Jun 02

An Introvert’s Nightmare: RIPCORD

© Photo: T. Charles Erickson

Presented by Huntington Theatre Co.
By David Lindsay-Abaire
Directed by Jessica Stone
Original music by Mark Bennett
Choreography by Misha Shields

May 26 – June 25, 2017
South End
Calderwood Pavilion of the Arts
Boston, MA
Huntington on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MATimes are not good right now in America. It’s hard being a freedom loving, feminist, liberal during a reign of political terror. Thank goodness there’s escapist theatre that warms the heart and only lightly pings the brain. Ripcord at the Huntington Theatre is just such a show. It isn’t high art. It isn’t activist art. It is a reminder that none of us are free until we’re all free. Continue reading

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Feb 06

“The Second Girl” Keeps to Familiar Territory

Photo credit: Hunting Theatre Co

Photo credit: Hunting Theatre Co

Presented by Huntington Theatre Co.
Written by Huntington Playwriting Fellow Ronan Noone
Directed by Campbell Scott

Jan. 16 – Feb. 21, 2015
South End / Calderwood
Pavilion at the BCA
Huntington Theatre on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

The class war still rages on.  People from countries with fewer opportunities than ours wash up on the shores of America willing to work sixteen-hour days at thankless jobs.  In “The Second Girl,” the audience is transported to the influx of Irish immigration in the earlier twentieth century.  Specifically, we watch a full day in the life of Bridget O’Sullivan (Kathleen McElfresh) and aspiring actress Cathleen O’Leary (MacKenzie Meehan) in August 1912.  Both work as maids for the summer home of wealthy employers.  The carping and melodrama of our heroines’ everyday world is mined for a play that seems a little too grounded in the immigration stories that came before. Continue reading

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Nov 14

You Know It’s Love When You Want to Stab* Your Partner but Don’t: THE REAL THING

Photos by Paul Cantillon, Lidec Photo.

Photos by Paul Cantillon, Lidec Photo.

Presented by Bad Habit Productions
By Tom Stoppard
Directed by A. Nora Long

November 8-23, 2014
Deane Hall
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Boston, MA
Bad Habit on Facebook

*Figuratively

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) The Real Thing reminds us that mature, adult relationships are back breaking, hard work. Henry (Bob Mussett) is a playwright using his real life as fodder for his scripts. He’s having an affair with Annie (Courtland Jones), an actress and activist, for whom they’ve both divorced their spouses. In this play, Henry and Annie grow out of their patterns of selfish, abusive neglect and into a mature partnership. Henry and Annie barely survive with their sanity intact. Continue reading

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Apr 29

Richly Developed Heroines: BECOMING CUBA

Presented by Huntington Theatre Co
Written by Huntington Playwright-in-Residence Melinda Lopez
Directed by M. Bevin O’Gara

March 28 – May 3, 2014
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Boston, MA
Huntington Co on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Becoming Cuba at the Huntington Theatre is about blood origins. It is about the effect blood-ties have on our decisions, and the indirect way our origins affect the world around us. Specifically, it is about sisters Adele (Christina Pumariega) and Martina (Rebecca Soler) who run a pharmacie in Spanish-occupied Cuba. Adele attempts to remain neutral as war threatens the country she loves: her family fights in the rebellion; her husband died fighting for Spain. As Adele cares for the people of Havana, she comes to understand that loyalty is a complex beast. Love and loyalty can be divided while still remaining whole. 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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Jun 10

And the Green Grass Grows All Around: RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN

photo: T. Charles Erickson

presented by Huntington Theatre Company
by Gina Gionfriddo
directed by Peter DuBois

South End Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
May 24th – June 22nd, 2013
Huntington Theatre Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

A bunch of middle-aged folks had an academic argument about feminism and a great play broke out! Rapture, Blister, Burn, an insightful and barbed comedy about post-feminist uncertainty, is the rare play that immerses itself in theory and still makes us care. Continue reading

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Jan 15

“Vinegar Tom”: A Deceptively Timely Play

Photo credit: Whistler in the Dark; This show contains material that may trigger PTSD  - please try to see it anyway.

Photo credit: Whistler in the Dark; This show contains material that may trigger PTSD – please try to see it anyway.

presented by Whistler in the Dark Theatre
Vinegar Tom is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

by Caryl Churchill

directed by Mac Young
songs composed by Molly Allis, Juliet Olivier & Veronica Barron
music Composed and Performed by: Veronica Barron & Tony Leva
lyrics by Caryl Churchill

January 11th-February 2nd
The Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
539 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116
Whistler in the Dark Theatre Facebook Page

Review by Gillian Daniels

TRIGGER WARNING

(Boston) Historical fiction is often said to reflect the era in which it’s written rather than the era it’s written about.  Caryl Churchill’s Vinegar Tom, originally performed in 1976, mirrors the growing awareness of feminism.  In 1600’s England, a group of women deal with being unmarried, unrepresented, and unwanted. The result is a play that’s appropriately bleak.

Vinegar Tom begins with Alice, portrayed by the excellent but often subtle Becca A. Lewis.  Lewis playfully drives the show as a young woman with a feather-light conscience despite having an infant son out of wedlock.  Her performance is credible not as a woman anachronistically independent or “ahead of her time,” but as someone who wants to marry and live on her own terms.  She is aided by her mother, Joan (Karin Webb), who is largely dismissed and derided by their town as an old hag. Continue reading

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Dec 12

Of Mice and Men and Misfits

Photo Credit : Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo.

Photo Credit : Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo.

by John Steinbeck (1902-1968)
Directed by Allison Choat

presented by Moonbox Productions
The BCA Plaza Theatre
539 Tremont Street, Boston, MA
Dec 7 – 22, 2012
Moonbox Productions Facebook Page

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston) Of Mice and Men is a play about alienation, the ways in which people are isolated from society and why. Clever but mean George (Phil Tayler) and his slow friend, Lennie (Harry McEnerny), go from one ranch to the next in 1930’s California. The pair look for work in order to fund their dream of owning a small farm. Continue reading

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Oct 30

Separating the Political from the Familial: NOW OR LATER

Photo: Paul Marotta; with Tom Nelis and Grant MacDermott.

by Christopher Shinn
directed by Michael Wilson

presented by Huntington Theatre Company
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
South Boston
October 12 – November 10
Huntington Theatre Company Facebook Page

Review by Kitty Drexel

(South Boston) John, Jr. (Grant MacDermott) is a college student who has pissed off the Muslim Student Association of his University in the name of free speech. He was incredibly insensitive at a privately hosted but publicly monitored “naked’ party thrown by a fellow college student. He firmly believes that he is entitled to behave in an offensive manner because he is an American citizen. Unlike many kids in his situation, he cannot just let his act of emotional terrorism blow over; he is the son of Presidential nominee John, Sr. (Tom Nelis). Amidst the tumult of election night, Jr. comes to the slow realization that his action affects more than just his immediate circle of friends and family. It has the potential to affect the entire nation. Continue reading

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