Nov 03

Appropriating the Habits of Rabbits: “Casa Valentina”

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
Written by Harvey Fierstein
Directed by Scott Edminston

Oct. 24 – Nov. Nov. 28, 2015
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
SpeakEasy on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MACasa Valentina is about men who relax by appropriating women’s culture,  and feminine identity. This cutting play by Harvey Fierstein examines the subversive transvestite subculture of the mid-1950’s. According to the healthily robust dramaturgy notes by Maureen Dezell, men would don wigs, hose and dresses to enjoy a quaint weekend in the Catskills. These men unwind from their rigid gender roles with a tube of lipstick and a stiff drink amidst the glory of the New York state. Suffice to say, this is not a production for conservative types with traditional notions of what is or is not acceptable behavior for men. Tread wisely. Continue reading

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Sep 11

Almost a Good Fit – KINKY BOOTS

Photo via http://kinkybootsthemusical.com/media.php

Photo via http://kinkybootsthemusical.com/media.php

Book by Harvey Fierstein
Music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper
Music orchestrator/arranger/supervisor: Stephen Oremus
Music direction by Brian Usifer
Directed/choreographed by Jerry Mitchell
Associate direction by DB Bonds
Associate choreography by Rusty Mowery

August 11 – 30, 2015
Boston Opera House
Boston, MA
Kinky Boots online

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston, MA) It’s amazing that even a play that prominently features a singing and dancing troupe of transvestites (gay or straight) can still be primarily about helping a heterosexual white male self-actualize and grow up. It’s as if Kinky Boots celebrity writer Harvey Fierstein and his musical partner Cyndi Lauper were given a directive to adhere to some guy version of the Bechdel test. Continue reading

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Oct 08

Better Blurred Lines: “La Cage Aux Folles”

http://www.nsmt.org/images/Press/2013/LaCageauxFolles/production/NSMT-LaCage-GeorgesAlbin.jpg

Photo©Paul Lyden, Charles Shaughnessy (Georges) and Johnathan Hammond (Albin)

Presented by North Shore Music Theatre
Based on the play by Jean Poiret
Directed by Charles Repole
Choreography by Michael Lichtefeld
Book by Harvey Fierstein
Music and lyrics by Jerry Herman

September 4th – October 6, 2013
Beverly, MA
North Shore music Theatre on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly) Somewhere in the middle of the fantastic North Shore Production of La Cage Aux Folles, I had an “aha” moment about the concept of drag.  As a child, I had never understood why some male transvestite performers seemed to equate dressing like a woman to dressing like Dolly Parton in her heyday.  It was a mystery I didn’t realize I hadn’t solved until I was watching this thoughtful, nuanced and hysterical play come to life.  For some, going drag isn’t about replicating the other gender; instead, it’s about upending fixed norms on what it means to be a man or a woman.  (File under “Duh.”) Continue reading

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