May 08

Fear Not the Creative Mind: “The Women Who Mapped the Stars”

Sarah Newhouse as Annie Jump Cannon, Christine Power as Antonia Maury, Becca A. Lewis as Williamina Fleming and Sarah Oakes Muirhead as Henrietta Swan Leavitt. (Courtesy A.R. Sinclair Photography)

Presented by The Nora Theatre Company
By Joyce Van Dyke
Directed by Jessica Ernst

April 19 – May 20, 2018
Central Square Theater
Cambridge, MA
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Review by Kitty Drexel

“Now, there was a time/ when they used to say,
that behind ev’ry great man/ there had to be a great woman.
But oh, in these times of change/ you know that it’s no longer true.
So we’re comin’ out of the kitchen/ ’cause there’s something we forgot to say to you.
We say, Sisters are doin’ it for themselves”
-The Eurythmics with Aretha Franklin, “Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves”

(Cambridge, MA) It’s been a good few years for female scientists. Sally Ride came out posthumously in 2012. Hidden Figures rocked the box office in 2016/2017. Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Goble/Johnson and the other human computers are finally receiving their due accolades. Women are entering STEM fields at increasing rates. Local company, Flat Earth Theatre produced Lauren Gunderson’s Silent Sky in March 2017. The Nora Theatre Company is playing The Women Who Mapped the Stars right now. There are many more successes, but it won’t be enough until women and other minorities receive the equal success as men. Continue reading

May 08

A Majestic “Migration”


Presented by Step Afrika!
Produced by 
ArtsEmerson
Choreographed by Jakari Sherman, Jackie Semela, Paul Woodruff
Percussionists: Artis Olds, Jakari Sherman, Andrew Vinson

May 3 through 6, 2018
Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre
219 Tremont Street, Boston, MA

Reviewed by Bishop C. Knight

“One of the most important functions of jazz has been to encourage a hope for freedom, for people living in situations of intolerance or struggle.”  –Herbie Hancock, jazz pianist and bandleader

(Boston, Massachusetts)  I could feel the crackling energy of the show, even before it started.  I could anticipate that it’d be a layered and textured theatrical experience that engaged the audience, even before dancers and musicians arrived on stage.  I am a person who is always listening to music. Likewise, I’m a patron who yearns for a show’s soundtrack to play both before and after the performance, as well as during its intermission.  The recording of African drum music, peppered with the rattling of gourds and the rhythmic clapping of hands, was vitalizing and encouraged a social atmosphere before the show began. Most patrons were out of seats, strolling around, greeting each other, standing in small circles having spirited conversations, smiling while sipping drinks; it was the pre-party I always wished for. Continue reading

May 07

“The Sound of Music”: A Timely Revival

Presented by Networks Press
Written by Richard Rogers & Oscar Hammerstein
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse
Suggested by The Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta Trapp
Directed by Matt Lenz
Choreography by Danny Mefford
Music supervision by Andy Einhorn

May 1-13, 2018
Wang Theatre
Boston, MA
Sound of Music on Facebook

Review by Kate Idlebrook

(Boston, MA) Hate crimes are up. White nationalism is on the rise. Reports of race-based bullying are spiking in schools across the country. Into this mix drops a timely revival of The Sound of Music at the Wang Theatre. The iconic musical about a young novice-turned nanny and an Austrian navy captain who refuses to bow to the Nazi invasion has been delighting audiences for decades both on stage and on screen. Continue reading

May 07

She Will Cut You: TOP GIRLS

Sophia Ramos, Carmen M. Herlihy, Paula Plum, Kiara Pichardo, and Carmen Zilles; Photo: T. Charles Erickson,

Presented by Huntington Theatre Company
By Caryl Churchill
Directed by Liesl Tommy
Dramaturgy by Phaedra Michelle Scott
Original music & sound design by Broken Chord

April 20 – May, 2018
Huntington Theater
Avenue of the Arts
Boston, MA
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Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Congrats to the Huntington for finally get that permanent ramp set up.

Top Girls is a feminist play by Caryl Churchill. It has a good script. It’s a good play for women. It isn’t Caryl Churchill’s only feminist play. It isn’t the only feminist play for a cast of women. There are others out there waiting to be produced, and yet, the New England theatre community loves this show. So much so that it’s been produced three times in the Boston-area alone in the past four years. The Kilroy’s List was supposed to end the ad nauseum repeats.   Continue reading

Jun 10

Blood on the Snow: A journey back in time to Boston’s bloody beginnings

The Cast of Blood on the Snow. Photo by Justin Saglio.

Presented by The Bostonian Society
Written by Patrick Gabridge
Directed by Courtney O’Connor

June 1 – August 20, 2017
The Old State House
Boston, MA
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Review by Polly Goss

(Boston, MA) It is March 6, 1770, bloodshed, discontent and rebellion bubbles in the air. Four Bostonians lie dead on the streets outside the Council Chamber and British soldiers are held responsible. The people of Boston are sick of British rule, the soldiers and their taxes – they want them out. Inside Governor Hutchinson is faced with an impossible choice: defy his King, or defend his country? This site specific play takes the audience back in time to a forgotten night that helped shaped the course of, not only the city’s history, but the world’s. Blood on the Snow sold out at its world premiere last Spring and returns to The Old State House in Boston this summer. O’Connor’s naturalistic direction is spot on, allowing the audience to be unnoticed voyeurs alongside the table where history was made. Continue reading

May 26

Theatre On Fire Presents: THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES

THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES is a genre-defying festival of theatre, movement, music, puppetry and more, united under one theme: take a risk.

Experience one last weekend of chaotic and dangerous, new and re-imagined work where we’ve challenged artists to present work that “scares” them. Featuring one-act and full-length pieces from Imaginary Beasts, Anthem Theatre, Sleeping Weazel, The American Family Happily Institute, Heart & Dagger Productions, Alley Cat Theater, Exiled Theatre, Mass. Theater Experiment, Ingrid Oslund, Fool’s Journey, Travis Amiel & Riley Fox Hillyer, Laura Detwiler, Daniel Morris, and Libby Schap & Caitlin Brzezinski.

Purchase tickets HERE.
Staged readings in the Cabinet Workshop Series are free and open to the public.
When ordering tickets for the readings, use the code FREE.
442 Bunker Hill Street
Charlestown, MA 02129
TOF on Facebook
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Friday, May 26
A trio of performances starting at 8:00pm​
Sleeping Weazel: Nocturne and Nina
Libby Schap and Caitlin Brzezinksi: Flying Lessons
Fool’s Journey: Singing Bones

Pianist and composer Kirsten Volness will play Nocturne, her electroacoustic piece inspired by Madison Cawein’s poem of the same title, and Nina, a three-song cycle tribute to jazz great Nina Simone composed by Judah Adashi.
Flying Lessons is told through shadow puppetry using moving screens and found object puppetry to examine three stories exploring identity and female relationships, inspired by the artwork of Audrey Niffenegger.
Singing Bones is an experimental, devised performance which focuses on direct physical engagement with traditional songs that have personal and/or ancestral significance to the performers.

Saturday, May 27
Mass. Theater Experiment: The Country Wife – 2:00pm
A workshop performance of a modern, sexy adaptation of William Wycherley’s The Country Wife. The smash hit of 1675 London was created in a period of artistic tolerance , but was later considered too immoral to perform. This imaginative, energetic, and spirited ensemble gives the Wife a trim and shapely makeover and adds a few curves of their own; part of the Cabinet Workshop Series.

Daniel Morris: I Am My Own Wife – 5:00pm
The fascinating tale of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a real-life German transvestite who managed to survive both the Nazi onslaught and the repressive East German Communist regime. Actor Gabe Graetz takes on more than 30 characters, staged up close and personal in CWT’s upstairs second stage.

A trio of performances starting at 8:00pm​
Sleeping Weazel: Nocturne and Nina
Libby Schap and Caitlin Brzezinksi: Flying Lessons
Fool’s Journey: Singing Bones

Pianist and composer Kirsten Volness will play Nocturne, her electroacoustic piece inspired by Madison Cawein’s poem of the same title, and Nina, a three-song cycle tribute to jazz great Nina Simone composed by Judah Adashi.
Flying Lessons is told through shadow puppetry using moving screens and found object puppetry to examine three stories exploring identity and female relationships, inspired by the artwork of Audrey Niffenegger.
Singing Bones is an experimental, devised performance which focuses on direct physical engagement with traditional songs that have personal and/or ancestral significance to the performers.

May 23

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in Midspring

The “Mechanicals” in the play within a play: Mac Young, Elle Borders, Monica Giordano, Jake Athyal and a prone Steven Barkhimer. Photo by Nile Scott Shots.

Presented by Actor’s Shakespeare Project
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Patrick Swanson

May 10-June 4, 2017
Multicultural Arts Center
41 Second Street
Cambridge, MA 02141
Actors’ Shakespeare Project on Facebook and Instagram

Review by Travis Manni

(Cambridge, MA) Any fan of Shakespeare’s work knows how malleable his plays are. You could see the same show for years and years and still experience something different each time. In Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s most recent production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, this trend continues. Continue reading

May 19

“The Demon” Serves in Heaven and Raises Hell

Presented by Commonwealth Lyric Theater Orchestra and Chorus PESVEBI Georgian Dance Ensemble
By Anton Rubenstein
Based on a poem by Mikhail Lermontov
Conductor: Lidiya Yankovskaya
Artistic/Stage Director: Alexander Prokhorov
Production Director and Stage Manager: Steven Kunis

May 18th and 20th, 2017 at 8pm
Cutler Majestic Theatre
219 Tremont Street, Boston, MA
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By Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) In the world of Anton Rubenstein’s The Demon, the danger of Hell is ever-present, princesses are virtuous, princes are valorous, and Heaven is an ethereal step away. Aleksey Bogdanov is the titular Demon, a creature that informs the audience and the angel with whom he spars, Anna Cley, he has chosen freedom over God. In the course of the play, he also chooses Tamara (played with wide-eyed innocence by Zhanna Alkhazova) and upends her life. Continue reading

May 19

Poverty is Not an Indication of Criminality: “Jesus Hopped the A Train”

Photo credit: Alex Aroyan — with Danny Mourino, Dawn Davis, Harry Garo and Daniel Boudreau.

Presented by Praxis Stage
By Stephen Adly Guirgis
Directed by Dayenne C. Byron Walters & Daniel Boudreau

May 4 – 21, 2017
Dorchester Art Project
Dorchester, MA (across from the Field’s Corner T stop)
DAP on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Dorchester, MA) The law isn’t interested in justice. It’s purpose is to execute “due process” as cheaply and swiftly as possible. It is historically, contemporarily, and immediately evident that the law performs based on the golden rule: he with the most gold (and the whitest skin) rules. Poverty means that an innocent man can spend the rest of his life in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. People of color get fucked by the legal system regularly. Praxis Stage’s Jesus Hopped the A Train isn’t fiction. It’s non-fiction utilizing fiction to blast unfortunate truths. Continue reading

May 15

Captivating Recollections: “My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend”

Photo by Meghan Moore

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
By Christian Duhamel and Edward Bell
Conceived and performed by Charissa Bertels
Directed by Sean Daniels

April 26 – May 21, 2017
Merrimack Repretory Theatre
Lowell, MA
MRT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell, MA) A one-person play is like a long blind date – you are stuck with a stranger for the evening, so you inwardly pray beforehand that you’ll like them. But when that one person is actress Charissa Bertels performing her passion project, My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend, you might find yourself cursing time for flying so fast through an entertaining evening. Continue reading