Oct 13

Murder Has Never Been so Adorable: “Senseless! A Brick Foley Adventure”

Photo Credit: Aurora Broadcasting Network

written and directed by Elizabeth Hara
October 12-13, 2012 @8pm
Puppet Showpace Theatre
32 Station St
Brookline, MA

Puppet Showplace Theatre Facebook Page

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Brookline) Someone has been murdering the blind/deaf students of the Helen Keller School of Music and Brick Foley, blind detective, is on the job to find out who. Was it the gentle and sweet teacher, Jane Allgood? Was it Chancellor Daniels or his nemesis Dr. Children? Could it even have been sexy vixen Bea Baxter? With his sidekick, Office Murphy, Detective Foley navigates the in’s and out’s of this puppet show/radio play and finds out who done it! (Brought to you by Price’s Powdered Ham.)

This short noir radio play cum puppetry show SHOULD NOT be missed! The Aurora Broadcasting Network has created an adult comedy that will melt the hearts of even the most cynical of theater goers. The troupe exudes a light jovial atmosphere that is founded on a sincere love of their craft. The 5 member team moves as one like a seemingly effortless machine. Although they do not use traditional puppets (a la Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood perhaps) their creative use of props and physical comedy leaves nothing to be desired. In fact, it’s a damn shame that the show isn’t longer than the allocated hour.

This show has it all: it’s a little naughty and is not appropriate for young children, the troupe employs character voices and perfected noir archetypes, minty fresh musical stylings begin and end the show, there’s a speedy and engaging plot and, best of all, the audience is encouraged to participate!

Please be advised that there is a 2 row splash zone. If flying meat products alarm you, it may be best to stand in the back.

There is an after-show with the ravishing Ruby Rose Fox, drinks and dancing.

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Elizabeth Hara has worked as a puppet builder for the Jim Henson Company, Sesame Street, and Avenue Q. She has also built costumes for The Lion King, Shrek the Musical, and most recently, Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark. She is a Vassar graduate, and has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Puppeteers of America National Festival.

‘Senseless’ features the performing talents of Brendan Yi-Fu Tay (The Puppet Kitchen,) Sarah Lafferty (Castleton Opera Festival,) Katrina Denney (Fundamental Theatre Group), Emmy Award-winner Michael Schupbach (Sesame Street, Johnny and the Sprites) Eric Wright (The Puppet Kitchen, The Metropolitan Opera, The Public Theatre) and David Brown (poorbutsexydc.combit.ly/ufofactory)

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Feb 20

THE SECRET GARDEN: A Magical Secret Worth Sharing

photo by Gary Ng

The Secret Garden, book and lyrics by Susan Kosoff, Music by Jane Staab, Wheelock Family Theatre, 1/28/11-2/27/11 (including weekday performances 2/22/11-2/25/11), http://www.wheelockfamilytheatre.org/feature-performance.aspx

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

As I was watching Wheelock’s production of The Secret Garden, I wished I was eight again (except for the horrible prospect of growing up again).  Wheelock Family Theatre is a magical place where dreams come alive, and this is particularly evident in their production of The Secret Garden.

One can’t help but be enchanted by the scenery by Matthew T. Lazure.  The garden wall rotates and reveals the inside of the garden, and Colin’s room appears from the walls of the seemingly impenetrable house.  Another clever aspect is the “growth” of the flowers during intermission; I put my head down for one minute–I look up and see leaves; I put my head down for another moment, look up and see flowers in full bloom. Continue reading

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Jan 20

Afterlife: Needs a new life

(left to right) Dale Place as Black Bird and Thomas Piper as Connor in afterlife: a ghost story. Photo by Andrew Brilliant/ Brilliant Pictures.

afterlife:  a ghost story by Steve Yockey, New Repertory Theatre, 1/16/11-2/6/11, http://newrep.org/afterlife.phpContains strong language.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

Steve Yockey’s afterlife:  a ghost story should be subtitled an evening of one acts.  While both acts of the play contain the same characters and themes, the familiarity ends there.  Act I displays a realistic, yet mundane evening between a grieving couple; they are packing up the beach house where they used to live.   They talk around the subject of their son’s death, but other than some yelling and “crying” they really remain stuck in one place until their house is washed away.  Act II portrays a fantasy world (somewhere between heaven and hell) where the Danielle, Connor, and their son work out their grief.  They receive the assistance of a postman, a proprietress, another ghost, and a bird puppet.  afterlife:  a ghost story has potential to transform into an interesting play if the first act removes ninety percent of its action and the second act has the chance to develop more fully. Continue reading

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