Jul 29

These Violent Delights: “Romeo & Juliet”

Presented by Commonwealth Shakespeare Company
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Allegra Libonati

July 19 – August 6, 2017
Boston Common
Boston, MA
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company on Facebook

Romeo and Juliet is like an old jalopy: if you want it to run, you need to know where to kick it, when to kick it, and how hard to kick it. Unfortunately, I really don’t think that director Allegra Libonati has the formula down (and not for lack of trying). Continue reading

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Jul 25

Listen! : “American Moor”

Keith Hamilton Cobb is jacked.

By Keith Hamilton Cobb
Presented by the Office of War Information (Bureau of Theatre)
Directed by Kim Weild
Presented at the Boston Center for the Arts

July 19th – August 12th
Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street, Boston
Office of War Information on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

A note to the cast and crew of American Moor, and the associates of the Office of War Information (Bureau of Theatre), the Queen Geek came down with a summer flu virus that has kept her away from her posting duties. I offer you my heartfelt apologies. Please know that Mrs. Rosvally is in no way to blame for the tardiness of this review.  -KD

(Boston, MA) I am, to be completely honest, still in a state of shocked awe at what I witnessed during Keith Hamilton Cobb’s American Moor last night.  Normally, my job as a critic is to give an honest opinion of the things I see onstage: the acting, the direction, the design… sometimes the writing…. Continue reading

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Jun 23

Making it up as you go: “Summer Thursdays: ImprovBoston”

Presented by ImprovBoston in partnership with the Museum of Science

Thursdays June 22, July 27 and August 24
Charles Hayden Planetarium
Museum of Science
1 Science Park
Boston, MA 02114
Museum of Science on Facebook
ImprovBoston on Facebook

Review by Danielle Fenton-Rosvally

(Boston, MA) This summer, the Museum of Science will feature (in addition to their everyday offerings) a series of adult entertainments.  Thursday nights under the dome of the Charles Hayden Planetarium, grown ups of Boston will be treated to live music, pub quizzes, movie screenings, and improvised comedy.  Last night was the first Thursday that ImprovBoston was featured at Hayden planetarium, doing their thing with live comedy improv (with a science twist, of course). Continue reading

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Jun 14

You’re Doing Fine: “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”

Presented by Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Directed and Choreographed by Susan M. Chebookjian
Musical Direction by Dan Rodriguez

June 8th – 19th
Reagle Music Theatre
617 Lexington Street
Waltham, MA
Reagle on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Waltham, MA) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is easily my favorite Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.   Full of camp and cheese with loads of catchy, singable songs, it’s pretty much everything I want in a musical.  As a North-of-Bostonian, I was so excited to see a production of Joseph outside the city limits at the Reagle. Continue reading

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May 10

Canary in the Mine: “Yellow Bird Chase”

Photo by Chris McIntosh; the cast.

Presented by Liars and Believers
Conceived and Directed by Jason Slavick
Written by the LAB Ensemble
In Collaboration with Luminati led by Johnny Blazes

May 4th – 21st, 0217
Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont Street
LAB on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) Every now and again, a piece comes along that’s so far out of the box it defies most reasonable explanation.  Liars & Believers has a history of creating such pieces, integrating clowning with storytelling and adventure in original works that thrill and excite. Yellow Bird Chase is a creative and vibrant exploration of the imagination.  For that, I found the piece a bit confused (and confusing). Continue reading

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May 05

When History Comes Alive: “The Trial of Anthony Burns”

Image found on Theatre Espresso’s Facebook page

Presented by Theatre Espresso
Wendy Lement, Producer
Shelley Bolman, Artistic Director
Kortney Adams, Managing Director
May 4th, 2017
Faneuil Hall
Theatre Espresso on Facebook

This play was commissioned by “Discovering Justice: The James D. St. Clair Court Education Project.”

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) Theatre Espresso is an incredible company with a mission that has become more important now than ever: to make history come alive and, through this, to engage young people in active and potent civil discourse.The Trial of Anthony BurnsThe rare opportunity to see one of Theatre Espresso’s shows was an exquisite treat, and I only wish that the public could see more of their pieces. Continue reading

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Apr 18

Life’s a Circus: “Barnum”

Shonna Cirone (Charity Barnum), Todd Yard (PT Barnum), Dan Prior (Ensemble) and company; Photograph by Earl Christie Photography.

Presented by MoonBox Productions
Music by Cy Coleman
Lyrics by Michael Stewart
Book by Mark Bramble
Directed and Choreographed by Rachel Bertone
Musical Direction by Dan Rodriguez
Circus Arts/Aerial Choreography by Ellen Waylonis

April 8th – April 30th
Roberts Studio Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont Street
Moonbox on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) There’s hardly a figure in American History with a life more colorful than showman and notorious Humbug Phineas Taylor Barnum.  The exaggerations and theatrical tall-tales that are hallmark of Musical Theatre find no palette more suited than the true facts of P.T.’s exploits.  It’s therefore small wonder that these exploits became a musical in 1980 (titled, appropriately, Barnum).  What is astounding is the fact that Moonbox was able to match the schmaltz and pizzazz require to bring a true eighties style musical to light and life in full vibrant color at the BCA. Continue reading

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Nov 18

Our Town? YOUR Town: URINETOWN

urinetown-300

The world is your toilet!

Presented by The MIT Musical Theatre Guild
By Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann
Directed by Daniel Epelbaum
Music and Vocal Direction by Paul Gallagher
Produced by Caroline Walsh and Anni Zhang

November 17 – 20, 2016
MIT’s La Sala de Puerto Rico
84 Mass Ave, Cambridge
MIT Musical Theatre Guild on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Cambridge, MA) Urinetown is a tough piece to tackle.  It’s a satire and, as such, full of clichés that are meant to be hit precisely right in order to ring hilarious and not maudlin.  It’s a dark musical with dark themes, a dark plot, and a dark ending.  Last, but certainly not least, there are several technical demands that make it an interesting theatrical problem to solve (one character is thrown off a building onstage…. Try staging that without a fly rig). Continue reading

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Oct 27

Beautiful and Painful: “The Scottsboro Boys”

Nile Hawver / Nile Scott Shots; The ensemble getting down.

Nile Hawver / Nile Scott Shots; The ensemble getting down.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
Music and Lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb
Book by David Thompson
Original Direction and Choreography by Susan Stroman
Directed by Paul Daigneault
Musical Direction by Matthew Stern
Choreography by Ilyse Robbins

October 21 – November 26
Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont Street
Speakeasy on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) It’s difficult to know what to say about The Scottsboro Boys.  The piece is uncomfortable to watch not because of its incredible talent or flawless direction and design, but rather because it’s meant to be uncomfortable to watch.  The show is a remixed account of the historical case of The Scottsboro Boys, nine young black men who in 1931 were accused of raping two white women on a train, told through the lens of American Minstrelsy.  Performed with gusto and amazing energy, SpeakEasy’s production is a triumph that should be mandatory viewing for any American (particularly in an election year as fraught with the urge to “just give up” as this one has been). Continue reading

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Oct 24

Naughty Nighttime Jaunts: “The Wrathskellar Tales”

14237673_1197699330251209_1253917380444914164_n-1Produced by Boston BeauTease

October 20 – October 31, 2016
The Wrathskellar
288A Green Street (Lower Level)
Cambridge, MA
Boston BeauTease on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Cambridge, MA) Immersive, site-specific theatre is notoriously difficult to execute.  It is complicated to envision, a nightmare to rehearse, precarious to time, and overwhelming to build.  Audiences familiar with Punchdrunk’s Sleep no More will understand just how many details go into the completion of a successful immersive theatre project.  The Wrathskellar Tales is surprisingly thorough and impressively complete in its scope. Continue reading

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