Apr 14

Interrupted Lives: “Chill”

Kim Fischer, Maria Jung, Monica Giordano, and Danny Bryck. Photo by Meghan Moore.

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Written by Eleanor Burgess
Directed by Megan Sandburg-Zambian

March 22-April 16, 2017
Merrimack Repertory Theatre
50 E. Merrimack Street, Lowell MA 01852
MRT on Facebook

Review by Kate Lew Idlebrook

(Lowell, MA) Maybe you’ve been wondering what your teenaged Millennial child or grandchild was doing while hanging in a basement with friends, or perhaps you’re a nostalgic Millennial looking to recapture that just-before-graduation feeling. Either way, here is your chance, because “Chill” now playing at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre is the perfect opportunity. Continue reading

Dec 06

“The Tempest”: Heaven Hath no Mercy Like a Sorceress Scorned

Kai Tshikosi (Ferdinand), Marya Lowry (Prospero), Lydia Barnett-Mulligan (Miranda), and Samantha Richert (Ariel)

Kai Tshikosi (Ferdinand), Marya Lowry (Prospero), Lydia Barnett-Mulligan (Miranda), and Samantha Richert (Ariel); photo credit to Nile Scott Shots.

Presented by Actors’ Shakespeare Project
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Allyn Burrows

December 1, 2016-January 8, 2017
Willet Hall at United Parish
210 Harvard Avenue
Brookline, MA 02446
Actors’ Shakespeare Project on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Brookline, MA) One of the most exciting things about seeing any production of a Shakespeare show is how vast the possibilities are for interpretation. The fact that I was completely new to the world of The Tempest, which serves as Artistic Director Allyn Burrows’ final show with Actors’ Shakespeare Project, made seeing a production of it that much more thrilling. Continue reading

Oct 26

“White Like Me”: Privilege and Politics (or Lack Thereof)

Puppet Showplace Theater

Photo credit: Puppet Showplace Theater; childhood relics.

Presented by Puppet Showplace Theater
Written, Directed & Performed by Paul Zaloom

October 21 & 22, 2016
32 Station Street
Brookline, MA
Puppet Showplace Theater on Facebook
Puppets at Night

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) As a young, gay, white male, I try to be aware of my privileges. I experience them a great deal on a daily basis, and what I wanted White Like Me to do was remind me of this in a way that was both poignant and humorous. And while I did have a good time at this show, I was surprised that only the latter turned out to be true. Continue reading

Nov 20

“Love Potion” Number Nine

Photos by Eric Antoniou, Boston Lyric Opera 2014.

Photos by Eric Antoniou, Boston Lyric Opera 2014.

Presented by Boston Lyric Opera
Music by Frank Martin
Based on Joseph Bédier’s 1900 novel Roman de Tristan et Iseut
New English translation by Hugh Macdonald
Stage Director David Schweizer
Conductor David Angus (Ryan Turner on Nov. 22)

November 19 – 23, 2014
Temple Ohabei Shalom
1187 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA
Boston Lyric Opera on Facebook

Of all the art forms out there, the slowest to adapt to the shifting sands of time is theatre. This is true for many reasons (how long it takes to produce a piece of theatre, how many fingers have to be in the theatre pie, and how many minds have to be shifted about the fundamental precepts of the art form just to name a few…). Some might call this a devotion to tradition; theatre (after all) does have a long and vibrant history to honor at every step of the production process. Others might call it a weakness which, Darwineanly, will be the very demise of the art form if it doesn’t find some way to evolve. Continue reading

Mar 03

Upbeat in the midst of despair: “The Joshua Show”

Presented by Puppet Showplace Theatre
Written and Starring Joshua Holden

February 28-March 1, 2014
Brookline, MA
Puppet Showplace on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Brookline) Puppet Showplace Theatre mostly runs shows geared towards young children, with lessons and surprises aplenty for the tiny set.  Puppets@Nite brought a special two night only show to the space with the sprightly, multi-talented and effervescent Joshua Holden.  Continue reading

Jan 20

Lithgow Survives a Train-wreck: THE MAGISTRATE

John Lithgow (Aeneas Posket) and Dandies. Photo by Johan Persson

John Lithgow (Aeneas Posket) and Dandies. Photo by Johan Persson

Simulcast at the Coolidge Corner Theatre
Presented by the National Theatre in London

by Arthur Wing Pinero
directed by Timothy Sheader
lyrics by Richard Stilgoe
music by Richard Sisson
choreography by Liam Steel

Brookline, MA
January 17th and February 3rd, 2013

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Brookline) I defy you to dislike John Lithgow on stage or film. The veteran actor has had one of the most vibrant careers in film, staring in everything from the campy 80’s classic the Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension to the bloody television show Dexter. While Lithgow has amazing acting chops, much of his allure is that he appears to thoroughly enjoy himself in every role, showing the same joy as a child might upon getting his first role in a school production. His joy for acting can sometimes get in the way of his more miserable roles, but it’s impossible not to enjoy watching; his character may be dying of Alzheimer’s in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but Lithgow still seems to be having the time of his life doing so.

It is Lithgow’s ability to have fun while acting that is the only fun thing worth watching in the Simulcast production of The Magistrate, beamed from the National Theatre in London. This unfunny comedy is a testament that a play can be terrible even though it’s English and based on an antique script. John Lithgow is Posket, the judge in question, an honest man who marries into a family that harbors one little secret that will upend their sense of decency. His wife, Agatha (Nancy Carroll), lied about her age when they first met, and her lie shaved five years off the age of her son from a previous marriage, as well. Everyone thinks the youth, Cis (Joshua McGuire), is a precocious 14-year old, including himself, but he actually is a normal and randy young adult. Hilarity is supposed to ensue as this secret is in danger of being revealed, but hilarity doesn’t. Continue reading

Oct 13

Murder Has Never Been so Adorable: “Senseless! A Brick Foley Adventure”

Photo Credit: Aurora Broadcasting Network

written and directed by Elizabeth Hara
October 12-13, 2012 @8pm
Puppet Showpace Theatre
32 Station St
Brookline, MA

Puppet Showplace Theatre Facebook Page

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Brookline) Someone has been murdering the blind/deaf students of the Helen Keller School of Music and Brick Foley, blind detective, is on the job to find out who. Was it the gentle and sweet teacher, Jane Allgood? Was it Chancellor Daniels or his nemesis Dr. Children? Could it even have been sexy vixen Bea Baxter? With his sidekick, Office Murphy, Detective Foley navigates the in’s and out’s of this puppet show/radio play and finds out who done it! (Brought to you by Price’s Powdered Ham.)

This short noir radio play cum puppetry show SHOULD NOT be missed! The Aurora Broadcasting Network has created an adult comedy that will melt the hearts of even the most cynical of theater goers. The troupe exudes a light jovial atmosphere that is founded on a sincere love of their craft. The 5 member team moves as one like a seemingly effortless machine. Although they do not use traditional puppets (a la Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood perhaps) their creative use of props and physical comedy leaves nothing to be desired. In fact, it’s a damn shame that the show isn’t longer than the allocated hour.

This show has it all: it’s a little naughty and is not appropriate for young children, the troupe employs character voices and perfected noir archetypes, minty fresh musical stylings begin and end the show, there’s a speedy and engaging plot and, best of all, the audience is encouraged to participate!

Please be advised that there is a 2 row splash zone. If flying meat products alarm you, it may be best to stand in the back.

There is an after-show with the ravishing Ruby Rose Fox, drinks and dancing.

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Elizabeth Hara has worked as a puppet builder for the Jim Henson Company, Sesame Street, and Avenue Q. She has also built costumes for The Lion King, Shrek the Musical, and most recently, Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark. She is a Vassar graduate, and has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Puppeteers of America National Festival.

‘Senseless’ features the performing talents of Brendan Yi-Fu Tay (The Puppet Kitchen,) Sarah Lafferty (Castleton Opera Festival,) Katrina Denney (Fundamental Theatre Group), Emmy Award-winner Michael Schupbach (Sesame Street, Johnny and the Sprites) Eric Wright (The Puppet Kitchen, The Metropolitan Opera, The Public Theatre) and David Brown (poorbutsexydc.combit.ly/ufofactory)