alley Cat Theater, Exiled Theatre, Mass. Theater Experiment, Ingrid Oslund, Fool’s Journey, Travis Amiel & Riley Fox Hillyer, Laura Detwiler, Daniel Morris, and Libby Schap & Caitlin Brzezinski.

Purchase tickets HERE.
Staged readings in the Cabinet Workshop Series are free and open to the public.
When ordering tickets for the readings, use the code FREE.
442 Bunker Hill Street
Charlestown, MA 02129
TOF on Facebook
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Friday, May 26
A trio of performances starting at 8:00pm​
Sleeping Weazel: Nocturne and Nina
Libby Schap and Caitlin Brzezinksi: Flying Lessons
Fool’s Journey: Singing Bones

Pianist and composer Kirsten Volness will play Nocturne, her electroacoustic piece inspired by Madison Cawein’s poem of the same title, and Nina, a three-song cycle tribute to jazz great Nina Simone composed by Judah Adashi.
Flying Lessons is told through shadow puppetry using moving screens and found object puppetry to examine three stories exploring identity and female relationships, inspired by the artwork of Audrey Niffenegger.
Singing Bones is an experimental, devised performance which focuses on direct physical engagement with traditional songs that have personal and/or ancestral significance to the performers.

Saturday, May 27
Mass. Theater Experiment: The Country Wife – 2:00pm
A workshop performance of a modern, sexy adaptation of William Wycherley’s The Country Wife. The smash hit of 1675 London was created in a period of artistic tolerance , but was later considered too immoral to perform. This imaginative, energetic, and spirited ensemble gives the Wife a trim and shapely makeover and adds a few curves of their own; part of the Cabinet Workshop Series.

Daniel Morris: I Am My Own Wife – 5:00pm
The fascinating tale of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a real-life German transvestite who managed to survive both the Nazi onslaught and the repressive East German Communist regime. Actor Gabe Graetz takes on more than 30 characters, staged up close and personal in CWT’s upstairs second stage.

A trio of performances starting at 8:00pm​
Sleeping Weazel: Nocturne and Nina
Libby Schap and Caitlin Brzezinksi: Flying Lessons
Fool’s Journey: Singing Bones

Pianist and composer Kirsten Volness will play Nocturne, her electroacoustic piece inspired by Madison Cawein’s poem of the same title, and Nina, a three-song cycle tribute to jazz great Nina Simone composed by Judah Adashi.
Flying Lessons is told through shadow puppetry using moving screens and found object puppetry to examine three stories exploring identity and female relationships, inspired by the artwork of Audrey Niffenegger.
Singing Bones is an experimental, devised performance which focuses on direct physical engagement with traditional songs that have personal and/or ancestral significance to the performers.

May 23

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in Midspring

The “Mechanicals” in the play within a play: Mac Young, Elle Borders, Monica Giordano, Jake Athyal and a prone Steven Barkhimer. Photo by Nile Scott Shots.

Presented by Actor’s Shakespeare Project
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Patrick Swanson

May 10-June 4, 2017
Multicultural Arts Center
41 Second Street
Cambridge, MA 02141
Actors’ Shakespeare Project on Facebook and Instagram

Review by Travis Manni

(Cambridge, MA) Any fan of Shakespeare’s work knows how malleable his plays are. You could see the same show for years and years and still experience something different each time. In Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s most recent production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, this trend continues. Continue reading

May 19

“The Demon” Serves in Heaven and Raises Hell

Presented by Commonwealth Lyric Theater Orchestra and Chorus PESVEBI Georgian Dance Ensemble
By Anton Rubenstein
Based on a poem by Mikhail Lermontov
Conductor: Lidiya Yankovskaya
Artistic/Stage Director: Alexander Prokhorov
Production Director and Stage Manager: Steven Kunis

May 18th and 20th, 2017 at 8pm
Cutler Majestic Theatre
219 Tremont Street, Boston, MA
Facebook

By Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) In the world of Anton Rubenstein’s The Demon, the danger of Hell is ever-present, princesses are virtuous, princes are valorous, and Heaven is an ethereal step away. Aleksey Bogdanov is the titular Demon, a creature that informs the audience and the angel with whom he spars, Anna Cley, he has chosen freedom over God. In the course of the play, he also chooses Tamara (played with wide-eyed innocence by Zhanna Alkhazova) and upends her life. Continue reading

May 19

Poverty is Not an Indication of Criminality: “Jesus Hopped the A Train”

Photo credit: Alex Aroyan — with Danny Mourino, Dawn Davis, Harry Garo and Daniel Boudreau.

Presented by Praxis Stage
By Stephen Adly Guirgis
Directed by Dayenne C. Byron Walters & Daniel Boudreau

May 4 – 21, 2017
Dorchester Art Project
Dorchester, MA (across from the Field’s Corner T stop)
DAP on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Dorchester, MA) The law isn’t interested in justice. It’s purpose is to execute “due process” as cheaply and swiftly as possible. It is historically, contemporarily, and immediately evident that the law performs based on the golden rule: he with the most gold (and the whitest skin) rules. Poverty means that an innocent man can spend the rest of his life in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. People of color get fucked by the legal system regularly. Praxis Stage’s Jesus Hopped the A Train isn’t fiction. It’s non-fiction utilizing fiction to blast unfortunate truths. Continue reading

May 15

Captivating Recollections: “My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend”

Photo by Meghan Moore

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
By Christian Duhamel and Edward Bell
Conceived and performed by Charissa Bertels
Directed by Sean Daniels

April 26 – May 21, 2017
Merrimack Repretory Theatre
Lowell, MA
MRT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell, MA) A one-person play is like a long blind date – you are stuck with a stranger for the evening, so you inwardly pray beforehand that you’ll like them. But when that one person is actress Charissa Bertels performing her passion project, My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend, you might find yourself cursing time for flying so fast through an entertaining evening. Continue reading

May 12

The Federation of Belligerent Writers Presents The Gauntlet of Belligerence

The Federation of Belligerent Writers Presents The Gauntlet of Belligerence
Rockwell Theatre in Somerville
Saturday, May 13th
Doors at 9:30pm, 21+
$13.50 online, $15 at the door.

Facebook Event

Promo by Gillian “Demoness Bixen” Daniels

(Somerville, MAThe Federation of Belligerent Writers is back at the Rockwell on Saturday, May 13th! I hope you’re ready to chant, dance, and throw things at the stage!

Who are we? FBW!
The Federation is a bracketed style, masked writing tournament. We started as a luchador wrestling-inspired contest at Ralph’s Rock Diner in Worcester. Now we’re so much more. Want to come drink and party with us?

Here’s this months matches:
Match 1: Princess Consuela Bananahammock vs. Shithead the Clown!
The Disney-esque and sublime push-up princess goes head to head with a brand-new competitor, who definitely is not an evil hell clown.

Match 2: Demoness Bixen vs. Space Casey!
Yours truly, trying her best to be despicable and almost certainly failing while wearing demon horns, fights the spaciest, burger-shirt wearing man in the galaxy.

Match 3: Fumblebee vs. El Hermano del Semental!
A sweet, little, murderous bumblebee takes on a horse of a different color, specifically a brony.

Match 4: Amazing vs. Kevin, the FBW Intern!
Innocent, put-upon fangirl goes against innocent, put-upon intern. Who will out-awkward the other?

How does this work?
During each round, two competitors take the stage, one in the red corner, the other in the blue. Three words are chosen at random by MCs Cassie Tai Tortorici as Becky, a Starbucks-and-gin-swilling, foul-mouthed stage manager, and Ethan White as “El Locutor Fabulso,” also known as “That Guy.”

Competing writers have five minutes to write virtually anything in any style within the scope of their characters as long as they use said words. During the round, the audience is encouraged to throw balls at the stage and dance.

At the end of five minutes, each writer is asked to share what they’ve committed to paper, laptop, or memory. Then, the audience votes on who will advance and who will not.

Buy a drink, pull up a chair, and come decide their fate this Saturday

Queen’s Note:
We elected a thin-skinned bigot to the office of the President dead set on turning our “democracy” into a fascist, totalitarian oligarchy dominated by the 1%. Trump is a monster. His policies, when he names them, are destructive. His narcissistic behavior is more so.

Congressional “negotiators” released a spending bill that saves the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for Humanities, and National Public Radio until September at which time, the President and his impotent cronies may still cut arts funding. It is ever important to remain vigilant. And, for the love of all that’s sacred, keep creating. If you need help, ask for it. Our existence is our resistance. May the force be with you. – KD

TCG has a list of things you can do to help.

#blacklivesmatter #translivesmatter #brownlivesmatter #yellowlivesmatter #lgbtqialivesmatter #immigrantlivesmatter #muslimlivesmatter #disabledlivesmatter #theatreartsmatter #NODAPL

May 12

“I, Snowflake” Attempts to Catch the World on Fire

Photo found on Anthem’s Facebook page.

Devised and presented by Anthem Theatre Company
Conceived, written and directed by Bryn Boice

May 11 – 14, 2017
Charlestown Working Theater
Charlestown, Massachusetts
Anthem on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) I, Snowflake is an airing of grief. It’s a response to the triumph of a boldly and casually racist America that was always there, like groundwater nourishing the trees. In fragmented pieces—commuters loudly reacting to headlines on a train, a café of women discussing the importance of their diets and dates, a family circle miming eating—we are given a portrait of a moment in our shared history. And that moment is raw and tender as an exposed nerve.  Continue reading

May 12

Love Flusters Money: ANNIE

Presented by Troika Entertainment, LLC
Book by Thomas Meehan
Music by Charles Strause
Lyrics by Martin Charnin
Based on the “Little Orphan Annie,” a comic strip by Harold Gray which was based on the 1885 poem “Little Orphant Annie” by James Whitcomb Riley
Directed by Martin Charnin
Choreographed by Liza Gennaro
Music directed and conducted by Keith Levenson
Animals wrangled by William Berloni

May 9 – 21, 2017
The Wang Theatre operated by Boch Center
Boston, MA
Boch Center on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MAI’m a stoic deeply bruised by current events, but Annie at the Wang is such an uplifting show that I was able to smile and think of happier times. This production is a fast-paced, clean cut piece of theatre. Escapism isn’t always productive, but this particular dose isn’t doing anyone any harm.   Continue reading

May 10

Canary in the Mine: “Yellow Bird Chase”

Photo by Chris McIntosh; the cast.

Presented by Liars and Believers
Conceived and Directed by Jason Slavick
Written by the LAB Ensemble
In Collaboration with Luminati led by Johnny Blazes

May 4th – 21st, 0217
Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont Street
LAB on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) Every now and again, a piece comes along that’s so far out of the box it defies most reasonable explanation.  Liars & Believers has a history of creating such pieces, integrating clowning with storytelling and adventure in original works that thrill and excite. Yellow Bird Chase is a creative and vibrant exploration of the imagination.  For that, I found the piece a bit confused (and confusing). Continue reading

May 09

Squirrel for Your Thoughts: OTP’s “Fear Project”


Presented by Open Theatre Project
Created by Lynda Backman, Molly Gilbert, Zahra A. Belyea, Sarah Jacobs, Rosie Mcinnes, Robin Abrahams, Hal Halper, J. Deschene, Lydia Jane Graeff, Athena-Gwendolyn Baptiste
Directed by Lynda Bachman and Molly Gilbert

April 28 – May 13, 2017
St. John’s Church
Jamaica Plain, MA
OTP on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Jamaica Plain, MA) OTP’s Fear Project tells human stories of insecurity and fragility. It is comprised in two halves of short vignettes strung to make a unified narrative. They slowly reveal the interconnected fears of an estranged brother and sister struggling to maintain their family ties. They suffer their secrets alone even as they project the same fears. Continue reading