Nov 03

Trapped by the Words: THE CHOSEN

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Photo by Timothy Dunn

Adapted by Aaron Posner & Chaim Potok
Directed by Daniel Gidron

presented by The Lyric Stage Company
140 Clarendon Street
Boston, MA
October 19th – November 17th, 2012

Lyric Stage Company Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston) Adapting a novel to the stage can be a wrenching exercise. Pages upon pages of description, of scene, of setting, of theme must be boiled down to dialogue and action that can stand alone. By all accounts, Chaim Potok’s novel The Chosen is considered a richly-layered and well-written story about the tension between Jewish communities, as told through the friendship of two young men who find themselves caught between the secular and religious communities at the dawn of Zionism. Unfortunately, he and co-writer Aaron Posner fail to adapt the novel to a script form, leaving in a narrator who breaks up the scenes and explains away the heartfelt tension between the characters, leaving us with a broken dialogue that tells an incomplete tale about the weight one must bear when one is called to carry the load of doing good. Continue reading

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Sep 13

Election-Year Escapism: THE MIKADO

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Erica Spyres (Yum-Yum) and cast of The Mikado at The Lyric Stage. Photo by Mark S. Howard

The Mikado, music by Arthur Sullivan, libretto by W.S. Gilbert
Directed by Spiro Veloudos

Lyric Stage Company, 140 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA
September 9 – October 13

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

It is rare to see good actors overacting, over-annunciating and mugging the audience to ring out every laugh. It is even rarer to enjoy every minute of it. In the Lyric Stage Company’s staging of Gilbert and Sullivan’s the Mikado, you get the delicious treat of both.

If you have never seen a Gilbert and Sullivan play, then now’s the time to get initiated with this production. Continue reading

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May 19

Just Shy of Hilarious: AVENUE Q

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John Ambrosino & Phil Tayler; photo credit: Mark S. Howard

Avenue Q, music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, book by Jeff Whitty, Lyric Stage Company of Boston, 5/11/12- 6/24/12,  EXTENDED to 7/1/12, https://lyricstage.com/main_stage/avenue_q/.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston, MA) Comedy is a game of milliseconds.  The difference between a good laugh and a belly laugh is all in the timing.  If you don’t land the gag just right, the joke can fall flat.  Lyric Stage’s production of Avenue Q is very funny, but it could have been crack-a-rib hilarious.

The script and song are the closest you can come to a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.  Take the earnestness of Sesame Street, mash it with the slacker sensibilities of Friends and the crowd can’t help but laugh.  Continue reading

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May 10

Geeks Nerds and Artists Episode 6: Spiro Veloudos

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photo credit: Lyric Stage of Boston

Episode 6: Geeks, Nerds & Artists Podcast: Spiro Veloudos, Artistic Director of Lyric Stage Company of Boston and director of current production of Avenue Q

http://www.lyricstage.com/

Avenue Q: May 11-June 24, 2012 (it is selling out presently)

Spiro Veloudos is the Producing Artistic Director of The Lyric Stage Company. and has been honored with numerous awards and honors including The Elliot Norton Award and The Independent Reviews of New England (IRNE) Award. He has been personally honored with the 2006 Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence, Stage Source’s 2002 Theatre Hero Award and was cited as the city’s Best Artistic Director by Boston Magazine’s Best of Boston program in 1999. Continue reading

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Apr 22

EPISODE 1 GEEKS, NERDS & ARTISTS Janie E. Howland

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Episode 1:  Geeks, Nerds & Artists Podcast: Janie E. Howland 10 April 2012

Photos of designs below.

Interview with Boston based set designer Janie E. Howland.  http://www.janiehowland.com

Credits include: Long Day’s Journey Into Night (New Rep), The Miracle Worker (Wheelock Family Theatre), History Boys and 5 by Tenn (Speakeasy Stage), Big River (Lyric Stage Company), Tonya & Nancy (Oberon), Breaking the Code (Underground Railway), Spring Awakening and Little Women (Boston Children’s Theatre). Venues include: Weston Playhouse, NSMT, New Rep, ART Instit., Nora Theatre, Stoneham Theatre, Seacoast Rep, Merrimack Repertory, Wheelock Family Theatre, New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, Huntington Theatre Studio 210, Opera Boston, Emerson Stage, Barnstormers, Foothills Theatre. Founding member of CYCO SCENIC; MFA from Brandeis University; 2009, 2006 and 1997 winner of the Elliot Norton Award; 2007 & 2006 winner of the IRNE award; part time faculty at Wellesley College and Emerson College; USA local 829.

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Apr 08

Community amidst Hostility: THE TEMPERMENTALS

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Steve Kidd, Will McGarrahan, Victor L. Shopov, & Shelley Bolman in The Temperamentals. Photo by Mark S. Howard

The Tempermentals by Jon Marans, Lyric Stage Company, 3/30/12-4/28/12, https://lyricstage.com/

main_stage/the_temperamentals/.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

The oppressed can’t name their condition without fear of reprisal.  They can’t gather together.  They can’t escape their condition in the traditional refuges of family, community, friendship and sex.  Imagine trying to create change swimming against such a tide.  Continue reading

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Jan 16

A Mainly Nutritious Treat: Superior Donuts

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Will LeBow, Omar Robinson. Photo by Mark S. Howard

Superior Donuts by Tracy Letts, Lyric Stage, 1/6/12-2/4/12, https://lyricstage.com/main_stage/superior_donuts/.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston, MA) Allow me to digress right from the get-go and say that it’s worth the price of admission of Superior Donuts to watch Lyric Stage Producing Artistic Director Spiro Veloudos give his send-up of the standard fire-exits-and-cell-phones spiel before this play begins. A theater that sets loose a dry wit like Veloudos on the crowd before the play begins is bound to produce something worthwhile.

And Superior Donuts doesn’t disappoint.  Continue reading

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Nov 22

Ain’t Misbehavin’: Tribute to a Lost Harlem

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Pictured: Lori Tishfield, Calvin Braxton, Davron S. Monroe, Robin Long, & Lovely Hoffman. Picture by Mark S. Howard

Ain’t Misbehavin’, Music by Thomas “Fats” Waller, Based on an idea by Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby, Jr., Lyric Stage, 11/17/11-12/17/11,  https://lyricstage.com/main_stage/aint_misbehavin/.

Reviewed by Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) With its familiar melodies and disarming 1940’s Harlem charm, Ain’t Misbehavin’ is probably the most energetic musical revue I’ve seen.  Done with precision and love for original composer Thomas “Fats” Waller (here played by Calvin Braxton), the show is a tribute to an era that evaporated long ago.  It replicates the energy of the time as best as it can with vibrant musical numbers and tight choreography. Continue reading

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Oct 20

‘Or,’ Women Will Have The Last Laugh

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Aphra (Stacy Fischer) catches William (Ro'ee Levi) and Nell (Hannah Husband). Photo by Mark S. Howard.

 

Or, by Liz Duffy Adams, Lyric Stage Company, 10/14/11-11/6/11, https://lyricstage.com/now_playing/or/  Contains mature themes.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

(Boston, MA)  A new age is dawning in the 1660’s.  Women are allowed to act.  Strict Puritan regulations have been lifted.  What’s a girl to do?  Aphra Behn, one of the first professional playwrights that was female, has some answers with the help of modern day playwright Liz Duffy Adams.  Lyric Stage brings a delightful evening of ‘girl power’ to the stage in this play of Restoration, modern, and post-modern ideals.   Continue reading

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Sep 08

Big River: A Journey of Human Nature

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Jordan Ahnquist as Huckleberry Finn and De'Lon Grant as Jim. Photo by Mark S. Howard

 

Big River, Music and Lyrics by Roger Miller, Book by William Hauptman, Lyric Stage, 9/2/11-10/8/11.  https://lyricstage.com/now_playing/big_river/.  Family Friendly.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

(Boston, MA) Lyric Stage’s production of Big River celebrates the imagination of Mark Twain.  Based on the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the show explores the American landscape of the 1800’s.  The production shines a light on the various forms of humanity that Twain observed in his own travels.  His words come alive through a rousing score, talented cast, and innovative staging. Continue reading

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