Mar 07

“Wheel of Austen” Puts Improv in the 18th Century

Photo credit: Mike Descoteaux

Presented by ImprovBoston
Directed by John Herman
Created by Michelle Boncek & John Herman

March 3-31, 2017
40 Prospect Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
ImprovBoston on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Cambridge, MA) Improv is a weird thing to have to review. You often can’t comment on the set, because the world and props within it are imaginary. The entire show is based on a singular experience that will never be repeated, and that relies heavily on the chemistry of the actors on stage. But I’m happy to report that chemistry in one of ImprovBoston’s productions of Wheel of Austen was well within the performers’ wheelhouse. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Mar 02

On the realistic level: “The Night of the Iguana”

Presented by the American Repertory Theater
Written by Tennessee Williams
Directed by Michael Wilson

Current-March 18, 2017
ASL Interpreted, Mar. 12, 2PM & Mar. 15, 7:30PM
Audio Described, Mar. 16, 7:30PM & Mar. 18, 2PM
Open Captioned Logo Open Captioned, Mar. 16, 7:30PM & Mar. 18, 2PM
Loeb Drama Center
Cambridge, MA
ART on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Cambridge, MA) One may not immediately think of The Night of the Iguana as an American classic even though the film version is considered a classic and it was a success by every measure.  Tennessee Williams fans themselves are content to see it or hear of it onstage maybe once a decade, if even that frequently since its debut in 1961.   The A.R.T.’s recent production pays homage to the time period without becoming a stale museum piece.  Tennessee Williams may not be a favored son of every American, but he is a recent one.  Loeb Drama Center had a clever setup when I attended which allowed the audience to ponder correspondence  from archives as well as attempt to bang some literary work out with Royal typewriters rented out by Arlington’s own Cambridge Typewriter.    Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Jan 24

Playing with Fate in “Intimate Exchanges”

Sarah Elizabeth Bedard and Jade Ziane. Photo: A.R. Sinclair Photography

Presented by The Nora Theatre Company
Written by Alan Ayckbourn
Directed by Olivia D’Ambrosio

January 12-February 12, 2017
Central Square Theatre
450 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Central Square Theatre on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Cambridge, MA) There truly is nothing like the unique experience of theatre. And in Alan Ayckbourn’s Intimate Exchanges, the audience is presented with a choose-your-own-adventure in which no performance is ever identical to the one before. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Jan 11

“Mirror” Immerses Audience in Both Moving Show and Modern Complexities of Womanhood

Presented by Boston Opera Collaborative
Frauenliebe und –leben
Music by Robert Schumann
Text by Adelbert von Chamisso

From the Diary of Virginia Woolf
Music by Dominick Argento
Text from the diaries of Virginia Woolf
Directed by Greg Smucker & Patricia-Maria Weinmann

January 6-8, 2017
Longy School of Music of Bard College
Cambridge, MA
Boston Collaborative Opera on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Cambridge, MA) Two portraits of women, written over a century apart. The first is an idealized character looking to not only marry, but be subsumed by her husband’s identity in a happy, storybook life. In German, she sings of having no desire beyond being this man’s wife. She is the heroine of Robert Schumann’s Frauenliebe und -leben (A Woman’s Love and Life) from 1830, itself based on a series of poems by Adelbert von Chamisso. Two men filter the story of a fictional woman, a touching if pastel view of a girl coming of age. Carley DeFranco breathes life into this creature (also played by Susannah Thornton, Rhaea D’Aliesio, and Julia Cavallaro, depending on one’s tour of the Zabriskie House mansion where the show is staged) with a Disney-esque sweetness. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Jan 03

Exploring BOC’s “Mirror: An Immersive Song Cycle Experience”

Presented by Boston Opera Collaborative
Music directed by Jean Anderson Collier, Patricia Au, Brendon Shapiro, Chelsea Whitaker
Stage directed by Patricia Weinmann, Greg Smucker

January 6-8, 2017
Edward M. Pickman Concert Hall (directions at bottom of page)
Longy School of Music of Bard College
27 Garden St, Cambridge, MA 02138
BOC on Facebook
Twitter: @BostonOperaCollaborative

Preview by Gillian Daniels

(Cambridge, MA) I love immersive theater when done well. I thought I’d take a moment to explore MIRROR, a one-weekend song cycle show based on Robert Schumann’s Frauenliebe und -leben and Dominick Argento’s From the Diary of Virginia Woolf. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Dec 24

Monkeys On My Mind: JOURNEY TO THE WEST

Presented by The Nora Theatre Company & Underground Railway Theater
Adapted by Mary Zimmerman from the translation by Anthony C. Yu of “Hsi Yu Chi”
Directed by Lee Mikeska Gardner
Choreography by Judith Chaffee
Fight choreography by Andrew Moss
Composition, Percussion & Music Collaborations by Ryan Meyer

Nov. 25 – Dec. 31, 2016
Central Square Theater
Cambridge, MA
Central Square Theater on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warnings: gender fluid casting, non-Christian religions that existed before the birth of Christ

(Cambridge, MA) Journey to the West is excellent family theatre. It has joyful storytelling, runs a little long, but delivers an epic myth in child-sized bites. There are bouncing monkeys, kings and queens, educational morals, and integrated behavioral psychology lessons. It has a little something for every intelligent, open-minded liberal.   Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Dec 15

Perfectly Charming Air Ship “Pirates of Penzance”

Presented by The MIT Gilbert & Sullivan Players
Libretto by W.S. Gilbert
Music by Sir Arthur Sullivan
Produced and Directed by Emma Brown
Orchestra Directed by Johnnie Han

December 2-10, 2016
La Sala de Puerto Rico
Cambridge, MA
MITGSP on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Cambridge, MA) What is happiness? “Steampunk pirate opera” is an excellent answer.

This year, the MIT Gilbert & Sullivan Players opted for a pleasing, energetic performance of one of the best operettas of all time. The warmth and enthusiasm on display is heartening. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Dec 01

“A Palpable Hit”: Fight! Fight! Fight!

Photo credit: Timothy John Smith

Photo credit: Timothy John Smith

Presented by The Gunpowder Plot & Cambridge Historical Tours
From the works of William Shakespeare
Directed by Gabriel Kuttner, Daniel Berger-Jones & Sarah Gazdowicz

November 25-December 11, 2016
Durrell Theatre
Cambridge YMCA
820 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge Historical Tours on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Cambridge, MA) Everybody knows that the events leading up to any action sequence, while often necessary, can feel boring and overlong. Sometimes you just want to skip to the good stuff and watch everybody fight or use their superpowers to kick some serious ass. While Shakespeare often preferred battles with swords, though one could argue his battles of wit are just as exhilarating, what made his scenes of confrontation so mesmerizing was the use of tension, and The Gunpowder Plot’s production of A Palpable Hit: Shakespeare Fight Night sure knew how to tap into this. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Oct 26

The Opposite of Hell Freezing Over: “When January Feels Like Summer”

Photo courtesy of CST Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of CST Facebook page.

Presented by Underground Railway Theater
Written by Cori Thomas
Directed by Benny Sato Ambush

Oct. 20 – Nov. 13, 2016
Central Square Theater
Cambridge, MA
CST on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge, MA) Spoiler alert: No one dies in When January Feels Like Summer. No one even gets beaten up. In fact, everyone gets a happy ending. Thomas’ play is extraordinary because sweet but nosy Indira gets to be happy. Thomas’ POC characters get to live their lives without some white person causing unnecessary trouble. It shouldn’t be unusual that a play about POCs or a trans woman isn’t about the violence inflected on them, but it is. It shouldn’t be revolutionary for a person to go about their business. Yet, here we are.       Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Oct 24

Naughty Nighttime Jaunts: “The Wrathskellar Tales”

14237673_1197699330251209_1253917380444914164_n-1Produced by Boston BeauTease

October 20 – October 31, 2016
The Wrathskellar
288A Green Street (Lower Level)
Cambridge, MA
Boston BeauTease on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Cambridge, MA) Immersive, site-specific theatre is notoriously difficult to execute.  It is complicated to envision, a nightmare to rehearse, precarious to time, and overwhelming to build.  Audiences familiar with Punchdrunk’s Sleep no More will understand just how many details go into the completion of a successful immersive theatre project.  The Wrathskellar Tales is surprisingly thorough and impressively complete in its scope. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience