Sep 24

Half-Baked Silliness: LUMBERJACKS IN LOVE

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Photo Credit: Carla Donaghey.

BOOK AND LYRICS BY: Fred Alley
MUSIC BY: James Kaplan
STORY BY: Fred Alley & James Kaplan

presented by Stoneham Theatre
Stoneham, MA
September 13th – 30th, 2012
Stoneham Theatre Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Stoneham) There is nowhere to hide with a new musical. Unlike a fresh drama, where an audience can be tricked into going along if there’s enough shouting, as soon as an actor opens her mouth to start singing, the audience can tell whether the song enhances or detracts from the plot, usually with disastrous results. Continue reading

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Aug 11

An Ode to Mama

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The Third Story by Charles Busch, directed by Adam Zahler and featuring Rick Park as “Queenie.”

Photo Credit: Evgenia Eliseeva

Titanic Theatre Company, August 9-18, 2012, The Arsenal Center for the Arts Black Box                 The Titanic Theatre Company Homepage

The Titanic Theatre Company Facebook Page

Reviewed by Kitty M Drexel

(Watertown, MA) The Third Story is Charles Busch’s devotional to Mothers and their Mama’s Boys everywhere. Screenwriter Peg lures her son Drew back into the business via a narrative of Gangster Noir, B-movie Sci-Fi, Russian fairytale and the kind of motherly affection psychologists use to warm their couches. Peg’s excuse is McCarthyism but her vehicle is a journey through the psyche of a co-dependent man emotionally unprepared to leave the nest. Continue reading

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Jul 31

A Few Moments of Grace: Steel Magnolias

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Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling, directed by Nancy Curran Willis
Nextdoor Center for the Arts, July 13-28 2012, http://www.nextdoortheater.org/STEEL.html

photo credit: Nextdoor Center for the Arts

Reviewed by Kate Lonberg-Lew

(Winchester, MA) When I watch an Olympic gymnast fly on the balance beam or the uneven bars, I
know I am watching genius, not because I know the difference between a punch- front summersault and a double pike, but because they make it look easy, effortless. The same can be said of playwright Robert Harling, the author of Steel Magnolias. Continue reading

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Jul 23

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead: Black Comedy in the Park

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photo credit: Apollinaire Theatre Company

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
by Tom Stoppard

Apollinaire in the Park 2012

Performances run July 11-28 at 7:30,
in English on Wed. Thurs. & Sat. and Spanish on Fri. & Sun.
Mary O’Malley Parkhttp://www.apollinairetheatre.com/productions/productions.html.

Reviewed by Gillian Daniels

(Chelsea, MA) In a twist on Shakespeare in the Park, the Apollinaire Theatre Company has chosen to perform a free production of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead during the most gorgeous time of year. Each act is in a different location through out Mary O’Malley Park with the audience following the actors during intermission. The sunset, view of the river, docks, mural, and brilliant staging make a surprisingly fitting backdrop for Stoppard’s clever script. Continue reading

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Apr 28

Melissa Carubia Takes Us For A Ride On The MBTA MUSICAL

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T: An MBTA Musical Starts 6/8/12 at Club Oberon in Cambridge, MA.

photo credit: Elizabeth Woodward (from last year's production.)


www.elizabethwoodwardphoto.com

Interview by Becca Kidwell

(Last year’s review: http://www.netheatregeek.com/2011/07/02/t-an-mbta-musical-charlie-takes-a-wicked-funny-ride/)

They’re ba-ack…Alice, John, and Michelle return to thwart the troublesome MBTA. On June 8th, T: An MBTA Musical, the surprising smash hit of last summer, makes stops at Club Oberon. Where do ideas for musicals come from? Melissa Carubia, the show’s composer, takes us on the underground journey.

Continue reading

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Mar 03

Monsters: A Midlife Musical Meltdown

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Photo Credit: Mak Kramer Photography

Monsters! A Midlife Musical Meltdown; The Regent Theatre, GP Productions, and Image Theater, 2/25/12-3/10/12, http://www.regenttheatre.com/details/monsters_the_musical.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

(Arlington, MA) We’ve all been there (well, at least anyone 25 or older).  Years pass; we have successes and failures.  And then it hits us–where did all those years go?  Remember the wide-eyed 18 year old who thought he/she had everything figured out?  Monsters! A Midlife Musical looks at what happens when all of the insecurities, all of the doubts, and all of the concessions that have been made in Samantha’s life confront her on her 40th birthday. Continue reading

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Jan 19

ART: A Matter of Perspective

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l. to r. Robert Pemberton as Marc and Robert Walsh as Serge in 'ART'. Photo by Andrew Brilliant/ Brilliant Pictures.

Art by Yasmina Reza, New Repertory TheatreArsenal Center for the Arts, 1/15/12-2/5/12, http://newrep.org/art.php.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

(Watertown, MA) Art is…well, about art–the styles, philosophies, the impact on the individual.  When a person creates a work of art, using quality tools always helps in creating a quality piece (although that’s not to say that there aren’t some interesting works of art made from found objects).  Antonio Ocampo-Guzman starts with some of the finest:  a brilliant script and a trio of Boston talent.  Without any deeper analysis, those are two reasons to see the show.  The problem with art, as the play postulates, is that art is subjective and will not necessarily be seen the same through the same lens by each person. Continue reading

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Jan 16

Laugh-Out-Loud Ridiculousness: LEND ME A TENOR

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Lend Me A Tenor by Ken Ludwig, Ciitizen’s Bank Performing Arts Series,The Palace Theatre,  1/13/12-1/28/12,  http://www.palacetheatre.org/event-calendar.aspx?event=442&dt=1/13/2012&category=ALL.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Manchester, NH)  They usually don’t hand out acting awards for comedies, and that is a crying shame.  Is it really harder for an actor to emote than pratfall down the stairs a dozen times a show?  Is biting dialogue really harder to memorize than fifty quick entrances and exits?  A farce may be light on character development, but it is a full-court press of physicality and split-second acting.

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Jan 14

GOD OF CARNAGE: All Hail The Glorious Executioners!

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Johanna Day, Brooks Ashmanskas, Stephen Bogardus, and Christy Pusz in Yasmina Reza’s GOD OF CARNAGE. January 5 – February 6 at the BU Theatre. huntingtontheatre.org. Photo: T. Charles Erickson

God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza, Huntington Theatre Company, 1/6/12-2/5/12, http://www.huntingtontheatre.org/season/production.aspx?id=10226&src=t.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

(Boston, MA) Yasmina Reza grabs the audience by the jugular and does not let go for an hour and a half.   The evening at the Novak’s house in God of Carnage could easily have a voice-over that says “when people stop being polite… and start getting real.”  However, unlike The Real World, Yasmina Reza brings a much more believable situation to its drama than any tv reality show.  By taking a situation that anyone can relate to and heightening it to the absurd degree, God of Carnage holds a mirror up to our inner demons and leaves us laughing through the pain.  Under the direction of Daniel Goldstein, with a talented cast, and a cleverly constructed set, Huntington Theatre Company’s production of God of Carnage is a “must-see” show of the season.

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Dec 12

Three Pianos: Ambition, Anachronism, and a Fun Party

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Dave Malloy, Alec Duffy, Rick Burkhardt. Photo Ryan Jensen

Three Pianos by Rick Burkhardt, Alec Duffy, and Dave Malloy, American Repertory Theatre, Loeb Drama Center, 12/7/11-1/8/12,  http://www.americanrepertorytheater.org/events/show/three-pianos.

Reviewed by Gillian Daniels

In Three Pianos, Rick Burkhardt, Alec Duffy, and Dave Malloy look to reconcile the historical Schubertiade with more modern, boozy gatherings of friends.

The production believes there’s little difference between the parties that Schubert threw for his friends, prominent artists during the Romantic movement, and the soirees of contemporary audiences.  Particularly entertaining are the actors, in the guise of German guests, deciding who should go on a beer run. Continue reading

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