Apr 23

Mother’s Day Should be Plural: “Little Orphan Danny”

Julie Foldesi (Band Member/Women) and Dan Finnerty (Book, Lyrics, Music/Danny)
Photo by Meghan Moore

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Concept by Dan Finnerty and Sean Daniels
Book and Lyrics by Dan Finnerty
Music by Dan Finnerty and Dan Lipton

March 21 – April 15, 2018
Lowell, Massachusetts
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Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell, MA) As a father of an adopted child, I often wonder how I will guide my son through the emotional stages of thinking about his origin story. I picture many long, earnest, possibly tear-filled conversations that will be good for us to go through, but certainly not entertaining. In Little Orphan Danny, wiseass rock singer Dan Finnerty decided to tell his own story of adoption, and it’s indeed a tearjerker of a musical. My eyes were wet and my ribs were sore from laughing so hard. Continue reading

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Apr 02

“A Dead Man’s Diary”: A Sacred Love for Theatre


Presented by Arlekin Players Theatre
Based on the novel by Mikhail Bulgakov
Original stage composition based on the novel written by Igor Golyak and Zhenya Brodskaya
English translation by Yana Minchenko
Composed by Jakov Jakoulov
Directed by Igor Golyak
Choreographed by Victor Plotnikov

17 March thru 1 April 2018
Emerson Paramount Center
Jackie Liebergott Black Box
Downtown Boston, Mass.
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Reviewed by Bishop C. Knight

(Emerson College) A Dead Man’s Diary was a drama performed in Russian, and patrons could request an earplug device that provided English voiceover during the production.  The play begins with our main character Sergei Maksudov writing a novel that is inspired by a dream of his native city and, upon completing this work, Maksudov shares his manuscript with various writers and critics.  One of his readers prompts Maksudov to adapt the book to a play, and thus commences Maksudov’s meanderings through the world of theatre ‒ a sphere where he is scorned by the director of the Moscow Art Theater, Stanislavsky.  At its core, Mikhail Bulgakov’s Theatrical Novel examines a writer’s sacred love for theatre. Continue reading

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Mar 26

Punk, Communist Opera to Burn Your Daddy’s Ears: The Threepenny Opera

The Threepenny Opera from Boston Lyric Opera on Vimeo.

Presented by Boston Lyric Opera
Music by Kurt Weill
Libretto by Bertolt Brecht
English translation by Michael Feingold
Original German text based on Elisabeth Hauptmann’s German Translation of John Gay’s
The Beggar’s Opera
Conducted by David Angus
Stage directed by James Darrah

March 16 – 25, 2018
Huntington Avenue Theatre
264 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA
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Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) 3Penny is not your Daddy’s stodgy traditional opera. Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht were communist rabble rousers hell-bent on challenging the operatic form. They were freedom fighters rebelling against the Nazis through theatre. A stalwart Marxist, Brecht wanted to destroy opera’s association with the bourgeoisie. Weill believed opera could belong to the proletariat if given the opportunity. Both would have appreciated the BLO’s production of The Threepenny Opera. Opera purists would not.     Continue reading

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Mar 26

ANTIGONE: Death at the Parthenon


Presented by Flat Earth Theatre
Original Tragedy by Sophocles
Adapted by Lewis Galantiere from the play by Jean Anouilh
Directed by Lindsay Eagle

ONE WEEK LEFT: March 26th @ 7:30pm; March 29th @ 8pm; March 30th @ 8pm; March 31st @ 8pm
The Black Box at the Mosesian Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown, Massachusetts 02472
From the MBTA — take the Red Line to Central Square in Cambridge; then take the 70 or the 70A bus.
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Review by Bishop C. Knight

(Watertown, MA) I could provide an enthusiastic review for every aspect of this play.  I will start with a nod to costuming. Continue reading

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Mar 15

Fear Isn’t Logical: “The Humans”

Photo by Julieta Cervantes

Presented by Boch Center and the Roundabout Theatre Company
By Stephen Karam
Directed by Joe Mantello

Shubert Theatre
Boston, MA
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Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) The Humans is a play about fear and the ways we humans navigate them. Brigid(Daisy Egan) and Rich (Luis Vega) are hosting Thanksgiving in their first adult apartment in Manhattan. Sister Aimee (Therese Plaehn) has recently broken up with the love of her life. Parents, Deirdre (Pamela Reed) and Erik (Richard Thomas) have brought grandma Momo (Lauren Klein). Regardless of their troubles, everyone is determined to have a nice time. Continue reading

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Mar 06

Laughing Together to Confront Suicide Stigma: “Every Brilliant Thing”

Krstansky with audience members. Those happy faces tell you all you need to know. Maggie Hall Photography

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
By Duncan MacMillan
With Jonny Donahoe
Directed by Marianna Bassham
Featuring Adrianne Krstansky

March 21 – 31, 2018
Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
SpeakEasy on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Every Brilliant Thing is a story about a woman’s appreciation for living as told through a long list of joys. Audience participation is nearly mandatory. Adrianne Krstansky is so welcoming that volunteering is fun. The Calderwood Pavilion is a safer space for an hour.   Continue reading

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Mar 05

Driving Mr. Daisy: “The White Card”

Karen Pittman and Daniel Gerroll in The White Card. Photo: Gretjen Helene Photography; Charlotte manages Charles’ microaggressions.

Presented by ArtsEmerson with the American Repertory Theatre
By Claudia Rankin
Directed by Diane Paulus
Dramaturgy by P. Carl

Feb. 24 – April 1, 2018
Emerson Paramount Center
Robert J. Orchard Stage
Boston, MA
ArtsEmerson on Facebook

Reviews by Kitty Drexel and Noelani Kamelamela

(Boston, MA) The White Card is a conversation starter for those unused to discussing race at length. It’s for those who think we live in a post-racial society, the kind of person who resents the dialogue because there are “bigger problems” to fix. Other attributes include denying racism because they have imaginary Black friends, thinking “all lives matter,” and feeling threatened when any indication of their own culpability within society’s systemic racism. Those who have regular discussions on race, inequalities and the struggles for justice will have their work affirmed. Continue reading

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Feb 12

See the Movie First: Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”

Presented by Wheelock Family Theatre
Book by Linda Woolverton
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Howard Ashman & Tim Rice
Directed by Jane Staab
Music direction by Steven Bergman
Choreography by Laurel Conrad

Feb. 2 – March 4, 2018
Feb. 25 & March 2, ASL and audio-described
Wheelock College; Boston Campus
200 The Riverway
Boston, MA 02215
WFT on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” ― attributed to Margaret Atwood.

(Boston, MA) Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (DBatB) is beloved in all its forms. The 2017 film with Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Emma Thompson, and a vastly underutilized Audra McDonald, is a charming retelling with updates to make it more palatable for contemporary audiences. The 1994 musical adaptation of the 1991 film is not. The original Disney movie was notable for its strides in animation technology, but not for its intersectionally feminist portrayal of accepting others for their differences. Unfortunately for Wheelock Family Theatre, this problematic musical hasn’t received the update treatment. In some ways, it’s worse that the 1991 film. Continue reading

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Apr 14

Interrupted Lives: “Chill”

Kim Fischer, Maria Jung, Monica Giordano, and Danny Bryck. Photo by Meghan Moore.

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Written by Eleanor Burgess
Directed by Megan Sandburg-Zambian

March 22-April 16, 2017
Merrimack Repertory Theatre
50 E. Merrimack Street, Lowell MA 01852
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Review by Kate Lew Idlebrook

(Lowell, MA) Maybe you’ve been wondering what your teenaged Millennial child or grandchild was doing while hanging in a basement with friends, or perhaps you’re a nostalgic Millennial looking to recapture that just-before-graduation feeling. Either way, here is your chance, because “Chill” now playing at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre is the perfect opportunity. Continue reading

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Apr 10

The Who & The What: Lifting the curtain on the gender-politics at the heart of a Pakistani-American family drama


Presented by Huntington Theatre Company
By Ayad Akhtar
Directed by M. Bevin O’Gara

March 31 – May 7 2017
South End Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
527 Tremont Street
Boston, MA
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Review by Polly Goss

(Boston, MA) The Who & The What is a heartfelt and moving portrayal of the inter-generational and cultural conflicts nestling within the heart of a Pakistani American family. The Who & The What is more than just a Muslim variation of the domestic tragicomedy, which has historically dominated depictions of the immigrant family on stage and screen. Pulitzer Prize winning author Ayad Akhtar asks some pervading questions about Islam, religious doctrine and gender politics that resonate with audiences of all different races and creeds. The play is a delight to watch, but Akhtar’s light hearted writing leaves the audiences asking some serious questions about the nature of family and faith. Continue reading

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