Oct 17

Sympathy for the Sinner: ABIGAIL/1702

Photo by Meghan Moore; Rachel Napoleon and Jon Kovach.

Photo by Meghan Moore; Rachel Napoleon and Jon Kovach.

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Script by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Directed by Tlaloc Rivas

October 12 – November 6, 2016
50 East Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA 01852
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Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell, MA) Ever notice that there aren’t many Academy Awards won for performances given in horror films? This might be because such scripts require a form of acting gymnastics – extreme emotion in some moments and the ability to deliver silly-sounding lines with a straight face in others. Continue reading

Oct 06

Figments of the Id: HERE ALL NIGHT

Presented by ArtsEmerson and Gare St Lazare Ireland
Conceived and created by Judy Hegarty Lovett, Paul Clark, Conor Lovett, Caoimhin O’Raghallaigh
Includes texts from Watt, The Unnamable, First Love, Words and Music, and Malone Dies by Samuel Beckett
Directed by Judy Hegarty Lovett
Composed/music directed by Paul Clark
Additional compositions by Caoimhin O’Raghallaigh

Oct. 5 – 9, 216
Emerson/Paramount Main Stage
Boston, MA
Arts Emerson on Facebook
Gare St Lazare Ireland on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Here All Night is a chamber opera with women’s ensemble based on the works of Irish playwright Samuel Beckett. Let that sink in; it’s a contemporary opera with source texts by the man who wrote Waiting for Godot (among other abstractions). This is not a “normal” piece of pleasant theatre. Buckle your seatbelts and gird your loins, it’s going to be a bumpy night. Continue reading

Oct 04

Lizzie is Not Herself Today: Angela Carter’s “The Fall River Axe Murders”

Presented by imaginary beasts
Adapted from the short story by Angela Carter
Directed by Matthew Woods

Oct. 1-22, 2016
Plaza Black Box Theater
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Imaginary beasts on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Anyone who lives in NE and isn’t familiar with the Lizzie Borden story, can’t call themselves a native. On August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden allegedly murdered her father and stepmother with an axe. An axe any family of the times would have kept to chop wood for the kitchen or other necessary household fires. The Borden axe was spectacular for its extracurricular activities only. Continue reading

Oct 03

“Carmen” Triumphs, Seduces, and Saddens


© T Charles Erickson Photography; Carmen (Jennifer Johnson Cano) scrawls “love” on the chest of solider Joseph Yonaitis.

Presented by Boston Lyric Opera and San Francisco Opera
Conducted by David Angus
Production by Calixto Bieto
Music by Georges Bizet
Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy

September 23 – October 2, 2016
Boston Opera House
539 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02111
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Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) So, okay, say you know this girl, right? More of a “broad,” maybe—flirts with the boys but won’t take shit from them, never lies to appease some dude’s ego, takes lovers and throws them away with ease. Say she gets in a tough situation—but it’s hard to say what’s tough for her, really, she’s not from a great background. But she’s in this situation, right? And it’s either go to prison or go home at the end of a long work day at the cigarette factory. So she flirts some with the poor, idiot small town officer that has her captive. Naïve guy, sweet enough. Continue reading

Sep 29

“Machine” Delivers a Bumpy Ride

Presented by Arts Emerson
Director, Co-Writer, and Original Idea by Vincent Dubé
A Machine de Cirque Production

September 21 – October 2, 2016
559 Washington St
Boston, MA 02111
Machine de Cirque on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) In the face of the neon polish standard that is Cirque de Soleil in the Canadian acrobat scene, Machine de Cirque’s simplicity is real, grim, and refreshing. Here, the stage is covered in junk—bicycles, drums, stripped down scaffolding, juggling pins. The performers who encounter each item play and experiment, piecing the fragments into an act. It’s stunning. Perhaps a bit dark, too, as a viewer is left to wonder where, exactly, these performers are. Are these homeless young men in a junk yard? Or has the apocalypse come and gone, and they’re left with nothing but pieces in the dust of the cataclysm?  Continue reading

Sep 29

Needs More Lesbian Kissing or No Dick is a Picnic: “Cleanliness, Godliness, and Madness: A User’s Guide”

Daniels and Wiseman getting sexy with their Republican selves; Photo credit: David Marshall

Daniels and Wiseman getting sexy with their Republican selves; Photo credit: David Marshall. 

Presented by Sleeping Weazel
Written by Charlotte Meehan
Directed by Robbie McCauley

Sept. 15-24, 2016
Boston Center for the Arts
Plaza Black Box Theatre
Boston, MA
Sleeping Weazel on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

My sincerest apologies to the good folks involved with Cleanliness, Godliness and Madness. I’ve been quite ill with what I can only describe as the Devil’s lurgy. I shall endeavor to disallow my human frailty in the face of illness to force my hand (quite literally) in this way ever again.

(Boston, MATo the lovers of button pushing, wildly liberal avant garde theatre, Cleanliness, Godliness and Madness: A User’s Guide (CGM) has closed. You missed a striking theatrical event. Attempts to remedy this miscalculation should be attempted. Continue reading

Sep 23

Dabs of Drama on a White Stage: “Sunday in the Park with George”

The cast; Photo: Paul Marotta

The cast; Photo: Paul Marotta

Presented by the Huntington Theatre Company
Music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by James Lapine
Directed by Peter DuBois
Music directed by Eric Stern
Choreographed by Daniel Pelzig
Orchestrations and new chromolume music by Michael Starobin

Sept. 9 – Oct. 16, 2016
264 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115
Huntington on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Sunday in the Park with George (SitPwG) is a Sondheim/Lapine musical not frequently performed. That’s probably because it’s not nearly exciting as his more popular shows. Yet, It behooves the hundreds of area artists to go see it for their own personal education. Theatre advocates and appreciators should attend because it simply gorgeous across the board. The Huntington gives us a fine production. Continue reading

Sep 21

Succeed at All Costs: LOOSE, WET, PERFORATED

Aliana de la Guardia as Loose and Brian Church as Wet. Photo credit: Liz Linder Photography

Aliana de la Guardia as Loose and Brian Church as Wet. Photo credit: Liz Linder Photography

Presented by Guerilla Opera
Music and Libretto by Nicholas Vines
Directed by Austin Regan

Sept. 21 – 24, 2016
The Zack Box Theater at Boston Conservatory at Berklee
8 The Fenway, Boston, MA
Guerilla Opera on Facebook

Performance for review was Sept, 20, 2016, an open dress rehearsal.

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger Warning: partial nudity, sexy times, crass language, sock puppet murder

(Boston, MA) Guerilla Opera is making a name for itself as a company that refuses to allow its actors to merely stand and sing. It’s frequently avant garde, often dark, and always giving us something unexpected. Continue reading

Sep 20

Jordan Needs a Xanax and a Snuggle: “Significant Other”


Photo Credit: Justin Saglio; Penises at the Hen Party. Penis. Penis. Penis.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
By Joshua Harmon
Directed by Paul Daigneault

Sept. 9 – Oct. 8, 2016
Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
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Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MASignificant Other (SO) is Sondheim’s Company is the music were stripped, and Bobby was made both gay and genuinely likable. The percentage of justifiable choreography remains equal between the two shows. The set design is similarly simple. The scene transitions are more facile. All in all, based entirely on sympathetic characters alone, Significant Other is the more pleasant viewing choice. Whether this is true for you depends upon your own theatrical preferences. Continue reading

Sep 19

“She Looks Good in Black” and Other Fine Evils


Photo credit: Teri Incampo

Presented by Exiled Theatre
By Sarah J. Mann
Directed by James Wilkinson

September 16-October 2, 2016
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
Boston, MA
Exiled Theatre on Facebook
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) Anybody can pull off a little black dress. Sarah J. Mann’s She Looks Good in Black proved that only a few can make it look connivingly sexy. Continue reading