Aug 14

Burning Down the Establishment One BIPOC Critic at a Time: A Profile of Pascale Florestal

Florestal, image from www.pascaleflorestal.com

Profile by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON/ZOOM — Boston’s theatre journalism scene is a barren wasteland of white maleness. The desperate cries of BIPOC performing artists and designers for accurate representation are carried by winds off of the Atlantic ocean to diversity-parched cities and towns across New England: where are the critics of color?

Critiquing and reviewing circles have remained steadfastly white for the last few decades. Out of the current eleven members of the Boston Theater Critics Association, six are white men, five are white women.

The Front Porch Arts Collective launched the Young Critics Program in spring 2019 in partnership with WBUR the ARTery. It is the only independent training opportunity specifically geared towards young BIPOC journalists in New England. Boston-based director, dramaturg, educator, writer, and collaborator Pascale Florestal is the woman in charge. Continue reading

Mar 30

Streamed Content to Prevent Brain Drain, Continued: Don’t Reach Out and Touch Someone

Dearest Readers;

Below is a continuation of last week’s list. New England area theatre companies are keeping busy. And so should you! Many of the opportunities from last week are still active and thriving. Please check those links.

Keep washing your damn hands, getting enough exercize, Zooming your friends. Stay home.

Let us know if we missed something! Email us at blognetheatregeek@gmail.com or find us on our social media pages.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/netheatregeek
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NewEnglandTheatreGeek/

All our love from six feet away,
Kitty, Queen of the New England Theatre Geeks

Apollinaire Theatre Company – ATC hosts Apollinaire at Home! It’s a free online play & film script reading gathering! Apollinaire at Home is hosted by your Apollinaire favorites, and the cast includes You!! Readings for the week are posted on Apollinaire’s main page on Tuesday evening/ Wednesday morning. Readings will be Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 7:30, and Sunday “matinee” at 3:00.

Bonnie Duncan and the Gottabees – For children of all ages, Bonnie Duncan & the Gottabees give you a few moments out of your (crowded!) day where you can enjoy being together as a family with puppets and music. A familiar, underpants-stealing-squirrel makes a cameo. 

Boston Theater Marathon XXII: Special Zoom Edition – Boston Playwrights’ Theatre (BPT) presents “Boston Theater Marathon XXII: Special Zoom  Edition,” featuring ten-minute plays written by New England playwrights and presented by New England theatres via the video conferencing tool Zoom, April 1-May 17. Readings will begin each day at 12 noon and will last approximately 15-minutes. Audiences will need to download the free Zoom app to participate, and it is recommended they call in a few minutes before “curtain” time.

Central Square Theater Central Square Theater has made available for streaming a video recording of its acclaimed production of PIPELINE. The recording is available today through April 5, 2020. Details on how patrons may purchase access the recording is included. TICKETS.

CompanyOne – C1 has its new C1 “New Work #socialdistancing Community” form. Please drop your ideas there. Company One Theatre is postponing the remaining productions of Season 21, Clare Barron’s Dance Nation and Inda Craig-Galván’s Black Super Hero Magic Mama. Both productions will shift to 2021 and become part of Season 22.

Upcoming from C1: Resident playwright Kirsten Greenidge is launching a series of online Open Writes. Kirsten will hold space for folx who want a communal, but quiet, energy to support their writing. The first is scheduled for Saturday April 11 (time tbd), and will be co-hosted with David Valdes. C1 will send out a formal announcement with a video link as the date approaches. Please watch the C1 website for updates.

Post-Meridian Radio Players – PMRP makes available “The Mysterious Traveler” on their Soundcloud for listening.  They ask that you please enjoy this thrilling story of the gentleman thief, Arsene Lupin. Auditions with PMRP’s summer will be announced on their website. 

The Umbrella Arts –  The Umbrella Arts Gallery has provided wider virtual access to exhibitions from their three gallery spaces at The Umbrella. 

  • Aperture: The annual group show featuring more than fifty Studio Artists, viewable as a 360 Virtual Tour, and with works available for purchase through Artcld. 
  • One Day I Will Walk Into The Umbrella: The Black Box Gallery exhibition of drawings created by Justin P. Douglass while incarcerated in Concord and in Norfolk. 
  • Gallery 3: An exhibition of mixed media works by Cynthia Katz. 
  • #TBT: Just Added Lyle Lovett Video – As we continue to digitize various Umbrella programming, we’re pleased to share for the first time a video excerpt of last fall’s amazing benefit concert by Lyle Lovett. The video was wonderfully produced with high-quality sound by video professional and Umbrella volunteer, Bob Greim. 

The Multicultural Arts Center – The Multicultural Arts Center has created a virtual gallery for Cambridge students, teachers, parents, and community members to showcase its K-8 Young Artist exhibition. 

TC Squared – In response to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic, TC Squared has launched a new online reading series: VOLUME UP Virtual Play Readings. Videos can be found on its YouTube channel.  Facebook and Twitter has the most up-to-date info.

Exquisite.

Mar 23

Book Release and Online Event:”There Must Be Happy Endings” by Megan Sandberg-Zakian is Released Today!

There Must Be Happy Endings: On Theatre of Optimism & Honesty
By Megan Sandberg-Zakian
Published by The 3rd Thing Press
Olympia, 2020
Available on Kickstarter with a $24.00 pledge
Paperback, 230 pages

LIVE ONLINE EVENT!
Megan Sandberg-Zakian in conversation with Melinda Lopez
March 23, 2020, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Free on the HowlRound website! More info below.
Event on
Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

“An ending doesn’t have to be happy to be satisfying. A good ending, happy or not, draws a line around the experience of story hearing and telling. It picks the story up, holds it in its hands, and offers it out, whole. It gives us the opportunity for a collective breath. A good ending is honest: a boundary we can feel, the knowledgable edge of a reliable container. It is a ritual threshold between story and not-story.” 

— Megan Sandberg-Zakian, “There Must Be Happy Endings,” There Must Be Happy Endings: On Theatre of Optimism & Honesty, 2020.

Somerville, Mass — There Must Be Happy Endings by Megan Sandberg-Zakian is an exploration in the personal dramaturgy of the mind and spirit. In her first book of essays, the author takes a deep dive into the works that have made a lasting impression upon her. They are an extension of her need to share stories through theatre. Whether by quoting Homer, The Dark Knight or Annie, these essays draw the reader into the author’s personal story by circumnavigating the landscape of the greater western narrative. She tells us why happy ends are important and why they are especially important to her. Her title essay isn’t demanding sappy closure but commanding a divine right to culminate our narratives with an end to the suffering within them.  Continue reading

Sep 13

We’re on the Same Side: “The Purists”

J Bernard Calloway and John Scurti; Photo Credit: T Charles Ericksonn© T Charles Erickson.

Presented by the Huntington Theatre Company
By Dan McCabe
Directed by Billy Porter
Original music by Michael Sandlofer

Aug. 30 – Oct. 6, 2019
South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Boston, MA
Huntington on Facebook

Critique by Kitty Drexel

Editor’s Note: This article now includes an addendum by Noelani Kamelamela

(Boston) These are some terms and figures within hip hop culture that viewers should understand to better appreciate The Purists.

These are some terms and figures from musical theatre culture that viewers should understand.

  • Jerome Kern
  • George & Ira Gershwin
  • Bob Fosse 
  • Andrew Lloyd Weber 
  • National treasure, Bob Ross
  • Rapping in musicals
  • Annie + video 
  • Stephen Sondheim
  • Call center/Box office
  • The Golden Age of musical theatre

Oppression isn’t a contest. Virginia is mourning the 400th anniversary of slavery in the US. June 28 marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. The ADA wasn’t made law until 1990. The only people who win when marginalized communities fight are the rich, white people who make money from our oppression. No one is free until we are all free. Freedom must be intersectional.   Continue reading

Nov 02

Shakespeare Wins, The End: SOMETHING ROTTEN!

SOMETHING ROTTEN!
Conceived by Karey Kirkpatrick and Wayne Kirkpatrick
Book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell
Music and lyrics by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick
Directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw
Music directed  by Phil Reno

Now through January 1, 2017
St. James Theatre, a Jujiamcyn Theater
246 W. 44th Street
New York, NY
(Between 7th & 8th Avenues)
Something Rotten! On Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(New York, NYIt is a perk and a privilege to write complimentary reviews for people I know or used to know in a different life. There’s a certain joy in spinning a glowing critique for someone who deserves it. My joy is incalculably multiplied when done for a personal acquaintance. It’s best if it’s a surprise. It’s even better if it’s a special occasion. Continue reading

Jun 13

“Carousel” Not a Merry Show but a Pleasant Ride

Photo courtesy Reagle Music Theatre/©Herb Philpott

Photo courtesy Reagle Music Theatre/©Herb Philpott

Presented by Reagle Music Theatre
Music by Richard Rodgers
Book & Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Directed & Choreographed by Rachel Bertone
Musical Direction by Dan Rodriguez

June 9-19, 2016
Waltham, MA
Reagle Music Theatre on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Waltham, MA) It always feels a bit dissociative when I see a show that is technically a good production, but the show itself is rather terrible. While watching Reagle Music Theatre’s Carousel, I clapped, I scoffed, rolled my eyes, and was constantly asking myself, “Why?” Continue reading

May 03

A Passionate Concert: Ana Moura on April 30, 2016


Presented by World Music/CRASH arts
April 30, 2016 @ 8pm only
Berklee Performance Center
Boston, MA
Ana Moura on Facebook
World Music/CRASH arts on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Boston, MA) The last time Ana Moura was hosted by World Music/CRASH arts in 2014, she brought the house to its feet in a celebration of her latest release at the time Desfado.  This show was excellent in a different way.  Certainly, her latest album Moura has been touring since last year and those performances were condensed for her concert at the Berklee Performance Center this past Saturday. Featuring a great backing band, Ana Moura dazzled the typically stoic New England audience to the point of stupefication for two hours. Continue reading

Aug 28

Genre-Flexible “Winter’s Tale” Becomes a Summer Fantasia in Nathan Tufts Park

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Presented by Maiden Phoenix Theatre Company
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Sarah Gazdowicz

August 14-30, 2015
Nathan Tufts Park (aka Powderhouse Park) in Somerville, MA
BRING A BLANKET and/or LAWN CHAIRS
Maiden Phoenix on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Somerville, MA) Maiden Phoenix gamely takes on one of the strangest of Shakespeare’s late period work. In the style of King Lear, Leontes (Juliet Bowler) comes to distrust his loved ones to the horror of his court. His queen, Hermione (Cassandra Meyer), is accused of adultery, their son, Mamillius (a hilariously bro-y Caroline Rose Markham), is separated from his mother, and a baby is abandoned on a hillside to be devoured by the wild. Then, suddenly, when a man “exits” the stage pursued by bears, the story transforms. The Winter’s Tale leaves aside its devastating tragedy and the king’s “too hot, too hot” anger in favor of a pastoral comedy. From this point on, the story flows together like a series of dreams. This peculiar shift suits not only more optimistic fare but the theatre group’s choice of setting, a green, fairy tale-like staging in Nathan Tufts Park. Continue reading

Feb 27

Sleeping Weazel Presents: BADASS

Displaying badass_bpt_ad-color.jpg

SLEEPING WEAZEL PRESENTS BADASS
a Women’s History Month Festival of new works

Dates 
March 5th-7th, 2015
March 12th-14th, 2015
All shows begin at 8:00 pm
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
949 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA

Tickets
$25 at the door or online: www.sleepingweazel.com/upcoming-events

FEATURING:
The Tempest (or Bark’s Dream): 
a storm in one act
written by Kate Snodgrass
performed by Steven Barkhimer
directed by Melia Bensussen
 
Shameless to the Bone!
written and performed by
Magdalena Gómez

Jazz ‘n Class:
a performance meditation
written and performed by
Robbie McCauley Continue reading

Jan 24

Beasts drop many tales into a well and frog them out: KERPLOP!


Presented by imaginary beasts
Written and Directed by Matthew Woods

January 17-February 7, 2015
BCA Plaza Black Box Black Box Theatre
Boston, MA
imaginary beasts on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Boston, MA)  imaginary beasts have produced a pleasant reminder of spring.  A silly and colorful confection, Kerplop!  is anchored by the ensemble’s commitment to the lighter side of theatre in a convoluted story based somewhat on The Frog Prince as well as other, possibly lesser known tales. Continue reading