Jan 16

“The Haberdasher!” A Tale of Derring-Do

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Photo Credit: Brett Marks

By Walt McGough
Presented by Argos Productions
Directed by Brett Marks
Fight Direction by Angie Jepson

January 11 – 25, 2014
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
949 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston MA
Argos Productions on Facebook

(Boston) Well, this season theatre has really shown Boston that girls can kick some serious butt.  From the A.R.T.’s Robin Hood, to Imaginary Beast’s winter Panto Rumplestiltskin, we’ve seen our share of swashbuckling dames on the Boston stage this winter.  The Haberdasher! doesn’t buck the trend and delivers ungenderbiased asskickery in the form of rapier-crossing adventure and witty banter.

Simply and sweetly: this is a fun show with high entertainment value that would be particularly attractive to the young or young-at-heart. Continue reading

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Jan 15

Potty humor, Puns and a Ripping Good Time: “Rumpelstiltskin, or All That Glitters”

Photo credit: Roger Metcalf. The cast is wonderful – whether they wore pants or not.

Presented by Imaginary Beasts
Conceived and directed by Matthew Woods
Written by The Ensemble
Choreography by Kiki Samko, Daniel J. Raps, and The Ensemble

January 11 – February 1, 2014
Plaza Black Box Theatre
BCA
Boston, MA
Imaginary Beasts on Facebook

(Boston) The low-brow humor of the pantomime* is not for everyone. Not unlike the like satyr plays of the ancient Greeks, panto isn’t intended to educate an audience but to show it a ripping good time. It’s a celebration of adult immaturity heaping with potty humor, puns and physical comedy. Imaginary Beasts’ winter pantos deliver this and so much more. This year’s treat, Rumpelstiltskin, or All That Glitters, packs in the family-inappropriate funny while also tantalizing the brain with witty pop culture references, dance, and a dash of Alice in Wonderland. You can’t bring a kid to a satyr play but you should bring your baby of any age to Rumplestiltskin. Continue reading

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Jan 14

Uncivil Attempts at Domestication : “Venus in Fur”

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2861/11806950624_b606702cbc.jpg?wmode=transparent

Photo: T. Charles Erickson. This show is not for children of any ages.

 

Presented by Huntington Theatre Company
By David Ives
Inspired by the novel by Leopold von Sacher Masoch
Directed by Daniel Goldstein

Jan. 3 – Feb. 2, 2014
Avenue of the Arts
BU Theatre
Boston, MA
Huntington Theatre on Facebook

This show is not for children. Don’t take them unless you like paying for visits to the psychologist.

 

 

 

***Potential Trigger Warnings***

(Boston) The misogynistic pop hit, “Blurred Lines” blew up the radios last summer. For those unfamiliar with the tune, vocalists Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and rapper T.I. engage in sexist boondoggle to try to convince the object of their bleeting to sleep with them. “Blurred Lines” is about coercion. In a sexual context, coercion is rape. There is nothing blurred about the lyrics used in their song (as explained here and here).

In other contexts “blurred lines” can be a metaphor for the skewed boundaries between two or more characters entering into unknown relationship territory. For example, in Huntington Theatre Co’s Venus in Fur the lines between characters and their roles in the story arc are blurred. Thomas and Vanda begin the play as strangers with a clearly defined characters. Over the course of the play, who they are as individuals and to each other is disrupted when fate plays her hand. 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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Jan 07

As in Life, “Working” is a Mixed Bag

Photo by Mark S. Howard for Lyric Stage Co of Boston; The Cast.

Presented by The Lyric Stage Company of Boston
Based on the book, Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do, by Studs Terkel.
Adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso.
Additional contributions by Gordon Greenberg. Songs by Craig Carnella, Micki Grant, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mary Rodgers and Susan Birkenhead, Stephen Schwartz, James Taylor.
Directed & Choreographed by Ilyse Robbins
Music Direction by Jonathan Goldberg

January 3 to February 1, 2014
140 Clarendon St.
Boston, MA
The Lyric on Facebook

Running time: Approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes with no intermission.

Review by Kitty Drexel

Boston) Studs Terkel’s book Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do is a collection of essays/interviews with Americans in the workforce. It spans a variety of jobs and careers while exploring the motivations behind the work the subjects do. The employed and unemployed look for recognition, justification and greater purpose looking for recognition in the work that we do. The musical, Working adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso, uses samples from Terkel’s book to bring the dialogue to the stage. Continue reading

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Apr 25

Help Make The Theatre Geek’s Dream Come True!

season-teasersmallSwiftly Tilting Theatre Project, Inc.
Swiftly Tilting Theatre’s Facebook Page

Kickstarter Page
The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
January 9-19, 2014, at The Chain Theatre, 21-28 45th Rd, Long Island City, NY
Iphigenia at Aulis by Euripides
March 31-April 13, 2014, at The Secret Theatre’s Poco Theatre, 44-02 33rd St, Long Island City, NY

I passed on my blog to Kitty Drexel when I realized that I could no longer deny my desire to create a theatre company.  Long Island City, one of the major residences of New York based theatre people, is becoming an economical alternative for theatrical productions.  I was born in New Jersey, so it was only a matter of time before I inched my way back to the area.  I want to give artists and audiences the opportunity to be a part of quality theatre, regardless of income.  I am trying to do what Whistler in the Dark has done for Boston to the Queens area.

Swiftly Tilting Theatre Project is an artist community that will work towards bringing artists and audiences together while allowing us all to not be crushed by hard economic times.

Please watch the video and even the smallest pledge to the Kickstarter will help my dream become a reality.

Becca Kidwell, Chief Geek. Emerita

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Feb 04

Irish Nationalism and Irish Charm: “The Irish and How They Got That Way”

Gregg Hammer, Janice Landry, Jon Dykstra, Meredith Beck, Andrew Crowe and Irene Molloy

Gregg Hammer, Janice Landry, Jon Dykstra, Meredith Beck,
Andrew Crowe and Irene Molloy

Frank McCourt’s The Irish and How They Got That Way

Directed by Danielle Paccione Colombo

Davis Square Theatre
255 Elm Street
Somerville, MA
January 24 – March 17, 2013
Frank McCourt’s Facebook Page

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Somerville) Frank McCourt’s The Irish and How They Got That Way is a musical revue that’s less about the Irish than what goes into being Irish American.  Lots of drinking and tragic songs, it says. The fare is light, airy, and mainly interested in adding to the mystique of the Emerald Isle.

The Irish and How They Got That Way is infectious in its charm.  It’s funny, sweet, and, at least for the first half of the show, sad.  Stirring versions of “Danny Boy,” “Fields of Athenry,” and “Mrs. McGrath” can be difficult to endure without a twinge of feeling.  The show never makes the mistake of taking itself too seriously, though, with a cast all too happy to lapse into “Give My Regards to Broadway” as well as the comic, “Finnegan’s Wake.”  Storytelling and scraps of history keep the action moving between numbers. Continue reading

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Feb 01

Comedy Without a Net: THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS

Photo Credit: ArtsEmerson

Photo Credit: ArtsEmerson

Written by Carlo Goldoni
Adapted by Constance Congdon
Further adapted by Steven Epp and Christopher Bayes
From a Translation by Christina Sibul
Directed by Christopher Bayes

presented by Yale Repertory Theatre with ArtsEmerson

The Paramount Theater
Boston, MA
January 29th – February 10th, 2013
ArtsEmerson Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

In the 18th century, playwrights had to walk a fine line if they were going to earn their bread, as their plays had to appeal simultaneously to both the washed and unwashed.  A play had to allow both illiterate farmers and literate aristocracy to connect with the story and side with the protagonists.  A playwright needed to find a common denominator in a story and then layer it with tidbits that resonated with segments of the audience. Continue reading

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Jan 29

An Epic Act of Foley: “Lo-Fi Lowdown”

Pictured: Tanya O’Debra Photo credit: Molly Peck

Pictured: Tanya O’Debra Photo credit: Molly Peck

Act One: Jazz Noir, by Bremner Duthie
Act Two: RADIO STAR, by Tanya O’Debra
Directed by Peter James Cook
Original Music by Andrew Mauriello

January 27th @ 7pm
Club Oberon
Cambridge, MA
Lo-Fi Lowdown Facebook Page

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge) Lo-Fi Lowdown was an homage to the Noir style and the art that it inspires. The first half of the performance was a jumping jazz concert lead by Bremner Duthie and his combo. The second half belonged to Tanya O’Debra and her one-woman radio play Radio Star. Together these two halves complied a fresh evening of cabaret and Foley fun. Continue reading

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Jan 26

An Aborted Liftoff: AS BEES IN HONEY DROWN

Photo by Ross Brown.

Photo by Ross Brown.

presented by The F.U.D.G.E. Theatre Company

by Douglas Carter Beane
directed by Joe DeMita

January 24th – 27th, 2013
The Factory Theatre
Boston, MA
F.U.D.G.E Theatre Co Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston) Sometimes, the most frustrating performance to watch is one where you can see the potential. F.U.D.G.E Theatre Company’s production of As Bees in Honey Drown has all the ingredients for a devastating critique on our fame-hungry society, but the individual parts of the show do not add up to a good production, and the audience is left to ponder what could have been. Continue reading

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