Aug 16

Drag Messiah: A very Allston Christmas; Yes on 3!

Quorum Boston presents Drag Messiah: A very Allston Christmas

Yes on 3!

Performance Dates:
August 17, 2018
7:30PM
MIT Building 6, Room 120
77 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
Aug. 17 event on Facebook

August 18, 2018
7:30PM
First Parish Cambridge Unitarian Universalist
3 Church St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Aug. 18 event on Facebook
Quorum Boston on Facebook

(Cambridge, MA) Since its writing, Handel’s Messiah has been used as a fundraising concert for various causes to benefit society. In Handel’s time, that was the Foundling’s Hospital for London orphans. Quorum will be performing Drag Messiah: a Very Allston Christmas* in order to raise awareness and donations for Freedom for All Massachusetts, a trans-lead organization that is working to protect the ways in which Massachusetts currently allows trans people to use public accomodations (including but not limited to bathrooms) that align with their gender identity. These protections – which allow trans people to live, work, and move through society with basic dignity – also help prevent violence and discrimination against trans people. An anti-LGBTQ group is trying to repeal them, and Freedom for All Massachusetts is working hard to prevent that from happening through public education and awareness. We will have more information, volunteer sign-up for those interested, and VOTER REGISTRATION!

Written by a queer composer who participated in drag culture and wrote many cross-gendered opera roles, the Messiah as performed by an LGBTQ chorus (some of whom will be in drag) will bring awareness to and celebrate the diversity of gender in our Boston community. It will be a very exciting and high-quality concert, and our aim is to use the popularity of the Messiah and the newfound public interest in drag to support the trans community, which is often marginalized from both the classical music and drag scenes, spaces which should be open to all. We will be performing the entire piece with a guest orchestra of historically-informed instrumentalists, in a setting both intimate and powerful. You have not heard this piece performed with as much emotional authenticity as you will this August.

*What’s Allston Christmas?
It’s that time in August and early September when people scavange treasures left on the sidewalk or put in the trash by departing renters. It’s is a working-class celebration of new life and valuing what has been discarded by others, concepts which are also foundational to the queer experience. Handel’s Messiah – a larger-than-life oratorio about birth, rejection and punishment at the hands of those who don’t understand your worth, and the triumph of good will and promise for a better future – is the perfect piece to sing for this occasion.

Quorum Boston is an LGBTQ vocal ensemble that performs music almost exclusively by LGBTQ composers (like Handel!) in order to combat the erasure of queerness in the classical music canon and help new voices be heard.

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Aug 15

Frothy Fun and B-Side Moments: MAMMA MIA

Tari Kelly (Tanya) with Tiffani Barbour (Rosie) and Erica Mansfield (Donna) in MAMMA MIA! live on stage at North Shore Music Theatre thru September 2. Photo©Paul Lyden

Presented by North Shore Music Theatre
Directed & Choreographed By: Kevin P. Hill
Music Direction By: Bob Bray
Music And Lyrics By: Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus And Some Songs With Stig Anderson
Book By: Catherine Johnson
Originally Conceived By: Judy Cramer

August 2 – September 2, 2018
North Shore Music Theatre
Beverly, MA
NSMT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly, MA) There is a reason why the musical Mamma Mia has become such a phenomenon – I mean, aside from the fact that a group of Swedes sold their souls to the devil to make the most earworm-y music of the 20th century. The story is one long, sexy summer party that showcases the current or past foibles of our twenties. A young woman secretly invites her three potential fathers to her island wedding without telling her mother about it – it’s as if someone set out to re-envision Midsummer Night’s Dream with platform shoes. Continue reading

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Aug 08

“CATO & DOLLY”, The Hancocks

Ye Olde Statehouse

Presented by the Bostonian Society
Produced in partnership with Plays in Place, LLC
Written by Playwright Patrick Gabridge
Directed by Courtney O’Connor
Performed by Stephen Sampson and Marge Dunn

July 6th through September 29th, 2018
Old State House, Downtown Boston, MA

Reviewed by Bishop C. Knight

(Boston, Massachusetts)   On a rainy Saturday, Kathy Mulvaney explained to the crowd of museum visitors that she needed a minute to bring in more chairs, as the hall was fuller than anticipated.  Mulvaney is the Director of Education at the Old State House. She told us that the historical play Cato & Dolly would be about twenty minutes, and she noted that we could not re-enter if we decided to leave for the bathroom.  Finally, Mulvaney encouraged us to sit back and enjoy. Then the hall went silent. Continue reading

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Jun 21

Blog Update: Nondiscrimination/Anti-Harassment Policy

[Updated 6/21/2018]
The New England Theatre Geek (NETG) is an arts blog committed to maintaining a constructive and supportive environment for its readers and its staff. The following harassment policy is in support of our commitment for a more compassionate and respectful arts community. NETG may, from time to time, revise this policy at its discretion without notice:

No individual, whether a NETG employee, audience member, subject of a published critique, production crew or adjacent individual, should be subjected to any unwelcome conduct that is or should be known to be offensive because of gender, race, age, religion, ethnicity, immigration status, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity and/or expression. This policy extends to interaction in person as well as all interactions online. NETG will make reasonable efforts to ensure that the actions of its employees are free from harassment. Should a harassment claim be made, NETG will take appropriate corrective action.

Employees of the NETG are held to a high standard of constructive criticism. Performance critiques, reviews, interviews or op eds will be limited to production elements and the theatre experience of a given performance. Articles written for NETG will disinclude reviews or critiques based on an individual’s gender, race, age, religion, ethnicity, immigration status, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity and/or expression. This policy element may only be revoked on the occasion that an employee directly quotes an artist.

NETG employees are consultants that work directly with New England arts companies to create online journalism. The NETG expects that its colleagues and readers will extend the same respect to employees both online and in person. NETG will not tolerate harassment of any kind either on the New England Theatre Geek online blog, Facebook pages (including the Admiral Kittypants Facebook page), or in person. NETG is within its rights to revoke, suspend and/or permanently ban any person, company or entity from participating in some or all related activities, with or without expressed cause.

When alleged harassment is reported, NETG will investigate the incident at its own discretion. There will be no retaliation against an individual who has or reported harassment, or who has cooperated with any investigation of harassment. Those found guilty of misconduct will find their relationship with NETGsuspended.

Lastly, it is NETG policy to believe victims. Victims are invited to submit claims anonymously or otherwise to blognetheatregeek at gmail dot com. Actions to correct and prevent further misconduct will be performed at the discretion of the victim with input from NETG leadership.

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May 25

Business As Usual: “The Plague”

The cast of Praxis Stage’s THE PLAGUE (left to right): Dawn Davis, Danny Mourino, Steve Auger, Michael Rodriguez, and Dayenne C. Byron Walters.

Presented by Praxis Stage
After La Peste by Albert Camus
Adapted by Neil Bartlett
Directed by Daniel Boudreau

May 23 – 27, 2018
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
Boston, MA
Praxis on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

“And they answered, “Five gold tumors and five gold mice corresponding to the number of Philistine rulers, since there was one plague for both you[a] and your rulers. 5 Make images of your tumors and of your mice that are destroying the land. Give glory to Israel’s God, and perhaps He will stop oppressing you,[b] your gods, and your land.”
1 Samuel 6:4-5, Internet Bible

“”Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job” President George W. Bush in response to Michael Brown’s failure to provide basic relief services to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, 2005.

(Boston, MA) History is not taught because educators are sadists with penchants for boring their victims into pliancy. Rather, not just for that. Taught history is meant to remind each generation of what previous generations have done; how they have succeeded and, more importantly, to prevent them from similar failures. The Plague reinforces our need to learn from history now because we will repeat it. We always do.   Continue reading

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May 17

Uncle Sam is a Benevolent Master. Bator: ALLEGIANCE

The cast. Photo credit: Nile Scott Studios

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
Book by Marc Acito, Jay Kuo, and Lorenzo Thione
Music and lyrics by Jay Kuo
Directed by Paul Daigneault
Music direction by Matthew Stern
Choreography by Ilyse Robbins
Traditional Japanese dance choreography by Kendyl Yokoyama

May 4 – June 2, 2018
Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
SpeakEasy on Facebook

The New England Theatre Geek believes that productions about people of color should be critiques by people of color. Allegiance was attended by both Noelani Kamelamela and Kitty Drexel. The editorial response by Kamelamela gives insight into personal histories of the Japanese-American internment camps. Drexel gives a performance critique. If a story doesn’t include us at all levels then it isn’t really about us.

Response by Noelani Kamelamela

(Boston, MA) After bringing an acclaimed version of Kander & Ebb’s The Scottsboro Boys to Boston last year, Speakeasy Stage Company presents Allegiance, a two hour long musical that explores the unjust imprisonment of Japanese Americans in the US at the tail end of World War II.  It is important for us to tell these stories, not stories of victory, but tales of survival in difficult circumstances. Ignorance, more than the steady drumbeat of white supremacy, separates people far more than a border wall ever can. Continue reading

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May 16

Play It Again Sam: “Trouble in Tahiti and Arias & Barcarolles”

Sam and Dinah (Marcus DeLoach and Heather Johnson) robotically repeat their morning routine. Photo: Liza Voll

Presented by Boston Lyric Opera
Music & Libretto by Leonard Bernstein
Stage directed by David Schweizer
Music direction by David Angus
Dramaturgy by John Conklin

May 11-20, 2018
DCR Steriti Memorial Rink
561 Commercial Street, Boston, MA
BLO on Facebook
Review by Kitty Drexel

After Bernstein’s performance at the White House in 1960, President Eisenhower remarked, “You know, I liked that last piece you played: it’s got a theme. I like music with a theme, not all them arias and barcarolles.” quote taken from leonardbernstein.com. Eisenhower was a bit imperceptive.

(Boston, MA) Trouble in Tahiti and Arias & Barcarolles are presented by the BLO in one continuous operetta subtitled, “Sam and Dinah Say Goodnight (Scenes From A Marriage).” It is a “new reimagining” of Bernstein’s works which abbreviates Tahiti and merges the reduced scoring directly into Arias & Barcarolles. They are not performed individually as suggested by BLO’s marketing materials. The performance runs about 90 minutes. Continue reading

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May 14

Quorum Boston presents “The Gay Spring”

Boston is super gay!

Quorum Boston is a local LGBTQ vocal ensemble. We program music almost exclusively by queer composers, with the goal of combating the erasure of queerness from canonical composers and amplifying the voices of living composers.

This concert explores themes of love, spring, and water. It features the world premiere of Upallay, a piece by inti figgis-vizuetta, our Resident Composer. Other works included in our program are Britten’s “Heaven Haven,” Barber’s “To be sung on the Water,” Cage’s “Litany for the Whale,” Mari Valverde’s “En la noche entraremos,” a rare choral work by Tchaikovsky, and several of Hildegard von Bingen’s chants.

Come enjoy the gay spring with us!
Performance Schedule:
May 14, 2018
8PM
Josephine A. Fiorentino Community Center
123 Antwerp Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02134
Free!
Collected donations go to LGBTQ+ programming at the Josephine A. Fiorentino Community Center in Lower Allston.

Or,

May 19, 2018
8PM
First Church Somerville
89 College Ave, Somerville, Massachusetts 02144
Tickets:
Suggested Donation: $20
Student/Low Income: $10
No one turned away: Free if you can’t pay.

Both performance venues are accessible to disabled patrons. Rehearsals are too! Interested in joining Quorum Boston? Connect with us HERE.

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May 07

“The Sound of Music”: A Timely Revival

Presented by Networks Press
Written by Richard Rogers & Oscar Hammerstein
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse
Suggested by The Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta Trapp
Directed by Matt Lenz
Choreography by Danny Mefford
Music supervision by Andy Einhorn

May 1-13, 2018
Wang Theatre
Boston, MA
Sound of Music on Facebook

Review by Kate Idlebrook

(Boston, MA) Hate crimes are up. White nationalism is on the rise. Reports of race-based bullying are spiking in schools across the country. Into this mix drops a timely revival of The Sound of Music at the Wang Theatre. The iconic musical about a young novice-turned nanny and an Austrian navy captain who refuses to bow to the Nazi invasion has been delighting audiences for decades both on stage and on screen. Continue reading

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May 07

She Will Cut You: TOP GIRLS

Sophia Ramos, Carmen M. Herlihy, Paula Plum, Kiara Pichardo, and Carmen Zilles; Photo: T. Charles Erickson,

Presented by Huntington Theatre Company
By Caryl Churchill
Directed by Liesl Tommy
Dramaturgy by Phaedra Michelle Scott
Original music & sound design by Broken Chord

April 20 – May, 2018
Huntington Theater
Avenue of the Arts
Boston, MA
Huntington on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Congrats to the Huntington for finally get that permanent ramp set up.

Top Girls is a feminist play by Caryl Churchill. It has a good script. It’s a good play for women. It isn’t Caryl Churchill’s only feminist play. It isn’t the only feminist play for a cast of women. There are others out there waiting to be produced, and yet, the New England theatre community loves this show. So much so that it’s been produced three times in the Boston-area alone in the past four years. The Kilroy’s List was supposed to end the ad nauseum repeats.   Continue reading

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