Sep 22

Where To Stand When You’re In ‘Mortal Terror’

Will Shakespeare, Ben Jonson and John Marston (Stafford Clark-Price, Jeremiah Kissel and John Kuntz) Photo by Boston Playwrights' Theatre

 

Mortal Terror by Robert Brustein, Suffolk University & Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, The Modern Theatre at Suffolk University, 9/15/11-10/2/11, http://www.bu.edu/bpt/.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

(Boston, MA) Each generation lives in fear of war, conflicts, pain, and death.  Each person has to choose how they are going to react to the conflict.  Mortal Terror addresses this puzzlement in Elizabethan garb.  Rowdy writers, absolute rulers, and crazy conspirators throw words back and forth until every character must face his own compass and decide on where he stands.

Will Shakespeare, the toast of Renaissance England’s theatre scene, gets the opportunity to write a play to legitimize King James’ rule. Continue reading

Sep 17

His Girl Friday: Justifiable Laughter

Left to right: Angela Brazil as Hildy Johnson, Stephen Thorne as McCue, Lovell Holder (Brown/Trinity

His Girl Friday by John Guare, adapted from The Front Page by Ben Hecht/Charles McArthur & Columbia Pictures Film, Trinity Repertory Company, 9/9/11-10/9/11, http://www.trinityrep.com/on_stage/current_season/CAB.php.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

(Providence, RI) John Guare lends his wry wit to his newest creation: His Girl Friday. With the talented cast, masterful direction, and clever design, the pre-World War II press room. With the black and white realities mixed in with the comedy, the play shines a light on the present ambiguities of justice, media manipulation, and political diversion. Continue reading

Sep 14

The Hound of the Baskervilles: Romping on the Moors

Bill Mootos as Dr. Watson and Remo Airaldi as Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles performing September 7 - October 2, 2011 at Central Square Theater, 450 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA. Photo: Elizabeth Stewart/Libberding Photography.

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Steven Canny and John Nicholson, Central Square Theatre, 9/7/11-10/2/11, http://www.centralsquaretheater.org/season/11-12/the-hound-of-the-baskervilles.html.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

(Cambridge, MA) From the moment the lights go down…and up…and down…it is evident that Steven Canny, John Nicholson, and Thomas Derrah have studied two of the preeminent literature scholars:  The Reduced Shakespeare Company and Monty Python.  This spoof of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles’ hilarity starts from the theatre notifications and does not end until the final bows.  Central Square Theatre’s new season starts off with a bang (well..just don’t let Dr. Watson hold the gun). Continue reading

Sep 13

Trout Stanley: Twin Purpose

Trout Stanley by Claudia Dey, Exquisite Theatre Corps, The Factory Theatre, 9/9/11-9/25/11.  http://www.exquisitecorps.org/trout-stanley/.

Reviewed by Leah White

(Boston, MA) Exquisite Corps Theatre opens its second season with the delightfully odd Trout Stanley.  Set in the middle-of-nowhere Canada, the old brick walls of the Factory Theatre make the perfect backdrop for the shabby home of twin sisters, Grace and Sugar Ducharme.

We meet the twins on their 30th birthday.  Kathryn Grace’s “Grace” struts around the stage, big and bombastic, almost over the top as she describes her likeness on a local hunting store’s billboard.  Grace has a lust for life and a slightly unusual respect for trash. Continue reading

Sep 12

Rent (MA): Celebrating and Embracing Humanity

The cast of RENT. Photo by Andrew Brilliant/ Brilliant Pictures.

Rent, book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, New Repertory Theatre, Charles Mosesian Theater, Arsenal Center for the Arts, 9/4/11-10/2/11, http://www.newrep.org/rent.php. Mature themes, Full-frontal nudity.

Reviewed by Leah White

(Watertown, MA) The New Repertory Theatre, in residence at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, opens its 2011-2012 season with Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical, RENT.  Considered groundbreaking in its 1996 premiere, RENT uses the story of struggling bohemian artists to convey its message of love, tolerance, and friendship. Continue reading

Sep 08

Big River: A Journey of Human Nature

Jordan Ahnquist as Huckleberry Finn and De'Lon Grant as Jim. Photo by Mark S. Howard

 

Big River, Music and Lyrics by Roger Miller, Book by William Hauptman, Lyric Stage, 9/2/11-10/8/11.  https://lyricstage.com/now_playing/big_river/.  Family Friendly.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

(Boston, MA) Lyric Stage’s production of Big River celebrates the imagination of Mark Twain.  Based on the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the show explores the American landscape of the 1800’s.  The production shines a light on the various forms of humanity that Twain observed in his own travels.  His words come alive through a rousing score, talented cast, and innovative staging. Continue reading

Sep 02

Porgy and Bess Still Has Soul

Photo by Michael J. Lutch

 

The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess by George and Ira Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, adapted by Suzan-Lori Parks and Diedre L. Murray, American Repertory Theatre, Loeb Drama Center, 8/17/11-10/2/11.  http://www.americanrepertorytheater.org/events/show/gershwins-porgy-and-bess.   Mature themes.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

(Cambridge, MA) Norm Lewis and Audra McDonald bring soul to American Repertory Theatre’s production of The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.  The couple struggles to hold onto their love in the midst of danger and strife.  Although minor changes have been made to the operetta, the integrity of the original piece remains intact. Continue reading

Sep 01

Last Year Boston, This Year New York

Missed some excellent shows in Boston last year?  Head down to New York City!

Meghan McGeary as Hannah. Photo by Marcus Stern.

The Blue Flower, Second Stage Theatre, 305 West 43rd Street, NY, NY. Becca’s review of the show at the American Repertory Theatre.

Sons of the Prophet, Roundabout Theatre Company, Laura Pels Theatre, 111 West 46th Street, NY, NY. Becca’s review of the show at the Huntington Theatre. (Just change “Tony Award” to “Obie”

Aug 17

Arcadia: The Paradise of Pursuit

Arcadia, by Tom Stoppard, Bad Habit Productions, Virginia Wimberley Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts, 8/11/11-8/28/11.
http://www.badhabitproductions.org/shows/season/arcadia.html.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

Bad Habit Productions avoids pretension as it follows the serpentine path of thought from enlightenment to romance.  The witty exchanges bounce from the actors’ tongues to all four walls of the theatre.  The characters learn that the journey is more important than the definition of terms.  The production dances with little hesitation through the rhythmical patterns of Stoppard’s language. Continue reading

Aug 08

ASP Cymbeline Follow-Up

For those of you who loved ASP’s Cymbeline, an event is being held this Thursday:

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=229253273784992


“On August 11 and 12 at 7:00pm, ArtFarm welcomes Actor’s Shakespeare Project to the beautiful outdoor stage at Featherstone. Voted Best Theatre Company in Boston for 2011 by the Improper Bostonian Magazine, Actor’s Shakespeare Project brings their popular “Conversations” series to the Vineyard with selections from their acclaimed winter production of Cymbeline.Cast members will perform selected scenes from this beautiful and rarely produced late romance, while ASP Artistic Director Allyn Burrows and beloved theatre luminary and Vineyard resident Robert Brustein host a lively conversation on everything from Elizabethan England to the casting process to why Shakespeare is vital now. This is your chance to learn about one of the Bard’s more mysterious plays from the best of the best.

Bring a picnic, bring lawn chairs, bring your curiosity, and bring the kids. We’ll provide the poetry, the scenery, the expertise, and the bug spray! And don’t forget to join cast, company, and hosts afterwards for a reception under the stars as we celebrate the close of ArtFarm’s third and most successful summer yet!

Tickets are $20 or adults, $15 for students and seniors and are available at the door or at www.ticketsmv.com.”