Oct 29

Songs of Ice and Fire: “Brother Nat”

Presented by The Boston Foundation
Book and Lyrics by Jabari Asim and Liana Asim
Music by Allyssa Jones
Music Director Damien Sneed

October 25, 2018
Emerson Paramount Center
Robert J. Orange Stage
559 Washington Street
Boston, MA  02111
Brother Nat on Facebook

Critique by Diana Lu

(Boston, MA) American history is black history, is slave history. It is a history that demonstrates the deepest stoicism and power of humanity. Beaten and chained, stripped of everything, Black American slaves formed communities tighter than blood, turned lifetimes of suffering into exquisite song, and used song to rise above, revolt against injustice, and redeem all humanity. Nat Turner’s Rebellion was a point of inflection in our nation’s story, which swung the course of history toward freedom and salvation. A grand opera is needed to deliver this epic. No other medium could do justice.  Continue reading

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Nov 10

Less is Indeed More: LES MISERABLES

Photo by Paul Lyden

Photo by Paul Lyden

Presented by North Shore Music Theatre
Book by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg
Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer
Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg
Based on the novel by Victor Hugo; Original French text by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel; Additional text by James Fenton
Directed and Choreographed by Marc Robin
Music directed by Andrew Bryan

October 28th – November 16th, 2014
62 Dunham Road
Beverly, MA
NSMT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly, MA) For a Les Mis hater, I sure have seen the show enough times. I usually go in with a cloud hanging over my head. There is something about the show that rubs me the wrong way with its overwrought attitude, even as it brings me to tears each time I see it. To make matters worse, the play lends itself to overacting; heck, it practically demands it. Bad acting abounds on the street of Paris. Continue reading

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Oct 07

Something from Nothing: “Movie! The Musical!”

Image found via the Hidden Falls facebook page.

Image found via the Hidden Falls facebook page.

Presented by Hidden Falls

September 19th – October 17th, 2014
ImprovBoston
40 Prospect Street
Cambridge, MA
ImprovBoston on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Cambridge) Look, they improvised a full-length Broadway-scale musical adaptation of Sharknado based upon a suggestion from an audience member who couldn’t even recite salient plot details. Based solely upon these merits, I would be remiss if I told you anything but drop whatever you’re doing at 10:00 PM this Friday and go to ImprovBoston to see this show. Continue reading

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Jul 29

Still Enjoyable ‘At the End of the Day’: LES MISERABLES

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Presented by The Company Theatre Center for the Arts
based on the novel by Victor Hugo
Music by Claude-Michel Schonberg
Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer
Original French text by Alain Boubil and Jean-Marc Natel
Additional material by James Fenton
Orchestrations by James Cameron
Directed by Zoe Bradford and Jordie Saucerman
Staging and choreography by Sally Ashton Forrest
Music direction by Michael V. Joseph

July 24 – August 17, 2014
30 Accord Park Dr.
Norwell, MA 02061
Company Theatre on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Norwell, MA) Les Mis is an overwhelming show; its complications can make preparation for performance seem insurmountable. Yet, it is beloved to its devoted fans who care more that its being performed and less about the intricacies of the performance. Such people will highly enjoy the Company Theatre’s production running through August 17. Theatre geeks, such as me, may still enjoy themselves but will likely get hung up on artistic details. Continue reading

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Apr 07

A Glancing Blow: JACK THE RIPPER (THE WHITECHAPEL MUSICAL)

Presented by F.U.D.G.E Theatre Company
Music by Steven Bergman
Book and Lyrics by Steven Bergman & Christopher-Michael DiGrazia
Directed by Joey DeMita
Music Directed by Be Oehlkers
Stage Managed by Julie Murray

Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
Boston, MA
March 28th – April 12th, 2014
FUDGE on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Somerville) We can trace back modern detective-work and sensationalistic journalism to the grimy streets of London at the close of the 19th century. One summer, while an unknown serial killer was stalking prostitutes, the London police learned they had to up their forensics game, while the tabloids learned that sex and blood made a profitable mix. Continue reading

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Aug 22

Strength in Numbers: “Les Miserables”

Photo Credit: Herb Philpott

presented by Reagle Music Theatre
music by Claude-Michel Schönberg
original French lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel
English-language libretto by Herbert Kretzmer
directed by David Hugo

August 8th – 18th 2013
617 Lexington Street
Waltham Massachusetts
Reagle Music Theatre on Facebook

Review by Kate Lew Idlebrook

(Waltham) What is it about this musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s epic masterpiece, Les Miserables, that has captivated us since it’s opening in 1985? Perhaps it’s Javert’s fall from grace or Valjean’s salvation? Maybe it’s the rescue of innocents, or the death of innocents? Maybe it’s the music? There are so many reasons to love this musical; no doubt you have your own. But whatever they are, if you love the show, you’re bound to enjoy the Reagle Music Theatre’s production. Continue reading

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Apr 08

Serviceable Revolution: LES MISERABLES

One Day More The Company of the New 25th Anniversary Production of Les Misérables; photo credit: http://www.lesmis.com/us/sights-and-sounds/photos/

The Company of the New 25th Anniversary Production of Les Misérables; photo credit: http://www.lesmis.com/us/sights-and-sounds/photos/

Based on the novel by Victor Hugo
Book/Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg
Author/Dramatist: Alain Boublil
Directed by James Powell/Laurence Connor

Cameron Mackintosh Productions
The Hanover Theatre
Worcester, MA
April 2nd – 7th, 2013
Hanover Theatre Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Worcester) You’re probably sick of hearing about Les Miserables, and how Russell Crowe can’t sing and how Anne Hathaway can’t pick out her dress.  I know I am, and I didn’t really like the musical that much in the first place.  “Ornate” might be a generous way to describe how this play’s music reaches my ears; “overdone” might be more accurate.  But if you can strip away the hype, it’s possible to see a really good storyline that materializes from this spectacle.  After all, that Victor Hugo guy may have been no Stephen Sondheim, but he was no slouch.  Penned a few novels, something about a hunchback.  I hear he sold a few copies. Continue reading

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