Apr 06

Haunting Echoes of Brilliance: FLOYD COLLINS

Phil Tayler as Floyd Collins, photo by Sharman Altshuler

Floyd Collins, Music and Lyrics by Adam Guettal, Book and Additional Lyrics by Tina Landau, Moonbox Productions, Boston Center for the Arts Plaza Theatre, 4/5/12-4/15/12, http://www.moonboxproductions.org/.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston, MA) There are many ways to be trapped. For some thrill-seekers, the risk of death and the short life it might bring is a better alternative than dying incrementally in quiet desperation.   Continue reading

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Apr 05

On Ego: A Bundle of Questions

On Ego by Mick Gordon (playwright) and Paul Broks (neuroscientist), Science Fiction Theatre Company, Factory Theatre, 3/30/12-4/15/12, http://www.sciencefictiontheatrecompany.com/.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

(Boston, MA) Quantum Leap and Star Trek have enticed us with the possibility of travelling through time and space through a transporter of some sort.  When I used to work an hour and a half away from my home, I longed for a teleportation device that would transport me home in the blink of an eye.

But while the fiction is intriguing, the science leaves a lot of mystery and questions before we take that leap. Continue reading

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Apr 02

Smudge: Parental Nightmare Thinly Disguised with Sci-Fi

Alison Meirowitz and Mr. Limbs, photo credit Apollinaire Theatre Company

Smudge by Rachel Axler, Apollinaire Theatre Company, Chelsea Theatre Works, 3/23/12-4/21/12, http://www.apollinairetheatre.com/productions/productions.html, in repertory with Cut by Crystal Skillman.

Reviewed by Gillian Daniels

(Chelsea, MA) New parents Colby (Allison Meirowitz) and Nick (Chris LaVoie) find themselves with a newborn of monstrous description.  Multi-colored feeding tubes pour upward out of her bassinet and occasional beeps indicate a life support system, but said child is never seen.  We’re only told she has one eye and a body that narrows to a single limb.  Characters imply the baby may not even be human, but regardless of what she is, the newborn certainly isn’t what was expected. Continue reading

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Apr 01

A Pleasant Surprise: EXPECTING

Danni, Mom, and Gabrielle at the mall — with Jo d'Angelo and Jenny Reagan., photo credit: Boston Actors' Theatre

Expecting by Noah Tobin, Boston Actors’ Theatre, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 3/30/12-4/7/12,    http://www.bostonactorstheater.com/.

Reviewed by Kate Lonberg-Lew

(Boston, MA) Have you ever found your cell phone lying on the back seat after ripping open the box of the replacement? Or perhaps you found your watch at the bottom of the hamper after strapping on your new Swatch? Somehow, we always manage to find what we’re looking for the moment we stop looking for it. This is what Expecting, currently at the Boston Actors Theater, is all about and the experience is wonderfully complex. Continue reading

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Apr 01

Grey Gardens: Lavish, Detailed Musical for a Small Stage

photo credits go to Brigid Davis

Grey Gardens, book by Doug Wright, music by Scott Frankel, lyrics by Michael Korie, Arlington Friends of Drama, 3/30/12-4/15/12, http://afdtheatre.org/greygardens.html.

Reviewed by Gillian Daniels

(Arlington, MA) With expert costuming and stage design, The Arlington Friends of the Drama succeed wildly in cramming the Broadway production of Grey Gardens onto its stage.

But Grey Gardens isn’t one musical Continue reading

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Apr 01

rogerandtom: Pardon My Fourth Wall

 

Stephen Radochia and Anna Waldron, Photo by Diane Libby.

rogerandtom by Julien Schwab, Simple Machine Theatre, Davis Square Theatre, 3/30/12-4/7/12, http://www.simplemachinetheatre.com/productions.html. (one spoiler–marked)

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

(Somerville, MA) Julien Schwab takes the idea of a play within a play to a new level.  Exploring drama and its tools, rogerandtom pulls, tears, twists, and turns its melodramatic plot cleverly until its end. Continue reading

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Mar 31

Uneven Edits: CUT

Alyce Householter, Liz Rimar, Stewart Evan Smith Jr — photo credit: Apollinaire Theatre

Cut by Crystal Skillman, Apollinaire Theatre Company, Chelsea Theatre Works, 3/30/12-4/21/12, http://www.apollinairetheatre.com/ productions/productions.html, in repertory with Smudge by Rachel Axler.

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Chelsea, MA) Reality programming might be so attractive to TV. watchers because its slick production values and clean edits hold out the hope that we can make some sense out of life. As the central protagonists of our own dramas, we want the chance for playbacks and edits to gain some introspection, or at least to come off looking good. But as the characters of Chelsea Theatre Works’ Cut learn, God is a lousy editor, and life doesn’t wrap up neatly when the cameras stop rolling.

Continue reading

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Mar 29

Textured Clowning: TOMÁŠ KUBÍNEK: CERTIFIED LUNATIC & MASTER OF THE IMPOSSIBLE

Photo Credit: d.a. Hill

TOMÁŠ KUBÍNEK: CERTIFIED LUNATIC & MASTER OF THE IMPOSSIBLE, ArtsEmerson, Paramount Theatre, 3/29/12-4/1/12, http://alturl.com/255s3.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston, MA) Funny is a funny thing.  You can be mean and be funny.  You can shock and be funny.  You can do knock-knock jokes and be funny, at least to a five-year old.  Or you can just be super-talented, a bit caustic and kind of weird and be funny.  Tomáš Kubínek has chosen the last option to deliver a memorable and nicely brief one-man show for ArtsEmerson at the Paramount Theatre. Continue reading

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Mar 24

Lovely Confusion: MRS. WHITNEY

Deirdre Madigan, Photo by Meghan Moore

Mrs. Whitney by John Kolvenbach, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, 3/15/12-4/8/12, http://www.merrimackrep.org/season/show.aspx?sid=107.

Reviewed by Kate Lonberg-Lew

(Lowell, MA) Unless you are lucky enough to have met your soulmate at fifteen and lived happily ever after (and if you have, please take a moment to pinch yourself and make sure you’re real) then you will relate to the feelings of loneliness, love and the existence of your own romantic Achilles heel in this superb production of Mrs. Whitney at the Merrimack Repertory Theater in Lowell. Continue reading

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Mar 24

Pride and Prejudice: Stage Proves a Better Home for the Classic Satire Than Film

Pride and Prejudice, based on the novel by Jane Austen, adapted by Elizabeth Hunter, Theatre@First, Somerville Theatre, 3/22/12-3/31/12,   http://www.theatreatfirst.org/shows/pride_prejudice/pride_prejudice.shtml.

 

Reviewed by Gillian Daniels

(Somerville, MA) Elizabeth Hunter adapts, directs, and brings an enormously funny Pride and Prejudice to the stage.  Longtime Austen-fans should rejoice at their good fortune.  The thorough play is probably closest to my own imagining of the classic 1813 novel.

The book is a smart satire of the husband-hunting rat race that young women engaged in during the Georgian Era when inheritances were more likely to pass to sons.  Continue reading

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