Apr 22

Comfort Food for Parents: MOTHERHOOD OUT LOUD

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A rehearsal photo: With Nora Hussey, Jelena Begovic, Elisabeth Yancey, Evelyn Crossing, Madeline Stern and Apoorva Arora.

presented by Wellesley College Theatre
Written by Leslie Ayvazian, Brooke Berman, David Cale, Jessica Goldberg, Beth Henley, Lameece, Issaq, Claire LaZebnik, Lisa Loomer, Michele Lowe, Marco Pennette, Theresa Rebeck, Luanne Rice, Annie Weisman and Cheryl L. West
Conceived by Susan R. Rose and Joan Stein

April 10th – 13th, 2014
Alumnae Hall Ruth Nagel Jones Theatre (111)
Wellesley, MA
WCT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Wellesley) If I could have drawn up a blueprint for your prototypically earnest college play, “Motherhood Out Loud” would probably be it, especially the way it was staged at Wellesley College.  From the very first moment, when the whole cast is incongruously mimicking childhood activities, to the very last, when the cast reunites on stage to say how much they appreciate their mothers in unison, the action surely pleased a crowd stacked with parents of Wellesley College students.  And there is something so adorable about watching the young cast try on the roles of parenthood; it inevitably feels like you’re watching children play dress-up. Continue reading

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Apr 15

Bachelor’s Degree Preferred: TOP GIRLS

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Photos courtesy of Paul Cantillon for Bad Habit Productions

Presented by Bad Habit Productions
by Caryl Churchill
Directed by Liz Fenstermaker

April 12-27, 2014
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Boston, MA
Bad Habit on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Boston) Bad Habit Productions closes their seventh season, “Ambition & Sacrifice,” with a sharp focus on the feminine. Their interpretation of Caryl Churchill’s work provides representation of classic and modern stereotypes of females while maintaining a quick pace. Continue reading

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Apr 14

Three Days of (Bittersweet) Rain

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Presented by Hub Theatre Company of Boston
By Richard Greenberg
Directed by Daniel Bourque

April 4-19, 2014
First Church in Boston
66 Marlborough Street
Boston, MA 02116
Hub Theatre Co on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston) In Hub Theatre’s production of Three Days of Rain, audiences are gently tricked.  We are initially introduced to a family melodrama that takes place in 1995. Walker (John Geoffrion) comes to terms with his father’s death in the rundown apartment the man shared with his business partner during the sixties.  Stubborn and volatile, Walker doesn’t appear to have a great relationship with his sister, the “sane” Nan (Marty Seeger Mason), who takes him to the reading of their famous architect father’s will. They are joined by the son of his late business partner, Pip (Tim Hoover), a kind but not terribly bright soap opera actor.  With the reading of the will, the peace between the three of them deteriorates and their complex bond reforms.  So far, this is a story of despair, but it’s also just its maudlin surface. Continue reading

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Apr 08

Our Differences are Our Similarities: NOT BY BREAD ALONE

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Presented by ArtsEmerson: The World on Stage
Created by Adina Tal and Nalaga’at Deaf-Blind Theater
Conceived by AdinaTal
Original music by Amnon Baaham
“Dancing Closely” written and performed by Zvi Tal

April 2 – 6, 2014
The Paramount Center
Theatre District
Boston, MA
ArtsEmerson on Facebook
Nalaga’at Deaf-Blind Theater on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Not by Bread Alone is the most sincere piece of theatre I have seen all year. Productions like this are why we artists create; it is why theatre exists. The tremendous talent of the Nalag’at Deaf-Blind Theater is awe-inspiring. It’s Boston run is over but it will be in the US for a while longer. I suggest doing everything in your power to attend this brilliant production. Continue reading

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Apr 06

Don’t Hate the Player: “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead”

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The pretty, pretty cast.

Presented by Theatre@First
By Tom Stoppard
Directed by Elizabeth Hunter

April 4th – 12th
Davis Square Theatre
Theatre@First on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Somerville) So, weird thing about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, it makes Beckett slightly more palatable and Shakespeare slightly less.

Stoppard’s play riffing on Beckett’s infamous Waiting for Godot is, on the surface, a glance at what’s going on behind the wings during the course of the greatest play ever written in the English language. If we begin to look at life as Stoppard’s head tragedian does (that is a world in which every exit is an entrance somewhere else), we begin to see how this Hamlet fan-fic took shape. Take Gogo and Didi, slap them into some verse poetry, give them tabards and a letter to the English King and wha-bam; there’s Stoppard’s piece. Continue reading

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Apr 02

More important qualities: IB Presents Hari Kondabolu

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Debut standup album “WAITING FOR 2042″ to be released on March 11th. Pre-order it here: http://www.killrockstars.com/waitingfor2042/

IB Presents Hari Kondabolu

April 1, 2014
Improv Boston
Cambridge, MA
ImproveBoston on Facebook
Hari Kondabolu on Facebook
http://www.harikondabolu.com/

Review by Noe Kamelamela

(Cambridge) Improv Boston is well known in Cambridge as a place where improv, stand-up and sketch comedy gets taught and performed. Improv Boston Presents regularly brings acts from outside of the area to give local audiences a taste of what is out beyond the Hub. In the case of straight shooter Hari Kondabolu, I can only hope there are more stand-up comedians outside of the Boston area who are willing to talk about current events. Continue reading

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Apr 02

Chekov in a Blender: STUPID FUCKING BIRD

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Photo credit: Apollinaire Theatre

Presented by Apollinaire Theatre Company
By Aaron Posner
Adapted by Chekhov’s The Seagull
Directed by Danielle Fauteux Jacques

March 28th – April 26th, 2014
Chelsea, MA
Apollinaire on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Chelsea) Merriam-Webster offers this definition of “mash-up”:
something created by combining elements from two or more sources: as
a :  a piece of music created by digitally overlaying an instrumental track with a vocal track from a different recording
b :  a movie or video having characters or situations from other sources
c :  a Web service or application that integrates data and functionalities from various online sources

You’ll notice that the good ol’ M-W doesn’t include theater in its definition, which means Apollinaire Theatre’s staging of “Stupid Fucking Bird” kind of groundbreaking.  Take a ponderous Russian classic,  “The Seagull”, make it all meta and silly, and you have this imaginative and unconventional play.  Mash-ups usually are 5 minutes long and viewed on YouTube; this play clocks in at a cool 2 hours and a half with a pair of intermissions. My friends, that’s a mash-up that shows some guts. Continue reading

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Mar 31

Playful Rendering of Moliere’s “Lovers’ Quarrels”

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Photo credit: Roger Metcalf

Presented by imaginary beasts
By Molière
Directed by Matthew Woods
Translation by Richard Wilbur

March 28 – April 19, 2014
At the Plaza Black Box Theatre
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston MA
imaginary beasts on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston) imaginary beasts’ production of Lovers’ Quarrels is less concerned with emotional authenticity than the beauty of its artifice.  The 17th century romantic comedy is not exactly a work of realism, and thankfully, is not treated as such.  Its plot hinges on a girl who has been raised as a boy, Ascagne (Lynn R. Guerra), tricking a young man she likes, Valère (Will Jobs), into marriage by pretending to be her extremely feminine sister, Lucile (Erin Eva Butcher). imaginary beasts presents this material with all the seriousness it deserves, creating an innocent, funny romp through improbable obstacles. Continue reading

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Mar 31

Everything You Expect from an Opera (but didn’t think happened outside of cartoons): “Lakmé”

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Presented by Lowell House Opera
Written by Léo Delibes
Music Direction by Lidiya Yankovskaya
Directed by Roxanna Myhrum

March 26th – April 5th
Lowell House Opera, Harvard University
10 Holyoke Place, Cambridge MA
Lowell House Opera on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Cambridge) This production touts that it is the first time Lakmé has been produced in Boston since 1914.  After seeing the show, I can understand why.

It’s not that the performers were untalented.  They were extremely gifted vocally, and well-cast in terms of vocal coloring.  It’s not that the orchestra lacked variety or pizzazz.  The music was incredibly lyric and (despite a few long mid-show re-tuning sessions) extremely professional.  Continue reading

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Mar 27

LISTING: Teaching Music to Children on the Autism Spectrum

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May 9-10, 2014

An innovative new program for public and private school music educators, “Teaching Music to Students on the Autism Spectrum” is a two-day conference that will address important topics such as:

  • An Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Applying Behavioral Teaching Strategies to Individual and Group Music Instruction
  • How Autistic People Learn and Perceive Music
  • Working Effectively with Students on the Autism Spectrum and their Families

Featuring industry experts Dr. Stephen Shore, Dr. James Ellis, Dr. Rhoda Bernard, with teaching demonstrations by music instructors from The Boston Conservatory Program for Students on the Autism Spectrum. Teachers can earn 12 Professional Development Points (PDPs). Continue reading

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