Oct 30

“Cirque of the Dead” Review 2018: Damned Good Time


Presented by Boston Circus Guild
Directed by Joseph C. Walsh

October 19 – October 31, 2017
The Oberon
2 Arrow Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Cirque of the Dead on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Cambridge, MA) A possessed contortionist, a painting that springs to life to ensnare its painter, a clan of vampires, and a burlesque zombie who strangely (and seductively?) tears off and eats their own skin during their aerial act. Yes, it is Halloween for the Boston Circus Guild. This year, they successfully walk the line between disturbing and beguiling. The show is fragmented into circus acts, yes, but the pieces cohere into a complete (if possessed) picture. Continue reading

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Oct 15

Ratched Isn’t Bossy; She’s the Boss: “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”

Nurse Ratched and McMurphy spar. Mary Dennis Photography.

Presented by Theatre Uncorked
By Dale Wasserman
Based on the novel by Ken Kesey
Directed by Bobbie Steinbach

Oct. 13, 2018
3:30pm and 7:30pm
Martin Jewett Hall
First Church Cambridge
11 Garden St
Cambridge, MA
Theatre Uncorked on Facebook

Critique by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge, MA) One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest the play is a different beast from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest the novel. The novel is directly influenced by author Ken Kesey’s experiences as an orderly at a mental health facility in California. The novel was written amidst the Civil Rights movement and is a direct response to the deinstitutionalization movement. It is imperative that and audience understand the stark differences between care expectations between the 60’s and today. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest the novel is a heavy read. The play as staged by Theatre Uncorked could be viewed by nearly anyone. Continue reading

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Oct 15

Cirque of the Dead Preview: The Nightmare Continues

Presented by Boston Circus Guild
Directed by Joseph C. Walsh
October 19 – October 31, 2017

The Oberon
2 Arrow Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Cirque of the Dead on Facebook

Preview by Gillian Daniels

(Cambridge, MA) Last year, in 2017, Cirque of the Dead delighted me with Jumanji-esque antics and host Wes Hazzard’s charisma.

This year, in another callback to one’s youth for an adults-only murder show, the theme is Choose Your Own Adventure. The 2018 show promises new acts, acrobats, aerialists, butts, cannibalism, monsters, sex, and a bar full of specialty cocktails.

Joseph C. Walsh will be directing and says, “This exciting event combines breathtaking circus skills, startling theatricality and classic horror to offer its audience a unique and immersive experience. The incredible performers have stretched me artistically and inspired me with their astounding abilities and passion for pushing the boundaries of the modern circus genre.”

Music will be provided by Minusworld, a nerd-themed, “high-energy Synthrock” band.

Boston Circus Guild (BCG) describes itself as “a collaboration of over fifty musicians, artists, circus performers, dancers, and event producers from the Boston area. BCG members regularly perform at prestigious events and venues throughout New England including the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Pfizer, Cirque du Soleil, and The Boston Bruins Foundation.” I had to scrape my jaw off the floor after witnessing last year’s acrobatics. I expect nothing less than spectacular.

Last year, I also wrote,  “The visuals are deeply compelling and wonderfully gross. […] The sense of escapism Cirque of the Dead represents, gory and grim as it may be, is invaluable and beautifully articulated with supreme commitment to physical flights of fancy.”

And I can’t wait for the next chapter.

Performances:
Friday, October 19: 7:00PM & 10:30PM
Saturday, October 20: 6:30PM
Thursday, October 25: 7:30PM
Friday, October 26: 7:00PM & 10:30PM
Saturday, October 27: 6:30PM
Wednesday, October 31: 7:00PM & 10:30PM

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Oct 11

Frankenstein was the Monster: “Frankenstein”

Produced by The Nora Theatre Company & Underground Railway Theater; A Catalyst Collaborative@MIT Production; Design by Bird Graphics.

Presented by Central Square Theater
Produced by The Nora Theatre Company & Underground Railway Theater
By Nick Dear
From the novel by Mary Shelley
Directed by David R. Gammons
Dramaturgy by Hilary Rappaport
Ensemble: Remo Airaldi, Omar Robinson, John Kuntz, Ashley Risteen, David Keohane, Debra Wise

Oct. 4 – Nov. 4, 2018
Central Square Theater
Cambridge, MA
CST on Facebook

Trigger warning: rape, violence, body horror, strobe effects, spoilers

Critique by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge, MA) Prometheus stole fire from Mount Olympus and gave it to mankind. For his indiscretion, Zeus condemned the Titan to an eternity of epic liver failure (a complication of eagle hunger). Shelley’s novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus warns a relatively modern audience not to play with fire lest one get burned. It plays out similarly in contemporary Halloween favorites such as The Rocky Horror Show and Prometheus that frustrating movie by Ridley Scott. It takes new form as Central Square Theater’s current production. As long as there is science, there will be humans poking around where they shouldn’t be poking. Continue reading

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Oct 02

Stepping Into “Hiveland”

Luminarium Dance Company’s HIVELAND. Photo: Short photo co.

Presented by Luminarium Dance Company
Choreography by Merli V. Guerra and Kimberleigh A. Holman
Performed by the dancers Jess Chang, Devon Colton, Melenie Diarbekirian, Amy Mastrangelo, Katie McGrail, Alison McHorney, and Jennifer Roberts

September 21, 22, 28,& 29, 2018
The Multicultural Arts Center
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Luminarium on Facebook

Written by Bishop C. Knight

(Cambridge, MA) This dance was called Hiveland.  It was a performance about the social psychology of approach and discovery, and it featured a group of dancers who shared a hive mind.  All of the dancers constantly managed their group conduct, condoning or condemning each other, and it’s interesting how the Directors used an experimental dance to explore societal values of conformity. Continue reading

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Aug 06

A State of Virginal Ecstasy; Or, Needs More Snakes in Bowls: “Dark Room”

Ensemble | Photo Credit, Andrew Brilliant

Presented by Bridge Repertory Theater
Written by George Brant
Inspired by the life, death, and photography of Francesca Woodman
Directed by Olivia D’Ambrosio
Associate director and dramaturgy by Alexander Platt
Choreography by Doppelgänger Dance Collective

July 27 – August 16, 2018
In residence at the Multicultural Arts Center
Cambridge, MA
Bridge Rep on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Disclaimer: I auditioned for this production, and was not cast. It is my opinion that only a jackass would allow rejection, a natural process of auditioning, to taint their review.

(Cambridge, MA) Producer and director, D’Ambrosio gives an important, informative speech before Dark Room to guide audience expectations. She suggests we allow the performance to wash over us. Should we become puzzled by the actions onstage, rather than self-interpret what we see, we should allow the performance to explain itself through continued observance. I’d further posit that audience members do proper research before attending. The chiaroscuro style of Francesca Woodman is emphatically stirring. To fully absorb the performance, it behooves an audience to google Woodman’s art. Continue reading

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May 22

Batman Burlesque Brings Out the Brave and the Bold

Presented by The Slaughterhouse Society

May 20 – May 25, 2018
The Oberon
2 Arrow Street
Cambridge, MA
The Slaughterhouse Society on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

CONTENT WARNING: Psychosexual camp with some abuse and violence for good measure.

(Cambridge, MA) Maybe it’s the number of expertly dressed femme fatales and smart suited gentleman villains in the rogue gallery. Maybe it’s just the spandex. All the same, Batman’s unique blended history of pulp, humor, and darkness puts it at the same cross-section of camp and psychosexual horror in which Boston’s happily weird burlesque scene specializes. The Slaughterhouse Society makes sure burlesque and Batman are a match made in vaudeville variety show heaven. Continue reading

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May 11

“DIANA!” – sketch comedy for millennials born in the mid-1990s

Presented by ImprovBoston
40 Prospect St, Cambridge, MA
Friday, 4 May 2018 @ 10pm
Next performance is June 8, 11PM
IB on Facebook

Reviewed by Bishop C. Knight

(Central Square, Cambridge) DIANA! was marketed as an all-women musical to be performed by a cast of passionate comediennes who celebrate imperfection, and this was the only preparation patrons were provided, because that’s how it goes in the improv comedy circuit.  Late night audiences show up, some degree of inebriated and half-heartedly hoping our performers are capable of spontaneously spurning out sunny slapstick satire. The cast of DIANA! had their assignment – to parody imperfection – and they did a terribly terrific job of mocking classy “classic people” and laughing at highbrow literature. Continue reading

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May 08

Fear Not the Creative Mind: “The Women Who Mapped the Stars”

Sarah Newhouse as Annie Jump Cannon, Christine Power as Antonia Maury, Becca A. Lewis as Williamina Fleming and Sarah Oakes Muirhead as Henrietta Swan Leavitt. (Courtesy A.R. Sinclair Photography)

Presented by The Nora Theatre Company
By Joyce Van Dyke
Directed by Jessica Ernst

April 19 – May 20, 2018
Central Square Theater
Cambridge, MA
CST on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

“Now, there was a time/ when they used to say,
that behind ev’ry great man/ there had to be a great woman.
But oh, in these times of change/ you know that it’s no longer true.
So we’re comin’ out of the kitchen/ ’cause there’s something we forgot to say to you.
We say, Sisters are doin’ it for themselves”
-The Eurythmics with Aretha Franklin, “Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves”

(Cambridge, MA) It’s been a good few years for female scientists. Sally Ride came out posthumously in 2012. Hidden Figures rocked the box office in 2016/2017. Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Goble/Johnson and the other human computers are finally receiving their due accolades. Women are entering STEM fields at increasing rates. Local company, Flat Earth Theatre produced Lauren Gunderson’s Silent Sky in March 2017. The Nora Theatre Company is playing The Women Who Mapped the Stars right now. There are many more successes, but it won’t be enough until women and other minorities receive the equal success as men. Continue reading

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Apr 16

Still More to Learn from Our Past:”The Laramie Project”

Presented by Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club
Written by Moisés Kaufman & the Members of the Tectonic Theater Project
Directed by Eli Schleicher ’18

April 11 – 13, 2018
Club Oberon
Cambridge, MA
HRDC on Facebook

Review by Diana Lu

(Cambridge, MA) The Laramie Project, by the Tectonic Theater Project, premiered in 2000. It is an amalgamation of over 200 interviews with the residents of Laramie, Wyoming, detailing the circumstances and consequences of the hate crime perpetrated against Matthew Shepard in 1998. Continue reading

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