Nov 02

Shakespeare…with Zombies: “Twelfth Night of the Living Dead”

Photo courtesy of Anthem's Facebook page

Photo courtesy of Anthem’s Facebook page

Presented by Anthem Theatre Company
Based on the work by William Shakespeare
Script by Brian MacInnis Smallwood
Directed by Bryn Boice

October 27 – November 5, 2016
Plaza Black Box Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Anthem on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston, MA) I’m going to make a case for why Twelfth Night of the Living Dead, a mashup of Shakespeare and zombie movies, rises above its original source material. And I’m making this case post-Halloween, so I’m not gripped with Salem festival-like fever. Continue reading

Oct 27

Beautiful and Painful: “The Scottsboro Boys”

Nile Hawver / Nile Scott Shots; The ensemble getting down.

Nile Hawver / Nile Scott Shots; The ensemble getting down.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
Music and Lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb
Book by David Thompson
Original Direction and Choreography by Susan Stroman
Directed by Paul Daigneault
Musical Direction by Matthew Stern
Choreography by Ilyse Robbins

October 21 – November 26
Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts
527 Tremont Street
Speakeasy on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) It’s difficult to know what to say about The Scottsboro Boys.  The piece is uncomfortable to watch not because of its incredible talent or flawless direction and design, but rather because it’s meant to be uncomfortable to watch.  The show is a remixed account of the historical case of The Scottsboro Boys, nine young black men who in 1931 were accused of raping two white women on a train, told through the lens of American Minstrelsy.  Performed with gusto and amazing energy, SpeakEasy’s production is a triumph that should be mandatory viewing for any American (particularly in an election year as fraught with the urge to “just give up” as this one has been). Continue reading

Oct 26

The Opposite of Hell Freezing Over: “When January Feels Like Summer”

Photo courtesy of CST Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of CST Facebook page.

Presented by Underground Railway Theater
Written by Cori Thomas
Directed by Benny Sato Ambush

Oct. 20 – Nov. 13, 2016
Central Square Theater
Cambridge, MA
CST on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge, MA) Spoiler alert: No one dies in When January Feels Like Summer. No one even gets beaten up. In fact, everyone gets a happy ending. Thomas’ play is extraordinary because sweet but nosy Indira gets to be happy. Thomas’ POC characters get to live their lives without some white person causing unnecessary trouble. It shouldn’t be unusual that a play about POCs or a trans woman isn’t about the violence inflected on them, but it is. It shouldn’t be revolutionary for a person to go about their business. Yet, here we are.       Continue reading

Oct 25

Feminism is the Radical Theory that Women are People: “Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again”

Presented by Company One Theatre
Written by Alice Birch
Directed by Summer L. Williams
Dramaturgy by Jessie Baxter
Compositions by Allyssa Jones
Choreography by Misha Shields

October 21 – November 19, 2016
Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
C1 on Facebook

Post-Show Chats Following Every Thursday Performance

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. is what one gets if feminist theory, on trend “feminist” media marketing, Hollywood, and the theatre are whirled in a blender until lumpy but delicious. Add speed and tequila, to taste. It’s wild but it’s solid. Feminist scholars will love it. Those new to feminism may not fully grasp the nuances but should attend for educational and entertainment purposes. MRAs will hate it because they lack a sense of humor. People seeking a stronger male voice can go to any of the other theatre in town. Continue reading

Oct 17

Sympathy for the Sinner: ABIGAIL/1702

Photo by Meghan Moore; Rachel Napoleon and Jon Kovach.

Photo by Meghan Moore; Rachel Napoleon and Jon Kovach.

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Script by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Directed by Tlaloc Rivas

October 12 – November 6, 2016
50 East Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA 01852
MRT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell, MA) Ever notice that there aren’t many Academy Awards won for performances given in horror films? This might be because such scripts require a form of acting gymnastics – extreme emotion in some moments and the ability to deliver silly-sounding lines with a straight face in others. Continue reading

Dec 04

I Missed “The Wiz” for This: THE SNOW QUEEN

Photo by Andrew Brilliant / Brilliant Pictures.

L-R: Nick Sulfaro as Kai, Aimee Doherty as the Snow Queen, and Victoria Britt as Gerda. Photo by Andrew Brilliant / Brilliant Pictures.

Presented by New Rep Theatre
Book by Kirsten Brandt and Rick Lombardo
Music by Haddon Kime
Lyrics by Kirsten Brandt, Rick Lombardo, and Haddon Kime
Additional music, stage direction and choreography by Rick Lombardo
Associate choreographer: Kelli Edwards
Musical direction by Emily Intersimone

Nov. 28 – Dec. 20, 2015
Arsenal Center for the Arts
Charles Mosesian Theater
Watertown, MA
New Rep on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Watertown, MA) We critics want to write positive reviews. For the most part (I can’t speak for everyone), we enter a performance space sincerely hoping that the performance that follows will blow us out of the water with its exceptional talent, creativity, ingenuity and expression of the human condition. We want everyone to do well. Writing a negative review is a draining experience for a critic. The truth can be a bitter pill to swallow. Continue reading

Dec 01

“The Little Mermaid” Makes a Little Splash

Courtesy Fiddlehead Theatre Company/©Eric Antoniou

Courtesy Fiddlehead Theatre Company/©Eric Antoniou

Presented by Fiddlehead Theatre Company at The Strand Theatre
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater
Book by Doug Wright
Musical Direction by Charles Peltz

November 27-December 6, 2015
Dorchester, MA
Fiddlehead Theatre Company on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Dorchester, MA) Disney musicals are the foundation of almost all happy childhoods, so I was excited to see an extended version of the undersea fantasy that entranced my youthful eyes and ears. But the problem with Disney’s staged version of The Little Mermaid, the same part that left me slightly disappointed after seeing the show, is that it expands on something that is already so perfect in a way that feels forced and unnecessary. Continue reading

Nov 30

Uncompromised Cuteness: BAREFOOT IN THE PARK

Tom Shoemaker (Paul Bratter) and Marisa Gold (Corie Bratter); Photograph – Earl Christie Photography

Tom Shoemaker (Paul Bratter) and Marisa Gold (Corie Bratter); Photograph – Earl Christie Photography

Presented by Moonbox Productions
Written by Neil Simon
Directed by Allison Olivia Choat
Original music composed by Dan Rodriguez

Nov. 20 – Dec. 12, 2015
Plaza Theater
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Moonbox on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Ticket sales benefit Summer Search. Please visit their site and learn more.

(Boston, MA) At first blush, Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park appears to be a fluffy romcom with about as much depth as the Frog Pond during a late-August drought. Upon closer inspection, it could be perceived as a satire addressing the impossible expectations placed on 1960’s newly-wed couples. I know it’s a stretch. Bear with me for a second. Continue reading

Nov 23

Weiner, Pirate and Bust: “A Confederacy of Dunces”

Presented by the Huntington Theatre Company
Written by Jeffrey Hatcher
Based on the novel by John Kennedy Toole
Directed by David Esbjornson
Original music by Mark Bennett
Music direction by Wayne Barker

Nov. 11 – Dec. 20, 2015
Avenue of the Arts
Boston, MA
Huntington on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) I did not enjoy A Confederacy of Dunces. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t good theatre. Let’s discuss. Continue reading

Nov 18

Women Are Kept Powerless on Purpose: “The Love of the Nightingale”

Photo by Tim Gurczak

Photo by Tim Gurczak

Presented by Hub Theatre Company of Boston
Written by Timberlake Wertenbaker
Directed by Rebecca Bradshaw
Choreography by Tyler Catanella
Music direction and sound design by Bahar Royaee
Fight choreography by Rebecca Miller

Nov. 6 – 21, 2015
First Church Boston
66 Marlborough St
Boston, MA 02116
Hub Theatre on Facebook

Disclaimer: Mrs. Drexel did audition for this production and was not cast. She firmly believes that only a selfish ass would allow such a thing to taint her review.

Trigger warning: Gore, rape, feminist thought

Review by Kitty Drexel

“How do women still go out with guys, when you consider the fact that there is no greater threat to women than men? We’re the number one threat! To women! Globally and historically, we’re the number one cause of injury and mayhem to women. We’re the worst thing that ever happens to them!” – Louis C.K.

“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” attributed to Margaret Atwood

(Boston, MA) The Love of the Nightingale is a Greek myth/morality tale that tells of the dangers of forcing women to be responsible for the sexualities of men. This self-aware play reduces gods and goddesses to the fears and urges of Man: if a dude behaves reprehensibly, it obviously must be the will of the gods. In the reality created by Wertenbaker, self-control and restraint are not wished by higher powers. Rape, victim blaming, unnecessary violence, and other terrible behaviors are. Gross. Continue reading