Sep 19

Pretty to Watch, Messy to Contemplate: FAR FROM HEAVEN

Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo. Look at those costumes!

Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Co.
Book by Richard Greenberg
Music by Scott Frankel
Lyrics by Michael Korie
Based on the Focus Features/Vulcan Production Motion Picture, Written & Directed by Todd Haynes

Directed by Scott Edmiston
Musical Direction by Steven Bergman
Choreography by David Connolly

Sept. 12 – Oct. 11, 2014
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont Street in Boston’s South End
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Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) In 1957, Betty Friedan conducted a survey of Smith College graduates to celebrate their 15th anniversary. When she discovered that many of her contemporaries were deeply unhappy, she expanded her research to include other US suburban housewives. She continued her research into psychology and other social sciences. Her studies found a “problem that has no name,” a depression among women despite their ensured physical and emotional comforts. A life revolving around marriage and children was deeply unfulfilling.

This study and her corresponding writings were the basis for The Feminine Mystique, a book that sparked the second-wave of feminism. Published in 1963, it has played an influential part in assuring a modern woman’s right to equality. Women who work outside of the home owe a large part of their freedoms to Friedan and the women who worked with her. Friedan began her survey the same year that Far From Heaven begins. Continue reading

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Oct 18

Set Your Phasers On Stunned!!!

Kate Mulgrew and John Douglas Thompson photo by T. Charles Erickson

Antony and Cleopatra, Harford Stage, Hartford, CT  10/7/10-11/7/10

http://www.hartfordstage.org/shows/antony-cleopatra

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

From the start of the Antony and Cleopatra, Kate’s performance is filled with passion and abandon.  Running in bare-footed with a sword, anyone who has seen many of Ms. Mulgrew’s performances realizes this is not the calm, controlled persona of Kathryn Janeway, Elizabeth Seton, or Janet Eldridge.  Cleopatra is a woman who is one of the most powerful rulers in the world and yet is controlled by her lustful appetite for a man who can never be completely hers:  Antony.  Her strength and vulnerability are played out in her faithfulness to Antony and her jealousy of Antony’s wives.  Her performance evokes lust, humor, rage, sensuality, and pathos that compel you to be drawn into her plight.  The energy that she puts into her performance meets and sometimes exceeds some of the soldiers and dancers and does not stop until the snake kills her.  With the wildness of her character combined with a beautiful long flowing wig and voluptuous costumes, she appears more youthful and free than some of her roles from twenty years ago (if only we all could “youth-en” in that way!).   I hope we continue to get to see her versatility as the years go on.  As for the actress herself, Ms. Mulgrew was extremely gracious after running around for three hours to take the time to sign my program and allow me to thank her for her magnificent performance as well as her previous work. Continue reading

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