Jan 28

A Nourishing Treat: “Slow Food”

Joel Van Liew, Brian Beacock, Daina Griffith. Photo by Meghan Moore.

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Written by Wendy MacLeod
Directed by Sean Daniels

January 9 – February 3, 2018
50 E Merrimack St, Lowell, MA 01852
MRT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell, MA) You know a play hooks you when you start to get uncomfortable from the opening moment. As the lights go up in Slow Food,, we see two diners, Peter and Irene (Joel Van Liew and Daina Michelle Griffith) looking wane in a Greek restaurant as they begrudgingly sip glasses of water and wait. By the time the waiter, Stephen (Brian Beacock), appears, it is hard not to hate him. Continue reading

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Apr 16

“The Big One” Has Big Heart But Feels Under-Done

11107735_10206307386668624_3810527196770342390_nPresented by Lesley University
Written by Liv Cummins, Sandy McKnight
Directed by Liv Cummins
Music direction by Elena Blyskal

April 9-12, 2015
Lesley University
Marran Theater
34 Mellen Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
The Big One on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

Lesley University’s pop/rock musical is, at best, is benign and rather sweet. A number of struggling Los Angeles songwriters gather in the basement of a dilapidated building at the guidance of Paul (Ryan Bevard) to workshop their music. The goal of each workshop participant is to hit it big with their work, to be featured in a commercial, movie, or by a well-known artist. Meanwhile, California itself prepares for a “big hit” from the end result of a series of earthquakes. There’s a lot of charm to its plot and character arcs, but Liv Cummins and Sandy McKnight’s show doesn’t quite come together. Continue reading

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Apr 02

Beautiful & Grotesque Misrepresentations: BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK

Photo Credit: Mark S. Howard; Hannah Husband, Kami Rushell Smith, Kelby T. Akin, Gregory Balla

by Lynn Nottage
Directed by Summer L. Williams

The Lyric Stage Company
Boston, MA
March 29, 2013 – April 27, 2013
The Lyric Stage Facebook Page
Running time: Approximately 2 hours & 15 minutes, includes one intermission

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) The events of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark appear to be comedic. In truth, viewed with the perspective of historical racial prejudice, it is more like a tragedy. Vera Stark is a Black actress living in Los Angeles and nursing a dream of appearing on the big screen as more than an anonymous face in a club scene. She dreams of being a character that isn’t a slave and definitely isn’t a “Mammy” role. Determined to make her mark in Hollywood, Stark rallies her friends and boss Gloria, and manages to slightly alter bureaucratic race relations at the same time. It was one small step for woman and a held breath for the rest of mankind. 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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