Mar 01

Astonishing, Acrobatic Adaptation of “Metamorphosis”

Gisli Orn Gardarsson Photo Credit: Eddi

Gisli Orn Gardarsson
Photo Credit: Eddi

Presented by ArtsEmerson with Vesturport Theatre and Lyric Hammersmith Theatre

Based on the novella by Franz Kafka
Adapted and directed by Gisli Örn Gardarsson and David Farr
Featuring Music by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis

The Paramount Center Mainstage
559 Washington St.
Boston, MA
ArtsEmerson Facebook Page

Review by Gillian Daniels

This production of Metamorphosis is imbued with a frantic energy. This is partially due to Gísli Örn Gardarsson, one of the directors and the main character of this adaptation of Franz Kafka’s novel. Utilizing acrobatic skill and a set with plenty of footholds, Gardarsson plays Gregor Samsa.

Gregor’s family suffers after his transformation into a giant insect. In horror, they watch him crawl across the stage, aping a monster even though his human soul remains intact. Combining dark humor and a set split beautifully into two stages, this version of Metamorphosis is probably one of the most visually entrancing plays in Boston right now. Continue reading

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Feb 24

Melanie Garber’s Ephemeral Direction Of Dreams and Mysteries

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A Dream Play

Presented by Heart & Dagger Productions

By August Strindberg, Translated by Harry G. Carlson
Directed by Melanie Garber

February 22, 2013 to March 2, 2013
The Factory Theatre
791 Tremont Street, Boston

Directing Profile by Becca Kidwell

photo credit:  Drew Linehan

photo credit: Drew Linehan

Melanie Garber has a dancer’s sensibility of direction with Heart & Dagger Productions’ A Dream Play, but this is not a surprise.  She has shown this intricate direction in Actor’s Shakespeare Project’s Medea, Fresh Ink Theatre Company’s Priscilla Dreams The Answer, and Heart & Dagger’s Crave.  Not only does Ms. Garber make words come alive, but she also brings life to words. From the initial moments of each of the productions, she chooses specific, distinct movements that create the environment of the play. Continue reading

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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”

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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

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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

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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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