Dec 02

Looocy, You Got Some ‘Splaining to Do: Heart & Dagger’s SWEENEY TODD

Promotional Art by Heart & Dagger

Promotional Art by Heart & Dagger

Presented by Heart & Dagger Productions
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheeler
Directed by Joey C. Pelletier
Music direction by Michael Amaral

Nov. 19 – Dec. 4, 2016
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center For The Arts
527 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02116
H&D on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MAHeart & Dagger’s approach to Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is highly unusual. It’s design harkens back to the original “Penny Deadfuls” in a way fancy pants professional productions don’t. It revels in its everyday horrors. It’s design brings creative license to the next level. Many strong, risky choices were made in this production. Most of them paid off. Unfortunately, some of the bigger ones did not. Continue reading

Nov 30

Too Many Words: AMADEUS

Moonbox Productions - AMADEUS (L-R) Matthew Zahnzinger - "Antonio Salieri", Cody Sloan - "Amadeus Mozart" Photographer: Earl Christie

Moonbox Productions – AMADEUS, (L-R) Matthew Zahnzinger – “Antonio Salieri”, Cody Sloan – “Amadeus Mozart”
Photographer: Earl Christie

Presented by Moonbox Productions
By Peter Shaffer
Directed/choreographed by Allison Olivia Choat
Music direction by Dan Rodriguez
Period music consultation by Thomas Carroll

Nov. 25 – Dec. 17, 2016
Plaza Theatre
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Moonbox on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Moonbox’s Amadeus is a delightful tragedy. Tragic because Mozart dies. Also tragic because playwright Shaffer likes to hear his own words spoken aloud. It’s made a delight by the elegant, classically lined staging by Choat, and the performances from the cast.   Continue reading

Nov 26

“Bedroom Farce”: The Art of Being in a Relationship

Bedroom Farce HTC 11-16 130Bedroom Farce, by Alan Ayckbourn, directed by Mariah Aitken at Huntington Theatre Company 11/10/16Set Design: Alexander DodgeCostume Design: Robert MorganLighting Design: Matthew Richards© T Charles Erickson Photographytcepix@comcast.net

Bedroom Farce, © T Charles Erickson

Presented by The Huntington Theatre Company
By Alan Ayckbourn
Directed by Maria Aitken

November 11-December 11, 2016
BU Theatre at The Huntington Theatre Company
The Huntington Theatre Company on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) Usually, I’m a sucker for anything British, especially accents and that special brand of English humor. Both passions, as well as the potential for bedroom antics, were just a couple reasons I was excited to attend a performance of English playwright Alan Ayckbourn’s Bedroom Farce. But by the end of the show I was disappointed to realize that the accents were the only British thing about it and the bedroom humor was rather lazy at best. Continue reading

Dec 14

Getting to Maybe: EXPOSED

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The TV has no context in this image.

Presented by Boston Center for American Performance and Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
Written by Robert Brustein
Directed by Steven Bogart
Compositions by Mark Bruckner
Musical direction by Catherine Stornetta

Dec. 10 – Dec. 18, 2015
Boston Center for the Arts
Wimberly Theatre
Boston, MA
BPT on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Normally, I adore a good potty-mouthed political satire.  I feel less alone knowing that my fellow humans also think that the Govt., its politicians, and processes are broken. As Republicans, Democrats, Independents, etc, we can all agree that the system needs an overhaul. Satires give me a modicum of hope for the future. Continue reading

Dec 08

The Dude Does Not Abide: “Return of the Winemaker”

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Presented by Tir Na Productions
Written by Bernard McMullan
Directed by Carmel O’Reilly

Dec. 2 – 20, 2015
Davis Square Theater
Somerville, MA
Tir Na Theatre on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Return of the Winemaker: An Irish Christmas Comedy  takes the piss out of two beloved institutions: Ireland and Christmas. It is not for the artistically insistent or the prudishly religious. In it, God sends his only begotten son to Ireland, of all places, to try again. Continue reading

Dec 07

“It’s Not About My Mother”: It’s About Fleetwood Mac

Photo credit: Nile Hawver

Photo credit: Nile Hawver

 

Presented by Fresh Ink Theatre
By Lizzie Milanovich
Directed by Cassandra Lovering

December 4-12, 2015
The Plaza Black Box Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts
Fresh Ink Theatre on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) Location, location, location. That was the thought that crossed my mind as I took a seat at the Plaza Black Box Theatre, and just from looking over the set the placement of It’s Not About My Mother was perfect. Not only does the show itself take place in a basement, the theatre is located in a similar setting, which was welcomingly orienting. Continue reading

Dec 04

I Missed “The Wiz” for This: THE SNOW QUEEN

Photo by Andrew Brilliant / Brilliant Pictures.

L-R: Nick Sulfaro as Kai, Aimee Doherty as the Snow Queen, and Victoria Britt as Gerda. Photo by Andrew Brilliant / Brilliant Pictures.

Presented by New Rep Theatre
Book by Kirsten Brandt and Rick Lombardo
Music by Haddon Kime
Lyrics by Kirsten Brandt, Rick Lombardo, and Haddon Kime
Additional music, stage direction and choreography by Rick Lombardo
Associate choreographer: Kelli Edwards
Musical direction by Emily Intersimone

Nov. 28 – Dec. 20, 2015
Arsenal Center for the Arts
Charles Mosesian Theater
Watertown, MA
New Rep on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Watertown, MA) We critics want to write positive reviews. For the most part (I can’t speak for everyone), we enter a performance space sincerely hoping that the performance that follows will blow us out of the water with its exceptional talent, creativity, ingenuity and expression of the human condition. We want everyone to do well. Writing a negative review is a draining experience for a critic. The truth can be a bitter pill to swallow. Continue reading

Dec 04

Sharing the Joyful Word: BLACK NATIVITY

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Banner image borrowed from https://paramountboston.org/

Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity Dec. 2, 2015
Presented by Emerson College and National Center of Afro-American Artists
Book by Langston Hughes
Music & Lyrics chosen by Langston Hughes
Based on text from the Gospel of St. Luke
Executive Producer and Director: Voncille Ross
Assistant to the Director for Music: Stephen Hunter, Sr.
Choral Director for Children: Marilyn Andry
Choral Director for Adults: Milton L. Wright
Ballet Mistress: Desiree Springer

Dec. 4 – 20, 2015
ASL interpreted performances: Dec. 4, 6, 12, 13, 19, & 20, 2015
The Paramount Theater
Boston, MA
Paramount Theater on Facebook
Black Nativity Boston on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Performances are open to the public beginning on Friday, Dec. 4. I was invited to a dress rehearsal. This review will be based on the wonderful performance the NCAAA so graciously allowed me to attend on Dec. 2, 2015.

(Boston, MA) Jesus was a Jewish man from Israel. Israel shares a border with Egypt which is in Africa. His birthplace, Bethlehem, is approximately six miles from Jerusalem. It takes about five hours to get to Be’er Sheva from Bethlehem if you catch the right bus (thank you Googlemaps). From there, you could get within the borders of Africa if you really wanted to but the journey would be pointlessly rough. I mention this to prove a point: given the physical location of Nazareth, Bethlehem and Jerusalem on a map, it is highly unlikely that Jesus was the blonde haired, blue eyed, white man that Christians enjoy depicting today. You’d have to travel on foot through Lebanon, then Syria and finally Turkey, or voyage across the Mediterranean Sea to Greece or Italy before hitting any majority of white people… And that’s in 7-2 BCE. Good luck finding an agent willing to sell you travel insurance. Continue reading

Dec 01

“The Little Mermaid” Makes a Little Splash

Courtesy Fiddlehead Theatre Company/©Eric Antoniou

Courtesy Fiddlehead Theatre Company/©Eric Antoniou

Presented by Fiddlehead Theatre Company at The Strand Theatre
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater
Book by Doug Wright
Musical Direction by Charles Peltz

November 27-December 6, 2015
Dorchester, MA
Fiddlehead Theatre Company on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Dorchester, MA) Disney musicals are the foundation of almost all happy childhoods, so I was excited to see an extended version of the undersea fantasy that entranced my youthful eyes and ears. But the problem with Disney’s staged version of The Little Mermaid, the same part that left me slightly disappointed after seeing the show, is that it expands on something that is already so perfect in a way that feels forced and unnecessary. Continue reading

Nov 30

Uncompromised Cuteness: BAREFOOT IN THE PARK

Tom Shoemaker (Paul Bratter) and Marisa Gold (Corie Bratter); Photograph – Earl Christie Photography

Tom Shoemaker (Paul Bratter) and Marisa Gold (Corie Bratter); Photograph – Earl Christie Photography

Presented by Moonbox Productions
Written by Neil Simon
Directed by Allison Olivia Choat
Original music composed by Dan Rodriguez

Nov. 20 – Dec. 12, 2015
Plaza Theater
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Moonbox on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Ticket sales benefit Summer Search. Please visit their site and learn more.

(Boston, MA) At first blush, Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park appears to be a fluffy romcom with about as much depth as the Frog Pond during a late-August drought. Upon closer inspection, it could be perceived as a satire addressing the impossible expectations placed on 1960’s newly-wed couples. I know it’s a stretch. Bear with me for a second. Continue reading