BOSTON — Boston Theatre Marathon XXIII: Special Zoom Edition Anthology is the physical manifestation of the 23rd Annual Boston Theatre Marathon on Zoom. #BTMXXIIIelectricZOOMaloo
The Boston Theatre Marathon was live and in-person until COVID-19 struck the Earth like a biblical pestilence. Years 2020 and 2021 were over Zoom. This anthology puts the magic and the mystery of 2021’s plays in one book.
From the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre website: “For more than two decades, the Boston Theater Marathon has brought together playwrights, directors, and theatre companies in an effort to foster collaboration between artists and producers. Continue reading →
Age Recommendation: 14 and older. Some adult content/language.
Review by Kitty Drexel
Video-On-Demand — The copious productions of The Christmas Carol that come around every year are for mainstream Christmas celebrators. The Rise and Fall of Holly Fudge is a Christmas production for the rest of us. It’s intersectionality feminist. It passes the Bechdel Test. It’s under two hours, and you can drink rum-nog the entire time from your own home. Cheers!
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house… Carol (New England darling Karen MacDonald) was stirring because her daughter Holly (Kristian Espiritu) was finally coming home to Brockton, Mass.! This year Holly is bringing her special friend Jordan (Eliza Martin Simpson). Worlds, politics, and identities collide when Holly reveals to Carol that Jordan is more than just her Jewish, progressive liberal friend from Portland.
Milicent Wright plays the online Zumba cueing, comestible baking, excellent listener and BFF neighbor Chris. I would take Zumba class with Chris/Millicent any day. She seems fun. Continue reading →
BOSTON — I tried not to have expectations entering Imagine Van Gogh.
Without intending to, I expected Imagine Van Gogh to be like Yayoi Kusama’s “Love Is Calling” which ran at the ICA. Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms is immersive and kaleidoscopic. Imagine Van Gogh is also immersive. Van Gogh’s paintings are magnified and set to the music of classical artists Saint-Saëns, Mozart, Bach, Delibes and Satie. It makes Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings accessible to an audience that can pay the ticket price.Continue reading →
The cast getting down. Photo Credit: Nikolai Alexander
Presented by Moonbox Productions Written by Stew with collaborator Heidi Rodewald Orchestrations by Heidi Rodewald Directed by Arthur Gomez Music direction by Julius LaFlamme Choreography by Elmer Martinez Intimacy consulting by Olivia Dumain Band: Miles Ahlstrom, Hector Saint-Hilaire, Sahil Warsi
12/10/21 – 1/1/22 South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA Boston, MA Moonbox on Facebook
Critique by Kitty Drexel
BOSTON – I was today years old when I realized that “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” is an bacronym for LSD, the psychedelic drug made famous by Harvard Professor Timothy Leary. It took watching Moonbox Productions’ Passing Strange on Saturday afternoon to figure it out. Several hours and a weak tea later, I realized I was a total square.Continue reading →
Presented by The Huntington Produced in association with Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and Pasadena Playhouse Written by Mike Lew Directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel
Assistant direction and movement coordination by Ashleigh King Choreography by Jennifer Weber Fight choreography by Robb Hunter
Content warning: Disabled people exist everywhere 24/7. If this play “expands your world,” you should know that’s ableist, and it’s really not about you.
BOSTON — This one time, in the Before Times, I was taking an ashtanga-style yoga class, and a random woman told me I was “inspirational.” I was dripping in sweat after having performed 60-minutes of intermediate poses with only one arm, and a brunette Karen in Athleta and Lululemon compression wear decided it was super important to tell me that I inspired her. She didn’t say what I inspired her to do, just that I was “inspirational.”
I wish I could say that I told the Karing Karen she inspired me to vomit a little in my mouth, but I was too shocked to say much of anything. I picked up my mat, and I skedaddled out of the studio to fume inspirationally in peace.
This horse can’t even do yoga.
I live with brachial plexus palsy, a permanent paralysis of my left arm from my shoulder through my fingers. (Coincidentally, it’s also the sexiest of the palsies.) Sometimes complete strangers find my ability to do completely normal, everyday things Inspirational. Showing up to yoga is difficult for everyone, Karen.
Abled people have a nasty habit of deriving inspiration from the inabilities of disabled people. We aren’t inspirational just because you find relief from not being disabled. Your inability to see us as people with lives is a You problem. As Buck says in Teenage Dick now at The Huntington, “Please don’t involve me.”Continue reading →
Photo by Stratton McCrady: Matthew Swain, Julien Tornelli, Fady Demian.
Presented byBoston Playwrights’ Theatre Written By Ally Sass Directed by Erica Terpening-Romeo A BU New Play initiative production Produced by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre and the Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Theatre
BOSTON — Incels and Other Myths invites the audience into the world of massive multiplayer online gaming and the Lord of the Flies corners of the internet, where misogyny has even less consequences than in the physical world. Elaine (Allison Blaize), a mythology teacher at an all-girls high school, and her precocious but awkward son Avery (Aidan Close) play the historical fantasy game, “Oracle.” In “Oracle,” they try on highly gendered, performative personas and encounter friends and monsters that help them get in touch with integral parts of themselves they couldn’t face in real life.Continue reading →
Presented by Arlekin Players’ (Zero-G) Virtual Theater Lab Conceived and directed by Igor Golyak Written by Nana Grinstein with Blair Cadden & Igor Golyak Scenography & Costume Design by Anna Fedorova Virtual Design by Daniel Cormino Sound Design by Viktor Semenov Produced by Sara Stackhouse Dramaturgy by Blair Cadden Featuring the Arlekin Acting Company
December 10, 2021 – January 23, 2023 Over the Arlekin (zero-G) virtual Theater Lab platform and Zoom Arlekin Players on Facebook Playbill
Review by Kitty Drexel
“It doesn’t feel virtual; it feels real.”
– Talkback moderator Inessa Rifkin, a founder of the Russian Jewish Community Foundation and a founder of the Russian School of Mathematics, after the December 13 performance of Witness.
ONLINE/Zoom — It’s almost Yule! Here’s a Christmas story: In May 1939, the MS St. Louis carried 937 passengers from Nazi-occupied Germany to Havana, Cuba. The Cuban government refused the ship. Its passengers remained onboard; the ship didn’t dock. Cuba had cancelled the immigration papers of the onboard immigrants without notifying them.
The United States refused the ship too. The US had space to put the passengers but our politicians let money and immigration law stop them from welcoming the passengers. We made a 1976 secular movie about it called “Voyage of the Damned” with Faye Dunaway. How American of us.
The Jewish passengers were finally allowed some succor when the ship returned to Europe that June. 254 of the passengers died in the Holocaust: 84 in Belgium; 84 in Holland, and 86 in France. There was no room at the inn or the stable with Mary and Joseph.
Witness by Arlenkin Players is about the fluffy talent show that the passengers held to boost morale. Local New Englanders who are also immigrants play passengers on the boat. It’s about the stark tragedy that our country, a nation that says it welcomes immigrants at its front door on the East Coast, decided that Jewish immigrants fleeing for their very lives should go elsewhere. Popup text boxes invite us to learn about who the passengers were and if they survived the ship. It’s about the multigenerational fight against anti-Semitism in the US. The Arlekin Acting Company portrays Jewish characters from across the decades.Continue reading →
Georg Friederich Händel’s Messiah Presented by Handel + Haydn Society Performed by Harry Christophers, conductor Carolyn Sampson, soprano Emily Marvosh, contralto* James Way, tenor Roderick Williams, baritone H+H Orchestra and Chorus
BOSTON — We were granted tickets to Handel + Haydn’s Messiah. It was lovely: the orchestra was in good form on their period instruments; the choir sang in four voices with rich purity; the soloists were attuned to the orchestra. It was a nice afternoon at the symphony. Our first since the quarantine.
In the program, H+H included a note: “We regret to announce that countertenor Reginald Mobley has been forced to withdraw from this week’s performances due to illness. We are pleased to announce that contralto Emily Marvosh has graciously agreed to take his place.”Continue reading →
Produced by The Nora@Central Square Theater A Catalyst Collaborative@MIT Production Written by Lauren Gunderson Directed by Bryn Boice Dramaturgy by Julie-Anne Whitney Voice & text direction by Christine Hamel Starring Lee Mikeska Gardner & Debra Wise
November 11 – December 12, 2021 Central Square Theater 450 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02139 CST on Facebook
Digital streaming: The digital stream of The Half-Life of Marie Curie is available from November 28 to December 26, 2021.
Review by Kitty Drexel
Cambridge, Mass. — The Half-Life of Marie Curie presented by The Nora Theatre Company is a platonic love story between two adult scientists separated by distance and their fields. It’s a show to see with your best friend. It is warmly written and bravely acted.
In the summer of 1912, two-time Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie (Lee Mikeska Gardner) hermited herself with friend and confidant Hertha Aryton (Debra Wise who entered wig first), renowned mechanical engineer. Curie was hounded by pigeonous journalists for daring to love in her widowhood. Aryton opened her seaside home to Curie and her daughters. They spoke of science, nature, womanhood, and many other things. Continue reading →
Chelsea, Mass. — TLP’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a forthright production. It takes no risks, but it lacks pretension. The staging is simple but the vocals are strong. The orchestra performs mightily. It is exactly what a good Sweeney Todd should be at a community level. Continue reading →