Feb 18

Everything is Possible and Likely: A DREAM PLAY

Heart & Dagger Productions

presents

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Expecting the unexpected = sexy and you know it.

 

Heart & Dagger Productions plunge into their 3rd Season with A DREAM PLAY by August Strindberg.  The production opens February 22, 2013 at The Factory Theatre, Boston, MA.

Agnes, a daughter of the Vedic god Indra, descends to Earth to bear witness to problems of human beings. Following the logic of a dream in which characters merge, locations change in an instant and a locked door recurs obsessively-A DREAM PLAY is a potent mix of Freud plus Alice in Wonderland. “The characters split, double, multiply, evaporate, condense, dissolve and merge.”

Featuring:
Elizabeth Battey, Quentin James, Emily Kaye Lazzaro, Lauren Foster, Eric McGowan, Drew Linehan, Angel Veza, Michael Dix Thomas, Nicole Howard, Katie Drexel, Tony Dangerfield, Jenny Reagan, Erin Brehm, and Ryan Edlinger.

The world premiere of A DREAM PLAY was at The Swedish Theatre in 1907, six years after it was written. August Stringberg was a Swedish playwright, novelist, painter, and poet.  He is the playwright of The Father, Miss Julie, and The Ghost Sonata.  During the 1890s he spent significant time abroad engaged in scientific experiments and studies of the occult.  Strindberg died in 1912 at the age of 63. Continue reading

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Feb 14

Wandering into the “Lunar Labyrinth”

lunar_site_v1a

Based on “A Lunar Labyrinth” by Neil Gaiman
Directed by Steven Bogart
Music composed by Mary Bichner, Mali Sastri, John J. King, Phillip Berman and Jesse Amerding
Harp incidental music by Phillip Berman

Presented by Liars & Believers

February 13 @ 8pm (only one performance, alas!)
Club Oberon
Cambridge, MA
Liars & Believers Facebook Page

Review by Special Guest: Noe Kamelamela

(Cambridge) Lunar Labyrinth was truly a collaborative performance, a meeting of varied art forms.  A theatrical adaptation of a chilling story which Neil Gaiman specifically wrote for Liars & Believers, this production made for a night filled with nontraditional staged performance buoyed by the aide of formatted storytelling styles and brave performers. Continue reading

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Feb 11

Characters Takes Center Stage in “Glass Menagerie”

photo credit: Michael Lutch

photo credit:Michael Lutch

Presented by American Repertory Theater

By Tennessee Williams
Directed by John Tiffany
Choreography by Steven Hoggett

February 2, 2013 to March 17, 2013
Loeb Drama Center
64 Brattle Street, Harvard Square

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Cambridge) In Tennessee Williams’s tragicomedy, The Glass Menagerie, my sympathy has often been with the antagonist, Amanda, here played by Cherry Jones.  Raised as a spoiled Southern belle given no higher goal than to be a wealthy wife, Jones’ Amanda has a sadly stunted maturity about her.  She isn’t prepared to deal with life outside the Antebellum South.  She’s at a loss when her children’s needs deviate so sharply from the accepted norms. Continue reading

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Feb 11

“Cinderella” Goes to Harvard

dunster

presented by the Dunster House Opera at Harvard University
Cendrillon by Jules Massenet

Directed by Katherine Moon ’14
Music Directed by George Fu ’13
Produced by Stephanie Havens ’14 and Marina Chen ’15

February 9 – 6th at 8:30 p.m.
Dunster House, Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Review by Nicola McEldowney

(Cambridge) The thing about going to a college production is this: it takes place at college. Therefore, coming into this production, I felt a great sense of trepidation, because I recently got over my own bout with college and I am still susceptible to triggers. Fortunately, I only have a few symptoms left: occasional twitching, a diploma and a pair of college-apparel socks. But here, it was dangerous: there were post-college stress disorder triggers everywhere. There were all the trappings of university life: the dining hall (where the production took place), the ill-rendered student council campaign poster deftly incorporating the “M-F” word, and of course, the nearly-full take-out container of sushi casually tossed in the trash. This kind of thing can transport you back to your own college days with the kind of nostalgia so profound it requires Kaopectate. Continue reading

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Feb 06

“Fire On Earth” and at the Stake

Photo by Rebecca Bradshaw, with James Fay, Bob Mussett and Omar Robinson

Photo by Rebecca Bradshaw, with James Fay, Bob Mussett and Omar Robinson

Presented by Fresh Ink Theatre

Written by Patrick Gabridge
Directed by Rebecca Bradshaw

The Factory Theatre
Boston, MA
February 1-16, 2013
Fresh Ink Theatre Facebook Page

Review by Gillian Daniels

WARNING: Scenes of torture.

(Boston) I’ve always been skeptical of the “martyr” concept but enjoy it when it’s depicted well.  A martyr trades one life for an immortal one, living beyond death through the ideas he championed in life.  He’s not always a hero and he doesn’t always come from a selfless place, but he sacrifices himself all the same.

In Patrick Gabridge’s Fire On Earth, William Tyndale (Bob Mussett) works to translate the Bible into English.  It’s 1524, King Henry VIII is contemplating divorce from his first wife, and the Catholic Church has a stranglehold on the Latin Bible.  The Church decides when it’s read, who’s able to understand it, and what it means to the largely illiterate English masses.  Religion isn’t personal, it’s a business.  Mussett’s Tyndale, with a blissful naïveté in his face, opts to preach with his new translation.  Sir Thomas More and the bishops are not pleased. Continue reading

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Feb 04

Irish Nationalism and Irish Charm: “The Irish and How They Got That Way”

Gregg Hammer, Janice Landry, Jon Dykstra, Meredith Beck, Andrew Crowe and Irene Molloy

Gregg Hammer, Janice Landry, Jon Dykstra, Meredith Beck,
Andrew Crowe and Irene Molloy

Frank McCourt’s The Irish and How They Got That Way

Directed by Danielle Paccione Colombo

Davis Square Theatre
255 Elm Street
Somerville, MA
January 24 – March 17, 2013
Frank McCourt’s Facebook Page

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Somerville) Frank McCourt’s The Irish and How They Got That Way is a musical revue that’s less about the Irish than what goes into being Irish American.  Lots of drinking and tragic songs, it says. The fare is light, airy, and mainly interested in adding to the mystique of the Emerald Isle.

The Irish and How They Got That Way is infectious in its charm.  It’s funny, sweet, and, at least for the first half of the show, sad.  Stirring versions of “Danny Boy,” “Fields of Athenry,” and “Mrs. McGrath” can be difficult to endure without a twinge of feeling.  The show never makes the mistake of taking itself too seriously, though, with a cast all too happy to lapse into “Give My Regards to Broadway” as well as the comic, “Finnegan’s Wake.”  Storytelling and scraps of history keep the action moving between numbers. Continue reading

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Feb 01

Comedy Without a Net: THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS

Photo Credit: ArtsEmerson

Photo Credit: ArtsEmerson

Written by Carlo Goldoni
Adapted by Constance Congdon
Further adapted by Steven Epp and Christopher Bayes
From a Translation by Christina Sibul
Directed by Christopher Bayes

presented by Yale Repertory Theatre with ArtsEmerson

The Paramount Theater
Boston, MA
January 29th – February 10th, 2013
ArtsEmerson Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

In the 18th century, playwrights had to walk a fine line if they were going to earn their bread, as their plays had to appeal simultaneously to both the washed and unwashed.  A play had to allow both illiterate farmers and literate aristocracy to connect with the story and side with the protagonists.  A playwright needed to find a common denominator in a story and then layer it with tidbits that resonated with segments of the audience. Continue reading

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Jan 30

“Everything Can Happen; Everything is Possible and Likely”

Heart & Dagger Productions

presents

548619_10152332862015103_1430469856_n

Heart & Dagger Productions plunge into their 3rd Season with A DREAM PLAY by August Strindberg.  The production opens February 22, 2013 at The Factory Theatre, Boston, MA.

Agnes, a daughter of the Vedic god Indra, descends to Earth to bear witness to problems of human beings. Following the logic of a dream in which characters merge, locations change in an instant and a locked door recurs obsessively-A DREAM PLAY is a potent mix of Freud plus Alice in Wonderland. “The characters split, double, multiply, evaporate, condense, dissolve and merge.”

Featuring:
Elizabeth Battey, Quentin James, Emily Kaye Lazzaro, Lauren Foster, Eric McGowan, Drew Linehan, Angel Veza, Michael Dix Thomas, Nicole Howard, Katie Drexel, Tony Dangerfield, Jenny Reagan, Erin Brehm, and Ryan Edlinger. Continue reading

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Jan 24

“At the Mountaintop” Delivers Unexpected, Unwelcome Twist

Presented by Underground Railway Theater

Presented by Underground Railway Theater

Produced by Underground Railway Theater

By Katori Hall
directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian

January 10 – February 3, 2013
Central Square Theater
450 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Central Square Theater Facebook Page

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Cambridge) Sometimes, there’s a moment in a show that can make or break it. When that moment comes, the audience will divide accordingly. Maybe this turn is cheesy, too scary, or just a little off-kilter with the rest of the story. When it happens in At the Mountaintop, and the audience will know when it does, it redefines the sort of narrative being watched. The show starts out smart but softens into a peculiar if interesting mess.

Katori Hall’s two-man play concerns the late and well-loved Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Maurice Emmanuel Parent) and his conversations with a hotel maid, Camae (Kami Rushell Smith). Like A Picasso by Jeffrey Hatcher, performed by The Salem Theatre Company last year, Central Square Theater’s At the Mountaintop concerns two personalities bouncing off each other in a contained space. Also like A Picasso, one happens to be famous and respected while the other, an intrigued woman, has slipped
through the cracks of history. Continue reading

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Jan 21

Good, Right, True: “Legend of Sleepy Hollow: An American Pantomime”

Imaginary Beasts 2013

Imaginary Beasts 2013; no horses were used in this production. They gave full consent.

presented by Imaginary Beasts: Winter Panto 2013
Part of the Emerging Theatre Company program

Conceived and written by Matthew Woods and the Ensemble

Directed by Matthew Woods
Choreography by Joey Pelletier and Kiki Samko

January 11 – February 2, 2013
Plaza Black Box Theatre
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Imaginary Beasts Facebook Page

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) The pantomime (panto) began its troubled youth as British entertainment based on the Elizabethan masque. It touched on classical subjects, included music and often borrowed from the Commedia dell’Arte style. These days, if one travels to jolly olde England during the Christmas and New Year’s season, one is confronted with vaudeville debauchery, bedazzled drag queens, slapstick and heaps of audience participation. It’s amazing that the US hasn’t already adopted the Panto and claimed it as our own invention. Enter Legend of Sleepy Hollow: An American Pantomime.

The form has been simplified and adapted for the small stage by Imaginary Beasts and contains the same wacky charm as its British cousin and more of the brash sassiness expected from the fringe theatre scene. We’re treated to country line dancing, Rocky references, and an extra hairy Fairy Godfather (Mikey DiLoreto) who speaks in rhyme and verse but not to a multimedia spectacular. The charm is in the ensemble’s work and it is served with campy flair. Continue reading

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