Oct 07

The Broadway Facts of Life: “42nd Street”

PREVIEW: The Umbrella Stage Company Presents 42nd Street from The Umbrella on Vimeo.

Presented by The Umbrella Stage Company 
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Book by Michael Stewart & Mark Bramble
Based on the novel by Bradford Ropes
Directed by Brian Boruta
Music direction by James Murphy
Musical restaging and new choreography by Lara Finn Banister

September 27 – October 20, 2019
The Umbrella Main Stage 
Concord, MA
The Umbrella Stage on Facebook 

Critique by Kitty Drexel

(Concord, MA) 42nd Street is a show-within-a-show jukebox musical serving as a thinly veiled excuse to pair tap dance with 1930’s Broadway hits. The 1933 Depression-era movie had choreography by Busby Berkeley and was nominated for an Academy Award. The movie (and eventually the musical) has deeply impacted musical theatre. Bullets Over Broadway, Kiss Me Kate and other backstage musicals have all been influenced by 42nd Street’s incarnations. It’s a classic but carries with it the problems of its time.   Continue reading

Oct 04

Boston Theatre Great, Spiro Veloudos Announces Retirement from the Lyric Stage

Image via https://www.lyricstage.com/spiro-veloudos-retirement/

BOSTON – Theatre director Spiro Veloudos announced that he will retire as the Producing Artistic Director of the Lyric Stage Company of Boston in December 2019, said a press release dated October 3.

“Ever since I started in this role in 1998, I promised to make the Lyric Stage ever more vibrant and to continually push my limits, producing shows that would challenge, entertain, and inspire our audiences.

“When I concluded my Sondheim Initiative with the production of Pacific Overtures this past spring, I took the summer off to contemplate what might be next, and I realized that it is time for me to focus solely on my work as a director and to let others manage the daily operations of the theatre and to guide it into the future.

“I am greatly looking forward to my productions of Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express” this fall and “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” in spring 2020. And I hope that moving into this new chapter of my life will allow me more time to relax, enjoy being with friends and family, and focus more exclusively on my true love: directing,” said Veloudos. Continue reading

Oct 01

Your Fave is Fanfiction: “The Book Club Play”

Becca A. Lewis, Sean Patrick Gibbons, Greg Maraio (with Pepto Bismol), Rachel Cognata; photo by Stratton McCrady.

Presented by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
By Karen Zacarias
Directed by Shana Gozansky
Dramaturgy by Caity-Shea Violette

Sept. 26 – Oct. 13, 2019
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre 
Boston, MA
BPT on Facebook

“We need to make books cool again. If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them.”
John Waters

Critique by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) The pop culture obsessions of today are the classics of tomorrow: 50 Shades of Grey is Twilight fanfiction; the Twilight Saga is influenced by Wuthering Heights; Wuthering Heights was controversial in its day for its critical examination of religious hypocrisy, and class inequality within the gothic fiction genre. If the cultural narrative in response to a book shows us who we are as a society, then The Book Club Play at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre shows us that book snobs are insecure secret-hiders.  Continue reading

Sep 30

The Restoration of Henry VIII


Presented in concert by Odyssey Opera
Composed by Camille Saint-Saëns
Libretto by Léonce Détroyat and Armand Silvestre
Gil Rose, conductor
Version prepared with assistance from Hugh Macdonald
Supertitles provided by Danielle Sinclair

September 21, 2019
New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall
30 Gainsborough St, Boston, MA 02115
Odyssey Opera on Facebook

Review by Diana Lu

(Boston, MA) The year is 1521. Henry VIII (Michael Chioldi) rules England with unhinged fury. The chorus announces that Henry is about to behead the Duke of Buckingham, once a beloved best friend. It is a grave foreshadowing of Anne Boleyn’s infamous fate. The chorus pleads, “please, can someone save us from this mad tyrant?” Continue reading

Sep 26

An Interview with Veronica Barron on “All Together Now #10”

Presented by All Together Now.
Saturday, October 5, 2019
Doors at 6 PM, Show at 7:00 PM

The Burren
Somerville, MA
Tickets
ATB on Facebook

Interview by Noelani Kamelamela

(Somerville, MA) Veronica Barron is a creator and performer in the Boston area.  On October 5 at 7 p.m., Barron will perform in All Together Now #10 at The Burren in Davis Square with Just Felice, Amanda Shea, and Honey Cutt.

As a singer, composer, actor, choreographer, dancer, musician, clown and puppet artist, Barron said she has been focused on creating work that examines the feminine experience and makes use of common, seemingly mundane and fragile materials to explore the limits of storytelling.  Continue reading

Sep 25

Rhythms of Humanity: “Choir Boy”

The cast in “Choir Boy.” Photo by Nile Scott Studios.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
By Tarell Alvin McCraney
Directed by Maurice Emmanuel Parent
Musical Direction by David Freeman Coleman
Choreography by Yewande Odetoyinbo and Ruka White

Sept. 13 – Oct. 12, 2019
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
SpeakEasy on Facebook

Review by Shiyanbade Animashaun

(Boston, MA) Choir Boy opens on a sole figure, David (Dwayne P. Mitchell), a student at the elite Charles R. Drew Prep School. He looks into the audience with intent as he begins to step dance. It is deliberate, slow and unaccompanied. The routine then increases in intensity and volume as more students appear. They flank the audience, on their way to the stage, with percussive dancing and chanting. Among the students, I noticed Bobby Marrow (Malik Mitchell) right away. He often seemed moments away from breaking into a joyous smile, mirroring my own.  Continue reading

Sep 21

A Study in Contrasts: “Tiny Beautiful Things”

Shravan Amin, Nael Nacer, Lori Prince and Caroline Strang. Photo by Meghan Moore.

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Based on the book by Cheryl Strayed
Adapted for stage by Nia Vardalos
Co-Conceived by Marshall Heyman, Thomas Kail and Nia Vardalos
Directed by Jen Wineman

September 11 – October 6, 2019
Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Lowell, MA
MRT on Facebook

Review by Shiyanbade Animashaun

(Lowell, MA) Tiny Beautiful Things delivers a personal memoir through the vehicle of questions answered by ‘Sugar’, who does so in each case with an insight drawn from a personal story.

Continue reading

Sep 18

On “The Akhmatova Journals,” part of the October 2019 That’s What She Said program at Central Square Theater

That’s What She Said presented by The Nora Theatre Company.
Coming to the Central Square Theater in October 2019!
CST on Facebook

Article by Kitty Drexel.

Playwright Ginger Lazarus; photo via www.gingerlazarus.com.

(Cambridge, MA) Playwright Ginger Lazarus said the journey to write her drama “The Akhmatova Journals” began in 1993 while visiting St. Petersburg, Russia.

Lazarus was completing a semester abroad in Moscow through the O’Neill Center’s National Theater Institute when fellow students invited her to visit the Anna Akhmatova Museum at the Fountain House with them. She said during a phone interview in late July that she planned on meeting her classmates there that afternoon but a sudden, touristy apathy convinced her to spend the afternoon sipping espresso in a cafe instead.

“I still kick myself for not going,” Lazarus said.

Lazarus’s play “The Akhmatova Journals” is scheduled for a dramatic play reading as part of the That’s What She Said program held by the Nora Theatre Company at Central Square Theater in Cambridge, MA. Continue reading

Sep 18

The Artist She is Today: “Witches, Bitches and Divas”


Presented by Club Oberon
Written, arranged and performed by Christina Pecce and Steve Bass

Sunday Sep 7th, 2019
Club Oberon
2 Arrow Street, Cambridge, MA
Oberon on Facebook

Review by Piyali Mukherjee

(Cambridge, MA) Christina Pecce’s show Witches, Bitches and Divas was presented as a crossover musical comedy and it delivered. Christina was accompanied on stage by her music director, Steve Bass, on the piano, George Darrah on the percussion instruments and Nick Franchese on the viola. Continue reading

Sep 16

Completely Natural, Incredibly Beautiful: “The America Plays”

Amanda J Collins and Robert Najarian; photo by Corinne Elicone.

Presented by Mount Auburn Cemetery
By Patrick Gabridge, Mount Auburn Cemetary Artist-in-Residence 
Directed by Courtney O’Connor
Music in All the Broken Pieces written, performed and recorded by Arshan Gailus

September 12, 2019 – September 22, 2019
Mount Auburn Cemetery
Cambridge, MA
MAC on Facebook 

Critique by Kitty Drexel

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The America Plays is a pleasant introduction to a select few of the curious residents interred at Mount Auburn Cemetery through theatre. These short plays in place preserve the lives of eight artists, politicians, and scientists while asking their audience to hike the cemetery grounds. It’s a charming way to meet some New England spirits and watch the grounds transition to their fall colors.  Continue reading