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”

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5514/10409042345_7fec65ecea.jpg?wmode=transparent

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

photo

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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Jul 26

It’s Like A Jungle . . . Sometimes: HOW WE GOT ON

© Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo

Presented by Company One
by Idris Goodwin
Directed by Summer L. Williams

July 19-August 17
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Company One Facebook Page

Review by Noe Kamelamela

(Boston) Company One has spent over a decade in Boston bringing theater to bear on a list of problems, which is nearly as long as their list of awards.  Their latest is a vibrant production that lays down a phat beat for diversity.  The audience I sat in was the most visibly excited and diverse audience I’ve experienced all year, possibly due to one of its key topics:  hip-hop. Continue reading

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Apr 15

Whistle It, Just A Little Bit***: Ryan Landry’s “M”

David Drake, Samantha Richert, Ellen Adair, Larry Coen, and Laura Latreille in the Huntington Theatre Company's production of RYAN LANDRY'S "M". March 30 - April 27, 2013 at the South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. huntingtontheatre.org. Photo: T. Charles Erickson

David Drake, Samantha Richert, Ellen Adair, Larry Coen, and Laura Latreille in the Huntington Theatre Company’s production of RYAN LANDRY’S “M”. March 30 – April 27, 2013 at the South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. huntingtontheatre.org. Photo: T. Charles Erickson

Presented by Huntington Theatre Company
Ryan Landry’s “M”
Directed by Caitlin Towland 

March 28-April 28
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Boston, MA
Huntington Theatre Co Facebook Page
Gold Dust Orphans Facebook Page

 Review by Noelani Kamelamela 

(Boston) Fritz Lang’s masterpiece M, released in 1931, revealed much of his hatred and compassion regarding German society at the time.  Ryan Landry’s M likewise breaks new ground while being observant of society’s duality. The Huntington’s production is ambitious with explosively funny results. Spoiler alert:  nothing written here can be a genuine spoiler, trust me.  A real spoiler would be able to point you towards a reasonable expectation of what will actually happen on stage.  Ha ha ha! Continue reading

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Apr 15

Child-Like Wonder & Awe: LITTLE GIANTS

Photo Credit: Imaginary Beasts

Photo Credit: Imaginary Beasts

Presented by Imaginary Beasts
written by Thornton Wilder
Directed by Matthew Woods

BCA Blackbox Theater
Boston, MA
April 5 – 27, 2013
90+ minutes, no intermission.
Imaginary Beasts Facebook Page

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Little Giants has puppets, masque work, gender reversal, religious metaphor, interpretive dance, song, tumbling, Greek mythos, Bible references, and mime work. It’s influences range from the Commedia dell’Arte to the modern circus. That is where the similarity ends. The production is a lot to process in one sitting but the cast and director, Matthew Woods, weave it into an enjoyable albeit sometimes overwhelming evening. Continue reading

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Jan 21

Good, Right, True: “Legend of Sleepy Hollow: An American Pantomime”

Imaginary Beasts 2013

Imaginary Beasts 2013; no horses were used in this production. They gave full consent.

presented by Imaginary Beasts: Winter Panto 2013
Part of the Emerging Theatre Company program

Conceived and written by Matthew Woods and the Ensemble

Directed by Matthew Woods
Choreography by Joey Pelletier and Kiki Samko

January 11 – February 2, 2013
Plaza Black Box Theatre
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Imaginary Beasts Facebook Page

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) The pantomime (panto) began its troubled youth as British entertainment based on the Elizabethan masque. It touched on classical subjects, included music and often borrowed from the Commedia dell’Arte style. These days, if one travels to jolly olde England during the Christmas and New Year’s season, one is confronted with vaudeville debauchery, bedazzled drag queens, slapstick and heaps of audience participation. It’s amazing that the US hasn’t already adopted the Panto and claimed it as our own invention. Enter Legend of Sleepy Hollow: An American Pantomime.

The form has been simplified and adapted for the small stage by Imaginary Beasts and contains the same wacky charm as its British cousin and more of the brash sassiness expected from the fringe theatre scene. We’re treated to country line dancing, Rocky references, and an extra hairy Fairy Godfather (Mikey DiLoreto) who speaks in rhyme and verse but not to a multimedia spectacular. The charm is in the ensemble’s work and it is served with campy flair. Continue reading

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Jan 16

“Other Desert Cities”: Facades Collide With Reality

Photo caption: Anne Gottlieb and Christopher M. Smith in a scene from SpeakEasy Stage's production of Other DesertCities, running January 11 through February 9 at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts. Tickets at speakeasystage.com or 617.933.8600. Photo by Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo

Photo caption: Anne Gottlieb and Christopher M. Smith, Photo by Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo

By Jon Robin Baitz
Directed by Scott Edmiston

Presented by Speakeasy Stage Company
January 11 – February 9
Wimberly Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Speakeasy Stage Co Facebook Page

Review by Becca Kidwell

(Boston) At a time when nostalgia for the eighties is heightening (neon, rubber bracelets, leg warmers,
cut off tees), Jon Robin Baitz reminds us that our recent past was neither as lavish or simple
as we would like to contain it. As the last of the Reaganite politicians cling desperately to
the “grand old party,” gen-xers (like myself) try to find meaning out of a part of seeming trivial
history. Baitz sends a thermobaric weapon to the Wyeth household in the form of Brooke Wyeth, played by Anne Gottlieb. Continue reading

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Nov 29

Tender to the Touch:”Burning Up the Dictionary”

Photo credit: Vagabond Theatre Group; Meyer and Hoover are about to suck face. Awesome.

presented by Vagabond Theatre Group
written by Meron Langsner
directed by James Peter Sotis
incidental music by Santiago Cardenas

November 28 – December 1, 2012
Rehearsal Hall A
Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts

Vagabond Theatre Group Facebook Page

(Boston) George (Tim Hoover) and Suzie-Fay (Cassandra Meyer) are best buds attempting to reconcile their friendship after ending their intense love affair. To say that “it’s complicated” would be putting it mildly. In this 2 act play by Meron Langsner, George and Suzie navigate their break-up and learn that sometimes love isn’t enough. Continue reading

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