(Salem, MA) Much ink has been devoted to the subject of infidelity and romantic betrayal. Whether in songs, books, or plays, it’s a well-worn trope. Tom Stoppard recognizes this early on in The Real Thing, establishes that it’s a literary convention in the first scene, and spends the rest of the play dissecting what it really means to the characters. Continue reading →
(Boston, MA) Robbie McCauley begins the story of her life reciting food from her Georgia upbringing in the 1940’s. In detail, she describes cake and succulent barbecue ribs, the taste of Southern cooking compacted with an African American childhood restricted by racial segregation. She cheerfully rattles off the names of her favorite dishes and the relatives she best associates with them before revealing the diabetes with which she continues to fight. Continue reading →
(Watertown, MA) Art is…well, about art–the styles, philosophies, the impact on the individual. When a person creates a work of art, using quality tools always helps in creating a quality piece (although that’s not to say that there aren’t some interesting works of art made from found objects). Antonio Ocampo-Guzman starts with some of the finest: a brilliant script and a trio of Boston talent. Without any deeper analysis, those are two reasons to see the show. The problem with art, as the play postulates, is that art is subjective and will not necessarily be seen the same through the same lens by each person. Continue reading →
(Lowell, MA) In comic books, as in soap operas, you’re always hoping your favorite super hero will finally get his/her romantic mate. It was such a relief when Lois finally slipped off Superman’s glasses and figured out that Clark was a world-beater. And Peter Parker was always getting such a raw deal, even though he could have crushed his foes with his bare hands as Spider-Man, that it was a blessed event when Mary Jane finally noticed him.
But as soon as that happened, the characters stopped growing and the dialogue in the comics became just painful. It would be “darling” this and “sweetie” that, with some artful fade-outs when the couple needed some alone-time. The conversations grew so bad to read that you couldn’t wait for Lex Luthor to erase Lois’s memory with a Wipe-O ray gun and the courtship could start all over. Continue reading →
(Boston, MA) Yasmina Reza grabs the audience by the jugular and does not let go for an hour and a half. The evening at the Novak’s house in God of Carnage could easily have a voice-over that says “when people stop being polite… and start getting real.” However, unlike The Real World, Yasmina Reza brings a much more believable situation to its drama than any tv reality show. By taking a situation that anyone can relate to and heightening it to the absurd degree, God of Carnage holds a mirror up to our inner demons and leaves us laughing through the pain. Under the direction of Daniel Goldstein, with a talented cast, and a cleverly constructed set, Huntington Theatre Company’s production of God of Carnage is a “must-see” show of the season.
(Cambridge, MA) Few up-to-date on pop culture in the last few years have escaped the scourge of Twilight. The book and film franchise have jumpstarted the paranormal romance genre and, in the process, have become the focal point of obsession and hatred for fans and detractors, respectively. Something about the concept of a vampire falling for a teenager really polarizes audiences. Continue reading →
(Boston, MA) It’s one thing to pull off an entertaining melodrama, it’s quite another to stage a debate on art and make it captivating. While the play Red may be too intellectual to be everyone’s cup of tea, it is engrossing, especially in this strong production staged by SpeakEasy.
The two-person play centers on renowned 20th century visual artist Mark Rothko (Thomas Derrah) and his first attempt to create a series of murals for the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York City. Continue reading →
(Chelsea, MA) It’s like being at your family’s holiday party, except for the relief that it’s not your family. Words fly and passions rise as the audience travels from room to room glancing at the private moments of Vanya’s family. Youth and beauty contrast with the harsh realities of country living as love and hope are thrown about bouncing from wall to wall. Continue reading →
(Cambridge, MA) The holiday season is littered with entertainment chestnuts that get trotted out every year. Some can get worn thin, like poorer productions of A Christmas Carol; others take on a hipster status, like the television special A Charlie Brown Christmas.
If you want to enjoy two holiday traditions at once, come see What the Dickens?!, a mashup musical that populates Dickens’ classic Christmas morality tale with Schultz’s Peanuts characters. Watching this playis like downing an invented drink mixed at a holiday party: the two flavors may mix curiously, but it’s all good. Continue reading →
(Watertown, MA) Like the film it’s adapted from, the stage version of A Christmas Story paints a childhood spent during the holidays in a golden glow. Yes, the flustered family of Ralphie (Andrew Cekala) meet nothing but frustrations as they try to pull Christmas together against mean-spirited neighborhood dogs, hideous bunny suits, and intimidating department store Santas, but their holiday is ultimately a nostalgic one. Continue reading →