May 25

The Art of Making a Practical Thing Pretty: “Toni Stone”

Jennifer Mogbock as Toni Stone; Photograph © T Charles Erickson

Presented by The Huntington
Written and Directed by Lydia R. Diamond
Inspired by Curveball: The Remarkable True Story of Toni Stone by Martha Ackmann
Choreography by Ebony Williams
Dramaturgy by Charles Haugland
Fight direction and intimacy choreography by Ted Hewlett
Vocal coaching by Kim James Bey

May 17 – June 16, 2024
Blackout Performance: June 11, 7 pm
Open Caption Performance: 6/4 at 7:30 pm
ASL Performance: 6/7 at 8 pm
Audio Described Performance: 6/15 at 2:30 pm
Huntington Theatre 
264 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA 02115

2 hours and 20 minutes including intermission

Content Advisories: Toni Stone contains flashing lights, the use of herbal cigarettes, strong themes of racism and misogyny, and discussions of sexual violence. 

Critique by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON, Mass. — Lydia R Diamond’s Toni Stone had a triumphant opening on Wednesday, May 22. The Huntington took America’s pastime, the culture of and for the masses, into art for those who can afford a ticket. Toni Stone plays at The Huntington through June 16. It is available for pay-what-you-wish digital streaming HERE.

I’m a bespectacled geek made for comfort, not speed with an avid distaste for projectiles in all forms. I loathed gym class in school. Every New England summer, it felt like the world opened its heart and screen doors for Spring Training. I couldn’t wait for it to be over.  Continue reading

May 19

Her Smile Contains A Primal Scream: “Morning, Noon, and Night”

Sydney Jackson, Kaili Y. Turner (Photography by Ken Yotsukura)

Presented by Company One Theatre with Boston University’s College of Fine Arts
A new play by Kirsten Greenidge
Directed by Summer L. Williams
Dramaturgy by Ilana M. Brownstein
Featuring: Kaili Y. Turner, Sydney Jackson, Eliza Fichter, Schanaya Barrows, Aislinn Brophy, Alexandria King

Apr 26 – May 25, 2024
Boston Center for the Arts
Plaza Theatre
539 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02116

Critique by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON, Mass. — Company One presents Kirsten Greenidge’s Morning, Noon, and Night at the BCA through May 25. Greenidge’s play examines society’s crushing demand for motherly perfection with brilliant comedy and heartrending honesty. She is joined by director Summer L Williams, and dramaturg Ilana M Brownstein to complete Company One’s trifecta of power.  Continue reading

May 15

Battle Uphill, Downhill, and Hopping Across: “Touching the Void”

The cast of “Touching the Void.” Photo by Danielle Fauteux Jacques.

Presented by Apollinaire Theatre Company
Based on Joe Simpson’s bestselling memoir Touching the Void
Written by David Greig
Directed by Danielle Fauteux Jacques
Scenic & Sound Design: Joseph Lark-Riley
Costume Design: Elizabeth Rocha 
Lighting Design: Danielle Fauteux Jacques
Featuring: Patrick O’Konis, Kody Grassett, Parker Jennings, Zach Fuller

April 19- May 26, 2024 (Extended!)
Chelsea Theatre Works
189 Winnisimmet St.
Chelsea, MA

Running Time: estimated 2 hours with one intermission

Performances followed by a Reception with the actors

Critique by Kitty Drexel

CHELSEA, Mass. — Apollinaire Theatre Company’s Touching the Void is about two men chasing death up a mountain. Death chases them back down.  It runs through May 26 at Chelsea Theatre Works.

It is 1985. Two Brits, Joe Simpson (Patrick O’Konis) and Simon Yates (Kody Grassett) are mountaineers who decide to climb a dangerous mountain together: the Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. These dumbass himbos don’t have a backup plan, just a hippy acquaintance with no useful skills, Richard (Zach Fuller), watching their gear at base camp. Touching the Void is told in imaginary flashforwards and backs that feature Joe’s sister Sarah (Parker Jennings). Sarah wants to understand why Joe, Simon, and even Richard would do such a foolhardy thing as climbing a treacherous peak. Me too, Sarah.  Continue reading

May 13

Hades is the Drama: “Orpheus in the Overworld”

Eurydice and Orpheus. Photo by Erin Solomon.

Presented by Fresh Ink Theatre 
By Dante Gonzalez
Directed by Shira Helena Gitlin
Composer/Music Director – Abacus Dean-Polacheckan
Dramaturgy by AJ Helm
Fight and Intimacy Coordinator – Kayleigh Kane
Lighting Designer – Z Weber 
Costume Design by  Mikayla Reid 
Production Stage Management by Micaela Slotin 
Assistant Stage Manager – Katelyn Paddock
Featuring: Elijah Brown, Isabel Ginsberg, Lucy Bertolet, Kulfi Jaan, Matthew Suchecki, Rebekah Brunson

April 27 – May 11, 2024 
Boston Center for the Arts 
539 Tremont St.
Boston, MA 02116

Critique by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON, Mass. — Fresh Ink’s Orpheus in the Overworld asks what if the Greek gods’ wills were as free as humanity’s? Dante Gonzalez reimagines the “Orpheus and Euridice” myth as a queer as the day is long burlesque with music and dance. It is for the queer community yet can be enjoyed by anyone. Continue reading

Apr 30

Nothing Feeds A Hunger Like A Thirst: “A Strange Loop”

Kai Clifton (center) and the company. Maggie Hall Photography.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Co and The Front Porch Arts Collective
Book, Music and Lyrics by Michael R. Jackson
Directed by Maurice Emmanuel Parent 
Music direction by David Freeman Coleman
Choreography by Taavon Gamble
Intimacy Direction by Greg Geffard
Dramaturgy by Elijah Albert-Stein

April 26, 2024 – May 25, 2024
The Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Boston, MA

Critique by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON, Mass. — SpeakEasy Stage Company and The Front Porch Arts Collective’s A Strange Loop at the BCA is fucking amazing and you should see it now. It is a voluptuous Möbius strip tease perpetually feeding excellence into itself from the smallest prop by Emme Shaw to the Lil Nas X’s Montero-like intimacy direction by Greg Geffard up to the highest heights of Kai Clifton’s fluid vocal ornamentation. Get your tickets.  Continue reading

Apr 15

Uncle Barney Wasn’t Particular: “The Birthday Party”

The cast. Photo credit: Nile Scott Studios.

Presented by Praxis Stage
By Harold Pinter
Directed by James Wilkinson

April 11- 28, 2024
Chelsea Theatre Works
189 Winnisimmet Street
Chelsea, MA 02150

Article by Kitty Drexel

CHELSEA, Mass. — Praxis Stage did everything right. It collected a great cast; it hired James Wilkinson to direct. Pinter’s The Birthday Party is an absurd play, but it’s tight. Sometimes, even when all the elements of success are there, you still fall short. 

Meg (Sharon Mason) and Petey (Paul Valley) run a boarding house in a sleepy seaside town. Despite being on a prestigious list of boarding houses, they have only one tenant, Stanley (Zair Silva). Lulu (Darya Denisova) arrives to taunt Stanley and deliver a package for Meg. All is well until Meg & Petey receive two new guests, Goldberg (Daniel Boudreau) and McCann (Kevin Paquette).  Continue reading

Apr 13

Take A Friendly Plunge: “The Drowsy Chaperone”

Production photo. Photo by Mark. S. Howard.

Presented by The Lyric Stage Company of Boston
Music & Lyrics by Lisa Lambert & Greg Morrison
Book by Bob Martin & Don McKellar
Directed and choreographed by Larry Sousa
Music direction by Matthew Stern

April 5 – May 12, 2024
Lyric Stage Boston
140 Clarendon St, Boston, MA 02116

One hour and forty-five minutes with no intermission

Content advisory: Comedic sexuality and alcohol use.

Review by Sean French-Byrne

BOSTON, Mass. – Metanarrative is the word of the day in The Lyric Stage Company of Boston’s The Drowsy Chaperone. Opening in darkness and lingering in that moment of tension, as the voice of the Man in the Chair rises out of the darkness and muses about theater, from beginning to end The Drowsy Chaperone presents a sardonic yet compassionate love letter to the way that theater touches our lives. 

Buoyed from beginning to end by the charismatic performance of Paul Melendy as the Man in the Chair, this production evokes the experience of being taken by the hand and shown the pieces of a play that shine. It is imbued by that friend’s (occasionally morbid) fascination. Continue reading

Apr 10

Make It Personal, Tell the Truth: “Burn This”

Photo by Tim Gurczak.

Presented by Hub Theatre Company of Boston 
By Lanford Wilson
Directed by Daniel Bourque
Intimacy direction by Lauren Cook
Fight choreography by Matt Dray

Saturday, April 6 -Sunday, April 21, 2024
Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 

All performances are Pay-What-You-Can

Two hours with one intermission

Critique by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON, Mass. — Hub Theatre Company of Boston’s production of Lanford Wilson’s Burn This runs at the BCA through April 21. Get your tickets to support local fringe theatre HERE

Anna (Kiki Samko), an impotent choreographer and retired dancer, is grappling with the artistic and personal void left by the untimely death of her roommate and creative partner Robbie. Her best friend and housemate Larry (Steve Auger) acts as nurse, bodyguard, and gatekeeper. Anna’s on-again, off-again boyfriend Burton (Tim Hoover) wants to be her everything. Anna won’t decide what she wants to be or who she wants to do. 

Enter Pale (Victor L Shopov), Robbie’s incendiary older brother. She lights a flame in her heart, under her feet, and in her pants. With Robbie gone, Anna will either discover a new muse or burn the apartment down trying.  Continue reading

Mar 29

May We All Find Our People: “Driving in Circles”

Jordan Palmer (left), Jay Eddy (center), Zach Fontanez (right); Photo by Scornavacca Photography.

Presented by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
Written, composed, and performed by Jay Eddy
Directed by Sam Plattus
Featuring the talents of Zach Fontanez and Jordan Palmer

March 21 – April 6, 2024
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
949 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

Digital Playbill

Critique by Kitty Drexel

Content Transparency: This performance explores healing after trauma and contains themes of sexual violence, childhood sexual abuse, suicide, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Production features live electronic music (earplugs are available). For further details on topics mentioned, click here.

BOSTON, Mass. — Driving in Circles is a “solo-ish” musical with a killer backup band (Zach Fontanez and Jordan Palmer). Jill (Jay Eddy) is a young person bearing the psychological burden of shameful secrets. We watch Jill grow up into a whip-smart young adult with an agile, curious mind and severe mental health problems. We watch Jill navigate high school, college, and adulthood without executive functioning skills to an electro-rock beat.  Continue reading

Mar 19

The Ice Mastodon Cometh: “The Impracticality of Modern-Day Mastodons”

Maraj and Neal Photo by Johanna Bobrow.

Presented by Theatre@First
by Rachel Teagle
Directed by Jess Viator

March 15–23, 2024
Unity Somerville
6 William Street
Somerville, MA 02144

Please note: Unity Somerville is not wheelchair accessible. There are stairs leading down to the performance space.  

Digital Playbill

Content note: Please be advised this show contains implied explosions, described violence, allusions to domestic violence, discussions of terminal illness, and homophobic and racially insensitive microaggressions.

Review by Kitty Drexel

SOMERVILLE, Mass. — Theatre@First’s plucky production of Rachel Teagle’s The Impracticality of Modern-Day Mastodons is lots of fun! It runs at Unity Somerville church through March 23.  

Jess’s (Angele Maraj) life is chugging along – could be better, could be worse – when, one day, the world’s population wakes to discover their childhood dreams have come true! Jess awakes as a mastodon (never to be confused with a mammoth), tusks, and all because Buster (Juan Jose Boschetti) wished everyone’s wishes would come true.  Continue reading