Nov 17

Faith, Family, and Fireworks: BAD JEWS

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Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo

Photo by Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo

Presented by Speakeasy Stage Company
By Joshua Harmon
Directed by Rebecca Bradshaw

October 24 – November 29, 2014
Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
October 24th – November 29th, 2014
SpeakEasy on Facebook

Review by Kate Lew Idlebrook

(Boston) Bad Jews asks a question that is fundamental to so many young “Jew-ish” Jews. Are we bad Jews? Are we letting our faith, our traditions, our race die out? Now, in a time when it has arguably never been safer or easier to be Jewish, are we sitting by and letting our very culture die? Continue reading

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Nov 13

Looking at the stars is looking at the past: “Chosen Child”

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http://www.bu.edu/bpt/files/2014/10/2014-10-29-CHOSEN_CHILD_035.jpg

Photograph credit: Kalman Zabarsky

Presented by Boston Playwright’s Theatre
Written by Monica Bauer
Directed by Megan Schy Gleeson

October 30-November 22, 2014
Boston Playwright’s Theatre
Boston, MA
BPT on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Boston) Boston Playwright’s Theatre deftly handles heavy subject matter to thoroughly explore one family’s patterns in Chosen Child.  Cleverly overcoming technical limitations, intertwined histories emerge and recede amidst light and shadow in this production. Continue reading

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Nov 11

Audience Trust Issues: TURTLES

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Photo by Joan Mejia

Photo by Joan Mejia

Presented by Boston Public Works
By John Greiner-Ferris
Directed by Jeffrey Mosser

Oct. 24 – Nov. 8, 2014
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
BPW on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Dear crew of Turtles: What the heck was the squeaky noise we heard during the entirety of Act 1? I’m not particularly sensitive to repetitive noises but the sound of metal rubbing on metal kept pulling me out of the play.

Turtles is a play about single-Mom, Bella (Jackie Davis), and her two kids Foos (Lauren Foster) and Finn (Elle Borders). They are squatters living on/in garbage by a billboard advertising the next Rapture. They are surviving when Jesus, who may or may not be the magical zombie-savior of lore (Alexander Castillo-Nunez), falls into their laps. Jesus lacks any sort of social context (this dude could be anybody), gives no explanation for his presence, and has serious boundary issues. Yet, together they decide to move to Boston for its turtle sanctuary. Boston becomes a metaphorical sanctuary for all of them. Continue reading

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Nov 10

Less is Indeed More: LES MISERABLES

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Photo by Paul Lyden

Photo by Paul Lyden

Presented by North Shore Music Theatre
Book by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg
Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer
Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg
Based on the novel by Victor Hugo; Original French text by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel; Additional text by James Fenton
Directed and Choreographed by Marc Robin
Music directed by Andrew Bryan

October 28th – November 16th, 2014
62 Dunham Road
Beverly, MA
NSMT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly, MA) For a Les Mis hater, I sure have seen the show enough times. I usually go in with a cloud hanging over my head. There is something about the show that rubs me the wrong way with its overwrought attitude, even as it brings me to tears each time I see it. To make matters worse, the play lends itself to overacting; heck, it practically demands it. Bad acting abounds on the street of Paris. Continue reading

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Nov 10

Floating Above the Fray: ETHER DOME

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Photo: T. Charles Erickson

Photo: T. Charles Erickson

Presented by Huntington Theatre Company
By Elizabeth Egloff
Directed by Michael Wilson

Oct. 17 – Nov. 23rd
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Boston, MA
Huntington on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston) The biopic or docudrama is a mainstay of the flatscreen and the silver screen, but it doesn’t get nearly as much play on stage. In theory, it should, as these types of stories appeal to those who want to learn something while they are being entertained, and that would seem to include the well-educated who can afford to go to the theatre on a regular basis. But even Shakespeare’s straight-up docudramas, the Henrys and such, don’t do as much business as Romeo and Juliet or Much Ado About Nothing. Continue reading

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Nov 04

Words vs. Action: DUSK RINGS A BELL

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Pictured Todd Lawson and D'Arcy Dersham. Photo by Meghan Moore.

Pictured Todd Lawson and D’Arcy Dersham. Photo by Meghan Moore.

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
By Stephen Belber
Directed by Michael Bloom

Oct. 23 – Nov. 16th, 2014
50 East Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA 01852
MRT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

Trigger warning: Contains Adult Language

(Lowell, MA) Which watershed moments in our lives define us, the ones where we rise above our fears or the ones where we give in to our basest nature? That’s the central question of the beautiful and flawed production of Dusk Rings a Bell, playing at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre. Continue reading

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Oct 27

The Last Ones Standing: “Language of Angels”

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Photo credit: Mikey DiLoreto; Cast members: Michelle Rubich, Eliott Purcel, Elizabeth Battey, and David D’Andrea.

Presented by Happy Medium Theatre Company
By Naomi Iizuka
Directed by Lizette M Morris

Oct. 23 – Nov. 1, 2014
The Factory Theatre
791 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02118
HMT of Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warnings: depiction of rape and gun violence, smoking

(Boston, MA) Bruner/Cott & Associates, Inc. is turning our beloved Factory Theatre into a gym (to be absolutely clear, I am painting them as the greedy, black-hatted bad guys because they are, hats or not.). Because what Boston really needs is another dank, dark basement gym that draws in rich tenants. Tenants who will pay a monthly membership fee as part of their rent but may never actually step into the gym they pay for. Everyone knows theatre doesn’t make money. There’s nothing more important than money. What theatre does is make a difference but who cares when the landlord isn’t collecting on its potential fiscal value? Theaters are noisy and dirty and beautiful and desperately necessary and Bruner/Cott doesn’t give a fig because theaters don’t make money. There’s nothing we can do to save the Factory Theatre except commemorate the good (and bad) created in our beloved home. Continue reading

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Oct 27

Bravo: “La Tragédie de Carmen”

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Presented by the Boston University Fringe Festival
Adapted from Georges Bizet’s opera by Marius Constant, Jean-Claude Carrière, and Peter Brook
Stage Directed by Jim Petosa
Conductor: William Lumpkin

October 8 – 26, 2014
BU Theatre, Lane-Comley Studio 210
264 Huntington Avenue
BU Fringe Festival on Facebook
CFA School of Theatre on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) Opera might be opera, but you’ve never seen opera like this before. The Fringe festival’s production of La Tragédie de Carmen is a fresh, energetic take on Brook’s gritty adaptation of Bizet’s piece with exciting voices full of promise.

One of the exhilarating things about seeing students perform opera is that they are singing machines. Conservatory, as a general rule, makes from semi-trained talent lean, mean, professional instruments with clarity and utterly perfect precision. As such, performances by these students are chock full of those qualities, as well as an exuberance and boundless energy that is simply thrilling to watch. These students are hungry to perform, and this brings the stakes of their performances through the roof. Continue reading

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Oct 27

In Spite of Itself: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

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Presented by The Boston Theater Company
By William Shakespeare
Adapted and Directed by Joey Frangieh

October 17 – November 2, 2014
Boston Center for the Arts
Calderwood Pavilion
527 Tremont street, Boston
Boston Center for the Arts on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) Let’s get this part out there first: Much Ado About Nothing is a delightful show with tremendous performers who put their heart and soul into this production. The standout performance for me was Jeff Church’s Benedick. Church’s quirkiness and boundless energy couldn’t help but remind me of David Tenant as The Doctor. Give him a bowtie and a TARDIS, and he’ll be happy to take you on all of your time travel adventures (and you’d gladly go because of his brains, charm, and devilish good looks). It’s entertaining and fresh, and you should all go see it as it stretches into its final weekend at the BCA. Continue reading

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Oct 22

The Touring Blues: J.A.S.O.N.- Myth, Murder & Mayhem in a Punk Rock World

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Photo credit: O.W.I. Facebook page

Photo credit: O.W.I. Facebook page

Edited to Add: The originally published article misspelled Mr. Riesenberg’s last name. The spelling of Mr. Riesenberg’s name is now correct. Our apologies, no disrespect was intended.

Presented by The Office of War Information (Bureau of Theatre)
Written by Pete Riesenberg
Directed by Hatem Adell

October 4-26, 2014
Club Bohemia
Cantab Lounge
Cambridge, MA
OWI on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Cambridge, MA) The Office of War Information (Bureau of Theatre) plugs the classics into amps and rocks the Cantab Lounge this October. 300 BCE and and the gritty 1970s combine to fill Club Bohemia with noise and fury.

If you experienced the punk rock world firsthand, you should remember the substance abuse, strong language, violence and gore portrayed onstage.  (The gore is less than you’d expect from a Greek tragedy.) Young teenagers, particularly those in high school, might appreciate a re-telling of classics they have been forced to read.  Adults friendly with the tales of Jason, the Argonauts and Medea should also be pleased by this remix. Continue reading

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