Sep 21

Succeed at All Costs: LOOSE, WET, PERFORATED

Aliana de la Guardia as Loose and Brian Church as Wet. Photo credit: Liz Linder Photography

Aliana de la Guardia as Loose and Brian Church as Wet. Photo credit: Liz Linder Photography

Presented by Guerilla Opera
Music and Libretto by Nicholas Vines
Directed by Austin Regan

Sept. 21 – 24, 2016
The Zack Box Theater at Boston Conservatory at Berklee
8 The Fenway, Boston, MA
Guerilla Opera on Facebook

Performance for review was Sept, 20, 2016, an open dress rehearsal.

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger Warning: partial nudity, sexy times, crass language, sock puppet murder

(Boston, MA) Guerilla Opera is making a name for itself as a company that refuses to allow its actors to merely stand and sing. It’s frequently avant garde, often dark, and always giving us something unexpected. Continue reading

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Sep 20

Jordan Needs a Xanax and a Snuggle: “Significant Other”

vanessa-shower-with-nsfw-props

Photo Credit: Justin Saglio; Penises at the Hen Party. Penis. Penis. Penis.

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
By Joshua Harmon
Directed by Paul Daigneault

Sept. 9 – Oct. 8, 2016
Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
SpeakEasy on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MASignificant Other (SO) is Sondheim’s Company is the music were stripped, and Bobby was made both gay and genuinely likable. The percentage of justifiable choreography remains equal between the two shows. The set design is similarly simple. The scene transitions are more facile. All in all, based entirely on sympathetic characters alone, Significant Other is the more pleasant viewing choice. Whether this is true for you depends upon your own theatrical preferences. Continue reading

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Sep 19

Happy Families Don’t Make Good Theatre: “Regular Singing”

Presented by New Rep Theatre
By Richard Nelson
Directed by Weylin Symes
In association with Stoneham Theatre

Sept. 3 – 25, 2016
Arsenal Center of the Arts
Charles Mosesian Theater
Watertown, MA
New Rep on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Watertown, MAMy charming date to New Rep’s Regular Singing described the show as “a play about white people having white feelings about JFK’s assassination” for two hours with no intermission. She continued, “this play isn’t discussing anything new or political.” It barely breaches JFK’s assassination, or singing, for that matter. My lovely, astute companion may have been harsh in her description but she’s not wrong.   Continue reading

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Sep 19

“She Looks Good in Black” and Other Fine Evils

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Photo credit: Teri Incampo

Presented by Exiled Theatre
By Sarah J. Mann
Directed by James Wilkinson

September 16-October 2, 2016
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
Boston, MA
Exiled Theatre on Facebook
Boston Playwrights’ Theatre on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) Anybody can pull off a little black dress. Sarah J. Mann’s She Looks Good in Black proved that only a few can make it look connivingly sexy. Continue reading

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Sep 15

A Dear John letter to modern American politics: “The Return to Morality”

Photo courtesy of TTC Facebook page

Photo courtesy of TTC Facebook page; the cast, looking much happier here than their characters do in the production.

Presented by Titanic Theatre Company
Written by Jamie Pachino
Directed by Michelle M. Aguillon

September 8-25, 2016
Central Square Theatre
Cambridge, MA
Titanic Theatre on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Cambridge, MAIt is a presidential election year in these United States.  Ordinary campaigns are already the cesspools of public opinion where good policies raise their hands and get passed over for workable compromises.  Presidential campaigns are therefore a special circle of our own red, white and blue hellscape where we, the people, can gather together and worry about our future as a nation.  It is a Sisyphean task, which means the situation is ripe for comedy.  Titanic Theatre Company’s production of The Return to Morality elicits anxious laughter in this context.   Continue reading

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Sep 06

Go On and Shoot a President: ASSASSINS

Photo credit: Chantal Acacio

Photo credit: Chantal Acacio; it’s clobbering time.

Presented by The MIT Musical Theatre Guild
Music and Lyrics by Steven Sondheim
Book by John Weidman
Directed by Matt Putnam
Vocal Direction by David Favela
Music Direction by Marek Subernat

September 2 – 17, 2016
MIT Kresge Little Theatre
48 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA
MIT Musical Theatre Guild on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Cambridge, MA) As an American history buff (can you call yourself a “buff” anymore when you’re technically a professional historian?), I will be the first to admit that Assassins holds a special place in my heart.  Who else but the dynamic Steven Sondheim could take a subject matter like the murder of the president of the United States, and write a poignant, witty, yet ever-so-tenaciously perky musical about it?  The MIT Musical Theatre Guild has put together a fine production of the show, well worth your time despite the beginning-of-semester crunch. Continue reading

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Aug 26

MIT Musical Theatre Guild Presents “ASSASSINS”

unnamedCome see MTG’s summer production of Assassins! A musical about the men and women who took US politics into their own hands. Assassins features a beautiful score and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a clever book by John Weidman.
Directed by Matt Putnam ’09
Assistant Direction by Noelle Colant ’17
Vocal Direction by David Favela ’18
Music Direction by Marek Subernat ’19

Performances will be held at MIT’s Kresge Little Theatre
September 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17 at 8 PM, & September 4 at 2 PM
MTG’s Assassins Facebook event page
Reserve your tickets at http://web.mit.edu/mtg/www/TicketReservations.html

Tickets are:
$3 – Incoming MIT freshmen
$6 – MIT and Wellesley students
$10 – MIT faculty, staff, and community; all other students; seniors and children
$15 – General public

Assassins is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.
www.MTIShows.com

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Oct 14

Poetic License: “Einstein’s Dreams”

A.R. Sinclair Photography

A.R. Sinclair Photography

Presented by Underground Railway Theater
Part of the Catalyst Collaborative@MIT
Based on a book by Alan Lightman
Adapted and Directed by Wesley Savick

September 24 – November 15, 2015
Central Square Theatre
450 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, MA
Central Square Theatre on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Cambridge, MA) Even as I sit here staring at a blank page, I am having trouble putting into words the experience of seeing Einstein’s Dreams at Central Square Theatre.  What I know for a certainty is that I can extend to the piece the highest comment that this reviewer can give: it sparked discussion, and it made me think. Continue reading

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Oct 12

Thank You Capt. Obvious: “appropriate”

Photo by Nile Hawver / Nile Scott Shots

Photo by Nile Hawver / Nile Scott Shots

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Co.
Written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Directed by M. Bevin O’Gara
Fight choreo by Angie Jepson
 
Sept. 12 – Oct. 11, 2015
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
SpeakEasy on Facebook
 
Review by Kitty Drexel
(Boston, MA) It should not take a white person to teach another white person that racism exists. And yet, the case almost always is that white people can’t simply trust the experiences of black people. No, frequently a white person has to verify from other white people that POCs across the color spectrum aren’t lying for attention or handouts. Racism exists. It isn’t going away just because a group of old white men decided they don’t want to fight against it anymore (see the US govt.).

Enter: Jacobs-Jenkins’ appropriate. The Lafayette family has returned to their crumbling Arkansas plantation to hash out Father Lafayette’s hoarding problem, loans, and bigotry. Childhood was hard on them and everyone feels entitled to an apology they aren’t going to get. This entitlement wrapped in bitterness seeped in brittle pain results in violent arguments instead of the reunion they were hoping for. Continue reading

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Oct 05

GAMES WITHOUT FRONTIERS: “Billy Elliot – The Musical”

Photo © Paul Lyden

Photo © Paul Lyden

Presented by North Shore Music Theatre
Music by Elton John
Book and Lyrics by Lee Hall
Based on the Universal Pictures/Studio Canal Film
Direction and Choreography by Adam Pelty
Musical direction by Andrew Bryan

September 29th – October 11th, 2015
Beverly, MA
NSMT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

(Beverly, MA) Leave it to children to show adults just how stupid they can be.

In Billy Elliot – the Musical, a young boy in a northern English town stumbles into a love of ballet in the midst of a coal miner strike in the mid-eighties. It is a good show that can achieve multiple goals during the course of the script, and North Shore Music Theatre stages a good one. Through skillful choreography and playful dance, this production shows how the political struggles of Thatcherism in the UK so closely resembles the nonsensical and almost playful twists and turns of a second-rate children’s ballet show. At the same time, at its core, this play is a simple coming-of-age story of a child growing up different and talented at a time when a community was straining to hold onto a core value of gray sameness. Continue reading

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