Nov 18

“Much Ado About Nothing”: A Warm, Self-Assured Pandemic Production

Presented by Hub Theatre Company of Boston
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed and Adapted by Bryn Boice
Stage Managed by Madeline Hartrich and Kelsey Whipple
November 14 – 21, 2020
Boston, MA
YouTube
Pay-What-You-Can Tickets

Review by Gillian Daniels

YOUTUBE – The Hub Theatre Company of Boston is a fixture of our local theater scene. The shows I’ve watched from them over the years vary in content and theme, but going to one of their productions has always had a warm familiarity. To my delight, I found that director Bryn Boice’s online adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing for the pandemic age is no exception. This silly, sweet take on one of the Bard’s comedies is not just made for the moment but feels as if it’s made for the whole of the Boston theater community. Continue reading

Aug 04

“Macbeth” Gets Bloody Good: Part II

Presented by Liars & Believers
Directed by Jason Slavick
Original Music and Sound Design by Jay Mobley
Additional Video by Sam Powell

June 18, 2020 – Present (Weekly)
View – https://www.liarsandbelievers.com/show/pandemicplay/
LAB on Facebook, Twitter

Review by Gillian Daniels

ZOOM – When we last left our antiheroes, Macbeth (Jesse Garlick) found his ambitions for the throne awoken by three, soothsayer witches (all played by Rebecca Lehrhoff in different registers and Instagram filters) and Lady Macbeth (Rachel Wiese) decided to do whatever was in her power to climb the hegemonic ladder and stomp on every person who got in their way as bloodily as possible. Betrayal has yet to visit ruin and mental anguish on their lives. Continue reading

Aug 20

Who will believe you?: “Measure for Measure”

Photo via the BBT Facebook page.

Presented by Brown Box Theatre 
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Kyler Taustin
Intimacy & Fight Choreography by Margaret Clark

Performances dates 8/21 – 8/25, 2019
Performance location (s): Various outdoor locations:
8/21: Sampus Pavilion, 160 Pawtucket Blvd, Lowell, MA
8/22: Borderland State Park, 250 Massapoaq Ave., Easton, MA
8/23: – Herter Park Ampitheater, 1175 Soldiers Field Road, Allston, MA
8/24: Hopkinton Ctr for the Arts, 98 Hayde Rowe Street, Hopkinton, MA
8/25: Atlantic Wharf/Waterfront Plaza, 290 Congress Street, Boston, MA
Brown Box on Facebook 

Review by Chloé Cunha

(Boston, Mass.) Without even mentioning context, the above refrain strikes a familiar chord, the scene paints itself: a woman abused, her abuser, threatening the full extent of his power against her. Who will believe you?  Chilling and pressing, Brown Box Theatre’s production reminds us why Shakespeare remains relevant today. Continue reading

Jul 15

Blame it on the Unquiet Ducks: “Hamlet”

Photo via Praxis Stage on Facebook: Elena Toppo, Eric McGowan, Joan Raube-Wilson; not dead yet.

Presented by Praxis Stage 
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Kim Carrel
Dramaturgy by Michael Anderson
Fight choreography by Kim Carrell

Jul 6 – Jul 14, 2019
Danehy Park
99 Sherman St.
Cambridge, MA 02140

Jul 18 – Jul 28, 2019
Longfellow Park 
Cambridge, MA 02138
Praxis Stage on Facebook
Critique by Kitty Drexel

Murther [ mur-th er ] – noun, verb (used with or without object) Obsolete:

  1. Murder. 

 – From Dictionary.com

(Cambridge, MA) I don’t prefer productions performed out of doors. The novelty has never appealed to me. I’ve only acted in one Shakespeare in the Park production and, while grateful for the experience, I wouldn’t do it agin. Actors must complete with offstage noise, there’s the weather, and, at dusk, there are the MOSQUITOS. Nature in all its splendor cannot compare to the creature comforts offered by the great indoors. That being said, Praxis Stage’s Hamlet is fun.

A summary of Hamlet is provided by Encyclopedia Britanica (contains spoilers). Unlike many, many Hamlets before, Praxis’ interpretation doesn’t paint Hamlet (Eric McGowan) the man as a wounded emo-hero torn apart by his circumstances. Praxis takes a more feminist approach by establishing Hamlet as a man-child culpable for his abusive actions: he’s rash and impulsive; a murderer and a misogynist.  Continue reading

Apr 09

The Knocking is Coming from Inside the Cabin: “Macbeth”

Presented by the Underlings Theatre Company
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Daniel Thomas Blackwell
Fight direction by Lauren Squier
Dramaturgy by Isabel Dollar

April 5 – 13, 2019
Mosesian Center for the Arts Blackbox Theater
321 Arsenal St
Watertown, MA
Underlings on Facebook

Critique by Kitty Drexel

(Watertown, MA) There is much to learn from the Underlings production of Macbeth currently open at the Mosesian Center for the Arts in Watertown. The cast and crew took some risks: some of them paid off, others did not. What is most important to glean from this production is that the Underlings boldly proceed towards their artistic goals for Macbeth. Risk taking theatre is by far more laudable than theatre that plays it safe no matter the outcome. Not everyone will agree with the risks that the Underlings took but, at the very least, the Underlings can boast that they performed their version.   Continue reading

Dec 04

“Twelfth Night” Thrums with Life

L to R: Sarah Gazdowicz (OIivia), Charlotte Kinder (Viola); Photo Credit: Sharman Altshuler

Presented by Moonbox Productions
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Allison Olivia Choat

Nov 25 – Dec 29, 2018
Boston Center for the Arts Plaza Theatre
539 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02116
Moonbox Productions on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) There are productions of Shakespeare that are focused on reciting the text rather than acting it out. I understand the temptation. Maybe it’s the rhythm, maybe it’s the Bard’s reputation as, well, THE BARD, but sometimes theater groups seem to engage with Shakespeare’s comedy as a text to worship rather than a story to tell, even with a comedy like Twelfth Night. I’m happy to say Moonbox Production not only engages with the high emotions, cartoonish confusion, and whacky consequences of the comical cross-dressing romance but celebrates the story and its jokes with delight. Continue reading

Aug 03

PROSPERA – la Señora de la Isla: “La Tempestad”

Presented by Trinity Repertory Company with Rhode Island Latino Arts (RILA)
Originally Written by William Shakespeare
Translated to Spanish by Orlando Hernandez
Directed by Tatyana-Marie Carlo

June 28 through July 27, 2018
Toured around Rhode Island. Schedule with locations is HERE
Trinity Rep on
Facebook
RILA on
Facebook

Review by Bishop C. Knight

(Roger Williams Park, Providence, Rhode Island)  This bilingual English-Spanish adaptation of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest was part of the Rhode Island Latino Arts’s (RILA) program Teatro en El Verano (Theater in the Summer).  It was directed by the Brown/Trinity second-year Tatyana-Marie Carlo, who was drawn to the humor and magic of The Tempest.  Carlo’s ensemble cast performed the play in a hybrid Spanglish, switching back and forth between the two languages mid-stanza, sometimes mid-line. Continue reading

Aug 03

“Richard III”: Uncomfortably Mirroring a Summer of Our Discontent

Faran Tahir (Richard III) and the cast of Richard III (photo by Evgenia Eliseeva)

Presented by the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Steven Maler

July 18 – August 5, 2018 
Parkman Bandstand
Tremont Street & Winter Street
Boston, MA 02108
CSC on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company brings an arresting production of Richard III to Boston’s Common. The grim story of a happily evil king is enlivened by the performance of Faran Tahir as he swaggers, lies, and simpers his way to a throne that might as well be soaked in blood. The play is grounded in real world anger toward a cartoonish villain who disintegrates into a self-doubting coward. It’s a cathartic watch, one that both moved me and concerned me in the way it compliments and comments on topical news items. Continue reading

May 03

As You Like It: “We that are true lovers run into strange capers”

Presented by The Hyperion Shakespeare Company and Harvard Office for the Arts
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Nathaniel Brodsky

April 26-29, 2018
Agassiz Theatre
Cambridge, MA
HSC on Facebook

Review by Polly Goss

(Cambridge, MA) As You Like It is a long-time favorite of audiences despite its often lowly standing among critics. The play deliberately borders on the nonsensical, as Shakespeare takes us on a glorious gender swapping romp through the mystical forests of Arden. This latest production from Harvard’s Hyperion Shakespeare Company successfully captures the intensity of first loves and the youthful energy at the heart of the piece. Whilst the direction felt a bit haphazard in places, the talent of some of the cast members helped to carry the show and pay tribute to the richness of Shakespeare’s script. As You Like It is a good choice for a student production of Shakespeare, the obvious enthusiasm of the actors (and their friends in the audience) made this production a pleasure to watch. Continue reading

Jul 29

These Violent Delights: “Romeo & Juliet”

Presented by Commonwealth Shakespeare Company
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Allegra Libonati

July 19 – August 6, 2017
Boston Common
Boston, MA
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company on Facebook

Romeo and Juliet is like an old jalopy: if you want it to run, you need to know where to kick it, when to kick it, and how hard to kick it. Unfortunately, I really don’t think that director Allegra Libonati has the formula down (and not for lack of trying). Continue reading