Jan 23

They Will Try to Tell You that Fighting Is Pointless: INCIDENT AT VICY

Photography by Alex Aroyan — with Alexander Castillo-Nuñez, Jake Athyal, Danny Mourino, Nathan Johnson, Floyd Richardson, Steve Auger.

Presented by Praxis Stage
An Anti-Inaugural Event
Written by Arthur Miller
Directed by Hatem Adell and Daniel Boudreau
Fight choreography by Nathan Johnson

Jan. 19 – 27, 2017
Inner Sanctum
1127 Harrison Ave MA
Boston, Massachusetts 02119
Praxis Stage on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Praxis Stage perfectly sums up what it is we liberals are so damned scared of in Incident at Vichy. This incredibly quotable, direly prescient play by Arthur Miller engages intelligent, easily transferable dialogue to summarize the Holocaust. Adell and Boudreau’s production make the events of Incident at Vichy alarmingly apparent that Trump’s American is bound to repeat history’s atrocities.    Continue reading

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Oct 14

Earnest and Flawed: BENT

This tragic yet beautiful photo was found on the Zeitgeist Facebook page. No photo credit was found.

This tragic yet beautiful photo was found on the Zeitgeist Facebook page. No photo credit was found.

Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company
By Martin Sherman
Directed by David Miller

Boston Center for the Arts
September 19th – October 11th, 2014
Zeitgeist on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston, MA) Terror comes when you slowly realize that you have run out of ways to escape a horrible situation. It can first comes in drips, and then all at once. Homosexuals in Nazi Germany first lived on the knife’s edge in a non-sanctioned world of winks and nods. In the play Bent, they succumb to terror in one fell swoop, but then realize that perhaps the most terrifying thing of all is when one can’t find the bottom of a nightmare. Then, all that one can do is accept what is happening and find ways to regain shreds of dignity. Continue reading

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May 28

Buchenwald, Those Were the Days: LEBENSRAUM

Photo Credit: Josephine Anes

Photo Credit: Josephine Anes; photo chosen specifically for its derp factor.

Presented by Happy Medium Theatre Co.
By Israel Horovitz
Directed by Brett Marks

May 9 – 23, 2014
The Factory Theater
Boston, MA
Happy Medium on Facebook

Featuring: R. Nelson Lacey, Audrey Lynn Sylvia, Michael Underhill

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger Warning: Nazis, Holocaust, Death, Violence, Microaggressions, Gloucester references

(Boston) “Lebensraum” literally translated means “living space.” For the Nazis, it was local colonialism, an expansion of territory in order to displace inferior people. It is based on the manifest destiny principle*.

Lebensraum, the drama, is about the world reaction to a German Chancellor’s televised invitation to the Jewish community to return to Germany. It has a tender love story, media hype and politics to poke your eye out. While the events of the script are not real, the characters’ reactions to the fictional events are. Horovitz’s script is striking because, were the events of the show to actually occur, they would likely occur as they do in his script. His argument is convincing and his psychology is sound. Horovitz has analyzed the human population and found us territorial, racist and surprisingly resilient. It is horrifying to know that while we teach the Holocaust in history, humans have learned almost nothing from it. Continue reading

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Jan 13

Questions That Shouldn’t Be Answered: IMAGINING MADOFF

Joel Colodner as Solomon Galkin and Jeremiah Kissel as Bernard Madoff in IMAGINING MADOFF by Deborah Margolin. Photos by Andrew Brilliant / Brilliant Pictures

Joel Colodner as Solomon Galkin and Jeremiah Kissel as Bernard Madoff in IMAGINING MADOFF by Deborah Margolin. Photos by Andrew Brilliant / Brilliant Pictures.

Presented by New Repertory Theatre
by Deborah Margolin
Directed by Elaine Vaan Hogue

Arsenal Center for the Arts
Watertown, MA
January 4th – 26th, 2014
New Rep on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Watertown) It is in our genetic makeup to try and understand what we cannot comprehend, no more so than when we are confronted with evil that makes a mockery of human decency. We want to know what makes the mass murderer different from us so badly that we desperately try to project understanding when there is none to be had.

Unfortunately, this tends to make us seek black and white answers to complex and disturbing questions. Growing up in a Roman Catholic household, I kept asking my mother who was in Hell besides Hitler. She would pause and respond, “Mussolini.” That was always the end of the conversation. Continue reading

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Nov 13

Homosexuals Are People: “The Normal Heart”

Photo by Richard Hall/Silverline Images

Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company
By Larry Kramer
Directed by David J. Miller

November 1 – 30, 2013
Plaza Black Box
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Zeitgeist on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger Warnings: Rape, Proud Homosexuality, Truth

(Boston) Britney Spears thinks that gay people are “adorable and hilarious.” Her quote is terrifying because it is indicative of the thoughts and feelings of the majority of US citizens. For most of the world, only straight people are real™ people. Gay people are fun and quirky but we aren’t real™ people deserving of equal rights and a voice, says society. The LGBTQ get to be characters, sidekicks, and sassy friends who are defined solely by the people with whom we rub nethers (and other fun parts). Spears and people like her are stereotyping an entire community of human beings because it hasn’t occurred to them that we’re also human. Our history, culture and politics are just as rich as the hetero-normative precedent. Continue reading

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Nov 03

Trapped by the Words: THE CHOSEN

Photo by Timothy Dunn

Adapted by Aaron Posner & Chaim Potok
Directed by Daniel Gidron

presented by The Lyric Stage Company
140 Clarendon Street
Boston, MA
October 19th – November 17th, 2012

Lyric Stage Company Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston) Adapting a novel to the stage can be a wrenching exercise. Pages upon pages of description, of scene, of setting, of theme must be boiled down to dialogue and action that can stand alone. By all accounts, Chaim Potok’s novel The Chosen is considered a richly-layered and well-written story about the tension between Jewish communities, as told through the friendship of two young men who find themselves caught between the secular and religious communities at the dawn of Zionism. Unfortunately, he and co-writer Aaron Posner fail to adapt the novel to a script form, leaving in a narrator who breaks up the scenes and explains away the heartfelt tension between the characters, leaving us with a broken dialogue that tells an incomplete tale about the weight one must bear when one is called to carry the load of doing good. Continue reading

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Sep 14

Bent, Not Broken

BENT
Presented by Theatre@First
A Play by Martin Sherman
Directed by Nick Bennett-Zendzian

Theatre@First Facebook Page

Performances: Friday, September 14 – Saturday, September 22
Unity Somerville, 6 William Street at College Ave.
TICKETS – $15 for adults, $12 for students/seniors. Group discounts available.

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Somerville) When the stakes grow to dizzying heights, Theatre@First’s production of Bent has the power to draw its audience as tightly as a bowstring. The air crackles expectantly as viewers wait for the other shoe to drop.  As its characters are fenced in with barbed wire and SS guards, they are left with nothing but the hope that things can’t get any worse.  It certainly will, especially when that backdrop is the Holocaust and the principal characters are homosexual. Continue reading

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Nov 19

Captors Connects Too Many Dots

Louis Cancelmi and Michael Cristofer in Evan M. Wiener’s CAPTORS. November 11 through December 11 at the BU Theatre. huntingtontheatre.org. Photo: T. Charles Erickson

Captors by Evan M. Wiener, Huntington Theatre Company, 11/11/11-12/11/11,  http://www.huntingtontheatre.org/season/production.aspx?id=10179&src=t.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston, MA) Writing is as much about what is not said as what is said.  A playwright must learn to leave space for the audience to fill in the blanks.

Every writer at some point succumbs to excessive explanation to make sure everyone gets it.  Continue reading

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Jun 13

The People In The Picture: Uncovering the Past

Photo: Joan Marcus

The People in the Picture, book and lyrics by Iris Rainer Dart, music by Mike Stoller and Artie Butler, Roundabout Theatre Company, Studio 54, Broadway, 4/1/11-6/19/11.  http://www.roundabouttheatre.org/broadway/thepeopleinthepicture/index.htm

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

How can we ever forget the past?  How can remember?  These questions surface for Raisel and Red  when Jenny asks her Bubbie who the people in the picture are.  They are Raisel’s friends and theatre/film company.  These people hold the key to Jenny’s heritage and must instill it within her despite her mother’s objections and grandmother’s failing health.  Although the story and score are uneven, the talent and the sentiment carry the show through joy and heartbreak.

Donna Murphy spends the majority of the show as Jenny’s Bubbie who tries to pass down her family’s history.  Ms. Murphy shows her versatility by not only providing a strong dramatic performance but also by providing comedic moments depicting Raisel’s younger days.  Raisel shows her granddaughter Jenny (played by Rachel Resheff) the life that she and her theatre/film company had.  She tries to only share positive memories, but the horrible realities underneath keep seeping through.  Raisel’s daughter Red (played by Nicole Parker) pushes for the entire truth to be known and not simply a pleasant mythology.  Ms. Murphy’s acting, singing, and dancing flow effortlessly and show the whimsy, pain, and sacrifice that make up Raisel’s life. Continue reading

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