Mar 08

The Simple Beauty of “Grand Concourse”

Photo by Glenn Perry Photography; full stage with cast.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
By Heidi Schreck
Directed by Bridget Kathleen O’Leary

March 3-April 1, 2017
539 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02116
SpeakEasy Stage Company on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) While I try not to make a habit of going to see religious shows, there’s something about the themes of religion that is compelling. They bring people together and allow them to question anything from faith and love to forgiveness and existence. And while playwright Heidi Schreck’s Grand Concourse manages to tackle all of these, what’s captivating about the show is that it does so without forcing religious concepts. Continue reading

Mar 07

Boston’s Unfortunate History of Complicity: “The Boston Abolitionists”

Presented by The Poets’ Theatre, and the Boston Athenaeum
Written by David Gullette
Directed by Bob Scanlan

Sunday, March 5, 2017 @ 1:00 P.M.
The Boston Athenaeum
10½ Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108

Review by Polly Goss

(Boston, MA) The Boston Athenaeum was the perfect setting for a performance that delved into the city’s complex past. Surrounded by portraits of Boston’s founding fathers, The Poets’ Theatre gave voice to some of Boston lesser-known revolutionaries in this unusual piece.

Challenging the stock image of the 19th century abolitionist as ‘a white man in a black suit’, the actors gave voice to some of the nation’s bravest and most controversial pioneers: escaped slave David Walker, the formidable Maria Stewart and white Southern activist Angelina Grimké among others. The story of Anthony Burns, the escaped slave, who was sent by a Massachusetts judge to return to Virginia and slavery, added a darker tone to the piece. Highlighting the North’s complicity with Southern slavery, Burns’ story reminded the audience that Boston’s history, like the whole country’s, is stained by slavery. Continue reading

Mar 06

WORLD MUSIC/CRASHarts presents SHAOLIN WARRIORS


WORLD MUSIC/CRASHarts presents SHAOLIN WARRIORS
Saturday, April 1, 8pm
Orpheum Theatre
1 Hamilton Pl., Boston MA
WORLD MUSIC/CRASHarts on Facebook
$58, $48, $37, $30, Reserved Seating (includes Orpheum Theatre $2 restoration fee)
For tickets and information call World Music/CRASHarts at (617) 876-4275 or buy online at www.WorldMusic.org.

(Boston, MA) Representing over a thousand years of Chinese martial-arts culture, Shaolin Warriors showcases the remarkable skill, stunning artistry, and death-defying martial-arts prowess of more than 20 kung fu masters. This spectacular theatrical display features many forms of Shaolin kung fu as well as a look at the daily life of the warriors and their Zen philosophy. Beginning at a very young age, the kung fu masters are trained in mental and physical disciplines, perfecting the art of hand-to-hand and weapons combat, which allows them to perform astounding feats of athleticism.  Continue reading

Feb 27

Vouchers Will Not Save Our Schools: “Exit Strategy”

UPDATED on 2/28/17: Because holy crapping fudge DeVos is either a sincere idiot, or a racist ass (mostly likely, both). https://twitter.com/AdamHSays/status/836416602736312320

Photo by Joel Benjamin. With Robert Bonotto, Victoria George, Johnny Quinones, Jalani Dottin-coye and Matt Fagerberg.

Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company
Written by Ike Holter
Directed by David Miller

Feb. 17- March 11, 2017
Plaza Theater
Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont St in Boston’s South End
Zeitgeist on Facebook

This production is made possible in part by The Bob Jolly Charitable Trust, which was established by the late Boston actor Bob Jolly to support local theater artists.

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MAExit Strategy opens with a quote for Betsy DeVos’s Senate Hearing on Jan. 17, 2017. DeVos is a rich, white women with no experience in public education and a strong preference for charter schools. She’s in love with vouchers. To her, “accountability” is just a 14 letter word. She is completely oblivious of the hard work public school teachers do every single damn day in order to teach their students. Her ignorance, arrogance and entitlement are the three donkeys of the educational system’s apocalypse. Our kids, especially the underprivileged, deserve better. Her philosophies are the kind that allow schools to crumble apart with children still in them. Continue reading

Feb 21

“The Honey Trap” Sweet Like Honey, Sting Like a Bee

Maureen Keiller, Barlow Adamson. Photograph credit: Kalman Zabarsky

Presented by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre & Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Theatre
Written by Leo McGann
Directed by Adam Kassim

February 16-26, 2017
949 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre on Facebook
Boston University New Play Initiative

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) According to the old cliché, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. The truth of this is debatable, but it’s true that, when luring something, or someone, to its doom, it’s much simpler to do it in a soft, sweet way. On multiple levels, this was the crux of how Leo McGann’s The Honey Trap told a story of history, guilt, and revenge. Continue reading

Feb 17

Elvis Doesn’t Waltz: DON’T GIVE UP THE SHIP

Photo by Emma Young; a tense moment for Commodore Perry and family.

Presented by Fresh Ink Theatre Company
Written by Laura Neill
Directed by Joshua Glenn-Kayden
Dramatugy by Jessica Foster

February 10-25, 2017
Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02116
Fresh Ink on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Fresh Ink Theatre Company serves its community by developing the works of currently living, local-ish playwrights. They do awesome work. Don’t Give Up the Ship is the first show in their 2016/2017 season. Please vote for the arts with your attendance.    Continue reading

Feb 14

Deja Vu All Over Again: “I, Snowflake”

The cast; photo discovered on Anthem Theatre Co’s Facebook page.

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

Feb. 10 – 11, 2017
BU Dance Theatre
915 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA
Anthem on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger Warnings: Adult themes, gunshot sound effect, feminism

(Boston, MA) Bless you, Merriam-Webster. On January, 29, 2017 at 6:32PM, the hero in charge of the Dictionary’s Twitter account posted this lovely article on the slang origins of “snowflake.”  The article’s existence implies that the social movement currently applying this term to liberals are doing so incorrectly. Similarly Anthem Theatre Company strikes back at detractors with a timely, necessary production of I, Snowflake: A Post-election Reaction. Continue reading

Feb 03

Pretty is Not an Even Exchange for Powerful : REALLY

Rachel Cognata in REALLY (Photo by Jeremy Fraga)

Presented by Company One Theatre
With Matter & Light Fine Art, SoWa
With support from Gallery Kayafas
Written by Jackie Sibblies Drury
Directed by Shawn LaCount
Dramaturgy by Ilana M Brownstein and Francisca De Silviera

January 25 – March 12, 2017
63 Thayer St
Boston, MA 02118
C1 on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(SoWa,Boston, MA) Subscribers to American Theatre Magazine will recognize Really from its September 2016 issue. I was excited at the chance to see Company One perform a play I’d only read before. C1 did not disappoint. Still, I had more questions after seeing the show than I did after reading it. Continue reading

Jan 31

Dance Across the Picket Line: BILLY ELLIOT

Photo by Glenn Cook Photography; on the way to boxing class.

Presented by Wheelock Family Theatre
Book & lyrics by Lee Hall
Music by Elton John
Orchestrations by Martin Koch
Based on the Universal Pictures/Studio Canal film Billy Elliot
Directed by Susan Kosoff
Originally directed by Stephen Daldry
Music direction by Jon Goldberg
Choreographed by Laurel Conrad
Sign Performances by Luke Baer, Alvin Haas, Ali Schmalenberger
Audio descriptions by Cori Couture, Ruth Celia Kahn

Jan. 27 – Feb. 26, 2017
ASL performances on Fri, Feb 24 @ 7:30, & Sun, Feb 26, @ 3
All performances are open captioned
The theatre is wheelchair accessible
Wheelock College
200 Riverway
Boston, MA
Wheelock on Facebook

Recommended for ages 8+ for mild violence, occasional references to sexy times by children who don’t understand what they are saying, and English cursing.  

Review by Kitty Drexel

“The arts are essential to any complete national life. The State owes it to itself to sustain and encourage them….Ill fares the race which fails to salute the arts with the reverence and delight which are their due.”
– Winston Churchill (that other quote attributed to Churchill is not something he actually said.)

(Boston, MA) Wheelock does great work with Billy Elliot:The Musical. The 2000 source movie Billy Elliot, is a sweet and rough story about a working class boy who becomes enchanted with dance while his widower father, and brother are caught up in the coal miners’ strike. They are more worried that Billy might be gay, than they are in monitoring Billy’s daytime whereabouts. The musical, based on the movie, incorporates many points of the movie’s plot. The big distinction is the musical’s Disney-fication. Alter expectations accordingly.    Continue reading

Jan 31

“The Princess and the Pea”: A Fairytale Political Drama

“Three Plot Twists”: Sarah J. Mann as Prince Percy, James Sims as Mick Motley, Matthew Woods as Captain Brightside; photo credit: imaginary beasts.

Presented by imaginary beasts
Written by The Ensemble
Based on the fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen
Directed by Matthew Woods

January 14 – February 4, 2017
Plaza Black Box Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street, Boston MA
Boston, MA 02116
imaginary beasts on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) In this uncertain and tumultuous political climate, the arts are a fantastic medium to fight back. While this often applies to theatre, I must admit I was surprised that imaginary beasts’ production of The Princess and the Pea used the kid’s show to make a mockery of our current state of affairs. But it was effing brilliant. Continue reading