Feb 12

See the Movie First: Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”

Presented by Wheelock Family Theatre
Book by Linda Woolverton
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Howard Ashman & Tim Rice
Directed by Jane Staab
Music direction by Steven Bergman
Choreography by Laurel Conrad

Feb. 2 – March 4, 2018
Feb. 25 & March 2, ASL and audio-described
Wheelock College; Boston Campus
200 The Riverway
Boston, MA 02215
WFT on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” ― attributed to Margaret Atwood.

(Boston, MA) Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (DBatB) is beloved in all its forms. The 2017 film with Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Emma Thompson, and a vastly underutilized Audra McDonald, is a charming retelling with updates to make it more palatable for contemporary audiences. The 1994 musical adaptation of the 1991 film is not. The original Disney movie was notable for its strides in animation technology, but not for its intersectionally feminist portrayal of accepting others for their differences. Unfortunately for Wheelock Family Theatre, this problematic musical hasn’t received the update treatment. In some ways, it’s worse that the 1991 film. Continue reading

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Jan 26

Anything But Typical: “Irresistible”

LAB cover photo on Facebook

Presented by Liars and Believers
Directed by Jason Slavick
A list of collaborators and other info is HERE

January 24, 2018 One Night Only
Sonia at the Middle East
10 Brookline St
Cambridge, MA
LAB on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge, MA) Irresistible is Liars & Believers most recent, most experimental collabortive project to date. It is incredibly important, when considering the expected outcome of experiments, to remember that the majority of experiments fail. Failure does not negate the significance of the experiment. Rather, it gives the technician an opportunity to understand what didn’t work. Failure can be good.     Continue reading

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Jan 25

Subvert Everything; 1 Critique and 1 Op-Ed: “Proof”

Photo: Forden Photography. Design: Bird Graphics; Featuring Michael Tow & Lisa Nguyen.

Presented by the Nora Theatre Company
Written by David Auburn
Directed by Michelle M. Aguillon

Jan. 18 – Feb. 18, 2018
Central Square Theater
Cambridge, MA
CST on Facebook

Introduction: Below are two pieces in response to The Nora Theatre’s production currently playing at Central Square Theater in Cambridge, MA. First is my critique of the production. The second is an opinionated response from fellow Geek Noelani Kamelamela. I asked Noelani to write a response to the production because representation is important. Three out of four cast members of Proof are Asian-American. This is significant because David Auburn didn’t factor race into his writing process. This means white was his default. No one gets extra credit for treating people of color like human beings. The Nora does get kudos for subverting the racial paradigm.

Review by Kitty Drexel

“In a good proof there is a very high degree of unexpectedness, combined with inevitability and economy. The argument takes so odd and surprising a form; the weapons used seems so childishly simple when compared with the far-reaching consequences; but there is no escape from the conclusions.”  – G.H. Hardy, A Mathematician’s Apology

(Cambridge, MA) The stigma around mental illness remains sharp. The Nora Theatre’s production of Proof doesn’t tackle this stigma so much as wait until the audience is pliable and then viciously assault it. It isn’t gentle but it is effective.   Continue reading

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Jan 22

Tonight with Words Outspoken: “Mother Mary Says to Me”

Presented by Club Cafe
Performed, produced and compiled by Meagan Michelson
Accompanied by J. Kathleen Castellanos
Featuring the works of The Beatles, Carol King, Lerner & Lowe, Bonnie Raitt, and more

Saturday, January 20th at 8pm ONLY
Club Cafe
Boston, MA
C.C. on Facebook
Meagan Michelson on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Meagan Michelson delivered a sincere but rowdy tribute last Saturday night at Club Cafe. Mother Mary Says to Me is a love letter to Mary, her Mom. It expressed the kind of gratitude one hopes to share with their own mother figure. I wish I had brought my Mom to see it; MMSTM had the kind of edge my Mumma Geek enjoys, and the heart to put a twinkle in anyone’s eye.    Continue reading

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Jan 03

Theatre While Disabled: The Erb’s Palsy Experience

Preface: This article was originally submitted to HowlRound for potential publication in 2017. The truly wonderful folks there decided to go in a different direction. The article is published on NETG to continue the conversation started last August by EJ.  Other disabled artists interested in sharing their stories should please contact the Queen to discuss. 

-Kitty, the Queen Geek

End Preface


In her excellent article summarizing the breakout session at the 2017 Theatre Communications Group Annual Conference in Portland, OR called “Creative Access: Accommodations for Professional Performers with Disabilities,” Talleri McRae lists five salient points to guide theatre professionals towards more ability inclusive practices. Her suggestions were on point. They hit me where I live. In this article, I reflect on my experiences as a disabled artist. Were the practices suggested by McRae’s article applied across the theatre world, my experiences as a child and young-adult artist would have differed greatly. If universally implemented today, the impact will affect disabled performers for generations to come.   Continue reading

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Dec 11

Honestly and Wonderfully: “She Loves Me”

The cast of “She Loves Me.” Photo by Maggie Hall.

Presented by Greater Boston Stage Company
Book Written by Joe Masteroff
Music Originally by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Directed by Ilyse Robbins
Music directed by Matthew Stern

November 24th through December 23rd, 2017
Greater Boston Stage Company on Facebook
395 Main St, Stoneham, Massachusetts 02180

Review with Bishop C. Knight

(Stoneham, Massachusetts) An adaptation of the 1937 play Parfumerie by Hungarian playwright Miklós László, She Loves Me is set in a perfume shop where the entire staff pauses to sing in unison “Pleeeease doooo call again” to every departing customer.  In a broad sense, this is one of those comedies defined by the positive space of its set; meaning that the characters’ workspace and workspace culture were as much part of the musical as the characters’ dialogue and songs.  She Loves Me is evocative of other comedies reliant on their sets, like Cheers and Seinfeld which respectively wouldn’t be what they are without Sammy’s Boston bar and Jerry’s apartment building. Continue reading

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Dec 07

Quorum Boston Presents: Two Winter Concerts

Quorum Boston
Presents
Two Winter Concerts
December 14 & 15, 7:30PM
Lorraine Fitzmaurice, music director
Inti Figgis-Vizueta, composer-in-residence

http://quorumboston.com
Quorum Boston on Facebook

Winter 2017: Quorum Boston welcomes all to our Winter Concert, featuring works by Francis Poulenc, Hildegard von Bingen, and Benjamin Britten along with a world premiere by Allston composer Inti Figgis-Vizueta. Music director Lorraine Fitzmaurice invites you to let the music of many voices lead you in an exploration of duality, silence and embodiment in the Holiday Season.

At a glance:
December 14, 8pm, doors open at 7:30
At the Josephine A. Fiorentino Community Center
123 Antwerp St, Allston, MA 02134
Donations collected for future LGBTQ programing at the Community Center.
​The event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/729339420589243/

December 15, 8pm, doors open at 7:30
At the Cambridge Friend’s Meeting House
5 Longfellow Park, Cambridge, MA 02138
Tickets sold online HERE or at the door: $20 General Admission; $10 Student/Low Income; children under 8 free!
The event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/149086095816247/

For more information, please visit the Quorum Boston website http://quorumboston.com

Our Mission:
We are an LGBTQ vocal ensemble celebrating our musical heritage and future through thoughtful programming, public engagement, and local artistic collaborations. Quorum Boston is an auditioned chamber choir of 20 singers. We perform classical music, from the medieval era through new works. However, in addition to being a musical ensemble, Quorum Boston serves as a gathering of LGBTQ musicians in the city of Boston. The queer experience is one in which community plays a uniquely vital role. Creative initiatives are member-lead, and this flexibility allows the ensemble to evolve to suit the needs of the community. Quorum Boston creates a space for dialogue, music, scholarship, and art to flourish in this great city.

Queen’s Note:
We elected a thin-skinned Nazi to the office of the President who is turning our “democracy” into a fascist, totalitarian oligarchy dominated by the 1%. Trump is a monster. His policies, when he names them, are destructive. His narcissistic behavior is more so.

Congressional “negotiators” released a spending bill that saves the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for Humanities, and National Public Radio until September at which time, the President and his impotent cronies may still cut arts funding. It is ever important to remain vigilant. And, for the love of all that’s sacred, keep creating. If you need help, ask for it. Our existence is our resistance. May the force be with you. – KD

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Dec 04

Do Better: “Nurse Play”

Photo from Exiled Theatre’s Facebook page.

Presented by Exiled Theatre
By James Wilkinson
Directed by Joe Juknievich
Movement direction by Kayleigh Kane

Dec. 1 – 17, 2017
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
Boston, MA
Exiled Theatre on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) The days of casting the able-bodied to play a disabled person are nearly at an end. We aren’t there yet. While it is unacceptable to cast a white person to play a person of color, it is still marginally acceptable to cast an abled person in the role of a disabled character. Boston has many working actors that identify as seeing impaired. Should a theatre decide to cast an abled person in the role of a disabled character, it behooves the theatre to make it abundantly clear to the audience/disabled community that great pains were taken to either cast from the disabled community, or that the disabled community representative was consulted in the production of the play. Anything less is offensive. Continue reading

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Nov 16

Berklee Performance Center Presents David Broza & Friends on Dec. 16, 2017

David Broza & Friends

Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115, United States
Berklee on Facebook

David Broza is one of the most innovative and creative musicians in the world today. For more than 40 years, he has performed blues, jazz, rock, country, folk, and world music. Singing in Hebrew, Spanish, English, and Arabic, Broza brings the full spectrum of his work to a performance that also features his all-star band and special guests.
$55 / $65 / $75 / $85
Berkleee has been in the news. Equality through transparency. #metoo
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Nov 14

Stardust and Deep Roots: SILENT SKY

Julia Brothers, Polly Lee, Alexis Bronkovic, Victoria Grace, and Tom Coiner
Photo by Meghan Moore

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
By Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Sean Daniels

Oct. 18 – Nov. 12
50 E Merrimack St
Lowell, MA 01852
MRT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell, MA) There has been a move in recent years to use film and stage to unearth the hidden stories of women who have advanced society while making their contributions in the confines of sexism. This has resulted in a series of earnest biopics or bio-plays, some more well-crafted than others. Continue reading

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