May 03

Successful Marriage of Romantic Comedy Eras in “Figaro”

Photo: T. Charles Erickson

Presented by Boston Lyric Opera
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte
Conducted by David Angus
Directed by Rosetta Cucci

April 28th – May 7th, 2017
John Hancock Hall
Back Bay Events Center
180 Berkley Street
Boston, MA 02116
BLO on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) A 1950’s-style screwball comedy proves its compatibility with a comic opera from 1786 in this brilliant production. It’s layered, creating the idea of a show-within-a-show as stage hands help along the action, feeling like Kiss Me Kate with Mozart as source material rather than Shakespeare. With the help of charming, self-aware direction from Rosetta Cucchi and conductor David Angus, the story of two servants who outwit the wandering eye of a less-than-noble nobleman feels universal, familiar, and luminescent.  Continue reading

Oct 26

Exceeding Intentionally Offensive Expectations: “Gorefest: the 13th”

Gorefest2015Poster-medium

Presented by ImprovBoston
Book/Lyrics/Score by Don Schuerman, Steve Gilbane, Matt Chapuran and Jeff Kimball
Directed by Nate Lopez

Oct. 22 – 31, 2015
Studio Theater at 40 Prospect St
Central Square, Cambridge, MA
IB on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Disclaimer: Mrs. Drexel auditioned for Gorefest: the 13th and wasn’t cast. She firmly believes that only a superficial ass would allow something like that to taint (heh) her review.

(Cambridge, MA) The cast, crew and band of Gorefest: the 13th were frickin’ awesome. It was a good time getting splattered with blood and urine by IB last Saturday. It always is. That being said, when was Gorfest moved from the Main Stage to the Studio Theater? Who’s crazypants idea was it to move the Boston-area cult classic musical into a smaller space? Cramming that many warm bodies into that room, even with the wooden benches, is not cool. It’s not good for the cast. It’s not good for the audience. Get yourself sorted, IB. Continue reading

Mar 03

There Ain’t Nothin’ Like A Dame: THE MOUSETRAP

mousetrap_logo

Presented by Theatre@First
Written by Dame Agatha Christie
Directed by Michael Haddad

Feb. 27 – March 7, 2015
Unity Church
6 William Street
Somerville, MA
T@F on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

In the interest of full disclosure and transparency, I have worked with Theatre@First as an actor and as a crew volunteer. It is my firm belief that only a narcissistic ass would allow something like that to color their review.

(Somerville, MA) If you can’t keep a secret, chances are that you’d make a terrible murderer but a great victim. Seymour R. Goff’s famous advert for Seagram Distillers Corporation cautioned that “loose lips might sink ships.” It was in use by 1942 by the US Office of War Information. Across the pond, British allies were told to “keep mum” lest their thoughtless chatter accidentally leak information to Nazi sympathisers. The wartime influenced Mousetrap (1952), was rewritten as a radio play called Three Blind Mice (1947) after originally being written as a short story, argues quite strongly for keeping personal, potentially damning information quiet. It makes a very strong case for background checks. As for the guests staying at Monkswell Manor, they likely would have survived unscathed had they checked references and kept their noses clean. Continue reading

Aug 29

Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back: PYGMALION

Photo credit: Flat Earth Theatre

Presented by Flat Earth Theatre
By George Bernard Shaw
Edited/directed by Devon Jones

August 22-30, 2014
Arsenal Center for the Arts
Watertown, MA
Flat Earth on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warnings: Sexism, Racism, Classism

(Watertown, MA) My Fair Lady is derived from Shaw’s Pygmalion. Pygmalion is derived from the Greek myth by the same name from Ovid’s Metamorphosis. It is the story of a sculptor, Pygmalion, who fell so hard in love with his sculpture that the goddess Aphrodite brought it to life. The sculpture isn’t given a name or granted personhood in the myth. Similarly, affluent Henry Higgins refuses to see impoverished Eliza Doolittle as more than a parroting animal until she provokes him into heated arguments. In addition to sexism and classism, the play’s dialogue also discusses racism. Flat Earth’s production includes actors of color. It takes a long, hard look at what it means to experience color, gender and educational privilege against the backdrop of London’s great equalizer: Tube delays. Continue reading

Aug 18

Needs Oil, But Still Burns Rubber: GREASE

Photo © Paul Lyden

Photo © Paul Lyden

Presented by North Shore Music Theatre
Book, music, lyrics by Warren Casey & Jim Jacobs
Directed by Mark Martino
Music directed by Craig Barna
Choreographed by Mark Stuart

August 12th – August 24th, 2014
Beverly, MA
NSMT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly, MA) The backstory behind the script for the musical “Grease” is that writers Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey locked themselves away to write a bunch of 50’s era songs, and then tried to piece together a plot to fit the songs together. This sounds like a recipe for a disaster of a script, and for a long time I personally thought the plot flimsy and vacant. Continue reading

Apr 21

We Are The Casualties of War: “Trojan Women”

PHOTO CREDIT - Richard Termine

Rich scene painting, solid theatre. Bravi tutti! PHOTO CREDIT – Richard Termine

 

My sincere apologies to the cast and crew of Siti Company and ArtsEmerson. This review is late because of the traumatic events of Friday, April 19. In my own personal turmoil, I was unable to write your review. I humbly beg your pardon!

presented by ArtsEmerson
adapted by Jocelyn Clarke from Trojan Women (After Euripides)
directed by Anne Bogart
created and performed by Siti Company
Original music composed and performed by the insanely talented Christian Frederickson

The Paramount Center
Paramount Mainstage
559 Washington Street
Boston, MA
April 17 – 21
ArtsEmerson Facebook Page
Siti Company Facebook Page

90 minutes with no intermission because the subject matter is so heavy that people might leave.

(Boston) The bodies of women are the casualties of wars. Even today in places such as The (Republic of) Congo, Uganda, Afghanistan, Syria, Steubenville and even late night in Harvard Square, women are held responsible for the violent decisions of men eager to wield their entitlement in public arenas. There is a political war in The Congo and every Spring there is a war against women on the streets. In any situation, women are blamed for the violence. Excuses range from acting in ways unbefitting a lady or luring men with our bodies. In reality, it is the perpetrators who are to blame. Rape, like other acts of violence, is never about sexuality; it is always about power. In Siti Company’s production of Trojan Women, this is still true. Continue reading