Sep 29

Strange Women Laying in Ponds: SPAMALOT


Presented by Bill Hanney’s North Shore Music Theatre
Book and Lyrics by Eric Idle
Music by John du Prez & Eric Idle
Lovingly ripped off from the film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”
Directed and Choreographed by Billy Sprague, Jr.
Music Direction by Jesse Warkentin

September 27 – October 9, 2016
62 Dunham Road
Beverly, MA
Bill Hanney’s North Shore Music Theatre on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Beverly, MA) Hey guys, did you know that there’s a Broadway-quality equity theatre dedicated to bringing glittering seasons of musicals to the North Shore just a stone’s throw from Boston?  Maybe it’s because I’m non-native, but until last night I definitely did not.  I count myself among the most unhappy of masses to have missed what I’m certain were previous spectacular seasons at Bill Hanney’s North Shore Music Theatre.  Spamalot, their current offering, is a treat for any Python-head, musical enthusiast, or person with even a tiny sense of humor. Continue reading

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Sep 06

Go On and Shoot a President: ASSASSINS

Photo credit: Chantal Acacio

Photo credit: Chantal Acacio; it’s clobbering time.

Presented by The MIT Musical Theatre Guild
Music and Lyrics by Steven Sondheim
Book by John Weidman
Directed by Matt Putnam
Vocal Direction by David Favela
Music Direction by Marek Subernat

September 2 – 17, 2016
MIT Kresge Little Theatre
48 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA
MIT Musical Theatre Guild on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Cambridge, MA) As an American history buff (can you call yourself a “buff” anymore when you’re technically a professional historian?), I will be the first to admit that Assassins holds a special place in my heart.  Who else but the dynamic Steven Sondheim could take a subject matter like the murder of the president of the United States, and write a poignant, witty, yet ever-so-tenaciously perky musical about it?  The MIT Musical Theatre Guild has put together a fine production of the show, well worth your time despite the beginning-of-semester crunch. Continue reading

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Jul 29

Losing to Win: LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST

The players. Photo by Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures.

The players. Photo by Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures.

By William Shakespeare
Presented by Commonwealth Shakespeare Company
Directed by Steven Maler

July 20 – August 7, 2016
Boston Common
Boston, MA
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) Every year, I find a way to haul myself out to the Common to see Boston’s free Shakespeare under the stars.  Every year, I find something to like about the performance (even if some years it’s just the signature Ben & Jerry’s sundae which, by the way, is once again delicious).  This year, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn’t have to dig deep to find something to like.  CSC’s 2016 production of Love’s Labour’s Lost is not one to be missing; it’s easily the best production I’ve seen CSC put up since my move to Boston in 2011. Continue reading

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Jul 18

Some Like it Hot: CUISINE & CONFESSIONS

CAPTION: ANNA KICHTCHENKO & MELVIN DIGGS Photo Credit: Alexandre Galliez

Anna Kichtchenko & Melvin Diggs; Photo Credit: Alexandre Galliez

Presented by The 7 FingersArtsEmerson and Jonathan Reinis Productions
Created and Staged by Shana Carroll and Sébastien Soldevila

July 12 – August 7
Cutler Majestic Theatre
219 Tremont St. Boston
The 7 Fingers on Facebook
ArtsEmerson on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) I’ve noticed a really exciting trend in Circus arts lately.  The Circus, in many ways, is going through a pivotal transitional period: as animal acts continue to dwindle in reaction to the many valid concerns about humane animal treatment, circus performers are finding more and more creative ways to showcase not just the feats of inhuman strength, flexibility, and dexterity that we’re used to seeing, but also the humanity of the performers themselves.  Story telling is becoming more and more central to the outstanding circuses touring the world and I couldn’t be more excited to have a front row seat to the incredible fruits of this transition. Continue reading

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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

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Apr 05

imaginary beasts’ “Alice in Wonderland”

alice

Created by the Manhattan Theatre Project
Based on the novel by Lewis Carroll
Presented by Imaginary Beasts
Directed by Matthew Woods

April 1 – 23, 2016
Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street, Boston
Imaginary Beasts on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) It is no small challenge to take on a piece with so much cultural baggage as Alice in Wonderland.  Audiences have seen, heard, and read this story over and over again from our childhoods unto the present day.  Alice is everywhere in so many forms that adding something new to the tale is a Herculean task.  Unfortunately, I don’t think that artistic director Matthew Woods quite had a handle on it. Continue reading

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Jan 25

Elementary at Best: “Bistany’s Mysteries”

bistanywebsitefinal
Presented by Improv Boston
Director: Matt Bistany

January 8 – 22, 2016
ImprovBoston
40 Prospect Street
Cambridge, MA
ImprovBoston on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Cambridge, MA) ImprovBoston does an admirable job of keeping the art of live improvisation well… alive.  I love the constantly rotating repertory onstage at IB, and I’ve almost never been disappointed with the offerings I’ve seen at this venue.  Perhaps best of all: IB makes certain that all levels of improvisers get a chance at the spotlight as they produce student showcases frequently mixed in with their professional troupes.  Nice work, IB.  Nice work. Continue reading

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Jan 21

Remixed: “Twelfth Night”


Presented by Filter Theatre Company in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Sean Holmes
Music and Songs by Tom Haines and Ross Hughes
Presented at ArtsEmerson

January 20 – 30, 2016
Paramount Center
559 Washington St., Boston, MA 02111
Filter Theatre Company on Facebook
ArtsEmerson on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) Let’s start here: this ain’t your mama’s Twelfth Night. Continue reading

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Nov 23

Festive and Fun: “A Civil War Christmas: an American Musical Celebration”

Photo image courtesy of the Facebook Page.

Photo image courtesy of the Facebook Page.

Presented by Wellesley College Theatre
Written by Paula Vogel
Music by Daryl Waters
Directed by Nora Hussey

November 18 – 22
Ruth Nagel Jones Theatre
Wellesly, MA
WCT on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

Christmas theatre is a very specific genre that requires a very particular mix to make effective (or even palatable).  The recipe starts with good old-fashioned holiday cheer; add a dash of nostalgia, a hint of history, a generous helping of family values, and (of course) finish with a generous sprinkling of festive music.  Paula Vogel’s A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration has all the necessary ingredients for the Christmas genre, but actually performing it requires a special touch.  The piece’s simplistic dialogue which features such tropes as characters telling you who they are before they begin to speak (“In the West Wing of the White House, President Lincoln’s maid was cleaning the floor…. Hi, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the show tonight?”) that have the danger to edge this play towards the realm of children’s theatre cheesiness, or satirical campiness. Continue reading

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Nov 16

Royal Humanity: “Who Would Be King”

Photo credit: Liars & Believers

Photo credit: Liars & Believers

Presented by Liars and Believers
Conceived and Directed by Jason Slavick
Music and Lyrics by Jay Mobley
Dramaturgy by Amanda Martin
Fight choreography by Ted Hewlett

November 5 – 22, 2015
The Oberon
2 Arrow Street, Cambridge MA
Liars and Believers on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Cambridge, MA) I saw something extraordinary at Oberon last night.  Liars & Believers’ Who Would Be King is a beautiful patchwork of physical performance, storytelling, and boundless humanity.  An original work by artists in residence at the LAB, Who Would be King is a re-mixed trove of biblical tales told in a compelling and timeless way with great humor, and great humanity. Continue reading

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