Nov 20

Working out the Humbugs: A CHRISTMAS CAROL

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Photo credit: Mark Turek

Presented by Trinity Repertory Company
By Adrian Hall and Richard Cumming
Adapted from the story by Charles Dickens
Directed by Tyler Dobrowsky
Musical Direction by Darren Server
Choreography by Shura Baryshnikov

November 9 – December 28,
201 Washington St.
Providence, RI
Trinity Repertory Company on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Providence) I know what you’re going to say: “what can anyone possibly have to say about Dickens’ classic Christmas tale that I haven’t heard five billion times before?”  Trinity Rep sees your concern and raises you veritable Holiday Magic onstage before your very eyes.  If you’re feeling a case of the humbugs, a trip to Providence is well worth your while to get into the spirit (and spirits) of the season. Continue reading

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Mar 31

Bloody Fences Make Good Neighbors: SOCIAL CREATURES

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PHOTO: MARK TUREK

Presented by Trinity Repertory Company

by Jackie Sibblies Drury
directed by Curt Columbus

Providence, Rhode Island
Trinity Rep Co Facebook Page
March 14 – April 21

Review by Craig Idlebrook

This play contains graphic violence. Running time is 95 minutes with no intermission.

(Providence) It didn’t look like a good setup for good theater. Post-apocalyptic zombie invasions have become all the rage for script-writers, and there have been several new plays in Boston which have attempted to turn flesh-eating marauders into viable drama; few have been successful. The best resembled family dramas with zombies tacked on; the worst became fan fiction.

But Jackie Sibblies Drury’s sharp script for Social Creatures powers the best production of a new play I’ve seen in a long time. This tense and gory tragicomedy, debuting at Trinity Rep, avoids so many pitfalls of both new plays and zombie drama. It creates a credible atmosphere of real danger, both physically and emotionally, and Drury uses the threat to effectively explore what we lose as a society when we lose intimacy. Continue reading

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Oct 01

“The Winter’s Tale” presented by The Brown University/Trinity Rep MFA Programs

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image credit: Stephanie Bullard

Performances are Friday October 19 – October 21
Citizens Bank Theater, Pell Chafee Performance Center
87 Empire Street, Providence, RI

Trinity Rep Facebook Page

The Brown University/Trinity Rep MFA Programs is pleased to present one of Shakespeare’s most intriguing plays, The Winter’s Tale, directed by Taibi Magar (Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Programs ’14).  With a story that is both epic and intimate, The Winter’s Tale is a roller coaster ride from tragedy to romance to redemption, boasting some of Shakespeare’s most beautiful poetry.

Tickets are now on sale at the Trinity Rep box office, by phone (401) 351-4242, and online at trinityrep.com.

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Mar 19

Scenes from the Mausoleum: THE MOURNERS’ BENCH

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Trinity Rep resident company members Phyllis Kay (Caroline) and Janice Duclos (Wilma) in The Mourners’ Bench, a world premiere by George Brant, directed by Michael Perlman. Now playing at Trinity Repertory Company as part of the Three by Three in Rep. Sets by Michael McGarty, Costumes by William Lane, Lighting by Dan Scully. Photo by Mark Turek.

The Mourner’s Bench by George Brant, Trinity Repertory Company, 3/7/12-5/24/12, http://www.trinityrep.com/on_stage/current_season/mb.php.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Providence, RI) A moment of violence can leave its mark on many, including those who never experienced it.  The Trinity Repertory Company’s production of The Mourner’s Bench bravely tries to examine a traumatic event through three disparate lenses that traverse time and family, but the effort ultimately fails to create a cohesive vision of loss and healing.  Continue reading

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Feb 18

The Merchant of Venice Pounds for Justice

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(L to R) Trinity Rep resident company members Stephen Thorne, Rachael Warren and Brown/Trinity Rep MFA actor Mary C. Davis in The Merchant of Venice at Trinity Rep. A bold new setting brings to light the timelessness of Shakespeare’s controversial play. Directed by Artistic Director Curt Columbus, the show runs through March 11 in the Chace Theater. Set Design by Eugene Lee, Costume Design by Olivera Gajic, Lighting Design by Keith Parham. Photo by: Mark Turek.

The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare, Trinity Repertory Company, 2/3/12-3/4/12, http://www.trinityrep.com/on_stage/current_season/TN.php.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

(Providence, RI) . The Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare’s most difficult plays but also one of his most satisfying. Shakespeare’s play examines the intricacies of love, loyalty, and ethics among the citizens of Venice. Trinity Rep’s current production provides a clear straightforward rendition of the tale.
Continue reading

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Nov 23

A Confused Classic: A Christmas Carol

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Brian McEleney as Ebenezer Scrooge and the cast of the 35th annual production of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, adapted by Adrian Hall and Richard Cumming, directed by Christopher Windom, presented by Cardi’s Furniture with supporting sponsor Amica Insurance. Performances will be November 18 - December 30 in the Chace Theater. Set design: Michael McGarty; Costume Design: William Lane; Lighting Design: John Eckert. Photo by: Mark Turek.

A Christmas Carol, adapted from Charles Dickens’ novel by Adrian Hall and Richard Cumming, original music by Richard Cumming, Trinity Repertory Company, 11/18/11-12/30/11, http://www.trinityrep.com/on_stage/current_season/ACC.php.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Providence, RI) At first glance, it seems easy to perform A Christmas Carol; just round up the usual characters from last year and dust off the crutch.  But staging a play that everyone knows can present a challenge because of audience dogma; everyone has an idea of the way the play should go. A director can be ridden out on a rail if s(he) strays too far from the collective idea of the play.

Confronted with such a double-edged sword, directors have two options.  They may either decide to stage the play faithfully, trying to bring out bits of nuance to keep theater-goers and actors from falling asleep, or stage the play in a new way that helps the audience examine why it has become such a cultural icon.  Continue reading

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Jun 02

What’s On This Week: 2 June 2011

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McCaela Donovan and members of the company in a scene from the SpeakEasy Stage Company production of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, running May 6 - June 5 at the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street in Boston’s South End. Tix/Info: 617-933-8600 or www.SpeakEasyStage.com. Photo: Stratton McCrady.

Since my students are graduating this week and then I’m off to New York, here’s one more week of what’s happening around this area. When I am back, I will share my reviews of the shows I’ve seen in New York; also, I hope to have articles for you on my obsession with Next to Normal and the Opera 101 piece that I have been planning.  (unless otherwise noted (POE @trinityrep), I do not know the quality of the productions, but find something you might enjoy and go see some theatre this weekend!)

Boston     Metro Boston
Rhode Island      Connecticut
Next to Normal Tour

Continue reading

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May 18

Poe’s Existentialism by Gaslight

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(L To R) Resident acting company members Brian McEleney and and Phyllis Kay with Brown/Trinity Rep MFA ’12 actor Charlie Thurston as Young Edgar Poe.in the world premiere of Stephen Thorne’s The Completely Fictional – Utterly True – Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allan Poe. Set Design by Susan Zeeman Rogers, Costume Design by William Lane and Lighting Design by Keith Parham. Photo by Mark Turek.

The Completely Fictional-Utterly True-Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allan Poe by Stephen Thorne, Trinity Repertory Company, Dowling Theater, 5/6/11-6/11/11, http://www.trinityrep.com/on_stage/current_season/ST.php.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

Something delightfully macabre is happening at Trinity Rep.  Even Edgar Allan Poe is beside himself–literally.  Stephen Thorne spins an atmospheric tale that combines true facts, speculation, and gothic fiction in his new play The Completely Fictional-Utterly True-Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allan Poe. Trinity Rep’s world premiere entices the senses, questions reality, questions meaning, and ushers in a new form of ghost story.

Thorne’s play begins with Edgar Allan Poe in the hospital–unsure of how he got there but the attendants tell him he is dying.  Poe explores his own demise and tries to find meaning through the senses.  In the first act, he denies that he is dying and tries to discover Continue reading

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Apr 24

Steel Magnolias is a tease

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L to R : Rachael Warren (Truvy), Anne Scurria (Ouiser), Madeleine Lambert (Shelby) and Janice Duclos (M'Lynn) in Robert Harling's Steel Magnolias. Directed by Brian Mertes, the show runs through May 15, 2011 in the Chace Theater. Set design by Michael McGarty, lighting design by Dan Scully, costumes by William Lane. (Photo: Mark Turek)

Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling, Trinity Repertory Company, 4/15/11-5/15/11.  http://www.trinityrep.com/on_stage/current_season/OC.php

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

Most women know if they fix their hair and get it perfect, they shouldn’t mess with it.  Unfortunately, this production has sat too long coiffing itself after it already was looking good.  The beautiful script by Robert Harling and the talented ladies of the Trinity Repertory Company get lost in gimmicks and empty space.  Perhaps, in trying to distance itself from the movie, Mertes tried to make the production “new” and “fresh”, Trinity Rep’s production of Steel Magnolias loses the intimacy that the script requires. Continue reading

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Mar 07

Yellowman: Shades of the Past

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Yellowman by Dael Orlandersmith, Trinity Repertory Company, 2/25/11-4/3/11.  http://www.trinityrep.com/on_stage/current_season/DM.php Contains mature language and themes

Resident acting company member Joe Wilson, Jr. as Eugene and Brown/Trinity Rep MFA actor Rachel Christopher ’11 as Alma in Yellowman by Dael Orlandersmith, directed by Laurie Carlos, now through April 3 at Trinity Rep. Set design by Seitu Jones, costume design by William Lane and lighting design by Michael Wangen. (photo: Mark Turek)

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

“We hate everything we are told to hate until we realize it is us, ourselves, a new baby just had as we lower her into the well.”  Laurie Carlos, Director

Are we the products of our past?  As if being birthed from their own parents’ hatred, Rachel Christopher as Alma and Joe Wilson, Jr. as Eugene enter to rhythmic breathing and begin to tell their separate, yet intermingling stories of their lives. Under the direction of Laurie Carlos, Trinity Rep creates an evening of dance and poetry–of lives brought together–and torn apart.

Alma is raised by her mother Odelia who passes on her ingrained hatred of being dark-skinned.  Alma complains about being fat and big, but even in childhood Eugene is attracted to her.  Eugene grows up being hated for his light-skin by many Continue reading

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