Feb 02

Where the Shadows Run from Themselves*: ECHOES

echoesPresented by Brown Box Theatre Co.
Written by N. Richard Nash
Directed by Kyler Taustin
Brown Box on Facebook

January 30-February 1 & February 5-8
Atlantic Wharf @ 7:30
290 Congress Street, Boston, MA

February 13-16
Ocean City Center for the Arts @ 7:30
502 94th Street, Ocean City, MD

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger Warning: Panic Attacks, emotional violence, minor physically violent episodes – While the majority of the events are non-violent, actions depicted on stage may also trigger PTSD.

(Boston, MA) I must caution that extra-sensitive individuals or individuals with a negative associations with in-patient mental health facilities carefully consider attending Echoes. I mention this because the acting is very good, very realistic and, for this reason, potentially triggering. The play by N. Richard Nash focuses on the how the brain copes with trauma when faced with an unsafe reality. It is also about taking the first impossibly difficult steps from that reality towards treatment. This is difficult enough in real life. This production may impede the good work one has done outside of the theatre. Not attending this production falls under the category of  “self-care to stay safe and stable.” Everyone else and their Mom’s uncle’s sister should attend. Continue reading

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Jan 30

That Which Makes Us Different Makes Us Beautiful: BREATH & IMAGINATION

Elijah Rock, Nehal Joshi and Harriet D. Foy Photo credit: Mike Ritter

Elijah Rock, Nehal Joshi and Harriet D. Foy
Photo credit: Mike Ritter

Presented by ArtsEmerson
Created/written by Daniel Beaty
Directed by David Dower
Music directed/accompanied/arranged/additional music by Jonathan Mastro

Jan 27 – Feb 08, 2015
Paramount Center Mainstage
Boston, MA
ArtsEmerson on Facebook
Roland Hayes (School of Music) on Facebook, Wiki

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Black lives matter: Racism is alive and thriving everywhere. “But it’s 2015,” people will cry. Right, it’s 2015 and racism is still alive and thriving in Boston. To prove a point: check out which art makes the most money. For an institution greatly concerned with artistic expression, remaining significant in an ever modernizing world, and pushing boundaries, opera tends to steer clear of non-White people. Opera includes POCs in its casting but its stories are mostly about White people. Roland Hayes, first Black man to sing a concert at Symphony Hall would be an excellent subject for an opera.  Thank the great goodness that there’s Breath & Imagination to educate the masses. Continue reading

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Jan 23

Bombasted by Science: COPENHAGEN

copen

Presented by Porpentine Players
By Michael Frayn
Directed by Jon Taie

January 21 – 31, 2015
Nave Gallery
155 Powderhouse Blvd
Somerville, MA
Porpentine on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Somerville, MA) Science is having a moment in the public sphere; thanks to actors such as  Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch, physics and math are sexy and everyone wants a piece of these oh so marketable, oh so male institutions. Suddenly it’s very chic to flout one’s comprehension of STEM studies. While I’m grateful that movies such as The Theory of Everything  and The Imitation Game exist, the media forget that the theories discussed in these films aren’t as digestible as the script treatments suggest. Science and math are complicated beasts. So complicated that most American elementary and high school students have difficulty grasping remedial skills. Thus, a delicate balance must be maintained when explaining scientific and mathematical theory via the media to the hoi polloi. It must  educate while still communicating the advancement of skill required for application. Hollywood tends to over-simplify. Frayn’s Copenhagen, as produced by the Porpentine Players keeps in complicated. Continue reading

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Jan 20

A Resounding Meh: A FUTURE PERFECT

Photo credit: Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo

Photo credit: Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo. Beers were harmed in the making of this play.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Co.
Written by Ken Urban
Directed by M. Bevin O’Gara

Jan. 9 – Feb. 7, 2015
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
SpeakEasy on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Inside every adult there is an 18 year old wondering what the Hell just happened. It feels like just yesterday you were a shy teenager prepping for college. You blink and there you are, 38 and wondering how you got into this mess. It’s a surprise to discover that we’re the adults now, the guys in charge. We’re the very people we protested against in our teens and 20’s and now we have to pretend it’s OK. While the initial money/freedom is nice, the rest feels like strange and unusual punishment for our childhood sins. Adulthood blows. 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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Jan 12

Happily Ever After A Few Slip Ups: “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”

Photo: Jim Cox Martin; Martin Moran, Candy Buckley, Marcia DeBonis, and Tyler Lansing Weaks

Photo: Jim Cox Martin; Martin Moran, Candy Buckley, Marcia DeBonis, and Tyler Lansing Weaks

Presented by Huntington Theatre Company
By Christopher Durang
Directed by Jessica Stone
Based on the Broadway direction of Nicholas Martin

Jan. 2 – Feb. 1, 2015
BU Theatre
Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA
Huntington on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
– Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Boston has seen a lot of brilliantly performed Chekhov and Chekhov-adjacent theatre in the past two years. His dramatic writing style is sadistic and depressive,  yet he inspires new generations anyway. The Russian tragedian also wrote comedy. He wrote several handfuls of short, comedic plays and an anthology worth of short stories.

There’s a tie in between the Huntington’s 2014 production of The Seagull and the 2015 production of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (VSMS). Durang’s “corny but sincere” play touches the soul similarly as The Seagull but does so with a vastly different effect; It warms the heart rather than chill the bones. It’s an entirely different beast using the same moving parts and ingredients. Continue reading

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Dec 15

No, Thank YOU Susan: NECCESARY MONSTERS

Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo

Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Co.
By John Kuntz
Directed by David R. Gammons
Dramaturgy by Walt McGough

Dec.5, 2014 – Jan. 3, 2015
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
SpeakEasy on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warning: Strobe lighting, smoking, unsexy sex, murder, drugs, wiring from an electrical engineer’s worst nightmare

(Boston, MA) The proverb goes, “some people are only alive because it is illegal to kill them*.” The majority of the people who advertise that they apply this statement to their life philosophies are frequently ignorant, bigoted and deeply stupid. One just doesn’t say such things (lest your friends and loved ones think you’re one of them. No one wants to be considered one of them). That doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t agree. On the contrary, we frequently do but refuse to publicly admit it because our Mommies taught us better than that. We only admit we agree with this proverb in the quiet of the night, privately and alone. But it’s true isn’t it? There are certain people that we believe are bad and therefore must be stopped. Sometimes it’s a terrible man like Hitler, and sometimes it’s Celia in 24B across the hall with her 4 incessantly yapping corgis, 2am vacuuming, and magazine stealing habits. Sometimes Celia, and what she represents, must die. It’s thoughts like these that fuel Necessary Monsters. Continue reading

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Dec 08

A Tangible Metaphor: THE SLEEPRUNNER

Sleeprunner_4

Merli V. Guerra and the cast perform Luminarium Dance Company’s The Sleeprunner. Photo: Ryan Carollo.

Presented by Luminarium Dance Company
Choreography by Merli V. Guerra & Kimberleigh A. Holman
Music arranged by Merli V. Guerra, Kimberleigh A. Holman, Christos Zevos

December 5 – 13, 2014
Multicultural Arts Center
41 Second St, Cambridge MA
Luminarium on Facebook

1hr, 20 mins. no intermission

Review by Kitty Drexel

“Well dreams, they feel real while we’re in them, right? It’s only when we wake up that we realize how things are actually strange. Let me ask you a question, you, you never really remember the beginning of a dream do you? You always wind up right in the middle of what’s going on.”

-Cobb, Inception (2010) written and directed by Christopher Nolan

(Cambridge, MA) In the director’s note, Merli V. Guerra and Kimberleigh A. Holman describe the most relatable elements of the Sleeprunner as “sleep, dreams, and the surreal.” The production incorporates the human need for sleep, modern dance, and tech design to create a tangible metaphor for a universal experience. At times grotesque but always beautiful, this production explores through motion what it is to experience a deep, meaningful rest. Continue reading

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Dec 05

Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays, December 9, at 7:30pm @ Club Cafe

STANDING ON CEREMONY: THE GAY MARRIAGE PLAYS
Written by: Mo Gaffney, Jordan Harrison, Moisés Kaufman, Neil LaBute, Wendy MacLeod, José Rivera, Paul Rudnick, and Doug Wright
Conceived by: Brian Shnipper
Produced by: Happy Medium Theatre
www.happymediumtheatre.com

Directed by: Mikey DiLoreto, Danielle Lucas, Lesley Moreau, and Zach Winston
Performed by: Kendall Aiguier, Michael Amaral, Brian M. Balduzzi, Kitty Drexel, Matt Fagerberg, Nicole Howard, Kim Klasner, and Zach Winston

(Boston, MA) Happy Medium Theatre (HMT) proudly announces a one-night-only, free staged reading of Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays on Tuesday, December 9, at 7:30pm, in the Moonshine Room of Club Café, 209 Columbus Avenue, Boston.

About the Production:
Saying two simple words might be the biggest challenge of your life. But what if the battle started before saying “I do,” and continued long after the ceremony? In Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays, prolific playwrights Moisés Kaufman (The Laramie Project), Paul Rudnick (Jeffrey), and Neil LaBute (The Shape of Things), among others, offer their own unique takes on the issues of equality, the universality of love, and the challenges and humor of living with someone for a lifetime. These short plays form an evening of theatre ripe for discussion, following the current legislation and litigation across the United States revolving around marriage equality.

A panel discussion will follow the staged reading, led by:

  • Attorney Janson Wu, Executive Director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
  • Professor Katharine B. Silbaugh, Professor of Law at Boston University School of Law
  • Mal Malme, Co-Founder of Queer Soup Theatre & Performer

 

“All you have to do is listen, shed an occasional tear and laugh a lot. There is something for everybody. . . . STANDING ON CEREMONY holds a magnifying glass to the highs and lows, joys and fears, courage and silliness, of people bucking trends and making history.” – THE NY OBSERVER

STANDING ON CEREMONY: THE GAY MARRIAGE PLAYS
A Free Staged Reading
Happy Medium Theatre
Tuesday, December 9, at 7:30pm
The Moonshine Room of Club Café, 209 Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA 02116
Panel Discussion following the 90-minute production

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Dec 05

Kissing Ass and Dropping Names: “The Tale of The Allergist’s Wife”

Photo credit: Mark S. Howard

Photo credit: Mark S. Howard. Their mortgage must be astronomical!

Presented by the Lyric Stage Company of Boston
By Charles Busch
Directed by Larry Cohen

Nov. 21 – Dec. 20, 2014
Boston, MA
The Lyric on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warnings: nontraditional sexy times, liberal politics, poop jokes

(Boston, MA) Just as Busch’s other works, The Tale of The Allergist’s Wife features a diva resplendent in her advancing glamour, highly stylized hilarity, and juxtaposes low brow against high brow comedy. There is an overwhelming amount of name dropping (philosophers, celebrities, book titles, places, historical events) but this is de rigeur for Busch’s work. Allergist’s Wife wastes no time explaining anything but the emotional realities of its characters (which are diverse and complicated). It’s the product one would get if you bleached the crap out of How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, tossed in a quartet of rich Manhattan intelligentsia, and sauteed in a heaping spoonful of scatological humor. Allergist’s Wife is a highly enjoyable production if you can settle your stomach and keep up.   Continue reading

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