Missed some excellent shows in Boston last year? Head down to New York City!
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
Sons of the Prophet by Stephen Karam, Huntington Theatre Company, 4/1/11-5/1/11, http://www.huntingtontheatre.org/season/production.aspx?id=8754.
Reviewed by Becca Kidwell
“Happiness does not await us all. One needn’t be a prophet to say that there will be more grief and pain than serenity and money. That is why we must hang on to one another.” Anton Chekov qtd. by Stephen Karam in the program.
If Roundabout Theatre Company and the Huntington Theatre Company takes Stephen Karam’s Sons of the Prophet to Broadway next year, in June 2012 we will likely hear, “and the Tony Award for best play goes to…Sons of the Prophet.” Taking the seemingly sombre subject of pain, Karam has written a comic masterpiece. Add to that the talented cast, direction, and set design and the result is a fast-paced night of laughter and poignancy that should not be missed.
A deer walks into a theatre…well, it doesn’t really walk..and it’s not really a deer… And the audience hears a car crash. Those who came from or have family from the Poconos area of Pennsylvania don’t have to question what has happened; Car accidents with deer are common, but…a deer decoy? We meet Joseph Douaihly, played by Kelsey Kurz, whose father was the victim of the high-school prank that went terribly wrong–and this is only another blow in a devastating year for the Douaihly family. Joseph has physical pain that the doctors cannot diagnose; he works for a lonely, manic woman that uses his need for health insurance as leverage to try to get Joseph to write a memoir based on his distant relation to Kahlil Gibran. When their father does not survive the accident, the Douaihly’s ailing uncle (played by Yusef Bulos) moves in with the Joseph and his brother Charles (played by Dan McCabe). In addition, the boy who pulled the prank might be allowed to play football in his school’s playoff games prior to going to the juvenile detention center for his crime. Hilarious, right? –You have no idea. Continue reading