Mar 18

What a marvel: “Edward II”

(l to r) Edward II (Maurice Emmanuel Parent), Gaveston (Eddie Shields), and Lancaster (Nigel Gore) – Photo by Maggie Hall

Presented by Actors’ Shakespeare Project
By Christopher Marlowe
Directed by David R. Gammons

February 22 – March 19, 2017
Charlestown Working Theater
ASPBoston on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

WARNING: Nudity, violence.

(I beg forgiveness from the cast and crew of Edward II! I was trapped on the west coast during the blizzard, and only returned last night. It was not possible to post Ms. Daniels’ review until then. My sincerest apologies, and best wishes for a closing weekend! – Kitty, the Queen Geek)

(Charlestown, MA)  This show is intense. I could feel my temples vibrate during intermission. The power and emotion has stayed with me for days. I cried during the show, afterward, and grew teary remembering it. I am not at all surprised the production has added more performances to its tight schedule. This is a melodrama realized with an expert, brutal hand. Continue reading

Apr 08

“Dog Act” Has Bite

Presented by Theatre on Fire
By Liz Duffy Adams
Directed by Diego Arciniegas

April 1 – 23, 2016
Charlestown Working Theater
ToF on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Charlestown, MA) Stories about the end of the world are often concerned with the survival of the individual against structures that have filled the void since the fabled downfall of society. This includes reality television death match enthusiasts (Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games), patriarchal cults with private harems (Mad Max: Fury Road), fight dome fans lead by Tina Turner (Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome), and foul-mouthed, fur-wearing, belligerent tribes of wanderers. Dog Act looks not just at the individual, but the survival of art in a new North American wasteland. Continue reading

Oct 12

Truthfully, There Are A Few Rules In the Clown Bar: CLOWN BAR

clownbar
Presented by Theatre on Fire
Written by Adam Szymkowicz
Directed by Darren Evans

Oct. 2 – 24, 2015
Charlestown Working Theater
442 Bunker Hill St
Charlestown, MA
TOFon Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Disclaimer: Ms. Drexel auditioned for Clown Bar and was not cast. She firmly believes that only an ass would allow something like this is taint a review.

A clown noir is a noir with clowns. Clown Bar is a noir set in a bar run by clowns. I tried telling this to my housemate the other night. He accused me of stringing random nouns together, and demanded that I make sense immediately. He was being serious, not quite as serious as mobster clowns running a legal drinking establishment known for its illegal murder activities but serious enough to turn down my offer to join me on principle. It’s a shame because Clown Bar was everything its name implied and more. Continue reading

Oct 14

Theatre on Fire Ignites IT FELT EMPTY

Presented by Theatre on Fire
By Lucy Kirkwood
Directed by Maureen Shea

October 10 – November 1, 2014
The Charlestown Working Theater
Charlestown, MA 02129
Theatre on Fire on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

WARNING: SEXUAL VIOLENCE.

One of the most terrifying things about the circumstances of Dijana (Elizabeth Milanovich) is how convinced she is that she’s in control of them.  Theatre on Fire gives us a chilling story of a woman clinging to her mental well-being by playing a cheerful, even humorous Pollyanna in an unwilling career as a prostitute.  The American premiere of the show gets under one’s skin and stays there, emotionally and sometimes physically moving the audience further into Dijana’s claustrophobic, darkly comic misery. Continue reading

May 06

Laughter, Landmines, and an Historical Sitcom Fit for the Stage

Presented by Theatre on Fire
By Richard Curtis and Ben Elton
Directed by Darren Evans

April 26 – May 11, 2014
Charlestown Working Theater
Charlestown, MA
Theatre on Fire Facebook Page

Review by Gillian Daniels

Back in 1989, Blackadder Goes Forth aired on the BBC as a spectacular, grim comedy that lampooned World War I. The creators, Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, also worked on previous installments in the series, including the Elizabethan Blackadder II and the Regency-centric Blackadder the Third. Each new storyline used the same actors, particularly Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, and Hugh Laurie, and pitted them against historical figures (Queen Elizabeth! Prince George!) and fart jokes. With director Darren Evans at the helm, Theatre on Fire works tirelessly to bring television to stage. For the most part, the humor translates beautifully. Continue reading

Oct 21

Marriage Should Only Be a Manageable Annoyance: EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR

Photos by Theatre on Fire.
It stays this sexy for the entire show.

Presented by Theatre on Fire
By Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Darren Evans

Charlestown Working Theater
442 Bunker Hill Street
Charlestown, MA 02129
Theatre on Fire on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Charlestown) Exit, Pursued by a Bear is a complicated show. The topic of domestic abuse is a sensitive one. Most media outlets using it as a subject twist reality to create good and evil characters out of common humans. In truth, an abuser isn’t all evil and the victim isn’t all sugar and spice; they are people with flaws like everyone else. Women and children aren’t the only victims of domestic violence (but are the majority of victims), men aren’t the only perpetrators of abuse (again, they are the majority), and abuse isn’t exclusive to heterosexual couples. Exit is a rare jewel of a show because playwright Lauren Gunderson pays proper respect to victims of domestic abuse while spinning a hilarious tale. Her victim isn’t the butt of jokes and her villain isn’t pure, concentrated evil. Continue reading

Oct 26

More than a Handful of Clever: A BEHANDING IN SPOKANE

Photo credit: Theatre on Fire

by Martin McDonagh
Directed by Darren Evans

presented by Theatre on Fire
Charlestown Working Theater
Charlestown, MA
October 12 – October 27th, 2012
Theatre on Fire Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Charlestown) Successful comedy and drama scripts employ a slightly sadistic withhold-and-give strategy with audiences. Comedy or tension must be built and dissipated and built again. There must be some normalcy to lead us on to the surprise. Think of the easygoing date that occurs before the heroin overdose in the movie Pulp Fiction. Two couples are out on a date making small talk. We know it will end up weird because the movie already has been very weird, but the date is downright boring, and the usually witty dialogue is purposely pedestrian. The payoff comes just a few minutes later with a group of strangers trying to decide what to do with a mob boss’s wife as she is overdosing. Continue reading