May 19

“The Demon” Serves in Heaven and Raises Hell

Presented by Commonwealth Lyric Theater Orchestra and Chorus PESVEBI Georgian Dance Ensemble
By Anton Rubenstein
Based on a poem by Mikhail Lermontov
Conductor: Lidiya Yankovskaya
Artistic/Stage Director: Alexander Prokhorov
Production Director and Stage Manager: Steven Kunis

May 18th and 20th, 2017 at 8pm
Cutler Majestic Theatre
219 Tremont Street, Boston, MA
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By Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) In the world of Anton Rubenstein’s The Demon, the danger of Hell is ever-present, princesses are virtuous, princes are valorous, and Heaven is an ethereal step away. Aleksey Bogdanov is the titular Demon, a creature that informs the audience and the angel with whom he spars, Anna Cley, he has chosen freedom over God. In the course of the play, he also chooses Tamara (played with wide-eyed innocence by Zhanna Alkhazova) and upends her life. Continue reading

May 19

Poverty is Not an Indication of Criminality: “Jesus Hopped the A Train”

Photo credit: Alex Aroyan — with Danny Mourino, Dawn Davis, Harry Garo and Daniel Boudreau.

Presented by Praxis Stage
By Stephen Adly Guirgis
Directed by Dayenne C. Byron Walters & Daniel Boudreau

May 4 – 21, 2017
Dorchester Art Project
Dorchester, MA (across from the Field’s Corner T stop)
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Review by Kitty Drexel

(Dorchester, MA) The law isn’t interested in justice. It’s purpose is to execute “due process” as cheaply and swiftly as possible. It is historically, contemporarily, and immediately evident that the law performs based on the golden rule: he with the most gold (and the whitest skin) rules. Poverty means that an innocent man can spend the rest of his life in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. People of color get fucked by the legal system regularly. Praxis Stage’s Jesus Hopped the A Train isn’t fiction. It’s non-fiction utilizing fiction to blast unfortunate truths. Continue reading

May 15

Captivating Recollections: “My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend”

Photo by Meghan Moore

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
By Christian Duhamel and Edward Bell
Conceived and performed by Charissa Bertels
Directed by Sean Daniels

April 26 – May 21, 2017
Merrimack Repretory Theatre
Lowell, MA
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Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell, MA) A one-person play is like a long blind date – you are stuck with a stranger for the evening, so you inwardly pray beforehand that you’ll like them. But when that one person is actress Charissa Bertels performing her passion project, My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend, you might find yourself cursing time for flying so fast through an entertaining evening. Continue reading

May 12

“I, Snowflake” Attempts to Catch the World on Fire

Photo found on Anthem’s Facebook page.

Devised and presented by Anthem Theatre Company
Conceived, written and directed by Bryn Boice

May 11 – 14, 2017
Charlestown Working Theater
Charlestown, Massachusetts
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Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) I, Snowflake is an airing of grief. It’s a response to the triumph of a boldly and casually racist America that was always there, like groundwater nourishing the trees. In fragmented pieces—commuters loudly reacting to headlines on a train, a café of women discussing the importance of their diets and dates, a family circle miming eating—we are given a portrait of a moment in our shared history. And that moment is raw and tender as an exposed nerve.  Continue reading

May 12

Love Flusters Money: ANNIE

Presented by Troika Entertainment, LLC
Book by Thomas Meehan
Music by Charles Strause
Lyrics by Martin Charnin
Based on the “Little Orphan Annie,” a comic strip by Harold Gray which was based on the 1885 poem “Little Orphant Annie” by James Whitcomb Riley
Directed by Martin Charnin
Choreographed by Liza Gennaro
Music directed and conducted by Keith Levenson
Animals wrangled by William Berloni

May 9 – 21, 2017
The Wang Theatre operated by Boch Center
Boston, MA
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Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MAI’m a stoic deeply bruised by current events, but Annie at the Wang is such an uplifting show that I was able to smile and think of happier times. This production is a fast-paced, clean cut piece of theatre. Escapism isn’t always productive, but this particular dose isn’t doing anyone any harm.   Continue reading

May 10

Canary in the Mine: “Yellow Bird Chase”

Photo by Chris McIntosh; the cast.

Presented by Liars and Believers
Conceived and Directed by Jason Slavick
Written by the LAB Ensemble
In Collaboration with Luminati led by Johnny Blazes

May 4th – 21st, 0217
Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont Street
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Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) Every now and again, a piece comes along that’s so far out of the box it defies most reasonable explanation.  Liars & Believers has a history of creating such pieces, integrating clowning with storytelling and adventure in original works that thrill and excite. Yellow Bird Chase is a creative and vibrant exploration of the imagination.  For that, I found the piece a bit confused (and confusing). Continue reading

May 09

Squirrel for Your Thoughts: OTP’s “Fear Project”


Presented by Open Theatre Project
Created by Lynda Backman, Molly Gilbert, Zahra A. Belyea, Sarah Jacobs, Rosie Mcinnes, Robin Abrahams, Hal Halper, J. Deschene, Lydia Jane Graeff, Athena-Gwendolyn Baptiste
Directed by Lynda Bachman and Molly Gilbert

April 28 – May 13, 2017
St. John’s Church
Jamaica Plain, MA
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Review by Kitty Drexel

(Jamaica Plain, MA) OTP’s Fear Project tells human stories of insecurity and fragility. It is comprised in two halves of short vignettes strung to make a unified narrative. They slowly reveal the interconnected fears of an estranged brother and sister struggling to maintain their family ties. They suffer their secrets alone even as they project the same fears. Continue reading

May 05

When History Comes Alive: “The Trial of Anthony Burns”

Image found on Theatre Espresso’s Facebook page

Presented by Theatre Espresso
Wendy Lement, Producer
Shelley Bolman, Artistic Director
Kortney Adams, Managing Director
May 4th, 2017
Faneuil Hall
Theatre Espresso on Facebook

This play was commissioned by “Discovering Justice: The James D. St. Clair Court Education Project.”

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) Theatre Espresso is an incredible company with a mission that has become more important now than ever: to make history come alive and, through this, to engage young people in active and potent civil discourse.The Trial of Anthony BurnsThe rare opportunity to see one of Theatre Espresso’s shows was an exquisite treat, and I only wish that the public could see more of their pieces. Continue reading

May 04

“Desire”: Revealing the Depths of Our Secrets

Sam Terry, Eric McGowan, Margaret McFadden and Alexander Rankine in “The Resemblance Between a Violin Case and a Coffin” by Beth Henley. Photo by Richard Hall/Silverline Images.

Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company
Adapted from the short stories of Tennessee Williams
Written by Elizabeth Egloff, Marcus Gardely, Rebecca Gilman, David Grimm, John Guare and Beth Henley.
Directed by David Miller

April 28 – May 20, 2017
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
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Review by Polly Goss

(Boston, MADesire is a haunting collection of six short stories adapted into one act plays, performed by the talented Zeitgeist Stage Company at the Boston Center for the Arts. This ensemble performance casts a spell over the audience, as we watch a symphony of tortured souls battling with their secret desires. A couple of the plays’ attempt to modernize Williams’ fiction falls short, but overall the cast perform these conflicted characters with real empathy and vigour. Desire provides a fascinating insight into the creative process of a literary master and is well worth a watch. Continue reading

May 02

Not Your Peaches ‘N Cream, Minority Vagina: C1’s “peerless”

Khloe Alice Lin as L, James Wechsler as D, and Kim Klasner as M in peerless (credit_Paul Fox). It will not be okay.

 

Presented by Company One Theatre and the Boston Public Library
Written by Jiehae Park
Based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth
Directed by Steven Bogart
Dramaturgy by Haley Fluke
Choreography by Beverly Diaz

April 27 – May 27, 2017
Rabb Hall, Central Library in Copley Square
Boston, MA
C1 on Facebook
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Review by Kitty Drexel

“The raven himself is hoarse
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements.”
– Lady Macbeth, Mackers, Shakespeare

(Boston, MA) Baby Boomers have ruined the economy for millennials. My own well-intentioned parents asked me when I’m going to buy a house. My wife and I could only laugh. Then we cried. We cried a lot. It’s not going to happen. We have too much student loan debt. Houses in Somerville are no longer things the middle-class can afford.  Continue reading