Mar 20

First Do Harm: “Mrs. Packard”

Photo credit: Marc J. Franklin; Mrs. Packard and inmates.

Presented by Bridge Repertory Theatre & Playhouse Creatures Theatre Company
Written by Emily Mann
Directed by Emily Ranii

March 15 – April 9, 2017
Multicultural Arts Center
East Cambridge, MA
Bridge Rep on Facebook
Playhouse Creatures on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger Warnings: Torture, domestic abuse, nudity, implied horror, gaslighting

Peter, Peter, pumpkin-eater,
Had a wife and couldn’t keep her;
He put her in a pumpkin shell,
And there he kept her very well.”
– Traditional nursery rhyme about “Peter” who couldn’t control his (allegedly sexually adventurous) wife so he killed her.  

(East Cambridge, MA) The more things change; the more they stay the same. Mrs. Packard is about how a panel of straight, white men made uninformed decisions on a woman’s health without her consent. Sound familiar? It should. It’s 2017, and treating women with respect is still a revolutionary act. Continue reading

Jan 27

Colors, Flavors and Spices: THE ATHEIST

Photo by Kalman Zabarsky, Georgia Lyman as Augustine Early.

Presented by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
Written and directed by Ronan Noone
Performed by Georgia Lyman

Jan. 19 – Feb. 5, 2017
BPT
949 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA
BPT on Facebook

Trigger warnings: “alternative fact” telling, domestic abuse, discussion of rape, invasion of intimate privacy, crooked politics  

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) It’s as if Ronan Noone timed his production of The Atheist with Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative fact” BS on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Noone’s Atheist captures the distasteful spirit of dirty tactics to make the untrue plausible. Trump’s team is gaslighting its way into our heads. Noone shows us how. Continue reading

Jun 13

“Carousel” Not a Merry Show but a Pleasant Ride

Photo courtesy Reagle Music Theatre/©Herb Philpott

Photo courtesy Reagle Music Theatre/©Herb Philpott

Presented by Reagle Music Theatre
Music by Richard Rodgers
Book & Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Directed & Choreographed by Rachel Bertone
Musical Direction by Dan Rodriguez

June 9-19, 2016
Waltham, MA
Reagle Music Theatre on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Waltham, MA) It always feels a bit dissociative when I see a show that is technically a good production, but the show itself is rather terrible. While watching Reagle Music Theatre’s Carousel, I clapped, I scoffed, rolled my eyes, and was constantly asking myself, “Why?” Continue reading

May 12

The Power of Shame: THE VOICES OF WE


Presented by 333 Productions and the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
Written by Robbi D’Allessandro
Directed by Shana Gogansky

April 25 – May 9, 2015
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
Boston, MA
Voices of We on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warnings: domestic abuse, gun shots, political satire, kickass feminism

(Boston, MA) Trigger warnings abounded for The Voices of We. They were plentiful because the writing was effective and the acting was very good. The stories in Voices aren’t necessarily true to life but they could be true for someone. The point is that these stories are true enough to appear realistic in performance. In the case of the scenes with the most abundant triggers, the inherent realism should serve as a warning to audience members that we, as a society living these stories, have a long way to go.   Continue reading

Apr 27

Violent Dichotomies: The Wholehearted

Dee Crosby – ESPN Intro from Imaginary Media Artists on Vimeo.

Presented by ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage
Created by Stein|Holum Projects
Written by Deborah Stein
Directed by Suli Holum & Deborah Stein

April 17 – 27, 2014
Paramount Theater
Jackie Liebergott Black Box
Boston, MA
ArtsEmerson on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warnings for partial nudity, emotional & physical violence, strong language, and Cup Noodles soup.

(Boston) In The Wholehearted,Dee Crosby (played by the Tilda Swinton-esque Suli Holum) uses antiquated media technology to send a video love letter to her Ex, Carmen. Crosby was a boxing champ in the early 2000’s with a stellar career, a pristine image and what appeared to be a perfect marriage to her coach, Charlie. Unfortunately, Charlie didn’t know how to leave the match in the ring. In her video love letter, Dee relives her most memorable career events deepest turmoils. Creators Holum and Stein show us that assault victims come in all shapes, sizes and definitions of femininity. Continue reading

Oct 21

Marriage Should Only Be a Manageable Annoyance: EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR

Photos by Theatre on Fire.
It stays this sexy for the entire show.

Presented by Theatre on Fire
By Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Darren Evans

Charlestown Working Theater
442 Bunker Hill Street
Charlestown, MA 02129
Theatre on Fire on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Charlestown) Exit, Pursued by a Bear is a complicated show. The topic of domestic abuse is a sensitive one. Most media outlets using it as a subject twist reality to create good and evil characters out of common humans. In truth, an abuser isn’t all evil and the victim isn’t all sugar and spice; they are people with flaws like everyone else. Women and children aren’t the only victims of domestic violence (but are the majority of victims), men aren’t the only perpetrators of abuse (again, they are the majority), and abuse isn’t exclusive to heterosexual couples. Exit is a rare jewel of a show because playwright Lauren Gunderson pays proper respect to victims of domestic abuse while spinning a hilarious tale. Her victim isn’t the butt of jokes and her villain isn’t pure, concentrated evil. Continue reading

Jan 29

An Epic Act of Foley: “Lo-Fi Lowdown”

Pictured: Tanya O’Debra Photo credit: Molly Peck

Pictured: Tanya O’Debra Photo credit: Molly Peck

Act One: Jazz Noir, by Bremner Duthie
Act Two: RADIO STAR, by Tanya O’Debra
Directed by Peter James Cook
Original Music by Andrew Mauriello

January 27th @ 7pm
Club Oberon
Cambridge, MA
Lo-Fi Lowdown Facebook Page

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge) Lo-Fi Lowdown was an homage to the Noir style and the art that it inspires. The first half of the performance was a jumping jazz concert lead by Bremner Duthie and his combo. The second half belonged to Tanya O’Debra and her one-woman radio play Radio Star. Together these two halves complied a fresh evening of cabaret and Foley fun. Continue reading

Nov 17

Dark Matters: The Truth Is In Here

Photo credit: Science Fiction Theatre Company

Dark Matters by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Science Fiction Theatre Company, The Factory Theatre, 11/4/11-11/20/11, http://www.sciencefictiontheatrecompany.com/.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

(Boston, MA, EARTH) The easiest thing in the world to do is to believe; the hardest thing to do in the world is to believe.  When a woman disappears and a husband searches desperately to find her.  She returns and her explanations seem dubious.  The quest for answers and understanding has a price for each of the characters in Science Fiction Theatre Company’s production of Dark Matters by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.  Was Bridgett Cleary taken by aliens or by something much more nefarious?  What is real and what is imagined?  The Cleary family seeks the truth out in the world, but finds it much closer to home. Continue reading