Jul 03

Beyond Brotherly Bickering to Mutual Respect: “619 Hendricks”

Victor Hugo Hart, Cristhian Mancinas-Garcia, and Juan Carlos Pinedo Rivera in “619 Hendricks.” Photo from Teatro Chelsea’s Facebook page.

Presented by Teatro Chelsea
Written by Josie Nericcio
Directed by Armando Rivera
Fight choreography by Matthew Dray

June 15-July 1, 2023
Chelsea Theatre Works
181 Winnisimmet Street
Chelsea, MA 02150

This play was a finalist in Teatro’s 3rd Annual A-Tipico Latinx New Play Festival.

Critique by Kitty Drexel

CHELSEA, Mass. — Teatro Chelsea’s production of Josie Nericcio’s 619 Hendricks ran at Chelsea Theatre Works through July 1. The run is over but maybe, if we ask nicely, it will play somewhere else soon. Massachusetts needs to celebrate more quality theatre like 619 Hendricks.

The general rule, when it comes to family or friends and money, is don’t lend. Give. That money is already gone and will never be paid back once it changes hands. Humans have a short memory for gratitude.  

In Laredo, Texas, two brothers mourn the death of their mother. Mama has left them her house in her will. The eldest, Nesto (Juan Carlos Pinedo Rivera), wants to sell right away to a big developer in town. Richie, a fancy Hollywood writer, (Cristhian Mancinas-Garcia) wants to wait. They stubbornly refuse to discuss why they feel this way. Their inability to talk leads to a war for the house and for their pride.  Continue reading

Jul 02

The Party Begins: “Once Upon a Carnival – Act I Workshop Performance”

Presented by Moonbox Productions as part of the Boston New Works Festival 2023
ONCE UPON A CARNIVAL is written by Angele Maraj & Brianna Pierre
Directed by Shania Pahuja
Music Directed by Harrison Acosta
2nd Annual Boston New Works Festival

June 22 – June 26, 2023
The Boston Center For The Arts
The Plaza Theatre
527 Tremont Street
Boston, MA

Moonbox Productions on Facebook
Follow the development of Once Upon a Carnival on Instagram

Note: The reviewer knows one of the writers of the production.

Review by Gillian Daniels

BOSTON, MASS – A show that is half done is a show that is difficult to review, but though Once Upon a Carnival is still in its workshopping stage, it’s complete in its sense of joy and cultural complexity. Bhavan (played with churlish realism and charming eagerness by Marshall Romano) is our American, teenage hero. He’s a boy brought to his mother’s home country of Trinidad and then descended upon by relatives (and family friends who might as well be relatives) in a chaotic welcome that, to a young man used to the standoffish city of New York, is completely over-whelming.  Continue reading

Jun 30

Breadth without Depth: “The Lehman Trilogy”

Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

Presented by The Huntington
By Stefano Massini
Adapted by Ben Power
Directed by Carey Perloff
Featuring Joshua David Robinson, Steven Skybell, Mayer Lehman
Music performed by Joe LaRocca
Dramaturgy by Julie Felise Dubiner

June 29 – July 23, 2023
264 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115

Critique by Maegan Bergeron-Clearwood

Update: This article previously credited Carey Perloff as the former artistic director of the incorrect institution. Perloff was the AD of American Conservatory Theater.

BOSTON, Mass. — If the playbill for The Lehman Trilogy is any indication, The Huntington artistic team knows that are dealing with a flawed, if renowned, play. The three-and-a-half-hour epic has a developmental history of international proportions: Italian playwright Stefano Massini’s play about Jewish-American bankers was adapted by British playwright Ben Power, then enjoyed critical acclaim on the West End before transferring to Broadway and winning the 2022 Tony Award for Best Play.

The production was a critical darling, but never without its skeptics. Think-pieces abound have accused the play of a) pandering in antisemitic tropes and b) sidestepping the centrality of slavery in the Lehman brothers’ (and more broadly, capitalism’s) rise to power. Continue reading

Jun 26

Absurdly Cool, Athletic, Glorious: KAIROS Dance Theater and Renaissance Men present: “Folktales, Fables & Feasts”

Gorgeous poster art for the event.

Presented by KAIROS Dance Theater and Renaissance Men
Performed with Sound Icon Ensemble
Artistic Director/choreographer: DeAnna Pellecchia
Music director/conductor: Eric Christopher Perry
Rehearsal director: Kristin Wagner
Master of Ceremonies: Hieu Nguyen
Videographer: Christian de Rezendes, Breaking Branches Pictures
Film/video designer: Lindsay Caddle Lapointe
Dramaturgy by D. MacMillan

June 24 & 25, 2023
BU Tsai Performance Center
685 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA

BOSTON, Mass. — KAIROS Dance Theater with the Renaissance Men with the minty fresh instrumentals of Sound Icon Ensemble presented Folktales, Fables & Feasts, a playful cabaret-style music and dance concert on June 24 and 25 at the BU Tsai Center.  The dance was modern and the vocals were operatic, but the concert was satisfyingly new and jaunty.  Continue reading

Jun 13

Who? Where? With What? Hilarity is Afoot: “Clue”

The cast. Photo by Nile Scott Studios.

Presented by the Greater Boston Stage Company
Written by Sandy Rustin
Adapted from the Paramount Pictures film written by Jonathan Lynn and the board game from Hasbro, Inc
Additional materials by Hunter Foster and Eric Price
Directed by Weylin Symes
Fight choreography by Alexander Platt
Movement Consultant: Ceit Zweil 
EDI consultant: Kira Troilo

June 2 – 25, 2023
395 Main Street
Stoneham, MA 02180

Critique by Kitty Drexel

STONEHAM, Mass. — Clue is a game, a film, a musical, a play, and soon a movie remake by Ryan Reynolds. The stage play is performing now at the Greater Boston Stage Company. If you enjoy a farcical whodunit and a murder mystery spoof with gags aplenty, get your butts to Stoneham! 

Now a disclaimer: GBSC’s Clue may not be for you if you can’t imagine a stage performance being better than the movie. It’s not for you if you’re ready to pick apart what is and isn’t the same as the classic. 

Clue is for you if you can make room for new interpretations of old favorites. Clue is meant to be fun; it’s a funny show, movie, and musical. This production is for anyone willing to appreciate slapstick humor, silly puns, and great physical comedy despite and because of its renowned story.  Continue reading

Jun 05

An Imaginative View from Above: “Rooted”

Photo by Ken Yotsukura Photography.

Presented by The Lyric Stage Company
By Deborah Zoe Laufer
Directed by Courtney O’Connor
Composer & sound design: Dewey Dellay
Featuring Karen MacDonald, Lisa Tucker, and Katherine Callaway

June 2 – 25, 2023
The Lyric Stage Company
140 Clarendon Street, 2nd Floor
Boston MA, 02116

Critique by Maegan Bergeron-Clearwood

BOSTON, Mass. — Rooted makes a breathless first impression. Walking into the theater at The Lyric Stage Company, perhaps for the first time since I’ve started attending theater post-lockdown, I literally gasped at the sight: part treehouse deck, part overgrown garden, all shrouded in dappled shade from the foundational tree’s outstretched limb.

The set, designed by Janie E. Howland, is as much a character in Deb Zoe Laufer’s play as its protagonist, Emery (Lisa Tucker). Emery has sequestered herself to her treehouse sanctuary for 12 years by the start of the play, with only two connections to the world below: her caregiver sister, Hazel (Karen MacDonald), and her unexpectedly popular YouTube channel showcasing her plant experiments. Her compassionate, charismatic way with plants inspires her online fans to form a literal cult around her beloved tree. Continue reading

Jun 05

Defiant Like It’s Banned in Florida: “As You Like It”

Genevieve Simon and the cast of Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s As You Like It (2023). Photo by Nile Scott Studios.

Presented by Actors’ Shakespeare Project in partnership with The Theater Offensive
Directed by Harold Steward
Associated Directed by Brooke Hardman
Featuring Fady Demian, Lindsay Eagle, Gabriel Graetz, Jaime Josè Hernández, Doug Lockwood, Nathan Malin, Gavin Rasmussen, Genevieve Simon, Bobbie Steinbach, Regine Vital, Mishka Yarovoy

June 2 – 25, 2023
Tufts University’s Balch Arena Theater
40 Talbot Ave
Medford, MA 02155

Critique by Craig Idlebrook

MEDFORD, Mass. — At first glance, Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s declaration that its production of As You Like It “leans into (the play’s) famed crossdressing mayhem and gender euphoria” in defiance of the passage of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation could be as empty a stretch as a corporate Pride Month initiative. After all, As You Like It already is one of Shakespeare’s gender-bending plays, in which female protagonists find reasons to dress as men, woo men as men, and then be wooed in turn by women. Add to this that men played all the female parts in the original runs of these comedies, and on paper it seems like there would be little space to add more LGBTQ+ focus.

That is why it is all the more impressive that this production, done in partnership with The Theater Offensive, finds new ways to turn this absurd play into a weapon against the absurdity of a new wave of anti-LGBTQ+ hate. Continue reading

May 29

Righteous but Unfocused Rage: “Goodnight Sweetheart, Goodnight”

Daraja Hinds, Jennifer Mischley, Sophie Appel, Beth Alianiello Jennifer Mischley and cast of GOODNIGHT SWEETHEART, GOODNIGHT at Wilbury Theatre Group; photo by Erin X. Smithers.

Presented by Wilbury Theatre Group
Written by Darcie Dennigan
Music by Niki Healy
Directed by Josh Short
Music Direction by Milly Massey
Choreography by Ali Kenner Brodsky
Featuring Jennifer Mischley, Sophie Appel, Beth Alianiello, Daraja Hinds, Christine Treglia, Lydia Grosswendt

May 25 – June 11
The Wilbury Theatre Group
475 Valley Street
Providence, RI 02908

Content Warning: ​This production includes the use of strobe effects, and contains references to ​rape, sexual assault, and torture.​

Review by Maegan Bergeron-Clearwood

PROVIDENCE, RI — In theory, Goodnight Sweetheart, Goodnight is in the same lineage as two of my all-time favorite musicals, Six and Lizzie: campy, riotously angry, mostly sung-through works that are more structurally akin to pop concerts than an integrated, plot-driven musical. It’s a niche mini genre of musical theatre that seeks to fill in the holes of patriarchal history by means of loud, glittery, feminist revisionism. The point of these concert musicals isn’t to tell a factual story, but to offer catharsis; to witness the violence of misogyny inflicted on a historically maligned figure, but also relish in a devilishly empowered version of her, however mythologized that version may be. Continue reading

May 20

Hail Mcduff, You Little Bitch: Shit-Faced Shakespeare’s® “Macbeth”


Presented by Shit-FacedShakespeare®
Producing Direction by Brett Milanowski 
Directed by Rev. Lewis Ironside
Featuring: Olivia Dumaine, Turner Frankosky, Elizabeth Hartford, Alex Leondedis, Brett Milanowski, Sarah Morin, Tyler Rosati

April 27 – June 24
The Rockwell
Davis Square
Somerville, MA
Run Time: 70 with no intermission 

Critique by Kitty Drexel

Somerville, Mass. — Attend the tale of Mary the Evil! Mary, an incognito patron of Shit-Faced Shakespeare’s Macbeth who volunteered her spontaneous assassin services, bravely took to the stage on Thursday night at The Rockwell to competently stab with a foam sword and ninja-crawl her way across the stage and into our hearts. Mary may not have been the most formidable of hit-persons, but she was the most affable. 

Audience participation is a regular component of any Shit-Faced Shakespeare. Select attendees are charged with ringing a cowbell or banging a gong to signal that the evening’s drunk actor should imbibe another alcoholic beverage. On Thursday, there were even rhythmic shouts of “Chug!” and, my new favorite, “Twerk!”  Continue reading

May 18

“The Prom”: Celebrities Want Posterity, Find Purpose

Tori Heinlein (center) and ensemble. (Photo via Nile Scott Studios)

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
Book & Lyrics by Chad Beguelin
Book by Bob Martin
Music by Matthew Sklar
Directed by Paul Daigneault
Music Direction by Paul S. Katz
Choreography by Taavon Gamble

The Huntington at the Calderwood Pavilion / BCA
527 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02116
May 5–June 10, 2023

To purchase tickets, visit SpeakEasy Stage

Review by Gillian Daniels

BOSTON, Mass – The Prom begins as an unsentimental, comic takedown of show business opportunism. Broadway diva Dee Dee Allen (Mary Callanan) and leading man Barry Glickman (the charismatic Johnny Kuntz) look to soften their public image after their recent musical flop by utilizing a viral controversy in the midwest. Continue reading