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

Jan 19

Music, Puppetry, and Nonverbal Communication: LOLLIPOPS FOR BREAKFAST

Photo credit: Liz Linder

Photo credit: Liz Linder

Presented by The Gottabees at the Charlestown Working Theatre
Created by Bonnie Duncan / The Gottabees
Music by Brendan Burns & Tony Leva

January 16-17, 2016
442 Bunker Hill Street
Charlestown, MA 02129
Charlestown Working Theatre on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Charlestown, MA) To think with a critical eye as a small crowd of children turns around to stare at (and silently judge) you and your small bag of goldfish and kids-sized juice box that you bought from the humble concession stand is no small feat. My friend and I may have arrived sans children and unchaperoned, but we were up to the challenge. Continue reading

Nov 04

Sleeping Weazel Presents: BODY & SOLD

Posted with permission from Sleeping Weazel

Posted with permission from Sleeping Weazel

SLEEPING WEAZEL JOINS TEMPEST PRODUCTIONS FOR A PLAY READING TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT TEENAGE SEX TRAFFICKING IN THE UNITED STATES

Boston, Mass., October 20, 2015 — Multimedia theatre company Sleeping Weazel, with director Robbie McCauley, will present a staged reading of BODY & SOLD, a documentary play by Tempest Productions’ Founder and Artistic Director Deborah Lake Fortson on Monday, November 16, 2015, 7:30 pm at Charlestown Working Theater, 442 Bunker Hill Street, Charlestown, MA 02129. This play is the result of interviews with young Americans from Boston, Hartford, and Minneapolis who ran away from home or were kidnapped and lured into prostitution before escaping with their lives. The BODY & SOLD Project was developed to foster a network of theaters and social agencies with the goal of raising national consciousness about the intertwined issues of child abuse, runaways, and child/teenage prostitution.

This reading, supported by a Sleeping Weazel Lab Residency at the Charlestown Working Theatre, is part of a series of readings being presented this season by the Nora Theatre, Fort Point Theatre Channel, Boston University, Emerson College, and Boston Playwrights’ Theatre.

CALENDAR LISTING
Sleeping Weazel and Tempest Productions present:

BODY & SOLD

written by Deborah Lake Fortson
directed by Robbie McCauley
Monday, November 16, 2015
7:30 pm

Tickets: FREE and open to the public, donations welcome
Charlestown Working Theater
442 Bunker Hill Street
Charlestown, MA 02129

About Sleeping Weazel
Charlotte Meehan and Adara Meyers are playwrights and co-directors of Sleeping Weazel, a Boston-based experimental multimedia theatre company with an online cyber art gallery exhibiting film, video, and sound art that expands “the theatrical.” Last year, Sleeping Weazel premiered critically acclaimed productions of Meehan’s 27 Tips for Banishing the Blues (September 2014) and Meyers’ Talk To At Me (June 2014) as part of the company’s Doubles, Demons, and Dreamers festival. In March, the company premiered Badass, a festival of new works by theatre greats Kate Snodgrass, Robbie McCauley, and Magdalena Gomez. Sleeping Weazel’s motto, “making different possible,” refers to the company’s mission to bridge the gap between mainstream and avant-garde, to present works that break the boundaries between art forms, and to work with artists across generations, cultures, and genres. www.sleepingweazel.com 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

Sep 10

“Radium Girls” Radiates Pain and Triumph

Photo by Jake Scaltreto

Photo by Jake Scaltreto

Presented by Flat Earth Theatre
Written by D. W. Gregory
Directed by Lindsay Eagle

September 4th – 19th, 2015
Charlestown Working Theater
Charlestown, MA
Flat Earth on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Charlestown, MA) There is a poem by Julianna Baggott, “Marie Curie Gives Advice to her Daughter Irene Before her Wedding.” This is how it ends:
“My hope, daughter, is that
what you love doesn’t come to kill you,
eye by eye, ear by ear, bone by radiant bone.”

The friend with whom I went to see “Radium Girls” mentioned it to me after the show was over. It’s easy to see why. This is a play about not just losing one’s life to radium, but losing everything. Grace Fryer (the magnificent Erin Eva Butcher) loses both her fear and trust while Arthur Roeder (Bridgette Hayes) loses faith in the United States Radium factory and in himself. What you love–what you trust to take care of you, what you trust to be there for you–might indeed ultimately kill you. 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

Nov 13

A Grim Giggle at Giving in “The After-Dinner Joke”

Displaying Joke2.JPG

Photo care of Christopher McKenzie

Presented by Whistler in the Dark Theatre
By Carol Churchill
Directed by Meg Taintor

November 7-24, 2013
The Charlestown Working Theatre
442 Bunker Hill Street
Charlestown, MA 02129
Whistler on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Charlestown) A system has been built around giving to the poor and helping the needy.  Whistler in the Dark’s The After-Dinner Joke is a bleak comedy lampooning a culture that’s been created around charity: those who give to it, those who decide where the money goes, and those still in need when the giving is done.  It’s a show full of pratfalls and particularly British moments of social observation.  The titular joke, however, is overshadowed by grim realizations about human nature. 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