Dec 11

A More Accurate Dickensian Christmas: “A Christmas Carol”

Presented by The Nora Theatre Company
By Charles Dickens
Adapted and directed by Debra Wise
Choreography by Susan Dribble
Dramaturgy by Siobahn Caroll & Iris Smith-d’Agincourt

Nov. 24 – Dec. 31, 2017
Central Square Theater
Cambridge, MA
CST on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge, MA) Modern-day London is as much of a melting pot of cultures as New York City. In Dickens’s Victorian London, immigrants from all over Europe flocked to England. Right now, London is a thickly settled, racially diverse city with citizens representing nearly every country and continent in the world. Then just as now, immigrants from non-European countries did travel about the globe. If Shakespeare can devise a play about an Black officer in the Venetian army, then it’s conceivable that Indians dwelt among the working class 250 years later. That the Nora Theater’s A Christmas Carol incorporates music and dance from outside the England’s stereotypical whiteness is less surprising than it is a refreshing example of reclaiming history. Continue reading

Dec 11

A Lonely Old Man and His “Christmas Carol”

Rebecca White and Joel Colodner; Photo by Meghan Moore

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Based on the novel by Charles Dickens
Stage adaptation by Tony Brown
Directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian

November 29 thru December 24, 2017
Merrimack Repertory Theatre on Facebook
132 Warren Street, Lowell, MA  01852

Reviewed by Bishop C. Knight

(Lowell, Massachusetts)  Megan Sandberg-Zakian’s production needed a larger cast.  Three hard-working actors struggled to carry this Christmas story, which Charles Dickens populated with nine very diverse characters.  These actors paced the small stage quickly switching between accents and affectations, to communicate to the audience that they were presenting a different personality, and it ended up being an evening of too much talk.  At one point when my eyes were glazing over, I asked myself if I were in a comfortable lull or if I was just bored.  Then during intermission, I overheard a fellow patron say that she hoped she did not fall asleep during the second act.  So I had my answer: She and I were just bored. Continue reading

Nov 28

Love Can’t Afford to be Afraid: “Tartuffe”

Presented by the Huntington Theatre Co.
By Moliere
Translated by Ranjit Bolt
Directed by Peter DuBois
Choreography by Daniel Pelzig
Original music by Peter Golub
Fight direction by Ted Hewlett

Nov. 10 – Dec. 10, 2017
Avenue of the Arts
Huntington Avenue Theatre
Boston, MA
Huntington on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) If you haven’t seen #metoo then it’s likely you’ve been under a proverbial rock. Female and male victims of sexual assault rallied their cry in solidarity with the women accusing Harvey Weinstein of years of criminal misconduct. Weinstein is a pig enabled by others so focused on their own careers/pocketbooks that they wouldn’t stop him. Whether intentional or not, the Huntingington’s Tartuffe is a reflection of the news cycle. In our own backyard, Berklee School of Music harbored rapist professors. “Good” men can’t seem to keep their hands to themselves.   Continue reading

Oct 30

“Robyn is Happy” Deals in Devastating Discomfort

The Hub Theatre Company of Boston presents “Robyn is Happy” through Nov. 11 at the First Church Boston. PHOTO COURTESY HUB THEATRE OF BOSTON

Presented by Hub Theatre Company of Boston
Written by Michael Elyanow
Directed by Kelly Smith

October 27 – November 11th
First Church Boston
Boston, MA
Hub Theatre Company of Boston on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

 (Boston, MA) Robyn (the confident, hilarious Amie Lytle) has been acting unpredictably since her divorce, alienating her friends of twenty-seven years, the neurotic Trudy (warmly portrayed by Lauren Elias) and sensible Hannah (Christine Dickinson, who delivers a powerful performance). Their friendship is tested as each character redraws their personal boundaries. The actresses hand in fantastic performances, but Robyn is Happy shifts from human melodrama to whacky unreality without pumping the breaks. My problem is largely with finding in what level reality the story is set. Continue reading

Oct 30

“GoreFest XV” and Its Demons

Presented by ImprovBoston
Book by Nate Lopez
Lyrics and score by Jake Cassman
Directed by Nate Lopez
Produced by Josh Garneau

October 19 – 31, 2017
ImprovBoston, 40 Prospect Street
Central Square, Cambridge, MA 02140
ImprovBoston on Facebook

Reviewed by Bishop C. Knight

(Cambridge, Massachusetts)  The cast of the horror show Gorefest XV: Horror House stars clichés such as Rich Guy, Girl Next Door, Mom Girl, Devil Girl, Overachiever Girl, Gay Guy, and Laura Dern.  They were hilariously accurate stereotypes, even Laura Dern as Laura Dern.  For example, Overachiever Girl became sulky when she placed second in a contest.  And Laura Dern screamed “Take this Academy,” as she stabbed herself with a trophy, falling to a fake death, on a stage smothered in puddles of fake blood.   Continue reading

Oct 17

A Drunken and Rowdy Roar for Sh!t-Faced Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”

Presented by Magnificent Bastard Productions
Written by William Shakespeare (possibly)
Produced by Magnificent Bastard Productions

October 14 through November 25, 2017
The Rockwell  ↭  Davis Square Theatre
255 Elm Street, Somerville, MA  02144
MBP on Facebook

Review by Bishop C. Knight

* WARNING:  nudity, inebriation, and foul language

(Somerville, Massachusetts)  Sh!t-Faced Shakespeare has ruined me.  No, I did not become an alcoholic after attending their performance of The Taming of the Shrew.  However, I now require theatre experiences where the cast enjoys themselves as much as the audience.  The easygoing actors began the evening with basically a stand-up routine that had absolutely nothing to do with English theatre, but we the patrons loved this opening act, and I am pretty sure William Shakespeare himself would have loved it too.   Continue reading

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

Jun 15

Don’t Choke on Your Spotted Dick: “Penny Penniworth: A Story of Great Good Fortune”


Presented by Titanic Theatre Company
Written by Chris Weikel
Directed by Sarah Gazdowicz

June 8 – 25, 2017
Central Square Theater Studio
450 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139
Titanic on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge, MATitanic Theatre Company’s Penny Penniworth: A Story of Great Good Fortune can be described as a summer panto minus the music, but plus a heaping spoonful of innuendo. It’s a swift, good time for adults who love classic literature (so long as they can take a joke), and refreshing summer theatre.    Continue reading

Jun 10

Reinforced with Lug Nuts: SORDID LIVES (Portland, OR)

Nikolas Hoback as Ty, Signe Larsen as Latrelle, Landy Hite as Sissy, Jennifer Lanier as Lavonda and Amanda Richards as Bitsy; Image from the OUTwright Theatre Festival Facebook page.

Presented by Fuse Theatre Ensemble and Funhouse Lounge
Part of the 2017 OUTwright Theatre Festival
Written by Del Shores
Directed and designed by Rusty Tennant

May 19 – June 11, 2017
Funhouse Lounge
Portland, Oregon
Fuse Theatre on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

A very special thank you to Fuse Theatre and Funhouse Lounge for allowing me to review their excellent production!

(Portland, OR)  Our existence is our resistance. One basic way we as minority community members can fight back against the current bullshit political crisis is by refusing to be silent or ignored. Theatre makers, we can make as much noisy, politically incorrect and socially unacceptable art. As the TCG 2017 Conference asked how we go about celebrating equity, diversity and inclusivity, I gathered by people. We ran across the bridge to Fuse Theatre’s production of Sordid Lives.

Continue reading

Jun 02

An Introvert’s Nightmare: RIPCORD

© Photo: T. Charles Erickson

Presented by Huntington Theatre Co.
By David Lindsay-Abaire
Directed by Jessica Stone
Original music by Mark Bennett
Choreography by Misha Shields

May 26 – June 25, 2017
South End
Calderwood Pavilion of the Arts
Boston, MA
Huntington on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MATimes are not good right now in America. It’s hard being a freedom loving, feminist, liberal during a reign of political terror. Thank goodness there’s escapist theatre that warms the heart and only lightly pings the brain. Ripcord at the Huntington Theatre is just such a show. It isn’t high art. It isn’t activist art. It is a reminder that none of us are free until we’re all free. Continue reading