Apr 18

Life’s a Circus: “Barnum”

Shonna Cirone (Charity Barnum), Todd Yard (PT Barnum), Dan Prior (Ensemble) and company; Photograph by Earl Christie Photography.

Presented by MoonBox Productions
Music by Cy Coleman
Lyrics by Michael Stewart
Book by Mark Bramble
Directed and Choreographed by Rachel Bertone
Musical Direction by Dan Rodriguez
Circus Arts/Aerial Choreography by Ellen Waylonis

April 8th – April 30th
Roberts Studio Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont Street
Moonbox on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) There’s hardly a figure in American History with a life more colorful than showman and notorious Humbug Phineas Taylor Barnum.  The exaggerations and theatrical tall-tales that are hallmark of Musical Theatre find no palette more suited than the true facts of P.T.’s exploits.  It’s therefore small wonder that these exploits became a musical in 1980 (titled, appropriately, Barnum).  What is astounding is the fact that Moonbox was able to match the schmaltz and pizzazz require to bring a true eighties style musical to light and life in full vibrant color at the BCA. Continue reading

Apr 10

Humans or Animals in “Coyote on a Fence”

Photo by Tim Gurczak

Presented by Hub Theatre Company of Boston
By Bruce Graham
Directed by Daniel Bourque

March 31-April 15, 2017
First Church Boston
66 Marlborough Street
Boston, MA 02116
Hub Theatre Company of Boston on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) If characters are going to be trapped in a prison, they have to be compelling for the sake of a play. Thankfully, in Hub Theatre Company of Boston’s production of Daniel Bourque’s Coyote on a Fence, all the characters are quite fascinating to watch move around and exist in the world of jail cells. Continue reading

Mar 27

Hope Is Not Dead at 24: “The Little Dog Laughed”


Presented by
Take Your Pick Productions
By Douglas Carter Beane
Directed by Cassandra Lovering

March 24 – April 7, 2017
Plaza Black Box Theater
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA

Trigger warning – brief but not inconsiderable penis

Review by Kitty Drexel

Hey diddle diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon,
The little dog laughed to see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.”
-an English nursery rhyme.

(Boston, MA) The Little Dog Laughed spins heteronormative Hollywood on its ass. It unmasks the romantic comedy paradigm and reveals the festering truths wriggling underneath the surface of lies. It does so sweetly, calmly, but so honestly.   Continue reading

Mar 27

“Sinners (The English Teacher)”: You can’t cross the same river twice

Photo by CHARLES MCATEER

Presented by: Greensboro Arts Alliance & Residency/The Mirror Theater, Ltd. in collaboration with New Repertory Theatre and Boston Center for American Performance
By Joshua Sobol
Directed by Brian Cox

March 23 – April 2, 2017
Theatre Lab@855
855 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA
New Rep on Facebook

Review by Polly Goss

(Boston, MA)“Sinners” tells the story of the condemned English professor Layla (Nicole Ansari), as she awaits execution by stoning for having had an affair with her student, Nur (Ben Getz). The unnamed theocracy in which the story takes place has clear parallels to modern day Saudi Arabia. However, Layla’s characterization relies heavily on the Old Testament view of femininity, women are the dangerous corruptors of man’s innocence; Layla is a modern day Eve, Jezebel or Delilah. Cox’s artful direction places this tragic love story within a broader feminist framework, as we see a passionate woman literally crushed by the forces of patriarchy. Continue reading

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