Apr 30

“Mermaid Hour”: A Tender Tale, Not Quite for Our Times

Photo by Molly Shoemaker.

Presented by Moonbox Productions
Play by David Valdes
Direction by Bridget Kathleen O’Leary
Scenic Design by Janie E. Howland
Lighting Design by Deb Sullivan
Costume Design by E Rosser
Composition by Kai Bohlman
Sound Design by Kai Bohlman and Anna Drummond
Dramaturgy by Wenxuan Xue
Featuring: Brenny O’Brien, Phil Tayler, Monica Risi, Alex Goldman, Clara Tan

April 26 – May 19
Arrow Street Arts
2 Arrow St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Tickets here

Article by Maegan Bergeron-Clearwood

Content advisory for transphobic language such as misgendering, as well as mature content such as swearing, references to anatomy, and sexual activity. Recommended for ages 12 and up.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — In the early 2010s, when Mermaid Hour was written, trans visibility was on the rise and Internet discourse was largely concerned with pronouns and representation. In David Valdes’ play, Pilar and David are searching for information about terminology and puberty blockers to support their trans daughter, Vi. Their efforts are earnest; they make mistakes; then they learn and adjust and move on. They love their kid, and that’s enough. Continue reading

Feb 24

It’s not just about becoming a man; it’s about becoming a Good Man: “Becoming a Man”

“Becoming a Man” at the A.R.T. Photo by Nile Scott Studios and Maggie Hall.

Presented by the American Repertory Theater
Written by P. Carl
Directed by Diane Paulus and P. Carl
Music & Sound Design by Paul James Prendergast
Video Design by Brittany Bland
Fight Direction by Ted Hewlett
Intimacy Coordination by Kayleigh Kane
Dramaturgy by Ryan McKittrick

Feb. 16 – March 10, 2024
Loeb Drama Center
64 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

The Digital Playbill

Run Time: 1 hour and 50 minutes with no intermission, including a 20-minute Act II discussion

Image by Mass Transgender Political Coalition

At this time of celebration for P. Carl, the LGBTQIA+ community mourns the murder of Nex Benedict. Benedict was a 16-year-old 2SLGBTQ+ child of Choctaw descent living on the Cherokee reservation in Oklahoma. A vigil for Nex Benedict will be held tonight, February 24 at 6 PM at the Boston Commons Gazebo in Boston, MA.

MORE INFO and info on volunteering for the vigil

Review by Kitty Drexel, queer ally followed by a review by Noelani Kamelamela, trans community member

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Becoming a Man by P. Carl runs at the American Repertory Theater through March 10 at the Loeb Drama Center in Harvard Square. It is based on the memoir of the same name also by P. Carl and can be purchased down the street from the Harvard Coop or your local independent bookseller. 

Becoming a Man is about P. Carl’s (Petey Gibson) transition into his full self and the impact it has on his entire world. Carl comes out to his parents (Christopher Liam Moore and Susan Rome) while caring for their aging bodies. He confides in his best friend Nathan (Cody Sloan) during necessary sanity breaks away from the city. Carl celebrates his gender euphoria with swimming lessons with Eddie (Justiin Davis).  Continue reading

Feb 19

You Are Worth More Than Mere Survival: “The Manic Monologues”

“The Manic Monologues” cast; Photography: Nikolai Alexander, FPoint Productions

Presented by Moonbox Productions
Part of the Turning the Tide Project
By Zachary Burton and Elisa Hofmeister
Directed by Brad Reinking
Turning the Tide Director: Kara Crumrine
Mental health production consultant: Sara Burd
Featuring: Ethan DePuy, Cristhian Mancinas-Garcia, Liza Giangrande, Katie Kendrick, Mal Malme, Cidalia Santos

February 16 – 25, 2024
Arrow St Arts
2 Arrow Street
Studio
Cambridge, MA 02138

Audio Described Performance:
Saturday, February 24 at 8:00 pm

ASL Interpreted Performances:
Friday, February 23 at 8:00 pm
Saturday, February 24 at 3:00 pm
Saturday, February 24 at 8:00 pm
Sunday, February 25 at 3:00 pm

Captioned Performances:
All Manic Monologues performances will feature open captioning.
Running Time: 110 minutes, no intermission, includes a community conversation

Review by Kitty Drexel

Please note: The Manic Monologues has themes of emotional violence and self-harm. The stories are true but not necessarily true for the actor performing the monologue. Attendees should consider their own needs and triggers when attending. 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. —  The Manic Monologues is a play/community discussion in the tradition of The Vagina Monologues by V (formerly Eve Ensler). It is a series of monologues and one-sided dialogues about mental illness written and performed to disrupt the stigma and shame surrounding mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, autism, depression, anxiety disorders, and others.  Continue reading

Dec 15

A Delight: “Real Women Have Curves: The Musical”

The company in the A.R.T. world premiere of Real Women Have Curves: The Musical. Credit: Nile Hawver/Maggie Hall.

Presented by American Repertory Theater
Music & Lyrics by Joy Huerta & Benjamin Velez
Book by Lisa Loomer
Additional Material by Nell Benjamin
Based on the Play by Josefina López
And HBO’s Real Women Have Curves, Screenplay by Josefina López & George LaVoo
Music Supervision by Nadia DiGiallonardo
Directed & Choreographed by Sergio Trujillo
Dialect Coaching by Elisa Gonzales
Intimacy Coordination by Lauren Kiele DeLeon
Dramaturgy by Brisa Areli Muñoz

Dec. 6, 2023 – Jan. 21, 2024
Loeb Drama Center
64 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 

The online Playbill

ART’s content warning from its website: “This production stages and discusses xenophobic commentary, racism, sexual themes, and body shaming and contains haze and fog. Recommended for sixth grade and up.”

Runtime: 2 hours and 40 minutes, including one 20-minute intermission

Review by Kitty Drexel

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The New England Theatre Geeks believe that real women identify as women. The discussion about how “woman” is defined has come a long way since 1990. It still has further to go.  #TransWomenAreWomen

Real Women Have Curves: The Musical is playing at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge through January 21. It is based on the 1990 play and 2002 movie of the same name by  Josefina López. 

It is important to note that Real Women Have Curves: The Musical is not about the important discussion surrounding LGBTQIA identity. It is a musical based on a movie based on a play about a young Latina woman from L.A. That’s the story. 

There is other theatre that carefully, strategically, and emphatically discusses this issue from the perspective of intersectional feminists. Real Women Have Curves: The Musical is already doing a lot of heavy lifting. Please do not demand more from it than it plans to give.  Continue reading

Nov 06

Let the Sun and Light Come Streaming: “The Rocky Horror Show”

The Rocky Horror Show at CST! First Rehearsal! from Central Square Theater on Vimeo.

Presented by Central Square Theater 
Book, Music, & Lyrics by Richard O’Brien
Directed by Jo Michael Rezes & Lee Mikeska Gardner
Music Direction by Jack Cline
Choreography by Ilyse Robbins
Gender Consulting and Intimacy Direction by Shira Helena Gitlin
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Consulting by Kira Troilo

October 26 – November 26, 2023
Central Square Theater
450 Massachusetts Avenue 
Cambridge, MA

Critique by Kitty Drexel

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — I have a lot of personal feelings about The Rocky Horror Show. It is my favorite, and I had to shake off my preconceived notions of what a production should be to give a fair critique. 

Preferences aside, a critic asks and answers two questions when critiquing: What did the artist attempt to do? Did they do it? The rest of the article is opinionated fluff and dramaturgy. 

  1. What did Central Square Theater attempt? The company produced Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show for CST’s beloved audience of MIT nerds and nerd allies. 
  2. Did CST do it? Yes. 

A potential third question is “Did they do it well?” This question is subjective. Multiple perspectives can be true at the same time.  Continue reading

Oct 16

Mischief and Devil’s Work: “Sweeney Todd” at Arrow Street Arts

Davron Monroe and Joy Clark. Photo Credit: chelcymariephotography

Presented by Moonbox Productions
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheeler
From an Adaptation by Christopher Bond
Originally Directed on Broadway by Harold Prince
Directed by Ryan Mardesich
Choreography by Joy Clark
Music Directed by Dan Ryan
Fight choreography by Margaret Clark
Dramaturgy by Courtney Elkin Mohler

Oct. 13 – Nov. 5, 2023
Arrow Street Arts
2 Arrow Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Audio Described Performances:
Sunday, October 29 at 3:00 pm &
Saturday, November 4 at 8:00 pm
Post-Show Talkbacks:
Sunday, October 22 with Director Ryan Mardesich and Music Director Dan Ryan

Content Advisory: Murder, Cannibalism, Sexual Assault, Gunshots, Violence.

Critique by Kitty Drexel

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Moonbox Productions welcomes audiences back to 2 Arrow Street with its inaugural production of Sondheim and Wheeler’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Performances run now through Nov. 5 in Cambridge.

Arrow Street Arts resides in the renovated space of what was once the A.R.T.’s Club Oberon (RIP). Moonbox stripped the location of its dark aesthetic and replaced it with bright, white paint The better to showcase cast information, and Moonbox’s production partner, the New England Innocence Project Continue reading

Sep 15

How mortal Gods can be: “The Half-God of Rainfall”


This trailer is so cool!
Presented by American Repertory Theater
A co-production with the New York Theatre Workshop
By Inua Ellams
Directed by Taibi Magar
Movement Direction by Orlando Pabotoy
Orisha Movement Consulting/Choreography by Beatrice Capote
Intimacy Direction by Ann James
Voice & Dialect Direction by Dawn-Elin Fraser
Dramaturgy by Iyvon E.
Projection design by Tal Yarden
Physical therapy by Artistic Athlete Health Collective

Sept. 8 – 24, 2023
Loeb Drama Center
64 Brattle Street
Harvard Square
Cambridge, MA

This production contains haze, fog, flashing lights, and loud sounds, and stages sexual and physical violence. A.R.T. recommends it for ninth grade and up.

Review by Kitty Drexel

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The American Repertory Theater presents Inua Ellams’ The Half-God of Rainfall at the Loeb Drama Center in Harvard Square through Sept. 24. Directed by Taibi Magar, it tackles human concerns of identity, immortality, and generational trauma through the marriage of Greek and Yoruba storytelling and NBA basketball. 

The Half-God of Rainfall is about Demi (Mister Fitzgerald), a half-Nigerian/half-Greek son of serial abuser, Zeus King of the Greek Gods. Demi reconciles his holy parentage as he achieves fame and fortune as an NBA player. His journey takes him from rural Nigeria, across the United States, to Mount Olympus.  Continue reading

Sep 05

Cheap Art for the Long Haul: “The Heart of the Matter Circus”

Bread and Puppet Theater performs “The Heart of the Matter Circus” at Cambridge Common, Sept. 2, 2023. (©Greg Cook photo)

Presented by Bread and Puppet Theater

Touring through September 9th, 2023
Vernon, NJ
Thursday, September 7 @ 6pm
Meadowburn Farm
42 Meadowburn Rd, Vernon, NJ 07462

Brooklyn, NY
Friday, September 8 @ 4pm & 8pm
Old Stone House
336 3rd St., Brooklyn, NY 11215

Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Saturday, September 9 @ 4pm
Montgomery Place Estate @ Bard College

Easthampton, MA
Sunday, September 10 @ 5:30pm
Park Hill Orchard
82 Park Hill Road, Easthampton, MA 01027

Pittsford, VT
Monday, September 11 @ 6pm
Pittsford Village Farm
42 Elm Street Pittsford, VT 05763

Review by Maegan Bergeron-Clearwood

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Much has been said recently about the seeming demise of American theater, with company after company reducing production capacity or closing their doors for good. Earlier this summer, The New York Times lamented this trend with the doom-and-gloom headline, “A Crisis in America’s Theaters Leaves Prestigious Stages Dark,” and a focus on big-name regional theaters – after all, if “prestigious” institutions are going under, surely this spells disaster for theater as a whole.* Continue reading

Jun 07

Witnessing a War-torn Wonderland: “The Gaaga”

Photo via https://www.arlekinplayers.com/the-gaaga

Presented by Arlekin Players Theatre
Written and co-directed by Sasha Denisova
Co-Directed by Igor Golyak
Environmental Design by Irina Kruzhilinia
Produced by Sara Stackhouse
Featuring: Jeremy Beazlie, Boris Berdnikov, Irina Bordian, Daniel Boudreau, Jenya Brodskaia, Darya Denisova, Polina Dubovikova, Taisiia “Taya” Fedorenko, Anne Gottlieb, Dev Luthra, Robert Pemberton, Michael Sáenz, Garrett Sands, Julia Shikh, Misha Tyutyunik, Irina Vilenchik, Ilia Volok, Robert Walsh

June 2-18, 2023 | US Premiere
BEAT BREW HALL
13 Brattle St., Harvard Square
Live, In-Person June 2-18
Streaming live, online, June 8-18

Review by Maegan Bergeron-Clearwood

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Imagine a future in which not only dictators, but also their conspirators and allies and simpering cronies, are held actually held responsible for their crimes against humanity. Imagine a forum for truth-telling and accountability, where the perpetrators are subjected to mockery and the survivors are entitled to impart judgment, rather than the all-too-common other way around.

This is, of course, a topsy-turvy dream, so it is fitting that The Gaaga: a site specific phantasmagoria situates the absurd concept within the mind of a child. Its Alice in Wonderland-inspired protagonist, The Girl (played by 17-year-old Ukrainian refugee and artist Taisiia “Taya” Fedorenko), leads her audience of juror-witnesses through her fantasy world, in which she puts Vladimir Putin and his conspirators on trial for horrific crimes against her family and country. Continue reading

Mar 08

We Would Do Anything for Love, Including That: “Alma”

Full frontal chancla fight, Karina Beleno Carney and Luz Lopez in “Alma”. Photo: Nile Scott Studios.

Presented by Central Square Theater
Written by Benjamin Benne
Directed by Elena Velasco
Choreography by Angie Jepson
Dialect Coaching by Cristhian Mancinas-García
Community Connectivity Dramaturgy by Zowie Rico
Featuring Karina Beleno Carney (she/ella) and Luz Lopez (she/her)

February 23 to March 26, 2023
Central Square Theater
450 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 
75 minutes with no intermission

Critique by Kitty Drexel

Cambridge, MA — The Oxford English Dictionary says the American Dream is “the ideal that every citizen of the United States should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative.” Benjamin Benne’s Alma at Central Square Theater is the story of a family that comes to accept that some American dreams are only available to wealthy, white, and documented dreamers.   Continue reading