Jun 23

Promo: “Sindependence Day III: Stumbling Up to Boston”

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The Federation of Belligerent Writers Presents Sindependence Day III: Stumbling Up to Boston
Davis Square Theatre in Somerville
Saturday, July 16th
Doors at 9pm, 21+
$13.50 online, $15 at the door.

Promo by Gillian “Demoness Bixen” Daniels

(Somerville, MAThe Federation of Belligerent Writers is taking on Boston! Come party with us Saturday, July 16th, at 9pm, Davis Square Theatre in Somerville for our special event, Sindependence Day!

We’re a bracketed style, masked writing tournament. With one foot in improv and the other in mayhem, the initially luchador wrestling-inspired contest began as a mid-week open mic challenge at Ralph’s Rock Diner in Worcester.

It’s since grown to a weekend event with hundreds of fans.

The tournament is simple. During each round, two competitors take the stage, one in the red corner, the other in the blue. Three words are chosen at random by hosts Cassie Tai Tortorici as “Basic Bitch Becky,” a Starbucks-swilling, foul-mouthed stage manager, and Ethan White as “El Locutor Fabulso,” the allegedly-impartial verbal sparring partner to Becky, also known as “That Guy.” Continue reading

Jun 19

“Twelfth Night” and “What You Will”: A Play Two Ways

A.R. Sinclair Photography

A.R. Sinclair Photography

Presented by The Nora Theatre Company & Bedlam
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Eric Tucker

Twelfth Night: June 9-July 10, 2016
What You Will: June10-July 9, 2016
Central Square Theatre
Cambridge, MA
Bedlam on Facebook
Central Square Theatre on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Cambridge, MA) During my senior year of high school, being the drama club geek that I was, I took a Shakespeare class. The professor was insane, but amazing, and the biggest takeaway I got from the class was that Shakespeare really wanted to give the players in a show the right to manipulate and interpret his text as much as possible. Therefore, it seems quite fitting that Bedlam decided to split Twelfth Night, or What You Will into two separate productions of the same exact show using the same five actors to tell the same story with different narratives and tones. Continue reading

Jun 09

Cirque du Soleil’s “Kurios” Packed with the Usual Curiosities

Presented by Cirque du Soleil 
Written and directed by Michel Laprise
Director of creation – Chantal Tremblay
Compositions and music direction by Raphaël Beau
Compositions and arrangements by Guy Dubuc and Marc Lessard
Acrobatic choreography by Andrea Ziegler, Rob Bollinger, Yaman Okur, Ben Potvin, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Susan Gaudreau, Germain Guillemot, Boris Verkhovsky, Danny Zen

May 26th (premier) – July 10th, 2016
Suffolk Downs
525 McClellan Highway
East Boston, MA 02128
Kurious on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Suffolk Downs, Boston, MAKurios, unlike the other two Cirque du Soleil shows I’ve reviewed for The New England Theatre Geek, is tied to a world of technology and innovation. In 2012, Totem offered meditations on natural history, complete with frogs. Amaluna came to Boston in 2014 and involved a shipwreck on an island wild with magic, a loose adaptation of The Tempest. Kurios, though, is centered on 19th century trains, gramophones, laboratories, and aerial machines. Continue reading

May 24

Cirque du Soleil’s “Kurios”: Raising the Tent

Photo by Gillian Daniels

Photo by Gillian Daniels

Exposé by Gillian Daniels

(East Boston, MA) The day I watch the tent raised in Boston, the sky is blue and cloudless. The tent itself is partially up but looks like a deflated balloon. Men and women in hard hats stand around the interior circumference, speaking French Canadian-accented and Boston-tinged English. Continue reading

Aug 04

Balance Amidst the Loneliness: ORDINARY DAYS

Photo credit: The Opposite of People

Photo credit: The Opposite of People

Presented by The Opposite of People  
Music & Lyrics by Adam Gwon
Directed by Cara Guappone
Musical direction by Samantha Prindiville

July 30th – August 2nd, 2015
Arsenal Center for the Arts
Watertown, MA
OoP on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Watertown, MA) Ordinary Days is a sweet, funny musical set in NYC by living composer (!) Adam Gwon. The Opposite of People took this cute but choppy, Jason Robert Brown-esque musical and gave it breadth in the Arsenal Center for the Arts. It had a slow start but it developed into a lovely production that shows promise for this fledgling company. Continue reading

Aug 04

Come for the Shakespeare, Stay for the Ice Cream: KING LEAR

Photos by Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures

Photos by Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures

Presented by Commonwealth Shakespeare Company
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Steven Maler

July 22 – August 9, 2015
FREE and Open to the Public
Parkman Bandstand
Boston Common
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company on Facebook

ASL-Interpreted Performances: Friday, July 31 @ 8pm and Sunday, August 2 @ 7pm
Audio Described Performance: July 30 @ 8pm (Rain date: August 9 at 7pm)

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) Before I even get into nitty gritties, let me take a moment to marvel at the fact that Commonwealth Shakespeare Company has brought free Shakespeare to the masses for almost two decades now.  Nothing really says “summer” like Shakespeare al fresco, and Shakespeare on the Common is the way the arts should be: available, relatable, and welcoming.  I was particularly excited this year to witness (for my first time) CSC’s ASL interpreted performance; and those interpreters were working just as hard as (if not harder than) the performers onstage.  Shakespeare on the Common feels like a community coming together to support arts that include them; and that touches even my grinchy critic’s heart more than I can say. Continue reading

Aug 03

Frothy and Forgetful Summer Fare: “Shrek the Musical”

Photo © Paul Lyden

Photo © Paul Lyden

Presented by North Shore Music Theatre
Music by Jeanine Tesori
Book and Lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire
Based on the DreamWorks Animation Motion Picture and the book by William Steig
Musical directed by Michael Gacetta (why does NSMT keep leaving their music directors off the main page?)
Direction by Michael Heitzman
Choreography by Mara Greer

July 7 – 19, 2015
62 Dunham Road
Beverly, MA
NSMT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

If you can’t smile at North Shore Music Theatre’s production of Shrek the Musical you really are an ogre, and I don’t mean the good kind that everyone cheers for to win the girl. However, if you can remember a song from this musical a few days after you watched it, you are a better reviewer than I. This production has all the trappings of a winsome summer blockbuster movie in that it’s something fun to watch while scarfing down popcorn with your family, but when the dazzle fades, there isn’t much there there. Continue reading

Jul 27

A Remarkable Felicity of Expression: “1776”

Photo credit: The Company Theatre

Photo credit: The Company Theatre

Presented by The Company Theatre
Music and Lyrics by Sherman Edwards
Book by Peter Stone
Directed by Zoe Bradford and Jordie Saucerman
Musical Direction by Michael V. Joseph
Staging by Sally Ashton Forrest

July 24 – August 16, 2015
30 Accord Park Drive
Norwell, MA 02061
Company Theatre on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Norwell, MA) For a town that takes its history so seriously, Boston doesn’t give much love to 1776 (the musical).  In fact, this was the first time I had ever caught the play staged.  Of course I’m a devotee of the film, but I’ve always wanted to see a staged production of the show.  When I moved to Massachusetts four years ago, I thought I would see it produced at least once a season but found myself sorely mistaken.  So of course I leapt at the chance to see The Company Theatre’s 1776 and I am heartily glad I was in the audience to witness their triumph! Continue reading

Jul 27

The Greatest Show on Turf: COLOSSAL

Marlon Shepard as Mike and Alex Molina as Young Mike. (Photo by Mona Maruyama)

Marlon Shepard as Mike and Alex Molina as Young Mike. (Photo by Mona Maruyama)

Presented by Company One
An NNPN Rolling World Premier
Play by Andrew Hinderaker
Directed by Summer L. Williams

July 17 – August 15
Roberts Studio Theater at the BCA
527 Tremont St, Boston, MA
Company One on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) I’m not really a football fan.  Much to the chagrin of my darling beloved, I have a hard time sitting through anything sports-related, and being forced to watch several hours worth of men chasing a ball for no apparent reason sounds like hell to me.  But that, thankfully, did not prevent me from enjoying (almost) every minute of Company One’s Colossal. Continue reading

Jul 24

Unconventional Classical: Original Gravity Concert Series, July 23, 2015

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Original Gravity Concert Series: Cider & Music Pairing
Unique concert cider paired with the music of Dan VanHassel
Thursday, July 23, 2015
7pm (Concert @ 7:30)
Standing room – bring a folding chair or pull up some floor

Presented at Bantam Cider Company
40 Merriam St
Somerville, MA
Original Gravity on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Somerville, MA) The Original Gravity Concert Series pairs the compositions of current composers with local breweries. The concert presented on July 23 paired an original cider from Bantam Cider Company with the music of Dan VanHassel. The cider was blended with grapefruit juice and infused with Rakau hops. VanHassel’s compositions utilized influences from Indonesian gamelan, found bicycle wheels and electronic instruments, jazz and classical musical styles. The sound was eclectic and had to be heard to be believed. The cider was crisp with a sharp, bitter aftertaste. It was a classical music nerd’s slightly tipsy wet dream. Continue reading