Dec 19

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

Bookmark and Share

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

Bookmark and Share
Dec 19

Appalachian Comedy and Backwoods Humor in “Sand Mountain”

Bookmark and Share

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

Bookmark and Share
Dec 11

OMIGODUGUYS! : “Legally Blonde”

Bookmark and Share

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

Bookmark and Share
Dec 10

Song, Cheer, and Social Misfits: “A Christmas Carol”

Bookmark and Share

 

 

Presented by Anthem Theatre Company
Based on the novel by Charles Dickens
Adapted by Steve Wargo
Musical Arrangements by Dianne Adams-McDowell
Directed by Michael Poignand

12/5/2013 — 12/21/2013
Boston Center for the Arts
Plaza Black Box Theater
Boston, MA
Anthem Theatre Co on Facebook

2 hours, 15 minutes with one intermission.

 

 

 

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston) Though remembered largely as a cheerful, life-affirming tale about learning to embrace kindness, A Christmas Carol is, really, a ghost story. Ebenezer Scrooge (Kevin B. McGlynn) contemplates loneliness and the end of his life as he’s visited by spirits that embody his past, present, and future. Anthem Theatre Company gives us a stripped down Victorian play, a musical with literal Christmas carols to color a melancholy London and the workhouse realities of its Industrial Revolution. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share
Dec 09

Fading into the Woodwork: STELLA AND LOU

Bookmark and Share
Displaying Stella-and-Lou-dress-rehearal-compressed (1).jpg

Photo by Meghan Moore.

presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
By Bruce Graham
Directed by Charles Towers

November 29th – December 22nd, 2013
50 East Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA
MRT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell) Nelson Mandela once said, “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”  Yet many of us cling onto being small all our lives.  Doing a play about that intentional smallness can be tricky without having the play succumb to smallness itself. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share
Dec 09

Life (Instructions Not Included): BECKY’S NEW CAR

Bookmark and Share
http://www.lyricstage.com/uploads/presskit/MSH_1548%20cropped.jpg

Photo by Mark S. Howard.

presented by The Lyric Stage Company
by Steven Dietz
Directed by Larry Coen
Production sponsored by Tim & Linda Holiner

November 29th – December 22nd
140 Clarendon Street
Boston, MA
Lyric Stage on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston) Film, literature and theater are filled with midlife crises.  The plotlines for men offer them the chance to break away from office meetings and drudgery to lead a life of adventure and get the girl (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty).  For women, the midlife crisis plotline offers a chance to break free from the ties that bind, to take a vacation from a family, and to have some great sex (The Bridges of Madison County).  Too often, things either resolve too well or too tragically, but always too neatly.  The explosion.  The choice.  The last goodbye.  Fade out. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share
Dec 02

Charm Conquers All: CAMELOT

Bookmark and Share
Photo credit: Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures

Photo credit: Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures

Presented by New Repertory Theatre
Books and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music by Frederick Lowe
Original production directed and staged by Moss Heart
Based on “The Once and Future King” by TH White
Directed and choreographed by Russell Garrett
Musical direction by David McGrory
Dance Captain – Maurice Emmanuel Parent
Fight Captain – Michael J Borges

Nov. 23 – Dec. 22, 2013
Charles Mosesian Theater
Arsenal Center for the Arts
Watertown, MA
New Rep on Facebook

(Watertown) The Director’s Notes by Russell Garrett are excellent. An audience member desiring nostalgic information correlating Camelot to the anniversary of JFK’s assassination will be well pleased. For this purpose, I will not dwell on the JFK’s Camelot as Mr. Garrett has already done an excellent job of doing so in the programme. If you’d like to know more, see the show.

Considering the weight that the Kennedy Family carries in the US, one might expect Camelot to be a more serious show. Lerner and Lowe’s fluffy hit does examine some heavy issues but the majority of the script and lyrics are intended to entertain rather than educate. The sugary sweet production by New Rep does not fail in its mission to cheer Baby Boomers and to indoctrinate younger generations in classic musical theatre. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share
Nov 20

Working out the Humbugs: A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Bookmark and Share
http://www.trinityrep.com/DownloadDocs/ACC13__0413.jpg

Photo credit: Mark Turek

Presented by Trinity Repertory Company
By Adrian Hall and Richard Cumming
Adapted from the story by Charles Dickens
Directed by Tyler Dobrowsky
Musical Direction by Darren Server
Choreography by Shura Baryshnikov

November 9 – December 28,
201 Washington St.
Providence, RI
Trinity Repertory Company on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Providence) I know what you’re going to say: “what can anyone possibly have to say about Dickens’ classic Christmas tale that I haven’t heard five billion times before?”  Trinity Rep sees your concern and raises you veritable Holiday Magic onstage before your very eyes.  If you’re feeling a case of the humbugs, a trip to Providence is well worth your while to get into the spirit (and spirits) of the season. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share
Oct 24

Arlington Friends of the Drama Presents: LEGALLY BLONDE

Bookmark and Share

544_LegallyBlonde-postcard-page-001

All the info you need and more can be found HERE.

Music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Neil Bejamin
Book by Heather Hach
Directed by James Tallach
Music direction by Stephen Peters
Choreography by Theresa Melito

December 6 – 22, 2013
22 Academy St
Arlington, MA
AFD on Facebook

Bookmark and Share
Dec 31

Embracing the Flaws: TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA

Bookmark and Share
Stratton McCrady Photography; the cast getting funky with Shakespeare.

Stratton McCrady Photography; the cast getting funky with Shakespeare.

presented by Actors Shakespeare Project

Davis Square Theatre
255 Elm Street,
Somerville, MA
December 12th, 2012 – January 6th, 2012
Actors Shakespeare Project Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Somerville) Because Shakespeare has become the standard by which Western theatre is judged, we often forget that the man first had to feel his way in the dark, just like every other art school wannabe.  Two Gentlemen of Verona, believed by some to be the Bard’s first play, shows frustrating snatches of his future brilliance.  All his trademark comedic pieces are there (cross-dressing women, inconstant lovers and the amazing power of the wilderness to right all wrongs), but this script reads like the man was working on deadline.  Themes are picked up and discarded, wordplay only sporadically catches fire and a plot point in the final act makes you want to bang Shakespeare’s head against the floorboards and scream, “Rewrite!” Continue reading

Bookmark and Share