(Cambridge, MA) No one who watches Court TV or Law and Order can deny the pull of a good crime drama. Even those who pretend to be indifferent or opposed to crime drama cannot help being drawn in (and for those who are still pretending that they don’t care, wasn’t that you who tweeted about the Casey Anthony trial all of those times?). What may surprise audiences of Medea is that society hasn’t changed much in 4000 years. Actors’ Shakespeare Project brings to life a Greek drama that examines the dark impulses and desires that haunt not only the “cultured” audiences from Greece’s Golden Age, but also the dark realities of our own society.
Before the play even starts, the audience is surrounded by an air of mystery and foreboding. Continue reading →
(Cambridge, MA) Few up-to-date on pop culture in the last few years have escaped the scourge of Twilight. The book and film franchise have jumpstarted the paranormal romance genre and, in the process, have become the focal point of obsession and hatred for fans and detractors, respectively. Something about the concept of a vampire falling for a teenager really polarizes audiences. Continue reading →
(Cambridge, MA) The holiday season is littered with entertainment chestnuts that get trotted out every year. Some can get worn thin, like poorer productions of A Christmas Carol; others take on a hipster status, like the television special A Charlie Brown Christmas.
If you want to enjoy two holiday traditions at once, come see What the Dickens?!, a mashup musical that populates Dickens’ classic Christmas morality tale with Schultz’s Peanuts characters. Watching this playis like downing an invented drink mixed at a holiday party: the two flavors may mix curiously, but it’s all good. Continue reading →
The Ruhk and the Cast in a scene from The Nora Theatre Company and Underground Railway Theater’s production of Arabian Nights running from November 17 – December 31 at Central Square Theater, 450 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA. Tickets & Information: 866-811-4111 or CentralSquareTheater.org. Photo: A.R. Sinclair Photography.
(Cambridge, MA) The ancient civilizations of the Middle East where a progressive and highly advance set of empires and people, making large strides in the studies of mathematics, astronomy, and architecture. Many of these contributions have had a phenomenal affect on the modern world, including their ancient stories that have influenced the structure and tone of a wide range of stories throughout Western civilizations, from King Arthur and the Nights of the Round Table to Loony Tunes. Many of the more influential stories from the area were collected within the famous book 1001 Arabian Nights, a series of tales and legends of ancient Persia, ranging from epic adventure tales to short comedies told around the central focus of a young woman named Scheherazade attempting to quell the rage of a wronged king and save the woman of his kingdom. A selection of these tales, as well as the story of Scheherazade and the king is the focus of The Nora Theatre Company and Underground Railway Theater’s first combined effort Arabian Nights; a grandly staged yet minimal production of classic tales of adventure, morality, and humor. Continue reading →
(Cambridge, MA) Once again, ImprovBoston treats audiences to the guts and glory, but especially guts, of a Halloween comedy show. This time, the theater gives its audience a seasonally appropriate splatter musical set in a hospital. A young and more or less well-adjusted couple, Carla and Trevor, get into a car accident and venture into the Braggs Memorial Hospital. Not so secretly, something about the facility is wrong, especially when Carla’s unborn baby starts getting a little too much attention. Continue reading →
Emily Hecht as Alice and Brett Johnson as Charlie in T: An MBTA Musical. Plays June 30-July 9 at ImprovBoston, 40 Prospect Street in Cambridge. Tix/Info: 617-576-1253 or improvboston.com. Photo by Ben Snitkoff
T: An MBTA Musical, music and lyrics by Melissa Carubia, book by John Michael Manship, ImprovBoston, 6/30/11-7/9/11. http://www.improvboston.com/shows/musical?ref=slide. Mature Themes. **Warning: should not be viewed by kids, pets, bikes, and particularly tourists and freshmen (we need people to keep coming to Boston, and they don’t need to know the truth until it’s too late!)
Most people have been there at one time or another: the T (translation for non-Bostonians–the subway). For those who know it is a frustrating experience that makes you want to hop in your car and drive to the country or Rhode Island. Delays, fires, sports fans, and vomit are all familiar sights on that are highlighted in the hilarious new musical at ImprovBoston–T: An MBTA Musical. If interactive/improvisational theatre scares you, don’t worry: this is a scripted show. This show makes you laugh until it hurts; then, you are not so angry at the train on the way back–until the train stands still for twenty minutes because of a fire on the rail. Continue reading →
Dafydd ap Rees (Mick Ross) and Allyn Burrows (Alan Turing) in Hugh Whitemore's BREAKING THE CODE through May 8. Presented by Catalyst Collaborative@MIT. Performances at Central Square Theater at 450 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge. Tickets and Information: http://CentralSquareTheater.org or 866-811-4111. Photo by A.R. Sinclair Photography.
Intelligence is a prized commodity that governments and businesses appropriate for their own needs, but don’t always appreciate the ones who provide it. Alan Turing was loved by Great Britain for his decoding work during World War II and was derided for his failure to conform to social norms after the war. Breaking the Code masterfully explores the isolating nature of “polite” society.
Underground Railroad Company and Catalyst Collaborative@MIT bring the audience into the world of Alan Turing’s mind and memory. Performed in the round, the audience literally steps into Janie Howland’s set of inverse geometric spirals as they take their seats. Strings across the walls and ceiling connect formulas and ideas. Following the idea of the spirals, director Adam Zahler has Turing (played by Allyn Burrows) follow these patterns as Turing moves through the various moments of his life. The set and the action become an extension of Alan Turing’s personality. Continue reading →
R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE. Performed by Thomas Derrah. Photo: Marcus Stern.
Warning: contains profound thoughts
Reviewed by Becca Kidwell
When someone asks me what subjects I liked when I was in school, I always say “all except science, I HATE science.” What I have learned over the past few years is that I have hated science because no one made it interesting for me. R. Buckminster Fuller: The History (and Mystery) of the Universe reminds me again that love of science and love of learning start with a person who engages, challenges, and pushes you to see the world in new ways.
The one-man show connects theories of science, philosophy, sociology, and sustainability to life. Fuller comes to life in such a way that the audience feels that they are at a “real” lecture. Thomas Derrah presents the same frenetic and contagious energy that was Bucky Fuller’s trademark. He bounces and dances around as he explains his principles for improving “spaceship earth” and also questioning all of the norms that surround us. Like Bucky, he uses any and all forms of media that are available to him to get his point across. Continue reading →
The moment the audience enters the doors (actual scenery), they are invited to join Max Beckmann’s collage of memories. An accordion player crosses the stage and roams the audience prior to the start of the show. The stage is in a state of ordered disorder—the perfect working space for creating art. All of the elements (the music, lighting, acting, scenery, and film) swirl around to form a story of love, loss, sorrow and hope. Continue reading →