Jun 17

Close Your Eyes and Think of England: “Cloud 9”

Cast of “Cloud 9”
Photo: Nile Scott Studios

Presented by the Nora Theatre Company
By Caryl Churchill
Directed by Lee Mikeska Gardner
Voice and Music direction by Caitlin Gjerdrum
Dramaturgy by Sophie Gore
Text and dialect coaching by Allison Olivia Choat

June 6 – 30, 2019
Central Square Theater
Cambridge, MA
CST on Facebook

Critique by Kitty Drexel

Warning: this post contains spoilers. The spoilers are necessary to the conversation.

Trigger warnings: child abuse, mentions of domestic violence, racism, sexism, creepy dolls

Satire: (noun) sat·​ire | \ ˈsa-ˌtī(-ə)r
Definition of satire

1 : a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn
2 : trenchant wit, irony, or sarcasm used to expose and discredit vice or folly – Per the Merriam-Webster online dictionary

(Cambridge, MA) Satire doesn’t have to be funny. Most satire is funny, but it isn’t a hard and fast rule. Much of comedy is found funny because of its treatment of serious topics. For example, jokes about the Boston Str8 Pride Parade* will get a laugh in some situations. In other situations, the jokes don’t land because this parade represents unadulterated hate towards the LGBTQ+ community. We understand why your jokes are “funny,” but it’s our lives those neo-nazis are protesting. The protest might be funny if it were satire – But it isn’t. It’s real. We’re real too. 

I mention this because the themes that Caryl Churchill attacks in Cloud 9 are real too. Heteros still think that the LGBTQ+ community is asking for extra protections. People of Color (POC) are being massacred in the US for their audacity to take up space. These things aren’t funny but jokes about them can be if told properly. Cloud 9’s themes are still relevant. Continue reading

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Aug 06

A State of Virginal Ecstasy; Or, Needs More Snakes in Bowls: “Dark Room”

Ensemble | Photo Credit, Andrew Brilliant

Presented by Bridge Repertory Theater
Written by George Brant
Inspired by the life, death, and photography of Francesca Woodman
Directed by Olivia D’Ambrosio
Associate director and dramaturgy by Alexander Platt
Choreography by Doppelgänger Dance Collective

July 27 – August 16, 2018
In residence at the Multicultural Arts Center
Cambridge, MA
Bridge Rep on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Disclaimer: I auditioned for this production, and was not cast. It is my opinion that only a jackass would allow rejection, a natural process of auditioning, to taint their review.

(Cambridge, MA) Producer and director, D’Ambrosio gives an important, informative speech before Dark Room to guide audience expectations. She suggests we allow the performance to wash over us. Should we become puzzled by the actions onstage, rather than self-interpret what we see, we should allow the performance to explain itself through continued observance. I’d further posit that audience members do proper research before attending. The chiaroscuro style of Francesca Woodman is emphatically stirring. To fully absorb the performance, it behooves an audience to google Woodman’s art. Continue reading

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Sep 23

Patients Are People Too: THE FORGETTING CURVE

FC - Postcard_F copy

Presented by Bridge Repertory Theatre & Theatrum Mundi Productions
in association with Alan Swanke, Cole Burden & Playhouse Creatures Theatre Co.
Information resourced from Memory’s Ghost: The Nature of Memory and the Strange Tale of Mr. M, by Phillip J. Hilts

By Vanda
Directed by Kimerly Loren Eaton

Sept. 4 – 27, 2014
Wimberly Stage
Calderwood Pavilion at the
Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont St, Boston
Bridge Rep on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger Warnings: vintage sexism, reenactment of seizures/chronic illness, sweet lesbian love

(Boston, MA) The Forgetting Curve is about a family whose trust is abused by doctors. Patient HM (Henry Gustav Molaison, Feb. 26, 1926 – Dec. 2, 2008) suffered seizures as a teenager. To stop his otherwise untreatable epilepsy, surgeons removed the anterior two thirds of his hippocampi and other areas of his brain. At the time, doctors were unaware that, by removing his hippocampi, HM would essentially be incapable of retaining new memories. They turned HM into a high school educated goldfish with their experiments. Continue reading

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Dec 17

A Mishmashed Culture Clash: CHING-LISH

Photos by Nerys Powell

Photos by Nerys Powell

by David Henry Hwang
directed by Larry Coen
Lyric Stage Company
140 Clarendon St
Boston, MA
November 30th – December 23rd, 2012
Lyric Stage Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston) There is something that can be excruciatingly transcendent about trying to communicate in a foreign language.  For one thing, you must forgo words like “excruciatingly” and “transcendent” for utilitarian expressions and gesticulations to get the job done.  You must expose yourself to ridicule and connect in a raw and childlike way in the hope that others will understand you.  If you stick with the process, it’s easy to believe your artifice is stripped away in the process to reveal the real you. Continue reading

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