May 03

Successful Marriage of Romantic Comedy Eras in “Figaro”

Photo: T. Charles Erickson

Presented by Boston Lyric Opera
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte
Conducted by David Angus
Directed by Rosetta Cucci

April 28th – May 7th, 2017
John Hancock Hall
Back Bay Events Center
180 Berkley Street
Boston, MA 02116
BLO on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) A 1950’s-style screwball comedy proves its compatibility with a comic opera from 1786 in this brilliant production. It’s layered, creating the idea of a show-within-a-show as stage hands help along the action, feeling like Kiss Me Kate with Mozart as source material rather than Shakespeare. With the help of charming, self-aware direction from Rosetta Cucchi and conductor David Angus, the story of two servants who outwit the wandering eye of a less-than-noble nobleman feels universal, familiar, and luminescent.  Continue reading

Mar 27

Hope Is Not Dead at 24: “The Little Dog Laughed”


Presented by
Take Your Pick Productions
By Douglas Carter Beane
Directed by Cassandra Lovering

March 24 – April 7, 2017
Plaza Black Box Theater
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA

Trigger warning – brief but not inconsiderable penis

Review by Kitty Drexel

Hey diddle diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon,
The little dog laughed to see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.”
-an English nursery rhyme.

(Boston, MA) The Little Dog Laughed spins heteronormative Hollywood on its ass. It unmasks the romantic comedy paradigm and reveals the festering truths wriggling underneath the surface of lies. It does so sweetly, calmly, but so honestly.   Continue reading

Apr 12

Another Day, Another Review of “Rent”

Photo credit: Stratton McCrady

Photo credit: Stratton McCrady

Presented by the Suffolk University Theatre Department
Book, Music & Lyrics by Jonathan Larson
Directed by Paul Melone
Musical Direction by Scott Nicholas

April 7-10, 2016
C. Walsh Theatre
55 Temple Street, Boston, MA
C. Walsh Theater on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) So here we are again. Same play, another day, and another production. This time, the cherished show made its way to the Suffolk University Theatre Department. Continue reading

Jun 09

Who Doesn’t Like Penis Stuff? : THREE

Adulthood blows. Enjoy your youth now. Photo Credit: Ron Spalletta

Adulthood blows. Enjoy your youth now. Photo Credit: Ron Spalletta

Presented by Boston Public Works Theatre Company
By Emily Kaye Lazzaro
Directed by A. Nora Long

June 5 – 20, 2015
Boston Center for the Arts
Plaza Black Box
Boston, MA
BPW on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Hollywood characterizes women like they’re mysterious flowers incapable of raunch or, conversely, like unsexy raunch-machines that repel penises. Theatre is kinder to us by generally allowing us our humanity, albeit a fragile one that must be guarded… unless characterizing us as a Strong Female Character who is impervious to nurturing. The unjust stereotypes abound. Why can’t we be complicated people who attempted to appropriately abide the status quo while farting into a void? This is who we are. You know, just like dudes.    Continue reading

Apr 25

Integrity Sells for So Little: CITY OF ANGELS

Photo by Mark S. Howard

Photo by Mark S. Howard

Presented by Lyric Stage Co. of Boston
Book by Larry Gelbart
Music by Cy Coleman
Lyrics by David Zippel
Vocal arrangements by Cy Coleman and Yaron Gershovsky
Directed by Spiro Veloudos
Music direction by Catherine Stornetta
Choreography & musical staging by Rachel Bertone

March 27 – May 2, 2015
Boston, MA
Lyric on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) City of Angels pays homage to film noir with tongue firmly in cheek sexual innuendo and integrated design film tropes. The Lyric Stage Co. of Boston brings life to this beloved musical with panache and two shakes of wit with inspired clever projection design by Jonathan Carr and zippy choreography by Rachel Bertone. This production is great fun. The book and lyrics are clever. The score, vocal and instrumental, is inherently singable. The artistic upsides far outweigh the downsides. An evening spent at COA is one well spent. Continue reading

Jan 23

Bombasted by Science: COPENHAGEN

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Presented by Porpentine Players
By Michael Frayn
Directed by Jon Taie

January 21 – 31, 2015
Nave Gallery
155 Powderhouse Blvd
Somerville, MA
Porpentine on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Somerville, MA) Science is having a moment in the public sphere; thanks to actors such as  Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch, physics and math are sexy and everyone wants a piece of these oh so marketable, oh so male institutions. Suddenly it’s very chic to flout one’s comprehension of STEM studies. While I’m grateful that movies such as The Theory of Everything  and The Imitation Game exist, the media forget that the theories discussed in these films aren’t as digestible as the script treatments suggest. Science and math are complicated beasts. So complicated that most American elementary and high school students have difficulty grasping remedial skills. Thus, a delicate balance must be maintained when explaining scientific and mathematical theory via the media to the hoi polloi. It must  educate while still communicating the advancement of skill required for application. Hollywood tends to over-simplify. Frayn’s Copenhagen, as produced by the Porpentine Players keeps in complicated. Continue reading

Nov 20

Working out the Humbugs: A CHRISTMAS CAROL

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

Jul 29

Of Two Minds: PSYCHO BEACH PARTY

1077436_10151973249680101_1438822466_oPresented by Happy Medium Theatre Co. with Heart & Dagger Productions
by Charles Busch
Directed by Barbara DiGirolamo

July 25 – August 3, 2013
The Factory Theatre
Boston, MA
Happy Medium Theatre Co Facebook Page
Heart and Dagger Productions Facebook Page
Charles Busch Facebook Page

Review by Kitty Drexel

“Psycho Beach Party is an affectionate homage to the beach party movies of the ’60s and Gidget as well as a spoof of psychological suspense films.  By that I mean movies such as Hitchcock’s Marnie and Spellbound, or The Three Faces of Eve and The Snake Pit: films where someone has a deep-rooted neurosis and after five minutes of hypnosis a childhood trauma is revealed and the patient is well enough to buy a house in the suburbs and live happily after.  Oh, I love them all.”    – Charles Busch

(Boston) Adults of a certain age may recall Psycho Beach Party (2000) as a movie staring Buffy the Vampire Slayer heartthrob Nicholas Brendon as Star Cat. The movie also featured Lauren Ambrose as Chicklet and playwright Charles Busch as the sexy Captain Monica Stark (the movie was rewritten to give Mr. Busch a role as he had aged out of his original role as Chicklet). It is an homage to the swinging beach party movies of the 60’s and incorporates the quick and dirty psychology of an Hollywood-type gimmick to redeem the unladylike antics of a female lead. Alas, things have not changed too much for women in 50 years. Ladies still aren’t of conventional value to the public unless they can fill out a top and outwit a room full of boys. In that order. Continue reading

May 07

Bleak Travels Through “Hamlet Asylum”

Presented by The Calliope Project

May 3, 4, 10, and 11th at 8PM
Green Street Studios Theatre
185 Green St
Cambridge MA
The Calliope Project Facebook Page

Review by the lovely Gillian Daniels

**EXPLICIT CONTENT INCLUDING RAPE AND VIOLENCE**

Some contemporary productions of Hamlet play with the ambiguity of the Prince of Denmark’s sanity.  Is he seeking justice or satisfying a personal vendetta with the logic of a “ghost” to back him up, “mad north-north-west” or just vengeful?  In Hamlet Asylum, this ambiguity is dismissed.  Most of the play clearly takes place in the head of Bryan Bernfield’s Hamlet.  A masked Greek chorus (Meghan Kelly, Amiel Bowers, and Samuel Guerin) speak in the voice of his father, his confidant Horatio, the gravediggers, and others, all in the guise of Hamlet’s repressed desires.   It’s a clever idea.  The result, though,
is a production both rich with symbols and dark with melodrama. Continue reading

Apr 02

Beautiful & Grotesque Misrepresentations: BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK

Photo Credit: Mark S. Howard; Hannah Husband, Kami Rushell Smith, Kelby T. Akin, Gregory Balla

by Lynn Nottage
Directed by Summer L. Williams

The Lyric Stage Company
Boston, MA
March 29, 2013 – April 27, 2013
The Lyric Stage Facebook Page
Running time: Approximately 2 hours & 15 minutes, includes one intermission

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) The events of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark appear to be comedic. In truth, viewed with the perspective of historical racial prejudice, it is more like a tragedy. Vera Stark is a Black actress living in Los Angeles and nursing a dream of appearing on the big screen as more than an anonymous face in a club scene. She dreams of being a character that isn’t a slave and definitely isn’t a “Mammy” role. Determined to make her mark in Hollywood, Stark rallies her friends and boss Gloria, and manages to slightly alter bureaucratic race relations at the same time. It was one small step for woman and a held breath for the rest of mankind. Continue reading