Mar 16

One Little, Two Little, Three Little Stevens: “Steve”

Travolta eat your heart out. Photo by David J. Miller

Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company
By Mark Gerrard
Directed by

Plaza Black Box Theatre
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Zeigeist on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Boston, MA) Zeigeist Stage Company’s production of “Steven” is comedy which depicts the fracturing of a modern queer family. Since on average everyone’s a little more queer than they would have been a decade ago, there isn’t much dialogue or action that would make sense to only a queer audience. Coded moments between the characters are more about their bonds of friendship or assumed family bonds. At a zippy 80 minutes with no intermission, this is a compact show with a quick-moving cast. Continue reading

Mar 15

Fear Isn’t Logical: “The Humans”

Photo by Julieta Cervantes

Presented by Boch Center and the Roundabout Theatre Company
By Stephen Karam
Directed by Joe Mantello

Shubert Theatre
Boston, MA
Boch Center on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) The Humans is a play about fear and the ways we humans navigate them. Brigid(Daisy Egan) and Rich (Luis Vega) are hosting Thanksgiving in their first adult apartment in Manhattan. Sister Aimee (Therese Plaehn) has recently broken up with the love of her life. Parents, Deirdre (Pamela Reed) and Erik (Richard Thomas) have brought grandma Momo (Lauren Klein). Regardless of their troubles, everyone is determined to have a nice time. Continue reading

Mar 09

“The Hotel Nepenthe”: Here’s looking at you and you and your other you, kid kid kid…

Photo by Maggie Hill Photography

Presented by The Brown Box Theatre
Written by John Kuntz
Directed by Alex Lonati
Produced by Kyler Taustin

March 9-11, 2018 in Massachusetts
Atlantic Wharf, 290 Congress St., Boston
March 15, 2018 in Princess Anne, MD
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Brown Box on Facebook

Reviewed by Bishop C. Knight

(Boston, MA) It was a wintry evening in Boston’s Financial District and, as the audience moseyed into the lobby of an office building with wet snow piled upon our hats and coats, we found our seats to the soundtrack of bubbly theme songs from classic pre-1970s television and cinema. There were themes from Gilligan’s Island, Bewitched, and that kicky rendition of the Charleston dance song as featured in It’s A Wonderful Life (1940s).

Once seated and ready for the performance, patrons sat with our four actors lounging around the small stage space in short leopard-print bathrobes. Hm? Earlier in the week, I told a pal that I was going to see a play by John Kuntz, and their heads-up was “John Kuntz? His stuff is weird but wonderful!” And yes, very immediately, with the bouncy lyrics of “The Ballad of Gilligans Island” promising a fateful trip, I knew I was in for a theatrical adventure. Continue reading

Mar 06

Laughing Together to Confront Suicide Stigma: “Every Brilliant Thing”

Krstansky with audience members. Those happy faces tell you all you need to know. Maggie Hall Photography

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
By Duncan MacMillan
With Jonny Donahoe
Directed by Marianna Bassham
Featuring Adrianne Krstansky

March 21 – 31, 2018
Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
SpeakEasy on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Every Brilliant Thing is a story about a woman’s appreciation for living as told through a long list of joys. Audience participation is nearly mandatory. Adrianne Krstansky is so welcoming that volunteering is fun. The Calderwood Pavilion is a safer space for an hour.   Continue reading

Mar 05

It’s Time to Talk About White on White Crime: “Ripe Frenzy”


Left to right: Veronika Duerr, Stacy Fischer, Samantha Richert. Photo by Kalman Zabarsky. It’s a strange cruelty to photograph actors from below.

Presented by NewRep Theatre and Boston University College of Fine Arts
By Jennifer Barclay
Directed by Bridget Kathleen O’Leary

Feb. 24 – March 11, 2018
BU College of Fine Arts
Studio ONE
Boston, MA
NewRep on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warnings: references to gun violence, references to animal abuse, references to violent behavior, references to suicide, stalking. NewRep/BCAP don’t include trigger warnings and they should. 

(Boston, MA) The people who commit monstrous wrongs are still people. The man who murdered 17 in the recent Florida tragedy took an Uber to get to the school. After, he went to Walmart, bought a drink at Subway and ate at McDonald’s. He was arrested as he walked out on his own (a common occurrence for white shooters). In Ripe Frenzy, a similar tragedy is told from the perspective of a mother who lived through the event. It is possible to cherish a monster even as he commits horrendous acts. Continue reading

Mar 05

Driving Mr. Daisy: “The White Card”

Karen Pittman and Daniel Gerroll in The White Card. Photo: Gretjen Helene Photography; Charlotte manages Charles’ microaggressions.

Presented by ArtsEmerson with the American Repertory Theatre
By Claudia Rankin
Directed by Diane Paulus
Dramaturgy by P. Carl

Feb. 24 – April 1, 2018
Emerson Paramount Center
Robert J. Orchard Stage
Boston, MA
ArtsEmerson on Facebook

Reviews by Kitty Drexel and Noelani Kamelamela

(Boston, MA) The White Card is a conversation starter for those unused to discussing race at length. It’s for those who think we live in a post-racial society, the kind of person who resents the dialogue because there are “bigger problems” to fix. Other attributes include denying racism because they have imaginary Black friends, thinking “all lives matter,” and feeling threatened when any indication of their own culpability within society’s systemic racism. Those who have regular discussions on race, inequalities and the struggles for justice will have their work affirmed. Continue reading

Feb 26

Show Up and Shut Up: “An Education in Prudence”

with Christa Brown, Caitlin Gjerdrum, Tenneh Sillah, Shana Elizabeth Jackson, Mary O’Donnell, Kevin Paquette, Jon Vellante & Regine Vital; photo by Matt McKee Photography.

Presented by Open Theatre Project
By Stefan Lanfer
Directed by Pascale Florestal
Inspired by the historical research of Beth Miller

Feb. 9 – 24, 2018
St. John’s Church
Jamaica Plain, MA
OTP on Facebook

“Grant me chastity and constancy, but do not grant it yet.” Saint Augustine of Hippo

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Jamaica Plain, MA) OTP’s An Education in Prudence sold out its run. If you missed the readings, the workshops, or the performances, then the joke’s on you. Do yourself a favor and donate to OTP so they can create more important works. Prudence deserves, at the very least, a performance in Canterbury, CT. They’ll need our help to get there. Continue reading

Feb 22

Presenting the Black Female Experience in America is a Revolutionary Act: “for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf”

Photography by Roberto Mighty; From left: Verna Hampton, Kerline Desir, Thomika Marie Bridwell, Dayenne CB Walters, Karimah Williams, Tonasia Jones. Not pictured: Ciera-Sade Wade.

Presented by Praxis Stage
By Ntozake Shange
Directed by Dayenne CB Walters
Choreography by W. Lola Remy

Feb.15 – 25, 2018
Hibernian Hall
Boston, MA
Praxis on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Boston, MA) When theatre is about lifting up oppressed voices, it is a revolutionary act.  Praxis Stage’s production of “for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf” during Black History Month qualifies.  I recommend that locals go and see this production if they can.  Although “for colored girls . . .” is done regularly with student casts, such as the production at Boston College in 2014, it is inspiring to see a range of ages authentically represented in this show.  I will also mention that the space in Hibernian Hall is accessible, which is not always a possibility for theatre companies in the Boston area. Continue reading

Feb 22

A Queer Bildnungsroman “Torrey Pines”

Presented by ArtsEmerson 
Torrey Pines
Directed by Clyde Petersen
Animated by Clyde Petersen & Chris Looney
Original music recorded in collaboration with Kimya Dawson and Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie)

Feb. 14 – 17, 2018
Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre
Boston, MA
ArtsEmerson on Facebook

ArtsEmerson presented a lovely set of screenings of “Torrey Pines” with a live band and live foley.  A stop motion film about a young adolescent’s experiences, the lead in the film was also the lead in the band which played, Your Heart Breaks.  The Seattle band has been touring with this movie since its premiere in 2016.  It is wonderful that this movie was brought to Boston, especially since there are few art pieces with trans creators at the helm. Continue reading

Feb 20

World Music Concert: Presenting Carla Bruni

Presented by the World Music/CrashArts

Thursday, 15 February 2018 ONLY
Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue
Carla Bruni on Facebook

Reviewed by Bishop C. Knight

(Boston, MA) As a vocalist Carla Bruni had an effortless delivery, and she was best crooning at a mellow level, which any close listener of Bruni’s albums would already know.  Her voice was much fuller and sultrier at a slow pace, which conveyed more genuine feelings that the audience sensed and responded to with thundery clapping.  Program notes provided by World Music/CrashARTS prepared the audience for a coup de foudre, the French term for falling in love at first sight, trying to ready everyone for a moody and emotional evening of intimate ballads.  Ultimately, as anticipated, this was a performance for romantics to attend the week of Valentine’s Day; a concert presenting new songs from Carla Bruni’s latest album called “French Touch.” Continue reading