Dec 15

No, Thank YOU Susan: NECCESARY MONSTERS

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Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo

Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Co.
By John Kuntz
Directed by David R. Gammons
Dramaturgy by Walt McGough

Dec.5, 2014 – Jan. 3, 2015
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
SpeakEasy on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warning: Strobe lighting, smoking, unsexy sex, murder, drugs, wiring from an electrical engineer’s worst nightmare

(Boston, MA) The proverb goes, “some people are only alive because it is illegal to kill them*.” The majority of the people who advertise that they apply this statement to their life philosophies are frequently ignorant, bigoted and deeply stupid. One just doesn’t say such things (lest your friends and loved ones think you’re one of them. No one wants to be considered one of them). That doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t agree. On the contrary, we frequently do but refuse to publicly admit it because our Mommies taught us better than that. We only admit we agree with this proverb in the quiet of the night, privately and alone. But it’s true isn’t it? There are certain people that we believe are bad and therefore must be stopped. Sometimes it’s a terrible man like Hitler, and sometimes it’s Celia in 24B across the hall with her 4 incessantly yapping corgis, 2am vacuuming, and magazine stealing habits. Sometimes Celia, and what she represents, must die. It’s thoughts like these that fuel Necessary Monsters. Continue reading

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Dec 08

Delightfully Off-Kilter: “13 Things About Ed Carpolotti”

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Photo by Meghan Moore.

Photo by Meghan Moore.

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Book, Music and Lyrics by Barry Kleinbort
Based on a play by Jeffrey Hatcher

November 28 – December 21, 2014
50 East Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA
MRT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell, MA) It’s one thing to create a play that mimics the feeling of being trapped in a conversation with someone who is batty; it’s another to make such a play entertaining. As the play 13 Things About Ed Carpolotti demonstrates, the difference is all in the storytelling prowess of the off-putting character. Continue reading

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Dec 08

“Distant Neighbors” and Close Encounters

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static.squarespace.com

Sheldon Brown (Adams) & Louise Hamill (Talia). Photo by E. Milanovich Photography

Presented by Fresh Ink Theatre
Written by Patrick Gabridge
Directed by Liz Fenstermaker

December 5 – 13, 2014
Boston Playwrights Theatre
949 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA
Fresh Ink on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

Fresh Ink Theatre’s Distant Neighbors hits at the heart of what the best science fiction is about: people reacting to technological advancement.  If you read (or watch the film adaption of) Jurassic Park, you’re not just consuming entertainment to see how people create dinosaurs, but how people react to creating dinosaurs.  Similarly, the characters of Distant Neighbors react to a change in an intimate environment.  Here, however, the source of upheaval is the wing of an apparent spacecraft that comes crashing down into the backyards of Adams (Sheldon Brown), Talia (Louise Hamill), and Griffin (Daniel Boudreau), three neighbors who know nothing about each other.  It’s a wonderful starting point for a story about intimacy and paranoia, but I’m not sure it pans out well.

Continue reading

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Dec 08

A Tangible Metaphor: THE SLEEPRUNNER

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Sleeprunner_4

Merli V. Guerra and the cast perform Luminarium Dance Company’s The Sleeprunner. Photo: Ryan Carollo.

Presented by Luminarium Dance Company
Choreography by Merli V. Guerra & Kimberleigh A. Holman
Music arranged by Merli V. Guerra, Kimberleigh A. Holman, Christos Zevos

December 5 – 13, 2014
Multicultural Arts Center
41 Second St, Cambridge MA
Luminarium on Facebook

1hr, 20 mins. no intermission

Review by Kitty Drexel

“Well dreams, they feel real while we’re in them, right? It’s only when we wake up that we realize how things are actually strange. Let me ask you a question, you, you never really remember the beginning of a dream do you? You always wind up right in the middle of what’s going on.”

-Cobb, Inception (2010) written and directed by Christopher Nolan

(Cambridge, MA) In the director’s note, Merli V. Guerra and Kimberleigh A. Holman describe the most relatable elements of the Sleeprunner as “sleep, dreams, and the surreal.” The production incorporates the human need for sleep, modern dance, and tech design to create a tangible metaphor for a universal experience. At times grotesque but always beautiful, this production explores through motion what it is to experience a deep, meaningful rest. Continue reading

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Dec 05

Kissing Ass and Dropping Names: “The Tale of The Allergist’s Wife”

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Photo credit: Mark S. Howard

Photo credit: Mark S. Howard. Their mortgage must be astronomical!

Presented by the Lyric Stage Company of Boston
By Charles Busch
Directed by Larry Cohen

Nov. 21 – Dec. 20, 2014
Boston, MA
The Lyric on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warnings: nontraditional sexy times, liberal politics, poop jokes

(Boston, MA) Just as Busch’s other works, The Tale of The Allergist’s Wife features a diva resplendent in her advancing glamour, highly stylized hilarity, and juxtaposes low brow against high brow comedy. There is an overwhelming amount of name dropping (philosophers, celebrities, book titles, places, historical events) but this is de rigeur for Busch’s work. Allergist’s Wife wastes no time explaining anything but the emotional realities of its characters (which are diverse and complicated). It’s the product one would get if you bleached the crap out of How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, tossed in a quartet of rich Manhattan intelligentsia, and sauteed in a heaping spoonful of scatological humor. Allergist’s Wife is a highly enjoyable production if you can settle your stomach and keep up.   Continue reading

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Dec 01

Busy With Important Things; or, Leggings Are Not Pants: THE LITTLE PRINCE

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Photo by Andrew Brilliant / Brilliant Pictures

Photo by Andrew Brilliant / Brilliant Pictures

Presented by the New Repertory Theatre
Adapted from the book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Book and lyrics by John Scoullar
Music by Rick Cummins
Directed by Ilyse Robbins
Musical Direction by Todd C. Gordon

Nov. 22 – Dec. 21, 2014
Charles Mosesian Theatre
Watertown, MA
New Rep on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Watertown, MA) The novella The Little Prince is part memoir, part analogy for a grown man’s relationship with his inner child. Scoullar and Cummins adapted Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s most famous work into a parent-friendly children’s science fiction musical. It has the subject matter to entertain kids and the emotional complexity to interest adults. This is a show heavy with metaphor and analogy. Continue reading

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Nov 13

Luminarium Dance Presents: The Sleeprunner, December 2014

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sleep runner

THE SLEEPRUNNER
December 5 . 6 . 12 . 13 @
Multicultural Arts Center
41 Second Street
East Cambridge MA
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Luminarium Dance on Facebook

Don’t miss Luminarium’s largest production of the season during its two-weekend fall run. The production will take place at the beautiful and historic Multicultural Arts Center (41 Second Street, East Cambridge MA), highlighting the company’s signature imaginative choreography, lighting, and scenic design, while complementing the caliber of its past feature productions Mythos:Pathos (2012) and Secrets & Motion (2013).

What makes Luminarium uniquely dance & theatre?
  • Luminarium is the first dance company to be invited for, then granted, a Bob Jolly Charitable Trust Award, for its productions’ masterful theatricality in addition to dance. (All previous awards have gone to theatre companies and individuals.)
  • Luminarium was featured as one of 10 “Unsung Heroes” in the Boston performing arts scene, alongside New Repertory Theatre and Company One, by Improper Bostonian magazine.
  • Costumes for The Sleeprunner are being created by rising New York costume designer Sueann Leung, whose work was most notably featured in the runway section of the Wall Street Journal.
  • Luminarium’s The Sleeprunner marks another first for the local dance community as one of the smallest/youngest Boston-based companies to be adopting a theatre performance format, expanding to a two-week run.
  • Its performers come from an energetically-eclectic background that include a nationally-acclaimed colorguard performer, professional voice actor, internationally-touring classical Indian dancer, tap-dancing winner of the World Cup in Germany, and (just to add to the diversity) even a PhD candidate in Biology who is an aerial circus artist on the side.
  • The Sleeprunner will be lit and co-choreographed by professional theatre lighting design and choreographer Kim Holman, who does lighting design and choreography for local Boston theatre companies ranging from Babson College to the Boston Public Schools.
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Dec 19

Sex, Lies & Antlers: “The Eight: Reindeer Monologues”

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Presented by Happy Medium Theatre Company
By Jeff Goode
Directed by Mikey DiLoreto and Lizette M. Morris

December 17-22, 2013
­­­
The Factory Theatre
791 Tremont St. Boston, MA
Happy Medium Theatre on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston) Difficult issues are difficult to tackle. It seems simplistic to put things this way, but of the theatre I’ve seen which attempts to handle “BIG PROBLEMS”, the vast majority is markedly ineffective.

This comes from a variety of factors: it’s easy to devolve into bad writing habits when you’ve got a hot-button issue on your hands. I wish I could tell you how many times I’ve been bludgeoned with the two-by-four of justice or honestly by a well-meaning playwright who was simply trying to engage with society’s greater schema. Unfortunately, those instances have been so traumatic that I’ve managed to wipe most of them from my memory and replaced them with visions of dancing sugarplums. Continue reading

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Dec 19

Appalachian Comedy and Backwoods Humor in “Sand Mountain”

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Presented by The Hub Theatre Company of Boston
By Romulus Linney
Directed by Daniel Bourque

December 13-21, 2013
First Church Boston
66 Marlborough St
Boston, MA
Hub Theatre Co on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston) Romulus Linney’s Appalachian play is a strange, Frankenstein’d animal of a comedy.  It combines two stories about marriage and society on Sand Mountain, an Alabama sandstone plateau.  The first half, Sand Mountain Matchmaking, is about the unlucky love life of the widow Rebecca Tull (Lauren Elias) as she searches for an appropriate suitor.  Act II, Why The Lord Come to Sand Mountain, is a twistier story featuring Jesus (Robert Orzalli) and Saint Peter (Yoni Bronstein) as they spend a night with a backwoods family.  Both acts combine to create a folksy, down-home play, one a little too saccharine to feel credible but fun none-the-less. Continue reading

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Dec 11

OMIGODUGUYS! : “Legally Blonde”

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Photo Credit: AFD’s Facebook page; Cai Radleigh, Shannon Cheong and cast.

Presented by Arlington Friends of the Drama
Music and Lyrics by Laurcen O’Keefe and Neil Benjamin
Book by Heather Hach
Directed by James Tallach
Music Direction by Stephen Peters
Choreography by Theresa Melito

Dec. 6 – Dec. 22, 2013
Charles Mosesian Theater
22 Academy St. Arlington MA
AFD on Facebook

Disclaimer: Queen of the Geeks, Kitty Drexel is involved in this production. The following review takes this into consideration and was written and edited accordingly.

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Arlington) Adaptation is an odd and fickle creature. In the rash of non-musical-movie to Broadway adaptations that have hit the theatre scene over the course of the last five or ten years, we’ve seen everything from Julie Taymore’s travesty (Spiderman: Turn off the Dark), to the possibly better-than-its-source Spamalot.

Legally Blonde is one that has a soft spot in my heart simply because Reese Witherspoon in her dayglow-pink skirted suits has always been something of an inspiration to me. Here’s a woman who’s hot, smart, and makes both work for her in her own way without conforming to society’s boxes. Legally Blonde was also the first film in my conscious memory that showed me a “popular girl” with a heart of gold. Elle Woods has never stood for changing people (unlike her predecessor Cher Horowitz), but rather helping the women around her see value in what they are. Really; who couldn’t use a little bend and snap now and again? Continue reading

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