Oct 10

Meditations on Incorporation: “Lost Tempo”

Photograph credit: Kalman Zabarsky

Presented by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
By Cliff Odle
Directed by Diego Arciniegas

October 5 – 22, 2017
BPT
949 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
BPT on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Addiction will kill everything you love and then it will kill you. In the 1950’s and 60’s drug dependency, not unlike depression, was considered a moral failing. The US govt. chose to ignore the plight of its people. Today, the opioid epidemic rages around us, silently killing thousands of Americans every day. The occupants of the White House would prefer to pretend we’re living in the 50’s. While the President is very proud to have invented and solved the “opioid crisis emergency” in one afternoon with a press release, updates are nonexistent. In fact the Feds haven’t updated their site since June. Cliff Odle’s Lost Tempo tells us more about the consequences of opioid abuse in 100 minutes than Trump’s administration has in two months.   Continue reading

Jul 18

Facing the Face: “Yellow Face”

Presented by the Office of War Information (Bureau of Theatre)
­­­­By David Henry Hwang
Directed by Cliff Odle

July 14 – 31st
Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street, Boston
Office of War Information on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) The Office of War Information surely makes a splash with their maiden production in the BCA, Yellow Face.  This unreliable memoir explores the implications of race (specifically Asian-Americanness) in the late twentieth century; expertly smudging the lines between reality and fiction.  Continue reading

Jun 07

More Fun Than Interviewing Pigeons: “The Birds and the Bees”

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Presented by Sleeping Weazel
Written by Kate Snodgrass (Bark), Adara Meyers (Birds), Charlotte Meehan (Beesus)
Directed by Melia Bensussen (Bark & Beesus), Shana Gozansky (Birds)

June 2 – 11, 2016
Plaza Black Box Theater
539 Tremont St
Boston, MA
Sleeping Weazel on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MAThe Birds and the Bees: A Festival of New Plays is good albeit strange theatre. Play #1, The Last Bark is the most concrete of the three plays that make up this production. Birds is post post-modern theatre. Beesus & Ballustrada is even more abstract than Birds. The performances are compelling. The scripts are perplexing. Continue reading

Sep 29

On Rye: “Salomé”

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Welcome to the gun show.

Presented by Bridge Repertory Theater of Boston
Written by Oscar Wilde
Directed by Olivia D’Ambrosio

Sept. 24 – Oct. 18, 2015
First Church Boston
Boston, MA
Bridge Rep on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) It is fitting that the performances of Salomé coincide with the supermoon lunar eclipse aka Blood Moon. The night’s full moon took a red hue from the shadow cast on it by the Earth. It was a match for the moon image used in the production by Bridge Rep. on Sunday night. As heard through my social network after the performance, both moons were the unhappy source of chicanery on and off the stage. Continue reading

Mar 16

Inclusive and Intersectional: THE TASTE OF SUNRISE

Photo by Craig Bailey, Perspective Photo.

Elbert Joseph as Tuc in Mother Hicks at Emerson Stage. Photo by Craig Bailey, Perspective Photo.

Presented by Wheelock Family Theatre
Written by Suzan L. Zeder
Composed by Peter Stewart
Directed by Wendy Lement and Kristin Johnson
Choreographed by Patricia Manalo Bochnak

March 13 – 22, 2015
200 The Riverway
Boston, MA
Wheelock on Facebook

PART TWO OF THE WARE TRILOGY, produced with Emerson Stage (Mother Hicks, February 2015) and Central Square Theatre (The Edge of Peace, April 3-12, 2015)

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) In Susan Zeder’s The Taste of Sunrise, Tuc (Elbert Joseph) grows up poor, black and deaf in an ASL-ignorant hearing community in Ware, IL.  At the behest of the well-intentioned Dr. Graham (Donna Sorbello), Jonas Tucker (Cliff Odle) sends Tuc to a school for the deaf to learn how to speak. After years of social solitude, he finally meets kids just like him. They teach him sign; Tuc learns to communicate and to express himself. With help from friends Maizie (Amanda Collins) and Nell Hicks (Brittany Rolfs), discovers what it means to self-discover, to lose and then rebuild one’s identity. Continue reading

Oct 21

An Incomplete Sentence: RACE

Photo Credit: New Repertory Theatre; the cast

by David Mamet
Directed by Robert Walsh

presented by the New Repertory Theatre
Arsenal Center for the Arts
Watertown, MA
October 14th – November 4th, 2012

New Rep Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Watertown) It’s become trickier to discuss racism in the post-2008 election era than it was before. We have elected a black president, many hope to say, and that is enough.

Leave it to troublemaking playwright David Mamet to clear his throat amid the quiet in 2009 with his biting and succinct dramatic comedy, Race, now being performed by the New Repertory Theatre in Watertown. His play refuses to rest on recent racial gains, instead showing the trouble beneath the surface, the kind
that otherwise is obscured unless a police officer arrests a Harvard professor or a neighborhood watchman shoots an unarmed teen. Mamet’s script sparks necessary dialogue about an uncomfortable subject, but the flawed storyline of the play, combined with uneven execution by New Rep’s cast, misses the opportunity to create deeper understanding of inherent social inequality. Continue reading

May 10

PASSING STRANGE: More than ‘the real’

The cast of Passing Strange. Photo by Andrew Brilliant/ Brilliant Pictures.

 Passing Strange, book and lyrics by Stew, music by Stew and Heidi Rodewald, New Repertory Theatre, The Charles Mosesian Theater, Arsenal Center for the Arts, 5/1/11-5/22/11, http://newrep.org/passing_strange.php.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

New Repertory Theatre’s production of Passing Strange examines a classical theme in a post-modern construct–the quest for the meaning of life.  Like Candide and Pippin, the youth in Passing Strange leaves his familiar surroundings to find “the real” or the meaningful existence but finds only more illusion and more questions.  New Rep’s masterful presentation carries the audience along the journey, earnestly hoping the youth will find what he is looking for.

If New Repertory Theatre uses even half of the talent from Passing Strange for their fall production of Rent, they will have another hit on their hands.  The vibrant cast of Passing Strange electrifies the concert-style stage with their performances. Continue reading