Oct 30

“Cirque of the Dead” Review 2018: Damned Good Time


Presented by Boston Circus Guild
Directed by Joseph C. Walsh

October 19 – October 31, 2017
The Oberon
2 Arrow Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Cirque of the Dead on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Cambridge, MA) A possessed contortionist, a painting that springs to life to ensnare its painter, a clan of vampires, and a burlesque zombie who strangely (and seductively?) tears off and eats their own skin during their aerial act. Yes, it is Halloween for the Boston Circus Guild. This year, they successfully walk the line between disturbing and beguiling. The show is fragmented into circus acts, yes, but the pieces cohere into a complete (if possessed) picture. Continue reading

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Oct 29

Songs of Ice and Fire: “Brother Nat”

Presented by The Boston Foundation
Book and Lyrics by Jabari Asim and Liana Asim
Music by Allyssa Jones
Music Director Damien Sneed

October 25, 2018
Emerson Paramount Center
Robert J. Orange Stage
559 Washington Street
Boston, MA  02111
Brother Nat on Facebook

Critique by Diana Lu

(Boston, MA) American history is black history, is slave history. It is a history that demonstrates the deepest stoicism and power of humanity. Beaten and chained, stripped of everything, Black American slaves formed communities tighter than blood, turned lifetimes of suffering into exquisite song, and used song to rise above, revolt against injustice, and redeem all humanity. Nat Turner’s Rebellion was a point of inflection in our nation’s story, which swung the course of history toward freedom and salvation. A grand opera is needed to deliver this epic. No other medium could do justice.  Continue reading

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Oct 24

The Prison System is Legalized Slavery: “The Peculiar Patriot”


Presented by ArtsEmerson
Produced by National Black Theater & Hi-ARTS
Created and Performed by Liza Jessie Peterson
Directed by Talvin Wilks

October 17-28, 2018
Emerson Paramount Center
Boston, MA
ArtsEmerson on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Boston, MA) For relatively local folks who missed the remount of The Peculiar Patriot at the National Black Theatre in Manhattan this summer, grab tickets and head over to the Paramount Center. If you can’t catch The Peculiar Patriot over the rest of it’s Boston run, but if you know a theatre and a community who needs this show, bug the heck out of them to pay these artists and get this to as many audiences as possible.   Continue reading

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Oct 23

50 Shades of Complicity: “We Will Not Be Silent”

L to R – Conor Proft and Sarah Oakes Muirhead; Photo by Andy Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures.

Presented by New Repertory Theatre
By David Meyers
Directed by Jim Petosa

October 13—November 4, 2018
The Dorothy and Charles Mosesian Center for the Arts
321 Arsenal St
Watertown, MA 02472
New Rep on Facebook

Review by Diana Lu

(Watertown, MA) We Will Not Be Silent revisits the true story of Sophie (Sarah Oakes Muirhead) and Hans (Conor Proft) Scholl, German student dissidents in Nazi Germany executed for attempting to mount a nonviolent resistance movement in 1942. Post-WWII, Germany vindicated the Scholl siblings and lionized their sacrifice as a symbol of great stoicism and bravery. Continue reading

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Oct 19

Casseroles of Ashes: “The Tragic Ecstasy of Girlhood”

Danielle Palmer, Amanda Figueroa, Stephanie Castillo (foreground, clockwise from left), Tatiana Chavez (background). Photograph By Kalman Zabarsky

Presented by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
By Kira Rockwell
Directed by Leila Ghaemi

Oct. 11 – 21, 2018
BPT
949 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA
BPT on Facebook

Critique by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Any social worker can tell you that the foster system is broken. Wards of the State are just as vulnerable as foster kids, but at the very least they get to socialize with each other in a relatively consistent environment. The Tragic Ecstasy of Girlhood takes a look at family dynamics within State government enforced boundaries and the impossible odds girls face as they grow into womanhood. It’s a miracle any of us come into adulthood with our sanity intact. Continue reading

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Oct 16

“Barber of Seville”: Not A Useless Precaution

The cast; photo by Liza Voll Photography.

Presented by Boston Lyric Opera
Score by Gioachino Rossini
Libretto by Cesare Sterbini
Conductor David Angus
Stage Director Rosetta Cucchi

October 12 – 21, 2018
Emerson Cutler Majestic Theater
219 Tremont Street
Boston, MA  02116
BLO on Facebook

Review by Diana Lu
(Boston, MA) The Barber of Seville, or The Useless Precaution, remains one of the most well-known pieces of classical music in the modern world, and for good reason. The score sparkles and gambols, flickering from one indelible motif to the next. The libretto tells the universally appealing story of youth counterculture fighting for love and sticking it to the man. Continue reading

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Oct 15

Cirque of the Dead Preview: The Nightmare Continues

Presented by Boston Circus Guild
Directed by Joseph C. Walsh
October 19 – October 31, 2017

The Oberon
2 Arrow Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Cirque of the Dead on Facebook

Preview by Gillian Daniels

(Cambridge, MA) Last year, in 2017, Cirque of the Dead delighted me with Jumanji-esque antics and host Wes Hazzard’s charisma.

This year, in another callback to one’s youth for an adults-only murder show, the theme is Choose Your Own Adventure. The 2018 show promises new acts, acrobats, aerialists, butts, cannibalism, monsters, sex, and a bar full of specialty cocktails.

Joseph C. Walsh will be directing and says, “This exciting event combines breathtaking circus skills, startling theatricality and classic horror to offer its audience a unique and immersive experience. The incredible performers have stretched me artistically and inspired me with their astounding abilities and passion for pushing the boundaries of the modern circus genre.”

Music will be provided by Minusworld, a nerd-themed, “high-energy Synthrock” band.

Boston Circus Guild (BCG) describes itself as “a collaboration of over fifty musicians, artists, circus performers, dancers, and event producers from the Boston area. BCG members regularly perform at prestigious events and venues throughout New England including the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Pfizer, Cirque du Soleil, and The Boston Bruins Foundation.” I had to scrape my jaw off the floor after witnessing last year’s acrobatics. I expect nothing less than spectacular.

Last year, I also wrote,  “The visuals are deeply compelling and wonderfully gross. […] The sense of escapism Cirque of the Dead represents, gory and grim as it may be, is invaluable and beautifully articulated with supreme commitment to physical flights of fancy.”

And I can’t wait for the next chapter.

Performances:
Friday, October 19: 7:00PM & 10:30PM
Saturday, October 20: 6:30PM
Thursday, October 25: 7:30PM
Friday, October 26: 7:00PM & 10:30PM
Saturday, October 27: 6:30PM
Wednesday, October 31: 7:00PM & 10:30PM

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Oct 14

Netflix and Fringe: A Fireside Chat with Theatre on Fire

Photo from a TOF production. Theatre On Fire Presents “FireSide Chat: Tell Us What You Want” on October 17, 7-8PM

The first of many FireSide Chats with the new Theatre On Fire company! This enriching, moderated cyberspace discussion with Theatre on Fire company members and you, the patrons, will center on how our small theater company can be everything that it should, especially given that it’s pretty easy now for people to just stay home and watch Netflix and whatnot.

What was your favorite thing a theater company ever did for you as an audience? We want to know. Least favorite? We want to know that too. What would you like to see from us in the next few months? We want to know that always.

To take part, go to patreon.com/theatreonfire, make sure you’re signed up at any level (even $2!), and watch for our posts there beginning at 7:00.

“FireSide Chat: Tell Us What You Want”
Hosts: Darren Evans, Kitty Drexel, Carl Danielson
October 17, 2018
7:00-8:00 PM
Attend online: patreon.com/theatreonfire

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Oct 11

Frankenstein was the Monster: “Frankenstein”

Produced by The Nora Theatre Company & Underground Railway Theater; A Catalyst Collaborative@MIT Production; Design by Bird Graphics.

Presented by Central Square Theater
Produced by The Nora Theatre Company & Underground Railway Theater
By Nick Dear
From the novel by Mary Shelley
Directed by David R. Gammons
Dramaturgy by Hilary Rappaport
Ensemble: Remo Airaldi, Omar Robinson, John Kuntz, Ashley Risteen, David Keohane, Debra Wise

Oct. 4 – Nov. 4, 2018
Central Square Theater
Cambridge, MA
CST on Facebook

Trigger warning: rape, violence, body horror, strobe effects, spoilers

Critique by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge, MA) Prometheus stole fire from Mount Olympus and gave it to mankind. For his indiscretion, Zeus condemned the Titan to an eternity of epic liver failure (a complication of eagle hunger). Shelley’s novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus warns a relatively modern audience not to play with fire lest one get burned. It plays out similarly in contemporary Halloween favorites such as The Rocky Horror Show and Prometheus that frustrating movie by Ridley Scott. It takes new form as Central Square Theater’s current production. As long as there is science, there will be humans poking around where they shouldn’t be poking. Continue reading

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Oct 09

A Haunted House, With Music : JEKYLL & HYDE

Constantine Maroulis (Edward Hyde) with William Mulligan (The Bishop of Basingstoke). Photo©Paul Lyden

Presented by North Shore Music Theatre
Directed By Robert Cuccioli
Music Direction By Milton Granger
Choreographed By Kelli Barclay
Book And Lyrics By Leslie Bricusse
Music By Frank Wildhorn
Originally Conceived By Steve Cuden and Frank Wildhorn

September 25 – October 7, 2018
Beverly, MA
NSMT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly, MA) As I was attempting to become a fiction writer, I thought I had found a clear path to getting published by watching the Lifetime Channel in November and December. The channel was chock full of terrible movies, all about some aspect of Christmas. It occurred to me that while you had to sell your soul to get a $10 check from a literary journal, surely they had to pay someone to write this shlock, and there was always demand for it. Continue reading

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