May 15

Battle Uphill, Downhill, and Hopping Across: “Touching the Void”

The cast of “Touching the Void.” Photo by Danielle Fauteux Jacques.

Presented by Apollinaire Theatre Company
Based on Joe Simpson’s bestselling memoir Touching the Void
Written by David Greig
Directed by Danielle Fauteux Jacques
Scenic & Sound Design: Joseph Lark-Riley
Costume Design: Elizabeth Rocha 
Lighting Design: Danielle Fauteux Jacques
Featuring: Patrick O’Konis, Kody Grassett, Parker Jennings, Zach Fuller

April 19- May 26, 2024 (Extended!)
Chelsea Theatre Works
189 Winnisimmet St.
Chelsea, MA

Running Time: estimated 2 hours with one intermission

Performances followed by a Reception with the actors

Critique by Kitty Drexel

CHELSEA, Mass. — Apollinaire Theatre Company’s Touching the Void is about two men chasing death up a mountain. Death chases them back down.  It runs through May 26 at Chelsea Theatre Works.

It is 1985. Two Brits, Joe Simpson (Patrick O’Konis) and Simon Yates (Kody Grassett) are mountaineers who decide to climb a dangerous mountain together: the Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes. These dumbass himbos don’t have a backup plan, just a hippy acquaintance with no useful skills, Richard (Zach Fuller), watching their gear at base camp. Touching the Void is told in imaginary flashforwards and backs that feature Joe’s sister Sarah (Parker Jennings). Sarah wants to understand why Joe, Simon, and even Richard would do such a foolhardy thing as climbing a treacherous peak. Me too, Sarah.  Continue reading

Apr 15

Uncle Barney Wasn’t Particular: “The Birthday Party”

The cast. Photo credit: Nile Scott Studios.

Presented by Praxis Stage
By Harold Pinter
Directed by James Wilkinson

April 11- 28, 2024
Chelsea Theatre Works
189 Winnisimmet Street
Chelsea, MA 02150

Article by Kitty Drexel

CHELSEA, Mass. — Praxis Stage did everything right. It collected a great cast; it hired James Wilkinson to direct. Pinter’s The Birthday Party is an absurd play, but it’s tight. Sometimes, even when all the elements of success are there, you still fall short. 

Meg (Sharon Mason) and Petey (Paul Valley) run a boarding house in a sleepy seaside town. Despite being on a prestigious list of boarding houses, they have only one tenant, Stanley (Zair Silva). Lulu (Darya Denisova) arrives to taunt Stanley and deliver a package for Meg. All is well until Meg & Petey receive two new guests, Goldberg (Daniel Boudreau) and McCann (Kevin Paquette).  Continue reading

Mar 11

All I Ever Wanted Was to Not Have to Act Normal (Gurl, same): “The Antelope Party”

Photo by Danielle Jacques.

Presented by Apollinaire Theatre Company
By Eric John Meyer
Directed by Brooks Reeves
Stage Manager: Kaleb Perez
ASMs: Miguel Dominguez, William Benjamin
PA: Alexandra Gregory
Scenic & Sound Design: Joseph Lark-Riley
Costume Design: Elizabeth Rocha
Lighting Design: Danielle Fauteux Jacques

February 23-March 17, 2024
Chelsea Theatre Works
189 Winnisimmet Street
Chelsea, MA 02150
Directions

Runtime is approximately 120 minutes with one intermission.

Critique by Kitty Drexel

CHELSEA, Mass. — Playwright Meyer thoroughly researched the radicalization of marginalized internet communities to write his play. The Antelope Pary is an accurate depiction of the marginalized-person-to-political-extremist pipeline on a reduced schedule. He layers insidious nuances such as tolerance to intolerance and manipulation of social dynamics to reveal his characters’ layers of deception. Meyer shows us how insecure but privileged persons may inflict great violence when they take up the mantle of powerlessness in a world they feel has left them behind.

The Antelope Pary is also about Bronies. Theatre about My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is easier to consume than another drama about the alt-right. Its message is the same: any community can be radicalized to extremist beliefs given the right conditions and environment. The argument and casual rejection that a community as fluffy as the Bronies could lead to violence is the point. Disbelief is a weapon.  Continue reading

Jul 03

Beyond Brotherly Bickering to Mutual Respect: “619 Hendricks”

Victor Hugo Hart, Cristhian Mancinas-Garcia, and Juan Carlos Pinedo Rivera in “619 Hendricks.” Photo from Teatro Chelsea’s Facebook page.

Presented by Teatro Chelsea
Written by Josie Nericcio
Directed by Armando Rivera
Fight choreography by Matthew Dray

June 15-July 1, 2023
Chelsea Theatre Works
181 Winnisimmet Street
Chelsea, MA 02150

This play was a finalist in Teatro’s 3rd Annual A-Tipico Latinx New Play Festival.

Critique by Kitty Drexel

CHELSEA, Mass. — Teatro Chelsea’s production of Josie Nericcio’s 619 Hendricks ran at Chelsea Theatre Works through July 1. The run is over but maybe, if we ask nicely, it will play somewhere else soon. Massachusetts needs to celebrate more quality theatre like 619 Hendricks.

The general rule, when it comes to family or friends and money, is don’t lend. Give. That money is already gone and will never be paid back once it changes hands. Humans have a short memory for gratitude.  

In Laredo, Texas, two brothers mourn the death of their mother. Mama has left them her house in her will. The eldest, Nesto (Juan Carlos Pinedo Rivera), wants to sell right away to a big developer in town. Richie, a fancy Hollywood writer, (Cristhian Mancinas-Garcia) wants to wait. They stubbornly refuse to discuss why they feel this way. Their inability to talk leads to a war for the house and for their pride.  Continue reading

Apr 17

I Want to Heal the World Through Dance: “Dance Nation”

Schanaya Barrows as Ashlee (front), Alison Butts as Sofia, Paola Ferrer as Vanessa, Erik P. Kraft as Luke. Photo: Danielle Fauteux Jacques

Presented by Apollinaire Theatre Company & the Chelsea Theatre Works
Written by Clare Barron 
Directed by Danielle Fauteux Jacques 
Choreographed by Audrey Johnson
Dialect coaching by Christopher Sherwood Davis 

April 14-May 14, 2023
Chelsea Theatre Works
189 Winnisimmet St
Chelsea, MA 02150

Critique by Kitty Drexel

CHELSEA, Mass. — Being a girl isn’t for the faint of heart.  In Dance Nation, a troupe of girls prepare for a competition and young adulthood by pushing their bodies and personalities to the brink. Amina (Audrey Johnson), Ashlee (Schanaya Barrows), Connie (Srin Chakravorty), Maeve (Ann Carpenter), Sofie (Alison Butts), Zuzu (Katie Pickett), and Luke (Erik P Kraft) learn choreography and how to navigate society through the skills they learn in dance class.

They could take it all the way to Tampa – the ultimate competition for the ultimate trophy! Dance Teacher Pat (Dev Luthra) is their guiding light and their worst enemy. Paola Ferrera plays an assortment of dance moms and Vanessa, a dancer who should’ve known better.  Continue reading

Mar 07

Suck It, Hambone: “Peggy Shippen is… a play about the wife of Benedict Arnold”

Queen’s own photo from Chelsea Theatre Works.

Peggy Shippen is… a play about the wife of Benedict Arnold
Presented as part of the Resident Artist Program at Chelsea Theatre Works.
Written by Libby Schap & Luke Robbins
Featuring: Lauren Foster, Lisa Joyce, Molly Kimmerling, Libby Schap

March 4-12, 2022
Fridays and Saturdays @8PM
Chelsea Theatre Works in the Black Box Theatre
189 Winnisimmet Street
Chelsea, MA 02150

Covid19 policy: masks & vaccination are required

Review by Kitty Drexel

CHELSEA, Mass. — Naked lightbulbs hang from scaffolding over a raw black box stage. Their pull-chains gently sway from the motion of patrons choosing their seats. The naked stage leaves lots of room for the performance of Peggy Shippen is…, an enigmatic new play that’s running about ten minutes late.  

Peggy Shippen is… a play about the wife of Benedict Arnold is a little weird, a lot unusual, and not boring. It borrows from Hamilton’s leftover hype and sidles up to the creative demands of Jordan Tannahill’s Theatre of the Unimpressed Continue reading

Nov 09

Seated in the Tonsorial Parlour: “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”

Presented by The Longwood Players
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheeler
Directed by Kaitlyn Chantry
Music Directed by Jeremy Lang

November 5 – 20, 2021
Chelsea Theatre Works
189 Winnisimmet St.
Chelsea, MA
TLP on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Chelsea, Mass. — TLP’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a forthright production. It takes no risks, but it lacks pretension. The staging is simple but the vocals are strong. The orchestra performs mightily. It is exactly what a good Sweeney Todd should be at a community level.  Continue reading

Feb 25

Honor Your Boundaries: “Hir”

Photo via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/apollinairetheatre/photos/a.59182456990/10156464525606991/?type=3&theater

Presented by Apollinaire Theatre Company
Written by Taylor Mac
Directed by Brooks Reeves

February 14 – March 8, 2020
Chelsea Theatre Works
Chelsea, MA
Apollinaire on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

Chelsea, MA — This month, Apollonaire Theatre Company tackles Hir, Taylor Mac’s comedy of manners fixing  conservative against expansive American views on gender, class and sex.  It is understood, even in the writing, that quite a few of the concepts will cheerfully ride over the heads of the audience.  Advanced gender studies classes may not be enough of an education to appreciate the entire play, but the production unfolds for as more than just the text: with costume, set dressing, emotion, repetition, intonation and even art in the lobby to bolster meaning and heighten context.  At 120 minutes with a single intermission, the time passes quickly, but I do caution people who are sensitive to issues such as domestic violence, elder abuse, teen bullying, and post traumatic stress disorder to perhaps read a synopsis or steel themselves to potentially be triggered. Continue reading

Sep 11

Too Much of a Good Thing is Just Wonderful: Why Have One Thing “Or,” the Other When You Can Have It All?

Photo by Chelsea Ruscio.

Presented by Maiden Phoenix and Simple Machine
By Liz Duffy Adams
Directed by Adrienne Boris
September 8 – September 23, 2017

Chelsea Theatre Works
189 Winnismmet Street
Chelsea, MA 02150
OR the play on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Chelsea, MA) I sometimes think going to a play is a bit like going to a party where you know nobody at all, save for the person you bring with you. Sometimes, the party can leave you feeling adrift and awkward in your own skin. Other times, you meet some funny, clever people you never expected to meet. They are delighted to include you, for an hour or so (or an eighty minute run time without intermission), in the intimate secrets of their lives and draw you close with the honesty only complete strangers would dare to share with you. The sweet, hilarious, and deliciously bawdy “Or,” is such a party. I recommend attending as soon as possible in order to enjoy the yarn spun between Kaylyn Bancroft (Nell Gwynne/Lady Davenant/Maria/A Jailer), Michael Poignand (as slimily charming King Charles II and charmingly slimy William Scott, divided by a common language with different annunciation) and Anna Waldron (Aphra Behn). Continue reading

Apr 13

“Everyman”: What’s God like? You’re God like

Image discovered on Apollinaire’s Facebook page.

Presented by Apollinaire Theatre Company
By Carol Ann Duffy
Directed by Dale J. Young

April 7 – May 6, 2017
Chelsea Theatre Works
189 Winnisimmet St.
Chelsea, MA 02150
Apollinaire on Facebook

Review by Polly Goss

(Chelsea, MA) Originally a 15th century Morality Play, British Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy’s rewriting of Everyman holds the mirror up to our 21st century consumer-driven society…and the view isn’t pretty. Everyman was an ambitious undertaking for the Apollinaire Theatre Company and at points the script demands a larger stage and company than the Chelsea Theatre Works provides. Continue reading