Oct 14

Hysterics of “Polish Joke” are no Joke

photo credit: Evgenia Eliseeva

photo credit: Evgenia Eliseeva

Presented by Titanic Theatre Company
By David Ives
Directed by Sarah Gazdowicz

October 8-18, 2015
CST Studio at the Central Square Theatre
Titanic Theatre Company on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Cambridge, MA) I’ve never been overwhelmed with the desire to make the spontaneous, probably unreasonably rash, decision to move to another country just from watching a play. But I’ll be damned if I wasn’t ready to catch the next red-eye to Poland after witnessing the Titanic Theatre Company’s production of Polish Joke. Continue reading

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Jun 13

The People In The Picture: Uncovering the Past

Photo: Joan Marcus

The People in the Picture, book and lyrics by Iris Rainer Dart, music by Mike Stoller and Artie Butler, Roundabout Theatre Company, Studio 54, Broadway, 4/1/11-6/19/11.  http://www.roundabouttheatre.org/broadway/thepeopleinthepicture/index.htm

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

How can we ever forget the past?  How can remember?  These questions surface for Raisel and Red  when Jenny asks her Bubbie who the people in the picture are.  They are Raisel’s friends and theatre/film company.  These people hold the key to Jenny’s heritage and must instill it within her despite her mother’s objections and grandmother’s failing health.  Although the story and score are uneven, the talent and the sentiment carry the show through joy and heartbreak.

Donna Murphy spends the majority of the show as Jenny’s Bubbie who tries to pass down her family’s history.  Ms. Murphy shows her versatility by not only providing a strong dramatic performance but also by providing comedic moments depicting Raisel’s younger days.  Raisel shows her granddaughter Jenny (played by Rachel Resheff) the life that she and her theatre/film company had.  She tries to only share positive memories, but the horrible realities underneath keep seeping through.  Raisel’s daughter Red (played by Nicole Parker) pushes for the entire truth to be known and not simply a pleasant mythology.  Ms. Murphy’s acting, singing, and dancing flow effortlessly and show the whimsy, pain, and sacrifice that make up Raisel’s life. Continue reading

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