May 25

“Mud Blue Sky”: A Comedy About Turbulent Lives

Photo by Marc J. Franklin

Photo by Marc J. Franklin

Presented by Bridge Repertory Theater of Boston
By Marisa Wegrzyn
Directed by Bridget Kathleen O’Leary

May 15-June 5, 2016
Deane Hall, Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Bridge Repertory Theater on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) I tend to get bored easily when watching comedic plays. They need to be clever but relatable, funny but with strokes of brutal honesty. Most times, shows fail to live up to my expectations, but I continue to see them because when one does I have an amazingly good time. Thankfully, Marisa Wegrzyn’s Mud Blue Sky was a perfect example of the latter. Continue reading

May 24

Cirque du Soleil’s “Kurios”: Raising the Tent

Photo by Gillian Daniels

Photo by Gillian Daniels

Exposé by Gillian Daniels

(East Boston, MA) The day I watch the tent raised in Boston, the sky is blue and cloudless. The tent itself is partially up but looks like a deflated balloon. Men and women in hard hats stand around the interior circumference, speaking French Canadian-accented and Boston-tinged English.

Any circus needs a main tent, and Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities is no exception. This is Cirque du Soleil before it puts on its sequins and tights.

But they’re ready. At each section of the tent, there is a rush forward as the workmen push the poles up. Only afterward do they go around and lock them into place. This is the core before everything else is added, before even the stage and safety net are set up.

Photo by Gillian Daniels

Photo by Gillian Daniels

Kurios is described to us as a show about nineteenth century innovation meant to mirror contemporary s technology. It pivots on the imagery of childhood and travel: bicycles, over-the-top mad science, hot air balloons, trains, and, I’m assured, a large chair meant to evoke a break from reality.

The last shows to come to Boston from Cirque du Soleil, Amaluna and Totem, are tied much more closely to the natural world. Here, posters around town prominently feature gears and an acrobat with accordion-like legs. Its name, derived from “curios,” already focuses on displaced objects. There’s a kinetic, steampunk feel.

I’m told it’s longer to set up the tent than take it down. Setting up means ideal weather and racing the sun. There are sixty-five trailers of things to unpack, but the tent is just one piece. Take it out and you need a team to lift it skyward. After, you fold it up and you’re done.

KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities is playing
May 26th (premier) – July 10th, 2016
Suffolk Downs
525 McClellan Highway
East Boston, MA 02128
Tickets are available at www.cirquedusoleil.com/kurios

Photo by Gillian Daniels

Photo by Gillian Daniels

May 12

Feelings Are Difficult for Marines: DOGFIGHT

Eddie & Rose Take In the View; Photo by Glenn Perry.

Eddie & Rose Take In the View; Photo by Glenn Perry.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Co.
Music and lyrics by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul
Book by Peter Duchan
Based on the Warner Bros. film and screenplay by Bob Comfort
Directed by Paige Daigneault
Music direction by Jose Delgado
Choreography by Larry Sousa

May 7 – June 4, 2016
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Speakeasy on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MADogfight is yet another musical with serious complications that SpeakEasy maneuvers with poise and dignity. It’s like Disney’s Newsies if the newsboys are replaced with marines and their fight for entrepreneurial justice is replaced with explicitly misogynistic displays of dudebro cruelty. Well, the music sounds a little like Newsies anyway. Continue reading

May 11

Caravan Palace, 5/22, House of Blues, Boston

Promo by Gillian Daniels

Want to see a time traveling big band Sunday, May 22nd at the House of Blues? Well, one isn’t playing there, but the closest thing to it is. Caravan Palace is an energetic, vibrant, French electro-swing monster. They’re strange, science fictional, and sensational.

Caravan Palace is my personal ear candy and has been since I first heard “Bambous” off their self-titled 2008 album. Their sound is cheerful and energizing, something that gets me up on hard mornings and cools me off after bad days. They’re the retro-future earworm I’ve longed for, the jitterbug robot brass band perfect for listening to on loop. Continue reading

May 11

More Meth-Girl, Less Romance Could Have Saved Apocalyptic Doom of “End of the World”

Photo credit: Drew Linehan Jacobs

Photo credit: Drew Linehan Jacobs

Presented by Boston Actors Theater
By Elizabeth DuPré
Directed by Drew Jacobs

May 6-21, 2016
Rehearsal Hall A at the Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Boston Actors Theater on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) As a manager at a movie theatre, I see quite a lot of mediocre movies come and go rather quickly. I always feel a special type of sympathetic pity for the rom-coms that just don’t do the business studios had expected, and I have to say I felt a similar way after going to see the Boston Actors Theater premiere production of End of the World. Continue reading

May 06

No Sir, You’re The Ho*: A GREAT WILDERNESS

Jake Orozco-Herman and Peter Brown; no tomatoes were harmed in the making of this theatre. (Photo by Richard Hall/Silverline Images.)

Jake Orozco-Herman and Peter Brown; no tomatoes were harmed in the making of this theatre.
(Photo by Richard Hall/Silverline Images.)

Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company
Written by Samuel D. Hunter
Directed by David J. Miller

April 29 – May 21, 2016
Plaza Black Box
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Zeitgeist on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MAI’ve never understood how some people can believe that it’s acceptable to be drastically unkind to others because “God told (them) to.” God is a terrible excuse for being a bad person. Morality structured around a potentially imagined creator that lives in the sky is not stabilized morality. Yet, plenty of people are beholden to this creator, if there is one, for their good behavior.  Continue reading

May 03

A Passionate Concert: Ana Moura on April 30, 2016


Presented by World Music/CRASH arts
April 30, 2016 @ 8pm only
Berklee Performance Center
Boston, MA
Ana Moura on Facebook
World Music/CRASH arts on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Boston, MA) The last time Ana Moura was hosted by World Music/CRASH arts in 2014, she brought the house to its feet in a celebration of her latest release at the time Desfado.  This show was excellent in a different way.  Certainly, her latest album Moura has been touring since last year and those performances were condensed for her concert at the Berklee Performance Center this past Saturday. Featuring a great backing band, Ana Moura dazzled the typically stoic New England audience to the point of stupefication for two hours. Continue reading

Apr 25

One Big Song & Dance for Sex: THE WILD PARTY

Photograph: Earl Christie Photography

Photograph: Earl Christie Photography

Presented by Moonbox Productions
Music and Lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa
Book by Michael John LaChiusa and George C. Wolfe
Based on the poem by Joseph Moncure March
Directed and choreographed by Rachel Bertone
Music direction by Dan Rodriguez
Orchestration by Bruce Coughlin

Now – May 1, 2016
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Boston, MA
Moonbox on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warning: underage rape, blackface, drinking, drugs, violence

(Boston, MA) Moonbox Production’s The Wild Party is a tight, gin-moist package of cruelty, casual racism and light kink. It’s a domestic violence fairy tale of grotesque proportions, and sexy as fuck. Everyone over the age of 18 should see it. The subject might be naughty but its methods are mesmerizing. Continue reading

Apr 20

“Unsafe” Provides Intense Drama, But I’m Still Unsure Why…

01164b0b-1409-4045-8ee2-989ea80f99a2
Presented by Boston Public Works Theatre Company and Cotuit Cetner for the Arts
Plaza Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts
Written & Directed by Jim Dalglish

April 15-30, 2016
Plaza Theatre
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston Public Works on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

Trigger warning: sound sequences referencing the 9/11 attacks.

(Boston, MA) You ever have one of those moments when you spontaneously start crying and you’re not entirely sure why or where it came from? That’s how I felt after watching Unsafe, a self-proclaimed psychological thriller by playwright Jim Dalgish. Continue reading

Apr 19

Britten’s Opera is a “Dream”

Queen Tytania (Maya Kherani) and Bottom (Joseph Hubbard), Photo provided by BU School of Music

Queen Tytania (Maya Kherani) and Bottom (Joseph Hubbard), Photo provided by BU School of Music

Presented Boston University College of Fine Arts
Benjamin Britten, composer & Peter Pears, librettist
Based on the play by William Shakespeare
William Lumpkin, conductor
Tara Faircloth, stage director

April 14–17th, 2016
Boston University Theatre
264 Huntington Avenue, Boston
BU Arts on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) I enjoy myself most with adaptations of Shakespeare’s comedies when their sense of fun and lightness remain intact. The direction in Boston University Theatre’s production of Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream didn’t fail me. This vision is every bit the dream of the title. Fairies wear blue wigs and polka dot suits, columns of giant, white flowers are moved across the stage, Puck (Elizabeth Valenti) brings Queen Tytania (Maya Kherani) her morning tea, and King Oberon (Wee-Kiat Chia) smugly points out his wife slept with an enchanted donkey-man (Joseph Hubbard) the night before. One scene flows into the next elegantly. For the most part, it’s a perfectly realized vision. Continue reading