Mar 13

 Accident, Illness, or Genetics: “Cost of Living”

Sean Leviashvili (left) and
Gina Fonseca. Nile Scott Studios.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company 
By Martyna Majok
Directed by Alex Lonati
Intimacy direction by Jesse Hinson
Dramaturgy by Nontani Weatherly
Community liaison: Brennan Srisirikul 
Occupational therapy consultant: Beth Cashin
Featuring: Lewis D Wheeler, Gina Fonesca, Sean Leviashvili, Stephanie Gould 

March 13 – March 30, 2024
Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts
Roberts Studio Theatre 
527 Tremont Street
Boston, MA

1 hour 40 minutes with no intermission. 

Review by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON, Mass. — SpeakEasy Stage’s Cost of Living by Martyna Majok is playing at the Boston Center for the Arts. It has themes of intimacy and loneliness. It is not appropriate for children. 

Eddie (Lewis D Wheeler) and his estranged ex-wife Ani (Stephanie Gould) reunite unexpectedly after she is paralyzed in an accident. John (Sean Leviashvili), a PhD student with cerebral palsy, hires Jess (Gina Fonseca) as his aide. Cost of Living examines our inherent need for connection while taking a hard look at monetary and physical privilege. Continue reading

Mar 08

“Eurydice” Revisits and Revives Myth and Memory

Eurydice (Sydney Mancasola) descends into the Underworld. Photo by Nile Scott Studios.

Presented by The Boston Lyric Opera
Music by Matthew Aucoin
Conducted by Matthew Aucoin
Libretto by Sarah Ruhl
Based on the play by Sarah Ruhl
Stage Direction, Set, & Costume Design by Douglas Fitch
Sung in English with English surtitles

March 1-10, 2024
The Huntington Theater
264 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

The Digital Playbill

Running time: 2 hours and 20 minutes, including one 20-minute intermission

Review by Gillian Daniels

BOSTON, Mass – “This is what it is to love an artist: the moon is always rising above your house,” Sydney Mancasolaw sings as the newly dead Eurydice. “The houses of your neighbors are dark and dull.”

Continue reading

Feb 05

You Can’t Quit Everytime Someone Denies You Funding: “Machine Learning”

Armando Rivera. Photo: Nile Scott Studios.

Presented by Central Square Theater
Produced in partnership with Teatro Chelsea
A Catalyst Collaborative@MIT Production
Written by Francisco Mendoza
Directed by Gabriel Vega Weissman
Dramaturgy by Sofia Cardona

January 25 – February 25. 2024
Central Square Theater
450 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

Machine Learning runs approximately 100 minutes with no intermission.

Content warning: Themes of addiction, toxic masculinity, a child in an emotionally and mentally abusive environment, and human suffering. 

Prop cigarettes are used in this production.

Critique by Kitty Drexel

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Machine Learning by Francisco Mendoza is presented jointly by Central Square Theater and Teatro Chelsea. It is directed by Gabriel Vega Weissman and will play at Central Square Theater in Cambridge, MA through February 25.

Machine Learning imagines a world where the abilities of AI have grown far past ChatGPT and Siri. Jorge (Armando Rivera) is a promising but aimless grad student without a university to sponsor his work. Anita (Sugandha Gopal), a robotics and AI professor agrees to bring Jorge into her program on the condition that Jorge will choose a project and stick with it.  Continue reading

Jan 31

To Believe Things Still Make Sense: “A Case for the Existence of God”

Hinson and Grant. Nile Scott Studios photo.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
Written by Samuel D Hunter
Directed by Melinda Lopez
Intimacy choreography by Ted Hewlett
Featuring De’Lon Grant as Keith and Jesse Hinson as Ryan

Jan 26 – Feb 17, 2024
Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA 02116

Approx. 90 minutes with no intermission

Critique by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON, Mass. — A Case for the Existence of God is the story of two lonely men in small-town Idaho finding friendship in a mortgage brokerage. Keith (De’Lon Grant) and Ryan (Jesse Hinson) meet at their daughters’ daycare. Keith is a Black, culturally astute broker. Ryan is a white, blue-collar factory worker with a heart of gold and coffers of dust who needs a mortgage. 

They bond over the struggles of single fatherhood. Keith is fostering Willa and hopes to adopt her. Ryan wants to buy a plot of land on what used to be his great-grandad’s original plot so he can leave it to baby daughter Crista. What begins as a grueling process of jumping through bank hoops becomes a true friendship between men who have more in common than they don’t.  Continue reading

Oct 30

We Had A Girl (And a Whole Gothic Genre) Before You

Annie Barbour as Weenie; photo by Nile Scott Studios.

Presented by Greater Boston Stage Company
Written by Trevor Schmidt
Directed by Weylin Symes
Production Stage Management by E.D. Fitzgerald
Scene Design by Katy Monthei
Starring Annie Barbour

OCT 20 – NOV 5, 2023
395 Main Street
​Stoneham, MA 02180
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Critique by Gillian Daniels

STONEHAM, Mass. – We Had A Girl Before You takes all the ingredients of Gothic literature, mashes them into a paste, and uses the resulting substance as mortar to lay the bricks of a whole new rambling, haunted house. That rambling house is brought to life wonderfully by Production Stage Manager E.D. Fitzgerald and Scenic Designer Kathy Monthei. The manor evoked here becomes increasingly eerie through the talents of Sound Designer David Remedios. All the elements paired with the story culminate in a symphony of dread and, as a Gothic fan, I adored it.

Edwina “Weenie” Trout (Annie Barbour) is a spinster who’s just acquired a new job at an isolated manor. Barbour’s talent carries the show, but how could it not? She’s the only actress on stage. This can be hard to remember as she seamlessly embodies the other characters our heroine encounters, from a saucy barmaid to her rich, mysterious employer. The latter’s introduction is where the story really begins to build a sense of dread. Her new master, emotionally distant and alluring, gives us a Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre on steroids. Of course, Weenie is scared and enamored of him. Continue reading

Jun 13

Who? Where? With What? Hilarity is Afoot: “Clue”

The cast. Photo by Nile Scott Studios.

Presented by the Greater Boston Stage Company
Written by Sandy Rustin
Adapted from the Paramount Pictures film written by Jonathan Lynn and the board game from Hasbro, Inc
Additional materials by Hunter Foster and Eric Price
Directed by Weylin Symes
Fight choreography by Alexander Platt
Movement Consultant: Ceit Zweil 
EDI consultant: Kira Troilo

June 2 – 25, 2023
395 Main Street
Stoneham, MA 02180

Critique by Kitty Drexel

STONEHAM, Mass. — Clue is a game, a film, a musical, a play, and soon a movie remake by Ryan Reynolds. The stage play is performing now at the Greater Boston Stage Company. If you enjoy a farcical whodunit and a murder mystery spoof with gags aplenty, get your butts to Stoneham! 

Now a disclaimer: GBSC’s Clue may not be for you if you can’t imagine a stage performance being better than the movie. It’s not for you if you’re ready to pick apart what is and isn’t the same as the classic. 

Clue is for you if you can make room for new interpretations of old favorites. Clue is meant to be fun; it’s a funny show, movie, and musical. This production is for anyone willing to appreciate slapstick humor, silly puns, and great physical comedy despite and because of its renowned story.  Continue reading

Jun 05

Defiant Like It’s Banned in Florida: “As You Like It”

Genevieve Simon and the cast of Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s As You Like It (2023). Photo by Nile Scott Studios.

Presented by Actors’ Shakespeare Project in partnership with The Theater Offensive
Directed by Harold Steward
Associated Directed by Brooke Hardman
Featuring Fady Demian, Lindsay Eagle, Gabriel Graetz, Jaime Josè Hernández, Doug Lockwood, Nathan Malin, Gavin Rasmussen, Genevieve Simon, Bobbie Steinbach, Regine Vital, Mishka Yarovoy

June 2 – 25, 2023
Tufts University’s Balch Arena Theater
40 Talbot Ave
Medford, MA 02155

Critique by Craig Idlebrook

MEDFORD, Mass. — At first glance, Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s declaration that its production of As You Like It “leans into (the play’s) famed crossdressing mayhem and gender euphoria” in defiance of the passage of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation could be as empty a stretch as a corporate Pride Month initiative. After all, As You Like It already is one of Shakespeare’s gender-bending plays, in which female protagonists find reasons to dress as men, woo men as men, and then be wooed in turn by women. Add to this that men played all the female parts in the original runs of these comedies, and on paper it seems like there would be little space to add more LGBTQ+ focus.

That is why it is all the more impressive that this production, done in partnership with The Theater Offensive, finds new ways to turn this absurd play into a weapon against the absurdity of a new wave of anti-LGBTQ+ hate. Continue reading

May 18

“The Prom”: Celebrities Want Posterity, Find Purpose

Tori Heinlein (center) and ensemble. (Photo via Nile Scott Studios)

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
Book & Lyrics by Chad Beguelin
Book by Bob Martin
Music by Matthew Sklar
Directed by Paul Daigneault
Music Direction by Paul S. Katz
Choreography by Taavon Gamble

The Huntington at the Calderwood Pavilion / BCA
527 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02116
May 5–June 10, 2023

To purchase tickets, visit SpeakEasy Stage

Review by Gillian Daniels

BOSTON, Mass – The Prom begins as an unsentimental, comic takedown of show business opportunism. Broadway diva Dee Dee Allen (Mary Callanan) and leading man Barry Glickman (the charismatic Johnny Kuntz) look to soften their public image after their recent musical flop by utilizing a viral controversy in the midwest. Continue reading

Mar 27

Choose Flying: “Wild Goose Dreams”

Jeffrey Song and Eunji Lim; Nile Scott Studios.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
Written by Hansol Jung
Directed by Seonjae Kim
Intimacy choreography by Yo-El Cassell 
Original compositions by Jeffrey Song
Featuring: Amanda Centeno, Ciaran D’Hondt, Fady Demian, John D. Haggerty, Elaine Hom, Eunji Lim, Ryan Mardesich, Jeffrey Song.

March 17 – April 8, 2023
Roberts Studio Theatre 
Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont Street
Boston, MA

Run time is estimated to be 1:40 without intermission.  

Critique by Kitty Drexel

BOSTON, Mass. — Wild Goose Dreams is a play with music by Hansol Jung and directed by Seonjae Kim. It is presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company and currently running at the Boston Center for the Arts. Audiences will encounter themes of loneliness, internet dependence, and censorship. 

Boston began its relationship with Wild Goose Dreams in May 2020 on Facebook Live during the Lockdown. Central Square Theater hosted a reading of Jung’s play with Underground Railway as part of its “Art is our Activism” series. Debra Wise directed a different cast (also led by Jeffrey Song!) that featured actor Michael Tow. Geek writer Diana Lu interviewed Tow after the reading for the blog. 

Shortly before the Lockdown, Company One performed Jung’s Wolf Play through February 2020 – just before lockdown began. Boston’s artists and audiences were ready for Jung’s work! History had other plans. 

At long last, SpeakEasy Stage Co brings Wild Goose Dreams, a play with musical vignettes, to Boston! (I bet it had some steep competition.) Wild Goose Dreams gets the New England premiere it deserves. We don’t have to wait any longer to see this play in person.  Continue reading

Mar 08

We Would Do Anything for Love, Including That: “Alma”

Full frontal chancla fight, Karina Beleno Carney and Luz Lopez in “Alma”. Photo: Nile Scott Studios.

Presented by Central Square Theater
Written by Benjamin Benne
Directed by Elena Velasco
Choreography by Angie Jepson
Dialect Coaching by Cristhian Mancinas-García
Community Connectivity Dramaturgy by Zowie Rico
Featuring Karina Beleno Carney (she/ella) and Luz Lopez (she/her)

February 23 to March 26, 2023
Central Square Theater
450 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 
75 minutes with no intermission

Critique by Kitty Drexel

Cambridge, MA — The Oxford English Dictionary says the American Dream is “the ideal that every citizen of the United States should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative.” Benjamin Benne’s Alma at Central Square Theater is the story of a family that comes to accept that some American dreams are only available to wealthy, white, and documented dreamers.   Continue reading