Jul 19

THE GOOD DOCTOR: The cure for the common sitcom

from left) Bob Mussett, Sierra Kagen, Victoria Townsend, Brian Tuttle, and Zach Eisenstat in “The Sneeze” from the Independent Drama Society's production of Neil Simon's THE GOOD DOCTOR, playing July 15-23 at the Factory Theatre, 791 Tremont Street in Boston's South End. Tix and info: http://www.independentdramasociety.org. Photo by Bethany Krevat.

The Good Doctor by Neil Simon, The Independent Drama Society, The Factory Theatre, 7/15/11-7/23/11, http://independentdramasociety.org.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

If it wasn’t so funny, it would be serious.  Chekov is primarily known for his serious drama:  The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, etc.  but Neil Simon draws upon Chekov’s short stories for his play, The Good Doctor.  Chekov’s short stories have been said to be precursor to Seinfeld.  The writer of such tv shows as:  Your Show of Shows and Caesar’s Hour recognized the unique comedy style and put stories “about nothing” to the stage years before the tv show “about nothing”.  Those who miss the “Junior Mint”, “The Soup Nazi”, and “The Chinese Restaurant” can relish in some new-old stories such as “The Sneeze”, “Surgery”, and “The Drowned Man”.  The Independent Drama Society’s final show utilizes the comedic talents to go out with a laugh for the audience and a whimper for the characters.   Continue reading

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Jul 02

T: An MBTA Musical — Charlie Takes A Wicked Funny Ride

Emily Hecht as Alice and Brett Johnson as Charlie in T: An MBTA Musical. Plays June 30-July 9 at ImprovBoston, 40 Prospect Street in Cambridge. Tix/Info: 617-576-1253 or improvboston.com. Photo by Ben Snitkoff

T: An MBTA Musical, music and lyrics by Melissa Carubia, book by John Michael Manship, ImprovBoston, 6/30/11-7/9/11. http://www.improvboston.com/shows/musical?ref=slide.  Mature Themes.  **Warning:  should not be viewed by kids, pets, bikes, and particularly tourists and freshmen (we need people to keep coming to Boston, and they don’t need to know the truth until it’s too late!)

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

LISTEN TO ORIGINAL MUSIC EXCERPTS

Most people have been there at one time or another:  the T (translation for non-Bostonians–the subway).  For those who know it is a frustrating experience that makes you want to hop in your car and drive to the country or Rhode Island.  Delays, fires, sports fans, and vomit are all familiar sights on that are highlighted in the hilarious new musical at ImprovBoston–T:  An MBTA Musical. If interactive/improvisational theatre scares you, don’t worry:  this is a scripted show.  This show makes you laugh until it hurts; then, you are not so angry at the train on the way back–until the train stands still for twenty minutes because of a fire on the rail. Continue reading

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Jun 24

What’s On This Week 24 June 2011

New Play at Salem Theatre Company

Here’s what’s happening this week (I do not know the quality of the productions since I have been out of town, but find something you might enjoy and go see some theatre this weekend!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boston      Metro Boston     Outer Points Massachusetts 

Rhode Island     Connecticut    Next to Normal Tour

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Jun 02

What’s On This Week: 2 June 2011

McCaela Donovan and members of the company in a scene from the SpeakEasy Stage Company production of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, running May 6 - June 5 at the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street in Boston’s South End. Tix/Info: 617-933-8600 or www.SpeakEasyStage.com. Photo: Stratton McCrady.

Since my students are graduating this week and then I’m off to New York, here’s one more week of what’s happening around this area. When I am back, I will share my reviews of the shows I’ve seen in New York; also, I hope to have articles for you on my obsession with Next to Normal and the Opera 101 piece that I have been planning.  (unless otherwise noted (POE @trinityrep), I do not know the quality of the productions, but find something you might enjoy and go see some theatre this weekend!)

Boston     Metro Boston
Rhode Island      Connecticut
Next to Normal Tour

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May 26

What’s On This Week

Learn To Be Latina, Company One/Boston Playwrights Theatre, Maureen Adduci (Jill), Crystal Lisbon (Mary), Shawna O'Brien (Hanan),Rory Kulz (Bill)

While I am busy helping my students finish out the year, here are some listings for this week (unless otherwise noted, I do not know the quality of the productions, but find something you might  enjoy and go see some theatre this weekend!)

BOSTON (in the city):


Animal Crackers, Lyric Stage Company, 140 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA 02116

May 6-Jun 4
Tickets by Phone: 617-585-5678

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May 10

PASSING STRANGE: More than ‘the real’

The cast of Passing Strange. Photo by Andrew Brilliant/ Brilliant Pictures.

 Passing Strange, book and lyrics by Stew, music by Stew and Heidi Rodewald, New Repertory Theatre, The Charles Mosesian Theater, Arsenal Center for the Arts, 5/1/11-5/22/11, http://newrep.org/passing_strange.php.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

New Repertory Theatre’s production of Passing Strange examines a classical theme in a post-modern construct–the quest for the meaning of life.  Like Candide and Pippin, the youth in Passing Strange leaves his familiar surroundings to find “the real” or the meaningful existence but finds only more illusion and more questions.  New Rep’s masterful presentation carries the audience along the journey, earnestly hoping the youth will find what he is looking for.

If New Repertory Theatre uses even half of the talent from Passing Strange for their fall production of Rent, they will have another hit on their hands.  The vibrant cast of Passing Strange electrifies the concert-style stage with their performances. Continue reading

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Apr 25

Eurydice: Tears From A Clown

Adam Lauver as Lord of the Underworld, Annie Winneg as Eurydice, and the chorus of stones. Photo by Rob Lorino.

Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl, The Independent Drama Society, BCA Black Box, 4/22/11-4/30/11.  http://sites.google.com/site/independentdrama/

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

The circus is in town and it is a beautiful tragedy.  The Independent Drama Society’s production of Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice evokes an abstract piece of shattered but connected moments.  Remaining faithful to the myth, Lindsay Eagle allows the audience to experience every breath of innocence, knowledge, and loss that the play has to offer.

The Greek chorus of stones consists of a highly skilled clowning troupe.  Upon entrance to the theatre, the audience is greeted by the members of the chorus as they play and perform.  Each member has a distinct personality that interacts in different ways between the audience and the main characters of the play.

Annie Winneg as Eurydice and Greg Nussen as Orpheus play the doomed young lovers who believe that love is all they need.  Although they do truly care for each other, they have difficulty communicating with each other or having any level of depth to their relationship, which leads to Eurydice’s struggle between her love for her husband and her love for her father.   Continue reading

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Apr 19

The Book of Grace: You Can’t Go Home Again

Frances Idlebrook as Grace, Jesse Tolbert as Buddy, Steve Barkhimer as Vet

The Book of Grace by Suzan-Lori Parks, Company One, 4/15/11-5/7/11. Mature themes and language, sexual content, and stage violence. http://www.companyone.org/

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

What is the cost of forgiveness and reconciliation? What is the real threat? Company One’s production of Suzan-Lori Parks’ The Book of Grace explores these questions through an intimate scene between three connected, yet separate, individuals.

Vet, played by Steve Barkhimer, likes a rigid, controlled environment both at his job (as a border control officer) and in his home life. Grace, Continue reading

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Apr 14

BREAKING THE CODE: Turing Passes The Test

Dafydd ap Rees (Mick Ross) and Allyn Burrows (Alan Turing) in Hugh Whitemore's BREAKING THE CODE through May 8. Presented by Catalyst Collaborative@MIT. Performances at Central Square Theater at 450 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge. Tickets and Information: http://CentralSquareTheater.org or 866-811-4111. Photo by A.R. Sinclair Photography.


Breaking the Code by Hugh Whitemore, Underground Railway Theater and Catalyst Collaborative @ MIT, Central Square Theater, 4/7/11-5/8/11.  http://www.centralsquaretheater.org/season/10-11/code.html.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

Intelligence is a prized commodity that governments and businesses appropriate for their own needs, but don’t always appreciate the ones who provide it.  Alan Turing was loved by Great Britain for his decoding work during World War II and was derided for his failure to conform to social norms after the war.  Breaking the Code masterfully explores the isolating nature of “polite” society.

Underground Railroad Company and Catalyst Collaborative@MIT bring the audience into the world of Alan Turing’s mind and memory.  Performed in the round, the audience literally steps into Janie Howland’s set of inverse geometric spirals as they take their seats.  Strings across the walls and ceiling connect formulas and ideas.  Following the idea of the spirals, director Adam Zahler has Turing (played by Allyn Burrows) follow these patterns as Turing moves through the various moments of his life.  The set and the action become an extension of Alan Turing’s personality. Continue reading

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Mar 22

Living in Exile: A War Story of Epic Proportions

Robert Walsh and Tamara Hickey; photo by Stratton McCrady c 2011

Living in Exile by Jon Lipsky, 3/17/11-3/27/11.  http://www.actorsshakespeareproject.org/.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

How do you fit the story of a ten year war into a night of entertainment?  First, take a familiar piece of material; second, get two talented actors; third, have Actor’s Shakespeare Project produce it.  Many students have struggled with The Illiad in school.  Jon Lipsky reinvents Homer’s story of the epic battle of Troy. Continue reading

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