Jun 10

Blood on the Snow: A journey back in time to Boston’s bloody beginnings

The Cast of Blood on the Snow. Photo by Justin Saglio.

Presented by The Bostonian Society
Written by Patrick Gabridge
Directed by Courtney O’Connor

June 1 – August 20, 2017
The Old State House
Boston, MA
Bostonians on Facebook

Review by Polly Goss

(Boston, MA) It is March 6, 1770, bloodshed, discontent and rebellion bubbles in the air. Four Bostonians lie dead on the streets outside the Council Chamber and British soldiers are held responsible. The people of Boston are sick of British rule, the soldiers and their taxes – they want them out. Inside Governor Hutchinson is faced with an impossible choice: defy his King, or defend his country? This site specific play takes the audience back in time to a forgotten night that helped shaped the course of, not only the city’s history, but the world’s. Blood on the Snow sold out at its world premiere last Spring and returns to The Old State House in Boston this summer. O’Connor’s naturalistic direction is spot on, allowing the audience to be unnoticed voyeurs alongside the table where history was made. Continue reading

Feb 27

Sins of the Father: DEATH OF A SALESMAN

Photo by Mark S. Howard.

Photo by Mark S. Howard.

Presented by Lyric Stage Co of Boston (40 Years)
By Arthur Miller
Directed by Spiro Veloudos

February 14 to March 15, 2014
Boston, MA
Lyric Stage on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

From the program notes: Robert N. Wilson, The Writer as Social Seer

“Willy’s failure is our failure, for we are also involved in the cult of success, and we, too, measure men by occupational attainment rather than by some sympathetic calculus of the whole human being. We are all partners in the American Dream and parties to the conspiracy of silence surrounding the fact that failures must by definition outnumber successes, given our cultural ground rules and or singular interpretations of the words ‘success’ and ‘failure’.”

(Boston) There is so much that The Lyric’s production of Death of a Salesman gets right. This is a fantastic production – the best of theirs I’ve seen all season, which is saying a lot for a theatre that regularly that creates solid art. It is the same cut and dried script that generations have come to love with a few spins that make it new and poignant.   Continue reading

Nov 07

Crossed Communications: The Sussman Variations

by Richard Schotter
directed by Jeff Zinn
music by Phil Schroeder
Boston, MA 02215
November 1 – 18

Boston Playwright’s Theatre Facebook Page

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Loosely based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Charlie Sussman (Ken Baltin) is turning 75 and his entire family has come to celebrate with him at his Connecticut beach house to celebrate in The Sussman Variations. His son Jonathan (Steven Barkhimer) has a paper on The Tempest to write that will put his career on the world map. His daughter Janey (Erin Cole) has a big secret to share with the family and is afraid that they won’t share her happiness. Deirdre (Laura Latreille) needs to practice for her international tour and attempts to keep the peace. Granddaughter Miranda (Lauren Thomas) is on house arrest until she writes her college essay. Margery (Cheryl McMahon), Charlie’s wife, wants to throw a party that will reunite the family despite their differences. Each family member suffers under the weight of familial expectations, frustrated with the conflict of whom they are and whom they supposed they should be. Continue reading

Sep 16

Brilliance and Bravery in New Rep’s “The Kite Runner”

The Kite Runner adapted for the stage by Matthew Spangler.
Novel by the same name by author Khaled Hosseini.
Directed by Elaine Vaan Hogue.

Photo by Andrew Brilliant/ Brilliant Pictures.

Photo by Andrew Brilliant/ Brilliant Pictures.

Performances, September 9-30, 2012
New Repertory Theater
Charles Mosesian Theater
Arsenal Center for the Arts
321 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA 02472

New Repertory Theater Facebook Page

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Watertown) New Rep’s The Kite Runner is adapted for the stage by Matthew Spangler from the novel by the same name by author Khaled Hosseini. Director, Elaine Vaan Hogue, interprets her subject with fresh perspective in our post-9/11 world with compassion and ingenuity. Continue reading

Mar 25

‘Deported’ dreams fragrant hope

Bobbie Steinbach and Jeanine Kane, photo credit: Boston Playwrights' Theatre

Deported, A Dream Play by Joyce Van Dyke, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Modern Theatre at Suffolk University, 3/8/12-4/1/12, http://www.bu.edu/bpt/.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

(Boston, MA) An American rose does not smell as sweet as an Armenian rose; that’s what Joyce Van Dyke tells us.  The Armenian-American culture is extremely prevalent in the Metro Boston area, particularly in Watertown where the Armenian Library and Museum is located, and has been trying to get the world to recognize the genocide in Armenia from 1915, when there were several massacres.  “Armenian men were rounded up and killed.  Then the women and children were ‘deported’ on a death march through the desert,” Van Dyke writes in the program.  And as the hundredth anniversary approaches, the genocide is still denied by Turkey, but Van Dyke writes of the hope of recognition and reconciliation in the near future. Continue reading

Feb 13

CYMBELINE: such stuff as dreams are made on

Cymbeline by William Shakespeare, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, 2/9/11-2/20/11, part of THE WINTER FESTIVAL (also playing:  The Hotel Nepenthe by John Kuntz, 2/23/11-3/6/11; and Living in Exile by Jon Lipsky, 3/9/11-3/20/11)  http://www.actorsshakespeareproject.org/season7/winter_festival.html

Brooke Hardman as Imogen and De'Lon Grant as Posthumous; photo by Stratton McCrady, c 2011

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

This is why I love theatre.  No sets. No real props (except musical instruments).  Plain white clothing.  All that is left is the artists and the words.  Cymbeline, one of Shakespeare’s final plays, is rarely staged because of its meandering plots and complicated relationships (for a detailed plot summary, go to SparkNotes—really, it’s not cheating); Actors’ Shakespeare Project not only takes on the challenge, but performs the play possibly better than even Shakespeare could have envisioned it.

This phenomenally talented cast of seven takes the multiple plot twists and numerous characters and creates a cohesive and pleasurable fable for adults.   Continue reading