Oct 20

Between the Modern and Bygone: LATER THE SAME EVENING

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EDWARD HOPPER

Room in New York

Presented by the BU Fringe Festival
Composed by John Musto
Libretto by Mark Campbell
Based on 5 paintings by Edward Hopper: A Room in New York, Hotel Room, Hotel Lobby, Two on the Aisle, and Automat
Music direction by Allison Voth
Stage direction by Jason King Jones
Conducted by Tiffany Chang

October 18 & 19, 2014
BU Theatre, Lane-Comley Studio 200
264 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA
BU Fringe Festival on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Later The Same Evening is a concept opera based on five paintings by Edward Hopper. Edward Hopper (1882–1967) was an American artist who employed watercolor (Impressionist) techniques in his paintings of everyday life. His style is defined by the Metropolitan Museum of Art as utilizing, “clearly outlined forms in strongly defined lighting, a cropped composition with an almost “cinematic” viewpoint, and a mood of eerie stillness.” His influences include cityscapes, Cape Cod, his wife Josephine Verstille Nivison. He is famous for capturing the tensions between the modern and the old, people, and mood lighting. His most famous painting, Nighthawks, is used frequently in popular culture (including this sassy adaptation) to depict late night melancholy. Continue reading

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Oct 17

Speak What we Feel Not What We Ought to Say: KING LEAR

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Produced by ArtsEmerson
Created by Shakespeare’s Globe
Directed by Bill Buckhurst

October 15-23, 2014
Paramount Center
559 Washington St.
Boston, MA 02111
ArtsEmerson on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA)

Yesterday was my father’s birthday. I don’t bring this up in order to achieve the fifteen minutes of internet fame that it will garner him (hi, Dad!), but rather to insist that the themes of King Lear are persistent to fathers and daughters to this day. I mean, there’s really nothing like having an angry Dragon bellow at you for three hours about filial duty to remind you to at least call your father on his birthday. Continue reading

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Oct 16

Fyre, Fyre Burning Bright: LA TRAVIATA

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Photos by Eric Antoniou.

Presented by Boston Lyric Opera
Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
Conducted by Arthur Fagen
Stage directed by Chas Rader-Shieber
Assistant directed by Nathan Troup

Oct. 10 – 19, 2014
Shubert Theatre
Boston, MA
BLO on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger Warnings: Racism, Rape
Sung in Italian with English supertitles. There is one intermission.

(Boston, MA) There were many good things about BLO’s La Traviata. There were a few bad. Overall, it was a grand production.

A gentle disclaimer: Vocal technique will not be reviewed. Technique is highly personal. Reviewing it would be like reviewing hygenic habits: rude. Continue reading

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Oct 16

WORLD MUSIC/CRASHarts presents ANA MOURA

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WORLD MUSIC/CRASHarts presents Portuguese Fado Star

Ana Moura
Friday, November 7, 8pm, Berklee Performance Center

Boston, MA — World Music/CRASHarts presents Portuguese fado star, Ana Moura on Friday, November 7, 8pm at the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. Tickets are $37-$28. For tickets and information call World Music/CRASHarts at (617) 876-4275 or buy online at www.WorldMusic.org.

Exquisite vocalist Ana Moura possesses a sound unlike any other in fado. Her voice trolls freely though the Portuguese tradition, flirting elegantly with pop and broadening the soul-baring genre with stunning results. The BBC raves, ³her melancholic intimacy dominates the moment it sashays out of the speakers . . . setting a mood of mesmerizing sorrow.² Examiner.com called Moura¹s voice ³made for melodrama . . . aesthetically thrilling and emotionally heartbreaking.²

Fado (literally, ³fate²) is a type of Portuguese singing, traditionally associated with pubs and cafés, and is renowned for its expressive and profoundly melancholic character. Although the origins are difficult to trace, today fado is regarded by many as simply a form of song which can be about anything but must follow a certain structure. The music is usually linked to the Portuguese word saudade which symbolizes the feeling of loss (a permanent, irreparable loss and its consequent lifelong damage). The singer of fado speaks to the often harsh realities of everyday life, sometimes with a sense of resignation, sometimes with the hope of resolution. Continue reading

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Oct 14

1 Little, 2 Little, 3 Little Puritans: “Reconsidering Hanna(h)”

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Photograph credit: Kalman Zabarsky

Photograph credit: Kalman Zabarsky

Presented by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
By Deirdre Girard
Directed by Bridget Kathleen O’Leary

Sept. 25 – Oct. 19, 2014
Boston Playwrights’ Theater
Boston, MA
BPT on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) It feels like I’m the only person who’s never heard of Hannah Duston. My friends had plenty to say when I mentioned seeing this show. In 1697, she was captured by Canadian Abenaki Native Americans and transported to what is now Pennacook, NH. After freeing herself with the aid of two other captives, Hannah killed 11 natives and sought safety away from the Abenaki. In a surprising twist to the story, Hannah has all but left the camp where she was held hostage but then returns to scalp the Abenaki for a bounty. At the time, she was lauded for her success and the first statue to commemorate a woman in the US ever was placed in Boscawen, NH. The second statue is currently located in Haverhill, MA (There’s confusion as to which is which.). Duston is considered a folk hero by some (typically White). She is considered a violent, racist Puritan by many others.   Continue reading

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Oct 14

Earnest and Flawed: BENT

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This tragic yet beautiful photo was found on the Zeitgeist Facebook page. No photo credit was found.

This tragic yet beautiful photo was found on the Zeitgeist Facebook page. No photo credit was found.

Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company
By Martin Sherman
Directed by David Miller

Boston Center for the Arts
September 19th – October 11th, 2014
Zeitgeist on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston, MA) Terror comes when you slowly realize that you have run out of ways to escape a horrible situation. It can first comes in drips, and then all at once. Homosexuals in Nazi Germany first lived on the knife’s edge in a non-sanctioned world of winks and nods. In the play Bent, they succumb to terror in one fell swoop, but then realize that perhaps the most terrifying thing of all is when one can’t find the bottom of a nightmare. Then, all that one can do is accept what is happening and find ways to regain shreds of dignity. Continue reading

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Oct 01

imaginary beasts Will KNOCK! You Out of Your Comfort Zone

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Photo by Roger Metcalf

Photo by Roger Metcalf

Presented by imaginary beasts
By Daniil Kharms
Directed by Matthew Wood
Dramaturgy by Matthew McMahan

Sept. 26 – Oct. 18, 2014
At the Plaza Black Box Theatre
at the Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street, Boston MA
imaginary beasts on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) A joke in the absurdist, Stalin-era work of Daniil Kharms is the same as a violent pratfall: random, shocking in its flippancy, and somehow charming.  The punchlines in Knock! The Daniil Kharms Project involve a man forgetting his name due to a number of bricks dropped on his head or a romantic couple disappearing in the middle of the night by the secret police.  Utilizing a fun, avant-garde set design by Christopher Bocchiaro and Matthew Woods, imaginary creatures adapts Kharms’ experimental black humor with confidence. The theatre group doesn’t let anything like a sketchy plot or a lingering sense of doom from an oppressive government get in the way of a good time. Continue reading

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Sep 26

Can’t Get No Satisfaction: THE SINGULARITY

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Presented by Science Fiction Theatre Company
By Crystal Jackson
Directed by Cait Robinson

Sept. 19 – Oct. 5, 2014
The Factory Theater
Boston, MA
SF Theatre Co on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) The moral of The Singularity is that if women don’t have access to the safe, affordable health care, they’ll do what they must to get it unaffordably and unsafely.  For example, if access to safe abortions is severely limited or denied outright that doesn’t mean that women won’t have abortions. It means that more women will die having unsafe, illegal abortions*. Playwright Crystal Jackson attacks the opposite of safe abortion in this comedy presented by Science Fiction Theatre Co. Continue reading

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Sep 23

Patients Are People Too: THE FORGETTING CURVE

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Presented by Bridge Repertory Theatre & Theatrum Mundi Productions
in association with Alan Swanke, Cole Burden & Playhouse Creatures Theatre Co.
Information resourced from Memory’s Ghost: The Nature of Memory and the Strange Tale of Mr. M, by Phillip J. Hilts

By Vanda
Directed by Kimerly Loren Eaton

Sept. 4 – 27, 2014
Wimberly Stage
Calderwood Pavilion at the
Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont St, Boston
Bridge Rep on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger Warnings: vintage sexism, reenactment of seizures/chronic illness, sweet lesbian love

(Boston, MA) The Forgetting Curve is about a family whose trust is abused by doctors. Patient HM (Henry Gustav Molaison, Feb. 26, 1926 – Dec. 2, 2008) suffered seizures as a teenager. To stop his otherwise untreatable epilepsy, surgeons removed the anterior two thirds of his hippocampi and other areas of his brain. At the time, doctors were unaware that, by removing his hippocampi, HM would essentially be incapable of retaining new memories. They turned HM into a high school educated goldfish with their experiments. Continue reading

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Sep 16

All Cucumbers and Hooves: UNDER MILK WOOD

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Photo courtesy of Artsboston; a picture of the cast at the reading with Mr. Scanlan in the front.

Photo courtesy of Artsboston; photo was grabbed from the Poet’s Theatre FB page.  A picture of the cast at the reading with Mr. Scanlan in the front.

A celebration in honor of the revival of The Poet’s Theatre and the centennial of the Author’s birth.

Presented by The Poet’s Theatre
By Dylan Thomas
Directed by Bob Scanlan

Sanders Theatre, Memorial Hall
Harvard University
Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014 @ 7pm ONLY
Poet’s Theatre on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

“…the idea that I write a piece, a play, an impression for voices, an entertainment out of the town I live in, and to write it simply and warmly and comically, with lots of movement and varieties of moods, so that, at many levels, through sight and speech, description and dialogue, evocation and parody, you come to know the town as an inhabitant of it.”
– Dylan Thomas – Collected Letters edited by Paul Ferris (London: Dent, 2000 (new edition)

(Cambridge, MA) Under Milk Wood is a radio drama by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. It was performed on the stage during Thomas’ lifetime (and by Thomas himself). It became a movie directed by Andrew Sinclair, and featured Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Peter O’Toole, in 1972. For his centennial, the BBC has a site devoted to a recent film production of Under Milk Wood. All of this is mentioned because not nearly enough Americans have an appreciation for Thomas’ work –  aside from his famous poem, “Do not go gentle into that good night.” His work is elegant, romantic, and, best yet, free to read on the internet or in a library. It is a worthwhile, mind-expanding endeavor to read as much of his collected works. If not for your own sake, then to woo a paramour or two. Continue reading

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