Nov 15

Geeks Read Books: TCG Plays by Women in 2018

(New York, NY/Somerville, MA) On occasion, the New England Theatre Geek will review newly published plays. Below are reviews for Pipeline by Dominique Morisseau, Let Me Down Easy by Anna Deavere Smith, and Cost of Living by Martyna Majok. All books are available via the TCG website Continue reading

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Feb 27

Geeks Read Books: “Three Sisters” & “Marjorie Prime”

Unbiased reviews for plays are written in exchange for hard copies. Theatre Communications Group has kindly forwarded Three Sisters by Chekhov and adapted by Tracy Letts, and Marjorie Prime by Jordan Harrison to The New England Theatre Geek.

Reviews by Kitty Drexel

Three Sisters
By Anton Chekhov, adapted by Tracy Letts
Theatre Communications Group
New York, NY
December 2016
$14.95

(NYC) Tracy Letts’ adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters is the dramatic literature equivalent of the “Google Translate Sings: ‘One Day More’ from Les Miserables” parody. It’s not accurate, but it’s not entirely incorrect either. The majority of the content is Chekhov’s original. Letts expresses it in new and festive ways. Continue reading

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Feb 07

Geeks Read Books: “Mary Page Marlowe” & “Night Is A Room”

Two new plays by TCG Mary Page Marlowe and Night is a Room
Reviews by Kitty Drexel

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Begin reviews: 

Mary Page Marlowe
By Tracy Letts
Theatre Communications Group (TCG)
New York, NY 2016
$14.95

Summary from the TCG website: “In a series of elegant, nonchronological scenes spanning the years from 1946 to 2015, the play hopscotches through Mary Page Marlowe’s quiet existence as an accountant from Ohio—complicating notions of what it means to lead a ‘simple life’.” Continue reading

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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

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Nov 01

Magic in the Making: Alice Ripley in concert, “Live from 16 Gramercy Park”

© 2016 The Players

© 2016 The Players; poster for the concert on Oct. 28, 2016

Presented by The Players
Concert featuring Alice Ripley and music director/accompanist John Fischer

Oct. 28, 2016 at 9PM and 10:30PM
16 Gramercy Park South
New York, NY 10003
The Players on Facebook
“Live From 16 Gramercy Park” concert series on Playbill

Review by Kitty Drexel

A special thank you to Joe Gehring for securing tickets to the event and a private tour of The Players (which was super cool).

(New York, NY) Over the weekend, I had the privilege of catching one of two intimate concerts performed by Alice Ripley at The Players social club in NYC. They are the first in a new series called “Live From 16 Gramercy Park.” Ms. Ripley sang a fine set of her own songs and performed, to great applause, a set of musical theatre repertoire. With a 10:30PM start time, It was a glorious (and late) night. Continue reading

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Oct 22

Geeks Read Books: “John” by Annie Baker

John by Annie Baker
Published by TCG (NYC) in June 2016
$14.95 paperback
$30.00 hardcover
www.tcg.org

Review by Kitty Drexel

I was given a gratis copy of John by TCG in return for my review. My opinions are my own. Anyone who thinks otherwise can fight me.

TCG summarizes the play thusly, “the week after Thanksgiving. A Bed & Breakfast in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. A cheerful innkeeper. A young couple struggling to stay together. Thousands of inanimate objects, watching.” The truth is much creepier than that.

Elias and Jenny are traveling through Gettysburg on a mini-vacation. They are a textbook example of pre-breakup behaviors: they don’t value each other’s struggles or input. They are distant to the point of unintentional neglect. They are staying at Mertis’ freezing cold bed and breakfast. Mertis has awkward boundaries. She doesn’t read between the lines. Neither do they. As the play unfolds, the couple is forced to confront their self-absorbed assumptions regarding each other. Everything and nothing is a metaphor for their experiences. Continue reading

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Apr 25

One Big Song & Dance for Sex: THE WILD PARTY

Photograph: Earl Christie Photography

Photograph: Earl Christie Photography

Presented by Moonbox Productions
Music and Lyrics by Michael John LaChiusa
Book by Michael John LaChiusa and George C. Wolfe
Based on the poem by Joseph Moncure March
Directed and choreographed by Rachel Bertone
Music direction by Dan Rodriguez
Orchestration by Bruce Coughlin

Now – May 1, 2016
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Boston, MA
Moonbox on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warning: underage rape, blackface, drinking, drugs, violence

(Boston, MA) Moonbox Production’s The Wild Party is a tight, gin-moist package of cruelty, casual racism and light kink. It’s a domestic violence fairy tale of grotesque proportions, and sexy as fuck. Everyone over the age of 18 should see it. The subject might be naughty but its methods are mesmerizing. Continue reading

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Feb 09

No Day But Today to See “Rent”

6-Full Cast - (C)Eric Antoniou

(C) Eric Antoniou

Presented by Fiddlehead Theatre Company at the Back Bay Events Center
Book, Music and Lyrics by Jonathan Larson
Music Direction by Nathan Urdangen
Directed by Stacey Stephens

February 5-21, 2016
Boston, MA
Fiddlehead Theatre Company on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) Rent has a very special place in my heart, and the hearts of many musical fans. I’ve been criticized by various people who point out their faults with the show, including the childish mentality that you can live in New York City (center of the universe) without paying rent for an entire year and expect zero consequences. Whatever shortcomings in its plot, it’s a fantastic rock musical and I was excited for all the nostalgic feels during the Fiddlehead Theatre Company’s production this past weekend, and while I wasn’t blown away, I wasn’t disappointed either. Continue reading

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Aug 04

Balance Amidst the Loneliness: ORDINARY DAYS

Photo credit: The Opposite of People

Photo credit: The Opposite of People

Presented by The Opposite of People  
Music & Lyrics by Adam Gwon
Directed by Cara Guappone
Musical direction by Samantha Prindiville

July 30th – August 2nd, 2015
Arsenal Center for the Arts
Watertown, MA
OoP on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Watertown, MA) Ordinary Days is a sweet, funny musical set in NYC by living composer (!) Adam Gwon. The Opposite of People took this cute but choppy, Jason Robert Brown-esque musical and gave it breadth in the Arsenal Center for the Arts. It had a slow start but it developed into a lovely production that shows promise for this fledgling company. Continue reading

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Jul 15

Dances with Agnostics: SAVING KITTY

Alexander Cook and Jennifer Coolidge; photo credit: A.R. Sinclair Photography.

Alexander Cook and Jennifer Coolidge; photo credit: A.R. Sinclair Photography.

Presented by The Nora Theatre Company
Written by Marisa Smith
Directed by Lee Mikeska

July 9 – August 2, 2015
Central Square Theater
Cambridge, MA
Central Square Theater on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel (who could use some saving of her own)

(Cambridge, MA) Marisa Smith has written a very good script. Saving Kitty is so good that, if logistically possible, She should get a second production on its feet ASAP. This is because the Nora Theatre Company’s current production stars Jennifer Coolidge. Coolidge’s well-deserved star power overwhelms Smith’s writing (and the stage). It is inappropriately likely that patrons will remember Ms. Coolidge did a show in Boston that one time. They are less likely to remember whose show it was, what it was about, or who the supporting actors were. That’s a damn shame.    Continue reading

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