Jul 13

The Link Between Cause and Effect: “AddictShunned”

The cast. Photo: Avenue Stage

Presented by Avenue Stage
By Judith Austin
Directed by Michael O’Halloran

Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
949 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
Avenue Stage on Facebook

AddictShunned was originally titled Spiro Spero, which roughly translates to “While I Breathe, I Hope.”

Review by Kitty Drexel

“Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain; they change its structure and how it works. These brain changes can be long lasting and can lead to many harmful, often self-destructive, behaviors.”
— NIDA website, “The Science of Drug Abuse and Addiction: The Basics” https://www.drugabuse.gov/

(Boston, MA) Addiction is as much of a disease as Diabetes. Yet, while we don’t demand diabetics to will themselves healthy, we do demand this of addicts. Addicts need and deserve compassion, understanding, and resources to break the cycles of abuse. Avenue Stage’s AddictShunned compassionately reframes the stories of addicts. The audience is made to find commonality with characters it would prefer to remain anonymous.   Continue reading

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Jun 28

Your Ticket is Problematic: LUZIA


Presented by Cirque du Soleil
Written by Julie Hamelin Finzi and Daniele Finzi Pasca
Directed by Daniele Finzi Pasca
Acrobatic performance designed by Philippe Aubertin
Composed and music directed by Simon Carpentier
Acrobatic choreography by Edesia moreno Barata, Debra Brown, Sylvia Gertrúdix González

June 27 – August 12, 2018
Suffolk Downs
525 William F McClellan Hwy
Boston, MA 02128
Parking available for $20.00
CdS on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Cirque du Soleil’s scheduling of its Luzia American tour is so poorly-timed that it’s nearly offensive. The producers couldn’t have known, could they? On the one hand, there’s the appreciation of Mexico’s song, dance, and natural resources. On the other, there’s the fact that ICE is indefinitely detaining immigrants as well as asylum seekers near the Mexican border. It’s deporting LEGAL residents across the US. It had been separating families because it could. “But why does light entertainment have to be dragged through politics? It’s just a show!” Because the political is personal, my friends. There are immigrants living in Boston who are at risk of deportation as I type. We, as artists and audience members, can’t forget the fascist actions of the the President because it’s convenient. We must be better. Continue reading

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Jun 27

Laura Neill’s “DIVAS”

The ensemble

Presented by OperaHub in collaboration with DIVA Museum
Written by Laura Neill
Produced and Stage Directed by Adrienne Boris
Music Directed and Collaborative Piano by Patricia Au
Starring Chelsea Beatty, Kathryn McKellar, Lindsay Conrad, Glorivy Arroyo, and Christie Lee Gibson

June 21 through 30, 2018
Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont Street, Boston
OperaHub on Facebook

Reviewed by Bishop C. Knight

(South End, Boston, Massachusetts) DIVAS is a new play by the writer and educator Laura Neill.  It is being performed for the rest of this week in a black box at the BCA.  On the Sunday I attended, the black box was very warm. The man sitting next to me repeatedly wiped the sweat trickling down his brow, and half the audience was skimming through their programs, while the other half fanned their perspiring faces.  The small theatre’s high temperature didn’t seem to bother most of the patrons, who had either greying or thoroughly whitened hair. OperaHub’s noble mission is “to present high-caliber, affordable, and accessible classical music to a wide community of music and art lovers,” but looking around the audience, it was easy to remember that the classical music community remains mostly white and older. Continue reading

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Jun 25

BeBe Winans was “Born for This”

Presented by ArtsEmerson
Original Music and lyrics by BeBe Winans
Book by Charles Randolph-Wright, BeBe Winans and Lisa D’Amour
Directed by Charles Randolph-Wright
Choreographed by Warren Adams
Orchestrations, Arrangements, & Music Direction by Steven Jamail
Starring Milton Craig Nealy, Kirsten Wyatt, Phillip Brandon, Matthew Griffin, and Donald Webber, Jr.

June 15 through July 15, 2018
Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre
219 Tremont Street, Boston, MA

Reviewed by Bishop C. Knight

(Downtown Boston, MA)  Born for This was the musical biography of soul gospel musician Benjamin “Bebe” Winans, a Detroit native who began his career releasing albums with his sister Priscilla “CeCe” Winans from 1984 through 1996.  In 1989, BeBe won a Grammy for Best Male Soul Gospel Performance. In 1997, he signed with Atlantic Records and released his first of seven solo albums. That same year, BeBe delivered the international hit “I Wanna Be The Only One,” which featured British soul trio Eternal and topped the UK Singles chart in May 1997.  Throughout his career, Bebe has collaborated other Grammy award winning R&B vocalists – such as Stephanie Mills, Whitney Houston, and Stevie Wonder.
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Jul 29

These Violent Delights: “Romeo & Juliet”

Presented by Commonwealth Shakespeare Company
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Allegra Libonati

July 19 – August 6, 2017
Boston Common
Boston, MA
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company on Facebook

Romeo and Juliet is like an old jalopy: if you want it to run, you need to know where to kick it, when to kick it, and how hard to kick it. Unfortunately, I really don’t think that director Allegra Libonati has the formula down (and not for lack of trying). Continue reading

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Jul 25

Listen! : “American Moor”

Keith Hamilton Cobb is jacked.

By Keith Hamilton Cobb
Presented by the Office of War Information (Bureau of Theatre)
Directed by Kim Weild
Presented at the Boston Center for the Arts

July 19th – August 12th
Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street, Boston
Office of War Information on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

A note to the cast and crew of American Moor, and the associates of the Office of War Information (Bureau of Theatre), the Queen Geek came down with a summer flu virus that has kept her away from her posting duties. I offer you my heartfelt apologies. Please know that Mrs. Rosvally is in no way to blame for the tardiness of this review.  -KD

(Boston, MA) I am, to be completely honest, still in a state of shocked awe at what I witnessed during Keith Hamilton Cobb’s American Moor last night.  Normally, my job as a critic is to give an honest opinion of the things I see onstage: the acting, the direction, the design… sometimes the writing…. Continue reading

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Jul 17

“Waiting for Waiting for Godot”

Photo by Tim Gurczak; costumes and puppy by Chelsea Kerl; the corgi isn’t part of it but she should be.

Presented by Hub Theatre Company of Boston
Written by Dave Hanson
Directed by Paula Plum

July 14 – 29, 2017
Club Cafe
209 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA
Hub on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warnings: bathroom use without washing hands

(Boston, MAWaiting for Waiting for Godot (WfWfG) is Beckett fanfiction through the lense of a Durang play. It’s confusing, absurd, and ultimately very funny. Hub Theatre Co of Boston does a fine job with Dave Hanson’s script. Continue reading

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Aug 01

The Kugel is Your Destiny: YOU’RE KILLING ME ALREADY!

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Presented by Theatre@First’s FirstWorks
by Andrea Aptecker
directed by Dave Policar

Thursday, July 28th, at 8pm
Unity Somerville
6 William Street
Somerville, MA 02144
T@F on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Somerville, MAFirstWorks is Theatre@First’s initiative to support local playwrights as they write new plays. The intent of this program is to provide constructive feedback by experienced directors and actors to playwrights on a play submitted for this purpose. After a workshopping period, a staged reading is performed for the Theatre@First community at large. The most recent subject of the FirstWorks program is Andrea Aptecker’s You’re Killing Me Already! (YKMA!). Continue reading

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Jul 29

Everyone’s Invited to “The T Party”

Playing through August 13, 2016. Photos by Paul Fox

Playing through August 13, 2016. Photos by Paul Fox

Presented by Company One
Written and Directed by Natsu Onoda Power (with contributions by Jade Sylvan)

July 15 – August 13, 2016
Nancy and Edward Roberts Studio Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Company One on Facebook
Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MAThe T Party is colorful potpourri of a show: bright, engaging, and eclectic in design. The skit format gives a wide range of stories based under the LGBTQ (QUILTBAG?) umbrella usually, but not always, focused on gender. Natsu Onoda’s anecdotes come in a wide range, some as feel good as a ‘90’s prom in the style of Lisa Frank that opens the show. Others are  more awkward, like a Craigslist meet up between a cis male identified crossdresser and a trans Filipina escort. The scope is broad and looks to simultaneously create community and intimacy. Without focus on an individual narrative, the tone shifts between joy and sadness wildly, suddenly, as if the two emotions weren’t separate at all, but a continuum of the same experience. Continue reading

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Jul 29

Losing to Win: LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST

The players. Photo by Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures.

The players. Photo by Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures.

By William Shakespeare
Presented by Commonwealth Shakespeare Company
Directed by Steven Maler

July 20 – August 7, 2016
Boston Common
Boston, MA
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) Every year, I find a way to haul myself out to the Common to see Boston’s free Shakespeare under the stars.  Every year, I find something to like about the performance (even if some years it’s just the signature Ben & Jerry’s sundae which, by the way, is once again delicious).  This year, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn’t have to dig deep to find something to like.  CSC’s 2016 production of Love’s Labour’s Lost is not one to be missing; it’s easily the best production I’ve seen CSC put up since my move to Boston in 2011. Continue reading

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