Nov 18

Emotional Complexity on a Beige Stage: THE TROJAN WOMEN

trojan ladiesPresented by Theatre@First
Written by Euripides
Translated by Edith Hamilton
Directed by J. Deschene

Nov. 14-22, 2014
Unity Church of Somerville
Somerville, MA
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Review by Kitty Drexel
In the interest of full disclosure and transparency, I did audition for this play and was not cast. It is my firm belief that only a narcissistic ass would allow this to taint their review.

 

“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”

Margaret Atwood

(Somerville, MA) The Trojan Women was first produced in 415 BCE but might as well have been written last year. In it, the women of Troy (now Turkey) are grieving over their beloved fallen city, and the men who have died defending the city from the Greeks. Euripides so captured the trauma of a country torn by war, that his play has been made into a very famous 1971 film (featuring the alluring Katharine Hepburn as Hecuba, a brave and unusual choice) and has survived several adaptations and manipulations. The translation by Edith Hamilton remains the most popular for staging. The movie featuring Hepburn, Irene Papas, and Vanessa Redgrave, etc. is a classic. Continue reading

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Jul 11

Theatre@First Presents “Picasso at the Lapin Agile”

Bare Bones 11: Picasso at the Lupin Agile

Presented by Theatre@First

ONE NIGHT ONLY!
Thursday, July 25th at 8pm
Picasso at the Lapin Agile will be presented at Unity Somerville, 6 William Street, Somerville, MA 02144
Suggested Donation $5 – General Admission – No reservations required

About the Play:
Written by Steve Martin and directed by Santiago Rivas

What if the greatest scientific mind of the 20th century met the greatest artist at a bar in Paris before they became famous? Picasso at the Lapin Agile is a comic drama about a meeting of the minds as this hypothetical question is answered. In a Parisian bar in 1904, Albert Einstein is introduced to Pablo Picasso. They, along with the local patrons, discuss the creativity process in their respective roles in science and art. With brushstrokes and equations, a bond between the icons is forged as they approached the new century.

Cast

Michael DeFillippi playing Freddy
Jason Merrill playing Gaston/Sagot/Charles Dabernow Schmendiman/Visitor
Kitty Drexel playing Germaine
Daniel Gonzalez playing Albert Einstein
Andrea Aptecker playing Suzanne/Countess/Admirer
Carlos Nogueras playing Pablo Picasso

Bare Bones: Staged Readings at Theatre@First offers directors, casts and audiences the chance to explore a wide variety of plays in a spare, intense setting.

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Jun 25

Sometimes A Snuggle is Just A Snuggle: “The Baltimore Waltz”

The Baltimore Waltz

presented by Theatre@First
by Paula Vogel
directed by Kamela Dolinova

June 20 – 29, 2013
Unity Somerville
6 William Street
Somerville, MA
Theatre@First Facebook Page

Review by Kitty Drexel

Warning: This production contains graphic but hilarious simulations of sexual acts, and bastardizations of European clichés.

(Somerville) As a playwright, Paula Vogel has the unique opportunity to dedicate herself to exploring and understanding her brother Carl’s end of life circumstances. Carl tragically died of AIDS. Rather than use the written word to metaphorically weep bitterly and openly, Vogel instead channeled her uncommon sense of humor and tender affections for Carl into The Baltimore Waltz, an ode to love, loss and healing.

In the context of the play, Anna has contracted Acquired Toilet Disease (ATD). In “real life,” outside the context of Anna’s fictional imagination, Carl has contracted AIDS. By narrating a character living with a pretend disease created for comic relief, playwright Paula Vogel examines the urgency of life through the lens of incurable disease.While her characters “dance” through a trippy, Noir-influenced trip to Europe, life as we know it continues with its disastrous choreography. Continue reading

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Nov 27

Charm and Spirit: “Sunset Blvd”

Photo credit: Pentucket Players, Inc

presented by Pentucket Players, Inc.
Sunset Boulevard

Book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Based on the 1950 film of the same title
Movie directed and co-written by Billy Wilder, produced and co-written by Charles Brackett

Rogers Center for the Arts
Merrimack College
North Andover, MA
Review is based on the performance of Nov. 24 at 8pm.
Performances ran Nov. 16 – 24, 2012
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Review by Kitty Drexel

(North Andover) Sunset Boulevard is based on the classic 1950 American noir film directed and co-written by Billy Wilder, and produced and co-written by Charles Brackett. It is named after the boulevard that runs through Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. William Holden played unlucky screenwriter Joe Gillis. Screen legend Gloria Swanson starred as the silent film star Norma Desmond. She ensnares Gillis with the luxury and excess only oodles of money can buy. What starts as an opportunity to reclaim their successes ends in tragedy for both. Continue reading

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