Sep 13

Election-Year Escapism: THE MIKADO

Erica Spyres (Yum-Yum) and cast of The Mikado at The Lyric Stage. Photo by Mark S. Howard

The Mikado, music by Arthur Sullivan, libretto by W.S. Gilbert
Directed by Spiro Veloudos

Lyric Stage Company, 140 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA
September 9 – October 13

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

It is rare to see good actors overacting, over-annunciating and mugging the audience to ring out every laugh. It is even rarer to enjoy every minute of it. In the Lyric Stage Company’s staging of Gilbert and Sullivan’s the Mikado, you get the delicious treat of both.

If you have never seen a Gilbert and Sullivan play, then now’s the time to get initiated with this production. Continue reading

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May 19

Just Shy of Hilarious: AVENUE Q

John Ambrosino & Phil Tayler; photo credit: Mark S. Howard

Avenue Q, music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, book by Jeff Whitty, Lyric Stage Company of Boston, 5/11/12- 6/24/12,  EXTENDED to 7/1/12, https://lyricstage.com/main_stage/avenue_q/.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston, MA) Comedy is a game of milliseconds.  The difference between a good laugh and a belly laugh is all in the timing.  If you don’t land the gag just right, the joke can fall flat.  Lyric Stage’s production of Avenue Q is very funny, but it could have been crack-a-rib hilarious.

The script and song are the closest you can come to a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.  Take the earnestness of Sesame Street, mash it with the slacker sensibilities of Friends and the crowd can’t help but laugh.  Continue reading

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Nov 22

Ain’t Misbehavin’: Tribute to a Lost Harlem

Pictured: Lori Tishfield, Calvin Braxton, Davron S. Monroe, Robin Long, & Lovely Hoffman. Picture by Mark S. Howard

Ain’t Misbehavin’, Music by Thomas “Fats” Waller, Based on an idea by Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby, Jr., Lyric Stage, 11/17/11-12/17/11,  https://lyricstage.com/main_stage/aint_misbehavin/.

Reviewed by Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) With its familiar melodies and disarming 1940’s Harlem charm, Ain’t Misbehavin’ is probably the most energetic musical revue I’ve seen.  Done with precision and love for original composer Thomas “Fats” Waller (here played by Calvin Braxton), the show is a tribute to an era that evaporated long ago.  It replicates the energy of the time as best as it can with vibrant musical numbers and tight choreography. Continue reading

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