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 26

Jan. 22 Weekend Roundup: “The Race” & “Shrike”

The Race presented by the Wilbury Theatre Group
By Mark Binder
Directed by Brien Lang
Original music by Nikita Zabinski
Featuring Jim O’Brien, Rodney Eric López, and Jennifer Mischley
January 15 -31, 2021
Performances via Zoom
Tickets

Shrike 
Written by Erin Lerch
Directed by Josh Glenn-Kayden
Sunday, January 24 and Sunday, February 7 at 2PM
Performances via Zoom
Tickets

Review by Kitty Drexel

ZOOM — Over the weekend, we took in two New England productions. The Wilbury Theatre Group presents an interactive mindbender: The Race runs now through January 31. Fresh Ink Theatre presents readings for feedback of Shrike. Its next performance is on Sunday, February 7 at 2PM.  

Geek staff writer Gillian Daniels previously wrote about The Race HERE. Her response is accurate, thoughtful. There is not much more to add since Daniels’ review captures the experience so well. Folx that enjoyed Arlekin Players Theatre’s State vs. Natasha Banina will enjoy The Race. Continue reading

Jan 12

Lose Your American Appetite for War: “Disclaimer” at Under the Radar 2021

Ahmadinejad in the stage version of “Disclaimer.” Photography by Maria Baranova.

Presented by the The Public Theater 
The Under the Radar Festival
Written by Tara Ahmadinejad
Created by Piehole
Co-directed by Tara Ahmadinejad and Jeff Wood
Dramaturgy by Heidi Davis
Performed by Tara Ahmadinejad with Hassan Nazari-Robati with special guests
Other credits

January 11 – January 17, 2021
Via the Public Theater YouTube channel
Public Theater on Facebook

My sincere apologies to The Public and to Piehole for this review’s tardiness. Personal tragedy prevented me from completing my review in a timely manner. 

Review by Kitty Drexel

Disclaimer: This LIVE in-Zoom event contains propaganda, vague promises of Persian food, minimally invasive audience participation, and (gasp) MURDER.

ZOOM — Piehole’s Disclaimer is a new work only in that it has never been performed over Zoom. It lived onstage last year for the 2020 Under the Radar Festival in New York City. It was workshopped in 2019.

Disclaimer is a live-cooking tutorial over Zoom. Chef Nargis (Tara Ahmadinejad) and Sous chef “juuls are cuul” Hassan (Hassan Nazari-Robati) teach their audience to make Sabzi Polo, a yummy sounding Iranian rice dish made with butter, dried fenugreek leaves, garlic, saffron, and other ingredients. Our chef tells us about Iranian family life, culture, and plunges down a rabbithole of Iranian/US politics as she cooks. 

The cooking doesn’t go as intended. Chef Nargis is distracted by the state of Iran’s tenuous relationship with the US despite Hassan’s gentle yet insistent redirecting back to the recipe. Nargis is worried that the US will go to war with Iran. It is never the politicians who make war who suffer. No, it is the people of the land who pay the price when demagogues play King Continue reading

Jan 09

Into the Grey Space: “Capsule” at the Under the Radar Festival

Presented by the Public Theater
A part of the Under the Radar Festival 
By Whitney White and Peter Mark Kendall 
Directed and Produced by Taibi Magar & Tyler Dobrowsky
Original text and music, Whitney White and Peter Mark Kendall
Director of photography: Jess Coles
Editing by Josiah Davis, Lowell Thomas
Sound design by Broken Chord, Lee Kinney

January 6, 7:00PM – January 17, 11:59 PM EST
The Public Theater on YouTube
New York, NY 10003
Public Theater on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

YouTube – The emotional violence inherent in White & Kendall’s pandemic-diary, fringe film Capusule reminds me of the car crash scene from 1975’s Mahagony. Diana Ross and Anthony Perkins (of Psycho fame) star in this movie about haute fashion, modeling and the heart’s desires. Perkins, a narcissistic photographer with mommy-issues, crashes a cherry red convertible into a construction site with the incomparable Ross and he in it. She, our hero, eventually leaves Perkins and her promising career for a politician played by Billy Dee Williams. The writing in this movie is not clever. 

Continue reading

Dec 28

Williamstown Theatre Festival Releases “Animals” & “Chonburi International Hotel & Butterfly Club” on Audible.com


Williamstown Theatre Festival 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/wtfestival
Insta: www.instagram.com/wtfestival
Twitter: www.twitter.com/wtfest

Audible/theater titles
Facebook: www.facebook.com/audibletheater
Insta: www.instagram.com/audibletheater
Twitter: www.twitter.com/audibletheater

Reviews by Kitty Drexel

AUDIBLE — Williamstown Theatre Festival and Audible present Animals by Stacy Osei-Kuffour beginning on December 17. Chonburi International Hotel & Butterfly Club by Shakina Nayfack is available starting tomorrow, December 29. We were given access to both early in order to write these reviews. 

Thank you to the Williamstown Theatre Festival for the advanced access!
Happy New Year, everyone! We’ll see you in 2021.

Best,
Kitty Drexel, the Queen Geek


Written by Stacy Osei-Kuffour 
Directed by Whitney White
sound design by Fan Zhang
Assistant direction by Tyler Thomas
Featuring: Madeline Brewer (Coleen), Jason Butler Harner (Henry), William Jackson Harper
(Yaw/Jason), and Aja Naomi King (Lydia)

Summary: Lydia (Aja Naomi King) and Henry (Jason Butler Harner) and their dinner guests Colleen & Yaw/Jason (Madeline Brewer and William Jackson Harper) are having a contentious evening. They’re constantly arguing about minor details, fragile egos are consistently bruised, and the wine bottle remains uncorked. Unspoken insecurities and dark secrets are revealed after Henry proposes to Lydia. Animals attempts to examine why marriage and relationships bring out the best and worst in people. This play has themes of race, class, gender, cancel culture, identity, and familial bondage. Continue reading

Dec 15

“The Race” Plays with Interactivity and Corporate Dystopia

Workshop Presented by The Wilbury Theatre Group
Written by Mark Binder
Directed by Brien Lang
Original Music by Nikita Zabinski
Stage Management by Shoshana Adler

December 4 & 6, 2020
Live on Zoom
Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

ZOOM — Have you ever had the wild urge to play a first-person shooter and hefting a gun that ends the lives of digital characters? No? What about being granted the power to give or take away their livelihood? With The Race, a piece workshopped earlier this month by The Wilbury Theatre Group, you’re given almost all the abilities of a faceless tribunal to do just that! It’s an engaging work of theater constructed to utilize Zoom. It’s also difficult, upsetting, and timely. Continue reading

Nov 24

One Comedy, One Drama, Both Based in Reality: New Rep’s Showstopper Virtual Play Series

Showstopper Virtual Play Series
Presented by New Rep Theatre
Premieres by Alexis Scheer and Miranda Austen ADEkoje

November 21 – December 13, 2020
Performances will be audio described by Cori Couture on Saturday, 12/12 at 7:00pm and Sunday, 12/13 at 4:00pm.
Over Zoom
New Rep on Facebook

“A Very Herrera Holiday”
By Alexis Scheer
Directed by Sarah Shin
With Amanda Figueroa 

“[keyp-ing]”
By Miranda Austen ADEkoje 
Directed by Dawn M. Simmons
With Jasmine M Rush  

Review by Kitty Drexel

ZOOM — New Rep’s “A Very Herrera Holiday” and “[keyp-ing]” are two plays about women who have had enough. In the former, Emma Herrera (Amanda Figueroa) uses her DIF crafting Youtube stardom to celebrate the holidays with a family recipe for coquitos. “[keyp-ing]” chronicles Monica Jenae’s personal fight against white supremacy as Boston-area freelance commercial producer.   Continue reading

Nov 18

Show the Relationships: Lilac Players’ First Annual 48-Hour Play Festival

The Lilac Players‘ First Annual 48hr Play Festival
Hosted by Meghan Joliffe
Sunday, November 15, at 7:00pm
Presented over YouTube  

Disclaimer: Mrs. Drexel has a friendly relationship with many players involved with this festival. She believes that only an ass-hatted dinglehopper of a n00b would let petty human emotions interfere with a critique.

Critique by Kitty Drexel

ZOOM — There have been strikingly few play festivals since the quarantine began in March. Festivals are relatively easy to produce despite their many moving parts. Performance teams can schedule their own work hours and pace. Everyone comes together at tech rehearsal to complete the beast. Audiences are guaranteed even if it’s only made up of participants and their partners. And, as my massage therapist (a fringe theatre enthusiast) told me yesterday as they were vigorously massaging my shoulders in a darkened salon, it’s exciting to see a play come together, rehearsal to performance. The allure is strong. 

The Lilac Players presented its very first 48-Hour Play festival on the evening of Sunday, November 15. It was a successful evening: nine plays were streamed over YouTube to their rowdy fans who expressed their appreciation through the live chat. Jokes were made. Fun was had. 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

Oct 28

“Downtown Crossing”

The Cast of “Downtown Crossing.” Photo by

Presented by Company One
In partnership with Northeastern University and Boston Public Library
with support from the Center for the Humanities at Tufts University
Written by David Valdes
Directed by Summer L. Williams
Dramaturgy by Jessica Scout Malone

Streaming live October 22, 23, 24 @ 7pm
October 25 @ 2pm
Digital program
C1 on Facebook

Critique by Kitty Drexel

Streaming/Boston, MA — My wife and I used to joke that we couldn’t travel to 2006’s Arizona because they looked too brown. John McCain might confuse them for a Mexican immigrant and deport them. It was the kind of stupid BS we could joke about because we were young and ignorant. We didn’t know the hurt McCain’s policies were causing.

My brilliant wife (who gave me permission to discuss them in this article) is kānaka maoli, an indigenous person of Hawaiian descent. Their skin is a buff, maple syrup brown. Their smile is wide and dominates their broad face. They have a warm but reserved personality that belies a deep well of energy. They are easy to love. Continue reading