Oct 27

Beautiful and Painful: “The Scottsboro Boys”

Nile Hawver / Nile Scott Shots; The ensemble getting down.

Nile Hawver / Nile Scott Shots; The ensemble getting down.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
Music and Lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb
Book by David Thompson
Original Direction and Choreography by Susan Stroman
Directed by Paul Daigneault
Musical Direction by Matthew Stern
Choreography by Ilyse Robbins

October 21 – November 26
Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont Street
Speakeasy on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) It’s difficult to know what to say about The Scottsboro Boys.  The piece is uncomfortable to watch not because of its incredible talent or flawless direction and design, but rather because it’s meant to be uncomfortable to watch.  The show is a remixed account of the historical case of The Scottsboro Boys, nine young black men who in 1931 were accused of raping two white women on a train, told through the lens of American Minstrelsy.  Performed with gusto and amazing energy, SpeakEasy’s production is a triumph that should be mandatory viewing for any American (particularly in an election year as fraught with the urge to “just give up” as this one has been). Continue reading

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Jun 22

It’s Cabaret Series Time Again!

Get Ready, A Cabaret, The Cabaret Series, 6/25/12 at 7:30pm at Central Square Theatrehttp://www.facebook.com/events/168039596660963/.

“Spring: Time to renew and reenergize, but it’s also a time for change. GET READY to enjoy this whimsical look at life’s twists and turns with the cast of the Cabaret Series as they shake off winter hibernation and gear up for the joys and challenges of spring renewal.Directed By:
Megan Sandberg-Zakian

Featuring:
Leigh Barrett, Cheo Bourne, Jennifer Ellis, De’Lon Grant, Brian Richard Robinson, Kami Rushell Smith, & Tim Maurice.

To Purchase Tickets:
Visit CentralSquareTheater.org or call 866-811-4111 (toll free).”

(copy from event announcement)
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Jan 24

Life is a cabaret, old chum

You and I, The Cabaret Series, Central Square Theatre, 2/13/12,

http://www.facebook.com/events/165355680235635/.

Interview by Becca Kidwell

(Cambridge, MA) On December 12, 2011, while many people were decking the halls and looking for luminescent reindeer, a group of people gathered for a warm evening of song with friends and family.  Much laughter and a few tears were shared as the five singers, the pianist, cellist, and drummer poured their hearts into an entertaining set of songs.  The December audience will have a new evening of heart-filled melodies on February 13th.  For those who did not make the December show, they will get to see what everyone was talking about as The Cabaret Series takes on love in all of its forms.

De’Lon Grant answered some questions about the inception of The Cabaret Series and the group’s approach to the shows: Continue reading

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Dec 06

Announcement: The Cabaret Series: Journey Home

Central Square Theater presents

The Cabaret Series

Three Performances by The Circle Project

Tickets:  https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/9406285

More information:  http://www.facebook.com/events/320303664662501/

CAMBRIDGE, MA – Central Square Theater presents The Cabaret Series by The Circle Project. The three scheduled performances are:

Journey Home – December12, 2011  at 7:30pm

Just in time for the holidays, six young, talented friends and artists join each other to riff on the universal theme of “returning home” through reflections on their own growth and personal stories intermixed with contemporary songs by Beyonce, John Legend, and Adele and musical theater pieces by Scot Alan. Come home to Central Square Theater and be introduced to the members of The Circle Project.

You & I – February 13, 2012 at 7:30pm

One way or another, every song is a love song. Either it’s exultation and happiness or heartbreak and devastation. Are we miserable because we’ve listened to all these heartbreakingly romantic love songs or we heartbroken because we have idealized love from letting our emotions take us away? Share the joy and laugh away at the pain with songs by Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, as well as American Classics like “Stormy Weather”, “Stranger in Paradise” and “It Had to Be You”.

Get Ready – May 21, 2012 at 7:30pm

Spring. The time of renewal and reenergizing takes full bloom as the change in the season invokes a mood, calling us to act upon winter hibernation and realize our dreams in the spring. Join The Circle Project for songs by Meredith Brooks and Sam Cooke and musical theater pieces by Leonard Bernstein, Michael John Lachuisa, and William Finn. Continue reading

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Oct 24

Phantom Tollbooth: Topsy-Turvy Family Entertainment

The Phantom Tollbooth, based on the book by Norman Juster, book by Norman Juster and Sheldon Harnick, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, music by Arnold Black, Wheelock Family Theatre, 10/21/11-11/20/11, http://www.wheelockfamilytheatre.org/feature-performance.aspx.

Reviewed by Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) A musical adaptation of Norton Juster’s 1961 children’s book of the same name is currently being performed at the Wheelock Family Theater.  With an inventive, bright cast and set, the play is sure to fascinate younger viewers.  Continue reading

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Sep 08

Big River: A Journey of Human Nature

Jordan Ahnquist as Huckleberry Finn and De'Lon Grant as Jim. Photo by Mark S. Howard

 

Big River, Music and Lyrics by Roger Miller, Book by William Hauptman, Lyric Stage, 9/2/11-10/8/11.  https://lyricstage.com/now_playing/big_river/.  Family Friendly.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

(Boston, MA) Lyric Stage’s production of Big River celebrates the imagination of Mark Twain.  Based on the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the show explores the American landscape of the 1800’s.  The production shines a light on the various forms of humanity that Twain observed in his own travels.  His words come alive through a rousing score, talented cast, and innovative staging. Continue reading

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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

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Feb 13

CYMBELINE: such stuff as dreams are made on

Cymbeline by William Shakespeare, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, 2/9/11-2/20/11, part of THE WINTER FESTIVAL (also playing:  The Hotel Nepenthe by John Kuntz, 2/23/11-3/6/11; and Living in Exile by Jon Lipsky, 3/9/11-3/20/11)  http://www.actorsshakespeareproject.org/season7/winter_festival.html

Brooke Hardman as Imogen and De'Lon Grant as Posthumous; photo by Stratton McCrady, c 2011

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

This is why I love theatre.  No sets. No real props (except musical instruments).  Plain white clothing.  All that is left is the artists and the words.  Cymbeline, one of Shakespeare’s final plays, is rarely staged because of its meandering plots and complicated relationships (for a detailed plot summary, go to SparkNotes—really, it’s not cheating); Actors’ Shakespeare Project not only takes on the challenge, but performs the play possibly better than even Shakespeare could have envisioned it.

This phenomenally talented cast of seven takes the multiple plot twists and numerous characters and creates a cohesive and pleasurable fable for adults.   Continue reading

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