Mar 20

First Do Harm: “Mrs. Packard”

Photo credit: Marc J. Franklin; Mrs. Packard and inmates.

Presented by Bridge Repertory Theatre & Playhouse Creatures Theatre Company
Written by Emily Mann
Directed by Emily Ranii

March 15 – April 9, 2017
Multicultural Arts Center
East Cambridge, MA
Bridge Rep on Facebook
Playhouse Creatures on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger Warnings: Torture, domestic abuse, nudity, implied horror, gaslighting

Peter, Peter, pumpkin-eater,
Had a wife and couldn’t keep her;
He put her in a pumpkin shell,
And there he kept her very well.”
– Traditional nursery rhyme about “Peter” who couldn’t control his (allegedly sexually adventurous) wife so he killed her.  

(East Cambridge, MA) The more things change; the more they stay the same. Mrs. Packard is about how a panel of straight, white men made uninformed decisions on a woman’s health without her consent. Sound familiar? It should. It’s 2017, and treating women with respect is still a revolutionary act. Continue reading

Nov 30

Too Many Words: AMADEUS

Moonbox Productions - AMADEUS (L-R) Matthew Zahnzinger - "Antonio Salieri", Cody Sloan - "Amadeus Mozart" Photographer: Earl Christie

Moonbox Productions – AMADEUS, (L-R) Matthew Zahnzinger – “Antonio Salieri”, Cody Sloan – “Amadeus Mozart”
Photographer: Earl Christie

Presented by Moonbox Productions
By Peter Shaffer
Directed/choreographed by Allison Olivia Choat
Music direction by Dan Rodriguez
Period music consultation by Thomas Carroll

Nov. 25 – Dec. 17, 2016
Plaza Theatre
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Moonbox on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Moonbox’s Amadeus is a delightful tragedy. Tragic because Mozart dies. Also tragic because playwright Shaffer likes to hear his own words spoken aloud. It’s made a delight by the elegant, classically lined staging by Choat, and the performances from the cast.   Continue reading

Apr 20

Two Reviewers, One Play: ARCADIA

The Cast of ARCADIA. Photo: A.R. Sinclair Photography

The Cast of ARCADIA. Photo: A.R. Sinclair Photography

Presented by Central Square Theater & and the Nora Theatre Company
Written by Tom Stoppard
Directed by Lee Mikeska Gardner

Current-May 15, 2016
Central Square Theater
Central Square, Cambridge, MA
Central Square/Nora Theatre on Facebook

Noe and I attended this performance together. We were impacted differently so we both wrote reviews. One follows after the other below.  Continue reading

Sep 26

Can’t Get No Satisfaction: THE SINGULARITY

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Presented by Science Fiction Theatre Company
By Crystal Jackson
Directed by Cait Robinson

Sept. 19 – Oct. 5, 2014
The Factory Theater
Boston, MA
SF Theatre Co on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) The moral of The Singularity is that if women don’t have access to the safe, affordable health care, they’ll do what they must to get it unaffordably and unsafely.  For example, if access to safe abortions is severely limited or denied outright that doesn’t mean that women won’t have abortions. It means that more women will die having unsafe, illegal abortions*. Playwright Crystal Jackson attacks the opposite of safe abortion in this comedy presented by Science Fiction Theatre Co. Continue reading

Jun 17

The Future is the Present and It’s Dystopian: READER

Photo found on the Flat Earth Facebook page.

Photo found on the Flat Earth Facebook page.

Presented by Flat Earth Theatre
By Ariel Dorfman
Directed by Jake Scaltreto

June 13 – 21, 2014
Arsenal Center for the Arts
Watertown, MA
Flat Earth on Facebook

Trigger Warning: Some light cursing, conservative politics, implied torture

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Watertown) If dystopian science fiction is any indication, our future is bleak. In the future, rich people are very rich and the poor are very poor. The politicians are corrupted,  we have no global resources, and the ecosystem has gone to pot. The good news is that there is always an hero to save us… eventually. The future sounds a lot like the present.

Not unlike Terry Gilliam’s 1985 film Brazil, Dorfman’s Reader is a story within a story set in a future where all potentially unpleasant emotional elements of life have been stripped away. Violence and sexiness are routinely scrubbed from all media sources. The government occupies all spaces. There is no true freedom of expression. Daniel (the handsome Robin Gabrielli) is a suave yet dirty government censor who discovers that the most recent novel to cross his desk parallels his own life. In this novel, Daniel is Don Alfonso an unscrupulous censor working on film scripts. He is rightly paranoid and begins a short-lived journey towards redemption. Continue reading

Nov 16

Music to Rock a Revolution: “Rock ‘n’ Roll”

Photo credit: The Longwood Players; the cast does not headbang in this production.

 

Presented by The Longwood Players
By Tom Stoppard
Directed by Kaitlyn Chantry

Cambridge YMCA Theater
820 Mass. Ave.
Central Square, Cambridge MA
November 9 – 17
Longwood Players Facebook Page

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge) If you enjoy rock legends such as The Doors, The Velvet Underground, or Pink Floyd (Sid Barrett) with a dollop of political science philosophy, Rock ‘n’ Roll is for you. If not, I suggest skipping this heady production by The Longwood Players. There is a lot to value here but the cerebral participation necessary to enjoy Tom Stoppard’s work may overwhelm the audience goer expecting a lighter devotional to Rock. Continue reading

Apr 06

Haunting Echoes of Brilliance: FLOYD COLLINS

Phil Tayler as Floyd Collins, photo by Sharman Altshuler

Floyd Collins, Music and Lyrics by Adam Guettal, Book and Additional Lyrics by Tina Landau, Moonbox Productions, Boston Center for the Arts Plaza Theatre, 4/5/12-4/15/12, http://www.moonboxproductions.org/.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston, MA) There are many ways to be trapped. For some thrill-seekers, the risk of death and the short life it might bring is a better alternative than dying incrementally in quiet desperation.   Continue reading