Mar 02

100% That Witch: “Hansel & Gretel”

The “Hansel & Gretel” cast. C/o imaginary beasts on Facebook.

Presented by imaginary beasts
Written & directed by Matthew Woods
Additional text by the Ensemble: Laura Detwiler, Lauren Foster, Colin McIntire, Amy Meyer, Bob Mussett, Kiki Samko, Jamie Semel, Sivan Spector, Jennifer Taschereau, Matthew Woods
Puppets designed by Elizabeth Owens & Jill Rogati

Feb. 7 – March 1, 2020
The Charlestown Working Theater
Charlestown Working Theater
442 Bunker Hill Street, Charlestown, MA
The beasts on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Charlestown, MA — The run of Winter Panto 2020: Hansel & Gretel by imaginary beasts ended on March 1. You are out of luck if you are reading this review now. It was wonderful! The cast’s acting talents were in excellent form because the script was chock full of boisterous puns and pop culture references. Scenery chewing extended to the audience just a little bit so as to rope all comers into the play’s antics. Best of all, the audience was game to interact with the show for the duration of the took the two-and-a-half-hour performance. If you watch the beastie website, you can catch them next year.  Continue reading

Jan 28

Here’s Your Coffee Ma’am: “Paul Bunyan and the Winter of the Blue Snow”

True love with dog. Photo by Alex Sandberg.

Presented by imaginary beasts & Charlestown Working Theater
Written by The Ensemble
Story conceived by Matthew Woods
Directed by Matthew Woods

Jan. 19 – Feb. 10, 2019
Charlestown Working Theater
442 Bunker Hill St
Charlestown, MA
imaginary beasts on Facebook

Critique by Kitty Drexel

(Charlestown, MA) Paul Bunyan and the Winter of the Blue Snow is about best friends and the lengths we go to love them. imaginary beasts treats us with another homegrown panto in the English tradition but with an American fringe flourish. Special effects are minimal but the appeal is high. The plot may wander but the panto’s generosity of spirit more than makes up for the meandering. Continue reading

Sep 20

“5 to 9” Playing at Ramrod Center for the Performing Arts, Sept. 21 – 24

Presented by the Gold Dust Orphans
Written by Ryan Landry

September 21 through 24, 2017
8:00 pm Thursday – Saturday, 5:00 pm on Sunday
Machine Night Club/ The Ramrod Center for the Performing Arts
1254 Boylston Street
Boston, MA
Tickets
18+ ONLY

From the GDO: “5 to 9 is an uproarious comic take off on the current oval office and its endless hilarious hijinks.

Written by award-winning playwright, Ryan Landry, 5 to 9 is the story of three of Trumps overworked secretaries and how they end up getting even. You will simply never see political satire the same way again.

Along with Landry playing the Lily Tomlin role as Violet, 5 to 9 also stars drag legend Varla Jean Merman in the Dolly Pardon role as Dora Lee and Kiki Samko in the Jane Fonda role as Judy.

Based on the classic film, 9 to 5, 5 to 9 also features Penny Champayne (Gold Dust Orphans) as Kellyanne Conway and Larry Coen (Gold Dust Orphans) as Trump.
5 to 9 is ridiculous, silly, nonstop fun but it is NOT recommended for children.”

For the kids in the back, anyone under 18 years of age will not be admitted.

P.S. The Gold Dust Orphans are going to New York City with the their musical “GREECE.” Playing from October 13-15 at Theatre 80 St. Marks in the East Village. Interested parties can support this venture via the Kickstarter at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1037808882/bring-ryan-landrys-greece-to-new-york-city.

Queen’s Note:
We elected a thin-skinned Nazi to the office of the President who is turning our “democracy” into a fascist, totalitarian oligarchy dominated by the 1%. Trump is a monster. His policies, when he names them, are destructive. His narcissistic behavior is more so.

Congressional “negotiators” released a spending bill that saves the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for Humanities, and National Public Radio until September at which time, the President and his impotent cronies may still cut arts funding. It is ever important to remain vigilant. And, for the love of all that’s sacred, keep creating. If you need help, ask for it. Our existence is our resistance. May the force be with you. – KD

TCG has a list of things you can do to help.

Dec 02

Looocy, You Got Some ‘Splaining to Do: Heart & Dagger’s SWEENEY TODD

Promotional Art by Heart & Dagger

Promotional Art by Heart & Dagger

Presented by Heart & Dagger Productions
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheeler
Directed by Joey C. Pelletier
Music direction by Michael Amaral

Nov. 19 – Dec. 4, 2016
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center For The Arts
527 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02116
H&D on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MAHeart & Dagger’s approach to Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is highly unusual. It’s design harkens back to the original “Penny Deadfuls” in a way fancy pants professional productions don’t. It revels in its everyday horrors. It’s design brings creative license to the next level. Many strong, risky choices were made in this production. Most of them paid off. Unfortunately, some of the bigger ones did not. Continue reading

Jul 18

Mommy Issues on Foreign Soil: BRENDAN

Photo credit: Josephine Anes;  Avery Bargar and Kiki Samko.

Photo credit: Josephine Anes; Avery Bargar and Kiki Samko, not so snugly.

Presented by Happy Medium Theatre Company
Written by Ronan Noone
Directed by Brett Marks and Victor L. Shopov

July 15-30, 2016
Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont St

Boston, MA 02116
Happy Medium on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Disclaimer: I auditioned for this show way back when. I wasn’t cast. Only a self-serving, insecure butt-face would let something like that color their review.

(Boston, MABrendan marks the return of Happy Medium Theatre Company. Welcome back, guys; we’ve missed you. Please don’t ever leave us like that again. Continue reading

Apr 05

imaginary beasts’ “Alice in Wonderland”

alice

Created by the Manhattan Theatre Project
Based on the novel by Lewis Carroll
Presented by Imaginary Beasts
Directed by Matthew Woods

April 1 – 23, 2016
Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street, Boston
Imaginary Beasts on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) It is no small challenge to take on a piece with so much cultural baggage as Alice in Wonderland.  Audiences have seen, heard, and read this story over and over again from our childhoods unto the present day.  Alice is everywhere in so many forms that adding something new to the tale is a Herculean task.  Unfortunately, I don’t think that artistic director Matthew Woods quite had a handle on it. Continue reading

Jan 19

Somewhere Over, Under, in Front of, Behind the Rainbow: “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”

Photo credit: Diane Anton

Photo credit: Diane Anton; the cast stepping out

Presented by imaginary beasts 
Written and Directed by Matthew Woods
Based on the Oz novels of L. Frank Baum

January 9-30, 2016
imaginary beasts on Facebook
BCA Plaza Black Box Black Box Theatre
Boston, MA

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Boston, MAPlaying fast and loose with both Oz canon and popular culture, imaginary beasts returns to the marvelous lands and characters L. Frank Baum created to amuse and entertain children at the turn of the century in Winter Panto 2016:  The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  People unfamiliar with the pantomime tradition should not come expecting a regular play, or the musical version of the show, or even a rundown of all of Baum’s Oz books.  Rather, it’s a rollicking variety of scenes that parodies both the source and contemporary mores. Continue reading

Jun 23

“Dying City” Brought to Life in Small Space

Photo credit: Josephine Anes

Photo credit: Josephine Anes

Presented by Happy Medium Theatre Company
Part of the Home Grown Theater Project
Written by Christopher Shinn
Directed by Cameron Cronin

June 25 – July 11, 2015
Dates and seats are limited due to the nature of the production. More information can be found here.
Boston, MA
Happy Medium on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) If less does is fact mean more, the Happy Medium Theatre’s production of Dying City has a lot of potential to surprise audiences.

Performed in the literal living room of actors Kiki Samko and Michael Underhill, a married couple, Dying City opens on Kelly, a widow in her late twenties living in New York City. As she packs up some of her belongings, her estranged brother-in-law, Peter, who also happens to be her deceased husband’s identical twin, arrives without warning, much to Kelly’s discomfort. Continue reading

Apr 13

Daniil Kharms Continues to Charm in imaginary beasts’ Betty Bam!

Photo credit: Roger Metcalf

Photo credit: Roger Metcalf

Presented by imaginary beasts
Directed by Matthew Woods, Joey C. Pelletier, and Michael Underhill
Written by Daniil Kharms
Translation by Zoya Derman
Adapted by The Ensemble

April 10 – May 2, 2015
At the Plaza Black Box Theatre
at the Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street, Boston MA
imaginary beasts on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) The innovative and evocative imaginary beasts continue with their year-long exploration of Stalinist-era author, Daniil Kharms, with Betty Bam! Their last attack on his material, KNOCK!, was a condensed affair, a multi-character and multi-story primer on Kharms’ bleak humor and deeply unsettling monologues. The actors took pratfalls and grafted the absurdist theater onto a sort of vaudeville act. In Betty Bam!, the visual nods remain in the early-twentieth century, but the aesthetic switches to black and white film, page-boy cuts, and a set styled into a cartoon explosion. The five actresses who depict Betty Bam’s fractured identity (Beth Pearson, Amy Meyer, Molly Kimmerling, Sarah Gazdowicz, and Kiki Samko) are each a live action Betty Boop caught in an explosion of a different sort, one that takes the guise of an interruption into their life: the police, Ivan (Cameron Cronin) and Pytor (William Schuller). As with KNOCK!, the police are an oppressive force, one here to take Betty to an unknown fate. The action of taking her away makes up the entirety of the plot. Continue reading

Jan 24

Beasts drop many tales into a well and frog them out: KERPLOP!


Presented by imaginary beasts
Written and Directed by Matthew Woods

January 17-February 7, 2015
BCA Plaza Black Box Black Box Theatre
Boston, MA
imaginary beasts on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Boston, MA)  imaginary beasts have produced a pleasant reminder of spring.  A silly and colorful confection, Kerplop!  is anchored by the ensemble’s commitment to the lighter side of theatre in a convoluted story based somewhat on The Frog Prince as well as other, possibly lesser known tales. Continue reading