(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 →
(Boston, MA) Significant 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 →
(Watertown, MA) My 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 →
(Cambridge, MA) It 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 →
(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 →
Come 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
(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 →
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 →
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
(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 →