Aug 28

Gonzo Greatness: YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN

Tommy Labanaris (Dr. Frederick Frankenstein) and Brian Padgett (The Monster). Photos © Paul Lyden

Presented by North Shore Music Theatre
Book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan
Music and lyrics by Mel Brooks
Original Direction & Choreography by Susan Stroman
Direction and choreography by Kevin P. Hill
Musical direction by Milton Granger

August 15-27, 2017
62 Dunham Road
Beverly, MA
NSMT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly, MA) Sometimes, you know you’re in for a great night of theater with the very first line of a play; with Young Frankenstein, playing at the North Shore Music Theatre, you know it before the play even starts. Even the pre-play announcements and opening credits, told by a disembodied voice and projected onto a grey shroud, suck you into the campy, spooky, sexy world that Mel Brooks creates. Continue reading

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Oct 31

Murder and Sci-Fi in Hi-Fi: “Monster in the Mirror”

pmrpmonsterThe Post-Meridian Players present Monster in the Mirror
Hosted by Martha Putnam Sites
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde adapted by Tegan Kehoe
Frankenstein adapted by Mike McAfee

Responsible Grace
204 Elm Street
Somerville, MA
PMRP on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Somerville, MA) As days get shorter, the air gets chilly and the moon goes fang-white.  There’s Halloween related theatre abounding in New England, and I’d include the haunted hayrides and scary mazes in that pantheon.  To add to this mix, the Post-Meridian Players bring two classic terrible tales to life in Responsible Grace with their brand of live radio drama.   Continue reading

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Nov 14

Where’s the Scandal? : “Mary Shelley”

mary-shelley

Presented by Wellesley College Theatre
By Helen Edmundson
Directed by Nora Hussey

Nov. 12 – 16, 2014
Wellesley, MA
Wellesley on Facebook

Review by Nick Bennett-Zendzian

(Wellesley, MA) My hat goes off to any company that is mounting a new or otherwise under-produced script. Helen Edmundson’s Mary Shelley received its première staging in Leeds in 2012, followed by a national tour and a run at the Tricycle Theatre in London. Near as I can tell, it has not been mounted in the United States prior to the production currently running at Wellesley College, and I commend director Nora Hussey for bringing this well-crafted play to us. Continue reading

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Jan 08

Back to Basics for “History 101”

Graphic taken from the “History 101” Facebook event page.

presented by ImprovBoston
Written by James Ferguson
Directed by  A. Vincent Ularich

Performances January 11, 18, 25 only – get ’em while they’re hot!
40 Prospect St
Cambridge, MA
ImprovBoston on Facebook
History 101 FB event Page

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Cambridge) Improbable and strange at the best of times, delving into the subject of history seems like an excellent move for a troupe over at ImprovBoston. Writer James Ferguson and director A. Vincent Ularich riff on notable, ancient, and over-the-top historical anecdotes. The skits vary between silly to stark, but the common thread running through all of them is far too loose to stitch the show together. Continue reading

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Dec 19

Appalachian Comedy and Backwoods Humor in “Sand Mountain”

Presented by The Hub Theatre Company of Boston
By Romulus Linney
Directed by Daniel Bourque

December 13-21, 2013
First Church Boston
66 Marlborough St
Boston, MA
Hub Theatre Co on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston) Romulus Linney’s Appalachian play is a strange, Frankenstein’d animal of a comedy.  It combines two stories about marriage and society on Sand Mountain, an Alabama sandstone plateau.  The first half, Sand Mountain Matchmaking, is about the unlucky love life of the widow Rebecca Tull (Lauren Elias) as she searches for an appropriate suitor.  Act II, Why The Lord Come to Sand Mountain, is a twistier story featuring Jesus (Robert Orzalli) and Saint Peter (Yoni Bronstein) as they spend a night with a backwoods family.  Both acts combine to create a folksy, down-home play, one a little too saccharine to feel credible but fun none-the-less. Continue reading

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Feb 12

Shouting and Spittle: MONSTER

Monster by Neal Bell, Boston Center for American Performance/Boston University Theatre, Lane Comley Studio 210, 2/9/12-2/25/12, http://www.bu.edu/cfa/bcap/monster.html.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston, MA) A play rarely works when the actors have to emotionally sprint throughout all acts.  A cast needs to pick its moments to ratchet up the tension and raise the stakes, or risk numbing the audience with melodrama.  Unfortunately, the Boston University production Monster begins at a precipice of volume and angst and never can climb down to connect with theatregoers.  Instead of communion, the production comes closer to an assault.

Monster is an ambitious staging of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.  At its best, the tale can be a window into the theme of the messy pain of creation and abandonment from God and/or our parents.  Continue reading

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Jul 15

Hideous Progeny: Living With Our Creations

Nate Gundy (Percy Shelley), Julia Specht (Mary Wollstoncraft Godwin), Victor Shopov (Lord Byron). Photo by Alison Luntz.

Hideous Progeny by Emily Dendinger. Holland Productions, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 7/9/11-7/23/11, http://www.hollandproductions.org/.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin’s understanding of the gravity of creation led to one of the most famous horror tales of all time: Frankenstein. Emily Dendiger posits that this knowledge came from Mary’s own life and relationships in the play Hideous Progeny. Most generations struggle between rebellion and responsibility; the choices we make create the world that we live in. Mary’s future husband, Percy Shelley, speaks of and practices “free love” and ideals, but ignores the monsters he releases. Hideous Progeny haunts Mary Godwin and the audience with the question: do you run away from the monsters or do you face them?
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