Apr 05

imaginary beasts’ “Alice in Wonderland”

alice

Created by the Manhattan Theatre Project
Based on the novel by Lewis Carroll
Presented by Imaginary Beasts
Directed by Matthew Woods

April 1 – 23, 2016
Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street, Boston
Imaginary Beasts on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) It is no small challenge to take on a piece with so much cultural baggage as Alice in Wonderland.  Audiences have seen, heard, and read this story over and over again from our childhoods unto the present day.  Alice is everywhere in so many forms that adding something new to the tale is a Herculean task.  Unfortunately, I don’t think that artistic director Matthew Woods quite had a handle on it. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Mar 07

Gallivanting Amongst the Cakes: CAKEWALK

Photo by Richard Hall/Silverline Images

Photo by Richard Hall/Silverline Images, contestants and their cakes

Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company
Written by Colleen Curran
Directed by David J. Miller

Feb. 26 – March 19, 2016
Plaza Back Box
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Zeitgeist on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) It is Independence Day 1984. The ladies of a small town in Vermont have won a place in the annual cakewalk competition and are patiently awaiting the critique of guest judge, Julia Child. First prize is a glamorous trip for two to Paris, France. Among the other prizes are a lifetime supply of flour and accolades from the citizenship for an entire year. Most of the gang looks forward to the friendly competition. Ruby Abel (Kelley Estes) is out for blood. Ready to slow down her paranoid manipulations are fellow contestants Martha (Aina Adler), Augusta (Maureen Adduci) and Leigh (Victoria George). Taylor (Matt Fagerberg) just wants to find the registration room. Each has their own secrets to keep and insecurities to air. A seemingly safe summer fair turns into a conundrum of colliding small town politics. 
Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Feb 08

“Milk Like Sugar” Shuns Broad Strokes in Favor of Difficult Nuance

Presented by Huntington Theatre Company
Written by Kirsten Greenidge
Directed by M. Bevin O’Gara

Through Feb. 27, 2016
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Boston, MA
Huntington on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) All the individual ingredients of a melodrama are here. Annie (Jasmine Carmichael) and her sassy, “bad girl” teenage friends Talisha (Shazi Raja) and Margie (Carolina Sanchez), flirt with boys based on their brand of cell phone, drink, get tattoos, and have recently made a pact to all get pregnant within a week so they can raise their children together. I was nervous Milk Like Sugar would be a morality play, a story of “teen girl must do x or else she’ll fall under the sway of y!” I should have known better. Playwright Kirsten Greenidge already blew me away with Luck of the Irish and her hand here is similarly deft. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Jan 12

Robots and Prostitutes Are People Too: CITIZENS OF THE EMPIRE

Photo credit: Jake Scaltreto, no fancy underpants needed here.

Photo credit: Jake Scaltreto, no fancy underpants needed here.

Presented by Boston Public Works
Written by Kevin Mullins
Directed by Lindsay Eagle

January 8-23, 2016
The Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
BPW on Facebook

My apologies to the cast and crew, the death of cultural icon and glam rock god David Bowie has hit me harder than anticipated. This review was delayed by my selfish human emotions.
-Kitty Drexel, Reviewer

“To err is human, but to really foul things up you need a computer.”
Paul R. Ehrlich

“To err is human. To blame someone else is politics.”
Hubert H. Humphrey

(Boston, MA) One of the reasons artists write about the future and/or the past is to show how human behavior remains the same regardless of the passage of time. Human hearts and heads tangle up in the same figurative knots no matter what century it is. Science and the evolution of reason only confuse matters. People will be people until they aren’t anymore. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Dec 07

“It’s Not About My Mother”: It’s About Fleetwood Mac

Photo credit: Nile Hawver

Photo credit: Nile Hawver

 

Presented by Fresh Ink Theatre
By Lizzie Milanovich
Directed by Cassandra Lovering

December 4-12, 2015
The Plaza Black Box Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts
Fresh Ink Theatre on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) Location, location, location. That was the thought that crossed my mind as I took a seat at the Plaza Black Box Theatre, and just from looking over the set the placement of It’s Not About My Mother was perfect. Not only does the show itself take place in a basement, the theatre is located in a similar setting, which was welcomingly orienting. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Nov 30

Uncompromised Cuteness: BAREFOOT IN THE PARK

Tom Shoemaker (Paul Bratter) and Marisa Gold (Corie Bratter); Photograph – Earl Christie Photography

Tom Shoemaker (Paul Bratter) and Marisa Gold (Corie Bratter); Photograph – Earl Christie Photography

Presented by Moonbox Productions
Written by Neil Simon
Directed by Allison Olivia Choat
Original music composed by Dan Rodriguez

Nov. 20 – Dec. 12, 2015
Plaza Theater
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Moonbox on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Ticket sales benefit Summer Search. Please visit their site and learn more.

(Boston, MA) At first blush, Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park appears to be a fluffy romcom with about as much depth as the Frog Pond during a late-August drought. Upon closer inspection, it could be perceived as a satire addressing the impossible expectations placed on 1960’s newly-wed couples. I know it’s a stretch. Bear with me for a second. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Nov 03

Appropriating the Habits of Rabbits: “Casa Valentina”

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
Written by Harvey Fierstein
Directed by Scott Edminston

Oct. 24 – Nov. Nov. 28, 2015
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
SpeakEasy on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MACasa Valentina is about men who relax by appropriating women’s culture,  and feminine identity. This cutting play by Harvey Fierstein examines the subversive transvestite subculture of the mid-1950’s. According to the healthily robust dramaturgy notes by Maureen Dezell, men would don wigs, hose and dresses to enjoy a quaint weekend in the Catskills. These men unwind from their rigid gender roles with a tube of lipstick and a stiff drink amidst the glory of the New York state. Suffice to say, this is not a production for conservative types with traditional notions of what is or is not acceptable behavior for men. Tread wisely. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Nov 01

Haunting Memories and Daunting Doubt:”Choice”

© T Charles Erickson Photography

© T Charles Erickson Photography

Presented by Huntington Theatre Company
By Winnie Holzman
Directed by Sheryl Kaller

October 16-November 15, 2015
Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts
Huntington Theatre Company on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) I was stumbling through the rain this past Wednesday night in an outfit that wasn’t remotely appropriate rain attire. After stepping into the lobby of the Calderwood Pavilion, I couldn’t get the clinging wetness sensation off of me, but the second I walked into the theater, finally able to peel away my jacket, I was hit by a friendly warmth from the stage. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Oct 28

That Marjorie is Such A Heel: 5 LESBIANS EATING A QUICHE

Photo care of Heart & Dagger promo materials

Photo care of Heart & Dagger promo materials

Presented by Heart & Dagger Productions
Written by Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood
With contributions by Sarah Gitenstein, Mary Hollis Inboden, Meg Johns, Thea Lux, Beth Stelling, and Maari Suorsa
Directed by Joey C. Pelletier

Oct. 22 – Oct. 30, 2015
Boston Center for the Arts
Plaza Black Box
Boston, MA
Heart & Dagger on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Disclaimer: Mrs. Drexel auditioned for 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche (among other lesbians) and was not cast. She firmly believes that only a selfish ass would allow something like this to taint her review.

(Boston, MA) 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche imagines an alternative reality in which Sputnik was less a marvel of 1950’s Russian science and more a legitimate, non-propagandist threat to US security during the Cold War. It is 1956 and the members of the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein are holding a quiche appreciation luncheon. Sisters, behold the mighty egg: bringer of life, sustainer of women! The meeting begins joyously with a meeting of forks and ends after armageddon ravages the lands of the United States. The board members might be the only survivors. Yet, with the majestic egg to keep them strong, and their identities clearly defined, they will repopulate the earth. Somehow. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Oct 06

The Government Has No Jurisdiction in A Uterus: DRY LAND

Photo credit: Paul Fox

Photo credit: Paul Fox; Detergent should only be used to clean clothing, not a uterus.

Presented by Company One
Written by Ruby Rae Spiegel
Directed by Steven Bogart
Dramaturgy by Jessie Baxter

October 2 – 30, 2015
Plaza Theatre
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
C1 on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) For as long as there have been uteruses, there have been abortions. For almost as long as there have been abortions, there have been people desiring to control the contents of a uterus that isn’t theirs. Everyone, regardless of gender, deserves to know the capability of their body. Everyone with a uterus deserves to choose what is best for that uterus whether that means ending or beginning a pregnancy. A uterus shouldn’t be political. It is privately owned. No one gets to make decisions about my body but me. I support Planned Parenthood because I believe that everyone else deserves that freedom too.   

Company One’s production of Dry Land is about the consequences of abstinence only education, institutionalized ignorance, and socialized body shaming. Amy (Stephanie Recio) is a pregnant teenager. She doesn’t give us any specifics but it’s implied that she had consensual sex with a boy. Unfortunately, Amy lives in Florida. This means a safe, regulated surgical abortion is impossible for her to acquire without a parent’s input because Florida believes a teenager 16 or older is old enough to engage in sexual congress with someone up to seven years their senior but not to make their own decisions regarding the consequences of that sexual activity*. Instead, Amy has engaged Ester (Eva Hughes) to be her confidante in self-administering an at-home abortion. They are acquaintances through the high school swim team. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience