Jan 30

That Which Makes Us Different Makes Us Beautiful: BREATH & IMAGINATION

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Elijah Rock, Nehal Joshi and Harriet D. Foy Photo credit: Mike Ritter

Elijah Rock, Nehal Joshi and Harriet D. Foy
Photo credit: Mike Ritter

Presented by ArtsEmerson
Created/written by Daniel Beaty
Directed by David Dower
Music directed/accompanied/arranged/additional music by Jonathan Mastro

Jan 27 – Feb 08, 2015
Paramount Center Mainstage
Boston, MA
ArtsEmerson on Facebook
Roland Hayes (School of Music) on Facebook, Wiki

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Black lives matter: Racism is alive and thriving everywhere. “But it’s 2015,” people will cry. Right, it’s 2015 and racism is still alive and thriving in Boston. To prove a point: check out which art makes the most money. For an institution greatly concerned with artistic expression, remaining significant in an ever modernizing world, and pushing boundaries, opera tends to steer clear of non-White people. Opera includes POCs in its casting but its stories are mostly about White people. Roland Hayes, first Black man to sing a concert at Symphony Hall would be an excellent subject for an opera.  Thank the great goodness that there’s Breath & Imagination to educate the masses. Continue reading

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Oct 15

A Little Murder Between Friends: ASSASSINS

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Photo by Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures 2014

Photo by Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures 2014

Presented by New Repertory Theatre
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by John Weidman
Based on an idea by Charles Gilbert, Jr.
Directed by Jim Petosa
Musical direction by Matthew Stern
Choreography by Judith Chaffee

Oct. 4 – 26, 2014
Charles Mosesian Theater
Watertown, MA
New Rep on Facebook

Please note: there is no intermission for this 2 hour musical.

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Watertown, MA) Society likes to label people who commit atrociously violent acts, Monsters. It is deeply important that we, the good folk of society, acknowledge that the Monsters who murder, harm, victimize, etc. aren’t depraved beasts transformed by mental illness into inhuman criminals. These Monsters are people who do monstrous things. So, if these Monsters are human just as we are human, then it follows that we must accept the possibility that we too are capable of monstrous acts. Continue reading

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Jan 07

As in Life, “Working” is a Mixed Bag

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Photo by Mark S. Howard for Lyric Stage Co of Boston; The Cast.

Presented by The Lyric Stage Company of Boston
Based on the book, Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do, by Studs Terkel.
Adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso.
Additional contributions by Gordon Greenberg. Songs by Craig Carnella, Micki Grant, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mary Rodgers and Susan Birkenhead, Stephen Schwartz, James Taylor.
Directed & Choreographed by Ilyse Robbins
Music Direction by Jonathan Goldberg

January 3 to February 1, 2014
140 Clarendon St.
Boston, MA
The Lyric on Facebook

Running time: Approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes with no intermission.

Review by Kitty Drexel

Boston) Studs Terkel’s book Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do is a collection of essays/interviews with Americans in the workforce. It spans a variety of jobs and careers while exploring the motivations behind the work the subjects do. The employed and unemployed look for recognition, justification and greater purpose looking for recognition in the work that we do. The musical, Working adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso, uses samples from Terkel’s book to bring the dialogue to the stage. Continue reading

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Oct 16

Unending Nostalgia: REMEMBERING THE 40’s

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Photo credit: Reagle Music Theatre

presented by Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston
Robinson Theatre
617 Lexington Street
Waltham, MA 02452
October 13th – October 14th
Reagle Music Theatre Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Waltham) Try as we might, we are losing our connection to the World War II generation. As our veterans of the war and the home front blink out, so goes the tangible feel of an era when much of a country was united for one cause. In anticipation of this angst, we see the children of WWII veterans attempting to interpret that experience through movies and literature (i.e. Saving Private Ryan), but it is rare to get a fresh glimpse of how that generation might view itself. Continue reading

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Sep 24

Half-Baked Silliness: LUMBERJACKS IN LOVE

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Photo Credit: Carla Donaghey.

BOOK AND LYRICS BY: Fred Alley
MUSIC BY: James Kaplan
STORY BY: Fred Alley & James Kaplan

presented by Stoneham Theatre
Stoneham, MA
September 13th – 30th, 2012
Stoneham Theatre Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Stoneham) There is nowhere to hide with a new musical. Unlike a fresh drama, where an audience can be tricked into going along if there’s enough shouting, as soon as an actor opens her mouth to start singing, the audience can tell whether the song enhances or detracts from the plot, usually with disastrous results. Continue reading

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Aug 25

Sweet Music: ALL SHOOK UP

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All Shook Up, Book by Joe DiPietro

Staring Joyce DeWitt

Directed by Russell Garrett
Music Director: Anne Shuttlesworth
Choreographer: Kiesha Lalama

North Shore Music Theatre
Beverly, Ma
August 14-26, 2012

North Shore Music Theatre Facebook Page

Review by Kate Lonberg-Lew

Elvis is tooling around the countryside when his motorcycle breaks down
and he finds himself stranded in repressed, naïve, small-town America. While his bike is being fixed by the town’s tomboy-teenage mechanic, he teaches the citizens how to let loose, love, and most importantly, rock out. This is the basis for the musical All Shook Up playing at the North Shore Music Theatre.
Continue reading

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Aug 01

Earnestness, Perfected: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

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Photo Credit: F.U.D.G.E. Theatre Company

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, book and lyrics by Tim Rice,

F.U.D.G.E Theatre Company,
Black Box Theatre at the Arsenal Center for the Arts
7/27/12 – 8/4/12,

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-FUDGE-Theatre-Company-Inc/77922709870

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Watertown, MA) I grew up believing Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice represented the theatrical establishment to overthrow. They wrote the stuff that mediocre crooners sang on cheesy records sold to bored housewives. They cursedly created the material for the medley that my 7th grade choir was forced to sing, filled with needless trills and fills. Continue reading

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Jun 12

Ken Davenport’s Notice: Don’t Miss The Beautiful City of GODSPELL

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photo by Jeremy Daniel from Playbill

Godspell, music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, book by John-Michael Tebelak, Circle In The Square Theatre (Broadway), 10/13/11-6/24/12, http://www.godspell.com/. DON’T MISS THIS BRILLIANT & EXCITING SHOW!! (Directed by Huntington’s God of Carnage director, Daniel Goldstein)

(source: http://www.godspellblog.com/the-godspell-update-we-built-a-beautiful-city)
Ken Davenport, the lead producer of Godspell, wrote this note on his blog:

“I just left the Circle in the Square Theatre moments ago, where with a very heavy heart I told the cast and crew that Godspell will play its final performance on Sunday, June 24th. While we certainly had hoped our show would run for years and years, we’re all very proud of the beautiful city we built.

Over the last nine months, our sensational cast has spread the joy of Godspell to over 153,000 people (and blasted them with over 1,000 pounds of confetti). And while this production of Godspell may not be at Circle in the Square past the 24th of June, it will be in our hearts and the hearts of everyone who saw it forever.

Continue reading

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Apr 28

Melissa Carubia Takes Us For A Ride On The MBTA MUSICAL

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T: An MBTA Musical Starts 6/8/12 at Club Oberon in Cambridge, MA.

photo credit: Elizabeth Woodward (from last year's production.)


www.elizabethwoodwardphoto.com

Interview by Becca Kidwell

(Last year’s review: http://www.netheatregeek.com/2011/07/02/t-an-mbta-musical-charlie-takes-a-wicked-funny-ride/)

They’re ba-ack…Alice, John, and Michelle return to thwart the troublesome MBTA. On June 8th, T: An MBTA Musical, the surprising smash hit of last summer, makes stops at Club Oberon. Where do ideas for musicals come from? Melissa Carubia, the show’s composer, takes us on the underground journey.

Continue reading

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Dec 17

A Good-Hearted Mashup: What the Dickens?!

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What the Dickens?! Music & Lyrics by Adam Brooks and TC Cheever; Book by TC Cheever, ImprovBoston, 12/15/11-12/23/11, http://www.improvboston.com/whatthedickens.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Cambridge, MA) The holiday season is littered with entertainment chestnuts that get trotted out every year.  Some can get worn thin, like poorer productions of A Christmas Carol; others take on a hipster status, like the television special A Charlie Brown Christmas.

If you want to enjoy two holiday traditions at once, come see What the Dickens?!, a mashup musical that populates Dickens’ classic Christmas morality tale with Schultz’s Peanuts characters.  Watching this play is like downing an invented drink mixed at a holiday party: the two flavors may mix curiously, but it’s all good.  Continue reading

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