Mar 30

Preach the Gospel of Good Eating: “Clyde’s” at The Huntington

Left to right: Harold Surratt and April Nixon; Photo credit: Kevin Berne

Presented by The Huntington in co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre
By Lynn Nottage
Directed by Taylor Reynolds
Intimacy and fight consultant: Yo-El Cassell

March 24 – April 23, 2023
The Huntington Theatre
264 Huntington Ave. 
Boston, MA 02115
Digital Playbill

Critique by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON, Mass. — The Huntington reopens its doors to the public after a long hiatus for renovations with Clyde’s. It is written by Lynn Nottage and directed by Taylor Reynolds. Performances run through April 23.

The facade of the Huntington Ave theater remains largely the same. It is as pristine and classic as Symphony Hall across the street, but there are some changes: the new front door is to the right of the old one. It is accessible to wheelchair users! A glowing sign lights the way to the new front door.  Continue reading

Mar 27

Choose Flying: “Wild Goose Dreams”

Jeffrey Song and Eunji Lim; Nile Scott Studios.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
Written by Hansol Jung
Directed by Seonjae Kim
Intimacy choreography by Yo-El Cassell 
Original compositions by Jeffrey Song
Featuring: Amanda Centeno, Ciaran D’Hondt, Fady Demian, John D. Haggerty, Elaine Hom, Eunji Lim, Ryan Mardesich, Jeffrey Song.

March 17 – April 8, 2023
Roberts Studio Theatre 
Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont Street
Boston, MA

Run time is estimated to be 1:40 without intermission.  

Critique by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON, Mass. — Wild Goose Dreams is a play with music by Hansol Jung and directed by Seonjae Kim. It is presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company and currently running at the Boston Center for the Arts. Audiences will encounter themes of loneliness, internet dependence, and censorship. 

Boston began its relationship with Wild Goose Dreams in May 2020 on Facebook Live during the Lockdown. Central Square Theater hosted a reading of Jung’s play with Underground Railway as part of its “Art is our Activism” series. Debra Wise directed a different cast (also led by Jeffrey Song!) that featured actor Michael Tow. Geek writer Diana Lu interviewed Tow after the reading for the blog. 

Shortly before the Lockdown, Company One performed Jung’s Wolf Play through February 2020 – just before lockdown began. Boston’s artists and audiences were ready for Jung’s work! History had other plans. 

At long last, SpeakEasy Stage Co brings Wild Goose Dreams, a play with musical vignettes, to Boston! (I bet it had some steep competition.) Wild Goose Dreams gets the New England premiere it deserves. We don’t have to wait any longer to see this play in person.  Continue reading

Mar 17

I Didn’t Make the World, I Just Live Here: Front Porch Arts Collective and The Huntington present “K-I-S-S-I-N-G”

Sharmarke Yusuf and Regan Sims; Photo: T Charles Erickson.

Presented by the Front Porch Arts Collective and The Huntington
Written by Lenelle Moïse
Directed by Dawn M. Simmons
Dramaturgy by Charles Haugland 
Choreography by Misha Shields
Intimacy consultant: Gregory Geffrard
Voice coaching by Christine Hamel, Rebecca Schneebaum
Cultural consultant: New England Aces

March 3, 2023 – April 2, 2023
The Calderwood Pavilion/BCA
Boston, MA 02116
2 hours and 20 minutes with one intermission
Digital access to the filmed performance is available until April 16, 2023. 

Spoiler Alert: New England Theatre Geek discusses a central theme of K-I-S-S-I-N-G. Knowing this information shouldn’t ruin the play’s other surprises, character arcs, or ending. Your reaction to this plot point, how the characters react to it, and the audience’s reaction may teach you about your own inherent biases.

Critique by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON, MA —  The Huntington and The Porch must please update their summary for K-I-S-S-I-N-G. It no longer accurately describes the show. I thought there was going to be a lot more David Bowie and at least one quote from bell hooks. There are no pizza box art projects or fireworks displays. The co-production is/was highly anticipated. That part can stay.

K-I-S-S-I-N-G is a quasi-Cinderella story about the emotional and sexual awakening of Lala (Regan Sims), a young woman living on the edge of poverty who craves art, poetry, and the feel of warm, supportive arms around her. She lives with her emotionally stunted mother Dot (the ethereal Patrese D McClain who dominated the stage with her presence) and her little brother Max. Lala’s father Jack (James Milord) loves Lala like the sun loves the sparkle on the ocean’s waves, but he can only visit once a week. Continue reading

Apr 23

God Is Change: “Octavia E. Butler’s The Parable of the Sower”

Presented by ArtsEmerson
Created by Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon
Co-Directed by Eric Ting & Signe V. Harriday 
Music and Lyrics by Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon 
Music Direction by Toshi Reagon  
Choreography by Millicent Johnnie 
Movement Director: Yasmine Lee 
Performed by Marie Tatti Aqeel, Alina Carson, Helga Davis, Kyle Garvin, Jared Wayne Gladly, Toussaint Jeanlouis, Karma Mayet Johnson, Morley Kamen, Alexandra Koi, Josette Newsam, Shelley Nicole, Toshi Reagon, Noah Virgile, Evie Schuckman Orchestra Monique Brooks Roberts, Zach Brown, Bobby Burke, Fred Cash, Jr., Chogyi, Matt Graff 
Orchestra: Monique Brooks Roberts, Zach Brown, Bobby Burke, Fred Cash, Jr., Chogyi, Matt Graff

April 21 – 24, 2022  
Open Captioning: Fri, April 22 @ 8:00 PM
American Sign Language: Sun April, 24 @ 2:00 PM
Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre 
219 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02116

Recommended for Ages 13+  

Running Time: 120 minutes, no intermission 

Please Note: Proof of vaccination or a negative test is required for entry

Critique by Kitty Drexel

“All that you touch
You Change.
All that you Change
Changes you.
The only lasting truth
Is Change.
God
Is Change.”
Earthseed, Lauren Olamina in The Parable of the Sower

BOSTON, Mass. — The audience was small on Thursday night but grateful. We’d waited over two years to see Toshi Reagon’s Octavia E. Butler’s The Parable of the Sower. The air was palpable with anticipation. We had each other to talk to and other excited conversations to easedrop on. When the theatre held the house lights for an extra 20 minutes to allow late audience members to straggle in, we were okay with it. 

When the lights finally dimmed to signal the start of the show, a hush fell over us. Finally, after all this waiting, it was time for church. 

Octavia E. Butler’s The Parable of the Sower is an opera adapted by Toshi Reagon and Bernice Johnson Reagon from the Afro-futurist science fiction writer Octavia E. Butler’s novel The Parable of the Sower.  The ArtsEmerson website says it is “a genre-defying, modern congregational opera that celebrates two centuries of Black music.”  Continue reading

Apr 17

Stop Wasting Food: “BURGERZ”

Presented by ArtsEmerson
Written & performed by Travis Alabanza
Produced by Hackney Showroom
Directed by Sam Curtis Lindsay
Movement by Nando Messias
Dramaturgy by Nina Lyndon

April 13 – 23, 2022
Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theater
Boston, MA 
ArtsEmerson on Facebook

Review by Noe Kamelamela

Content warning:  gender-based violence and transphobia are discussed in this review and also in BURGERZ.

BOSTON, Mass. –In the time before the COVID pandemic started here in the States, the danger of being visibly queer felt risky and fun to me, heading to the strip mall eager to anger gender essentialists a bit like poking caged bears, a way to appease my past teenaged, quieter, closeted self. I was armed with keen attention to exits and entrances, always ready to leave. I would relate scenes to friends about children asking me what it was to be different.  Or people – rude people, very rude – being weird to me about what bathroom I went to, regardless of whatever I wore or which bathroom I used it was always wrong. Continue reading

Apr 12

Women Gone Wild: “Beasts” at BPT

Clara Francesca, Caroline Emily Calkins; Photos by Stratton McCrady

Presented by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
by Cayenne Douglass
Directed by Kelly Galvin
Fight choreography by Ryan Winkles
Online Playbill 

April 7-17, 2022
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
949 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215

Review by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON — There is nothing more hardcore than birthing a baby (sorry BASE jumpers). It’s not “the most beautiful thing I’ve ever experienced” as my own father put it. Babies are metal AF. 

Just like many other XXXtreme tasks, delivering and rearing a baby doesn’t come naturally to many mothers. Maternal instincts require hard work: research, doctor visits, mommy groups, prenatal yoga, therapy, emotional and physical labor. Beasts by Cayenne Douglass explores the psyche of pregnancy. It takes a deep dive into what it means to be gestating a human parasite.  Continue reading

Mar 22

Loves, Losses and Transformations: “The Raft”

Curtis and Bellingham

Presented by Club Passim
Written by Rebecca Bellingham
Music by Catie Curtis
With special guest Rose Polanzani

Live and Streamed: April 20, 2022
Club Passim
47 Palmer St
Cambridge, MA 02138

Review by Maegan Clearwood

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The marketing language for the musical The Raft likens Rebecca Bellingham’s writing process to piecing together a tapestry: 25-years’ worth of threads, from journal entries to emails to text messages, woven into a singular, sprawling story. But the more-or-less finished product, presented as a workshop reading at Club Passim, feels more like a quilt: distinct stories from two distinct lives that aren’t so much intertwined as they are lovingly stitched at the seams. Continue reading

Mar 19

I Need Your Hand on My Heart: “Everyday Life and Other Odds and Ends”

Presented by ArtsEmerson and Sleeping Weasel
Written by Charlotte Meehan
Directed by Tara Brooke Watkins
Choreographed by Peter DiMuro
Videography by Lee Francois
Original composition “Alone Together” by Kirsten Volness

Live: March 12 – March 27, 2022
Streamed: April 1 – 10, 2022
Emerson Paramount Center
Jackie Liebergott Black Box
559 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02111

Review by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON, Mass. — Everyday Life and Other Odds and Ends by Charlotte Meehan is about people. People are confusing, leaky, wonderful, breakable creatures capable of great love and harrowing despair. 

This play is also about disability. We are introduced to Meehan’s characters and their relationships, and then we learn about their relationships to Parkinson’s Disease. People with disabilities are human first so it is right that we learn the world of the play in this order. 

In Everyday Life and Other Odds and Ends, three imperfect couples navigate their relationships. We watch them live with Parkinson’s Disease. The persons with PD are surviving. The caretakers are too. Survival means something different to each couple. We learn what survival means at the same time they do.  Continue reading

May 04

BLACK FEMINIST VIDEO GAME: A glimpse into the future?

Presented by The Civilians
Written by Darrel Alejandro Holnes
Directed by Victoria Collado
Video Game created by Ché Lovell Rose & Jocelyn Short
Produced by Ilana Becker
Sound Design by Twi McCallum
Featuring Christon Andell, Kyla Jeanne Butts, Starr Kirkland, Darrel Alejandro Holnes, Constance Fields, Phillip Patrick Wright, Michael Diamond, Mia Anderson, and Brandiss LaShai Seward.

April 27 – May 9, 2021
The Civilians
138 SOUTH OXFORD STREET #3C
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK 11217 
The Civilians on Facebook

Critique by Afrikah Smith

YOUTUBE — BLACK FEMINIST VIDEO GAME is a groundbreaking, online theatrical experience that explores love, neurodiversity, and the importance of Black feminism.

After a first date gone wrong, Jonas Jones (Christon Andell) is determined to find a way to win back his crush, Nicole (Starr Kirkland). As a biracial teenager with autism, Jonas broadcasts his life online as a means of connection, destigmatising autism, and becoming a filmmaker. Integrating live chat in the performance, Jonas asks audiences for advice on what he should do. While brainstorming, he finds an old gift from his mother; a video game that may lead a way to winning Nicole back.  Continue reading

Apr 30

Love is Everyone: “Until the Flood”

Maiesha McQueen in Until the Flood. Photo: Kathy Wittman

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre 
By Dael Orlandersmith
Directed by Timothy Douglas
Original music by Lindsay Jones
Film by Kathy Wittman
Performed with excellence by Maiesha McQueen

April 17 to May 2, 2021
Via video-on-demand only
TICKETS
MRT on Facebook

MRT’s Content Alert: Based on real events, Until the Flood includes references to racism, bigotry, prejudice, and off-stage violence. The play contains strong adult content/language, including racial slurs. Recommended for ages 16 and older.

Critique by Kitty Drexel

STREAMING — The US police keep killing Black people. On Wednesday, April 28 a Collin County, Texas medical examiner ruled Marvin Scott III’s death a homicide. That was last night. Ma’Khia Bryant was killed by police on April 22. Derek Chauvin was convicted of killing George Floyd on April 20. Nearly a year after the murder took place. Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Aleah Jenkins, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown: I could go on and on. It’s no wonder that human rights lawyers from around the world have called for an investigation of the international criminal court into the systematic murder of Black people in the US. 

Until the Flood is a one-woman show about the stories we tell with our lives. On August 9, 2014 Darren Wilson, a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an African American teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. In response to the murder, Dael Orlandersmith interviewed Black and white people, compiled their stories and created this play. We are witness to a spectrum of views. Each monologue takes the viewer closer to Michael Brown and the events that formed the Black Lives Movement. Continue reading