Nov 16

A Crack in the Blue Wall” Enough to Make a Dent?

Photo credit: James Pierre

Photo credit: James Pierre

Presented by Hibernian Hall
Directed & Written by Jacqui Parker

November 6 -21, 2015
Hibernian Hall on Facebook
Black Lives Matter

Review by Travis Manni

(Roxbury, MA) The timeliness of Jacqui Parker’s play is not reflective of her knowledge of current events, but rather a sheer necessity in direct response to the fact that we still do not live in a post-racial society. A Crack in the Blue Wall pays tribute to the families of black youth who are being killed because, as poet Claudia Rankine explains in Citizen, white men can’t police their imagination. What surprised me most about the perspective of Parker’s show is the respect she showed for both the families of the deceased as well as the police force, which is too often blanketed as entirely corrupt. Continue reading

Nov 16

Black Nuns are Supposed to be Funny: “SISTER ACT”

Photos©Paul Lyden

Photos©Paul Lyden

Presented by North Shore Music Theatre
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Glenn Slater
Book by Cheri Steinkellner and Bill Steinkellner
Additional Book Material by Douglas Carter Beane
Based on the Touchstone Pictures Motion Picture Sister Act written by Joseph Howard
Direction and Choreography by Kevin P. Hill
Music direction by Andrew Bryan (with an assist by Adrian Ries)

November 3 – 15, 2015
Beverly, MA
NSMT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly, MA) What do you do with a musical version of a 90’s comedy that doesn’t age particularly well? You try and set it in the 70’s and hope for the best. The North Shore Music Theatre cast of Sister Act is winsome at times, but not crisp enough to transcend the problematic source material. Continue reading

Nov 16

Chronically Single: A Man’s Honest Attempt to Explain Singlehood

Photo of Randy Ross, writer and solo performer of "The Chronic Single's Handbook." Here, he offers one theory on why he is still single. Photo taken at the Capitol Fringe Festival in Washington, D.C. in 2013. Photo credit: Paul Gillis Photography. (low-res)

Photo of Randy Ross, photo taken at the Capitol Fringe Festival in Washington, D.C. in 2013. Photo credit: Paul Gillis Photography. (low-res)

Presented by OutPost 186
Written and Directed by Randy Ross

November 13, 15, 17, 21-22, 2015
OutPost 186 on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Cambridge, MA) During a conversation I had with a friend recently, it was decided that us twentysomethings are in two categories: the kind that enjoys hooking up with no strings attached, and the kind that is self-aware of the fact that they are not ready to be in any kind of a relationship. So it was quite surprising for me to see that the same could be somewhat true for older singles in The Chronic Single’s Handbook. Continue reading

Nov 15

Dreaming the Dream: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

Presented by the Isango Ensemble
Adapted and Directed by Mark Dornford-May
Music Arrangement by Mandisi Dyantyis
Music Directored by Pauline Malefane and Mandisi Dyantyis
Choreography by Lungelo Ngamlana

Presented at ArtsEmerson
November 10 – 22, 2015
Cutler Majestic Theatre
219 Tremont street, Boston
ArtsEmerson on Facebook
Isango Ensemble on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) I don’t know about you, but A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of those shows that I’ve seen so often it’s nearly lost all meaning. It might be a professional hazard: as a Shakespearean dramaturge/actor/fight director/scholar, Midsummer pops onto my project radar so frequently in so many different settings: it’s a favorite of high school drama clubs, regional Shakespeare theatres, and any company looking to do “Shakespeare with a twist”. Midsummer lends itself well to many different interpretations, and has enough zany, wacky antics to support a multitude of artistic styles and choices. Continue reading

Nov 12

Too close but still comfortable: “Six Degrees of Separation”

Credit: Paul Cantillon, Lidecphoto.com.

Credit: Paul Cantillon, Lidecphoto.com.

Produced by Bad Habit Productions
Written by John Guare
Directed by Liz Fenstermaker

November 7-22, 2015
Deane Hall at the Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Bad Habit on Facebook

http://badhabitproductions.org/shows/season-9/mainstage/six-degrees-of-separation/

(Boston, MA) Six Degrees of Separation was a celebrated play when it first hit New York stages, portraying stereotypes of the city, moneyed New Yorkers and people who aspire to be moneyed New Yorkers. This production elevates the writing to present a mix that is more than the Law & Order rerun it would like to be. Continue reading

Nov 10

Meet Crazy is Still Cute: LAB RATS

Photo credit: Nile Hawver/Nile Scott Shots

Photo credit: Nile Hawver/Nile Scott Shots

Presented by Brown Box Theatre Project
Written by Patrick Gabridge
Directed by Kyler Taustin

Boston, MA: Nov 6-8 & 13-15, 2015
Atlantic Wharf
290 Congress St
Ocean City, MD: November 20-23, 2015
Center for the Arts
502 94th Street
Brown Box on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Lab Rats is an adorable comedy about the drastic measures people will take to convince others of their relative normalcy. Some days it’s impossible to hold all the crazy in. Let she who hasn’t committed some social faux pas (like wailing like a blubbering infant on public transport) cast the first stone! For Mika and Jake, “some days” tend to be most days thanks to a barrage of paid-to-evaluate tests they take in order to make ends meet. Continue reading

Nov 09

“Next to Normal” a Next to Average Production

Photo provided by CCT Publicity

Photo provided by CCT Publicity

Presented by Curtain Call Theatre
Music by Tom Kitt
Book & Lyrics by Brian Yorkey
Directed by Jim Sullivan
Musical direction by Jose Merlo

November 6-8, 12-14, 2015
Braintree, MA
Curtain Call Theatre on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Braintree, MA) From my own upbringing, I thought I understood the definition of dysfunctional, but nothing could have prepared me for the family dynamic put on display in the rock musical Next to Normal. Continue reading

Nov 04

Sleeping Weazel Presents: BODY & SOLD

Posted with permission from Sleeping Weazel

Posted with permission from Sleeping Weazel

SLEEPING WEAZEL JOINS TEMPEST PRODUCTIONS FOR A PLAY READING TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT TEENAGE SEX TRAFFICKING IN THE UNITED STATES

Boston, Mass., October 20, 2015 — Multimedia theatre company Sleeping Weazel, with director Robbie McCauley, will present a staged reading of BODY & SOLD, a documentary play by Tempest Productions’ Founder and Artistic Director Deborah Lake Fortson on Monday, November 16, 2015, 7:30 pm at Charlestown Working Theater, 442 Bunker Hill Street, Charlestown, MA 02129. This play is the result of interviews with young Americans from Boston, Hartford, and Minneapolis who ran away from home or were kidnapped and lured into prostitution before escaping with their lives. The BODY & SOLD Project was developed to foster a network of theaters and social agencies with the goal of raising national consciousness about the intertwined issues of child abuse, runaways, and child/teenage prostitution.

This reading, supported by a Sleeping Weazel Lab Residency at the Charlestown Working Theatre, is part of a series of readings being presented this season by the Nora Theatre, Fort Point Theatre Channel, Boston University, Emerson College, and Boston Playwrights’ Theatre.

CALENDAR LISTING
Sleeping Weazel and Tempest Productions present:

BODY & SOLD

written by Deborah Lake Fortson
directed by Robbie McCauley
Monday, November 16, 2015
7:30 pm

Tickets: FREE and open to the public, donations welcome
Charlestown Working Theater
442 Bunker Hill Street
Charlestown, MA 02129

About Sleeping Weazel
Charlotte Meehan and Adara Meyers are playwrights and co-directors of Sleeping Weazel, a Boston-based experimental multimedia theatre company with an online cyber art gallery exhibiting film, video, and sound art that expands “the theatrical.” Last year, Sleeping Weazel premiered critically acclaimed productions of Meehan’s 27 Tips for Banishing the Blues (September 2014) and Meyers’ Talk To At Me (June 2014) as part of the company’s Doubles, Demons, and Dreamers festival. In March, the company premiered Badass, a festival of new works by theatre greats Kate Snodgrass, Robbie McCauley, and Magdalena Gomez. Sleeping Weazel’s motto, “making different possible,” refers to the company’s mission to bridge the gap between mainstream and avant-garde, to present works that break the boundaries between art forms, and to work with artists across generations, cultures, and genres. www.sleepingweazel.com Continue reading

Nov 03

Appropriating the Habits of Rabbits: “Casa Valentina”

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
Written by Harvey Fierstein
Directed by Scott Edminston

Oct. 24 – Nov. Nov. 28, 2015
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
SpeakEasy on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MACasa Valentina is about men who relax by appropriating women’s culture,  and feminine identity. This cutting play by Harvey Fierstein examines the subversive transvestite subculture of the mid-1950’s. According to the healthily robust dramaturgy notes by Maureen Dezell, men would don wigs, hose and dresses to enjoy a quaint weekend in the Catskills. These men unwind from their rigid gender roles with a tube of lipstick and a stiff drink amidst the glory of the New York state. Suffice to say, this is not a production for conservative types with traditional notions of what is or is not acceptable behavior for men. Tread wisely. Continue reading

Nov 01

Haunting Memories and Daunting Doubt:”Choice”

© T Charles Erickson Photography

© T Charles Erickson Photography

Presented by Huntington Theatre Company
By Winnie Holzman
Directed by Sheryl Kaller

October 16-November 15, 2015
Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts
Huntington Theatre Company on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) I was stumbling through the rain this past Wednesday night in an outfit that wasn’t remotely appropriate rain attire. After stepping into the lobby of the Calderwood Pavilion, I couldn’t get the clinging wetness sensation off of me, but the second I walked into the theater, finally able to peel away my jacket, I was hit by a friendly warmth from the stage. Continue reading