Mar 31

Playful Rendering of Moliere’s “Lovers’ Quarrels”

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Photo credit: Roger Metcalf

Presented by imaginary beasts
By Molière
Directed by Matthew Woods
Translation by Richard Wilbur

March 28 – April 19, 2014
At the Plaza Black Box Theatre
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston MA
imaginary beasts on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston) imaginary beasts’ production of Lovers’ Quarrels is less concerned with emotional authenticity than the beauty of its artifice.  The 17th century romantic comedy is not exactly a work of realism, and thankfully, is not treated as such.  Its plot hinges on a girl who has been raised as a boy, Ascagne (Lynn R. Guerra), tricking a young man she likes, Valère (Will Jobs), into marriage by pretending to be her extremely feminine sister, Lucile (Erin Eva Butcher). imaginary beasts presents this material with all the seriousness it deserves, creating an innocent, funny romp through improbable obstacles. Continue reading

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Mar 20

No Condoms Were Harmed in the Making of This Musical: HELLO AGAIN

Presented by Bridge Repertory Theatre of Boston
Book, lyrics and music by Michael John LaChiusa
Directed by Michael Bello
Musical direction by Mindy Cimini
Choreography by Stephen Urspung

March 12 – 29, 2014
Boston Center for the Arts
Hall A
Boston, MA
Bridge Rep on Facebook

TRIGGER WARNING: This musical has a lot of sex in it. So much of the sex. Fortunately, it’s all consensual.

(Boston) Not all sex is procreative. Sex should be a really good time for everyone involved*. A lot of it isn’t**. If you fundamentally disagree then stop reading now…

Hello Again presented by Bridge Repertory Theatre is an immersive musical that places the audience in the center of the action. And by “action,” I mean riding the skin-train to orgasm town. That being said, the musical is not actually about sex. It is about what leads to sex, why we do it and with whom we choose to do it. It is art focused on a very specific, necessary act. Continue reading

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Mar 18

Snuggle Inspiring: SOUL MATES

The Cast of Soul Mates (Laura Menzie, Joe Kidawksi, Angela Keefe and Brett Milanowksi.)

The Cast of Soul Mates (Laura Menzie, Joe Kidawksi, Angela Keefe and Brett Milanowksi.) Photo borrowed from BAT Facebook page.

Presented by Boston Actors Theatre
by Kirsten Knisely
Directed by Caroline L. Price

March 7 – 22, 2014
Boston Center for the Arts
Plaza Black Box
Boston, MA 02116
BAT on Facebook

Trigger warnings for drug use and super fun, adult naked times.

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) In The Symposium, Plato famously describes three human genders (man, woman and androgynous) whose strength equaled that of the gods. They were made of two faces, 4 arms, 4 legs and 2 sets of genitalia. Zeus, rather than kill the humans for pride, uses his lightning to tear them asunder. Their powers halved, humans were cursed to spend the rest of their existence looking for their second half, their “soul mate,” so they could be complete again. Most people assume that their “other half” is their one romantic partner to have and to hold for all time. Life isn’t so simple. People are complicated animals. Continue reading

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Feb 18

Bobby is an Immature Dick: COMPANY

61495_549787648449858_87023996_n Presented by Moonbox Productions
Music & lyrics By Stephen Sondheim
Book by George Furth
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick
Directed by Allison Olivia Choat
Music directed by Dan Rodriguez
Super fun choreography by Rachel Bertone

February 7 – March 1, 2014
Nancy and Edward Roberts Studio Theatre
Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont Street, Boston’s South End
Moonbox on Facebook

Every ticket benefits: Music for Food

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) They say that Stephen Sondheim is one of those composers that people either love or hate. I disagree. There is so much in his catalogue that there could easily be something for everyone. Company, like Sondheim himself, is one of those shows that people have decided others love or hate. Again, I disagree. There are many moments in Company that are golden. Some are not. Depending how much one enjoys Sondheim (or not) opinion fluctuates greatly. This production by Moonbox has several golden moments that I feel reflect the truths Sondheim sharing in his musical. Other moments are not so effective. Continue reading

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Jan 22

Sweetness Through Unbearable Cruelty: “The Color Purple”

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Lovely Hoffman in The Color Purple. Photo by Glenn Perry Photography

Presented by Speakeasy Stage Company
Based on the novel written by Alice Walker and the Warner Bros/Amblin Entertainment motion picture of the same name
Book by Marsha Norman
Music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, Stephen Bray
Directed by Paul Daigneault
Musical direction by Nicholas James Connell
Choreography by Christian Bufford

January 10 – February 8, 2014
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont St
Boston, MA
Speakeasy on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Two Disclaimers:
1. Brief nudity is used to abruptly symbolize the stark differences between the lives of Shug and Celie. Prudes should stay at home.
2. This is a musical predominantly about Black women. The only role White people play are as silent, historically accurate oppressors. Racists and sexists won’t enjoy themselves either.

(Boston) The Color Purple is exquisite. It is a tour deforce presentation of musical theatre at its finest. With only one small hiccup, this production achieves greatness on the stage. Run, do not walk, as fast as you are able and get tickets to this show. Do it. Continue reading

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Jan 15

Potty humor, Puns and a Ripping Good Time: “Rumpelstiltskin, or All That Glitters”

Photo credit: Roger Metcalf. The cast is wonderful – whether they wore pants or not.

Presented by Imaginary Beasts
Conceived and directed by Matthew Woods
Written by The Ensemble
Choreography by Kiki Samko, Daniel J. Raps, and The Ensemble

January 11 – February 1, 2014
Plaza Black Box Theatre
BCA
Boston, MA
Imaginary Beasts on Facebook

(Boston) The low-brow humor of the pantomime* is not for everyone. Not unlike the like satyr plays of the ancient Greeks, panto isn’t intended to educate an audience but to show it a ripping good time. It’s a celebration of adult immaturity heaping with potty humor, puns and physical comedy. Imaginary Beasts’ winter pantos deliver this and so much more. This year’s treat, Rumpelstiltskin, or All That Glitters, packs in the family-inappropriate funny while also tantalizing the brain with witty pop culture references, dance, and a dash of Alice in Wonderland. You can’t bring a kid to a satyr play but you should bring your baby of any age to Rumplestiltskin. Continue reading

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Dec 10

Song, Cheer, and Social Misfits: “A Christmas Carol”

 

 

Presented by Anthem Theatre Company
Based on the novel by Charles Dickens
Adapted by Steve Wargo
Musical Arrangements by Dianne Adams-McDowell
Directed by Michael Poignand

12/5/2013 — 12/21/2013
Boston Center for the Arts
Plaza Black Box Theater
Boston, MA
Anthem Theatre Co on Facebook

2 hours, 15 minutes with one intermission.

 

 

 

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston) Though remembered largely as a cheerful, life-affirming tale about learning to embrace kindness, A Christmas Carol is, really, a ghost story. Ebenezer Scrooge (Kevin B. McGlynn) contemplates loneliness and the end of his life as he’s visited by spirits that embody his past, present, and future. Anthem Theatre Company gives us a stripped down Victorian play, a musical with literal Christmas carols to color a melancholy London and the workhouse realities of its Industrial Revolution. Continue reading

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Nov 13

Homosexuals Are People: “The Normal Heart”

Photo by Richard Hall/Silverline Images

Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company
By Larry Kramer
Directed by David J. Miller

November 1 – 30, 2013
Plaza Black Box
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Zeitgeist on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger Warnings: Rape, Proud Homosexuality, Truth

(Boston) Britney Spears thinks that gay people are “adorable and hilarious.” Her quote is terrifying because it is indicative of the thoughts and feelings of the majority of US citizens. For most of the world, only straight people are real™ people. Gay people are fun and quirky but we aren’t real™ people deserving of equal rights and a voice, says society. The LGBTQ get to be characters, sidekicks, and sassy friends who are defined solely by the people with whom we rub nethers (and other fun parts). Spears and people like her are stereotyping an entire community of human beings because it hasn’t occurred to them that we’re also human. Our history, culture and politics are just as rich as the hetero-normative precedent. Continue reading

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Oct 29

Faith, Failure, and “The Power of Duff”

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Photo: T.Charles Erickson

Presented by The Huntington Theatre Company
By Stephen Belber
Directed by Peter DuBois

October 23 – November 16, 2013
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
527 Tremont Street
Boston, MA
Hunting Theatre Co on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston) In a television studio’s newsroom, sentiment is well known. It’s strange that The Power of Duff’s main conceit is that news anchor Charles Duff (the excellent David Wilson Barnes) scandalizes a nation by praying on air at the end of the show’s broadcast. While the reactions to Duff’s sermons are difficult to swallow, especially in the play’s first half, it’s fascinating to watch the everyday lives of these characters unravel as they reach out to connect with one another. Continue reading

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Sep 24

ADA Approved for the Mainstream: TRIBES

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Photo: Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo; Erica Spyres and James Caverly conversating.

Presented by Speakeasy Stage Co.
by Nina Raine
directed by M. Bevin O’Gara

September 13 – October 12
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
SpeakEasy on Facebook

There will be two ASL-interpreted performances:  Sunday, October 6 at 7PM and Friday, October 11 at 8PM.

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Southie) It is always a relief to see minorities portrayed by the Arts as their community deserves; with dignity, love and respect. We, the disabled, weren’t/aren’t always seen this way. It was (and still is) a commonly held belief of the Christian persuasion that people were born disabled as a punishment from God for sinning. This is despite Jesus saying that the disabled were walking, talking acts of God (John Chapter 9 verses 1-3). In specific, Christians used to believe that, since a deaf person couldn’t hear the word of God, they then couldn’t know God. Fast forward to modern day, the stigmas still exist even with the ADA protecting us. This is why it was so humbling to watch Speakeasy’s intelligent production of Tribes last Saturday. My hope is that this production is a sign that society is ready to welcome the disabled into the mainstream. Continue reading

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