Whew! Thanks for sticking with me, readers! Welcome to the Epic Conclusion of Dani’s Grand Bardopalooza Adventure: 2K14. Over three days, I have attended and reviewed three different American Shakespeare remixes. Tonight’s grand finale: Romeo Juliet presented by The Hypocrites at Club Oberon.
(Cambridge) Let’s start here: this is probably best titled a “remix” of Shakespeare’s play rather than a straight-up performance or adaptation. Sean Graney took the original text, cut it, cropped it, zoomed in on some things, and re-arranged everything else to befit the story he wanted to tell. And, as I said in my review of 12 Nights, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that treatment. As an audience member, you should just be aware that you’re not going to be seeing Shakespeare on this stage; you’re going to be seeing work inspired by a timeless story. As such, I think familiarity with the source text is a must. I definitely saw plenty of kids in the audience, but I wasn’t certain that this was the best vehicle for introducing our well-known story to them. The story itself, in this form, felt rushed and improbable; like Graney was trying to slot too many elements into his slim sixty-minute time window. There were moments that even I barely followed (and that’s saying something). Continue reading →
Welcome back dear readers! I am reporting to you from day two of Dani’s Grand Bardopalooza Adventure: 2K14. Over three days, I will attend and review three different American Shakespeare remixes. Tonight’s Oreo filling show: 12 Nights presented by The Hypocrites at Club Oberon. Stop back later this week to catch the stunning conclusion of this Epic Shakes-Series.
(Cambridge)Watch out, Boston; The Hypocrites are back in town.
After their stunning production of The Pirates of Penzance (first performed at Oberon in June 2012, then again on the A.R.T. main stage this past May), I had high expectations for 12 Nights. The Hypocrites excel at high-octane performance which engages and illuminates for audiences who might otherwise have given this style of theatre a miss. As such, I thought that Shakespeare was a perfect fit for this Chicago-based company. What better way to interest people in the Bard than to introduce them at a Hypocritical party. Continue reading →
Presented by Oberon New Works Series, Komoi Collective and Tubiforce Media Productions
Translated by T.A. Buckley
Script treatment by Steve Dooner
Directed by Steve Dooner and Jen Kenneally
Musical direction by Adam Brooks
Dramaturg – Mike Nuell
**This show is for adults. There is artful nudity and general sexiness. The naked body is a beautiful thing but parents tend to freak out when their kids see one. Sex is great. ***
(Cambridge) As a tot, I remember asking my Mom about the god Dionysus (I was reading The Odyssey and was confused by his role). She told me simply that he was the god of liquids like wine… and semen. She continued that he liked to have a good time and preferred his ladies on the wild side. My understanding of mythology has never been the same.
To wit, Euripides’ The Bacchae is the story of how life got flipped, turned upside down when Dionysus (Gene Dante) became the god of a town called Thebes. Long story short, Zeus impregnated Semele, killed her with lightning and then gestated their son Dionysus in his “thigh.” Semele’s family assumed she got knocked-up illegitimately and refused to believe that Dionysus was a god. Tiresias (Eric Dwinnells) the oracle tries to warn them but the idiots don’t listen*. This is when all Hell breaks loose. Dionysus drives all the Theban ladies crazypants. They throw an epic party in the mountains and trash the town. Only King Pentheus (Brandon Homer) has the balls to question their antics (lame). It does not end well for anyone – except for Dionysus who finally receives the recognition he deserves. Along the way there’s some cross-dressing, nudity and a tiny bit of bondage. Continue reading →
“Honey, if you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love someone else?…..Can I get an amen?”
- RuPaul RuPaul’s Drag Race, seasons 1 – Eternity
(Cambridge) It is difficult to come up with something new to say about Hedwig and her angry inch. It’s an amazing show with brilliant music. It’s easy to do well as long as the leading lady gives herself freely to her audience and the art. Even bad performances can be good so long as the performers remain sincere. Rose Tinted Productions’ version of Hedwige and the Angry Inch sits somewhere in the middle – it’s not mediocre but it isn’t revolutionary either. The cast, band and crew are dedicated to Hedwig’s story. That’s more than enough reason to attend. Continue reading →
Based on “A Lunar Labyrinth” by Neil Gaiman
Directed by Steven Bogart
Music composed by Mary Bichner, Mali Sastri, John J. King, Phillip Berman and Jesse Amerding
Harp incidental music by Phillip Berman
(Cambridge) Lunar Labyrinth was truly a collaborative performance, a meeting of varied art forms. A theatrical adaptation of a chilling story which Neil Gaiman specifically wrote for Liars & Believers, this production made for a night filled with nontraditional staged performance buoyed by the aide of formatted storytelling styles and brave performers. Continue reading →
The Lily’s Revenge is the epic nursery rhyme turned homo-rific, drag-tastic fairy tale of Lily, an ordinary houseplant, who undertakes to be more than what others make him to be. His is a delicious allegory/metaphor/cautionary tale/simile/hyperbole/paradox that spans 4+ hours of dance, drama and breakage of the 4th wall that warns never to settle for less than what you want. Even if that means shedding the skin of who you think you are to become who you are truly meant to be. Continue reading →
(Cambridge, MA) Acoustica Electronica (AE) is Dance Theater that blends music spanning 300 years, wrapped in operatic cellophane and wrapped in a pink party-kid ribbon. AE is realized as a club scene exuding the kind of immature sexual desperation usually found in strip joints. It has many elements that make up an excellent performance but together, these elements fall short of the experience AE hopes to create. Continue reading →
(Cambridge, MA) Sometimes, you come across a play that works so effortlessly on so many levels that it skates circles around your standard theatrical fare. Club Oberon’s Roller Disco, glittery, vacant, hyper and hysterical, draws the audience into a disco-soaked world from the theme song’s opening strands. We have no choice but to harken back to striped tube socks, gritty skating rinks and cheesy eighties movies. Heck, we never even put up a fight. Continue reading →
It seems like some experiences on the MBTA are so traumatic that people don’t want to talk about them. However, three brave souls had the courage to share their experiences and one will reap the benefits. Continue reading →