Jul 29

Ritual, Community and Baring Your Soul with Strangers: “(Tr)auma Queen: Feeling Spilt Milk, OR a series of experimental poetry to escape the shape of doorframes, also known as, a ritual of lemons”

production poster found on FringePVD website. this poster is badass.

Presented by FringePVD and The Wilbury Theatre Group
By and Featuring Teddy Lytle and Bay McCulloch

July 21 – 23, 2022
The Waterfire Arts Center Back Lot
475 Valley St,
Providence, RI

45 minutes without intermission

Review by Nicole LaBresh

PROVIDENCE, RI – When I think of Fringe, at the forefront of the word salad it conjures is “vulnerability.” Fringe in particular brings out the most intensely personal, soul-baring works. It does so largely by allowing artists free reign to put on whatever show they want. It is, among other things, a festival of works from the heart.

For the uninitiated, the Fringe Festival is a theatre festival devoted to experimental or fringe theatre works. It got its start in Edinburgh, but now has chapters all over the world, including one in Providence presented by The Wilbury Theatre Group, now in its ninth year. At a Fringe, you will see works the likes of which you probably have never seen before and that you may never see again. The performances range from poetry to music, dance to clownery, and things that defy any categorization. After two years without a live Fringe Festival because of COVID-19, local artists have a ton of pent up expression ready to be unleashed. Continue reading

Apr 23

God Is Change: “Octavia E. Butler’s The Parable of the Sower”

Presented by ArtsEmerson
Created by Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon
Co-Directed by Eric Ting & Signe V. Harriday 
Music and Lyrics by Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon 
Music Direction by Toshi Reagon  
Choreography by Millicent Johnnie 
Movement Director: Yasmine Lee 
Performed by Marie Tatti Aqeel, Alina Carson, Helga Davis, Kyle Garvin, Jared Wayne Gladly, Toussaint Jeanlouis, Karma Mayet Johnson, Morley Kamen, Alexandra Koi, Josette Newsam, Shelley Nicole, Toshi Reagon, Noah Virgile, Evie Schuckman Orchestra Monique Brooks Roberts, Zach Brown, Bobby Burke, Fred Cash, Jr., Chogyi, Matt Graff 
Orchestra: Monique Brooks Roberts, Zach Brown, Bobby Burke, Fred Cash, Jr., Chogyi, Matt Graff

April 21 – 24, 2022  
Open Captioning: Fri, April 22 @ 8:00 PM
American Sign Language: Sun April, 24 @ 2:00 PM
Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre 
219 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02116

Recommended for Ages 13+  

Running Time: 120 minutes, no intermission 

Please Note: Proof of vaccination or a negative test is required for entry

Critique by Kitty Drexel

“All that you touch
You Change.
All that you Change
Changes you.
The only lasting truth
Is Change.
God
Is Change.”
Earthseed, Lauren Olamina in The Parable of the Sower

BOSTON, Mass. — The audience was small on Thursday night but grateful. We’d waited over two years to see Toshi Reagon’s Octavia E. Butler’s The Parable of the Sower. The air was palpable with anticipation. We had each other to talk to and other excited conversations to easedrop on. When the theatre held the house lights for an extra 20 minutes to allow late audience members to straggle in, we were okay with it. 

When the lights finally dimmed to signal the start of the show, a hush fell over us. Finally, after all this waiting, it was time for church. 

Octavia E. Butler’s The Parable of the Sower is an opera adapted by Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon from the Afro-futurist science fiction writer Octavia E. Butler’s novel The Parable of the Sower.  The ArtsEmerson website says it is “a genre-defying, modern congregational opera that celebrates two centuries of Black music.”  Continue reading

Mar 22

Loves, Losses and Transformations: “The Raft”

Curtis and Bellingham

Presented by Club Passim
Written by Rebecca Bellingham
Music by Catie Curtis
With special guest Rose Polanzani

Live and Streamed: April 20, 2022
Club Passim
47 Palmer St
Cambridge, MA 02138

Review by Maegan Clearwood

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The marketing language for the musical The Raft likens Rebecca Bellingham’s writing process to piecing together a tapestry: 25-years’ worth of threads, from journal entries to emails to text messages, woven into a singular, sprawling story. But the more-or-less finished product, presented as a workshop reading at Club Passim, feels more like a quilt: distinct stories from two distinct lives that aren’t so much intertwined as they are lovingly stitched at the seams. Continue reading

May 24

2Life Communities Presented “L’Chaim 2 Life!” Virtual Concert on May 23

Photo of Skybell in “Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish” provided by 2Life Communities.

Presented by 2Life Communities
Hosted by Amy Schectman 
Dramaturgy interview with Dr. Barbara Wallace Grossman
Featuring vocalist Steven Skybell, Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish and music director and Tony Award-nominated composer Zalmen Mlotek.
Fiddler in Yiddish online

May 23, 2021 at 11 AM
Streamed via private YouTube link
Boston, MA and New York, NY

Review by Kitty Drexel

YouTube — On May 23 at 11 AM, 2Life Communities and host 2Life Communities President and CEO Amy Schectman celebrated universal themes of community, tradition and life with their virtual, fundraising concert L’Chaim 2Life.”  Broadway notables, performer Steven Skybell and composer Zalmen Mlotek, performed selections from their Off-Broadway hit production Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish Continue reading

Jan 28

“Remaking America”: What does that look like?

Presented by Company One Theatre
Plays written by Inda Craig-Galván, Francisca Da Silveira, and Idris Goodwin
Directed by Pascale Florestal, India Nicole Burton, Sarah Shin
Dramaturgy by Elena Morris, Jessica Scout Malone, Ilana M. Brownstein
Featuring Adrian Peguero, Ireon Roach, Mal Malme, Micah Rosegrant and Regine Vital
For participant bios, action steps, and additional resources, visit our website at https://companyone.org/remaking-america

Tuesday, 26 January 2021
Available on YOUTUBE 
Company One Theatre Facebook page

Review by Afrikah Smith

YOUTUBE — Using their platform to bring awareness to issues that impact Bostonians amid the coronavirus, Company One presented Remaking America: An Inaugural Message to the New Administration on January 26.

A night filled with art and conversation, C1 presented three commissioned short plays by Surge Lab playwrights, Inda Craig-Galván, Francisca Da Silveira, and Idris Goodwin; all who focused their plays on issues on access to housing, mental health, and education. An address to the new Biden-Harris administration, it is with the utmost importance that they acknowledge these issues affected by the pandemic and recent events. Continue reading

Jan 11

We Love to Hear It: “the motown project”

Alicia Hall Moran

Via the Under the Radar Festival 2021
Conceived, arranged, and performed by Alicia Hall Moran
Presented by Joe’s Pub
Part of Joe’s Pub New York Voices Commission
Executive Producer: Thomas O. Kriegsmann / ArKtype
Featuring:  Thomas Flippin (guitar), Steven Herring (vocals), Barrington Lee (vocals), Jason Moran (piano), and Reggie Washington (bass) in collaboration with choreographer Amy Hall Garner

Production Program 
January 8 – 17, 2021
The Public Theater YouTube Channel
Public Theater on Facebook

Critique by Kitty Drexel

YouTube — Opera singers can sing anything.

Twelve years ago I took an audition course at London’s ArtsEd summer school as part of my then year-long transition from singing opera to musical theatre. On the first day, like with so any courses of its ilk, the instructors had the students sing for each other. I sang a Kurt Weill piece to show off my legit voice with the intention of following up with a mixed belt/character piece should the instructors request it.  Continue reading

Nov 05

Marching with my anger and my grief: “Notes on Me & You”

Produced as part of the Hartford Theatre Festival 
Created by Dawson Atkin and N.J. Collay
Performed by Sam Vana

October 9 – November 9, 2020
Hartford Fringe Festival 
https://www.hartfordfringefestival.org/
Hartford Fringe on Vimeo

Review by Kitty Drexel 

Vimeo/Hartford, CT — I write this review from the floor of the 4 bedroom apartment that I share with my brilliant, non-binary wife and our two housemates in Somerville, MA. I’m at my wife’s feet and as they work on COVID-19 science for a Cambridge lab. We’re both attacking work job projects with an unnecessary focus because we’d otherwise be rage scrolling Twitter for 2020 election news updates. Biden is in the lead while the Narcissist in Chief refuses to accept his electoral losses. 

Trump hates the LGBTQ+ community. His administration’s repeated attacks on us prove it. His vice president supports conversion therapy. 

Trump hates Black, Brown, and Asian people.

He hates immigrants. 

He hates disabled people. 

He hates everyone who isn’t him. He hates everyone who doesn’t worship in the cult of his narcissism. He’s allowing them to die from a highly contagious virus that there is no cure for. History is repeating itself. 

Why does he hate us so much? We just want to live.

Fifty percent of the US is voting for this hateful man. Even when Biden wins and finally takes the White House with Harris, it will be impossible to know who to trust just like it was in 2016. 

Reagan hated the LGBTQ+ community with such a passion that he let us die by the tens of thousands from the “gay plague” in the 1980s. His administration was indifferent to our deaths during the AIDS crisis. Reagan’s inaction was historically captured for posterity and was made into art: The Normal Heart, Angels in America, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and now Atkin and Collay’s Notes on Me & You currently at the Hartford Fringe Festival.   Continue reading

Jul 13

“Pride Marches On” is a Digital Showcase

Presented by Company One Theatre
Hosted by (and Featuring a Performance By) Neon Calypso
Poetry by Nico Pang
“Permission” Written by Kirsten Greenidge
Directed by Josh Glenn-Kayden
Performed by Tatiana Isabel Gil & Hayley Spivey
Technical Production by Mads Massey

Performance on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOyjh79VsEo
Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/companyone/

Review by Chloé Cunha

YOUTUBE — Pride – and just about everything else – may have been canceled this year, but leave it to the queer community to rally anyway and keep the show going. “Pride Marches On” is a digital showcase of a few different art forms, featuring poetry from Nico Pang, a play by Kirsten Greenidge, and a drag performance from Neon Calypso, who doubles as host for the show. It’s a short, fun and politically engaging piece of media for anyone who needs a break from their Netflix binge (be honest, you’re probably getting into some obscure territory by now anyway). Continue reading

Jun 28

Tranquility isn’t Bliss: “Reagan Esther Myer”

Photo taken by the Queen Geek; oh look, a room full of nightmares.

Presented by Rebecca Kopycinski
Mixing and video art by Michael Dewberry

June 27 – 30, 2019
Center for the Arts at the Armory
191 Highland Ave
Somerville, MA
Instagram It

Critique by Kitty Drexel

 “WARNING! You exhibit symptoms of a glitched ThotBot. An ULTRA Operative has been deployed to reboot your operating system. Avoid contact with other Bots until you have been successfully rebooted.”  – ThotBot.me, http://thotbot.me/glitch.html on 6/28/2019.

SOMERVILLE, Mass. — The ThotBot Implantation Center fliers are all over Camberville. An acquaintance assumed they were for a cult. No, they are for Reagan Esther Myer, a one-woman, multimedia, performance art concert about a dystopian future in which The Ultra leads through thought-control and nearly all human brains rely on tech to retain peace of mind. In these days of Texas concentration camps and selling your gold for cash, this science fiction drama isn’t at all far fetched.    Continue reading

Dec 10

Ethos of Old World fables: “A Story Beyond”

Presented by Liars & Believers
Written by Jason Slavick and Rachel Wiese
Music and Lyrics by Nathan Leigh
Directed by Jason Slavick and Faye Dupras

Dec 6 – Dec 22, 2018
Boston Center for the Arts Plaza Theatre
539 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02116
Liars & Believers on Facebook

Review by Diana Lu 

(Boston, MA) A Story Beyond is a reimagined fable inspired by various European folklores. This new musical tells the story of a young girl, Maya, who makes a dangerous and fantastical journey to figure out how to save her village from a dark cloud that threatens to turn everyone she loves into lead. Maya’s story is told through puppets, shadow puppets, mask theatre, and a two-person band. Other folk tales are interwoven with the main plot like a Spokane. Continue reading