Jan 21

Gritty Art: THE DEVIL’S MUSIC – THE LIFE AND BLUES OF BESSIE SMITH

 Photo by John Quilty.

Photo by John Quilty.

Presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre
By Angelo Parra
Concept, Musical Staging, and Direction by Joe Brancato

January 9th – February 2nd, 2014
Lowell, MA
MRT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Lowell) Do you know the blues?  I mean really know the blues?

I’m not talking about some wannabe pop singer appropriating the blues to make the crowd gasp on American Idol.  I’m not talking about the rock n’ roll hybrid blues that the Rolling Stones used to distance themselves from the Beatles.  I’m talking the unsanitized blues, rife with onion-skin-thin innuendo about graphic sex and domestic violence.  It’s raw and splintered music, the kind where you can taste hunger and oppression and yet you laugh so you don’t cry. Continue reading

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Nov 16

Music to Rock a Revolution: “Rock ‘n’ Roll”

Photo credit: The Longwood Players; the cast does not headbang in this production.

 

Presented by The Longwood Players
By Tom Stoppard
Directed by Kaitlyn Chantry

Cambridge YMCA Theater
820 Mass. Ave.
Central Square, Cambridge MA
November 9 – 17
Longwood Players Facebook Page

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge) If you enjoy rock legends such as The Doors, The Velvet Underground, or Pink Floyd (Sid Barrett) with a dollop of political science philosophy, Rock ‘n’ Roll is for you. If not, I suggest skipping this heady production by The Longwood Players. There is a lot to value here but the cerebral participation necessary to enjoy Tom Stoppard’s work may overwhelm the audience goer expecting a lighter devotional to Rock. Continue reading

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