Nov 20

A Story Worth Telling: “The Old Man and the Old Moon”

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Presented by ArtsEmerson
Created by PigPen Theatre Co.

November 19 – 23, 2014
Emerson/Paramount Center Mainstage
Boston, MA
ArtsEmerson on Facebook
PigPen Theatre on Facebook

Review by Nick Bennett-Zendzian

(Boston) Theatre is storytelling. Hopefully that’s not a revelation to anyone reading this, but given that theatre covers such a broad spectrum, I find it helpful to remember that no matter what art forms get incorporated into a production, the story is what lies at the heart of every play, musical, opera or what have you. And the young men who make up the ensemble of the NYC-based fringe group PigPen Theatre Company have proven themselves to be masterful storytellers with their contemporary folktale-style production of “The Old Man and the Old Moon,” running until this Sunday at the Paramount Theatre in Downtown Boston. Continue reading

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Nov 17

Faith, Family, and Fireworks: BAD JEWS

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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

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Nov 14

You Know It’s Love When You Want to Stab* Your Partner but Don’t: THE REAL THING

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Photos by Paul Cantillon, Lidec Photo.

Photos by Paul Cantillon, Lidec Photo.

Presented by Bad Habit Productions
By Tom Stoppard
Directed by A. Nora Long

November 8-23, 2014
Deane Hall
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Boston, MA
Bad Habit on Facebook

*Figuratively

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) The Real Thing reminds us that mature, adult relationships are back breaking, hard work. Henry (Bob Mussett) is a playwright using his real life as fodder for his scripts. He’s having an affair with Annie (Courtland Jones), an actress and activist, for whom they’ve both divorced their spouses. In this play, Henry and Annie grow out of their patterns of selfish, abusive neglect and into a mature partnership. Henry and Annie barely survive with their sanity intact. Continue reading

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Nov 13

Luminarium Dance Presents: The Sleeprunner, December 2014

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sleep runner

THE SLEEPRUNNER
December 5 . 6 . 12 . 13 @
Multicultural Arts Center
41 Second Street
East Cambridge MA
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Luminarium Dance on Facebook

Don’t miss Luminarium’s largest production of the season during its two-weekend fall run. The production will take place at the beautiful and historic Multicultural Arts Center (41 Second Street, East Cambridge MA), highlighting the company’s signature imaginative choreography, lighting, and scenic design, while complementing the caliber of its past feature productions Mythos:Pathos (2012) and Secrets & Motion (2013).

What makes Luminarium uniquely dance & theatre?
  • Luminarium is the first dance company to be invited for, then granted, a Bob Jolly Charitable Trust Award, for its productions’ masterful theatricality in addition to dance. (All previous awards have gone to theatre companies and individuals.)
  • Luminarium was featured as one of 10 “Unsung Heroes” in the Boston performing arts scene, alongside New Repertory Theatre and Company One, by Improper Bostonian magazine.
  • Costumes for The Sleeprunner are being created by rising New York costume designer Sueann Leung, whose work was most notably featured in the runway section of the Wall Street Journal.
  • Luminarium’s The Sleeprunner marks another first for the local dance community as one of the smallest/youngest Boston-based companies to be adopting a theatre performance format, expanding to a two-week run.
  • Its performers come from an energetically-eclectic background that include a nationally-acclaimed colorguard performer, professional voice actor, internationally-touring classical Indian dancer, tap-dancing winner of the World Cup in Germany, and (just to add to the diversity) even a PhD candidate in Biology who is an aerial circus artist on the side.
  • The Sleeprunner will be lit and co-choreographed by professional theatre lighting design and choreographer Kim Holman, who does lighting design and choreography for local Boston theatre companies ranging from Babson College to the Boston Public Schools.
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Nov 13

Looking at the stars is looking at the past: “Chosen Child”

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http://www.bu.edu/bpt/files/2014/10/2014-10-29-CHOSEN_CHILD_035.jpg

Photograph credit: Kalman Zabarsky

Presented by Boston Playwright’s Theatre
Written by Monica Bauer
Directed by Megan Schy Gleeson

October 30-November 22, 2014
Boston Playwright’s Theatre
Boston, MA
BPT on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Boston) Boston Playwright’s Theatre deftly handles heavy subject matter to thoroughly explore one family’s patterns in Chosen Child.  Cleverly overcoming technical limitations, intertwined histories emerge and recede amidst light and shadow in this production. Continue reading

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Nov 11

Audience Trust Issues: TURTLES

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Photo by Joan Mejia

Photo by Joan Mejia

Presented by Boston Public Works
By John Greiner-Ferris
Directed by Jeffrey Mosser

Oct. 24 – Nov. 8, 2014
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
BPW on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Dear crew of Turtles: What the heck was the squeaky noise we heard during the entirety of Act 1? I’m not particularly sensitive to repetitive noises but the sound of metal rubbing on metal kept pulling me out of the play.

Turtles is a play about single-Mom, Bella (Jackie Davis), and her two kids Foos (Lauren Foster) and Finn (Elle Borders). They are squatters living on/in garbage by a billboard advertising the next Rapture. They are surviving when Jesus, who may or may not be the magical zombie-savior of lore (Alexander Castillo-Nunez), falls into their laps. Jesus lacks any sort of social context (this dude could be anybody), gives no explanation for his presence, and has serious boundary issues. Yet, together they decide to move to Boston for its turtle sanctuary. Boston becomes a metaphorical sanctuary for all of them. Continue reading

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Nov 10

Floating Above the Fray: ETHER DOME

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Photo: T. Charles Erickson

Photo: T. Charles Erickson

Presented by Huntington Theatre Company
By Elizabeth Egloff
Directed by Michael Wilson

Oct. 17 – Nov. 23rd
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Boston, MA
Huntington on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston) The biopic or docudrama is a mainstay of the flatscreen and the silver screen, but it doesn’t get nearly as much play on stage. In theory, it should, as these types of stories appeal to those who want to learn something while they are being entertained, and that would seem to include the well-educated who can afford to go to the theatre on a regular basis. But even Shakespeare’s straight-up docudramas, the Henrys and such, don’t do as much business as Romeo and Juliet or Much Ado About Nothing. Continue reading

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Nov 10

Like Raw Silk: Ana Moura in Concert

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Presented by World Music/CRASHarts

Friday, Nov. 7, 2014
Berklee Performance Center
Boston, MA
World Music/CRASHarts on Facebook
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Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Ana Moura has a voice that captures your attention. It sounds the way raw silk feels against the skin. You are helpless to do anything but listen. She has a majestic stage presence and a unique storytelling style. Her concert on Nov. 7 was nothing if it wasn’t captivating.

Moura and her faithful band visited the Berklee Performance Center last Friday night to an audience besotted with her music… And ripe with family who celebrated the talents of bandmate player Angelo Freire. Moura stocks her band with equally as talented musicians but Freire would draw fans on his own merit. He displays excellent musicianship and exquisite skill on the Portuguese guitar. Continue reading

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Oct 27

The Last Ones Standing: “Language of Angels”

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Photo credit: Mikey DiLoreto; Cast members: Michelle Rubich, Eliott Purcel, Elizabeth Battey, and David D’Andrea.

Presented by Happy Medium Theatre Company
By Naomi Iizuka
Directed by Lizette M Morris

Oct. 23 – Nov. 1, 2014
The Factory Theatre
791 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02118
HMT of Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warnings: depiction of rape and gun violence, smoking

(Boston, MA) Bruner/Cott & Associates, Inc. is turning our beloved Factory Theatre into a gym (to be absolutely clear, I am painting them as the greedy, black-hatted bad guys because they are, hats or not.). Because what Boston really needs is another dank, dark basement gym that draws in rich tenants. Tenants who will pay a monthly membership fee as part of their rent but may never actually step into the gym they pay for. Everyone knows theatre doesn’t make money. There’s nothing more important than money. What theatre does is make a difference but who cares when the landlord isn’t collecting on its potential fiscal value? Theaters are noisy and dirty and beautiful and desperately necessary and Bruner/Cott doesn’t give a fig because theaters don’t make money. There’s nothing we can do to save the Factory Theatre except commemorate the good (and bad) created in our beloved home. Continue reading

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Oct 27

Bravo: “La Tragédie de Carmen”

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Presented by the Boston University Fringe Festival
Adapted from Georges Bizet’s opera by Marius Constant, Jean-Claude Carrière, and Peter Brook
Stage Directed by Jim Petosa
Conductor: William Lumpkin

October 8 – 26, 2014
BU Theatre, Lane-Comley Studio 210
264 Huntington Avenue
BU Fringe Festival on Facebook
CFA School of Theatre on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) Opera might be opera, but you’ve never seen opera like this before. The Fringe festival’s production of La Tragédie de Carmen is a fresh, energetic take on Brook’s gritty adaptation of Bizet’s piece with exciting voices full of promise.

One of the exhilarating things about seeing students perform opera is that they are singing machines. Conservatory, as a general rule, makes from semi-trained talent lean, mean, professional instruments with clarity and utterly perfect precision. As such, performances by these students are chock full of those qualities, as well as an exuberance and boundless energy that is simply thrilling to watch. These students are hungry to perform, and this brings the stakes of their performances through the roof. Continue reading

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