Oct 16

Everything And More; or, Why My Ex is Straight Now: “The Rocky Horror Show”

Richard O’Brien’s THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW / MOONBOX PRODUCTIONS 2021
Photography: Molly Shoemaker

Presented by Moonbox Productions
Music, lyrics and book by Richard O’Brien
Directed by David Lucey
Music Directed by Mindy Cimini
Choreography by Daniel Forest Sullivan
Dramaturgy by Allison Olivia Choat

October 16 – 31, 2021
Oct. 23 & 24 @ 7PM (ASL Interpreted Performance)
Fri 10/29 8pm (Audio Described Performance)
“The Lab” 
25 Brattle Street
Cambridge MA 02138
Moonbox on Facebook

Please note: Masks and either Proof of Vaccination/Negative PCR Covid Test Results (within 72 hours) are REQUIRED for entry. Thank you for helping us keep everyone safe!

Tickets are General Admission with Pay-What-You-Can* Seating available at the box office prior to each performance.

Content warning: Language, SEXual content, and fabulous drag queens across the gender spectrum

Review by Kitty Drexel

Cambridge, MA — The Rocky Horror Show at The Lab in Harvard Square is everything Rocky Horror could be during these COVID-times and more. Its energy is electric. The cast is damn brilliant. The band is brilliant. Every single person involved in the preview on Friday night knows how to get down (and get back up again). 

Moonbox’s The Rocky Horror Show will cure what ails you – removing the cause but not the symptom. The Lab is awash in bisexual lighting when you enter; we were all lit up in pinks, purple and subtle blues. Gobos twirled above our heads as we sat in rows facing the audience. OMGs, it was so much fun!  Continue reading

Oct 15

It’s “Rent”: “RENT 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour ‘Farewell Season of Love'”

RENT 20th Anniversary Tour, Credit Amy Boyle 2019.

Produced by Work Light Productions
Book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson
Directed by Evan Ensign 
Based on the original staging by Michael Greif
Choreography by Marlies Yearby  
Music Supervision and Additional Arrangements by Tim Weil 

Shubert Theater COVID-19 protocols

Boch Center Shubert Theatre
265 Tremont St 
Boston, MA 02116
Rent tour on Instagram

Review by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON — RENT 25th Anniversary Farewell Tour “Farewell Season of Love” at the Shubert Theater is Rent.  You will love it or hate it based on your preferences for the dated rock musical.

My lovely wife and I had a fun time. We like the show. The people sitting immediately behind us had a better time. They said they’d seen it every time it came through New England. That’s a lot of Rent. 

Rent is now a period piece. It was first performed on Broadway in 1996; I was a sophomore in high school. Bill Clinton had taken office for his first term that January.  Continue reading

Oct 13

Let’s do some living/Before we die: “Wild Horses”

Leenya Rideout and Rafael Molina during filming at Unitas Community Center, Lowell. Photo: Kathy Wittman

Presented by Merrimack Theatre Company 
By Allison Gregory
Directed by Courtney Sale
Featuring Actor Leenya Rideout
Music by Rafael Molina
Film by Kathy Wittman
Costume Design by Lee Viliesis

COVID PROTOCOLS: Vaccination or negative test result required. Masks also required for both indoor and outdoor locations. See the full details here

Video-On-Demand Dates: Oct. 4-17, 2021
50 East Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA 01852
MRT on Facebook

CONTENT WARNING: Wild Horses contains adult language and content. Recommended for ages 16 and older. Mentions of child abuse and descriptions of animal abuse. 

Run Time: 90 minutes with no intermission

Review by Kitty Drexel

Streaming — Wild Horses, streaming now on MRT.org, is a prime example of great theatre that translates well to both in-person and online viewing. MRT’s recording reveals solo-performer Leenya Rideout as a skilled storyteller capable of spinning nuance with a single gesture. One can practically feel the electric energy rippling off of her captured performance. 

Rideout is good in the video. She’d be better live. This is a streamed performance that’ll make you regret you didn’t see it in person.  Continue reading

Oct 09

Cream Soda to Crème de Menthe: “Queens Girl in the World”

Photo credit to Nile Scott; Image shows Jasmine M. Rush in Queens Girl in the World, sitting on a swing. Behind her, the set, which predominantly features a large, white house, is lit with a mixture of purple and orange lights. In the scene, Jasmine’s character is smiling happily.

Co-produced by The Nora@Central Square Theater, The Front Porch Arts Collective, and The Hangar Theater
Written by Caleen Sinnette Jennings
Directed by Dawn M. Simmons
Performed by Jasmine M. Rush

September 30 – October 31, 2021
Streaming link
Central Square Theater
450 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
CST on Facebook

Critique by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warning: abuse, grooming 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — There is a practice in the UK that I absolutely love: you can purchase a copy of the show you’re there to see at the bar. Going to see a new play? Buy a copy of it with your Malbec. Attending the show alone? Peruse your new copy while sipping Chardonnay at intermission. (Or Diet Coke if you’re reviewing.) 

In the case of last night’s Queens Girl in the World, I wanted to buy and immediately read the entire Queens Girl Trilogy: Queens Girl in the World, Queens Girl in Africa, Queens Girl: Black in the Green Mountains. Character Jacqueline Marie Butler, written by Caleen Sinnette Jennings, is so captivating I want to know more about her.  Continue reading

Oct 06

Better to Take the Risk:”The Skriker”

Emma Tayce Palmer in the title role. Photo via Entropy Theatre on Facebook.

Presented by Entropy Theatre
By Caryl Churchill
Directed by Joe Juknievich and Kayleigh Kane
Performed by Emma Tayce Palmer, Jamie Lin, Sydney Grant, Demi DiCarlo, Julia Hertzberg, Tim Hoover, Ryan Lemay

Sept. 30 – Oct 2, 2021
Martin Hall
Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 2021
Entropy Theatre on Facebook

Critique by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON — Entropy Theatre reopened to sold-out performances last weekend. Its production of Caryl Churchill’s The Skriker was imperfect but bold. It took great risks. Sometimes those risks paid off; sometimes they didn’t. What matters is that Entropy Theatre didn’t let perfection get in the way of telling an important story and having a good time. 

Cuddle me with your entrails. Barguest by Earlnoir on Deviant Art.

According to Britannica.com, the Lancashire striker was a monstrous specter hound. “Its broad, sometimes backward-pointing feet made a splashing noise, and it howled horribly,” says the site. Those who saw it were marked for death. There was no way out of it. The UK gave the dog many names: the Demon of Tidworth, the Black Dog of Winchester, the Padfoot of Wakefield, the Barghest of Burnley, Gwyllgi, the Dog of Darkness, and Cwn Annwn, the Dogs of Hell. It wasn’t some snuggly pup looking for a cuddle.  Continue reading

Oct 04

Trust Your Gut: “The Sound Inside”

Jennifer Rohn and Nathan Malin in SpeakEasy Stage’s production of The Sound Inside. Photo by Nile Scott Studios.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
Written by Adam Rapp
Directed by Bryn Boice
Cast: Nathan Malin, Jennifer Rohn

Sept. 24 – Oct. 16, 2021
527 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02116
SpeakEasy on Facebook
SpeakEasy’s COVID-19 protocols

CONTENT WARNING: Discussions of self-harm.

Review by Kitty Drexel

“It will always be impossible to know, for the good reason that all writing is itself this special voice, consisting of several indiscernible voices, and that literature is precisely the invention of this voice, to which we cannot assign a specific origin: literature is that neuter, that composite, that oblique into which every subject escapes, the trap where all identity is lost, beginning with the very identity of the body that writes.” 

– From The Death of the Author by Roland Barthes

BOSTON, Mass. — In watching SpeakEasy’s production of The Sound Inside, I was reminded of Roland Barthes’ infamous essay, The Death of the Author. The Death of the Author is an essay that argues for stripping an author’s intentions and personal biography from a reader’s interpretation of their writing. A reader should separate the author from their art. 

Barthes says writing is intended to be read by others. Regardless of the author’s intentions, the reader will formulate their own understanding of the work. The reader’s interpretation is no less valid than the author’s.  Continue reading

Sep 30

Some Things Do Matter: “Be Here Now”

The cast; Photo by Mark S. Howard

Presented by Lyric Stage Boston
By Deborah Zoe Laufer 
Directed by Courtney O’Connor 
Intimacy direction by Ted Hewlett
Original compositions and sound design by Dewey Dellay

Sept. 24 – Oct. 17, 2021
Lyric Stage Company of Boston
140 Clarendon Street
Boston, MA 02116
Lyric Stage on social media: Facebook, Twitter 
The Lyric’s COVID-19 Policy

Review by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON, Mas.. — Be Here Now is the Lyric Stage Company’s first in-person show since society came crashing down in March 2020. Its characters navigate nihilism. It is with a spirit of cheerful nihilism that this critique is written. 

Bari (Samantha Richert) is a nihilist. She teaches she used to teach nihilism at a New York university. She moved to her parents’ rural cottage in her hometown to finish her dissertation – ten years ago.  In those ten years, Bari has burrowed more deeply into her nihilism like a frog in the mud for winter. She’s so convinced that life is meaningless that she’s unconcerned when she passes out from one of her recurring headaches.  Continue reading

Sep 23

“Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992:” An Ongoing American Saga

Photo via www.newtontheatrecompany.com

Presented by Newton Theatre Company
Written by Anna Deavere Smith
Directed by Rosalind Bevan
Starring Regan Sims 
Online program

September 17-18, 8 PM
September 19, 2 & 8 PM
Hyde Community Bandshell
Lincoln Street, Newton Highlands
Newton Theatre Co on Facebook

Review by Afrikah Smith

NEWTON, MA ⸺ Almost three decades after its premiere, Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 still holds truth to issues of race and class in America. Despite years after the 1992 LA riots, we are stuck in a vacuum where we have yet to include and acknowledge the context, text, and subtext of the ways in which racism and institutional systems prevail and create distance in making progress in the United States. Anna Deavere Smith’s use of verbatim theatre fights against this and creates conversation; giving a platform for those heavily affected.

Sitting outside in dark, grey weather, the atmosphere began light-hearted. Community members greeted and welcomed each other before the rain began to drizzle. Enter, Regan Sims: tall, poised, and quiet. Continue reading

Sep 21

Don’t Hate the Players, Hate the Stage: Shit-Faced Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

One of the SGS: AMSND casts; Photo credit- Nile Scott Studio.

Presented by Shit-faced Shakespeare®
The Saturday night cast:
Compere (the host)- Tyler Rosati
Hermia- Elizabeth Hartford
Demetrius- Evan Turissini
Lysander- Sam Fidler
Helena- Grace Graham
Puck- Brett Milanowski
Lights and sound- Sarah Morin

Sept. 16 – Dec. 4 at 7PM
The Rockwell Theater
Davis Square
Somerville, MA
SFS social media: shitfacedshake; Sfacedshakespeare.us

Review by Kitty Drexel

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts…”

SOMERVILLE, Mass. — The premise of Shit-Faced Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream is simple: there’s a cast of five actors performing an abridged version of Shakespeare’s play. One of them is very drunk. The drunk actor changes every performance, as does the cast. A mediator, the Compere (Tyler Rosati), opens the show and keeps the drunk person on task. 

Before the show, the Compere gives the audience three tools to make the performance more interesting. A gong and cowbell, when played, mandate that the drunkard must imbibe another drink. A bucket is employed when the drunkard has had too much. It assumed that the gong and bell are used once each but the trove of onstage beverages kept for this purpose held many more than two. A bucket-holder, bless them, will know if the bucket is needed more than once from the muffled sounds of discomfort echoing from the drunkard.  Continue reading

Sep 04

Pawpaw Trees are the Gateway to Orgiastic Ritual: “Hurricane Diane”

Jennifer Bubriski, Kris Sidberry, Esme Allen, Marianna Bassham, and Rami Margron “Hurricane Diane” Photo: Nile Hawver

Presented by the Huntington Theatre Company
Written by Madeleine George
Directed by Jenny Koons 
Original music and sound design by Ben Scheff
Voice coaching by Christine Hamel
Intimacy Consultant: Ayshia Mackie-Stephenson

The Playbill
August 27 – September 26, 2021
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA 
527 Tremont Street 
Boston MA 02116
The Huntington on social media: @huntington

PLEASE NOTE: This production includes strobe lighting effects and a simulated thunderstorm.

Critique by Kitty Drexel

“You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.”

– Dorothy Parker, theatre critic, poet & hero

BOSTON, Mass. — Hurricane Diane is fun and topical. It smacks of “The Witches of Eastwick.” Please go see it. 

It is recommended that attendees get vaccinated. Everyone must wear a mask (even performers when not actively performing). It’s not just your friendly, neighborhood theatre critic telling you, it’s also on The Huntington’s website

There are two sets of ushers after the BCA’s Box Office waiting to assist patrons into the theater. The first set of BCA staff will confirm your vaccination status or proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test. It behooves you to have this info at the ready so one doesn’t create a traffic jam.  Continue reading