Apr 10

The Who & The What: Lifting the curtain on the gender-politics at the heart of a Pakistani-American family drama


Presented by Huntington Theatre Company
By Ayad Akhtar
Directed by M. Bevin O’Gara

March 31 – May 7 2017
South End Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
527 Tremont Street
Boston, MA
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Review by Polly Goss

(Boston, MA) The Who & The What is a heartfelt and moving portrayal of the inter-generational and cultural conflicts nestling within the heart of a Pakistani American family. The Who & The What is more than just a Muslim variation of the domestic tragicomedy, which has historically dominated depictions of the immigrant family on stage and screen. Pulitzer Prize winning author Ayad Akhtar asks some pervading questions about Islam, religious doctrine and gender politics that resonate with audiences of all different races and creeds. The play is a delight to watch, but Akhtar’s light hearted writing leaves the audiences asking some serious questions about the nature of family and faith. Continue reading

Jan 09

Son of a Biscuit: HAND TO GOD

It starts so innocently. It always does. Eliot Purcell and Josephine Elwood; Photo by Glenn Perry Photography

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
Written by Robert Askins
Directed by David R. Gammons
Puppetry direction by Roxanna Myhrum
Fight direction by Ted Hewlett

Jan. 6 – Feb. 4, 2017
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
527 Tremont St
Boston, MA
SpeakEasy on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warning: Devil references, supernatural activity, gore, violence, implied sex with a minor, graphic puppetry

(Boston, MA) Horror gets nastier when it employs kid’s toys. Personally speaking, dolls are the worst, but cinematic history has proved that puppets can be just as creepy. They can be really, super, frickin’ creepy. SpeakEasy’s Hand to God has a puppet. Like the previously referenced horror movies, it gets creepy and weird. Like, Evil Dead chainsaw hand meets Avenue Q levels of weird. It’s awesome.   Continue reading

Nov 30

Too Many Words: AMADEUS

Moonbox Productions - AMADEUS (L-R) Matthew Zahnzinger - "Antonio Salieri", Cody Sloan - "Amadeus Mozart" Photographer: Earl Christie

Moonbox Productions – AMADEUS, (L-R) Matthew Zahnzinger – “Antonio Salieri”, Cody Sloan – “Amadeus Mozart”
Photographer: Earl Christie

Presented by Moonbox Productions
By Peter Shaffer
Directed/choreographed by Allison Olivia Choat
Music direction by Dan Rodriguez
Period music consultation by Thomas Carroll

Nov. 25 – Dec. 17, 2016
Plaza Theatre
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
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Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Moonbox’s Amadeus is a delightful tragedy. Tragic because Mozart dies. Also tragic because playwright Shaffer likes to hear his own words spoken aloud. It’s made a delight by the elegant, classically lined staging by Choat, and the performances from the cast.   Continue reading

Jul 18

Facing the Face: “Yellow Face”

Presented by the Office of War Information (Bureau of Theatre)
­­­­By David Henry Hwang
Directed by Cliff Odle

July 14 – 31st
Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street, Boston
Office of War Information on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) The Office of War Information surely makes a splash with their maiden production in the BCA, Yellow Face.  This unreliable memoir explores the implications of race (specifically Asian-Americanness) in the late twentieth century; expertly smudging the lines between reality and fiction.  Continue reading

Jun 07

More Fun Than Interviewing Pigeons: “The Birds and the Bees”

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Presented by Sleeping Weazel
Written by Kate Snodgrass (Bark), Adara Meyers (Birds), Charlotte Meehan (Beesus)
Directed by Melia Bensussen (Bark & Beesus), Shana Gozansky (Birds)

June 2 – 11, 2016
Plaza Black Box Theater
539 Tremont St
Boston, MA
Sleeping Weazel on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MAThe Birds and the Bees: A Festival of New Plays is good albeit strange theatre. Play #1, The Last Bark is the most concrete of the three plays that make up this production. Birds is post post-modern theatre. Beesus & Ballustrada is even more abstract than Birds. The performances are compelling. The scripts are perplexing. Continue reading

Nov 12

Too close but still comfortable: “Six Degrees of Separation”

Credit: Paul Cantillon, Lidecphoto.com.

Credit: Paul Cantillon, Lidecphoto.com.

Produced by Bad Habit Productions
Written by John Guare
Directed by Liz Fenstermaker

November 7-22, 2015
Deane Hall at the Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Bad Habit on Facebook

http://badhabitproductions.org/shows/season-9/mainstage/six-degrees-of-separation/

(Boston, MA) Six Degrees of Separation was a celebrated play when it first hit New York stages, portraying stereotypes of the city, moneyed New Yorkers and people who aspire to be moneyed New Yorkers. This production elevates the writing to present a mix that is more than the Law & Order rerun it would like to be. Continue reading

Aug 11

Some Dudes Will Put Their Dicks In Anything: “The Goat or, Who Is Sylvia?”

Photo credit: Paul Cantillon, Lidec Photo

Photo credit: Paul Cantillon, Lidec Photo

Presented by Bad Habit Productions, Inc.
Written by Edward Albee
Directed by Daniel Morris

Aug. 8-23, 2015
The Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warnings: Rape (the play), F-bombs (the review)

(Boston, MA) WARNING: Spoilers ahead. The effort necessary to tiptoe around the main plot point of The Goat is so cumbersome that I’m not even going to bother trying.

The Goat or Who Is Sylvia? is about rape. It is about reconciling a sinner with their sin. It is about betrayal. It is not about the moralities of romantic love. Continue reading

Apr 13

Daniil Kharms Continues to Charm in imaginary beasts’ Betty Bam!

Photo credit: Roger Metcalf

Photo credit: Roger Metcalf

Presented by imaginary beasts
Directed by Matthew Woods, Joey C. Pelletier, and Michael Underhill
Written by Daniil Kharms
Translation by Zoya Derman
Adapted by The Ensemble

April 10 – May 2, 2015
At the Plaza Black Box Theatre
at the Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street, Boston MA
imaginary beasts on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) The innovative and evocative imaginary beasts continue with their year-long exploration of Stalinist-era author, Daniil Kharms, with Betty Bam! Their last attack on his material, KNOCK!, was a condensed affair, a multi-character and multi-story primer on Kharms’ bleak humor and deeply unsettling monologues. The actors took pratfalls and grafted the absurdist theater onto a sort of vaudeville act. In Betty Bam!, the visual nods remain in the early-twentieth century, but the aesthetic switches to black and white film, page-boy cuts, and a set styled into a cartoon explosion. The five actresses who depict Betty Bam’s fractured identity (Beth Pearson, Amy Meyer, Molly Kimmerling, Sarah Gazdowicz, and Kiki Samko) are each a live action Betty Boop caught in an explosion of a different sort, one that takes the guise of an interruption into their life: the police, Ivan (Cameron Cronin) and Pytor (William Schuller). As with KNOCK!, the police are an oppressive force, one here to take Betty to an unknown fate. The action of taking her away makes up the entirety of the plot. Continue reading

Apr 10

Enjoyably Odd and Oddly Enjoyable: ORLANDO

Photo credit: Bad Habit Productions

Photo credit: Bad Habit Productions

Presented by Bad Habit Productions
Virgina Woolf’s Orlando
Adapted by Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Daniel Morris

April 4-April 19, 2014
Deane Hall at the Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Bad Habit on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Boston, MA) Identity and discovery are heavily explored in Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, a work that spans continents, time, and gender.  Initially written as a joke of a biography for a fellow artist in the early 20th century, this more recent adaptation puts Woolf’s language forward while sacrificing character development.  This complex creation scratches the surface of a meaty, subtle series of discussions even the novel Orlando could not fully deliver. Continue reading

Nov 17

Faith, Family, and Fireworks: BAD JEWS

Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo

Photo by Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo

Presented by Speakeasy Stage Company
By Joshua Harmon
Directed by Rebecca Bradshaw

October 24 – November 29, 2014
Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
October 24th – November 29th, 2014
SpeakEasy on Facebook

Review by Kate Lew Idlebrook

(Boston) Bad Jews asks a question that is fundamental to so many young “Jew-ish” Jews. Are we bad Jews? Are we letting our faith, our traditions, our race die out? Now, in a time when it has arguably never been safer or easier to be Jewish, are we sitting by and letting our very culture die? Continue reading