Apr 25

Integrity Sells for So Little: CITY OF ANGELS

Photo by Mark S. Howard

Photo by Mark S. Howard

Presented by Lyric Stage Co. of Boston
Book by Larry Gelbart
Music by Cy Coleman
Lyrics by David Zippel
Vocal arrangements by Cy Coleman and Yaron Gershovsky
Directed by Spiro Veloudos
Music direction by Catherine Stornetta
Choreography & musical staging by Rachel Bertone

March 27 – May 2, 2015
Boston, MA
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Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) City of Angels pays homage to film noir with tongue firmly in cheek sexual innuendo and integrated design film tropes. The Lyric Stage Co. of Boston brings life to this beloved musical with panache and two shakes of wit with inspired clever projection design by Jonathan Carr and zippy choreography by Rachel Bertone. This production is great fun. The book and lyrics are clever. The score, vocal and instrumental, is inherently singable. The artistic upsides far outweigh the downsides. An evening spent at COA is one well spent. Continue reading

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Apr 16

“The Big One” Has Big Heart But Feels Under-Done

11107735_10206307386668624_3810527196770342390_nPresented by Lesley University
Written by Liv Cummins, Sandy McKnight
Directed by Liv Cummins
Music direction by Elena Blyskal

April 9-12, 2015
Lesley University
Marran Theater
34 Mellen Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
The Big One on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

Lesley University’s pop/rock musical is, at best, is benign and rather sweet. A number of struggling Los Angeles songwriters gather in the basement of a dilapidated building at the guidance of Paul (Ryan Bevard) to workshop their music. The goal of each workshop participant is to hit it big with their work, to be featured in a commercial, movie, or by a well-known artist. Meanwhile, California itself prepares for a “big hit” from the end result of a series of earthquakes. There’s a lot of charm to its plot and character arcs, but Liv Cummins and Sandy McKnight’s show doesn’t quite come together. Continue reading

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Oct 08

Art, Process, and Connection in Miranda July’s “Lost Child!”

Photo Credit: Todd Cole

Presented by The Institute of Contemporary Art

Review based on the Oct. 6, 2013 performance
Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theater at the ICA
100 Northern Ave.
Boston, MA
ICA on Facebook
Miranda July on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston) The Institute of Contemporary Art is a glass and steel structure near the shore.  On a gray, rainy Sunday, it looks imposing and a little unnerving. I’m reminded of the cold skyscrapers in Manhattan in my first visit there to see Miranda July on stage.  This isn’t a bad state of mind to be in.  Coincidentally, my first exposure to Miranda July was when I lived in New York and read her book of short stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You (2007).  I was enchanted with her writing, its self-deprecating jokes and nervous whimsy.  It appealed to me in a city where I often felt unanchored. Continue reading

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Nov 27

Charm and Spirit: “Sunset Blvd”

Photo credit: Pentucket Players, Inc

presented by Pentucket Players, Inc.
Sunset Boulevard

Book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Based on the 1950 film of the same title
Movie directed and co-written by Billy Wilder, produced and co-written by Charles Brackett

Rogers Center for the Arts
Merrimack College
North Andover, MA
Review is based on the performance of Nov. 24 at 8pm.
Performances ran Nov. 16 – 24, 2012
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Review by Kitty Drexel

(North Andover) Sunset Boulevard is based on the classic 1950 American noir film directed and co-written by Billy Wilder, and produced and co-written by Charles Brackett. It is named after the boulevard that runs through Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. William Holden played unlucky screenwriter Joe Gillis. Screen legend Gloria Swanson starred as the silent film star Norma Desmond. She ensnares Gillis with the luxury and excess only oodles of money can buy. What starts as an opportunity to reclaim their successes ends in tragedy for both. Continue reading

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