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.”

Aug 05

Boston Actors’ Theater Summer Play Festival 2011

Summer Play Festival 2011, Boston Actors’ Theater, 7/29/11-8/7/11, http://www.bostonactorstheater.com/.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

Three playwrights try out some new works at Boston Actors’ Theater’s Summer Play Festival with varying results.  The three plays are:  The Portal of God by Catherine Durickas, Reproduction by Elizabeth DuPre, and Envia! Gifts for the Goddess of Illusion by Kelly Dumar.  The plays explore the complicated and often confusing aspects of love and life. Continue reading

Aug 04

Bug: Real Fear

Bug 003

James Hayward and Julie Becker in "Bug" by Tracy Letts July 29-August 6, 2011. The Factory Theatre, Boston.

Bug by Tracy Letts, Flat Earth Theatre, The Factory Theatre, 7/29/11-8/6/11, http://flatearththeatre.com/shows/bug.html.  Contains graphic violence and language.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

Horror reigns at The Factory Theatre in Flat Earth Theatre’s taut production of Tracy Letts’ thriller Bug.  An abused woman finds comfort and safety of a gentle stranger.  However, their safety is short-lived when their motel room becomes infested with bugs.  No matter how they try, their situation escalates providing a realistic and frightening experience. Continue reading

Jul 22

1001: Do we make the stories or do the stories make us?

1001 by Jason Grote, Company One, Boston Center for the Arts, 7/15/11- 8/13/11,  http://www.companyone.org/Season12/1001/synopsis.shtml.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

Clockwise from left: Ruby Rose Fox, Ben Gracia, Hampton Fluker, Lonnie McAdoo, Lauren Eicher, Nael Nacer

Scheherazade is back with new tales to tell. Based on 1001 Arabian Nights, Jason Grote takes the ancient tales and reworks them within a twenty-first century context.  The frame story and first inner story remain close to the time and arrangement of the original tales, but the further Scheherazade takes us in, the closer we get to our own reality.  Stories make up a large part of our lives from the fairy tales of childhood to the novels of our adulthood.  Is it what we bring to them that gives them life or what they bring to us that give us life? Company One’s 1001 attempts to answer these questions. Continue reading

Jul 19

THE GOOD DOCTOR: The cure for the common sitcom

from left) Bob Mussett, Sierra Kagen, Victoria Townsend, Brian Tuttle, and Zach Eisenstat in “The Sneeze” from the Independent Drama Society's production of Neil Simon's THE GOOD DOCTOR, playing July 15-23 at the Factory Theatre, 791 Tremont Street in Boston's South End. Tix and info: http://www.independentdramasociety.org. Photo by Bethany Krevat.

The Good Doctor by Neil Simon, The Independent Drama Society, The Factory Theatre, 7/15/11-7/23/11, http://independentdramasociety.org.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

If it wasn’t so funny, it would be serious.  Chekov is primarily known for his serious drama:  The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, etc.  but Neil Simon draws upon Chekov’s short stories for his play, The Good Doctor.  Chekov’s short stories have been said to be precursor to Seinfeld.  The writer of such tv shows as:  Your Show of Shows and Caesar’s Hour recognized the unique comedy style and put stories “about nothing” to the stage years before the tv show “about nothing”.  Those who miss the “Junior Mint”, “The Soup Nazi”, and “The Chinese Restaurant” can relish in some new-old stories such as “The Sneeze”, “Surgery”, and “The Drowned Man”.  The Independent Drama Society’s final show utilizes the comedic talents to go out with a laugh for the audience and a whimper for the characters.   Continue reading

Jul 15

Hideous Progeny: Living With Our Creations

Nate Gundy (Percy Shelley), Julia Specht (Mary Wollstoncraft Godwin), Victor Shopov (Lord Byron). Photo by Alison Luntz.

Hideous Progeny by Emily Dendinger. Holland Productions, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 7/9/11-7/23/11, http://www.hollandproductions.org/.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin’s understanding of the gravity of creation led to one of the most famous horror tales of all time: Frankenstein. Emily Dendiger posits that this knowledge came from Mary’s own life and relationships in the play Hideous Progeny. Most generations struggle between rebellion and responsibility; the choices we make create the world that we live in. Mary’s future husband, Percy Shelley, speaks of and practices “free love” and ideals, but ignores the monsters he releases. Hideous Progeny haunts Mary Godwin and the audience with the question: do you run away from the monsters or do you face them?
Continue reading

Jul 02

T: An MBTA Musical — Charlie Takes A Wicked Funny Ride

Emily Hecht as Alice and Brett Johnson as Charlie in T: An MBTA Musical. Plays June 30-July 9 at ImprovBoston, 40 Prospect Street in Cambridge. Tix/Info: 617-576-1253 or improvboston.com. Photo by Ben Snitkoff

T: An MBTA Musical, music and lyrics by Melissa Carubia, book by John Michael Manship, ImprovBoston, 6/30/11-7/9/11. http://www.improvboston.com/shows/musical?ref=slide.  Mature Themes.  **Warning:  should not be viewed by kids, pets, bikes, and particularly tourists and freshmen (we need people to keep coming to Boston, and they don’t need to know the truth until it’s too late!)

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

LISTEN TO ORIGINAL MUSIC EXCERPTS

Most people have been there at one time or another:  the T (translation for non-Bostonians–the subway).  For those who know it is a frustrating experience that makes you want to hop in your car and drive to the country or Rhode Island.  Delays, fires, sports fans, and vomit are all familiar sights on that are highlighted in the hilarious new musical at ImprovBoston–T:  An MBTA Musical. If interactive/improvisational theatre scares you, don’t worry:  this is a scripted show.  This show makes you laugh until it hurts; then, you are not so angry at the train on the way back–until the train stands still for twenty minutes because of a fire on the rail. Continue reading

Jun 24

What’s On This Week 24 June 2011

New Play at Salem Theatre Company

Here’s what’s happening this week (I do not know the quality of the productions since I have been out of town, but find something you might enjoy and go see some theatre this weekend!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boston      Metro Boston     Outer Points Massachusetts 

Rhode Island     Connecticut    Next to Normal Tour

Continue reading

Jun 15

The Normal Heart: “We must love one another or die”

Photo: Joan Marcus

The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer, The Golden Theatre, Broadway, 4/27/11-7/10/11. http://www.thenormalheartbroadway.com/. Winner of Tony Award for Best Revival, Best Featured Actress, and Best Featured Actor.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

WH Auden’s poem “September 1, 1939” (from which the title of the play is derived) states that “no one exists alone”. That statement reaches to the heart of the AIDS movement as we acknowledge the thirtieth anniversary of the first diagnosed case and continue to strive for full equality for every human being. Larry Kramer’s revolutionary play not only remains wholly relevant since its original production in 1985, but also challenges us to see that we have not gone far enough and there is still much work to be done. The cast shows that the only way we’re going to get through all the struggles is together. Continue reading

Jun 13

The People In The Picture: Uncovering the Past

Photo: Joan Marcus

The People in the Picture, book and lyrics by Iris Rainer Dart, music by Mike Stoller and Artie Butler, Roundabout Theatre Company, Studio 54, Broadway, 4/1/11-6/19/11.  http://www.roundabouttheatre.org/broadway/thepeopleinthepicture/index.htm

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

How can we ever forget the past?  How can remember?  These questions surface for Raisel and Red  when Jenny asks her Bubbie who the people in the picture are.  They are Raisel’s friends and theatre/film company.  These people hold the key to Jenny’s heritage and must instill it within her despite her mother’s objections and grandmother’s failing health.  Although the story and score are uneven, the talent and the sentiment carry the show through joy and heartbreak.

Donna Murphy spends the majority of the show as Jenny’s Bubbie who tries to pass down her family’s history.  Ms. Murphy shows her versatility by not only providing a strong dramatic performance but also by providing comedic moments depicting Raisel’s younger days.  Raisel shows her granddaughter Jenny (played by Rachel Resheff) the life that she and her theatre/film company had.  She tries to only share positive memories, but the horrible realities underneath keep seeping through.  Raisel’s daughter Red (played by Nicole Parker) pushes for the entire truth to be known and not simply a pleasant mythology.  Ms. Murphy’s acting, singing, and dancing flow effortlessly and show the whimsy, pain, and sacrifice that make up Raisel’s life. Continue reading