Apr 18

“No Exit”: Raising Hell in a Somerville Basement

Photo by Teri Incampo

Presented by Exiled Theatre
By Jean-Paul Sartre
Adapted from the French by Paul Bowles
Directed by Katharine Jordan

April 14-30, 2017
Auspicious Phoenix: The Space Studio
438 Somerville Ave
Somerville, MA 02143
Exiled Theatre on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Review by Travis Manni

(Somerville, MA) Walking past the Somerville Market Basket, down an alley to the right, I was unsure what to expect from Exiled Theatre’s production of Jean-Paul Sartre’s No Exit. To help set the mood, audience members were directed to “descend into Hell” (aka down a flight of stairs) into a basement space. Bulbs hung from the ceiling, and a modest but tasteful array of couches donned the scene—some were for the actors, some acted as seats for the audience. There was a great amount of effort to prepare the audience for what they were about to witness, and its effect made for a great welcoming. Continue reading

Dec 07

“Return of the Winemaker”: I Met God at a BBQ

Photo credit to Aidan Hamell

Photo credit to Aidan Hamell

Presented by Tír Na Productions
By Bernard McMullan
Directed by Carmel O’Reilly

December 1-23, 2016
The Rockwell
255 Elm Street
Somerville, MA 02144
Tír Na Productions on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Somerville, MA) I’ve never been to Ireland, or been cultured into any traditional Irish customs, despite the high percentage of ancestry that I maintain. However, by the end of Tír Na’s production of Return of the Winemaker, it was pretty clear that the best kind of Christmas is an Irish one. Continue reading

Nov 02

“Thirsty” Not Worth the Right Swipe

Photo by Haris Lefteri

Photo by Haris Lefteri; pictured: Adjovi A. Koene

Presented by Ya Bird? Productions
By Greg Hovanesian
Directed by Haris Lefteri

October 30, 2016
The Rockwell
255 Elm Street
Somerville, MA
Ya Bird? Productions on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Somerville, MA) I love a show with a holiday theme to get me in the right kind of festive mood. And what better way to let the Halloween spirit possess me than going to see Thirsty, a show about online dating and vampires. Continue reading

Aug 01

The Kugel is Your Destiny: YOU’RE KILLING ME ALREADY!

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Presented by Theatre@First’s FirstWorks
by Andrea Aptecker
directed by Dave Policar

Thursday, July 28th, at 8pm
Unity Somerville
6 William Street
Somerville, MA 02144
T@F on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Somerville, MAFirstWorks is Theatre@First’s initiative to support local playwrights as they write new plays. The intent of this program is to provide constructive feedback by experienced directors and actors to playwrights on a play submitted for this purpose. After a workshopping period, a staged reading is performed for the Theatre@First community at large. The most recent subject of the FirstWorks program is Andrea Aptecker’s You’re Killing Me Already! (YKMA!). Continue reading

Jun 23

Promo: “Sindependence Day III: Stumbling Up to Boston”

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The Federation of Belligerent Writers Presents Sindependence Day III: Stumbling Up to Boston
Davis Square Theatre in Somerville
Saturday, July 16th
Doors at 9pm, 21+
$13.50 online, $15 at the door.

Promo by Gillian “Demoness Bixen” Daniels

(Somerville, MAThe Federation of Belligerent Writers is taking on Boston! Come party with us Saturday, July 16th, at 9pm, Davis Square Theatre in Somerville for our special event, Sindependence Day!

We’re a bracketed style, masked writing tournament. With one foot in improv and the other in mayhem, the initially luchador wrestling-inspired contest began as a mid-week open mic challenge at Ralph’s Rock Diner in Worcester.

It’s since grown to a weekend event with hundreds of fans.

The tournament is simple. During each round, two competitors take the stage, one in the red corner, the other in the blue. Three words are chosen at random by hosts Cassie Tai Tortorici as “Basic Bitch Becky,” a Starbucks-swilling, foul-mouthed stage manager, and Ethan White as “El Locutor Fabulso,” the allegedly-impartial verbal sparring partner to Becky, also known as “That Guy.” Continue reading

May 17

A Few Eyes Lost Between Brothers: EYES SHUT. DOOR OPEN.

Photo by Marc J. Franklin

Photo by Marc J. Franklin; nothing says family like violent hugs.

Presented by CMS Productions & Wax Wings Productions
Written by Cassie M. Seinuk
Directed by Christopher Randolph

May 13 – 26, 2016
Warehouse XI
11 Sanborn Court
Somerville, MA
ESDO on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Somerville, MA) Eyes Shut. Door Open. was not what I expected. I anticipated a dramatic play about two brothers sorting out their issues after an art exhibit. One of the characters wears an eye patch, I expected some silly pirate jokes and an origin story. There’s a lady in the show. I expected a feminist twist or two. I did not expect to be creepy out of my seat by jaw-clenching psychological thrills. This play starts out tame but it doesn’t stay that way. Continue reading

Feb 22

Short, Sweet, and Gory: “La Zombiata”


Presented by WholeTone Opera
Opera by Jillian Flexner
Based on the opera by Giuseppe Verdi and Francesco Maria Piave.
Stage Director: J. Deschene
Music Director: Ian Garvie

February 12 – 14, 2016
Davis Square Theater
Somerville, MA
WholeTone Opera on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Somerville, MA) The few times I’ve been to an opera, I noted that if you took out a lot of the notes people sang, you would end up with a bloody, sexy tale. Being that I’m generally inclined for a bloody, sexy tale over a lot of notes, I daydreamed of a streamlined opera that didn’t take itself so seriously. (Have you gathered I don’t usually like opera?) Continue reading

Dec 08

The Dude Does Not Abide: “Return of the Winemaker”

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Presented by Tir Na Productions
Written by Bernard McMullan
Directed by Carmel O’Reilly

Dec. 2 – 20, 2015
Davis Square Theater
Somerville, MA
Tir Na Theatre on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Return of the Winemaker: An Irish Christmas Comedy  takes the piss out of two beloved institutions: Ireland and Christmas. It is not for the artistically insistent or the prudishly religious. In it, God sends his only begotten son to Ireland, of all places, to try again. Continue reading

Oct 14

“Shit-Faced Shakespeare” Two: Return of the PBR

Photo: Studio Nouveau

Photo: Studio Nouveau

Presented by Magnificent Bastard Productions
Based on the play by William Shakespeare

Now through Dec. 30, 2015
Davis Square Theatre
255 Elm Street Somerville
Magnificent Bastards on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Somerville, MA) After thoroughly enjoying Magnificent Bastard’s original UK cast in what was supposedly a limited Boston run (you can read my review of that show here), I eagerly awaited my chance to see the brand new addition to the Shit-Faced Shakespeare family.  You see, after the original UK ensemble hopped back across the pond, a Boston group took up the torch for Shit-faced Shakespeare, and has been carrying the Midsummer Night’s Dream banner ever since.  Recently, they announced two exciting additions to the company: a new space (Midsummer has moved to Laugh Boston), and a new play: Much Ado About Nothing. Continue reading

Aug 28

Genre-Flexible “Winter’s Tale” Becomes a Summer Fantasia in Nathan Tufts Park

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Presented by Maiden Phoenix Theatre Company
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Sarah Gazdowicz

August 14-30, 2015
Nathan Tufts Park (aka Powderhouse Park) in Somerville, MA
BRING A BLANKET and/or LAWN CHAIRS
Maiden Phoenix on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Somerville, MA) Maiden Phoenix gamely takes on one of the strangest of Shakespeare’s late period work. In the style of King Lear, Leontes (Juliet Bowler) comes to distrust his loved ones to the horror of his court. His queen, Hermione (Cassandra Meyer), is accused of adultery, their son, Mamillius (a hilariously bro-y Caroline Rose Markham), is separated from his mother, and a baby is abandoned on a hillside to be devoured by the wild. Then, suddenly, when a man “exits” the stage pursued by bears, the story transforms. The Winter’s Tale leaves aside its devastating tragedy and the king’s “too hot, too hot” anger in favor of a pastoral comedy. From this point on, the story flows together like a series of dreams. This peculiar shift suits not only more optimistic fare but the theatre group’s choice of setting, a green, fairy tale-like staging in Nathan Tufts Park. Continue reading