Mar 18

What a marvel: “Edward II”

(l to r) Edward II (Maurice Emmanuel Parent), Gaveston (Eddie Shields), and Lancaster (Nigel Gore) – Photo by Maggie Hall

Presented by Actors’ Shakespeare Project
By Christopher Marlowe
Directed by David R. Gammons

February 22 – March 19, 2017
Charlestown Working Theater
ASPBoston on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

WARNING: Nudity, violence.

(I beg forgiveness from the cast and crew of Edward II! I was trapped on the west coast during the blizzard, and only returned last night. It was not possible to post Ms. Daniels’ review until then. My sincerest apologies, and best wishes for a closing weekend! – Kitty, the Queen Geek)

(Charlestown, MA)  This show is intense. I could feel my temples vibrate during intermission. The power and emotion has stayed with me for days. I cried during the show, afterward, and grew teary remembering it. I am not at all surprised the production has added more performances to its tight schedule. This is a melodrama realized with an expert, brutal hand. Continue reading

Feb 27

Vouchers Will Not Save Our Schools: “Exit Strategy”

UPDATED on 2/28/17: Because holy crapping fudge DeVos is either a sincere idiot, or a racist ass (mostly likely, both). https://twitter.com/AdamHSays/status/836416602736312320

Photo by Joel Benjamin. With Robert Bonotto, Victoria George, Johnny Quinones, Jalani Dottin-coye and Matt Fagerberg.

Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company
Written by Ike Holter
Directed by David Miller

Feb. 17- March 11, 2017
Plaza Theater
Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont St in Boston’s South End
Zeitgeist on Facebook

This production is made possible in part by The Bob Jolly Charitable Trust, which was established by the late Boston actor Bob Jolly to support local theater artists.

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MAExit Strategy opens with a quote for Betsy DeVos’s Senate Hearing on Jan. 17, 2017. DeVos is a rich, white women with no experience in public education and a strong preference for charter schools. She’s in love with vouchers. To her, “accountability” is just a 14 letter word. She is completely oblivious of the hard work public school teachers do every single damn day in order to teach their students. Her ignorance, arrogance and entitlement are the three donkeys of the educational system’s apocalypse. Our kids, especially the underprivileged, deserve better. Her philosophies are the kind that allow schools to crumble apart with children still in them. Continue reading

Feb 22

Hilarious Hot Flashes and Other Mid-Life Crises of the Woman: “Women in Jeopardy”

Gail Rastorfer, Julia Brothers, and Jessica Wortham. Photo by Meghan Moore.

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre 
Written by Wendy MacLeod
Directed by Sean Daniels

February 15-March 12, 2017
50 E. Merrimack Street, Lowell MA 01852
MRT on Facebook

Review by Kate Lew Idlebrook

(Lowell, MA) My husband and I had a very stressful week that culminated in the knowledge that our heater, broken since Thursday, wouldn’t be fixed until Monday. So by the time Saturday night arrived, we were in need of some good, comedic distraction, and Women in Jeopardy, premiering at the the Merrimack Repertory Theater, rose to the challenge.

Continue reading

Feb 22

Tell Your Own Story: “Informed Consent”

With Dale J. Young, Demetrius Fuller, Alexa Lambert, Becca A. Lewis, Danielle Jacques, Deniz Khateri, Camilo Atehortua, Paola M. Ferrer Collazo and Chrissy Tina. Photo credit: Apollinaire Theatre Co.

Presented by Apollinaire Theatre Company
Written by Deborah Zoe Laufer
Directed by Dale J. Young

Feb. 17- Mar. 12, 2017
Chelsea Theatre Works
189 Winnisimmet St., Chelsea, MA, 02150
Apollinaire on Facebook

90 minutes, no intermission.

Review by Polly Goss

(Chelsea, MA) Having originally opened to critical acclaim at The Duke on 42nd Street in August 2015, Laufer’s hard hitting play is the most recent production from Chelsea’s Appolinaire Theatre Company. Resident company of Chelsea Theatre Works, Appolinaire endeavours to “offer audiences direct, intimate encounters with works of modern and contemporary theatre.” Informed Consent does exactly that. Deborah Zoe Laufer is an accomplished writer, marrying the universal with the personal, in this heart-wrenching story of one woman’s struggle to beat fate and save her daughter…“whatever the cost”. Continue reading

Feb 21

“The Honey Trap” Sweet Like Honey, Sting Like a Bee

Maureen Keiller, Barlow Adamson. Photograph credit: Kalman Zabarsky

Presented by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre & Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Theatre
Written by Leo McGann
Directed by Adam Kassim

February 16-26, 2017
949 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre on Facebook
Boston University New Play Initiative

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) According to the old cliché, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. The truth of this is debatable, but it’s true that, when luring something, or someone, to its doom, it’s much simpler to do it in a soft, sweet way. On multiple levels, this was the crux of how Leo McGann’s The Honey Trap told a story of history, guilt, and revenge. Continue reading

Feb 17

Elvis Doesn’t Waltz: DON’T GIVE UP THE SHIP

Photo by Emma Young; a tense moment for Commodore Perry and family.

Presented by Fresh Ink Theatre Company
Written by Laura Neill
Directed by Joshua Glenn-Kayden
Dramatugy by Jessica Foster

February 10-25, 2017
Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02116
Fresh Ink on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Fresh Ink Theatre Company serves its community by developing the works of currently living, local-ish playwrights. They do awesome work. Don’t Give Up the Ship is the first show in their 2016/2017 season. Please vote for the arts with your attendance.    Continue reading

Feb 14

Deja Vu All Over Again: “I, Snowflake”

The cast; photo discovered on Anthem Theatre Co’s Facebook page.

Devised and presented by Anthem Theatre Company
Conceived, written and directed by Bryn Boice

Feb. 10 – 11, 2017
BU Dance Theatre
915 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA
Anthem on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger Warnings: Adult themes, gunshot sound effect, feminism

(Boston, MA) Bless you, Merriam-Webster. On January, 29, 2017 at 6:32PM, the hero in charge of the Dictionary’s Twitter account posted this lovely article on the slang origins of “snowflake.”  The article’s existence implies that the social movement currently applying this term to liberals are doing so incorrectly. Similarly Anthem Theatre Company strikes back at detractors with a timely, necessary production of I, Snowflake: A Post-election Reaction. Continue reading

Feb 07

In Homage to the Bastard: “Brecht on Brecht”

Matthew Stern (piano), Carla Martinez, Brad Daniel Peloquin, Jake Murphy, Christine Hamel
in “Brecht on Brecht”   (photo: Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures)

Presented by New Rep Theatre
Prophetic Portraits: Exploring history at the level of the individual
By Bertolt Brecht
Arranged by George Tabori from various translations
Co-Produced with Boston Center for American Performance
Directed by Jim Petosa
Music direction by Matthew Stern

Feb. 4 – March 5, 2017
Mosesian Center for the Arts
321 Arsenal St
Watertown, MA
New Rep on Facebook

90 minutes with no intermission

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Watertown, MABertolt Brecht was a selfish, arrogant, exceedingly charismatic dick. He was also a “genius” thanks to the help of collaborators such as Elisabeth Hauptmann and Kurt Weill. Brecht did not support them. He could turn a phrase, though. 
Continue reading

Jan 31

Dance Across the Picket Line: BILLY ELLIOT

Photo by Glenn Cook Photography; on the way to boxing class.

Presented by Wheelock Family Theatre
Book & lyrics by Lee Hall
Music by Elton John
Orchestrations by Martin Koch
Based on the Universal Pictures/Studio Canal film Billy Elliot
Directed by Susan Kosoff
Originally directed by Stephen Daldry
Music direction by Jon Goldberg
Choreographed by Laurel Conrad
Sign Performances by Luke Baer, Alvin Haas, Ali Schmalenberger
Audio descriptions by Cori Couture, Ruth Celia Kahn

Jan. 27 – Feb. 26, 2017
ASL performances on Fri, Feb 24 @ 7:30, & Sun, Feb 26, @ 3
All performances are open captioned
The theatre is wheelchair accessible
Wheelock College
200 Riverway
Boston, MA
Wheelock on Facebook

Recommended for ages 8+ for mild violence, occasional references to sexy times by children who don’t understand what they are saying, and English cursing.  

Review by Kitty Drexel

“The arts are essential to any complete national life. The State owes it to itself to sustain and encourage them….Ill fares the race which fails to salute the arts with the reverence and delight which are their due.”
– Winston Churchill (that other quote attributed to Churchill is not something he actually said.)

(Boston, MA) Wheelock does great work with Billy Elliot:The Musical. The 2000 source movie Billy Elliot, is a sweet and rough story about a working class boy who becomes enchanted with dance while his widower father, and brother are caught up in the coal miners’ strike. They are more worried that Billy might be gay, than they are in monitoring Billy’s daytime whereabouts. The musical, based on the movie, incorporates many points of the movie’s plot. The big distinction is the musical’s Disney-fication. Alter expectations accordingly.    Continue reading

Jan 31

“The Princess and the Pea”: A Fairytale Political Drama

“Three Plot Twists”: Sarah J. Mann as Prince Percy, James Sims as Mick Motley, Matthew Woods as Captain Brightside; photo credit: imaginary beasts.

Presented by imaginary beasts
Written by The Ensemble
Based on the fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen
Directed by Matthew Woods

January 14 – February 4, 2017
Plaza Black Box Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street, Boston MA
Boston, MA 02116
imaginary beasts on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) In this uncertain and tumultuous political climate, the arts are a fantastic medium to fight back. While this often applies to theatre, I must admit I was surprised that imaginary beasts’ production of The Princess and the Pea used the kid’s show to make a mockery of our current state of affairs. But it was effing brilliant. Continue reading