Sep 20

A ROAD FORGOTTEN: HOMESTEAD CROSSING

Homestead Crossing 
Presented Merrimack Repertory Theatre
by William Donnelly    
Directed by Kyle Fabel

Photo Credit: Meghan Moore

Merrimack Repertory Theatre Website                 Merrimack Repertory Theatre Facebook Page
50 E. Merrimack St.
Lowell, MA
Sep 6 – Sep 30, 2012

Review by Kate Lonberg-Lew

(Lowell, MA) It’s so easy to get lost in the minutia of daily life – the food shopping and bill-paying – that you forget that you make your own destiny. That, in fact, your destiny is created in those very everyday decisions. And it takes an unexpected event, be it a stranger knocking at your window or an unexpected call from an old friend, to remind us. Homestead Crossing, currently playing at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre, is the story of just such a couple.
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Sep 13

An Ambitious Tragicomedy: MARIE ANTOINETTE

photo by Joan Marcus

Marie Antoinette by David Adjmi
Directed by Rebecca Taichman

American Repertory Theater, Loeb Drama Center
September 1 – September 29

Reviewed by Kate Longberg-Lew

You are likely already familiar with the tale of Marie Antoinette, the young queen who eventually losses her head at the bequest of her constituency, but you’ve never seen it presented this way. The ART’s production is, in a word, ambitious. This self-described tragicomedy is part Sex in the City, part Moulin Rouge, part modern, part historical, part drama, and part comedy.   Continue reading

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Aug 25

Sweet Music: ALL SHOOK UP

All Shook Up, Book by Joe DiPietro

Staring Joyce DeWitt

Directed by Russell Garrett
Music Director: Anne Shuttlesworth
Choreographer: Kiesha Lalama

North Shore Music Theatre
Beverly, Ma
August 14-26, 2012

North Shore Music Theatre Facebook Page

Review by Kate Lonberg-Lew

Elvis is tooling around the countryside when his motorcycle breaks down
and he finds himself stranded in repressed, naïve, small-town America. While his bike is being fixed by the town’s tomboy-teenage mechanic, he teaches the citizens how to let loose, love, and most importantly, rock out. This is the basis for the musical All Shook Up playing at the North Shore Music Theatre.
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Jul 31

A Few Moments of Grace: Steel Magnolias

Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling, directed by Nancy Curran Willis
Nextdoor Center for the Arts, July 13-28 2012, http://www.nextdoortheater.org/STEEL.html

photo credit: Nextdoor Center for the Arts

Reviewed by Kate Lonberg-Lew

(Winchester, MA) When I watch an Olympic gymnast fly on the balance beam or the uneven bars, I
know I am watching genius, not because I know the difference between a punch- front summersault and a double pike, but because they make it look easy, effortless. The same can be said of playwright Robert Harling, the author of Steel Magnolias. Continue reading

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May 07

Horrific Comfort Food: LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

l. to r. Bill Mootos, Ceit McCaleb Zweil, Lovely Hoffman, and Jennifer Fogarty in Little Shop of Horrors. Photo by Andrew Brilliant / Brilliant Pictures.

Little Shop of Horrors, book and lyrics by Howard Ashman, music by Alan Menken, New Repertory Theatre, Charles Mosesian Theater at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, 4/29/12-5/27/12, http://www.newrep.org/little_shop.php.

Reviewed by Kate Lonberg-Lew

(Watertown, MA) Sometimes you are having a bad day. Sometimes you are in such a bad mood that escapism is the only way to manage.  It was in such a state that I entered the New Rep’s production of Little Shop of Horrors at the Arsenal Center for the Arts. I tell you this so that you will know exactly how steep a hill the cast had to climb in order for me to emerge smiling; which I did. Continue reading

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Apr 22

A Struggle Worth Viewing – The Miracle Worker

Gary Ng

The Miracle Worker by William Gibson, Wheelock Family Theatre, 4/13/12-5/13/12, http://www.wheelockfamilytheatre.org/feature-performance.aspx.

Reviewed by Kate Lonberg-Lew

(Boston, MA) The story of Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan is known worldwide. The drama of Sullivan’s struggle to reach a child locked away by blindness and deafness is well covered in cinema, theater, and literature. But Helen was not the only one that Sullivan would need to teach in order to be successful. Before she could reach Helen, she would need to teach the Kellers the dangers of pity and self-indulgence. They would need to learn to be strong. Continue reading

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Apr 01

A Pleasant Surprise: EXPECTING

Danni, Mom, and Gabrielle at the mall — with Jo d'Angelo and Jenny Reagan., photo credit: Boston Actors' Theatre

Expecting by Noah Tobin, Boston Actors’ Theatre, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 3/30/12-4/7/12,    http://www.bostonactorstheater.com/.

Reviewed by Kate Lonberg-Lew

(Boston, MA) Have you ever found your cell phone lying on the back seat after ripping open the box of the replacement? Or perhaps you found your watch at the bottom of the hamper after strapping on your new Swatch? Somehow, we always manage to find what we’re looking for the moment we stop looking for it. This is what Expecting, currently at the Boston Actors Theater, is all about and the experience is wonderfully complex. Continue reading

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Mar 24

Lovely Confusion: MRS. WHITNEY

Deirdre Madigan, Photo by Meghan Moore

Mrs. Whitney by John Kolvenbach, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, 3/15/12-4/8/12, http://www.merrimackrep.org/season/show.aspx?sid=107.

Reviewed by Kate Lonberg-Lew

(Lowell, MA) Unless you are lucky enough to have met your soulmate at fifteen and lived happily ever after (and if you have, please take a moment to pinch yourself and make sure you’re real) then you will relate to the feelings of loneliness, love and the existence of your own romantic Achilles heel in this superb production of Mrs. Whitney at the Merrimack Repertory Theater in Lowell. Continue reading

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Mar 18

An Imperfect Study of Grief : LOVE ALONE

Trinity Rep resident company member Anne Scurria as Helen and Brown/Trinity Rep MFA actor Leah Anderson as Clementine (foreground) in Love Alone by Deborah Salem Smith. Directed by Tyler Dobrowsky and Deborah Salem Smith, this world premiere drama is now playing at Trinity Repertory Company as part of the Three by Three in Rep. Sets by Michael McGarty, Costumes by William Lane, Lighting by Dan Scully. Photo by Mark Turek.

Love Alone by Deborah Salem Smith, Trinity Repertory Company, 2/28/12-5/27/12, http://www.trinityrep.com/on_stage/current_season/st.php,

Reviewed by Kate Lonberg-Lew

(Providence, RI)  

When someone you love dies unexpectedly, you struggle with grief. And so does the cast of Love Alone at the Trinity Repertory Company. Unfortunately, they also struggle to portray the nuance and rawness of the emotions that course through a person and a family at times such as these. Continue reading

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