Jul 25

Beware the Uffish Jabberwock: FORTUNE’S FAVORED

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Courtesy of Paul Cantillon, LIDEC Photo

Courtesy of Paul Cantillon, LIDEC Photo. Stitch is my favorite.

Presented by Vagabond Theatre Group
By Lesley Anne Moreau
Directed by Zach Winston

July 11 – 26, 2014
The Factory Theater
Boston, MA
Vagabond on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Fortune’s Favored almost works as theatre. It is so close to being a very well-written, sensitively acted play that it is devastating that it doesn’t achieve the success it’s capable of. The premise is quite clever, the small cast is capable and Zach Winston’s direction is sympathetic to the actors needs but the combination of the elements is mismatched. They are crafted pieces from three different puzzles. They don’t fit.

Eudora Redden (Annie Hochheiser) is running the Redden Arcade in Big Ugly, West Virginia for her drunk father. It’s been the family business for three generations. Her cousin Luann O’Hare (Lauren Robinson) has recently crawled home with her tail between her legs from Washington, DC after getting involved with a political scandal. They both meet Davis Milford (Conor Walsh) when he expresses interest in purchasing the business centerpiece, the fortune teller game, and in getting to know Eudora better. Things go south when business and family tangle over the potential sale. Mikey DiLoreto is the recorded voice of John Barrymore. Continue reading

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Jul 23

Hub Theatre’s Shakespeare Crowd-Pleaser: “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)”

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Presented by Hub Theatre Company of Boston
by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield
Directed by Lauren Elias

July 18 – August 2, 2014
Club Café
209 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston) The working hypothesis for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) appears to be this: when at his most serious, the Bard is the most unintentionally hilarious. It’s darkly comic, in a way, that a pair of lovers would die passionately together despite knowing each other for a few days. And there’s something ridiculous about a prince putting off the assassination of the uncle who stole his crown because he doesn’t believe the ghost of his father. In Hub Theatre Company’s take on the parody, Patrick Curran, Adam Lauver (alternating with Will Moore), and Brooks Reeves seek to both compress and skewer Shakespeare’s body of work. Continue reading

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Jun 30

Revamped *Cough* Vampire Comedy for Modernity: DER VAMPYR

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Photo © OperaHub

Presented by OperaHub
1828 music by Heinrich Marschner
1828 German libretto by Wilhelm August Wohlbrück
1828 libretto based on the play Der Vampir oder die Totenbraut by Heinrich Ludwig Ritter
2014 arrangement by Moshe Shulman
2014 libretto by John J King
Music direction by Lina Marcel Gonzalez
Stage direction by Christie Lee Gibson

June 19 – 28, 2014
Boston Center for the Arts
Plaza Theatre
Boston, MA

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warnings: Light smut, Feminism

(Boston) Der Vampyr is a decadently feminist adaptation of Marschner’s original. This new arrangement presented by OperaHub tackles the difficult truths of male entitlement, victim blaming and rape culture that all women face on a daily basis. If you, the reader, do not believe in gender equality, this opera is not for you. If you believe that rape culture is not a pervasive truth all women face, then this opera is not for you. It would be best if you pulled your fedora over your eyes and stopped reading this review now. Continue reading

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Jun 23

He Who Watches the Watchers: PATTERN OF LIFE

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Nael Nacer as Rahmat Lewis D. Wheeler as Carlo; Photo: Courtesy of New Repertory Theatre.

Handsome devils: Nael Nacer as Rahmat, Lewis D. Wheeler as Carlo; Photo courtesy of New Rep/BCAP Facebook page.

Presented by New Repertory Theatre and Boston Center for American Performance (BCAP)
By Walt McGough
Directed by Bridget Kathleen O’Leary

June 14 – 29, 2014
Boston University Theatre – Lane-Comley Studio 210
264 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA
New Rep on Facebook
BCAP on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) President Obama has received flak from all political sides for his decision to back govt.-sourced  drone proposals. It has been 5 years and 5 months since the CIA conducted the first strike during Obama’s term and he shortly thereafter ramped up the attacks in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. He went so far as to say that “he wrestle[s] with civilian casualties. But, he said, he has a solemn duty and responsibility to keep the American people safe. That’s my most important obligation as President and Commander-in-Chief. And there are individuals and groups out there that are intent on killing Americans — killing American civilians, killing American children, blowing up American planes.” (Huffington Post) While drone attacks have decreased once his numbers started suffering, attacks have not stopped entirely. Clearly, Obama “wrestles” with casualties enough to make a statement but not enough to discontinue drone use. Continue reading

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Jun 16

Dancing Wilde(ly) with Boston Actors Theater

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Photo from BAT facebook page

Presented by Boston Actors Theater
Adapted by Elizabeth DuPré and Nicole Howard
Directed and Choreographed by Danielle Lucas

Playing June 13th – June 28th
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
Boston, MA
BAT on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

One of the very best and worst things about Oscar Wilde is that his reputation proceeds him. His piercing one-liners and scathing insults are quoted extensively in speeches, jokes, and birthday cards. Wilde’s private life is largely viewed as decadent, however factual that is. Because of this, it’s surprising that the fairy tales he wrote during his career, in sharp contrast to his perceived debauchery, are syrupy and Victorian. Boston Actors Theater attempts to marry the brevity and wit of Wilde’s legacy with the softer side of his stories for children and the result, while enthusiastic, is uneasy. Continue reading

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Jun 16

Audience Interactive Hilarity: SHEAR MADNESS

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Photo from Shear Madness website.

Presented by the Charles Playhouse
Written by Bruce Jordan and Marilyn Abrams
Based off a play Scherenschnitt. Written in 1963 by German writer and psychologist Paul Portner.

Ongoing performances, Tuesday – Sunday into perpetuity
Charles Playhouse Stage II
74 Warrenton Street
Boston, MA
Shear Madness on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Shear Madness is Boston. It has townie jokes, tourist jokes, madcap physical comedy, classic one-liners and a whole lotta sass. It has a New England edge and universal appeal. It is the best show that most natives have never seen and it lives right next to the Blue Man Group. It’s hilarious and, even if you’ve seen it in the last few years, you should go again. Continue reading

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Jun 16

The Smartest Play in Town: SMART PEOPLE

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Roderick Hill as Brian White and McKinley Belcher III as Jackson Moore in Smart People. Photo: T. Charles Erickson

Roderick Hill as Brian White and McKinley Belcher III as Jackson Moore in Smart People. Photo: T. Charles Erickson

Presented by the Huntington Theatre
Written by Lydia R. Diamond
Directed by Peter DuBois

June 25th – July 6th, 2014
Calderwood Pavelion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Huntington Theatre on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston) How we view race defines us, but we often don’t like to examine how we view race, at least not directly. To write well about race in America requires both a deep understanding of society and a deeper self-examination of one’s own feelings to sort out fact from feeling, and to know when to use both to create an artistic vision. Successful attempts to write well in fiction about this dicey subject are rare; most either skitter across the surface or descend into lecture. Continue reading

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Jun 13

Something to Think About: “Doubles, Demons, and Dreamers”

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image taken from Sleeping Weasel FB page

image taken from Sleeping Weasel FB page

Presented by Sleeping Weazel Productions
Ugmo and Eenie Go Down the Ruski Hole
Written and directed by Kenneth Prestininzi

June 12-21, 2014
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Sleeping Weazel on Facebook
Johnny Blazes on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston) As a heterosexual cisgendered woman living in what essentially constitutes the suburbs of a low-key city like Boston, it’s easy to let things like Pride Week fall off my radar. As such, it took the reminder of my accompanying companion and a couple of big honking rainbow flags spotted on the way to BCA to remind me what time of the year it was. In a lot of ways, this situation is allegorical to the overall message of the current incarnation of Doubles, Demons, and Dreamers.
Continue reading

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Jun 10

Securing the Myth-ing Link: GIDEON’S KNOT

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Presented by Bridge Repertory Theater
By Johnna Adams
Directed by Karen MacDonald

June 5 – 22, 2014
the Boston Center for the Arts
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston, MA
Bridge Rep on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger Warnings: Graphic depiction of rape and violence, controversial and political arguments, full-body hugging

“Turn him to any cause of policy,
The Gordian Knot of it he will unloose,
Familiar as his garter”
(Shakespeare, Henry V, Act 1 Scene 1. 45–47)

(Boston) Alexander the Great is famous for marching through Asia and Africa in the name of Greece when he was 18 years old. He was a merciless conqueror and much of his work shaped the known BCE world. According to popular myth, in 333 BCE Alexander was shown a intricate knot in tying a chariot to a pole left by the sloppy founder of the city of Gordium. It was foretold that only the future ruler of Asia could untie the knot. Alexander, being the sensitive and thoughtful boy he wasn’t, instead hacked through the knot with his sword. Earlier versions of the myth imply Alexander first tries cunning to sort out the mess but eventually uses the pointy end of a sword to solve the riddle. These are the origins of the term “cutting the Gordian Knot.” It has come to mean using creative measures (cheating) in order to solve an convoluted problem. Continue reading

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Jun 06

Unrelable Narrator presents “Human Contact: Short Sci-Fi Plays”

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Unrelable Narrator presents Human Contact: Short Sci-Fi Plays
Written by Carl Danielson

(BOSTON) Performances are July 11-19 at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre.  Tickets are $15/$12 for students and seniors at http://www.unreliable-narrator.com or call (866) 811-4111. Check out humancontactshorts.tumblr.com for more information, and follow us on Twitter @unarrator or like “Unreliable Narrator” on Facebook!

Danielson’s Human Contact: Short Sci-Fi Plays is an evening of five thought-provoking one-acts that ask whether technology robs the soul or augments it.  These original tales explore the evolution of the nature of humankind as we confront aliens, time travel, self-directed evolution, and more.  With well-crafted stories performed by a large cast of Boston’s finest actors, Human Contact is a unique vision of the 21st Century’s future.

Founded in 2008, Unreliable Narrator produces strange homemade theater in and around Boston. They are best known for creating 2010: Our Hideous Future: The Musical!, which began at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre and played at various theatres, bars, and sci-fi conventions in the Northeast from 2010-2012. Other Unreliable Narrator productions include 2008’s Schmolitics, 2009’s Paranormal, and 2011′s The Way of the Warrior-Bunny.

The plays of Human Contact: Continue reading

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