Apr 08

Timeless Greed is Coming to MRT with Glengarry Glen Ross

Glengarry
presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
MRT Facebook Page

Directed by Charles Towers
Listing by Craig Idlebrook

Greed may not be good, as fictional stockbroker Gordon Gekko once famously espoused, but it never goes out of style.

In the 1987 film Wall Street, Gekko’s ode to greed was devastating to hear for Americans who had just suffered through insider trading and junk bond scandals.  The late eighties also produced Glengarry Glen Ross, a razor-sharp play by David Mamet which examines greed on the micro-level, as bottom-feeding real estate agents in Buffalo lie, cheat and steal to sell tracts of land in Florida.  While focusing on everyday financial crimes, Mamet creates an allegory for Wall Street greed that resonated with Main Street theatergoers in the late eighties. Continue reading

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Mar 29

When X+Y+Z=X+Y+Z-1: PROOF

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/1/?ui=2&ik=eacf24cc2b&view=att&th=13db5fcef24a3fc7&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=9462bffff6bbf670_0.1&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P-8Q_l0QzPMOYuJpu9b4yGh&sadet=1364566712433&sads=8a7OkyFJrdwvVawQwpsGvn59UMs

Photos by Meghan Moore; Michael Pemberton and Keira Keeley.

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre

by David Auburn
Directed by Christian Parker

50 East Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA 01852
March 21st – April 14th, 2013
Merrimack Rep Theatre Facebook Page
Estimated run time 2 hours with one 15 minute intermission.

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell) For a play that focuses on mathematics, Proof, playing at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre, nails social theory.  In this thoughtful production, we learn that a family is really a group organism that can adapt to having a limb injured or severed, but that organism can never be the same afterwards. Continue reading

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Jan 20

Wistful Grief: SHAKESPEARE’S WILL

 

Seana McKenna as Anne Hathaway. Photo by Meghan Moore

Seana McKenna as Anne Hathaway. Photo by Meghan Moore

by Vern Thiessen
Directed by Miles Potter
Composed by Marc Desormeaux

presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre

50 E. Merrimack Street
Lowell, Massachusetts 01852
January 10th – February 3rd, 2012
Merrimack Repertory Theatre Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell) William Shakespeare may have done more than any writer of his time to examine both internal and external human drama, but he ducked the fight when it came to his own family; so goes the premise of Shakespeare’s Will, the taut and layered production now playing at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre. The Bard may get the headlines in the play’s title, but it is his absence that is the singular event that shapes the life of his wife, Anne Hathaway, who is the only character in this beautifully lonely one-woman play. Through the brave performance of Seanna McKenna, we are reminded that even in the shadow of greatness the drama of everyday is enough to create volumes of literature. Continue reading

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Jan 07

A Parental Nightmare or Fantasy: MEMORY HOUSE

***With Apologies to Merrimack Repertory Theatre and the cast of Memory House, this review was intended to be published during the October/November run****

Susan Pellegrino and Rebecca Blumhagen. Photo by Meghan Moore

Susan Pellegrino and Rebecca Blumhagen. Photo by Meghan Moore; snuggles.

by Kathleen Tolan
Directed by Melia Bensussen

presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
50 E. Merrimack Street
Lowell, Massachusetts 01852
October 25th – November 18th, 2012

Merrimack Repertory Theatre Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell) Family dramas on stage and screen are filled with “explanation” moments, when a parent is called out by a now-grown child to explain the who, what and where, when, how and why of family history.  The explanation moment can be a blessing or a curse, as it hits home for parents just how much they’ve screwed up their children’s lives while also giving them the chance to make their cases before the court.  This theatrical device can be used sloppily for Lifetime dramas or effectively for Oscar-bait movies. Continue reading

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Dec 17

Enduring Marriage: HALF N’ HALF N’ HALF

Carol Halstead, Zoë Winters, Andrew Pastides and Jim Ortlieb. Photo by Meghan Moore.

Carol Halstead, Zoë Winters, Andrew Pastides and Jim Ortlieb. Photo by Meghan Moore.

by John Kolvenbach
directed by Kyle Fabel

Merrimack Repertory Theatre
50 East Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA
November 29th – December 23rd, 2012
Merrimack Repertory Theatre Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell) It is frustrating to see a craftsman like playwright John Kolvenbach run rings around pedestrian writers.  His play Half n’ Half n’ Half shows that he understands how a play functions on a deep level and that he could write in any genre he chooses, from The Seagull to Lend Me a Tenor.  Kolvenbach toys with the audience in several genres with this comedy, while demonstrating his near-mastery of them all.  This is more than an exercise in play writing, however.  Throughout this script of multiple plays, Kolvenbach is able to document how a lifetime romantic commitment often drives us to need to be committed. Continue reading

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Oct 01

UMass Lowell, MRT to Bring Beat Authors, Kerouac Contempora​ries to ‘Beat Generation​’

BOOK-SIGNINGS AND POST-SHOW DISCUSSIONS TO OCCUR AT SELECT PERFORMANCES OF JACK KEROUAC’S ‘BEAT GENERATIONContinue reading

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Sep 20

A ROAD FORGOTTEN: HOMESTEAD CROSSING

Homestead Crossing 
Presented Merrimack Repertory Theatre
by William Donnelly    
Directed by Kyle Fabel

Photo Credit: Meghan Moore

Merrimack Repertory Theatre Website                 Merrimack Repertory Theatre Facebook Page
50 E. Merrimack St.
Lowell, MA
Sep 6 – Sep 30, 2012

Review by Kate Lonberg-Lew

(Lowell, MA) It’s so easy to get lost in the minutia of daily life – the food shopping and bill-paying – that you forget that you make your own destiny. That, in fact, your destiny is created in those very everyday decisions. And it takes an unexpected event, be it a stranger knocking at your window or an unexpected call from an old friend, to remind us. Homestead Crossing, currently playing at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre, is the story of just such a couple.
Continue reading

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Apr 29

A Pitch-Perfect Meditation: GHOST-WRITER

Dan Kremer and Rebecca Harris. Photo by Meghan Moore.

Ghost-Writer by Michael Hollinger, Merrimack Repertory Theatre,    4/19/12-5/13/12, http://www.merrimackrep.org/season/show.aspx?sid=109.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell, MA) The author starts with a blank page. It fills with words. From where do the words come? That is the underlying mystery of Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s masterful production of Ghost-Writer. 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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Feb 19

Daddy Long Legs: Musical Humor and Charm

Robert Adelman Hancock & Megan McGinnis, photo by Meghan Moore

Daddy Long Legs, Music and Lyrics by Paul Gordon, Book by John Caird, Based on the novel by Jean Webster, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, 2/9/12-3/4/12

Reviewed by Anthony Geehan

(Lowell, MA) The concept of love at first sight is something that has been around in theater and literature since the times of ancient mythology. There is another and more complicated hook for a love story however, in which two people fall in love without ever seeing each other. Such pieces as Mask, Sleepless in Seattle, and Parfumerie have taken on the concept that love can spark purely on personality and intrigue without any physical attributes taken into account. So it is with the musical Daddy Long Legs, a new performance being hosted by The Merrimack Repertory Theatre based off the book by John Caird. Continue reading

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