Jun 04

Getting Your Kicks Off Route 66: Sex Fest 2

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This review is for mature audiences only: While the review is relatively safe for work, the production is not. The Geeks of the New England Theatre Geek are all adults. We sometimes review productions with “adult themes*”. The title of the production is a clear indicator of both the subject matter and performance content. If this is not something for you, please help yourself to another review.

You have been warned.

*Although why they are described that way is beyond me. Being over the age of 18 is no clear indication of adulthood.
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Jun 02

A Robust Spectacle: THE TEMPEST

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Photo: The Smith Center/Geri Kodey

Photo: The Smith Center/Geri Kodey

Presented by the American Repertory Theatre
By William Shakespeare
Adapted and Directed by Aaron Posner and Teller
Magic by Teller
Songs by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan
Choreography by Matt Kent, Pilobolus
Magic Design by Johnny Thompson
Magic Engineering and Construction by Thom Rubino
Music Direction and Arrangements by Shaina Taub

May 11th – June 15th
Cambridge, MA

Reviews by Craig Idlebrook and Clara Idlebrook

(Editorial note – Reviewer Craig Idlebrook attended The Tempest with his family. The American Repertory Theatre asked that he include his 8-year-old daughter’s take on the show. Clara Idlebrook’s review appears below Craig’s.)

Craig’s Take:

There is something so delicious about watching artists at work who have mastered their craft enough to disregard public opinion and create something exquisitely weird. American Repertory Theatre’s staging of the Tempest feels like a transcendent late-night jam session between William Shakespeare, veteran magician Teller, and musical sabotage specialists Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan. You could picture this production being a traveling troupe’s one-shot staging done during a layover, and someone happened to hit the record button on an iPhone. Continue reading

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Jun 02

Over-the-Top Big Top: Cirque du Soleil’s “Amaluna”

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Presented by Cirque du Soleil
Created by Guy Laliberté, Gilles Ste-Croix, Fernand Rainville
Directed by Diane Paulus
Composed and music directed by Bob & Bill (Guy Dubuc and Marc Lessard)
Choreographed by Karole Armitage
Acrobatic choreographers Debra Brown & Caitlan Maggs
“Sanddornbalance” Act by Rigolo Swiss Nouveau Cirque

May 30 – July 6, 2014
Boston Marine Industrial Park on the Waterfront
Boston, MA
Amaluna on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

Lightly adapting the The Tempest and playing fast and loose with source materials of multiples mythologies, Amaluna patches together dreamy images and circus acts into one, outlandish show. It’s energetic and fittingly over-the-top. Cirque du Soleil has an image to maintain as a thoroughly extravagant circus and they continue this grand tradition by marrying the flashiness of Las Vegas to a syrupy storyline. Continue reading

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May 28

Buchenwald, Those Were the Days: LEBENSRAUM

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Photo Credit: Josephine Anes

Photo Credit: Josephine Anes; photo chosen specifically for its derp factor.

Presented by Happy Medium Theatre Co.
By Israel Horovitz
Directed by Brett Marks

May 9 – 23, 2014
The Factory Theater
Boston, MA
Happy Medium on Facebook

Featuring: R. Nelson Lacey, Audrey Lynn Sylvia, Michael Underhill

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger Warning: Nazis, Holocaust, Death, Violence, Microaggressions, Gloucester references

(Boston) “Lebensraum” literally translated means “living space.” For the Nazis, it was local colonialism, an expansion of territory in order to displace inferior people. It is based on the manifest destiny principle*.

Lebensraum, the drama, is about the world reaction to a German Chancellor’s televised invitation to the Jewish community to return to Germany. It has a tender love story, media hype and politics to poke your eye out. While the events of the script are not real, the characters’ reactions to the fictional events are. Horovitz’s script is striking because, were the events of the show to actually occur, they would likely occur as they do in his script. His argument is convincing and his psychology is sound. Horovitz has analyzed the human population and found us territorial, racist and surprisingly resilient. It is horrifying to know that while we teach the Holocaust in history, humans have learned almost nothing from it. Continue reading

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May 20

Blood, Gore and Mediocrity: CARRIE THE MUSICAL

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Presented by Speakeasy Stage Company
Music by Michael Gore
Lyrics by Dean Pitchford
Book by Lawrence D. Cohen
Based on the novel by Stephen King
Directed by Paul Melone
Music directed by Nicholaus James Connell
Choreographed by Larry Sousa

Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Speakeasy on Facebook
Stephen King on Facebook
This awesome goat on Facebook

Trigger Warning: Fanatical Christianity, Gore, Attractive Youths Kissing, Depictions of High School  

Review by Kitty Drexel mediocrity

(Boston) The story of Carrietta White is supposed in invoke sympathy from its reader. Stephen King wrote a story about a young woman so hopelessly naïve and sheltered from the world that she has no tactics to cope with common life stressors. It’s easy enough to relate to her story, to put ourselves in her shoes because everyone feels like an outsider at one time or another. Unfortunately, Carrie is not actually a relatable character. Her life is in no way comparable to another’s. The impossible fantasy of Carrie is what makes the novel/movie/musical. Attempting to make her relatable or identifiable is a stretch that is in no way feasible. And yet, as long as there are outsiders who wish they had super powers, the comparison will be made anyway. Continue reading

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May 19

Style and Form as a Metaphor for Life: SONTAG:REBORN

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Photo by James Gibbs

Photo by James Gibbs

Presented by ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage
Produced by The Builders Association and New York Theatre Workshop
Based on the books Reborn and As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh by Susan Sontag, edited by David Rieff
Adapted by Moe Angelos
Directed by Marianne Weems
Assistant directed by Shannon Sindelar
Dramaturgy by James Gibbs

May 6-18, 2014
Paramount Mainstage Theater
Boston, MA
ArtsEmerson on Facebook
The Builders Association on Facebook
Susan Sontag on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Susan Sontag was a feminist journalist who wrote extensively on the topics that inspired her. She directed, produced and wrote for the stage. She was an atypical mother. She was unabashedly herself. She is/was not readily consumable for the masses (although very good, her writing is chewy and requires time for adequate digestion). It should come as no shocker that art dedicated to her life and artistic style is not either. Sontag: Reborn is not a sweet show that idealizes Sontag’s life. It is a dramatic rendering of her thought process through stream of consciousness monologues and quotes from her works. Attendees should prepare themselves accordingly.

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May 16

Right is Better Than Nice: INTO THE WOODS

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Photo by Mark S. Howard. The cast; kicking ass and taking names in The Woods.

 

Presented by Lyric Stage Company of Boston
Music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by James Lapine
Directed & staged by Spiro Veloudos
Music directed by Catherine Stornetta

May 9 – June 15, 2014
140 Clarendon Street
Boston, MA 02116
The Lyric on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(BostonInto the Woods is a tough nut to crack. On the one hand, it’s a classic and butts will fill seats faster than Satan fills a church on Sunday. On the other, it’s a classic and everyone who loves this show will have an opinion that they swear it’s the only legit one because they saw that Broadway performance that one time… on DVD. The Lyric Stage Co’s production is good but not good enough to silence the naysayers (the lines to the bathrooms were all atwitter with sarcasm). The audience community of Boston is protective of their favorite shows. This one falls under the blanket of shows that the community will fight for to the death (of their subscription). Continue reading

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May 14

Good Songs and Good Cheer: NEIL BERG’S 100 YEARS OF BROADWAY

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Uncredited photo snagged from Larcom Theatre Facebook page.

Presented by Spectacle Management
By composer, lyricist and producer Neil Berg

Larcom Theatre
Beverly, MA
May 9th – May 11th, 2014
Larcom Theater on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly, MA) It is regrettable that Broadway too often is a business for the young, as this cult of youth cuts out so many talented actors who have finely honed their abilities through years of practice. Instead of making use of this talent in New York, actors over 35 too often are shunted off to regional tours or repertory theaters.

The show Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway, stopping in Beverly for the weekend, shows that New York’s loss is the country’s gain. A straightforward concert of some of Broadway’s most memorable tunes, this show smartly forgoes the spectacle that consumes cruise ship concerts to give the performers space to truly connect with their audience and showcase their abilities to entertain. Continue reading

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May 14

Brad Zimmerman Hates You: MY SON THE WAITER – A JEWISH TRAGEDY

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Photo snagged from the Regent Theatre Facebook page.

The Regent Theatre

7 Medford Street

Arlington, MA

April 23rd – May 25th, 2014

Regent Theatre on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Arlington) In the opening moments of his one-man show, Brad Zimmerman tells a joke where a man eggs his girlfriend on to do a near striptease for a gorilla at the zoo before throwing her into the cage to face a certain and painful death. Why? She doesn’t give him enough sex. The show just goes downhill from there. Continue reading

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May 09

PMRP Presents: THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES

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The Trouble with Tribbles

5/8/14

For Immediate Release:

At the end of May the Post-Meridian Radio Players are proud to present the return of our gender-swapped interpretation of “The Trouble with Tribbles.”   A faithful reproduction of the original Star Trek episode, except with Captain Jane T. Kirk, Ms. Spock and Mr. Uhura.

Introduced to wide acclaim at the Arisia convention last January this show will have three new performances:
Friday, May 30, 2014 8pm
Saturday, May 31, 2014, 2pm
Saturday, May 31, 2014, 8pm
For those unfamiliar with the episode:

“A dispute over control of a planet brings Enterprise to a space station, where they must deal with Klingons, edgy Federation officials, and a previously-unknown species of small, unbearably cute, voraciously hungry and rapidly-multiplying furry creatures.”
—Plot summary from memory-alpha.org

The show will be at Unity Church at 6 William St. in Somerville, just a quick 5 min. walk from Davis Square on College Ave.  The show is free to attend although a $5 donation would be appreciated.

Seats will be first come-first served although you may reserve a spot ahead of time at
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/686847

In addition, there will be a Q&A session with Director Mindy Klenoff after the May 30th performance.

The Post-Meridian Radio Players perform shows in the style of the Golden Age of Radio with actors in front of microphones and live sound effects performed on stage.  They have performed live shows since 2005 and have done everything from Sherlock Holmes to The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  For more information please visit www.pmrp.org.

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