May 14

“Mad Men” Set to Song and Dance: ON THE TOWN

Photo by Mark S. Howard

Presented by Lyric Stage Company of Boston

Book and lyrics by Betty Comden & Adolph Green
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Based on an idea by Jerome Robbins
Directed by Spiro Veloudos
Music direction by Jonathan Goldberg
(kick-ass) Choreography & musical staging by Ilyse Robbins

May 10 – June 8, 2013
The Lyric Stage
Boston
, MA
Lyric Stage Facebook Page

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) On the Town is a sweet little musical about what happens when three horny US Navy men seeking adventure visit NYC for 24 hours. As the plot thickens, they meet their equally horny female counterparts, do some healthy snogging, see some sights and return to duty. It’s mostly romantic. The  Lyric Stage delicately wraps these adult themes in saccharine sweet nostalgia, excellent choreography and Bernstein’s music. Although this could be for mature audiences only, it is presented as tasteful family-friendly material. Continue reading

Jan 21

“Once” from Theater Communications Group

"Once" by Enda Walsh

“Once” by Enda Walsh

Once by Enda Walsh
Lyrics by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova

Theater Communications Group (TCG)
January 2012
$13.95
520 Eighth Ave, 24th Floor
New York, New York 10018
www.tcg.org

This volume includes the book and lyrics but not the score. It includes a brief foreword by writer Enda Walsh about the workshop process in a church basement in Cambridge, MA.

The story revolves around an Irish man, “Guy,” who has almost given up on life, love and music. He is given new perspective by a passionate and sweet Czech woman, “Girl,” a single mother and music enthusiast. Together these unrequited lovers set on a course for life affirming change and success while renewing their faith in the power of creation and love. Continue reading

Jan 14

Incomplete Sweetness: MARRY ME A LITTLE

Photo by Andrew Brilliant/ Brilliant Pictures

Photo by Andrew Brilliant/ Brilliant Pictures

presented by New Repertory Theatre

songs by Stephen Sondheim
conceived and developed by Craig Lucas and Norman Rene
directed and choreographed by Ilyse Robbins
musical direction by David McGrory

Arsenal Center for the Arts
in the Charles Mosesian Theater
Watertown, MA
January 6th – January 27th, 2013
New Repertory Theatre Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Watertown) As a songwriter, Stephen Sondheim is better than you.  He just is.

He mastered the art of straightforward musicals with West Side Story and he’s been toying with us ever since.  After figuring out what sappy audiences want in a love song, he’s been not giving it to them, choosing instead to dwell in the tensions and the ambiguities of our romantic natures in lovely, sonic dissonance. Continue reading

Jan 14

“The Invisible Man” and the American Nightmare

Photo credit: Astrid Reiken

Photo credit: Astrid Reiken

 

presented by Huntington Theatre Company

written by Ralph Ellison
adapted by Oren Jacoby
directed by Christopher McElroen

264 Huntington Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02115
Jan 4 – Feb 3, 2013
Huntington Theatre Co Facebook Page

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston) From Ralph Ellison’s original novel, I mainly remember a giddy fury. The anger sears through the plot, spiraling off the pages in righteous, self-aware smoke. It’s humorous in a sad sort of way. In the slanted world Ellison describes, there are people and then there are black people. For the most part, the main character tells the audience, the latter is invisible in contemporary America. Continue reading

Nov 12

Book Review: “Undesirable Elements: Real People, Real Lives, Real Theater”

“Undesirable Elements: Real People, Real Lives, Real Theater” by Ping Chong

by Ping Chong
Theatre Communications Group: New York, 2012
$17.95

Review by Kitty Drexel

A compilation of four selected scripts in the Undesirable Elements series by writer, director and producer Ping Chong as well as collaborator interviews and methodology. These poly-language scripts demonstrate the potential to combine the arts of storytelling, theater and poetry into a community building/affirming production. These performances are capable of reaching out to a broader theater audience (an audience perhaps jaded by conventional theater) to experience dramatic communication in ways that some artists only dream of. It is art that uses personal experience to reveal truths of the larger world community rather than using art to glorify aspects of “Other” within a community. Undesirable Elements offers a shocking exploration of the lives of social outsiders and presents them as whole, human people sometimes contrary to the perception of much of society. These works refreshingly present the players’ perspective without unintended bias. Because bias exists whether it is intended or not. Continue reading

Oct 17

The Thing’s the Plays: Public Theater’s New “Shakespeare Machine”

Next time you’re in the NYC area, why not take a look at some kick-ass art in the refurbished lobby of The Public Theater?
Link to Article from ArtNews
The Public Theater
425 Lafayette Street
NY, NY 10003

Artist Ben Rubin remixes 37 works in a site-specific, L.E.D-lit, linguistic-supercollider sculpture (that’s also a chandelier)

“The Shakespeare Machine is the creation of Ben Rubin, a local media artist with the spirit of a mad inventor and a passion for data. Commissioned by the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs as part of the Percent for Art program, which funds site-specific pieces in city-funded construction projects, Rubin’s device is at once artwork, chandelier, brain-teaser, and literary tourist attraction.”

ARTnews article excerpts written by Robin Cembalest, posted 10/16/12.