(Boston, MA) Many an opera is devoted to women’s pre and post connubial anxieties. With all of the riches for women, one must ask where are the men? In Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night Dickens’ spinster is an anti-heroine reliving a decades old tragedy. In The Beautiful Bridegroom, a Lady, her daughters and maid all wish for wedded bliss. If weddings are such fun, there should be operas from the giddy perspective of tenors in tuxes and basses in vestments. A person is supposed to like the person they marry. For all its progress, opera has further to go.
(Boston, MA) Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were accused of delivering crucial information on the creation of the atomic bomb to the USSR in 1953. This case, considered one of the most infamous spy cases in US history, validated HUAC and contributed to the country-wide paranoia known as the Red Scare. Such attacks on communist affiliates is similar to the current presidential administration’s attacks on socialism. The Rosenbergs(An Opera) considers the couple accused of treasonous espionage. It proves that the American government and the people it claims to serve have changed very little in the last 65 years.Continue reading →
Presented by Boston Lyric Opera Music by Kurt Weill Libretto by Bertolt Brecht English translation by Michael Feingold Original German text based on Elisabeth Hauptmann’s German Translation of John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera Conducted by David Angus Stage directed by James Darrah
(Boston, MA) 3Penny is not your Daddy’s stodgy traditional opera. Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht were communist rabble rousers hell-bent on challenging the operatic form. They were freedom fighters rebelling against the Nazis through theatre. A stalwart Marxist, Brecht wanted to destroy opera’s association with the bourgeoisie. Weill believed opera could belong to the proletariat if given the opportunity. Both would have appreciated the BLO’s production of The Threepenny Opera. Opera purists would not. Continue reading →
Trigger warnings: references to gun violence, references to animal abuse, references to violent behavior, references to suicide, stalking. NewRep/BCAP don’t include trigger warnings and they should.
(Boston, MA) The people who commit monstrous wrongs are still people. The man who murdered 17 in the recent Florida tragedy took an Uber to get to the school. After, he went to Walmart, bought a drink at Subway and ate at McDonald’s. He was arrested as he walked out on his own (a common occurrence for white shooters). In Ripe Frenzy, a similar tragedy is told from the perspective of a mother who lived through the event. It is possible to cherish a monster even as he commits horrendous acts. Continue reading →
(Boston, MA) The White Card is a conversation starter for those unused to discussing race at length. It’s for those who think we live in a post-racial society, the kind of person who resents the dialogue because there are “bigger problems” to fix. Other attributes include denying racism because they have imaginary Black friends, thinking “all lives matter,” and feeling threatened when any indication of their own culpability within society’s systemic racism. Those who have regular discussions on race, inequalities and the struggles for justice will have their work affirmed.Continue reading →
Presented by Wheelock Family Theatre Book by Linda Woolverton Music by Alan Menken Lyrics by Howard Ashman & Tim Rice Directed by Jane Staab Music direction by Steven Bergman Choreography by Laurel Conrad
“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” ― attributed to Margaret Atwood.
(Boston, MA) Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (DBatB) is beloved in all its forms. The 2017 film with Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Emma Thompson, and a vastly underutilized Audra McDonald, is a charming retelling with updates to make it more palatable for contemporary audiences. The 1994 musical adaptation of the 1991 film is not. The original Disney movie was notable for its strides in animation technology, but not for its intersectionally feminist portrayal of accepting others for their differences. Unfortunately for Wheelock Family Theatre, this problematic musical hasn’t received the update treatment. In some ways, it’s worse that the 1991 film. Continue reading →
Introduction: Below are two pieces in response to The Nora Theatre’s production currently playing at Central Square Theater in Cambridge, MA. First is my critique of the production. The second is an opinionated response from fellow Geek Noelani Kamelamela. I asked Noelani to write a response to the production because representation is important. Three out of four cast members of Proof are Asian-American. This is significant because David Auburn didn’t factor race into his writing process. This means white was his default. No one gets extra credit for treating people of color like human beings. The Nora does get kudos for subverting the racial paradigm.
Review by Kitty Drexel
“In a good proof there is a very high degree of unexpectedness, combined with inevitability and economy. The argument takes so odd and surprising a form; the weapons used seems so childishly simple when compared with the far-reaching consequences; but there is no escape from the conclusions.” – G.H. Hardy, A Mathematician’s Apology
(Cambridge, MA) The stigma around mental illness remains sharp. The Nora Theatre’s production of Proof doesn’t tackle this stigma so much as wait until the audience is pliable and then viciously assault it. It isn’t gentle but it is effective. Continue reading →
The cast; photo by Andrew Brilliant / Brilliant Pictures.
Presented by New Rep Theatre
Based on the novel by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra Book by Dale Wasserman Music by Mitch Leigh Lyrics by Joe Darion Original production staged by Albert Marre Directed by Antonio Ocampo-Guzman Music direction by David Reiffel Movement direction by Judith Chaffee
(Watertown, MA) There were children in attendance the night I saw this production. Please note that while no one is ever undressed and strong language is avoided, MoLM does approach adult themes. Parents unwilling to discuss why a cowardly group of adult men with rage issues would rape a woman because their feelings were hurt should not bring their kids to this musical. Kids the answer is: theydo itbecausetheycan.
New Rep’s production of Man of La Mancha is excellent. Get your tickets right now. Continue reading →
(Boston, MA) 3/Fifths’ Trapped in a Traveling Minstrel Show reclaims appropriated Black culture so to spit racism into the faces of oppressors. It’s beautiful and horrifying. Potential audience members please be aware that 3/Fifths’ contains nudity, graphic violence, and the unvarnished, unadulterated truth of what it is to be a Black man in America. Gunshots and police video are used because violence is our legacy and our future. 3/Fifths’ is a mirror showing us who we already are.Continue reading →
Presented by White Snake Projects Creator and libretto by Cerise Lim Jacobs Composed by Julian Wachner Directed by Mark Streshinsky Conducted by Lidiya Yankovskaya Dramaturgy by Cori Ellison Choreography by Yury Yanowsky
“The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.” Revelation 21:23, Bible,New International Version (NIV)
(Boston, MA) White Snake Projects is giving the BLO a run for their money. It’s my sincere hope that artists and their audience will watch the works of both companies but, if one has to choose, WSP may be the winner in the competition for attendees. Its edgy productions are worth the commitment.Continue reading →