Apr 29

Richly Developed Heroines: BECOMING CUBA

Bookmark and Share

Presented by Huntington Theatre Co
Written by Huntington Playwright-in-Residence Melinda Lopez
Directed by M. Bevin O’Gara

March 28 – May 3, 2014
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Boston, MA
Huntington Co on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Becoming Cuba at the Huntington Theatre is about blood origins. It is about the effect blood-ties have on our decisions, and the indirect way our origins affect the world around us. Specifically, it is about sisters Adele (Christina Pumariega) and Martina (Rebecca Soler) who run a pharmacie in Spanish-occupied Cuba. Adele attempts to remain neutral as war threatens the country she loves: her family fights in the rebellion; her husband died fighting for Spain. As Adele cares for the people of Havana, she comes to understand that loyalty is a complex beast. Love and loyalty can be divided while still remaining whole. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share
Apr 02

Chekov in a Blender: STUPID FUCKING BIRD

Bookmark and Share

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

Bookmark and Share
Mar 31

Playful Rendering of Moliere’s “Lovers’ Quarrels”

Bookmark and Share
Displaying CarouselFullCast.jpg

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

Bookmark and Share
Mar 31

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

Bookmark and Share

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

Bookmark and Share
Mar 25

Laid Low by LO’JO

Bookmark and Share

LO’JO presented by World Music/ CRASHarts
ONE NIGHT ONLY: Saturday, March 15, 7:00 pm
17 Holland St. Somerville, 02144
World Music/CRASHarts on Facebook
Lo’Jo on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Somerville) Lo’Jo is the sort of low-key, warmly contemporary act that suits Johnny D’s perfectly.  It’s jazzy, it has a an adult pop vibe, and it fits right in with the swinging glamour of the Davis Square bar.  World Music CRASHarts has again brought to Boston a band that blends old world, European charm and a thoroughly contemporary, “citizens of the world” groove. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share
Mar 24

Rock Out with Your Snark Out: BLOODY, BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON

Bookmark and Share

Photo care of Emerson Umbrella Facebook page.

Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson
Presented by The Umbrella Mainstage
Written by Alex Timbers
Music & Lyrics by Michael Friedman
Directed by James Tallach
Music Directed by Maria Duaime Robinson
Choreography by Lara Finn
Fight Choreography by Micah Greene

March 21 – April 5
The Umbrella Community Arts Center
Concord, MA
The Umbrella on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Disclosure: I have worked with both directors James Tallach, Maria Duaime Robinson, and a cast member or two. This review is tempered to reflect this.

(Concord) History favors old, White dudes. Heck, old, White dudes are favored now.  If Green Day had collaborated on an historical punk musical with Bill Clinton, Lindsay Lohan and George Michael, chances are they would have written Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson (let us all say a silent prayer for Clinton’s potential saxophone career). And it would be a huge hit. Fans of American Idiot the musical will appreciate the music of BBAJ. They will also appreciate the snarky treatment of a politician who purported to be the People’s President but, after all is said and done, was only in it for himself. History has repeated itself and punk happens to be the medium for this particular telling. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share
Mar 20

No Condoms Were Harmed in the Making of This Musical: HELLO AGAIN

Bookmark and Share

Presented by Bridge Repertory Theatre of Boston
Book, lyrics and music by Michael John LaChiusa
Directed by Michael Bello
Musical direction by Mindy Cimini
Choreography by Stephen Urspung

March 12 – 29, 2014
Boston Center for the Arts
Hall A
Boston, MA
Bridge Rep on Facebook

TRIGGER WARNING: This musical has a lot of sex in it. So much of the sex. Fortunately, it’s all consensual.

(Boston) Not all sex is procreative. Sex should be a really good time for everyone involved*. A lot of it isn’t**. If you fundamentally disagree then stop reading now…

Hello Again presented by Bridge Repertory Theatre is an immersive musical that places the audience in the center of the action. And by “action,” I mean riding the skin-train to orgasm town. That being said, the musical is not actually about sex. It is about what leads to sex, why we do it and with whom we choose to do it. It is art focused on a very specific, necessary act. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share
Mar 18

Snuggle Inspiring: SOUL MATES

Bookmark and Share
The Cast of Soul Mates (Laura Menzie, Joe Kidawksi, Angela Keefe and Brett Milanowksi.)

The Cast of Soul Mates (Laura Menzie, Joe Kidawksi, Angela Keefe and Brett Milanowksi.) Photo borrowed from BAT Facebook page.

Presented by Boston Actors Theatre
by Kirsten Knisely
Directed by Caroline L. Price

March 7 – 22, 2014
Boston Center for the Arts
Plaza Black Box
Boston, MA 02116
BAT on Facebook

Trigger warnings for drug use and super fun, adult naked times.

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) In The Symposium, Plato famously describes three human genders (man, woman and androgynous) whose strength equaled that of the gods. They were made of two faces, 4 arms, 4 legs and 2 sets of genitalia. Zeus, rather than kill the humans for pride, uses his lightning to tear them asunder. Their powers halved, humans were cursed to spend the rest of their existence looking for their second half, their “soul mate,” so they could be complete again. Most people assume that their “other half” is their one romantic partner to have and to hold for all time. Life isn’t so simple. People are complicated animals. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share
Mar 18

Digging Our Graves, Hoping Someone Notices: THE WHALE

Bookmark and Share

Georgia Lyman and John Kuntz in the SpeakEasy Stage Company production of “The Whale.” Photo by Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
By Samuel D. Hunter
Directed by David R. Gammons

March 7th – April 5th, 2014
The Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
SpeakEasy on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston) No matter what you’ve heard, The Whale is not a play about obesity.  That may be hard to remember when you see a man drowning in his own corpulent flesh, the junk food wrappers strewn around his apartment serving as a testament to his mortal sin. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share
Mar 17

Awareness is Key: RIGOLETTO

Bookmark and Share

Michael Mayes as Rigoletto and Nadine Sierra as Gilda; Photo by Eric Antoniou for Boston Lyric Opera

Michael Mayes as Rigoletto and Nadine Sierra as Gilda; Photo by Eric Antoniou for Boston Lyric Opera

Presented by Boston Lyric Opera Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
Directed by Tomer Zvulun
Conducted by Christopher Franklin

March 14 – 23, 2014
Shubert Theatre
Boston, MA
BLO on Facebook

Sung in Italian with projected supertitles in English. Performed in 2 “acts” with 1 intermission.

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) The vocals of BLO’s Rigoletto are simply stunning. In particular, Michael Mayes as the title character and Nadine Sierra (Gilda) were a treasure to hear and watch. Audrey Babcock (Maddalena) smolders! This vocals of the male chorus were powerful but difficult to watch. It appears that they can only emote when given specific direction to do so. The sumptuous costumes by Victoria Tzykun mostly made up for this. Conductor Christopher Franklin leads his orchestra with admirable humility and confidence. His reverence for Verdi is evident from his first step into the pit. Continue reading

Bookmark and Share