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

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
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

Jul 24

Unconventional Classical: Original Gravity Concert Series, July 23, 2015

Original Gravity Concert Series: Cider & Music Pairing
Unique concert cider paired with the music of Dan VanHassel
Thursday, July 23, 2015
7pm (Concert @ 7:30)
Standing room – bring a folding chair or pull up some floor

Presented at Bantam Cider Company
40 Merriam St
Somerville, MA
Original Gravity on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Somerville, MA) The Original Gravity Concert Series pairs the compositions of current composers with local breweries. The concert presented on July 23 paired an original cider from Bantam Cider Company with the music of Dan VanHassel. The cider was blended with grapefruit juice and infused with Rakau hops. VanHassel’s compositions utilized influences from Indonesian gamelan, found bicycle wheels and electronic instruments, jazz and classical musical styles. The sound was eclectic and had to be heard to be believed. The cider was crisp with a sharp, bitter aftertaste. It was a classical music nerd’s slightly tipsy wet dream. Continue reading

Jul 01

People Can Only Be Who They Are As Written: THE WAKEVILLE STORIES

with Meg Di Maggio and Michael Kelly at Veterans' Memorial Cemetery. Photo credit: Matty Mae Theater Project

with Meg Di Maggio and Michael Kelly at Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery. Photo credit: Matty Mae Theater Project

The Wakeville Stories
Presented by Matty Mae Theater Project
Written by Laurence Carr
Directed by Kristin Carr

June 19-28, 2015
2 Venues:
1. Davis Square Theatre
255 Elm St
Somerville, MA

2.Somerville Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery
1330 Broadway
Somerville, MA
Wakeville Stories on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Somerville, MA) The landscaping of the Somerville Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery with its high walls and leafy trees made a charming stage for The Wakefield Stories. The gardens of the cemetery were a vibrant contrast to the occasionally morbid script. The hum of bees accompanied actors’ dialogue on the effects of war on communities. The Matty Mae Theater Project performed this new work by Laurence Carr there and also in the Davis Square Theatre. I was not able to enjoy this production in the black box, but I can imagine that it was an entirely different experience.   Continue reading

Apr 16

Scaping the Serpent’s Tongue: “Shit-Faced Shakespeare”


Photo care of Magnificent Bastard Productions

Photo care of Magnificent Bastard Productions

Presented by Magnificent Bastard Productions
Produced by Gabriel Kuttner and Daniel Berger-Jones in association with Cambridge Historical Tours

April 15 – May 1, 2015
Davis Square Theatre
255 Elm Street Somerville
Magnificent Bastards on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Somerville, MA) Everybody’s got that one friend. That friend who goes to a party (…or the bar, or any function where booze is readily available), has a bit too much, turns absolutely hilarious, but then the real conundrum begins: who is going to take care of “that friend”? John did it last time (to great disaster for the interior of John’s car); Sally isn’t much of a caregiver and would probably have “that friend” weeping openly on the floor of the bathroom in about ten minutes flat; and Bob doesn’t care for “that friend”. That just leaves you. Congratulations, you’ve now been saddled with the responsibility of taking care of this adult/child because “that friend” (as usual) couldn’t be bothered to know their own limits (despite the fact that you’ve been out of college for ten years now and shouldn’t “that friend” know better?). Suddenly, what was once a fun and exciting party is a tiresome (and stressful) burden. Continue reading

Mar 10

A Salute to Modern Standards: ALLOY ORCHESTRA’s “The Son of the Sheik”

(c) Ivan Singer

(c) Ivan Singer

Presented by World Music/CRASHarts
Box 5 Productions
Directed by Ken Winokur
Performed by Ken Winokur, Roger Miller, Terry Donahue
Performing live to The Son of the Sheik

Saturday, March 7, 2015
Somerville Theatre
Davis Square
Somerville, MA
World Music/CRASHarts on Facebook
Alloy Orchestra on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Info about “The Son of the Sheik” can be found here.

(Somerville, MA) To sum up, “The Son of the Sheik” is a silent film starring the classically handsome Rudolf Valentino in his last role. He plays both Ahmed, the Sheik’s son, and the Sheik. Ahmed falls madly in love with a penniless yet beautiful dancing girl, Yasmin (Vilma Banky). Yasmin’s thieving father (Bull Montana) and his nasty band capture and rob Ahmed. They convince the gullible lover that Yasmin only loves him for his money. After daring adventures across the desert sands, Ahmed rescues Yasmin and takes her post haste to the Casbah. Continue reading

Mar 03

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


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

Feb 16

WORLD MUSIC/CRASHarts PRESENTS: “The Son of the Sheik”

(c) Courtesy of World Music/CRASHarts

(c) Courtesy of World Music/CRASHarts


Performing the Boston premiere of its live score for the silent film
The Son of the Sheik
Saturday, March 7, 8pm, Somerville Theatre

For additional information, please visit:

Boston, MA — World Music/CRASHarts presents Alloy Orchestra performing the Boston premiere of its live score for the silent film The Son of the Sheik on Saturday, March 7, 8pm at the Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, Somerville. Tickets are $25, reserved seating. For tickets and information call World Music/CRASHarts at (617) 876-4275 or buy online at www.WorldMusic.org.

The world-renowned Alloy Orchestra presents the Boston premiere of its live musical score to the 1926 classic silent film The Son of the Sheik, directed by George Fitzmaurice and starring Rudolph Valentino, Vilma Bánky, and George Fawcett. Valentino died suddenly just as the film was being released, unleashing an outpouring of love and support for the deceased actor along with his last and perhaps finest film. This wonderful swashbuckling romance is being presented in a beautifully restored print along with one of Alloy Orchestra’s best original scores.

(c) Ivan Singer

(c) Ivan Singer

Rudolph Valentino’s last film, The Son of the Sheik, is a film of passion, betrayal, and redemption. He is often cited as the silver screens greatest lover, and this film demonstrates why this reputation is justly deserved. In The Son of the Sheik, Valentino plays an unusual dual role of both the Sheik and his son. The film was a huge hit, grossing a million dollars in the first year, and critics have deemed it the greatest work of the actor’s career. Alloy Orchestra premiered their new score for The Son of the Sheik, along with the new 2k digital restoration of the film by sister company Box 5, at a special event of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival on September 20, 2014. Continue reading

Jan 23

Bombasted by Science: COPENHAGEN


Presented by Porpentine Players
By Michael Frayn
Directed by Jon Taie

January 21 – 31, 2015
Nave Gallery
155 Powderhouse Blvd
Somerville, MA
Porpentine on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Somerville, MA) Science is having a moment in the public sphere; thanks to actors such as  Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch, physics and math are sexy and everyone wants a piece of these oh so marketable, oh so male institutions. Suddenly it’s very chic to flout one’s comprehension of STEM studies. While I’m grateful that movies such as The Theory of Everything  and The Imitation Game exist, the media forget that the theories discussed in these films aren’t as digestible as the script treatments suggest. Science and math are complicated beasts. So complicated that most American elementary and high school students have difficulty grasping remedial skills. Thus, a delicate balance must be maintained when explaining scientific and mathematical theory via the media to the hoi polloi. It must  educate while still communicating the advancement of skill required for application. Hollywood tends to over-simplify. Frayn’s Copenhagen, as produced by the Porpentine Players keeps in complicated. Continue reading

Nov 18

Emotional Complexity on a Beige Stage: THE TROJAN WOMEN

trojan ladiesPresented by Theatre@First
Written by Euripides
Translated by Edith Hamilton
Directed by J. Deschene

Nov. 14-22, 2014
Unity Church of Somerville
Somerville, MA
T@F on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel
In the interest of full disclosure and transparency, I did audition for this play and was not cast. It is my firm belief that only a narcissistic ass would allow this to taint their review.


“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”

Margaret Atwood

(Somerville, MA) The Trojan Women was first produced in 415 BCE but might as well have been written last year. In it, the women of Troy (now Turkey) are grieving over their beloved fallen city, and the men who have died defending the city from the Greeks. Euripides so captured the trauma of a country torn by war, that his play has been made into a very famous 1971 film (featuring the alluring Katharine Hepburn as Hecuba, a brave and unusual choice) and has survived several adaptations and manipulations. The translation by Edith Hamilton remains the most popular for staging. The movie featuring Hepburn, Irene Papas, and Vanessa Redgrave, etc. is a classic. Continue reading