Oct 17

A Drunken and Rowdy Roar for Sh!t-Faced Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”

Presented by Magnificent Bastard Productions
Written by William Shakespeare (possibly)
Produced by Magnificent Bastard Productions

October 14 through November 25, 2017
The Rockwell  ↭  Davis Square Theatre
255 Elm Street, Somerville, MA  02144
MBP on Facebook

Review by Bishop C. Knight

* WARNING:  nudity, inebriation, and foul language

(Somerville, Massachusetts)  Sh!t-Faced Shakespeare has ruined me.  No, I did not become an alcoholic after attending their performance of The Taming of the Shrew.  However, I now require theatre experiences where the cast enjoys themselves as much as the audience.  The easygoing actors began the evening with basically a stand-up routine that had absolutely nothing to do with English theatre, but we the patrons loved this opening act, and I am pretty sure William Shakespeare himself would have loved it too.   Continue reading

Oct 10

Meditations on Incorporation: “Lost Tempo”

Photograph credit: Kalman Zabarsky

Presented by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
By Cliff Odle
Directed by Diego Arciniegas

October 5 – 22, 2017
BPT
949 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
BPT on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Addiction will kill everything you love and then it will kill you. In the 1950’s and 60’s drug dependency, not unlike depression, was considered a moral failing. The US govt. chose to ignore the plight of its people. Today, the opioid epidemic rages around us, silently killing thousands of Americans every day. The occupants of the White House would prefer to pretend we’re living in the 50’s. While the President is very proud to have invented and solved the “opioid crisis emergency” in one afternoon with a press release, updates are nonexistent. In fact the Feds haven’t updated their site since June. Cliff Odle’s Lost Tempo tells us more about the consequences of opioid abuse in 100 minutes than Trump’s administration has in two months.   Continue reading

Oct 10

“A Bright Room Called Day”: an ambitious call for resistance

Photo by Jake Scaltreto; Prologue: Evening Meal in a Windstorm — with Lindsay Eagle, Juliet Bowler, Noah Simes and Isaiah Max Plovnick.

Produced by Flat Earth Theatre
Written by Tony Kushner
Directed by Dori. A Robinson

September 30-October 14, 2017
The Black Box at the Mosesian Center for the Arts
Watertown, MA
Flat Earth on Facebook

Review by Polly Goss

(Watertown, MA) A Bright Room Called Day transports us back to a sitting room in 1930s Germany, inhabited my minor actors, eccentric filmmakers and artists. This bohemian gaggle of comrades band together in the early 1930s through their love of Communism, Art and Revolution. As 1933 marches on, the world around them darkens and the sitting room becomes their last refuge from Hitler’s rule. Continue reading

Oct 06

Latin America without Latinos: EVITA

Presented by North Shore Music Theatre
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Direction and Choreography – Nick Kenkel
Music Direction – Mark Hartman

September 26 – October 8, 2017
62 Dunham Road
Beverly, MA
NSMT on Facebook

Essay by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly, MA) You’re going to a play; it’s a play about a different time and a different country – Argentina, mid-century, Evita. Maybe you’re going to escape, maybe you’re going to learn something, maybe you’re going to be entertained. Continue reading

Oct 03

Fair is Foul. Foul is Fair*: “Rev. 23: A Hellish, Farcical Opera”

Photo by Kathy Wittman; keep on rockin’ on, kids.

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

Sept. 29 – Oct. 1, 2017
John Hancock Hall
Boston, MA
White Snake Projects on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

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 21:23Bible, 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

Sep 26

Lovingly Commemorative: BARN SALE

Presented by The Black Box Lab at STAGE284
Written by David J. Miller

Thursday, September 21, 7:30pm
The Community House
284 Bay Road Hamilton, MA
STAGE on Facebook

Review by Bishop C. Knight

(Hamilton, MA) Playwright David J. Miller was present at last night’s reading of Barn Sale, where he shared that one mission of his new play is to exhibit how older people hold immense wisdom. This mission was also the expressed intention of the actress whose entire life has been chronicled within the two-hour performance.  Between David J. Miller and his captivating dialogist, the actress who generously divulged every detail of her life to David over the course of two winters, the mission was a complete success.  What David J. Miller ultimately produces for audiences is an epic figure of a woman who bravely charged through life and, I have to be honest, I was crying by the end of the performance. Continue reading

Sep 18

Revising History for Most, Not Others: “Men On Boats”

The cast of Men On Boats. Photo by Nile Hawver/Nile Scott Shots

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Co.
By Jaclyn Backhaus
Directed by Dawn M. Simmons
Assistant directed by Sloth Levine

Sept. 8 – Oct. 7, 2017
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Boston, MA
SpeakEasy on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) SpeakEasy took some risks in putting up Men On Boats. Boston audiences are composed of plenty of folks that consider themselves liberal until it’s inconvenient. For example, Bernie Bros were all about feminism and other equalities until Hillary became a real threat. Then the silk gloves of human decency came off. Boxing gloves went on. MOB is the kind of show that will test its audience. The characters portrayed are real but the actors onstage do not strictly identify as men. There’s plenty of unlady-like and un-white-like behavior up there. It’s bound to ruffle some “erasing our history” feathers. Continue reading

Sep 12

Hoping That the Next Leap Will Be Their Leap Home: “Constellations”

Nael Nacer & Marianna Bassham in CONSTELLATIONS. Photo: A.R. Sinclair Photography

Presented by Underground Railway Theater
Written by Nick Payne
Directed by Scott Edmiston

Sept. 7 – Oct. 8, 2017
Central Square Theater
Cambridge, MA
CST on Facebook
Go here to learn more about how humans are killing bees at an alarming rate
MassBee.org
Follow the Honey for delicious local and beyond honey products

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge, MA) The ancient Greek believed that bees were the messengers of the Gods. Bees could divine the future, and acted as emissaries to Olympus. Keeping bees was and still is a sensitive vocation. It requires a gentle hand and a hardy constitution. Human beings require bees to live, but not vice versa. Continue reading

Sep 11

Too Much of a Good Thing is Just Wonderful: Why Have One Thing “Or,” the Other When You Can Have It All?

Photo by Chelsea Ruscio.

Presented by Maiden Phoenix and Simple Machine
By Liz Duffy Adams
Directed by Adrienne Boris
September 8 – September 23, 2017

Chelsea Theatre Works
189 Winnismmet Street
Chelsea, MA 02150
OR the play on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Chelsea, MA) I sometimes think going to a play is a bit like going to a party where you know nobody at all, save for the person you bring with you. Sometimes, the party can leave you feeling adrift and awkward in your own skin. Other times, you meet some funny, clever people you never expected to meet. They are delighted to include you, for an hour or so (or an eighty minute run time without intermission), in the intimate secrets of their lives and draw you close with the honesty only complete strangers would dare to share with you. The sweet, hilarious, and deliciously bawdy “Or,” is such a party. I recommend attending as soon as possible in order to enjoy the yarn spun between Kaylyn Bancroft (Nell Gwynne/Lady Davenant/Maria/A Jailer), Michael Poignand (as slimily charming King Charles II and charmingly slimy William Scott, divided by a common language with different annunciation) and Anna Waldron (Aphra Behn). Continue reading

Sep 05

Witchcraft, Politics and Womanhood: “The Weird”

Photo credit: Nile Hawver/Nile Scott Shots

Presented by Off the Grid Theatre Company
Written by Kirsten Greenidge, Obehi Janice, Lila Rose Kaplan, and John Kuntz
Directed by Steven Bogart

September 1-16, 2017
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
527 Tremont St. Boston, MA
Off the Grid on Facebook

Review by Polly Goss

(Boston, MA)The Weird is the latest devised piece from Off the Grid Theatre Company. Artistic Director Alexis Scheer, invited 4 different Boston based writers to compose pieces that tackle the intersection between belief in witchcraft and politics. An ambitious and intriguing premise, which unfortunately The Weird does not fulfill. The Weird`s cast includes many talented actors, who do a good job of adding authenticity to the often fragmented writing. However the chaotic and incoherent writing, means the show ultimately fails to tackle any one theme in depth and leaves the audience feeling unsatisfied and underwhelmed. Continue reading