Sep 16

Completely Natural, Incredibly Beautiful: “The America Plays”

Amanda J Collins and Robert Najarian; photo by Corinne Elicone.

Presented by Mount Auburn Cemetery
By Patrick Gabridge, Mount Auburn Cemetary Artist-in-Residence 
Directed by Courtney O’Connor
Music in All the Broken Pieces written, performed and recorded by Arshan Gailus

September 12, 2019 – September 22, 2019
Mount Auburn Cemetery
Cambridge, MA
MAC on Facebook 

Critique by Kitty Drexel

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The America Plays is a pleasant introduction to a select few of the curious residents interred at Mount Auburn Cemetery through theatre. These short plays in place preserve the lives of eight artists, politicians, and scientists while asking their audience to hike the cemetery grounds. It’s a charming way to meet some New England spirits and watch the grounds transition to their fall colors.  Continue reading

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Jun 07

More Fun Than Interviewing Pigeons: “The Birds and the Bees”

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Presented by Sleeping Weazel
Written by Kate Snodgrass (Bark), Adara Meyers (Birds), Charlotte Meehan (Beesus)
Directed by Melia Bensussen (Bark & Beesus), Shana Gozansky (Birds)

June 2 – 11, 2016
Plaza Black Box Theater
539 Tremont St
Boston, MA
Sleeping Weazel on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MAThe Birds and the Bees: A Festival of New Plays is good albeit strange theatre. Play #1, The Last Bark is the most concrete of the three plays that make up this production. Birds is post post-modern theatre. Beesus & Ballustrada is even more abstract than Birds. The performances are compelling. The scripts are perplexing. Continue reading

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May 12

Absurd Political Escapism: HOME OF THE BRAVE

Photo by Meghan Moore

Photo by Meghan Moore

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Written by Lila Rose Kaplan
Directed by Sean Daniels
Featuring Karen MacDonald

April 20 – May 15, 2016
50 East Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA
MRT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell, MA) Finally, a political play that is as absurd and as over-the-top as the 2016 presidential election! Um, I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Continue reading

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Jan 13

A Love Letter to the General: “Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass wit of Molly Ivins”

Photo by Mark S. Howard. MacDonald with Shrub.

Photo by Mark S. Howard. MacDonald with Shrub.

Presented by the Lyric Stage Company of Boston
By Margaret Engel & Allison Engel
Directed by Courtney O’Connor

Jan. 2 – 31, 2015
Boston, MA
Lyric on Facebook
Molly Ivins on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) I’ve already purchased my ticket to see Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass wit of Molly Ivins again. This show is so good that writing a review isn’t enough*. I want the Lyric to have my money. Continue reading

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Sep 16

All Cucumbers and Hooves: UNDER MILK WOOD

Photo courtesy of Artsboston; a picture of the cast at the reading with Mr. Scanlan in the front.

Photo courtesy of Artsboston; photo was grabbed from the Poet’s Theatre FB page.  A picture of the cast at the reading with Mr. Scanlan in the front.

A celebration in honor of the revival of The Poet’s Theatre and the centennial of the Author’s birth.

Presented by The Poet’s Theatre
By Dylan Thomas
Directed by Bob Scanlan

Sanders Theatre, Memorial Hall
Harvard University
Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014 @ 7pm ONLY
Poet’s Theatre on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

“…the idea that I write a piece, a play, an impression for voices, an entertainment out of the town I live in, and to write it simply and warmly and comically, with lots of movement and varieties of moods, so that, at many levels, through sight and speech, description and dialogue, evocation and parody, you come to know the town as an inhabitant of it.”
– Dylan Thomas – Collected Letters edited by Paul Ferris (London: Dent, 2000 (new edition)

(Cambridge, MA) Under Milk Wood is a radio drama by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. It was performed on the stage during Thomas’ lifetime (and by Thomas himself). It became a movie directed by Andrew Sinclair, and featured Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Peter O’Toole, in 1972. For his centennial, the BBC has a site devoted to a recent film production of Under Milk Wood. All of this is mentioned because not nearly enough Americans have an appreciation for Thomas’ work –  aside from his famous poem, “Do not go gentle into that good night.” His work is elegant, romantic, and, best yet, free to read on the internet or in a library. It is a worthwhile, mind-expanding endeavor to read as much of his collected works. If not for your own sake, then to woo a paramour or two. Continue reading

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Jun 10

Securing the Myth-ing Link: GIDEON’S KNOT

Presented by Bridge Repertory Theater
By Johnna Adams
Directed by Karen MacDonald

June 5 – 22, 2014
the Boston Center for the Arts
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston, MA
Bridge Rep on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger Warnings: Graphic depiction of rape and violence, controversial and political arguments, full-body hugging

“Turn him to any cause of policy,
The Gordian Knot of it he will unloose,
Familiar as his garter”
(Shakespeare, Henry V, Act 1 Scene 1. 45–47)

(Boston) Alexander the Great is famous for marching through Asia and Africa in the name of Greece when he was 18 years old. He was a merciless conqueror and much of his work shaped the known BCE world. According to popular myth, in 333 BCE Alexander was shown a intricate knot in tying a chariot to a pole left by the sloppy founder of the city of Gordium. It was foretold that only the future ruler of Asia could untie the knot. Alexander, being the sensitive and thoughtful boy he wasn’t, instead hacked through the knot with his sword. Earlier versions of the myth imply Alexander first tries cunning to sort out the mess but eventually uses the pointy end of a sword to solve the riddle. These are the origins of the term “cutting the Gordian Knot.” It has come to mean using creative measures (cheating) in order to solve an convoluted problem. Continue reading

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Apr 15

Whistle It, Just A Little Bit***: Ryan Landry’s “M”

David Drake, Samantha Richert, Ellen Adair, Larry Coen, and Laura Latreille in the Huntington Theatre Company's production of RYAN LANDRY'S "M". March 30 - April 27, 2013 at the South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. huntingtontheatre.org. Photo: T. Charles Erickson

David Drake, Samantha Richert, Ellen Adair, Larry Coen, and Laura Latreille in the Huntington Theatre Company’s production of RYAN LANDRY’S “M”. March 30 – April 27, 2013 at the South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. huntingtontheatre.org. Photo: T. Charles Erickson

Presented by Huntington Theatre Company
Ryan Landry’s “M”
Directed by Caitlin Towland 

March 28-April 28
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Boston, MA
Huntington Theatre Co Facebook Page
Gold Dust Orphans Facebook Page

 Review by Noelani Kamelamela 

(Boston) Fritz Lang’s masterpiece M, released in 1931, revealed much of his hatred and compassion regarding German society at the time.  Ryan Landry’s M likewise breaks new ground while being observant of society’s duality. The Huntington’s production is ambitious with explosively funny results. Spoiler alert:  nothing written here can be a genuine spoiler, trust me.  A real spoiler would be able to point you towards a reasonable expectation of what will actually happen on stage.  Ha ha ha! Continue reading

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Jan 16

“Other Desert Cities”: Facades Collide With Reality

Photo caption: Anne Gottlieb and Christopher M. Smith in a scene from SpeakEasy Stage's production of Other DesertCities, running January 11 through February 9 at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts. Tickets at speakeasystage.com or 617.933.8600. Photo by Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo

Photo caption: Anne Gottlieb and Christopher M. Smith, Photo by Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo

By Jon Robin Baitz
Directed by Scott Edmiston

Presented by Speakeasy Stage Company
January 11 – February 9
Wimberly Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Speakeasy Stage Co Facebook Page

Review by Becca Kidwell

(Boston) At a time when nostalgia for the eighties is heightening (neon, rubber bracelets, leg warmers,
cut off tees), Jon Robin Baitz reminds us that our recent past was neither as lavish or simple
as we would like to contain it. As the last of the Reaganite politicians cling desperately to
the “grand old party,” gen-xers (like myself) try to find meaning out of a part of seeming trivial
history. Baitz sends a thermobaric weapon to the Wyeth household in the form of Brooke Wyeth, played by Anne Gottlieb. Continue reading

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Sep 21

A Tale of Class and Morality in Southie

Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson

Good People
by David Lindsay-Abaire
Directed by Kate Whoriskey

presented by Huntington Theatre Company Website
Huntington Theatre Company Facebook Page
Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre, 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston
September 14 – October 14, 2012

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People is a modern comedy of errors that takes place in South Boston. This production toes the line between comedy and drama. It features a star-studded cast which embodies the beloved Boston stereotypes made famous by movies like The Town and Mystic River. Amidst a healthy peppering of Boston in-jokes, it explores class divisions while characters attempt to define what it is to be a “good person.”
Continue reading

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Apr 08

The Walking Dead: LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT

Long Day’s Journey Into Night by Eugene O’Neill, New Repertory Theatre, Charles Mosesian Theater at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, 4/1/12-4/22/12, http://newrep.org/long_days.php.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Watertown, MA) Inconvenient truths sometimes come from the mouth of the mad, from those with the least to lose.  From the most hopeless in the New Repertory Theatre’s unflinching drama Long Day’s Journey into Night, we receive the troubling message that you can’t outrun the past.  If the past is not dealt with, it can rise from the grave and overtake the present and the future.   Along with this, we also learn that perhaps you should ask your doctor about possible side effects before taking any new medication. Continue reading

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