Mar 02

On the realistic level: “The Night of the Iguana”

Presented by the American Repertory Theater
Written by Tennessee Williams
Directed by Michael Wilson

Current-March 18, 2017
ASL Interpreted, Mar. 12, 2PM & Mar. 15, 7:30PM
Audio Described, Mar. 16, 7:30PM & Mar. 18, 2PM
Open Captioned Logo Open Captioned, Mar. 16, 7:30PM & Mar. 18, 2PM
Loeb Drama Center
Cambridge, MA
ART on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Cambridge, MA) One may not immediately think of The Night of the Iguana as an American classic even though the film version is considered a classic and it was a success by every measure.  Tennessee Williams fans themselves are content to see it or hear of it onstage maybe once a decade, if even that frequently since its debut in 1961.   The A.R.T.’s recent production pays homage to the time period without becoming a stale museum piece.  Tennessee Williams may not be a favored son of every American, but he is a recent one.  Loeb Drama Center had a clever setup when I attended which allowed the audience to ponder correspondence  from archives as well as attempt to bang some literary work out with Royal typewriters rented out by Arlington’s own Cambridge Typewriter.    Continue reading

Jun 23

By the time you notice her, you’re already caught in the web: “Spider Cult the Musical”

13227041_1709956299255837_8492057768646383105_nScripted and Produced by Jade Sylvan
Created, Directed, Choreographed and Produced by Fem Bones
Music by Catherine Capozzi

June 24 6:30 pm and 10:30 pm
June 26 5 pm and 8:30 pm
Club Oberon
Cambridge, MA
Spider Cult on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Cambridge, MA) Back in 2012, a Kickstarter campaign funded quite a bit of Fem Bones’ Revenge of the Battle Robot Nuns, a sci-fantastical burlesque show birthed by the Slaughterhouse Sweethearts, possibly New England’s only horror burlesque troupe.  Spider Cult: The Musical is a spin-off set in the same universe and  it retains quite a lot of the slashes of the macabre and deviant sexuality that made Revenge so memorable. Initially, Jade Sylvan pitched Scout’s story to Fem Bones as a spin-off movie after seeing Revenge.  Jade was enamoured of Revenge because the action reminded them of discovering weirdness and sexuality for the first time as a queer individual.  Instead of creating a movie, Jade banged out a script for a live show which gets translated by the indomitable Fem Bones and the Slaughterhouse Sweeties with special guests onto the Oberon stage this Friday and Sunday for one weekend only.   Fans and other supporters of fringe theatre stepped up via Kickstarter yet again to fund the first reading as well as the creation of the show. Continue reading

May 20

On Behalf of Women’s Bodies: IN THE BODY OF THE WORLD

Photo Evgenia Eliseeva.

Photo Evgenia Eliseeva. Ensler transcends. 

Presented by the American Repertory Theater
Written and performed by Eve Ensler
Directed by Diane Paulus

May 10 – 29, 2016
Loeb Drama Center
64 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA
ART on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warnings: nudity not for the purpose of female objectification, implied drug use, graphic depictions of violence and cruelty, raw feminism

(Cambridge, MA) Our iPads, tablets, game consoles, phones and anything else that requires processed natural minerals and metals are the by-products of systematic rape. This is an oversimplified statement but it is true. The ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and complications within the mineral supply chain means that conflict minerals end up in everyday items. The computer I’m using to write this review likely has conflict minerals in it. The device you’re using to read this review likely has conflict minerals in it. By not pushing for a transparent mineral supply chain, we are aiding the conflict in the Congo. By not taking an active stance, we are telling the companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, etc. that we approve of their trade dealings with companies that don’t require transparency. As ignorant consumers, we are part of them problem.   Continue reading

Aug 21

Fan Service Omitted: WAITRESS, A NEW MUSICAL

Keala Settle, Jessie Mueller, and Jeanna de Waal in Waitress. Photo: Evgenia Eliseeva

Keala Settle, Jessie Mueller, and Jeanna de Waal in Waitress. Photo: Evgenia Eliseeva

Presented by American Repertory Theater
Book by Jessie Nelson
Music & lyrics by Sara Bareilles
Based on the motion picture by Adrienne Shelly
Directed by Diane Paulus
Music direction by Nadia DiGiallonardo
Choreography by Chase Brock

Production is partnered with Harvard University’s Office of Sexual Assault Prevention & Response.

August 2, 2015 – September 27, 2015
Loeb Drama Center
Cambridge, MA
ART on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge, MA) Waitress the musical is an interpretation of the 2007 movie written and directed by Adrienne Shelly. It is beloved by a devoted fan base. Appeasing this fan base is a tall order. The A.R.T. does a good job of remaining true to Shelly’s masterwork. There are many hits and only one notable miss.  Continue reading

Jun 14

R.I.P. Joan Parker, Philanthropist/Muse/Activist

Obituary: In Memory of Joan Parker

Photo credit: Bay Windows

An article from Bay Windows written by Deborah Peeples, President of Greater Boston PFLAG chapter follows below.

People may recall Ms. Parker as a champion of LGBTQ rights. Some may remember her gallant aerial descent to the stage in the 2010 Theater Offensive fundraising event “ClimACTS: Under A Big Top.” She was a miracle to those who needed her. Joan Parker, you are missed.

Joan Parker flying 30 feet up in the air at our 2010 “ClimACTS under a Big Top. Photo credit: The Theater Offensive

From Bay Windows:
“Obituary: In Memory of Joan Parker” by Deborah Peeples, President of Greater Boston PFLAG

I am writing to share the sad news that Joan Parker, one of our distinguished members of the Greater Boston Parents Families and Friends (Greater Boston PFLAG) Advisory Board, passed away yesterday.  Joan was an educator and community activist and philanthropist. She and her late husband, the acclaimed novelist Robert Parker, epitomized the ideal PFLAG parents. Proud and supportive of their two gay sons, Joan and Robert modeled the kind of behavior PFLAG seeks to promote with all parents: unqualified love and acceptance of their LGBT children.  And they took that love and support to its highest form by becoming activists  — committing themselves to making the world safe and inclusive for all.

For decades, Joan was active in a wide range of community service and arts organizations, including the American Repertory Theater, Community Servings, Theater Offensive, The Boston Children’s Theater and, fortunately for us, Greater Boston PFLAG.  Joan was also a moving force behind “Shared Heart”, a traveling exhibit of black-and-white photos of LGBT teens that was narrated by the featured youth.

Joan and Robert joined the Greater Boston PFLAG’s Advisory Board in June 2008, and together with Chad and Anne Gifford, served as Honorary Co-Chairs of our April 2008 and 2009 Pride and Passion fundraisers. At the April 2010 fundraiser, Greater Boston PFLAG honored Joan with its Cornerstone of Equality Award. Joan then went on to Co-Chair three successive Pride and Passion fundraising events. Each of these galas was more successful than the one before by all measures, including increasing the amount of funds raised to support of our bullying prevention and family acceptance programs. Beyond that, through her work on our fundraising events, Joan was instrumental in boosting public awareness of our lifesaving, life-changing mission. She became an active member of our Speaker’s Bureau and participated in our workplace based education programs for parents and allies.  She gave generously of her time, passion and expertise and was a brilliant “organizational development consultant”. She frequently opened her Cambridge home for countless meetings and parties for supporters and friends of the organization- in some respects, her Ash Street residence became a second home office for Greater Boston PFLAG.

My predecessor Stan Griffith, our Executive Director Pam Garramone and I will always cherish Joan’s warm friendship and her steady wise counsel. She was our guru and mentor. We are grateful to Joan Parker for all that she did to make the world a better place for all kids and their families.

Greater Boston PFLAG extends our deepest sympathies to Joan’s sons David and Daniel and to their families during this difficult time. The family has requested that memorial gifts be made in lieu of flowers to one or more of the organizations with which their mother was active, including Greater Boston PFLAG.  Those who would like to make a memorial gift in Joan Parker’s honor should consult our website at: http://www.gbpflag.org or call 781-891-5966.

 

May 21

“Pirates of Penzance” Pillages Hearts

Emily Casey, Sean Pfautsch, Matt Kahler, Ryan Bourque, Dana Omar. Photo by Evgenia Eliseeva

presented by American Repertory Theater
produced by The Hypocrites
by Gilbert & Sullivan
adapted by Sean Graney, Kevin O’Donnell
directed by Sean Graney

Loeb Drama Center
64 Brattle St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
The Hypocrites’ Facebook Page

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Cambridge) The Hypocrites’ production of Pirates of Penzance is an absolute confection.  Adapting the beloved Gilbert and Sullivan operetta to a quirkier, more contemporary stage, Sean Graney and Kevin O’Donnell infuse the original libretto and its score with banjos, bathing suits, beach balls, and a warmth that charms but never cloys.  It’s energetic and just plain fun.

Premiering in New York in 1879, the original show has a long history of making audiences titter at lyrics like, “I am the very model of a modern major general.”  The comic opera lampoons Victorian concepts of honor, piracy, politeness, the literary inconveniences of being a foundling, and, most importantly, duty. Continue reading