Feb 19

You Are Worth More Than Mere Survival: “The Manic Monologues”

“The Manic Monologues” cast; Photography: Nikolai Alexander, FPoint Productions

Presented by Moonbox Productions
Part of the Turning the Tide Project
By Zachary Burton and Elisa Hofmeister
Directed by Brad Reinking
Turning the Tide Director: Kara Crumrine
Mental health production consultant: Sara Burd
Featuring: Ethan DePuy, Cristhian Mancinas-Garcia, Liza Giangrande, Katie Kendrick, Mal Malme, Cidalia Santos

February 16 – 25, 2024
Arrow St Arts
2 Arrow Street
Studio
Cambridge, MA 02138

Audio Described Performance:
Saturday, February 24 at 8:00 pm

ASL Interpreted Performances:
Friday, February 23 at 8:00 pm
Saturday, February 24 at 3:00 pm
Saturday, February 24 at 8:00 pm
Sunday, February 25 at 3:00 pm

Captioned Performances:
All Manic Monologues performances will feature open captioning.
Running Time: 110 minutes, no intermission, includes a community conversation

Review by Kitty Drexel

Please note: The Manic Monologues has themes of emotional violence and self-harm. The stories are true but not necessarily true for the actor performing the monologue. Attendees should consider their own needs and triggers when attending. 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. —  The Manic Monologues is a play/community discussion in the tradition of The Vagina Monologues by V (formerly Eve Ensler). It is a series of monologues and one-sided dialogues about mental illness written and performed to disrupt the stigma and shame surrounding mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, autism, depression, anxiety disorders, and others.  Continue reading

Feb 12

Flipping a Tragedy on Its Head: “Duel Reality”

Duel Reality – Mât Chinois, Credit: Arata Urawa

Presented by Arts Emerson
Originally produced and created with Virgin Voyages
Directed by Shana Carrol
Performed by The 7 Fingers
Based on Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Featuring Nicolas Jelmoni, Soen Geinaert, Danny Vrijsen, Einar Kling-Odencrants, Anni Küpper,
Andreas De Ryck, Aerial Emery ou Méliejade Tremblay-Bouchard, Andrew Price, Kalani June,
Arata Urawa
Music by Colin Gagné
Lighting by Alexander Nichols
Acrobatic Coach: Francisco Cruz

February 7-19, 2024
Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre
219 Tremont St.
Boston, MA 02116

Review by Craig Idlebrook

BOSTON, Mass. — In a presidential election year, can American audiences find joy in a Shakespeare-based tragedy about red-versus-blue factionalism?

Yes, thanks to the joyous movement-based storytelling that The 7 Fingers artistic collaborative brings to the stage. This troupe dazzles by combining snippets of dialogue and the heart of Romeo and Juliet with an hour-long air-defying spectacle of acrobatics that is likely to leave you smiling and at the edge of your seat. Continue reading

Feb 10

A “Little Peasants” Reading at The Burren Backroom

Presented by Food Tank 
Written by Bernard Pollack
Directed by Dori A. Robinson
Dramaturgy and Production by Elena Morris

Wed, Feb. 7 @ 7 PM
Wed, Feb. 21 @ 7 PM SOLD OUT
The Burren Backroom 
Somerville, MA

Critique by Kitty Drexel

SOMERVILLE, Mass. — The Food Tank presents two readings of Little Peasants: A Peek Behind Closed Doors of a Food Workers’ Union Organizing Campaign. This article is based on the reading performed on Feb. 7 at 7 PM. Little Peasants is supported by the Somerville Arts Council through the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Continue reading

Feb 05

You Can’t Quit Everytime Someone Denies You Funding: “Machine Learning”

Armando Rivera. Photo: Nile Scott Studios.

Presented by Central Square Theater
Produced in partnership with Teatro Chelsea
A Catalyst Collaborative@MIT Production
Written by Francisco Mendoza
Directed by Gabriel Vega Weissman
Dramaturgy by Sofia Cardona

January 25 – February 25. 2024
Central Square Theater
450 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

Machine Learning runs approximately 100 minutes with no intermission.

Content warning: Themes of addiction, toxic masculinity, a child in an emotionally and mentally abusive environment, and human suffering. 

Prop cigarettes are used in this production.

Critique by Kitty Drexel

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Machine Learning by Francisco Mendoza is presented jointly by Central Square Theater and Teatro Chelsea. It is directed by Gabriel Vega Weissman and will play at Central Square Theater in Cambridge, MA through February 25.

Machine Learning imagines a world where the abilities of AI have grown far past ChatGPT and Siri. Jorge (Armando Rivera) is a promising but aimless grad student without a university to sponsor his work. Anita (Sugandha Gopal), a robotics and AI professor agrees to bring Jorge into her program on the condition that Jorge will choose a project and stick with it.  Continue reading

Jan 31

To Believe Things Still Make Sense: “A Case for the Existence of God”

Hinson and Grant. Nile Scott Studios photo.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
Written by Samuel D Hunter
Directed by Melinda Lopez
Intimacy choreography by Ted Hewlett
Featuring De’Lon Grant as Keith and Jesse Hinson as Ryan

Jan 26 – Feb 17, 2024
Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA 02116

Approx. 90 minutes with no intermission

Critique by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON, Mass. — A Case for the Existence of God is the story of two lonely men in small-town Idaho finding friendship in a mortgage brokerage. Keith (De’Lon Grant) and Ryan (Jesse Hinson) meet at their daughters’ daycare. Keith is a Black, culturally astute broker. Ryan is a white, blue-collar factory worker with a heart of gold and coffers of dust who needs a mortgage. 

They bond over the struggles of single fatherhood. Keith is fostering Willa and hopes to adopt her. Ryan wants to buy a plot of land on what used to be his great-grandad’s original plot so he can leave it to baby daughter Crista. What begins as a grueling process of jumping through bank hoops becomes a true friendship between men who have more in common than they don’t.  Continue reading

Jan 30

Maybe the real cryptids were the trauma bonds we made along the way: “The Interrobangers”

(L-R) Jenine Florence Jacinto, Anderson Stinson III, Jay Connolly, Schanaya Barrows (Photo by Erin Crowley)

Presented by Company One Theatre in partnership with the Boston Public Library and The Theater Offensive
Written by M. Sloth Levine
Directed by Josh Glenn-Kayden
Dramaturgy by Regine Vital

January 26 – February 24, 2024
Rabb Hall
Boston Public Library, Central Branch
Boston, MA 02116

FREE with Pay-What-You-Want tickets

Content Warning: substance use, swearing, references to child abuse, abduction, and trauma. 

Production has sequences with flashing lights.

Critique by Kitty Drexel

“An interrobang [in-TER-eh-bang] is a nonstandard double punctuation mark that combines the functions and glyphs of an exclamation mark (!) and a question mark (?) into one form: ‽. It indicates a sentence that is both a question and an exclamation, expressing surprise or disbelief.”

“What Is an Interrobang?! Definition and Examples” by Kelly Konya:  https://www.grammarly.com/. Last updated on January 3, 2024. 

BOSTON, Mass. — The Interrobangers is a queer play for the queer community. It does not adhere to the traditional European, three-act play format. Traditional narratives don’t include us, so they don’t apply to us. 

Welcome, allies. Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night. Continue reading

Jan 15

Read, Played, and Broken Into Pieces: “Northside Hollow” at the BCA

Photo by Edward Boches. Pollock (left) and Kropf (right) in “Northside Hollow.”

Presented by Harbor Stage Company
Written and directed by Jonathan Fielding and Brenda Withers
Featuring Robert Kropf, Alex Pollock, Stacy Fischer, Joe Kenehan

Jan 11 –  20, 2024
Boston Center for the Arts
BCA Plaza Black Box Theatre
539 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 

The digital playbill

Performed with no intermission.

Review by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON, Mass. — Harbor Stage Company presents Northside Hollow by Jonathan Fielding and Brenda Withers. It was previously performed on the Cape in 2015. The 2024 production is damn fine theatre. 

Continue reading