May 11

“DIANA!” – sketch comedy for millennials born in the mid-1990s

Presented by ImprovBoston
40 Prospect St, Cambridge, MA
Friday, 4 May 2018 @ 10pm
Next performance is June 8, 11PM
IB on Facebook

Reviewed by Bishop C. Knight

(Central Square, Cambridge) DIANA! was marketed as an all-women musical to be performed by a cast of passionate comediennes who celebrate imperfection, and this was the only preparation patrons were provided, because that’s how it goes in the improv comedy circuit.  Late night audiences show up, some degree of inebriated and half-heartedly hoping our performers are capable of spontaneously spurning out sunny slapstick satire. The cast of DIANA! had their assignment – to parody imperfection – and they did a terribly terrific job of mocking classy “classic people” and laughing at highbrow literature. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
May 08

A Majestic “Migration”


Presented by Step Afrika!
Produced by 
ArtsEmerson
Choreographed by Jakari Sherman, Jackie Semela, Paul Woodruff
Percussionists: Artis Olds, Jakari Sherman, Andrew Vinson

May 3 through 6, 2018
Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre
219 Tremont Street, Boston, MA

Reviewed by Bishop C. Knight

“One of the most important functions of jazz has been to encourage a hope for freedom, for people living in situations of intolerance or struggle.”  –Herbie Hancock, jazz pianist and bandleader

(Boston, Massachusetts)  I could feel the crackling energy of the show, even before it started.  I could anticipate that it’d be a layered and textured theatrical experience that engaged the audience, even before dancers and musicians arrived on stage.  I am a person who is always listening to music. Likewise, I’m a patron who yearns for a show’s soundtrack to play both before and after the performance, as well as during its intermission.  The recording of African drum music, peppered with the rattling of gourds and the rhythmic clapping of hands, was vitalizing and encouraged a social atmosphere before the show began. Most patrons were out of seats, strolling around, greeting each other, standing in small circles having spirited conversations, smiling while sipping drinks; it was the pre-party I always wished for. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Apr 23

“Cabaret” : Red Lights & Secrets

Aimee Doherty* Photographer: Tom Shoemaker

Presented by Moonbox Productions
Based on stories by Christopher Isherwood
Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Music by John Kander
Book by John Masteroff
Directed by Rachel Bertone
Music Direction by Dan Rodriguez

April 14th thru 29th, 2018
BCA Calderwood Pavilion
Wimberly Theater, Boston
Moonbox on Facebook

Review by Bishop C. Knight

(Boston, Massachusetts) I assume that unlike many in the audience at the Wimberly Theatre, I went to the Calderwood Pavilion knowing nothing substantial about Cabaret and naïvely expecting lots of eye-high rockette dance moves.  Seated with friends before the show, I opened up a program and encountered a quote by Christopher Isherwood, the British-American novelist who holds a principal place within my private imaginative world.  This quotation was from Isherwood’s Goodbye to Berlin, upon which Cabaret is based, and it goes “I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking. Recording the man shaving at the window opposite and the woman in the kimono washing her hair. Someday, all this will have to be developed, carefully printed, fixed.”   Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Apr 02

“A Dead Man’s Diary”: A Sacred Love for Theatre


Presented by Arlekin Players Theatre
Based on the novel by Mikhail Bulgakov
Original stage composition based on the novel written by Igor Golyak and Zhenya Brodskaya
English translation by Yana Minchenko
Composed by Jakov Jakoulov
Directed by Igor Golyak
Choreographed by Victor Plotnikov

17 March thru 1 April 2018
Emerson Paramount Center
Jackie Liebergott Black Box
Downtown Boston, Mass.
Arlequin Players on Facebook

Reviewed by Bishop C. Knight

(Emerson College) A Dead Man’s Diary was a drama performed in Russian, and patrons could request an earplug device that provided English voiceover during the production.  The play begins with our main character Sergei Maksudov writing a novel that is inspired by a dream of his native city and, upon completing this work, Maksudov shares his manuscript with various writers and critics.  One of his readers prompts Maksudov to adapt the book to a play, and thus commences Maksudov’s meanderings through the world of theatre ‒ a sphere where he is scorned by the director of the Moscow Art Theater, Stanislavsky.  At its core, Mikhail Bulgakov’s Theatrical Novel examines a writer’s sacred love for theatre. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Mar 26

ANTIGONE: Death at the Parthenon


Presented by Flat Earth Theatre
Original Tragedy by Sophocles
Adapted by Lewis Galantiere from the play by Jean Anouilh
Directed by Lindsay Eagle

ONE WEEK LEFT: March 26th @ 7:30pm; March 29th @ 8pm; March 30th @ 8pm; March 31st @ 8pm
The Black Box at the Mosesian Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown, Massachusetts 02472
From the MBTA — take the Red Line to Central Square in Cambridge; then take the 70 or the 70A bus.
Flat Earth on Facebook

Review by Bishop C. Knight

(Watertown, MA) I could provide an enthusiastic review for every aspect of this play.  I will start with a nod to costuming. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Mar 09

“The Hotel Nepenthe”: Here’s looking at you and you and your other you, kid kid kid…

Photo by Maggie Hill Photography

Presented by The Brown Box Theatre
Written by John Kuntz
Directed by Alex Lonati
Produced by Kyler Taustin

March 9-11, 2018 in Massachusetts
Atlantic Wharf, 290 Congress St., Boston
March 15, 2018 in Princess Anne, MD
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Brown Box on Facebook

Reviewed by Bishop C. Knight

(Boston, MA) It was a wintry evening in Boston’s Financial District and, as the audience moseyed into the lobby of an office building with wet snow piled upon our hats and coats, we found our seats to the soundtrack of bubbly theme songs from classic pre-1970s television and cinema. There were themes from Gilligan’s Island, Bewitched, and that kicky rendition of the Charleston dance song as featured in It’s A Wonderful Life (1940s).

Once seated and ready for the performance, patrons sat with our four actors lounging around the small stage space in short leopard-print bathrobes. Hm? Earlier in the week, I told a pal that I was going to see a play by John Kuntz, and their heads-up was “John Kuntz? His stuff is weird but wonderful!” And yes, very immediately, with the bouncy lyrics of “The Ballad of Gilligans Island” promising a fateful trip, I knew I was in for a theatrical adventure. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Feb 20

World Music Concert: Presenting Carla Bruni


Presented by the World Music/CrashArts

Thursday, 15 February 2018 ONLY
Berklee Performance Center
136 Massachusetts Avenue
Carla Bruni on Facebook

Reviewed by Bishop C. Knight

(Boston, MA) As a vocalist Carla Bruni had an effortless delivery, and she was best crooning at a mellow level, which any close listener of Bruni’s albums would already know.  Her voice was much fuller and sultrier at a slow pace, which conveyed more genuine feelings that the audience sensed and responded to with thundery clapping.  Program notes provided by World Music/CrashARTS prepared the audience for a coup de foudre, the French term for falling in love at first sight, trying to ready everyone for a moody and emotional evening of intimate ballads.  Ultimately, as anticipated, this was a performance for romantics to attend the week of Valentine’s Day; a concert presenting new songs from Carla Bruni’s latest album called “French Touch.” Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Jan 16

“The Liar”: Sassy and Solid

Photo by David Brooks Andrews

Presented by Wellesley Repertory Theatre 
Directed by Marta Rainer
Written by David Ives

Jan 11 through Feb 4, 2018
Wellesley Repertory Theatre
106 Central St, Wellesley, MA
WRT on Facebook

Reviewed by Bishop C. Knight

An earlier posting of this review included typos. We sincerely apologize for such mistakes to the cast, crew, and audience of The Liar.

(Wellesley, Massachusetts)  On a rainy night I drove to Wellesley, my Kia Soul surrounded by rolling mists of grey fog, and my patriotic heart weighed down by the repeated disappointment that is Donald, embarrassed and saddened by the virulent racism he displayed again —this time publicly referring to other nations as “shithole” countries.  At the theatre, I settled into my seat with a sigh and a slight frown. And I probably crossed my arms at some point, which I’m prone to do when silently seething.  I was sad and huffy and not in a state to kindly review anything.   Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Dec 11

Honestly and Wonderfully: “She Loves Me”

The cast of “She Loves Me.” Photo by Maggie Hall.

Presented by Greater Boston Stage Company
Book Written by Joe Masteroff
Music Originally by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Directed by Ilyse Robbins
Music directed by Matthew Stern

November 24th through December 23rd, 2017
Greater Boston Stage Company on Facebook
395 Main St, Stoneham, Massachusetts 02180

Review with Bishop C. Knight

(Stoneham, Massachusetts) An adaptation of the 1937 play Parfumerie by Hungarian playwright Miklós László, She Loves Me is set in a perfume shop where the entire staff pauses to sing in unison “Pleeeease doooo call again” to every departing customer.  In a broad sense, this is one of those comedies defined by the positive space of its set; meaning that the characters’ workspace and workspace culture were as much part of the musical as the characters’ dialogue and songs.  She Loves Me is evocative of other comedies reliant on their sets, like Cheers and Seinfeld which respectively wouldn’t be what they are without Sammy’s Boston bar and Jerry’s apartment building. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Dec 11

A Lonely Old Man and His “Christmas Carol”

Rebecca White and Joel Colodner; Photo by Meghan Moore

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Based on the novel by Charles Dickens
Stage adaptation by Tony Brown
Directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian

November 29 thru December 24, 2017
Merrimack Repertory Theatre on Facebook
132 Warren Street, Lowell, MA  01852

Reviewed by Bishop C. Knight

(Lowell, Massachusetts)  Megan Sandberg-Zakian’s production needed a larger cast.  Three hard-working actors struggled to carry this Christmas story, which Charles Dickens populated with nine very diverse characters.  These actors paced the small stage quickly switching between accents and affectations, to communicate to the audience that they were presenting a different personality, and it ended up being an evening of too much talk.  At one point when my eyes were glazing over, I asked myself if I were in a comfortable lull or if I was just bored.  Then during intermission, I overheard a fellow patron say that she hoped she did not fall asleep during the second act.  So I had my answer: She and I were just bored. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience