Feb 16

It’s A Privilege To Be So Offended: AN OCTOROON

(photo cred: Jeremy Fraga)

(photo cred: Jeremy Fraga)

Presented by Company One and ArtsEmerson
Written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Directed by Summer L. Williams

Jan. 29 – Feb. 27, 2016
Emerson/Jackie Liebergott Black Box
559 Washington St; Boston MA, 02111
Company One on Facebook
ArtsEmerson on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MAI know enough about civil and political rights to know that I don’t know nearly enough to speak with authority; I know enough to know that white people need to shut up and show up in support of the voices of people of color (POCs). That white people have done more than enough talking on behalf of the peoples we oppress. My suggestion is to attend An Octoroon and stay for the talk back. Use your money to express your belief that everyone deserves equal rights and equal representation. Use your attendance as an opportunity to start a respectful conversation about the US’s race problem. Let POCs know that their fight doesn’t exist in a vacuum.  Continue reading

Feb 09

With The Stars Thrown In: MARY POPPINS

Presented by Wheelock Family Theatre
Based on the stories by PL Travers and the Walt Disney film
Music and lyrics by Richard M Sherman and Robert B Sherman
Book by Julian Fellows
New songs and additional music by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe
Co-created by Cameron Mackintosh
Directed/choreographed by Russell Garrett
Music directed by Robert L Rucinski

January 29 – February 28, 2016
American Sign Language and Audio-description are offered on Friday February 26 at 7:30 and Sunday February 28 at 3:00.
Boston, MA
Wheelock on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) The adaptation of a beloved movie into a musical theatre production can be a sticky business. On the one hand, it is necessary to tread carefully in order to honor the childhood memories (or other) of an audience. On the other, there’s a story to tell. Something usually gets lost in translation. In the instance of Mary Poppins at Wheelock Family Theatre, it’s the story that suffers. Worry not! The performances still enthrall. Continue reading

Jan 26

Manni on “Sondheim on Sondheim”

Photo credit: Mark S. Howard

Photo credit: Mark S. Howard

Presented by Lyric Stage Company of Boston
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Conceived by James Lapine

Directed by Spiro Veloudos
Musical Direction by Jonathan Goldberg
Choreography by Ilyse Robbins

January 15-February 21, 2016
Lyric Stage on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) Stephen Sondheim is a widely cherished American lyricist and composer of countless musicals. His resume is both expansive and impressive, so a man named James Lapine decided to create a biographical show that incorporated musical numbers interspersed with videos of Sondheim talking about his life and influences, and it was ok I guess. Continue reading

Jan 26

As Exciting as Actual Ice Fishing: “Nice Fish”

Presented by the American Repertory Theatre
Written by Mark Rylance & Louis Jenkins
Drawn from the works of Louis Jenkins
Direction and compositions by Claire van Kampen

January 17 – February 7, 2016
Loeb Drama Center
Cambridge, MA
ART on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge, MANice Fish pairs the poetry of Louis Jenkins and self-aware post post-modern theatre on the frozen waters of a Minnesota lake. It is a small, white cast with one woman (Kayli Carter taking one for the team) about the humdrum comings and goings of ice fishers and their community. We are invited to experience the quiet contemplations of Erik (Jim Lichtscheidl) and Ron (Mark Rylance) on their technology-assisted jaunt into the wilderness. It’s a story of Man versus Nature versus Man’s Nature. In the end, the winner is always Nature.   Continue reading

Jan 26

Keeping House and Conversing with Ghosts in “The Housekeeper”

Photo credit: Amanda Sheehan

Photo credit: Amanda Sheehan

Presented by Fresh Ink Theatre at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
By Ginger Lazarus
Directed by Shana Gozansky

January 15-30, 2016
Fresh Ink Theatre on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) Fresh Ink Theatre has the sole mission of allowing playwrights to shape their craft through the production and workshop processes to produce art that is professional and refreshing. I was excited to see The Housekeeper because of this mission, and I was not disappointed. Continue reading

Jan 25

Elementary at Best: “Bistany’s Mysteries”

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Presented by Improv Boston
Director: Matt Bistany

January 8 – 22, 2016
ImprovBoston
40 Prospect Street
Cambridge, MA
ImprovBoston on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Cambridge, MA) ImprovBoston does an admirable job of keeping the art of live improvisation well… alive.  I love the constantly rotating repertory onstage at IB, and I’ve almost never been disappointed with the offerings I’ve seen at this venue.  Perhaps best of all: IB makes certain that all levels of improvisers get a chance at the spotlight as they produce student showcases frequently mixed in with their professional troupes.  Nice work, IB.  Nice work. Continue reading

Jan 25

Sober Truth….With Jokes: THE WHITE CHIP

Jeffrey Binder in "The White Chip" Photo by Meghan Moore.

Jeffrey Binder in “The White Chip” Photo by Meghan Moore.

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Written by Sean Daniels
Directed by Sheryl Kaller

Jan 6 – 31, 2016
50 East Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA
MRT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell, MA) Earnestness may be the most difficult emotion to pull off in theater well. Attempts generally fall short and become bludgeoning lectures, wooden morality plays, or both. That’s what makes The White Chip, playing at Merrimack Repertory Theatre, such a theatrical revelation. Not only does it deliver a powerful, needed message on why so many fail at addiction recovery, but it is a riveting play that is a joy to watch, as playwright Sean Daniels manages to add just the right amount of humor and perspective to keep the audience hooked. Continue reading

Jan 21

Remixed: “Twelfth Night”


Presented by Filter Theatre Company in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Sean Holmes
Music and Songs by Tom Haines and Ross Hughes
Presented at ArtsEmerson

January 20 – 30, 2016
Paramount Center
559 Washington St., Boston, MA 02111
Filter Theatre Company on Facebook
ArtsEmerson on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) Let’s start here: this ain’t your mama’s Twelfth Night. Continue reading

Jan 19

Out of the Mouths of Babes: CARDBOARD EXPLOSION

Presented by Puppet Showplace Theater through their Incubator program
Sponsored by the Jim Henson Foundation and the Bob Jolly Charitable Trust
Created and performed by Brad Shur
Music and sound consultants: Matt McLaren, Brendan Burns

Jan. 9 – 24, 2016
Puppet Showplace Theater
Brookline Village, MA
PST on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Brookline Village, MA) The pre-show of Cardboard Explosion consists of resident-artist, Brad Shur, encouraging his child audience to use their imaginations constructively. He asked them if they knew what shapes would be made if he cut a cardboard square in a diagonal line. They responded enthusiastically: triangles. He then asked them what these triangles could be used for, halving them again and again, on the body of a puppet. Via the use of raised hands and waiting to be called upon, various answers from the mundane to the abnormal were called out. Using his wits, kindness, and gentle sincerity, Shur convinced his child and adult audience alike that he was safe, despite the scissors, and trustworthy with burgeoning young minds. Continue reading

Jan 19

Somewhere Over, Under, in Front of, Behind the Rainbow: “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”

Photo credit: Diane Anton

Photo credit: Diane Anton; the cast stepping out

Presented by imaginary beasts 
Written and Directed by Matthew Woods
Based on the Oz novels of L. Frank Baum

January 9-30, 2016
imaginary beasts on Facebook
BCA Plaza Black Box Black Box Theatre
Boston, MA

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Boston, MAPlaying fast and loose with both Oz canon and popular culture, imaginary beasts returns to the marvelous lands and characters L. Frank Baum created to amuse and entertain children at the turn of the century in Winter Panto 2016:  The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  People unfamiliar with the pantomime tradition should not come expecting a regular play, or the musical version of the show, or even a rundown of all of Baum’s Oz books.  Rather, it’s a rollicking variety of scenes that parodies both the source and contemporary mores. Continue reading