Jun 26

Critiques and Commentary: Moonbox’s 3rd Annual Boston New Works Festival

Presented by Moonbox Productions as part of the 3rd Annual
Boston New Works Festival
 Partnered with the Theatre Community Benevolent Fund

June 20-23, 2024
Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont St 
Boston, MA

Critique by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON — Moonbox had its 3rd annual Boston New Works Festival at the BCA. The three performances I attended on different two days were well attended. This is a hopeful sign that the Boston theatre ecology is healing from lockdown. We love to see it.

The festival hosted readings and staged performances of new works by living playwrights over four days. The BCA’s foyers were alive with visual art by local artists. Actors, crew, and designers bustled from show to show with audience members. Moonbox did a good job of telling attendees they were in the right place: brave, tireless volunteers handed out playbill inserts and directed attendees; free pins awaited pickup on tables with festival information.

The bathrooms were atrocious, but that’s a festival for you. Transfer times from show to show were rushed, but that should be expected, too.

The vibes were otherwise positive and the seats had butts in them. Theatre is a lifestyle choice, and it was a good weekend to choose the theatre.

Moonbox partnered with TCBF to produce the 2024 3rd Annual Boston New Works Festival. TCBF provides financial relief to its community members in times of need. It is a venerable organization. Please consider donating. No donation is too large.

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Sep 18

Your Religion Is A Lifestyle Choice: “Heroes of the Fourth Turning”

Elise Piliponis, Karen MacDonald, Jesse Hinson, Dayna Cousins, and Nathan Malin in Heroes of the Fourth Turning. Photo by Nile Scott Studios.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
By Will Arbery
Directed by Marianna Bassham
Featuring Karen MacDonald, Dayna Cousins, Jesse Hinson, Nathan Malin, and Elise Piliponis

September 9 ⁠–⁠ October 8, 2022
The Roberts Studio Theatre in the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont Street
Boston, MA

This show runs one hour and 55 minutes with no intermission.

Critique by Kitty Drexel

“…Yeah, they’re not even inviting us to this conversation. It’s this insane thing that they’re all getting hung up on, this small minority of confused people, but all the people, all the people like suddenly so defensive about using the word ‘they’ but ‘they’ doesn’t make any damn grammatical sense.”
– Justin, Holy Fool, from Heroes of the Fourth Turning by Will Arbery

“Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?”
-Jack Nicholson as The Joker in Batman (1989)

BOSTON — Merriam-Webster primarily defines religion as “a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices.” The definition branches off into sub-definitions: service and worship of God or the supernatural, commitment to religious faith, and a system of beliefs “held to with ardor and faith.” Alas, Merriam-Webster doesn’t tell us which religion will get one into Heaven (or if there even is a Heaven.) 

The antagonizing white, conservative, protagonists of Will Arbery’s Heroes of the Fourth Turning attack each other in the name of God’s perfect love. They use their Catholic faith and rigid dogmas to interrogate the each other in the name of friendship. They are insecure people sloppily looking for answers to life’s biggest questions: Why are we here? What is our purpose? Who will love me? If God loves all of us, why do I feel so alone? These Samaritans might identify as Catholic but, over the course of an evening, we discover each person expresses love differently. Continue reading

May 22

Batman Burlesque Brings Out the Brave and the Bold

Presented by The Slaughterhouse Society

May 20 – May 25, 2018
The Oberon
2 Arrow Street
Cambridge, MA
The Slaughterhouse Society on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

CONTENT WARNING: Psychosexual camp with some abuse and violence for good measure.

(Cambridge, MA) Maybe it’s the number of expertly dressed femme fatales and smart suited gentleman villains in the rogue gallery. Maybe it’s just the spandex. All the same, Batman’s unique blended history of pulp, humor, and darkness puts it at the same cross-section of camp and psychosexual horror in which Boston’s happily weird burlesque scene specializes. The Slaughterhouse Society makes sure burlesque and Batman are a match made in vaudeville variety show heaven. Continue reading