Sep 27

From the Back to the Middle and Round Again: “Fabulation or, The Re-Education of Undine”

Lyndsay Allyn Cox as Undine. Photo by Mark S Howard.

Presented by the Lyric Stage Company of Boston
Written by Lynn Nottage
Directed by Dawn M. Simmons
Intimacy consultant: Ted Hewlett
COVID-19 safety officer: Emily Collins
Online Playbill

Sept. 16 – Oct. 9, 2022
140 Clarendon St
2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02116

Approximately 2 hours, including one 15-minute intermission.

Review by Kitty Drexel

“In literary criticism, the term fabulation was popularized by Robert Scholes, in his book The Fabulators, to describe the large and growing class of mostly 20th century novels that are in a style similar to magical realism, and do not fit into the traditional categories of realism or romance.”

BOSTON — An undine (or Ondine) is a mythological water elemental out of the European tradition. The Swiss alchemist Paracelsus wrote of a nymph who became human out of love for a mortal man. Without love, she has no soul and cannot live on land. Undine must take care for she will die if her lover is unfaithful. 

An undine stands as a modern metaphor for the woman who cannot let go of love. Her relationship is over, her lover moved on, but the undine will not move on. There’s the possibility of a happy ending though – Undine can go home if she kills her boyfriend before he cheats

Fabulation or, The Re-Education of Undine puts Undine (Lyndsay Allyn Cox) at the top of her game. She has everything: a wildly successful boutique PR firm in Manhattan, a handsome husband Hervé (Jaime José Hernández) with a fancy accent to match his l’accent aigu, a devoted assistant (Brittani Jenese McBride), a full bank account, a bougie accountant (Barlow Adamson), and more social currency than Wendy Williams. Or, she does until Hervé disappears with his clothing and every last penny she has. And, she’s reluctantly pregnant.  Continue reading

Sep 30

Some Things Do Matter: “Be Here Now”

The cast; Photo by Mark S. Howard

Presented by Lyric Stage Boston
By Deborah Zoe Laufer 
Directed by Courtney O’Connor 
Intimacy direction by Ted Hewlett
Original compositions and sound design by Dewey Dellay

Sept. 24 – Oct. 17, 2021
Lyric Stage Company of Boston
140 Clarendon Street
Boston, MA 02116
Lyric Stage on social media: Facebook, Twitter 
The Lyric’s COVID-19 Policy

Review by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON, Mas.. — Be Here Now is the Lyric Stage Company’s first in-person show since society came crashing down in March 2020. Its characters navigate nihilism. It is with a spirit of cheerful nihilism that this critique is written. 

Bari (Samantha Richert) is a nihilist. She teaches she used to teach nihilism at a New York university. She moved to her parents’ rural cottage in her hometown to finish her dissertation – ten years ago.  In those ten years, Bari has burrowed more deeply into her nihilism like a frog in the mud for winter. She’s so convinced that life is meaningless that she’s unconcerned when she passes out from one of her recurring headaches.  Continue reading

Mar 20

Her Name is Dr. Franklin, You Git: “Photograph 51”

Pictured: Stacy Fischer; Photo by Maggie Hall

Presented by The Nora Theatre Company
A Catalyst Collaborative@MIT Production
The Brit d’Arbeloff Women in Science Production Series
Written by Anna Ziegler
Directed by Rebecca Bradshaw
Voice and dialect coaching by Rebecca Schneebaum

March 14 – April 14, 2019
Central Square Theater
450 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139
CST on Facebook

Trigger warnings: vintage sexism, gaslighting, victim blaming

Critique by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge, MA) Photograph 51 is depressing – not because it’s a depressing play, but because it tells us (STEM researchers, women, women within STEM, etc.) how little progress towards gender equality we have made since Dr. Rosalind Franklin discovered the structure of DNA. Her work, her words went largely ignored and men took all of the credit for her work. This is disturbing. That women in STEM are still silenced is even more so.   Continue reading

Jan 08

Awkwardness is Part of the Process: “Small Mouth Sounds”

All photos by Nile Scott Studios. The cast. Digesting.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
By Bess Wohl
Directed by M. Bevin O’Gara

Jan. 4 – Feb. 2, 2019
Boston Center for the Arts
The Calderwood Pavilion Boston, MA
SpeakEasy on Facebook

This critique has been updated from its previous posting. The update includes corrections and clarifications. (1/31/19 KD)

Critique by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warnings: penis, simulated pot smoking, heavy moaning

It’s January and chances are that you (or your acquaintances) are experiencing an influx of athletic practitioners in your studio of choice. For example, at my own neighborhood ashtanga yoga studio, January 1 meant that the floor became overwhelmed with novices and their wholesome, divot-free mats. Small Mouth Sounds(SMS) captures that awkward group consciousness of baby-yogis talking first “did I make a huge mistake?” steps towards enlightenment. An enlightened mind is not obtained overnight. The journey is schadenfreude for the audience. Continue reading

Feb 21

“The Honey Trap” Sweet Like Honey, Sting Like a Bee

Maureen Keiller, Barlow Adamson. Photograph credit: Kalman Zabarsky

Presented by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre & Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Theatre
Written by Leo McGann
Directed by Adam Kassim

February 16-26, 2017
949 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre on Facebook
Boston University New Play Initiative

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) According to the old cliché, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. The truth of this is debatable, but it’s true that, when luring something, or someone, to its doom, it’s much simpler to do it in a soft, sweet way. On multiple levels, this was the crux of how Leo McGann’s The Honey Trap told a story of history, guilt, and revenge. Continue reading

Oct 14

1 Little, 2 Little, 3 Little Puritans: “Reconsidering Hanna(h)”

Photograph credit: Kalman Zabarsky

Photograph credit: Kalman Zabarsky

Presented by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
By Deirdre Girard
Directed by Bridget Kathleen O’Leary

Sept. 25 – Oct. 19, 2014
Boston Playwrights’ Theater
Boston, MA
BPT on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) It feels like I’m the only person who’s never heard of Hannah Duston. My friends had plenty to say when I mentioned seeing this show. In 1697, she was captured by Canadian Abenaki Native Americans and transported to what is now Pennacook, NH. After freeing herself with the aid of two other captives, Hannah killed 11 natives and sought safety away from the Abenaki. In a surprising twist to the story, Hannah has all but left the camp where she was held hostage but then returns to scalp the Abenaki for a bounty. At the time, she was lauded for her success and the first statue to commemorate a woman in the US ever was placed in Boscawen, NH. The second statue is currently located in Haverhill, MA (There’s confusion as to which is which.). Duston is considered a folk hero by some (typically White). She is considered a violent, racist Puritan by many others.   Continue reading

Dec 09

Fading into the Woodwork: STELLA AND LOU

Displaying Stella-and-Lou-dress-rehearal-compressed (1).jpg

Photo by Meghan Moore.

presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
By Bruce Graham
Directed by Charles Towers

November 29th – December 22nd, 2013
50 East Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA
MRT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell) Nelson Mandela once said, “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”  Yet many of us cling onto being small all our lives.  Doing a play about that intentional smallness can be tricky without having the play succumb to smallness itself. Continue reading

Nov 08

A Parody of an Autobiography: Kurt Vonnegut’s MAKE UP YOUR MIND

http://www.speakeasystage.com/_photos/press/vonnegut_08.jpg

Barlow Adamson and Tracy Goss in Kurt Vonnegut’s Make Up Your Mind. Photo by Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
Written by Kurt Vonnegut
Assembled by Nicky Silver
Directed by Cliff Fannin Baker

Oct. 30 – Nov. 30, 2013
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Speakeasy on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Make Up Your Mind was assembled by Nicky Silver from 11 drafts of an unfinished play written by Kurt Vonnegut. To repeat: this is a play by Kurt Vonnegut and edited by Nicky Silver. It was not thought up and written by Silver. To hear the complaints made about this show, one would think that it was written by meth addled donkeys. If there is fault (and there is), then the fault lies with Vonnegut who didn’t even get to finish the darn thing before his tragic death in 2007. Rather than dwell on the negative, let’s focus on the fact that we get one more nugget of gold from our dearly departed author. Continue reading

Sep 02

Not the End of the Line for “T Plays V: Last Call”

Winning play: “SL1 12:32am,” Greer Rooney and Kevin LaVelle, Photo by Meg Taintor

Presented by Mill 6 Collaborative
Artistic directed by John Edward O’Brien
Co-managing directors: Irene Daly, Antoine A. Gagnon

Aug. 21-31, 2013
The Boston Playwright’s Theatre
Boston, MA
Mill 6 Collaborative on Facebook

Written by : Lisa Burdick, Patrick Gabridge, Emily Kaye Lazzaro, Alexa Mavromatis, Bob Murphy, Rick Park

Plays directed by: Barlow Adamson, Matt Chapuran, Mikey DiLoreto, Lindsay Eagle, Kathy Maloney, Kim Anton Myatt

Actors: Jake Athyal, Irene Daly, Jillian C. Couillard, Kelley Estes, Kevin LaVelle, Lonnie McAdoo, Mal Malme, Janelle Mills, Bob Mussett,Jason Myatt, Greer Rooney, Forrest Walter, Stephanie Yackovetsky

Review by Kitty Drexel

My apologies to the cast and crew of T Plays. I had intended to get this review out several days ago. Life interceded and prevented me from doing ago. Please accept this as compensation.

(Boston) The MBTA has its own special kind of magic that transcends beyond the brilliance of a puppy’s smile or the tragedy of a dropped ice cream cone. It affects us all, pedestrian, car-driver and commuter alike. It’s a wonder that local transit hasn’t inspired more art in Boston. That is where Mill 6 Collaborative steps in. This theatre troupe brought us six 1-act plays all inspired by the MBTA in its many forms. The playwrights pick a bus or T line out of a hat, ride the last trip of the evening and write a short play based on their experiences. They hand the show over to their assigned directors and actors who then churn out theatre for an audience three days later. The audience then votes* for their favorite. The play that wins gets to brag and return for the next round in 2014.  Continue reading

May 25

Too Much is Never Enough: FROM DENMARK WITH LOVE

photo by Omar Robinson

(This post brought to you from Paris where the Queen Geek is currently on vacation. Don’t say I never got you anything.)

presented by Vaquero Playground 
By John J King
Directed by Barlow Adamson

Boston Playwrights Theatre
Boston, MA
May 10th – June 1, 2013
Vaquero Playground Facebook Page

The Compilation Album (featuring Queen Geek, Kitty Drexel on All’s Well That Ends Another Day)

(Boston) Review by Craig Idlebrook

When I was in college, a friend of mine decided the best birthday gift for his jock roommate would be a striptease, and he would not be dissuaded. As the birthday party was winding down, my friend burst into the party wearing nothing but terrible lingerie and he proceeded to slowly strip. His roommate laughed as the joke began, but he grew increasingly alarmed, realizing that my friend might go the Full Monty. The jock began to plead with my friend not to go all the way (this was Indiana in the nineties, after all), but with a big build-up, my friend took it all off anyway. It has become the most memorable striptease in my (cough) semi-extensive memory. Continue reading