May 25

“Mud Blue Sky”: A Comedy About Turbulent Lives

Photo by Marc J. Franklin

Photo by Marc J. Franklin

Presented by Bridge Repertory Theater of Boston
By Marisa Wegrzyn
Directed by Bridget Kathleen O’Leary

May 15-June 5, 2016
Deane Hall, Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Bridge Repertory Theater on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) I tend to get bored easily when watching comedic plays. They need to be clever but relatable, funny but with strokes of brutal honesty. Most times, shows fail to live up to my expectations, but I continue to see them because when one does I have an amazingly good time. Thankfully, Marisa Wegrzyn’s Mud Blue Sky was a perfect example of the latter. 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.

Any circus needs a main tent, and Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities is no exception. This is Cirque du Soleil before it puts on its sequins and tights.

But they’re ready. At each section of the tent, there is a rush forward as the workmen push the poles up. Only afterward do they go around and lock them into place. This is the core before everything else is added, before even the stage and safety net are set up.

Photo by Gillian Daniels

Photo by Gillian Daniels

Kurios is described to us as a show about nineteenth century innovation meant to mirror contemporary s technology. It pivots on the imagery of childhood and travel: bicycles, over-the-top mad science, hot air balloons, trains, and, I’m assured, a large chair meant to evoke a break from reality.

The last shows to come to Boston from Cirque du Soleil, Amaluna and Totem, are tied much more closely to the natural world. Here, posters around town prominently feature gears and an acrobat with accordion-like legs. Its name, derived from “curios,” already focuses on displaced objects. There’s a kinetic, steampunk feel.

I’m told it’s longer to set up the tent than take it down. Setting up means ideal weather and racing the sun. There are sixty-five trailers of things to unpack, but the tent is just one piece. Take it out and you need a team to lift it skyward. After, you fold it up and you’re done.

KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities is playing
May 26th (premier) – July 10th, 2016
Suffolk Downs
525 McClellan Highway
East Boston, MA 02128
Tickets are available at www.cirquedusoleil.com/kurios

Photo by Gillian Daniels

Photo by Gillian Daniels

May 20

On Behalf of Women’s Bodies: IN THE BODY OF THE WORLD

Photo Evgenia Eliseeva.

Photo Evgenia Eliseeva. Ensler transcends. 

Presented by the American Repertory Theater
Written and performed by Eve Ensler
Directed by Diane Paulus

May 10 – 29, 2016
Loeb Drama Center
64 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA
ART on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warnings: nudity not for the purpose of female objectification, implied drug use, graphic depictions of violence and cruelty, raw feminism

(Cambridge, MA) Our iPads, tablets, game consoles, phones and anything else that requires processed natural minerals and metals are the by-products of systematic rape. This is an oversimplified statement but it is true. The ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and complications within the mineral supply chain means that conflict minerals end up in everyday items. The computer I’m using to write this review likely has conflict minerals in it. The device you’re using to read this review likely has conflict minerals in it. By not pushing for a transparent mineral supply chain, we are aiding the conflict in the Congo. By not taking an active stance, we are telling the companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, etc. that we approve of their trade dealings with companies that don’t require transparency. As ignorant consumers, we are part of them problem.   Continue reading

May 17

A Few Eyes Lost Between Brothers: EYES SHUT. DOOR OPEN.

Photo by Marc J. Franklin

Photo by Marc J. Franklin; nothing says family like violent hugs.

Presented by CMS Productions & Wax Wings Productions
Written by Cassie M. Seinuk
Directed by Christopher Randolph

May 13 – 26, 2016
Warehouse XI
11 Sanborn Court
Somerville, MA
ESDO on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Somerville, MA) Eyes Shut. Door Open. was not what I expected. I anticipated a dramatic play about two brothers sorting out their issues after an art exhibit. One of the characters wears an eye patch, I expected some silly pirate jokes and an origin story. There’s a lady in the show. I expected a feminist twist or two. I did not expect to be creepy out of my seat by jaw-clenching psychological thrills. This play starts out tame but it doesn’t stay that way. Continue reading

May 12

Absurd Political Escapism: HOME OF THE BRAVE

Photo by Meghan Moore

Photo by Meghan Moore

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Written by Lila Rose Kaplan
Directed by Sean Daniels
Featuring Karen MacDonald

April 20 – May 15, 2016
50 East Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA
MRT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell, MA) Finally, a political play that is as absurd and as over-the-top as the 2016 presidential election! Um, I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Continue reading

May 11

Caravan Palace, 5/22, House of Blues, Boston

Promo by Gillian Daniels

Want to see a time traveling big band Sunday, May 22nd at the House of Blues? Well, one isn’t playing there, but the closest thing to it is. Caravan Palace is an energetic, vibrant, French electro-swing monster. They’re strange, science fictional, and sensational.

Caravan Palace is my personal ear candy and has been since I first heard “Bambous” off their self-titled 2008 album. Their sound is cheerful and energizing, something that gets me up on hard mornings and cools me off after bad days. They’re the retro-future earworm I’ve longed for, the jitterbug robot brass band perfect for listening to on loop. Continue reading

May 11

More Meth-Girl, Less Romance Could Have Saved Apocalyptic Doom of “End of the World”

Photo credit: Drew Linehan Jacobs

Photo credit: Drew Linehan Jacobs

Presented by Boston Actors Theater
By Elizabeth DuPré
Directed by Drew Jacobs

May 6-21, 2016
Rehearsal Hall A at the Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Boston Actors Theater on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) As a manager at a movie theatre, I see quite a lot of mediocre movies come and go rather quickly. I always feel a special type of sympathetic pity for the rom-coms that just don’t do the business studios had expected, and I have to say I felt a similar way after going to see the Boston Actors Theater premiere production of End of the World. Continue reading

May 06

No Sir, You’re The Ho*: A GREAT WILDERNESS

Jake Orozco-Herman and Peter Brown; no tomatoes were harmed in the making of this theatre. (Photo by Richard Hall/Silverline Images.)

Jake Orozco-Herman and Peter Brown; no tomatoes were harmed in the making of this theatre.
(Photo by Richard Hall/Silverline Images.)

Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company
Written by Samuel D. Hunter
Directed by David J. Miller

April 29 – May 21, 2016
Plaza Black Box
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Zeitgeist on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MAI’ve never understood how some people can believe that it’s acceptable to be drastically unkind to others because “God told (them) to.” God is a terrible excuse for being a bad person. Morality structured around a potentially imagined creator that lives in the sky is not stabilized morality. Yet, plenty of people are beholden to this creator, if there is one, for their good behavior.  Continue reading

Apr 25

One Big Song & Dance for Sex: THE WILD PARTY

Photograph: Earl Christie Photography

Photograph: Earl Christie Photography

Presented by Moonbox Productions
Music and Lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa
Book by Michael John LaChiusa and George C. Wolfe
Based on the poem by Joseph Moncure March
Directed and choreographed by Rachel Bertone
Music direction by Dan Rodriguez
Orchestration by Bruce Coughlin

Now – May 1, 2016
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Boston, MA
Moonbox on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warning: underage rape, blackface, drinking, drugs, violence

(Boston, MA) Moonbox Production’s The Wild Party is a tight, gin-moist package of cruelty, casual racism and light kink. It’s a domestic violence fairy tale of grotesque proportions, and sexy as fuck. Everyone over the age of 18 should see it. The subject might be naughty but its methods are mesmerizing. 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