Apr 16

Still More to Learn from Our Past:”The Laramie Project”

Presented by Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club
Written by Moisés Kaufman & the Members of the Tectonic Theater Project
Directed by Eli Schleicher ’18

April 11 – 13, 2018
Club Oberon
Cambridge, MA
HRDC on Facebook

Review by Diana Lu

(Cambridge, MA) The Laramie Project, by the Tectonic Theater Project, premiered in 2000. It is an amalgamation of over 200 interviews with the residents of Laramie, Wyoming, detailing the circumstances and consequences of the hate crime perpetrated against Matthew Shepard in 1998. Continue reading

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Mar 26

Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club presents “The Laramie Project”

Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club Presents THE LARAMIE PROJECT at A.R.T.’s Club OBERON

 Cambridge, MA – Tickets are now on sale for Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club’s production of The Laramie ProjectPerformances will take place on Wednesday, April 11 and Thursday, April 12 at 7:30 PM, as well as Friday, April 13 at 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM. Performances are at the American Repertory Theater’s second stage, Club OBERON (2 Arrow Street, Cambridge, MA).

Tickets ($15-$35) may be purchased through the A.R.T. box office (64 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA – (617) 547-8300), online (http://bit.ly/laramieatoberon), or at the door pending availability.

Facebook Event: http://bit.ly/laramie2018

About the Play – In 1998, Matthew Shepard was fatally injured and left for dead because he was gay. Following his death, the Tectonic Theater Project traveled to Laramie, Wyoming to understand the town which came to be defined by two men’s crime. The Laramie Project retells the words of Laramie’s residents verbatim, and in their retelling, begins to uncover the prejudices, both loud and quiet, that boil over into violent hate crime.

Join the ensemble of actors as they embody these stories, bringing the Laramie of 1998 to the immersive Club OBERON. Join them as they ask – what does Laramie have left to tell us? Continue reading

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Dec 05

Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays, December 9, at 7:30pm @ Club Cafe

STANDING ON CEREMONY: THE GAY MARRIAGE PLAYS
Written by: Mo Gaffney, Jordan Harrison, Moisés Kaufman, Neil LaBute, Wendy MacLeod, José Rivera, Paul Rudnick, and Doug Wright
Conceived by: Brian Shnipper
Produced by: Happy Medium Theatre
www.happymediumtheatre.com

Directed by: Mikey DiLoreto, Danielle Lucas, Lesley Moreau, and Zach Winston
Performed by: Kendall Aiguier, Michael Amaral, Brian M. Balduzzi, Kitty Drexel, Matt Fagerberg, Nicole Howard, Kim Klasner, and Zach Winston

(Boston, MA) Happy Medium Theatre (HMT) proudly announces a one-night-only, free staged reading of Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays on Tuesday, December 9, at 7:30pm, in the Moonshine Room of Club Café, 209 Columbus Avenue, Boston.

About the Production:
Saying two simple words might be the biggest challenge of your life. But what if the battle started before saying “I do,” and continued long after the ceremony? In Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays, prolific playwrights Moisés Kaufman (The Laramie Project), Paul Rudnick (Jeffrey), and Neil LaBute (The Shape of Things), among others, offer their own unique takes on the issues of equality, the universality of love, and the challenges and humor of living with someone for a lifetime. These short plays form an evening of theatre ripe for discussion, following the current legislation and litigation across the United States revolving around marriage equality.

A panel discussion will follow the staged reading, led by:

  • Attorney Janson Wu, Executive Director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
  • Professor Katharine B. Silbaugh, Professor of Law at Boston University School of Law
  • Mal Malme, Co-Founder of Queer Soup Theatre & Performer

 

“All you have to do is listen, shed an occasional tear and laugh a lot. There is something for everybody. . . . STANDING ON CEREMONY holds a magnifying glass to the highs and lows, joys and fears, courage and silliness, of people bucking trends and making history.” – THE NY OBSERVER

STANDING ON CEREMONY: THE GAY MARRIAGE PLAYS
A Free Staged Reading
Happy Medium Theatre
Tuesday, December 9, at 7:30pm
The Moonshine Room of Club Café, 209 Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA 02116
Panel Discussion following the 90-minute production

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Jan 09

“33 Variations”: Beethoven Mired in Melodrama

Photo credit: Mark S. Howard; snuggles with Beethoven.

Photo credit: Mark S. Howard; snuggles with Beethoven.

By Moises Kaufman
Directed by Spiro Veloudos

presented by The Lyric Stage Company of Boston
140 Clarendon Street, 2nd floor
Boston, MA  02116
Lyric Stage Facebook Page

Review  by Gillian Daniels

(Boston) In Moises Kaufman’s 33 Variations, only works of genius transcend death. Musicologist Dr. Katherine Brandt (Paula Plum) throws herself into her studies of Ludwig van Beethoven when diagnosed with a debilitating disease. Brandt’s crisis is contrasted with Beethoven (James Andreassi) as he loses his hearing in 1823.

The contemporary setting is ultimately too light when played side by side with history. Katherine fights against her illness tooth and nail as she struggles to complete her research in Germany, but where that illness should be driving the drama, it instead turns 33 Variations into an issue piece when it could have been so much more.

Katherine’s strained relationship with her daughter, Clara (Dakota Shepard), never feels terribly real, which is disappointing. I understand why Katherine demands perfection of her adult child but I don’t understand why those demands still inspire such loyalty in Clara. It’s not that it isn’t heartening to watch her help Katherine through her sickness, but the relationship feels weak.

Even weaker, though, is Clara’s romance with Mike Clark (Kelby T. Akin), her mother’s nurse. It’s cute in a romantic comedy sort of way. Still, a male nurse dating a distressed, emotionally vulnerable woman strains believability. Despite this, their courtship is cute and humorous. Remembering his profession and under what circumstances their affair transpires, though, wrecks the illusion.

33 Variations is most alive when it deals with history and those obsessed with it. Beethoven’s struggle to write thirty-three variations of a mediocre waltz is thrilling. We can see exactly why Katherine is so passionate about him and his life. It also explains why a friendship grows between her and Dr. Gertrude Ladenburger (Maureen Keiller) while they do research in the Beethoven archives. The really interesting story, the one about art and talent transcending time, is there. It’s just buried under melodrama.

Now, the melodrama isn’t all bad, but it’s best when finding the bittersweet humor of Katherine’s difficulties. Otherwise, the story of a genius plagued by the perils of infirmity has been done before and better. Here, despite Paula Plum’s nuanced acting, the story drags.

Perhaps the strongest quality of the play is the way in which this well-mined material is staged. The actors really throw themselves into their roles, deftly pealing away the layers of melancholy to the humor and hope beneath the material. Pianist Catherine Stornetta does the most to breathe life into the show as she plays each variation.

It’s also magical to watch Beethoven share the stage with Katherine. When Katherine talks with Clara and Beethoven yells at his assistant, Anton Schindler (Victor L. Shopov), their conversations in their respective eras weave together. They are separate from each other only by degrees, knitted together by the desire to continue living fully and happily.

For the play, it’s an unfortunate separation that does it no favors. Katherine’s own deterioration is depicted well, but much too weak to carry a story on its own. As it is, 33 Variations tugs heartstrings, but doesn’t transcend its melodramatic trappings. If only the show had been more ambitious, maybe even as ambitious as the art that it depicts, then it would have really shined.

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