Nov 04

Don’t Tell Me the Odds: “Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka”

Photo by Nile Scott.

Presented by Wheelock Family Theatre
Music and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newly
Adapted for the stage by Leslie Bricusse and Timothy Allen McDonald
Based on the book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Directed by Emily Ranii
Music directed by Nathan Urdangen 
Choreographed by Russell Garrett

Oct 25 – Nov. 17, 2019
Boston University
200 Riverway 
Boston, MA 02215
Wheelock on Facebook

Critique by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Wheelock Family Theatre’s production of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka (2004) should not be confused with the West End and Broadway production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2013). Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is currently touring in the US (now in Omaha!). Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka is not. Both incorporate elements from Dahl’s novel and the two Hollywood movies. They are similar but not the same.  

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka cannot compete with the novel or the movies. Fans of the other Wonka media should view this iteration as the children’s theatre it is and not compare it to its source materials. They will be disappointed. Continue reading

Nov 04

All Together Now #11: On Artists Mark Lipman and Jenee Halstead

All Together Now #11 

Presented by All Together Boston
Saturday, Nov 9, doors at 6 PM
Midway Cafe, 3496 Washington St, Somerville
Tickets are found HERE 
Facebook Event Page

Article by Noelani Kamelamela

(Somerville, MA) A day before their first dress rehearsal for All Together Now #11, collaborators Mark Lipman and Jenee Halstead sounded excited and hopeful, clearly in the middle of their creative process. A three way call before Halstead’s latest gig was bouncy and peppy with occasional noises as the connection faded in and out.  Deferring politely to each other at times, they had an easy back and forth and provided me with insight into their recent reworking of the performance art piece “Welcome to the Closet.” 

Photo by Jon Beckley.

Continue reading

Nov 01

SpeakEasy Releases Community Expectations

Boston, Mass. – SpeakEasy Stage Company published its Community Expectations, a public page on facilitating respectful conversations for artists, patrons, board members and staff, on its website the afternoon of October 30, 2019.

This list of expectations is a continuation of SpeakEasy’s work towards an inclusive, brave and accessible environment, said the SpeakEasy website. “The only way we can facilitate effective and constructive conversations created by this work is by treating all people with respect,” said the website.

In an email, Community Programs Manager Alex Lonati said, “So much of the SpeakEasy community already feels like a family, and our hope with this Community Expectations statement is that we will continue to create a space where everyone feels welcome and safe to participate and enjoy.”

The theatre company expects artists, patrons, board members and staff to comply with the tenets of the Community Expectations. The conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • Respecting all cultural backgrounds and identities.
  • Understanding each individual’s right to be at the theater and enjoy it in their own way while being mindful of those around them.
  • Showing appreciation for the facility and those working within it.

“In this rather tumultuous time, we believe that our community can only benefit from a reminder of the respectful ways to act at the theater, and the fact that everyone is welcome to attend and enjoy art in their own way. If nothing else, we believe this statement will start a conversation and encourage people to really think about how they are impacting the experience of others,” said Lonati.

The website says that anyone who has experienced behavior that has negatively impacted their ability to fully participate the art SpeakEasy creates should reach out to Community Programs Manager Alex Lonati. Community members are also encouraged to contact SpeakEasy staff or the Board of Directors.

“We are here to listen,” says the website.

Oct 31

The Lost Treasures in “Cambodian Rock Band”

Matthew Yee, Peter Sipla, Aja Wiltshire, Eileen Doan, Greg Watanabe; Photo by Liz Lauren courtesy of Victory Gardens

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
A co-production with Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago and City Theatre in Pittsburgh
By Lauren Yee
Directed by Marti Lyons
Featuring the songs of Dengue Fever, Sinn Sisamouth, Voy Ho, and Rose Serey Sothea
Cast includes Eileen Doan (Pou, keyboards), Albert Park (Duch), Christopher Thomas Pow (Leng/Ted, guitar), Peter Sipla (Rom, drums), Greg Watanabe (Chum, bass),  and Aja Wiltshire (Neary/Sothea, vocals).

Oct 16-Nov 10
Merrimack Repertory Theatre 
Lowell,MA
MRT on Facebook 

Review by Shiyanbade Animashaun

(Lowell, MA) The history one learns from Cambodian Rock Band will vary based on previous knowledge of the Cambodian genocide, the Vietnam War, and other geopolitical histories of that era. Lauren Yee’s narrative blends details about how characters survived genocide with elements from the real stories of countless others. Yet, one doesn’t leave the theater with fresh tears of sadness, rather, with smiles over tear-stained faces. The actors, particularly the father-daughter pair of Chum (Greg Watanabe) and Neary (Aja Wilshire), have both very touching and comical exchanges throughout the over 2 hour run time. 

It weaves together a portrait of a father, a mystery, history, and amazing music. From the pre-show announcement to ‘cold open’, both in Khmer, audiences are taken on a ride between the 70’s to the early 2000s features a band from the 70s, singing in Khmer. Continue reading

Oct 30

An important work amid political crisis: “The Revolutionists”

Presented by Newton Nomadic Theater
Written by Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Nicole Galland

Performance dates: Nov 1 – Nov 10
Various locations:
Fri 11/1 & Sat 11/2, 7:30 PM: Gregorian Rugs, Newton Lower Falls, 2284 Washington St.
Fri 11/8 & Sat 11/9, 7:30 PM: Finch/Robinson home, Waban
Sun 11/10, 4:00 PM: Dunn Gaherin’s Pub, Newton Upper Falls, 344 Elliot St.
NNT on Facebook

Review by Chloé Cunha

(Newton, MA) What do you do when you’re in the middle of a revolution and your only discernible skills are to write good plays? According to The Revolutionists, whatever happens, don’t write a musical (but maybe add a puppet or two)! Continue reading

Oct 28

“Tomes of Terror: Beyond Grimm”

Presented by the Post-Meridian Radio Players
“A Hare-Raising Tale” by Naomi Hinchen, directed by J. Deschene
“The Myling” by Adrian Cory, directed by Tegan Kehoe
“The Boy Who Drew Cats” by Greg Lam, directed by Laura Corliss
“La Siguanaba” by Liz Salazar, directed by Joye Thaller

October 25th – November 2, 2019
Boston Brunch Church (formerly Responsible Grace)
204 Elm Street, Somerville, MA
PMRP on Facebook

Review by Piyali Mukherjee

(Somerville, MA) On Friday night, the Post Meridian Radio Players presented their Tomes of Terror: Beyond Grimm dramatized radio show at the Boston Brunch Church. The stories, collected from Norway, Ireland, Japan and Honduras, were presented as a show-case. The show provided a visual spectacle with a visible foley team and all actors in costume. Continue reading

Oct 25

Zoe Stuckless, Amber Crollo, Kelly Bachman are Heroes/Harvey Weinstein Continues to Hurt Women

Meanwhile on Twitter and Facebook, Harvey Weinstein won’t learn from his awful behavior. The theatre doesn’t need (any more) people like Weinstein.

The New England Geek stands with survivors. We will believe you if you choose to come forward. You are welcome here. You are not alone. #MeToo

The conversation is ongoing. Search #DowntimeBarNYC for updates.

Oct 24

“My Fascination with Creepy Ladies” and a Complete Replication of Poe

Foreground, front to back: Siobhan Carroll, Luz Lopez, Elena Toppo.
Background, front to back: C. Padraig Sullivan, Christine Power, Jessica Golden

Presented by Anthem Theatre Company
A Collection of Horrors by Edgar Allan Poe
Conceived and Directed by Bryn Boice
Featuring Anthem company members Michael Poignand, Johnny Kinsman, Siobhan Carroll, Olivia Z. Cote, Sarah Gazdowicz, Jessica Golden, Katie Grindeland, Luz Lopez, Jessica Scout Malone, Eric McGowan, Christine Power, C. Padraig Sullivan, and Elena Toppo.
Designed by Bridget K. Doyle and Theona White

October 17 – November 3, 2019
South End / BCA Plaza Theatres
Plaza Black Box Theatre
539 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02116
Event on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) Berenice, Annie, Ligeia, Rowena, Annabel Lee, Morella, Lenore, and so many others– an archetype with many names collapsed into a single, waifish woman with hair that hangs loose over her shoulders and a hint of otherworldliness. Meanwhile, the heroes and narrators of these stories are boiled down into the figure of a melancholic, bow-tied, possibly opium-addled narrator.

The woman in question is always on the verge of death, or has already died, but in the wake of that death, she is somehow made more beautiful, powerful, and entrancing. In Anthem Theatre Company’s My Fascination with Creepy Ladies, these characters are now four, leering, dancing, and laughing Creepy Ladies that haunt eight, terrorized, pale, bow-tied Poes. Continue reading

Oct 23

An Unabashedly Queer Celebration: “The Rocky Horror Show”

L to R: Jaclyn Chylinski (Phantom), Carly Grayson (Janet), Alexander Boyle (Brad) and Alex Jacobs (Narrator); Photograph: Sharman Altshuler.

Presented by Moonbox Productions 
Music, Lyrics and Book by Richard O’Brien
Directed by David Lucey
Music direction by Mindy Cimini
Choreography by Dan Sullivan
Costume Design by David Lucey
Set Design by Cameron McEachern
Lighting Design by Sam J. Biondolillo

Performance dates: Oct 18 – Nov 2, 2019
25 Brattle St, Cambridge MA
Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/MoonboxProductions/

Review by Chloé Cunha

(Cambridge, MA) As a lifelong Cambridge resident, I remember when the Harvard Square Theatre closed. Like many, I was deeply saddened by the loss of this cinema treasure, where I had spent many a day and night watching some fantastic– and truly terrible– movies. More specifically, it was painful for the loss of the weekly screenings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, which had been an institution since 1984. Continue reading

Oct 22

Songs of Light and History: “Marie and Rosetta”

Lovely Hoffman, Pier Lamia Porter; photo by Nile Scott Studios.

Presented by Greater Boston Stage Company in Collaboration with The Front Porch Arts Collective
By George Brant
Directed by Pascale Florestal
Musical Direction by Erica Telisnor

With Lovely Hoffman, Pier Lamia Porter

Oct. 17 – Nov. 10, 2019
Greater Boston Stage Company 
395 Main Street
Stoneham, MA 02180
GBSC on Facebook

Review by: Shiyanbade Animashaun

(Stoneham, MA) Marie and Rosetta is a tremendous concert built around a conversation that shares what should be a much more well-known story about the roots of Rock-N-Roll. It takes place on the first rehearsal night for a dynamic musical duo, played and sung by Lovely Hoffman as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and Pier Lamia Porter as Marie Knight. The comedic and moving single act conversation has scenic and costume design by Baron E.Pugh and Michelle Villada, which help transport the audience to this moment in time. Continue reading