Mar 18

What a marvel: “Edward II”

(l to r) Edward II (Maurice Emmanuel Parent), Gaveston (Eddie Shields), and Lancaster (Nigel Gore) – Photo by Maggie Hall

Presented by Actors’ Shakespeare Project
By Christopher Marlowe
Directed by David R. Gammons

February 22 – March 19, 2017
Charlestown Working Theater
ASPBoston on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

WARNING: Nudity, violence.

(I beg forgiveness from the cast and crew of Edward II! I was trapped on the west coast during the blizzard, and only returned last night. It was not possible to post Ms. Daniels’ review until then. My sincerest apologies, and best wishes for a closing weekend! – Kitty, the Queen Geek)

(Charlestown, MA)  This show is intense. I could feel my temples vibrate during intermission. The power and emotion has stayed with me for days. I cried during the show, afterward, and grew teary remembering it. I am not at all surprised the production has added more performances to its tight schedule. This is a melodrama realized with an expert, brutal hand. Continue reading

Dec 06

“The Tempest”: Heaven Hath no Mercy Like a Sorceress Scorned

Kai Tshikosi (Ferdinand), Marya Lowry (Prospero), Lydia Barnett-Mulligan (Miranda), and Samantha Richert (Ariel)

Kai Tshikosi (Ferdinand), Marya Lowry (Prospero), Lydia Barnett-Mulligan (Miranda), and Samantha Richert (Ariel); photo credit to Nile Scott Shots.

Presented by Actors’ Shakespeare Project
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Allyn Burrows

December 1, 2016-January 8, 2017
Willet Hall at United Parish
210 Harvard Avenue
Brookline, MA 02446
Actors’ Shakespeare Project on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Brookline, MA) One of the most exciting things about seeing any production of a Shakespeare show is how vast the possibilities are for interpretation. The fact that I was completely new to the world of The Tempest, which serves as Artistic Director Allyn Burrows’ final show with Actors’ Shakespeare Project, made seeing a production of it that much more thrilling. Continue reading

Nov 11

The Church is the Thing: HAMLET

Photo by Nile Scott Shots; Marianna Bassham and Ross MacDonald.

Photo by Nile Scott Shots; Marianna Bassham and Ross MacDonald.

Presented by Actors’ Shakespeare Project
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Doug Lockwood

October 5 – November 6, 2016
Church of the Covenant
Boston, MA
ASP on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston, MA) Hamlet is often seen as a humanist play, one where the lead character, instead of taking much of any action, spends much of his time pondering the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. Continue reading

Mar 03

“Richard II”: Spoiled Man-Boy King Destroys Himself in Simple Production

ASP Richard II (l to r) Northumberland (Marya Lowry), King Richard II (Doug Lockwood), Bishop of Carlisle (Malcolm Ingram), Bolingbroke (Michael Forden Walker), and Henry Percy (Lewis D. Wheeler). Photo by Stratton McCrady

ASP Richard II (l to r) Northumberland (Marya Lowry), King Richard II (Doug Lockwood), Bishop of Carlisle (Malcolm Ingram), Bolingbroke (Michael Forden Walker), and Henry Percy (Lewis D. Wheeler). Photo by Stratton McCrady

Presented by Actors’ Shakespeare Project
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Allyn Burrows

Feb. 17-March 13, 2016
Cambridge YMCA
Cambridge, MA
ASP on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Cambridge, MA) Richard II is not about a Danish prince languishing over a ghost’s warnings or an elderly king like Lear, mad with grief due to age and family strife. No, this is a story about the abuses of power and a complex man who both understands why he must give up his throne but is honest enough to admit to himself that he just really, really doesn’t want to. Continue reading

Nov 04

Halloween Leftovers: CANNIBAL – THE MUSICAL

Photos Courtesy of Erik Fox

Photos Courtesy of Erik Fox. Trappers gotta trap.

Presented by Arts After Hours
Written by Trey Parker of South Park
Directed by Corey Jackson
Music Direction by Mario Cruz
Choreography by Nicole Spirito

October 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 29. 30 31, and November 1st at 8PM.
October 19, 26 at 3PM
LynnArts Rantoul Black Box
25 Exchange Street
Lynn, MA
Arts After Hours on Facebook

Review by

(Lynn, MA) When college academics look back at the body of work of Trey Parker, co-creator of South Park, I can only assume they will look at his early script for Cannibal – The Musical as a sign of his future potential. The script, which was a senior project while Parker was at the University of Colorado – Boulder, reads much like one of Shakespeare’s “problem plays”, with moments of brilliance, some car-crash-worthy attempts at brilliance, and a lot of head-scratching mediocrity. It presents a comedic challenge to any who attempt it. Arts After Hours embraces this challenge with enthusiasm, and hits many of the high-notes of comedy teed up by Parker, but misses a few others. Continue reading

Sep 29

Full of Cozenage: COMEDY OF ERRORS

Photo courtesy Stratton McCrady Photography

Photo courtesy Stratton McCrady Photography

Presented by Actors’ Shakespeare Project
By William Shakespeare
Directed by David R. Gammons

September 24 – October 19, 2014
Brighton High School
26 Warren St. Brighton, MA
The Actors’ Shakespeare Project on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Brighton, MA) Life is a circus, my friends, and if that’s clear anywhere it’s clear in ASP’s Comedy of Errors. David R. Gammons gives us a Comedy within the frame of a has-been circus. As you walk into the theatre, you find the stage already teeming with life: a cast of rag-tag and second-rate clowns struggles to prepare for their show. I, for one, was curious as to why one of the only professional Shakespeare companies in Boston was performing in a High School auditorium. At least, until I walked into the high school auditorium. The space perfectly suits Gammons’ concept as it looks like the ruins of a once-grand theatre. Stripped to its studs, there is no veneer of illusion in Comedy; just bare-bones performance. Continue reading

Oct 21

Rage Against the Love Machine: ROMEO AND JULIET

http://www.actorsshakespeareproject.org/sites/default/files/gallery/Stratton_McCrady_201310010235.jpg?download=1

Stratton McCrady Photography 2013

Presented by Actors’ Shakespeare Project
By William Shakespeare
Co-directed by Bobbie Steinbach and Allyn Burrows

October 2nd – November 3rd, 2013
The Strand Theatre
Dorchester (Boston), MA
Actor’s Shakespeare Project on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston) We are so insane for love that we co-opt works of art that vilify love and turn them into romantic propaganda.  It happens with every generation.  I grew up with The Police song “Every Breath You Take” as the best love song of 1983, even though it was clearly about a stalker

Romeo and Juliet has become a stand-in for romance, so much so that Bugs Bunny and Pepe LePew could do the balcony scene and 4-year-olds would get the joke.  But while any college freshman with a dye job can enjoy the irony that this iconically romantic story could easily be considered a black comedy, few theatre companies can stage “R + J” productions that can cut through the “Will U Be Mine” ethos we smear on the play. Continue reading

May 07

Bleak Travels Through “Hamlet Asylum”

Presented by The Calliope Project

May 3, 4, 10, and 11th at 8PM
Green Street Studios Theatre
185 Green St
Cambridge MA
The Calliope Project Facebook Page

Review by the lovely Gillian Daniels

**EXPLICIT CONTENT INCLUDING RAPE AND VIOLENCE**

Some contemporary productions of Hamlet play with the ambiguity of the Prince of Denmark’s sanity.  Is he seeking justice or satisfying a personal vendetta with the logic of a “ghost” to back him up, “mad north-north-west” or just vengeful?  In Hamlet Asylum, this ambiguity is dismissed.  Most of the play clearly takes place in the head of Bryan Bernfield’s Hamlet.  A masked Greek chorus (Meghan Kelly, Amiel Bowers, and Samuel Guerin) speak in the voice of his father, his confidant Horatio, the gravediggers, and others, all in the guise of Hamlet’s repressed desires.   It’s a clever idea.  The result, though,
is a production both rich with symbols and dark with melodrama. Continue reading

Apr 26

Perils, Pirates, Prostitutes, and the Peculiarity of “Pericles”

Omar Robinson, Johnny Lee Davenport*, and Johnnie McQuarley in the foreground, with Jesse Hinson* (Pericles) and the cast in the background.
Photo: Stratton McCrady Photography

Presented by Actor’s Shakespeare Project
by William Shakespeare
directed by Allyn Burrows

The Modern Theatre at Suffolk University
525 Washington St., Boston
April 17 – May 12, 2013
ASP Facebook Page

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston) It’s easy to see why Pericles, Prince of Tyre isn’t one of Shakespeare’s best loved plays.  The plot is often as lost at sea as the titular character, who drifts from one melodramatic episode to the next on an unending voyage.  Pericles’ journey begins with villainous incest and the threat of death and, after abandoning this thread, continues on to tragic storms, kidnappings, and brothels.  Taking on this play means a potential mess. Continue reading

Feb 24

Melanie Garber’s Ephemeral Direction Of Dreams and Mysteries

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A Dream Play

Presented by Heart & Dagger Productions

By August Strindberg, Translated by Harry G. Carlson
Directed by Melanie Garber

February 22, 2013 to March 2, 2013
The Factory Theatre
791 Tremont Street, Boston

Directing Profile by Becca Kidwell

photo credit:  Drew Linehan

photo credit: Drew Linehan

Melanie Garber has a dancer’s sensibility of direction with Heart & Dagger Productions’ A Dream Play, but this is not a surprise.  She has shown this intricate direction in Actor’s Shakespeare Project’s Medea, Fresh Ink Theatre Company’s Priscilla Dreams The Answer, and Heart & Dagger’s Crave.  Not only does Ms. Garber make words come alive, but she also brings life to words. From the initial moments of each of the productions, she chooses specific, distinct movements that create the environment of the play. Continue reading