Aug 08

“Chess”: When the World is Not Your Oyster

Photo credit: Julie Henion

Presented by The MIT Gilbert and Sullivan Players
Book by Richard Nelson
Music by Benny Andersson and Bjӧrn Ulvaeus
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Directed by Emma Brown
Music Direction by Elena Sokoloski

August 4 – August 13, 2017
Kresge Little Theater
48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA 02139
Chess Facebook Event

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Cambridge, MA) Chess is a grim Cold War fable told around an international obsession with the titular board game. Director Emma Brown and the MIT Gilbert and Sullivan Players bring to life the ‘80’s show with a heavy dose of whimsy, suffusing the production with neon-colored nostalgia. Despite some song reshuffling, lyric changes, and obvious fun had by the cast, there’s little they can do to fix a rushed romance and peculiar pacing, creating a hurky-jerky but intriguing roller coaster of a musical. Continue reading

Jul 29

These Violent Delights: “Romeo & Juliet”

Presented by Commonwealth Shakespeare Company
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Allegra Libonati

July 19 – August 6, 2017
Boston Common
Boston, MA
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company on Facebook

Romeo and Juliet is like an old jalopy: if you want it to run, you need to know where to kick it, when to kick it, and how hard to kick it. Unfortunately, I really don’t think that director Allegra Libonati has the formula down (and not for lack of trying). Continue reading

Feb 22

Tell Your Own Story: “Informed Consent”

With Dale J. Young, Demetrius Fuller, Alexa Lambert, Becca A. Lewis, Danielle Jacques, Deniz Khateri, Camilo Atehortua, Paola M. Ferrer Collazo and Chrissy Tina. Photo credit: Apollinaire Theatre Co.

Presented by Apollinaire Theatre Company
Written by Deborah Zoe Laufer
Directed by Dale J. Young

Feb. 17- Mar. 12, 2017
Chelsea Theatre Works
189 Winnisimmet St., Chelsea, MA, 02150
Apollinaire on Facebook

90 minutes, no intermission.

Review by Polly Goss

(Chelsea, MA) Having originally opened to critical acclaim at The Duke on 42nd Street in August 2015, Laufer’s hard hitting play is the most recent production from Chelsea’s Appolinaire Theatre Company. Resident company of Chelsea Theatre Works, Appolinaire endeavours to “offer audiences direct, intimate encounters with works of modern and contemporary theatre.” Informed Consent does exactly that. Deborah Zoe Laufer is an accomplished writer, marrying the universal with the personal, in this heart-wrenching story of one woman’s struggle to beat fate and save her daughter…“whatever the cost”. Continue reading

Aug 30

“Colapesce”: Giving Life to Myth

The company in performance

The company in performance; Photo credit: Lee Bader

Written & Presented by Trinacria Theatre Company
Directed by Mariagrazia LaFauci

August 24-27, 2016
Sicily, NYC & Boston (various locations)
Trinacria Theatre Company on Facebook & Instagram

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) A Saturday afternoon in the North End’s Langone Park along the Charles River provided a beautiful, and apt, backdrop for Trinacria Theatre Company’s inaugural performance of La Storia di Colapesce. Continue reading

Aug 17

Trinacria Theatre Company presents “La Storia di Colapesce”

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The Trinacria Theatre Company Produces Its Inaugural US Performance Tour
LA STORIA DI COLAPESCE
An Original International Theatrical Event, from Sicily to the United States.

Limited Run: August 26 – 27 2016, three performances only
Show Dates:
Friday, August 26th, 8pm
Watertown Sons of Italy
520 Pleasant Street, Watertown, MA 02472

Saturday, August 27th at 1pm
Langone Park in the North End
Commercial Street, Boston 02109

Saturday, August 27th at 7pm
St. John’s Episcopal Church*
48 Middle St, Gloucester, MA 01930
*A portion of the proceeds from this performance will benefit St. John’s Youth Ministry.

Purchase tickets in advance here: http://lastoriadicolapesce.brownpapertickets.com
More info is available at www.trinacriatheatre.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TrinacriaTheatre
Instagram: www.instagram.com/trinacriatheatreco

(Boston, MA) Trinacria Theatre Company presents its inaugural theatrical production, La Storia di Colapesce in various locations in the Boston and Greater Boston Area. The production is an original piece created and devised by the company during a 4-week residency in Sicily, at the Istituto San Placido Calonerò in the Messina region of Sicily. The cast of La Storia di Colapesce is comprised of an ensemble of eight American theatre artists. The Trinacria Theatre Company’s mission is to use theatre as a tool to promote Sicilian history, heritage, and culture at home and abroad. Continue reading

Aug 16

Hot as Hell in Philadelphia” “1776”

Photo credit: Eurah Joanna Ko

Photo credit: Eurah Joanna Ko

Presented by The MIT Gilbert and Sullivan Players
Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
Book by Peter Stone
Directed by Emma Brown
Vocal Direction by Tom Ostrowski and Johnnie Han
Orchestra Directed by Julie Henion

August 12 – 14
MIT Kresge Little Theatre
48 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA
MIT Gilbert & Sullivan Players on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Cambridge, MA1776 is one of those archaic mainstays of musical theatre that gets some seasonal adoration around the patriotic holidays of summer and spends the rest of the year hiding in its box waiting for people to remember how catchy the good songs are (and forget how atrociously lingering the bad ones get).  It’s also got some technical and social difficulties: the cast is large; dare I say ungainly; and made almost exclusively of men.  Costuming the show is serious business since it’s a period piece (rarely modernized).  And the script… oh the script… the script has not aged well.  Sherman Edwards wrote some poppy songs that still captivate, but Peter Stone’s book is definitely a product of its time.  Once again; the good parts are great.  The bad parts just linger a little too long.  Last, but certainly not least, the show attempts to tackle some very dark eras of American History and doesn’t exactly do it in the best possible way. Continue reading

Aug 10

A Massive Cuddle for the Ears and Eyes: A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE

Photo credit: Earl Christie Photography, earlchristie.com.

Photo credit: Earl Christie Photography, earlchristie.com.

Presented by Bad Habit Productions
Book by Terrance McNally
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Based on the 1994 film, “A Man of No Importance” by Suri Krishnamma
Directed by Daniel Morris
Music directed by Meghan MacFadden

August 6 – 28, 2016
The Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Bad Habit on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) 1994’s “A Man of No Importance” is a difficult movie to find (legally). My library didn’t have a copy that wasn’t on VHS. Amazon won’t let one buy a copy for less than $95.00. eBay has laserdisc copies but who still uses a laserdisc player? My journey to view the source material before writing a review yielded no positive results. Albert Finney is an excellent actor. It must be a good movie to produce such a lovely musical. Bad Habit’s is a lovely musical. Sad face.    Continue reading

Aug 08

Not A Leftover: DOG PADDLE (Or, Struggling Inelegantly Against Drowning)

Photo by Andrew Brilliant

Photo by Andrew Brilliant, from Facebook.

Presented by Bridge Repertory Theater
By Retro Finger
Translated by Lily Sykes
Directed by Guy Ben-Aharon

August 4-20, 2016
Studio Theater at Central Square Theater
Cambridge, MA
Bridge Rep on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge, MADog Paddle (Or, Struggling Inelegantly Against Drowing) is a brisk 55 minutes long. It is brief, packs a wallop, and, to be blunt, is just short enough that one can still run errands or what have you before the day’s exhaustion catches up. Dog Paddle is an opportunity to enjoy cranial, abstract theatre without wearing one out for the rest of life. It’s perfect. Continue reading

Jul 29

Everyone’s Invited to “The T Party”

Playing through August 13, 2016. Photos by Paul Fox

Playing through August 13, 2016. Photos by Paul Fox

Presented by Company One
Written and Directed by Natsu Onoda Power (with contributions by Jade Sylvan)

July 15 – August 13, 2016
Nancy and Edward Roberts Studio Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Company One on Facebook
Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MAThe T Party is colorful potpourri of a show: bright, engaging, and eclectic in design. The skit format gives a wide range of stories based under the LGBTQ (QUILTBAG?) umbrella usually, but not always, focused on gender. Natsu Onoda’s anecdotes come in a wide range, some as feel good as a ‘90’s prom in the style of Lisa Frank that opens the show. Others are  more awkward, like a Craigslist meet up between a cis male identified crossdresser and a trans Filipina escort. The scope is broad and looks to simultaneously create community and intimacy. Without focus on an individual narrative, the tone shifts between joy and sadness wildly, suddenly, as if the two emotions weren’t separate at all, but a continuum of the same experience. Continue reading

Jul 29

Losing to Win: LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST

The players. Photo by Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures.

The players. Photo by Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures.

By William Shakespeare
Presented by Commonwealth Shakespeare Company
Directed by Steven Maler

July 20 – August 7, 2016
Boston Common
Boston, MA
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) Every year, I find a way to haul myself out to the Common to see Boston’s free Shakespeare under the stars.  Every year, I find something to like about the performance (even if some years it’s just the signature Ben & Jerry’s sundae which, by the way, is once again delicious).  This year, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn’t have to dig deep to find something to like.  CSC’s 2016 production of Love’s Labour’s Lost is not one to be missing; it’s easily the best production I’ve seen CSC put up since my move to Boston in 2011. Continue reading