May 27

They stole her body and the pants off a white man: “Our Lady of 121st Street”

image via https://www.facebook.com/LABTheaterCo

Presented by LAByrinth Theater Company
Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis
Directed by Elizabeth Rodriguez
Stage Directions read by David Deblinger

Performed on Saturday, May 23 @ 8PM
A Zoom performance

LAByrinth Theater Company
Cherry Lane Theatre
38 Commerce Street
New York, NY 10014
LAB on Facebook
LAB on Instagram

Holy cats, DONATE!

Critique by Kitty Drexel

“Hang on because it’s gonna be dope.” – From the pre-performance speech by Elizabeth Rodriguez.

ZOOM — This production is made available to viewers as a part of LAByrinth Theater Company’s desire to continue existing past the coronavirus pandemic. If you viewed this production and you are able, please donate to LAByrinth Theater. Donate now so theatre can exist later.

Directors must stop apologizing for their Zoom readings. Our Lady of 121st Street’s triumphant director Elizabeth Rodriguez is not the first to apologize to a Zoom audience. If I had my druthers, she would be the last. It’s unfair to the cast and crew who have put so much energy into the performance. Now is not the time to apologize for variables spinning mundanity far beyond our control. There is no set precedent for corona-times streaming theatre.  We’re inventing the genre. Mistakes and minor emergencies are part of the fun of live theatre. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Feb 07

Pride & Shame Are Brothers: “Sweat”

Presented by Huntington Theatre Company
By Lynn Nottage
Directed by Kimberleigh Senior
Original music & sound design by Pornchanok Kanchanabanca
Fight direction by Ted Hewlett

Jan. 31 – March 1, 2020
Huntington Avenue Theatre
Boston, MA
Huntington Theatre Co on Facebook

Content warnings: This production includes the smoking of cocoa shell cigarettes (100% nicotine-free). It contains themes of drug use, drug addiction, alcoholism, and homelessness.

Trigger warnings: racial and gender microaggressions, intentional bigotry, sexism, racism, graphic violence, implied drug use, exploitation of a disabled person, and Republican politics

The Huntington Theatre Company website says that those who are interested in more information should please reach out to Ticketing Services at 617 266 0800.

Critique by Kitty Drexel

Boston, MA — Lynn Nottage’s Sweat won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. After reading in in 2017 and seeing it live last night, it is not difficult to understand why. Sweat balances gender, race, and class discrimination issues like a well-crafted dagger. This art represents the struggling people of Reading, PA that Nottage interviewed to write her play. It gives insight into the dangers of unchecked greed while commenting on the political events that provoked into a capitalist fury. Sweat has you in the palm of its metaphorical hand… And then it drops you on your ass. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Feb 04

“boom”: An End or A Beginning?

Nicholas Yenson* & Chloe Nosan as “Jules” and “Jo.”
Photo by Maggie Hall

Presented by Wellesley Repertory Theatre
By Peter Sinn Nachtrieb
Directed by Marta Rainer
With Nicholas Yenson, Chloe Nosan, Stephanie Clayman

January 16 – February 9, 2020
Ruth Nagel Jones Theatre
Wellesley College
Wellesley , MA 02481
WRT on Facebook

Review by Shiyanbade Animashaun

Wellesley, MA — The set for boom is a tank reminiscent of a gallery or museum exhibit, with assorted instruments set to the left. As it starts, Stephanie Clayman’s  (“Barbara”) crosses the stage in a jumpsuit and overcoat. Shortly thereafter,  Nicholas Yenson ( “Jules”) and Chloe Nosan (“Jo”) robotically take to the stage, arranged as an underground bunker. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Feb 04

Children Are People: “Wolf Play”

L-R_ Inés de la Cruz, Minh-Anh Day, Greg Maraio, Adrian Peguero; Photo by Andrew James Wang.

Presented by Company One
By Hansol Jung
Directed by Summer L. Williams
Dramaturgy by Ilana M. Brownstein
Fight choreography by Jessica Scout Malone
Boxing consultations by Kimberleigh A. Holman

January 30 – February 29, 2020
Boston Public Library
Rabb Hall
Central Library in Copley Square
Boston, MA
C1 on Facebook

All Tickets are Pay-What-You-Want

Critique by Kitty Drexel

SPOILER ALERT

Trigger warnings: child abuse, physical violence, bigotry

Boston, MA — Wolf Play made me so angry I wanted to punch a philosopher. There is so much going wrong in Wolf Play. Good people do not sell or purchase children from the internet. They do immediately contact child services when they discover parents attempting to sell their adopted child. They do contact organizations working on behalf of exploited children. They do not attempt to liberate a child on their own because the US’s messed up legal system thinks that LGBTQ+ adults aren’t fit to raise kids. I know it’s pretend but it’s based on fact. The adults caught up in these actions are telling themselves that they are still good people. They are not. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Feb 03

“Pass Over”: Repetition and Resonance

The cast at a friendly picnic. The cops were called. Photo by Nile Scott Studio.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
Written by Antoinette Nwandu
Directed by Monica White Ndounou
With Kadahj Bennett, Hubens “Bobby” Cius, Lewis D. Wheeler

January 3 – Feb. 2, 2020
Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts
SpeakEasy on Facebook
The Front Porch on Facebook

Review by Shiyanbade Animashaun

Boston, MA — When directed to their seats, audience members were asked to stay clear of the stage. Set in-the-round, the four seating sections surrounded a square with an off-center lamp post and brick. Soon the direction became clear as Kadahj Bennett (Moses) and Hubens “Bobby” Cius (Kitch) took to the stage in the pre-show moments, with interactions that foreshadowed the events of the play. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Jan 31

Extraordinary Acts of Intersectional Feminism: “Gloria: A Life”

Presented by American Repertory Theatre
By Emily Mann
Directed by Diane Paulus
The cast includes Patricia Kalember as Gloria Steinem with Gabrielle Beckford, Joanna Glushak, Patrena Murray, Erika Stone, Brenda Withers, and Eunice Wong. Rachel Cognata is the swing.

January 24 – March 1, 2020
Loeb Drama Center
Cambridge, MA 
ART on Facebook

Critique by Kitty Drexel

People say ‘beware!’
But I don’t care
The words are just
Rules and regulations to me, me”
 “Gloria” by Patti Smith

Cambridge, MA — Gloria Steinem is creating the world she wants to see. She is a multi-generational, intersectional feminist activist, an unflinching journalist, and a courageous journalist. Steinem is kind, compassionate, persistent, patient, and she wants a better world for all of us. The human population is damn lucky to have her fighting on our side. She is one of my personal heroes. 

Gloria: A Life by Emily Mann invites us to participate in the events of Steinem’s life as the unfold onstage. A performance feels like watching the text of Steinem’s My Life On the Road leap off the page. (The book is great! I highly recommend it.) Both are about Steinem’s personal life and career. The greatest difference between Mann’s play and the book is that the play invites the audience into Steinem’s head. Steinem is no longer at a distance. We’re allowed to celebrate and grieve with her in realtime.    Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Jan 27

Climate Terrors: “The Last Catastrophist”

Evelyn Holley as Marina and Shanelle Chloe Villegas as Lucia (L to R). Photo by Paul Fox.

Presented by Fresh Ink Theatre Company
By David Valdes
Directed by Sarah Gazdowicz
Dramaturgy by Sarah Schnebly
Fight choreography by Marge Dunn

January 24 – February 8, 2020
Plaza Black Box Theatre
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Fresh Ink on Facebook

Critique by Kitty Drexel

Boston, MA — The opening of The Last Catastrophist coincides with a news update saying that the current president will repeal Obama era environmental protections for streams, wetlands, and groundwater. Repealing these measures is a step backwards from preventing the devastating effects of climate change on US lands. What small matter is clean, public drinking water so long as his precious golf courses are green? One can’t possibly spend one of every five working days golfing on his private business estates without golf courses greener than envy.

Water is life. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Jan 24

“The Shadow Whose Prey The Hunter Becomes”

Presented by ArtsEmerson
Created by Back to Back Theatre, Australia
Authored by Michael Chan, Mark Deans, Bruce Gladwin, Simon Laherty, Sarah Mainwaring, Scott Price, Sonia Teuben
Directed by Bruce Gladwin
Composed by Luke Howard Trio – Daniel Farrugia, Luke Howard, Jonathon Zion
Performed by Michael Chan, Simon Laherty, Sarah Mainwaring, Scott Price

Jan. 23–26, 2020
Emerson Paramount Center’s Jackie Liebergott Black Box
559 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02111
ArtsEmerson on Facebook 

Critique by Kitty Drexel

Boston, MA —  One of the ignoble truths of living as a disabled person is that people stare. People stare at us because we’re different. They stare because they can. Performance is one way that disabled people wrestle back control. We get to choose when people stare at us. It is liberating.

In Back to Back Theatre’s The Shadow Whose Prey The Hunter Becomes, the disabled cast wants you to stare so they can stare back. And when they do, they do not flinch. I’d wager good money that Thursday night’s audience has never had their gaze turned back on them. Witnessing this was deliciously rewarding. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Jan 23

Bickering is A Language of Love: “We All Fall Down”

Presented by Huntington Theatre Company
by Lila Rose Kaplan
Directed by Melia Bensussen
Jan. 10 – Feb. 15, 2020
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Boston, MA
Huntington on Facebook

Critique by Kitty Drexel

“Ring-a-round the rosie,
A pocket full of posies,
Ashes! Ashes!
We all fall down.” – Traditional song (American version)

Boston, MA — We All Fall Down is a family portrait that examines clashing egos during a period of family dilemma. The Stein family isn’t talking to each other. In their defense, they aren’t listening either. It’s Passover. Everyone has an agenda and none of them correspond. We All Fall Down is about the power we give denial. The stronger the denial, the tauter the family bond. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Jan 17

Calling the Police Over a Picnic:”Pass Over”

Photo by Nile Scott Studios; Lewis D. Wheeler, Kadahj Bennett, Hubens “Bobby” Cius

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Co. with The Front Porch Arts Collective
By Antoinette Nwandu
Directed by Monica White Ndounou
Fight choreography by Brandon G. Green
Movement coaching by Mila Thigpen
Dramaturgy by Pascale Florestal

January 3 – Feb. 2, 2020
Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts
SpeakEasy on Facebook
The Front Porch on Facebook

Critique by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warning: white guilt, language, fuck the police

(Boston, MA) The sheer volume of what one must understand as true regardless of personal belief in order to not merely understand but thoroughly digest Antoinette Nwandu’s Pass Over at SpeakEasy Stage is overwhelming. The role that white people play in perpetuating racism’s systemic horrorshow machinations against Black people (and all people of color) is astounding.

Here is a list of links containing basic concepts that could be helpful. 

  • It is not the responsibility of Black people to explain racism or to convince white people that it exists. 
  • Being nice isn’t the same as not being racist. Racist people are nice all of the time. Nice people are racist all the time.
  • Black friends won’t make a white person less racist. Dismantling internalized racism requires a lifetime of work.  
  • It should go without saying that Black people want equality. They don’t want to reverse their treatment at the hands of white people back onto white people. 
  • Racism is about power. Reverse racism doesn’t exist. 
  • White people have to stop taking personally Black resistance to oppression.  
  • All of this information is a Google search away. 

Continue reading

Share with Your Audience