Sep 12

Hoping That the Next Leap Will Be Their Leap Home: “Constellations”

Nael Nacer & Marianna Bassham in CONSTELLATIONS. Photo: A.R. Sinclair Photography

Presented by Underground Railway Theater
Written by Nick Payne
Directed by Scott Edmiston

Sept. 7 – Oct. 8, 2017
Central Square Theater
Cambridge, MA
CST on Facebook
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Review by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge, MA) The ancient Greek believed that bees were the messengers of the Gods. Bees could divine the future, and acted as emissaries to Olympus. Keeping bees was and still is a sensitive vocation. It requires a gentle hand and a hardy constitution. Human beings require bees to live, but not vice versa. Continue reading

Sep 11

Too Much of a Good Thing is Just Wonderful: Why Have One Thing “Or,” the Other When You Can Have It All?

Photo by Chelsea Ruscio.

Presented by Maiden Phoenix and Simple Machine
By Liz Duffy Adams
Directed by Adrienne Boris
September 8 – September 23, 2017

Chelsea Theatre Works
189 Winnismmet Street
Chelsea, MA 02150
OR the play on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Chelsea, MA) I sometimes think going to a play is a bit like going to a party where you know nobody at all, save for the person you bring with you. Sometimes, the party can leave you feeling adrift and awkward in your own skin. Other times, you meet some funny, clever people you never expected to meet. They are delighted to include you, for an hour or so (or an eighty minute run time without intermission), in the intimate secrets of their lives and draw you close with the honesty only complete strangers would dare to share with you. The sweet, hilarious, and deliciously bawdy “Or,” is such a party. I recommend attending as soon as possible in order to enjoy the yarn spun between Kaylyn Bancroft (Nell Gwynne/Lady Davenant/Maria/A Jailer), Michael Poignand (as slimily charming King Charles II and charmingly slimy William Scott, divided by a common language with different annunciation) and Anna Waldron (Aphra Behn). Continue reading

Sep 05

Witchcraft, Politics and Womanhood: “The Weird”

Photo credit: Nile Hawver/Nile Scott Shots

Presented by Off the Grid Theatre Company
Written by Kirsten Greenidge, Obehi Janice, Lila Rose Kaplan, and John Kuntz
Directed by Steven Bogart

September 1-16, 2017
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
527 Tremont St. Boston, MA
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Review by Polly Goss

(Boston, MA)The Weird is the latest devised piece from Off the Grid Theatre Company. Artistic Director Alexis Scheer, invited 4 different Boston based writers to compose pieces that tackle the intersection between belief in witchcraft and politics. An ambitious and intriguing premise, which unfortunately The Weird does not fulfill. The Weird`s cast includes many talented actors, who do a good job of adding authenticity to the often fragmented writing. However the chaotic and incoherent writing, means the show ultimately fails to tackle any one theme in depth and leaves the audience feeling unsatisfied and underwhelmed. Continue reading

Jun 21

Heaven Has Thin Walls: “Los Meadows”

Robert Cope and Gale Argentine in Boston Public Works’ production. (Courtesy Paul Fox/Boston Public Works)

Presented by Boston Public Works Theater Company
Written by Laura Neubauer
Directed by Olivia D’Ambrosio

June 16 – July 1, 2017
Blackbox, South End / BCA Plaza Theatres
Boston, MA
BPWT on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warning for drug use, and sharp, loud noises.

(Boston, MA) Some adults who identify as homeless choose to be there. This doesn’t account for all of them, merely some of the population. These people who do choose to live on the streets, or off the grid are still people. They deserve compassion, and respect. Boston forgets that. People forget that. Los Meadows helps us remember our shared humanity. Continue reading

Jun 10

Blood on the Snow: A journey back in time to Boston’s bloody beginnings

The Cast of Blood on the Snow. Photo by Justin Saglio.

Presented by The Bostonian Society
Written by Patrick Gabridge
Directed by Courtney O’Connor

June 1 – August 20, 2017
The Old State House
Boston, MA
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Review by Polly Goss

(Boston, MA) It is March 6, 1770, bloodshed, discontent and rebellion bubbles in the air. Four Bostonians lie dead on the streets outside the Council Chamber and British soldiers are held responsible. The people of Boston are sick of British rule, the soldiers and their taxes – they want them out. Inside Governor Hutchinson is faced with an impossible choice: defy his King, or defend his country? This site specific play takes the audience back in time to a forgotten night that helped shaped the course of, not only the city’s history, but the world’s. Blood on the Snow sold out at its world premiere last Spring and returns to The Old State House in Boston this summer. O’Connor’s naturalistic direction is spot on, allowing the audience to be unnoticed voyeurs alongside the table where history was made. Continue reading

May 19

Poverty is Not an Indication of Criminality: “Jesus Hopped the A Train”

Photo credit: Alex Aroyan — with Danny Mourino, Dawn Davis, Harry Garo and Daniel Boudreau.

Presented by Praxis Stage
By Stephen Adly Guirgis
Directed by Dayenne C. Byron Walters & Daniel Boudreau

May 4 – 21, 2017
Dorchester Art Project
Dorchester, MA (across from the Field’s Corner T stop)
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Review by Kitty Drexel

(Dorchester, MA) The law isn’t interested in justice. It’s purpose is to execute “due process” as cheaply and swiftly as possible. It is historically, contemporarily, and immediately evident that the law performs based on the golden rule: he with the most gold (and the whitest skin) rules. Poverty means that an innocent man can spend the rest of his life in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. People of color get fucked by the legal system regularly. Praxis Stage’s Jesus Hopped the A Train isn’t fiction. It’s non-fiction utilizing fiction to blast unfortunate truths. Continue reading

May 12

“I, Snowflake” Attempts to Catch the World on Fire

Photo found on Anthem’s Facebook page.

Devised and presented by Anthem Theatre Company
Conceived, written and directed by Bryn Boice

May 11 – 14, 2017
Charlestown Working Theater
Charlestown, Massachusetts
Anthem on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) I, Snowflake is an airing of grief. It’s a response to the triumph of a boldly and casually racist America that was always there, like groundwater nourishing the trees. In fragmented pieces—commuters loudly reacting to headlines on a train, a café of women discussing the importance of their diets and dates, a family circle miming eating—we are given a portrait of a moment in our shared history. And that moment is raw and tender as an exposed nerve.  Continue reading

May 10

“La Llorona”: Myth, Music, and Motherhood

Photo by Paul Fox

Presented by Fresh Ink Theatre
By Cecelia Raker
Directed by Stephanie LeBolt
Music Composition by Geraldine Barney

May 5-20, 2017
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
949 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
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Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) Mythologies can become difficult to trace and define as stories change from generation to generation. In a Fresh Ink Theatre premier production, playwright Cecelia Raker attempts to give life to the myth of a mourning mother in the multi-genre, multicultural play La Llorona. Continue reading

May 09

Squirrel for Your Thoughts: OTP’s “Fear Project”


Presented by Open Theatre Project
Created by Lynda Backman, Molly Gilbert, Zahra A. Belyea, Sarah Jacobs, Rosie Mcinnes, Robin Abrahams, Hal Halper, J. Deschene, Lydia Jane Graeff, Athena-Gwendolyn Baptiste
Directed by Lynda Bachman and Molly Gilbert

April 28 – May 13, 2017
St. John’s Church
Jamaica Plain, MA
OTP on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Jamaica Plain, MA) OTP’s Fear Project tells human stories of insecurity and fragility. It is comprised in two halves of short vignettes strung to make a unified narrative. They slowly reveal the interconnected fears of an estranged brother and sister struggling to maintain their family ties. They suffer their secrets alone even as they project the same fears. Continue reading

May 05

When History Comes Alive: “The Trial of Anthony Burns”

Image found on Theatre Espresso’s Facebook page

Presented by Theatre Espresso
Wendy Lement, Producer
Shelley Bolman, Artistic Director
Kortney Adams, Managing Director
May 4th, 2017
Faneuil Hall
Theatre Espresso on Facebook

This play was commissioned by “Discovering Justice: The James D. St. Clair Court Education Project.”

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) Theatre Espresso is an incredible company with a mission that has become more important now than ever: to make history come alive and, through this, to engage young people in active and potent civil discourse.The Trial of Anthony BurnsThe rare opportunity to see one of Theatre Espresso’s shows was an exquisite treat, and I only wish that the public could see more of their pieces. Continue reading