Nov 03

Art within Cultural Context: “Kiss”

Kiss presented by ArtsEmerson
Written by Guillermo Calderón
Directed by David Dower

October 26 – November 19, 2017
Emerson Paramount Center՚s Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre
Washington Street
Boston, Massachusetts
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Review by Holly Goss

(Boston, MA) Kiss is a play within a play that tells the story of a zealous young theatre group՚s gross misinterpretation of a Syrian play called Kiss. These naive and fresh-faced actors, come up against a nasty dose of realism when they learn what Kiss really means. However the play falls apart when the cast try to diligently apply their new knowledge, to re-perform this seemingly simple love story and reveal the true horror of the war lurking underneath. This second performance falls flat and fails to deliver the big twist the audience anticipate. Kiss tackles a breadth of themes, the war in Syria, the importance of cultural context, the purpose of art. However, the writing is ultimately overly ambitious and is unable to get to the heart of these important questions. Continue reading

May 27

Dedicated to the Proposition: ABE LINCOLN’S PIANO

Presented by ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage
Music by Stephen Foster, Hershey Felder, and Others
Book by Hershey Felder
Produced by Eighty-Eight Entertainment

May 20 – 31, 2014
Cutler Majestic Theatre
Boston, MA
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Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston) When you go to see a one-man play, you know that you’re either in for a real treat or a real travesty. When I saw the grand stage of the Cutler Majestic arrayed with nothing but drapery, lumpy parcels, and a Steinway, my mind was not set at ease. Continue reading

May 19

Style and Form as a Metaphor for Life: SONTAG:REBORN

Photo by James Gibbs

Photo by James Gibbs

Presented by ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage
Produced by The Builders Association and New York Theatre Workshop
Based on the books Reborn and As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh by Susan Sontag, edited by David Rieff
Adapted by Moe Angelos
Directed by Marianne Weems
Assistant directed by Shannon Sindelar
Dramaturgy by James Gibbs

May 6-18, 2014
Paramount Mainstage Theater
Boston, MA
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The Builders Association on Facebook
Susan Sontag on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Susan Sontag was a feminist journalist who wrote extensively on the topics that inspired her. She directed, produced and wrote for the stage. She was an atypical mother. She was unabashedly herself. She is/was not readily consumable for the masses (although very good, her writing is chewy and requires time for adequate digestion). It should come as no shocker that art dedicated to her life and artistic style is not either. Sontag: Reborn is not a sweet show that idealizes Sontag’s life. It is a dramatic rendering of her thought process through stream of consciousness monologues and quotes from her works. Attendees should prepare themselves accordingly.

Continue reading

Feb 17

Extraordinary But Not Unlikely: “Red-Eye to Havre de Grace”

Presented by ArtsEmerson
By Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental
Designed and Directed by Thaddeus Phillips
Choreography by Sophie Bortolussi
Music by Wilhelm Bros. & Co.
Created by Thaddeus Phillips, Jeremy Wilhelm, Geoff Sobelle, David Wilhelm, with Sophie Bortolussi

Running Time: 100 minutes with no intermission
February 14 – 16, 2014
Emerson/Paramount Center Mainstage
Boston, MA
ArtsEmerson on Facebook
Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

From the Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental Website:
“On September 27, 1849, Edgar Allan Poe set out on a lecture tour from Virginia to New York. Days later a train conductor saw Poe in Havre de Grace, Maryland, wearing a stranger’s clothing and heading south to Baltimore where he died on October 7.”

(Boston) Boston is the birthplace of E.A. Poe. He was born on Boylston St. not far from the Paramount Center Mainstage theater. The building is commemorated by a small plaque. It’s fitting then that Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental brought Red-Eye to Havre de Grace, a macabre but unique perspective into the abstraction of the writer’s brain, to Poe’s home. Continue reading

Oct 15

The Artist is Human: BARITONES UNBOUND

Photo Credit: ArtsEmerson Facebook Page

Baritones UnBound: Celebrating the UnCommon Voice of the Common Man
ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage
Conceived by Marc Kudisch
Created by MarcKudisch with Merwin Foard, Jeff Mattsey and Timothy Splain
Performed by Marc Kudisch, Jeff Mattsey, Ben Davis, accompanied by Timothy Splain on piano
Music Direction by Timothy Splain
Directed by David Dower
Production Design by Alexander V. Nichols

Oct. 8 – 20, 2013
Review is based on the Oct. 12 performance
Paramount Center Mainstage
559 Washington St. in Boston’s Theatre District
ArtsEmerson on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) I’m not going to go on about how famous the three baritones in Baritones Unbound are. I’m not going to compare this production to The Three Tenors. These baritones and those tenors have different interests. This production isn’t just about the glorious voices of Marc Kudisch, Jeff Mattsey and Ben Davis (and they do sound seraphic). It is a living history of the baritone in popular music as they worked and performed through the ages. It’s also a boys night at the Paramount Center (complete with Act 2 “man cave”). Continue reading

Jan 27

Contemplative Sadness in “Family Happiness”

 

Photo credit THEATRE-ATELIER PIOTR FOMENKO

Photo credit THEATRE-ATELIER PIOTR FOMENKO

Based on  the novel by Leo Tolstoy
Directed by Piotr Fomenko
Performances are in Russian with English subtitles

presented by Maestro Artist Management, in association with ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage

Cutler Majestic Theatre
Boston, MA
January 26-27, 2013

Maestro Artist Management Facebook Page

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston) Premiering at the Theater-Atelier Piotr Fomenko in 2000 in Moscow, and only in Boston for the weekend, Family Happiness tells the story of the ill matched marriage between Masha (Ksenia Kutepova) and Sergey Mihailovich (Alexey Kolubkov). The plot is a simple one and the pace is quiet, thoughtful, and slow for audiences with short attention spans. For everyone else, Leo Tolstoy’s Family Happiness is a somber prize. Continue reading