Jun 23

Full STE(A)M Ahead: “The Farnsworth Invention”

Photo by Jake Scaltreto

Photo by Jake Scaltreto

Presented by Flat Earth Theatre
Written by Aaron Sorkin
Directed by Sarah Gazdowicz

June 12 – 27, 2015
Arsenal Center for the Arts
Watertown, MA
Flat Earth on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Watertown, MA) It would be awesome for the good people at Epic Rap Battles of History to pit Philo Farnsworth against David Sarnoff. According to The Farnsworth Invention, these boys reached Telsa/Edison levels of rivalry. That would make for some great entertainment.

Sorkin’s play is an inaccurate account of the race to invent television. It is told via dual narration between David Sarnoff (Michael Fisher) and Philo Farnsworth (Chris Larson). As each man’s life is explained to the audience, we learn important historical facts about their discovery process as well as personal insights. Sarnoff is a stoic dick with classical tastes and standards. Philo Farnsworth is a happy-go-lucky genius with nervous tendencies. The cast’s ensemble play multiple characters, frequently in the same scene, who directly influence the grand discovery. This production is performed in the round, with minimal props and set pieces, and stark lighting.   Continue reading

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Jun 17

The Future is the Present and It’s Dystopian: READER

Photo found on the Flat Earth Facebook page.

Photo found on the Flat Earth Facebook page.

Presented by Flat Earth Theatre
By Ariel Dorfman
Directed by Jake Scaltreto

June 13 – 21, 2014
Arsenal Center for the Arts
Watertown, MA
Flat Earth on Facebook

Trigger Warning: Some light cursing, conservative politics, implied torture

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Watertown) If dystopian science fiction is any indication, our future is bleak. In the future, rich people are very rich and the poor are very poor. The politicians are corrupted,  we have no global resources, and the ecosystem has gone to pot. The good news is that there is always an hero to save us… eventually. The future sounds a lot like the present.

Not unlike Terry Gilliam’s 1985 film Brazil, Dorfman’s Reader is a story within a story set in a future where all potentially unpleasant emotional elements of life have been stripped away. Violence and sexiness are routinely scrubbed from all media sources. The government occupies all spaces. There is no true freedom of expression. Daniel (the handsome Robin Gabrielli) is a suave yet dirty government censor who discovers that the most recent novel to cross his desk parallels his own life. In this novel, Daniel is Don Alfonso an unscrupulous censor working on film scripts. He is rightly paranoid and begins a short-lived journey towards redemption. Continue reading

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Mar 10

For the Love of Bisexual Seahorses: BULLY DANCE

Photo by Brett Marks

Presented by Argos Productions
By David Valdes Greenwood
Directed By Sarah Gazdowicz

March 7-22, 2014
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
949 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
Argos on Facebook

 

Trigger Warning: Gunshots are used in this production. Sexual abuse of minors is discussed albeit not in detail.

 

(Boston) The events of Bully Dance are based on the events of a multiple homicide that culminated in a suicide on public transportation in 2006. This is not a light, fluffy or otherwise hope inspiring production. It must be emphasised that playwright David Valdes Greenwood is not attempting to recreate the tragic events. Rather, he has constructed imaginary scenarios that explore the emotional truths of the victims and the survivors. Like an allegorical morality play, this production examines the effects of horrific violence on the heart and mind of Man. Continue reading

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Mar 25

Drama Gives the Power to Civilize Convicts in “Our Country’s Good”

With Jennifer OConnor, Mac Young and Lynn R Guerra; Photos by Chris McKenzie

Presented by Whistler in the Dark Theatre

by Timberlake Wertenbaker
directed by Meg Taintor

March 15-April 6th
The Charlestown Working Theater
Charlestown, MA 02129
Whistler in the Dark Theatre Facebook Page

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Charlestown) Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good is not about the importance of plays but the importance of fiction—dreams, ambitions, and fantasies—to the downtrodden.  The convicts sent to the Australian penal colonies in 1788 have been dehumanized chiefly by circumstance.  The play the officers have the felons put on gives them the dignity they could not find in lives led as thieves and prostitutes in England.  The whole thing is an impressive meditation on how art fiercely alters perspective even if The Charlestown Working Theater’s production suffers peculiar pacing and lingering pauses. Continue reading

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Dec 12

Happy Medium Theatre’s Playing Nice while Being Naughty

"You don't know what it's like to be the world's most famous victim."

“You don’t know what it’s like to be the world’s most famous victim.”

Happy Medium Theatre proudly presents:
THE EIGHT: REINDEER MONOLOGUES BY JEFF GOODE 
(A Staged Reading)

This staged reading will be performed on December 21st, 2012 at 8pm.
Democracy Center,45 Mount Auburn Street  Cambridge, MA 02138.

Happy Medium Theatre Facebook Page

A dark, dark Christmas comedy. Scandal erupts at the North Pole when one of Santa’s eight tiny reindeer accuses him of sexual harassment. As mass media descends upon the event, the other members of the sleigh team demand to share their perspectives, and a horrific tale of corruption and perversion emerges, which seems to implicate everyone from the littlest elf to the tainted Saint himself. With each deer’s confession, the truth behind the shocking allegations becomes clearer and clearer. …and murkier and murkier. Continue reading

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Nov 09

Project: Project WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?

Project: Project

The Boy Scouts need to prepare for the big conference. The Boondock Skanks just won the big Roller Derby match and need to celebrate. But there’s only one house. What are they going to do?

WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?, Project: Project‘s inaugural production, has been in the works since we first came together in November 2011. After one year of devising, improvising, writing and rewriting it is coming to fruition. Part improvised, part scripted, and all site-specific! We couldn’t be more proud to finally share with you this one-of-a-kind event, but first, you need the details!

WHERE:
The Democracy Center
45 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
WHEN:
Friday, November 9 at 8:00PM and 10:30PM
Saturday, November 10 at 8:00PM and 10:30PM
Sunday, November 11 at 2:00PM (With the possibility of a second show!)
WHO:
P:P could not be more pleased to feature the fine talents of our cast, including:
Rachel Katherine Alexander
Meg DiMaggio
Katie Drexel
Louise Hamill
Tim Hoover
Chris Larson
Emily Laverdiere
Milo Macphail
Harry McEnerny
Max Mondi
Jeff Mosser
Brendan Pelsue
Vicki Schairer
Adam Thenhaus
Jesse Tombari

and finally . . . HOW MUCH:
Tickets will be from $5-10! (You can’t beat that deal!)

To secure a reservation, Click here: http://tinyurl.com/ctjb338
Can’t wait to see you there! And bring your skates and badges!

Earn your badge in awesomeness!

Continue reading

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Apr 29

Joyful Absurdity in Trog and Clay: An Imagined History of the Electric Chair

Trog (Cameron Beaty Gosselin) and Clay (Louise Hamill) dream of their elusive next meal. Photo by Sunny M. Rissland

Trog and Clay: An Imagined History of the Electric Chair by Michael Vukadinovich, Fresh Ink Theatre, The Factory Theatre, 4/27/12-5/12/12, http://www.freshinktheatre.com/on-stage.html.

Reviewed by Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) Fresh Ink Theatre Company’s Trog and Clay crackles with manic energy from its first moments.  Actors throw themselves into their roles with performances that range from amusingly campy to blindly sincere.  Continue reading

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Jul 19

THE GOOD DOCTOR: The cure for the common sitcom

from left) Bob Mussett, Sierra Kagen, Victoria Townsend, Brian Tuttle, and Zach Eisenstat in “The Sneeze” from the Independent Drama Society's production of Neil Simon's THE GOOD DOCTOR, playing July 15-23 at the Factory Theatre, 791 Tremont Street in Boston's South End. Tix and info: http://www.independentdramasociety.org. Photo by Bethany Krevat.

The Good Doctor by Neil Simon, The Independent Drama Society, The Factory Theatre, 7/15/11-7/23/11, http://independentdramasociety.org.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

If it wasn’t so funny, it would be serious.  Chekov is primarily known for his serious drama:  The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, etc.  but Neil Simon draws upon Chekov’s short stories for his play, The Good Doctor.  Chekov’s short stories have been said to be precursor to Seinfeld.  The writer of such tv shows as:  Your Show of Shows and Caesar’s Hour recognized the unique comedy style and put stories “about nothing” to the stage years before the tv show “about nothing”.  Those who miss the “Junior Mint”, “The Soup Nazi”, and “The Chinese Restaurant” can relish in some new-old stories such as “The Sneeze”, “Surgery”, and “The Drowned Man”.  The Independent Drama Society’s final show utilizes the comedic talents to go out with a laugh for the audience and a whimper for the characters.   Continue reading

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