May 16

Right is Better Than Nice: INTO THE WOODS

Photo by Mark S. Howard. The cast; kicking ass and taking names in The Woods.

 

Presented by Lyric Stage Company of Boston
Music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by James Lapine
Directed & staged by Spiro Veloudos
Music directed by Catherine Stornetta

May 9 – June 15, 2014
140 Clarendon Street
Boston, MA 02116
The Lyric on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(BostonInto the Woods is a tough nut to crack. On the one hand, it’s a classic and butts will fill seats faster than Satan fills a church on Sunday. On the other, it’s a classic and everyone who loves this show will have an opinion that they swear it’s the only legit one because they saw that Broadway performance that one time… on DVD. The Lyric Stage Co’s production is good but not good enough to silence the naysayers (the lines to the bathrooms were all atwitter with sarcasm). The audience community of Boston is protective of their favorite shows. This one falls under the blanket of shows that the community will fight for to the death (of their subscription). Continue reading

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Dec 02

Charm Conquers All: CAMELOT

Photo credit: Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures

Photo credit: Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures

Presented by New Repertory Theatre
Books and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music by Frederick Lowe
Original production directed and staged by Moss Heart
Based on “The Once and Future King” by TH White
Directed and choreographed by Russell Garrett
Musical direction by David McGrory
Dance Captain – Maurice Emmanuel Parent
Fight Captain – Michael J Borges

Nov. 23 – Dec. 22, 2013
Charles Mosesian Theater
Arsenal Center for the Arts
Watertown, MA
New Rep on Facebook

(Watertown) The Director’s Notes by Russell Garrett are excellent. An audience member desiring nostalgic information correlating Camelot to the anniversary of JFK’s assassination will be well pleased. For this purpose, I will not dwell on the JFK’s Camelot as Mr. Garrett has already done an excellent job of doing so in the programme. If you’d like to know more, see the show.

Considering the weight that the Kennedy Family carries in the US, one might expect Camelot to be a more serious show. Lerner and Lowe’s fluffy hit does examine some heavy issues but the majority of the script and lyrics are intended to entertain rather than educate. The sugary sweet production by New Rep does not fail in its mission to cheer Baby Boomers and to indoctrinate younger generations in classic musical theatre. Continue reading

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Sep 24

ADA Approved for the Mainstream: TRIBES

photo

Photo: Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo; Erica Spyres and James Caverly conversating.

Presented by Speakeasy Stage Co.
by Nina Raine
directed by M. Bevin O’Gara

September 13 – October 12
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
SpeakEasy on Facebook

There will be two ASL-interpreted performances:  Sunday, October 6 at 7PM and Friday, October 11 at 8PM.

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Southie) It is always a relief to see minorities portrayed by the Arts as their community deserves; with dignity, love and respect. We, the disabled, weren’t/aren’t always seen this way. It was (and still is) a commonly held belief of the Christian persuasion that people were born disabled as a punishment from God for sinning. This is despite Jesus saying that the disabled were walking, talking acts of God (John Chapter 9 verses 1-3). In specific, Christians used to believe that, since a deaf person couldn’t hear the word of God, they then couldn’t know God. Fast forward to modern day, the stigmas still exist even with the ADA protecting us. This is why it was so humbling to watch Speakeasy’s intelligent production of Tribes last Saturday. My hope is that this production is a sign that society is ready to welcome the disabled into the mainstream. Continue reading

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Dec 12

Of Mice and Men and Misfits

Photo Credit : Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo.

Photo Credit : Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo.

by John Steinbeck (1902-1968)
Directed by Allison Choat

presented by Moonbox Productions
The BCA Plaza Theatre
539 Tremont Street, Boston, MA
Dec 7 – 22, 2012
Moonbox Productions Facebook Page

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston) Of Mice and Men is a play about alienation, the ways in which people are isolated from society and why. Clever but mean George (Phil Tayler) and his slow friend, Lennie (Harry McEnerny), go from one ranch to the next in 1930’s California. The pair look for work in order to fund their dream of owning a small farm. 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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Feb 20

No Easy Answers: TIME STANDS STILL

Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies, Lyric Stage Company, 2/17/12-3/17/12, https://lyricstage.com/main_stage/time_stands_still/.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston, MA) Life is messy.  A photographer snaps a photo to capture life’s horrors; a writer gives voice to life’s suffering.  Life goes on being messy.

The Lyric Stage production of Time Stands Still rolls out like the forgotten final reel of an action film, bravely examining how souls go on once the shooting has stopped.  But while the plot centers on how a war-zone writer and photographer cope after the adrenaline wears off from a near-death experience, the play also illuminates how human relationships rarely are easy, even in uninterrupted peace. 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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