(Boston, MA) I enjoy myself most with adaptations of Shakespeare’s comedies when their sense of fun and lightness remain intact. The direction in Boston University Theatre’s production of Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream didn’t fail me. This vision is every bit the dream of the title. Fairies wear blue wigs and polka dot suits, columns of giant, white flowers are moved across the stage, Puck (Elizabeth Valenti) brings Queen Tytania (Maya Kherani) her morning tea, and King Oberon (Wee-Kiat Chia) smugly points out his wife slept with an enchanted donkey-man (Joseph Hubbard) the night before. One scene flows into the next elegantly. For the most part, it’s a perfectly realized vision. Continue reading →
Fresh Ink Theatre’s Distant Neighbors hits at the heart of what the best science fiction is about: people reacting to technological advancement. If you read (or watch the film adaption of) Jurassic Park, you’re not just consuming entertainment to see how people create dinosaurs, but how people react to creating dinosaurs. Similarly, the characters of Distant Neighbors react to a change in an intimate environment. Here, however, the source of upheaval is the wing of an apparent spacecraft that comes crashing down into the backyards of Adams (Sheldon Brown), Talia (Louise Hamill), and Griffin (Daniel Boudreau), three neighbors who know nothing about each other. It’s a wonderful starting point for a story about intimacy and paranoia, but I’m not sure it pans out well.
(Boston) In Hub Theatre’s production of Three Days of Rain, audiences are gently tricked. We are initially introduced to a family melodrama that takes place in 1995. Walker (John Geoffrion) comes to terms with his father’s death in the rundown apartment the man shared with his business partner during the sixties. Stubborn and volatile, Walker doesn’t appear to have a great relationship with his sister, the “sane” Nan (Marty Seeger Mason), who takes him to the reading of their famous architect father’s will. They are joined by the son of his late business partner, Pip (Tim Hoover), a kind but not terribly bright soap opera actor. With the reading of the will, the peace between the three of them deteriorates and their complex bond reforms. So far, this is a story of despair, but it’s also just its maudlin surface. Continue reading →