Jan 21

Excuses Are Not Explanations:”Haroun and the Sea of Stories”

Photo by Clive Grainger.

Presented by Boston Modern Orchestra Project
Composed by Charles Wuorinen
Libretto by James Fenton
Conducted and stage direction by Gil Rose, Artistic Director

January 19, 2019
Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory
Boston, MA
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Critique by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) The opera Haroun and the Sea of Stories is based on Iranian author Salman Rushdie’s magical realism novel of the same title. This cast has an awful lot of white people in it for an allegorical opera set in the subcontinent of imaginary India. What an opera set in India about fictional Indians and their nonhuman, non-colonizer friends demands is actual Indians. Asian erasure is unacceptable in an art form bursting at the seams with underpaid, overeager POC* artists. Such casting means that disappointed POC audience members leave at intermission just like the lovely couple next to me quietly did on Saturday night. Opera is killing itself by failing to include the very people it seeks to serve with such casting decisions.    Continue reading

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Nov 10

Less is Indeed More: LES MISERABLES

Photo by Paul Lyden

Photo by Paul Lyden

Presented by North Shore Music Theatre
Book by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg
Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer
Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg
Based on the novel by Victor Hugo; Original French text by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel; Additional text by James Fenton
Directed and Choreographed by Marc Robin
Music directed by Andrew Bryan

October 28th – November 16th, 2014
62 Dunham Road
Beverly, MA
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Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly, MA) For a Les Mis hater, I sure have seen the show enough times. I usually go in with a cloud hanging over my head. There is something about the show that rubs me the wrong way with its overwrought attitude, even as it brings me to tears each time I see it. To make matters worse, the play lends itself to overacting; heck, it practically demands it. Bad acting abounds on the street of Paris. Continue reading

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Jul 29

Still Enjoyable ‘At the End of the Day’: LES MISERABLES

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Presented by The Company Theatre Center for the Arts
based on the novel by Victor Hugo
Music by Claude-Michel Schonberg
Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer
Original French text by Alain Boubil and Jean-Marc Natel
Additional material by James Fenton
Orchestrations by James Cameron
Directed by Zoe Bradford and Jordie Saucerman
Staging and choreography by Sally Ashton Forrest
Music direction by Michael V. Joseph

July 24 – August 17, 2014
30 Accord Park Dr.
Norwell, MA 02061
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Review by Kitty Drexel

(Norwell, MA) Les Mis is an overwhelming show; its complications can make preparation for performance seem insurmountable. Yet, it is beloved to its devoted fans who care more that its being performed and less about the intricacies of the performance. Such people will highly enjoy the Company Theatre’s production running through August 17. Theatre geeks, such as me, may still enjoy themselves but will likely get hung up on artistic details. Continue reading

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