Jul 29

A Modern Irish Classic: “The Weir”

Produced by Irish Repertory Theatre
By Conor McPherson
Directed by Ciaran O’Reilly
Video Editor – Sarah Nichols
Sound Designer – M. Florian Staab
Assistant Director – Jeff Davolt
Production Assistant – Simon Geaney

A Performance On Screen
7/21-7/25
132 West 22nd Street
New York, NY
Irish Rep on Facebook

Critique by Noe Kamelamela

YOUTUBE — Live theatre seems to be lingering in rebroadcast and livestream purgatory. On the one hand, this does increase accessibility in various directions, but on the other hand, quality varies.  Irish Rep’s production of McPherson’s modern Irish classic The Weir is definitely on the higher end of the scale. Continue reading

May 27

They stole her body and the pants off a white man: “Our Lady of 121st Street”

image via https://www.facebook.com/LABTheaterCo

Presented by LAByrinth Theater Company
Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis
Directed by Elizabeth Rodriguez
Stage Directions read by David Deblinger

Performed on Saturday, May 23 @ 8PM
A Zoom performance

LAByrinth Theater Company
Cherry Lane Theatre
38 Commerce Street
New York, NY 10014
LAB on Facebook
LAB on Instagram

Holy cats, DONATE!

Critique by Kitty Drexel

“Hang on because it’s gonna be dope.” – From the pre-performance speech by Elizabeth Rodriguez.

ZOOM — This production is made available to viewers as a part of LAByrinth Theater Company’s desire to continue existing past the coronavirus pandemic. If you viewed this production and you are able, please donate to LAByrinth Theater. Donate now so theatre can exist later.

Directors must stop apologizing for their Zoom readings. Our Lady of 121st Street’s triumphant director Elizabeth Rodriguez is not the first to apologize to a Zoom audience. If I had my druthers, she would be the last. It’s unfair to the cast and crew who have put so much energy into the performance. Now is not the time to apologize for variables spinning mundanity far beyond our control. There is no set precedent for corona-times streaming theatre.  We’re inventing the genre. Mistakes and minor emergencies are part of the fun of live theatre. 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 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

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

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

Sign the petition to protect the National Endowment HERE.
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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

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

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

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

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