(Cambridge, MA) Communicating the swift wit of a Jane Austen story is sometimes lost in an adaptation of her work. What better metaphor for the pace and quick gossip of polite society than a stage where all the furniture has wheels and actors move across it with the precision of a ballet? Bedlam, in its own words, “creates works of theatre that reinvigorate traditional forms in a flexible, raw space.” This adaptation is as kinetic and flexible as described, but it works best when its uses its techniques to highlight Austen’s source material, not when they try to rely on special effects. Continue reading →
(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 →
(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 →
(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 →
(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 →
(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 →
(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 →
(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 →
(Cambridge, MA) Titanic 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 →
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.