May 10

Canary in the Mine: “Yellow Bird Chase”

Photo by Chris McIntosh; the cast.

Presented by Liars and Believers
Conceived and Directed by Jason Slavick
Written by the LAB Ensemble
In Collaboration with Luminati led by Johnny Blazes

May 4th – 21st, 0217
Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont Street
LAB on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) Every now and again, a piece comes along that’s so far out of the box it defies most reasonable explanation.  Liars & Believers has a history of creating such pieces, integrating clowning with storytelling and adventure in original works that thrill and excite. Yellow Bird Chase is a creative and vibrant exploration of the imagination.  For that, I found the piece a bit confused (and confusing). Continue reading

May 05

When History Comes Alive: “The Trial of Anthony Burns”

Image found on Theatre Espresso’s Facebook page

Presented by Theatre Espresso
Wendy Lement, Producer
Shelley Bolman, Artistic Director
Kortney Adams, Managing Director
May 4th, 2017
Faneuil Hall
Theatre Espresso on Facebook

This play was commissioned by “Discovering Justice: The James D. St. Clair Court Education Project.”

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) Theatre Espresso is an incredible company with a mission that has become more important now than ever: to make history come alive and, through this, to engage young people in active and potent civil discourse.The Trial of Anthony BurnsThe rare opportunity to see one of Theatre Espresso’s shows was an exquisite treat, and I only wish that the public could see more of their pieces. Continue reading

Apr 18

Life’s a Circus: “Barnum”

Shonna Cirone (Charity Barnum), Todd Yard (PT Barnum), Dan Prior (Ensemble) and company; Photograph by Earl Christie Photography.

Presented by MoonBox Productions
Music by Cy Coleman
Lyrics by Michael Stewart
Book by Mark Bramble
Directed and Choreographed by Rachel Bertone
Musical Direction by Dan Rodriguez
Circus Arts/Aerial Choreography by Ellen Waylonis

April 8th – April 30th
Roberts Studio Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont Street
Moonbox on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) There’s hardly a figure in American History with a life more colorful than showman and notorious Humbug Phineas Taylor Barnum.  The exaggerations and theatrical tall-tales that are hallmark of Musical Theatre find no palette more suited than the true facts of P.T.’s exploits.  It’s therefore small wonder that these exploits became a musical in 1980 (titled, appropriately, Barnum).  What is astounding is the fact that Moonbox was able to match the schmaltz and pizzazz require to bring a true eighties style musical to light and life in full vibrant color at the BCA. Continue reading

Nov 18

Our Town? YOUR Town: URINETOWN

urinetown-300

The world is your toilet!

Presented by The MIT Musical Theatre Guild
By Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann
Directed by Daniel Epelbaum
Music and Vocal Direction by Paul Gallagher
Produced by Caroline Walsh and Anni Zhang

November 17 – 20, 2016
MIT’s La Sala de Puerto Rico
84 Mass Ave, Cambridge
MIT Musical Theatre Guild on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Cambridge, MA) Urinetown is a tough piece to tackle.  It’s a satire and, as such, full of clichés that are meant to be hit precisely right in order to ring hilarious and not maudlin.  It’s a dark musical with dark themes, a dark plot, and a dark ending.  Last, but certainly not least, there are several technical demands that make it an interesting theatrical problem to solve (one character is thrown off a building onstage…. Try staging that without a fly rig). Continue reading

Oct 27

Beautiful and Painful: “The Scottsboro Boys”

Nile Hawver / Nile Scott Shots; The ensemble getting down.

Nile Hawver / Nile Scott Shots; The ensemble getting down.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
Music and Lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb
Book by David Thompson
Original Direction and Choreography by Susan Stroman
Directed by Paul Daigneault
Musical Direction by Matthew Stern
Choreography by Ilyse Robbins

October 21 – November 26
Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont Street
Speakeasy on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) It’s difficult to know what to say about The Scottsboro Boys.  The piece is uncomfortable to watch not because of its incredible talent or flawless direction and design, but rather because it’s meant to be uncomfortable to watch.  The show is a remixed account of the historical case of The Scottsboro Boys, nine young black men who in 1931 were accused of raping two white women on a train, told through the lens of American Minstrelsy.  Performed with gusto and amazing energy, SpeakEasy’s production is a triumph that should be mandatory viewing for any American (particularly in an election year as fraught with the urge to “just give up” as this one has been). Continue reading

Oct 24

Naughty Nighttime Jaunts: “The Wrathskellar Tales”

14237673_1197699330251209_1253917380444914164_n-1Produced by Boston BeauTease

October 20 – October 31, 2016
The Wrathskellar
288A Green Street (Lower Level)
Cambridge, MA
Boston BeauTease on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Cambridge, MA) Immersive, site-specific theatre is notoriously difficult to execute.  It is complicated to envision, a nightmare to rehearse, precarious to time, and overwhelming to build.  Audiences familiar with Punchdrunk’s Sleep no More will understand just how many details go into the completion of a successful immersive theatre project.  The Wrathskellar Tales is surprisingly thorough and impressively complete in its scope. Continue reading

Oct 24

At the Hop: “Planet of the Warrior Bunnies”

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Presented by Unreliable Narrator
Written and Directed by Carl Danielson
Violence Design by Matt Arnold

October 21 – 29, 2016
Arlington Center for the Arts
41 Foster Street Arlington, MA
Unreliable Narrator on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Arlington, MA) In a world where a race of unkillable, honor-bound warrior bunnies roam the galaxy, there is only one bunny with the adventurous spirit of Luke Skywalker, the might of Obi Wan Kenobi, and the sheer awesomeness of Han Solo: K’tharr.  Planet of the Warrior Bunnies is a campy sci-fi tale of what happens when one bunny stands up to the forces of evil that threaten not only his home, but also that of his truest friend (the earth psychic Krista). Continue reading

Oct 24

Corpsed: “Cirque of the Dead”


Presented by The Boston Circus Guild
Script written by Tim Ellis, Ricky Hawkins, and Jeremy Warren
Circus direction by Michael “Mooch” Mucciolo
Choreography of finale by Ellen Waylonis
Band lead by eHawk
Online Program for More Credits

October 21 – 26, 2016
The Oberon
2 Arrow Street, Cambridge MA
Boston Circus Guild on Facebook

This show is 18+ only, due to graphic / disturbing content. Strobe lights are used in this production.

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Cambridge, MA) Few things are as fun as a circus show, except perhaps a Halloween-themed circus show with zany scientists, colorful cohorts of demons, a jammin’ band, and a mid-show filked-up sing-a-long.  Cirque of the Dead is back for its third year at Club Oberon and it’s ready to wow you.  This thoroughly entertaining evening has your usual thrills, not terribly many chills, and a few non-lethal spills. Continue reading

Oct 03

Fantastical Beasts (and where to find them): THE MIDNIGHT ZOO

midnightzoo_headerProduced by Puppet Showplace Theatre
And Franklin Park Zoo
Creative Direction and Lead Design by Brad Shur
Produced and Stage Directed by Roxanna Myhrum
Costume Design by Kristen Connolly
Sound Design by Andrew Duncan Will
Lighting Design by Chris Bocchario

Thursday – Sunday, Sept. 30-Oct. 30, 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.
1 Franklin Park Road, Dorchester MA
Puppet Showplace Theatre on Facebook
Franklin Park Zoo on Facebook
The Midnight Zoo on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Dorchester, MA) Halloween is (seriously) my most favorite time of the year and I am always looking for new ways to celebrate it.  In addition to gorging on pumpkin spice everything, this year I was so excited to have the opportunity to take a jaunt in the jungle at Franklin Park Zoo’s inaugural Midnight Zoo.  This collaboration with the Puppet Showplace Theatre brings visitors on a journey into a realm of mythical beasts and wonderful creatures. Continue reading

Sep 29

Strange Women Laying in Ponds: SPAMALOT


Presented by Bill Hanney’s North Shore Music Theatre
Book and Lyrics by Eric Idle
Music by John du Prez & Eric Idle
Lovingly ripped off from the film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”
Directed and Choreographed by Billy Sprague, Jr.
Music Direction by Jesse Warkentin

September 27 – October 9, 2016
62 Dunham Road
Beverly, MA
Bill Hanney’s North Shore Music Theatre on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Beverly, MA) Hey guys, did you know that there’s a Broadway-quality equity theatre dedicated to bringing glittering seasons of musicals to the North Shore just a stone’s throw from Boston?  Maybe it’s because I’m non-native, but until last night I definitely did not.  I count myself among the most unhappy of masses to have missed what I’m certain were previous spectacular seasons at Bill Hanney’s North Shore Music Theatre.  Spamalot, their current offering, is a treat for any Python-head, musical enthusiast, or person with even a tiny sense of humor. Continue reading