Apr 08

Our Differences are Our Similarities: NOT BY BREAD ALONE

Presented by ArtsEmerson: The World on Stage
Created by Adina Tal and Nalaga’at Deaf-Blind Theater
Conceived by AdinaTal
Original music by Amnon Baaham
“Dancing Closely” written and performed by Zvi Tal

April 2 – 6, 2014
The Paramount Center
Theatre District
Boston, MA
ArtsEmerson on Facebook
Nalaga’at Deaf-Blind Theater on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Not by Bread Alone is the most sincere piece of theatre I have seen all year. Productions like this are why we artists create; it is why theatre exists. The tremendous talent of the Nalag’at Deaf-Blind Theater is awe-inspiring. It’s Boston run is over but it will be in the US for a while longer. I suggest doing everything in your power to attend this brilliant production. Continue reading

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Jan 28

Older Than Most College Students and Still Relevant: TOP GIRLS

Top Girls

Presented by Theatre@First
by Caryl Churchill
Directed by Liz Adams

January 23 – February 1, 2014
Davis Square Theatre
Somerville, MA
Theatre@First on Facebook

Review by Noelani Kamelamela

(Somerville)

Theatre@First offers an earnest take on Caryl Churchill’s meditation on womanhood in the 1980s.  The production is best in the lighter moments, when the realities of the character’s lives seem far less crushing.

Top Girls itself is not traditional, but is and was a groundbreaking piece which provides incisive snapshots of women beyond as well as within classical archetypes. A show which only represents female voices is not necessarily feminist by default, but feminism as it relates to the time as well as the past pops up regularly.  Central themes such as success and sacrifice are embodied by Marlene, played effectively as a witty and ruthless vamp by Kathy-Ann Hart, who has achieved autonomy by choosing the advancement of her career over other areas of her life. Continue reading

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Jun 10

Wistful, Warm and Inconclusive: SELECTED SHORTS ON TOUR: SPRINGTIME, SEX & BASEBALL

A National Public Radio Production
Hosted by the Huntington Theatre Company

Avenue of the Arts
BU Theatre
June 8th, 2013
Huntington Theatre Co Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

Short review: It was great.  You missed it.  Support your public radio.

(Boston) Kidding, kidding, but really what else is there to say?  Take four well-crafted short stories of love, baseball and awkwardness, mix in three superb actors and stir.  Watching the touring production of Selected Shorts is a powerful reminder that we are creatures of narrative.  Whole societies are shaped by storytelling, be it a creation myth or an endearing belief of what a well-regulated militia looks like.  People die for stories, people become president by telling stories.  Without stories we might as well climb back up into the trees (unless you believe in the Christian creation story….see?). Continue reading

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May 21

Troubled Flight for “Icarus”

With Austin Auh and Corianna Moffatt. Photo courtesy of Liars & Believers Facebook Page.

Presented by Liars & Believers
Directed by Faye Dupras

May 17 & 18, 2013 (Grab tickets while you can!)
Cambridge YMCA Theater in Central Square
Cambridge, MA
Liars & Believers Facebook Group

Gillian Daniels

Liars and Believers’ Icarus is a wobbly production, a Depression Era circus fable that limps when it pushes hard to soar.  Like a small bird, the show is both endearing but weak.  Its flourishes are strong: puppets, bluegrass, and robots.  The result gives the audience a series of intriguing set pieces but nothing that really coalesces into a grand story.

Jason Slavick packs a lot into the show, the separate parts fluid and vibrant.  The lead-up to the play itself includes burlesque and music, giving the centerpiece, Minnie Minoseczeck’s Menagerie of Marvels, a vaudevillean glamour.  The trimmings for the circus are convincing, complete with posters promising a minotaur and a flying woman, Penny (Corianna Moffatt). Continue reading

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May 16

Liars & Believers to Put on “Icarus”

Presented by Liars & Believers
Directed by Faye Dupras

May 17 & 18, 2013 (Grab tickets while you can!)
Cambridge YMCA Theater in Central Square
Cambridge, MA
Liars & Believers Facebook Group

by Gillian Daniels

(Cambridge) This weekend, local Boston-area theater group Liars & Believers will be putting on its new show, Icarus.  It will be at the Cambridge YMCA Theater in Central Square this weekend only on May 17th and 18th.

Described as a show about poverty and transcendence, this American-bred tale uses the Great Depression as a backdrop as we follow Minnie Minoseczeck’s Menagerie of Marvels.  The play is written and directed by Jason Slavick with original music and lyrics by Nathan Leigh. Included in the production is puppetry, designed and directed by Faye Dupras.

The myth of Icarus is well known in the Western literary canon, a fable to illustrate the crippling nature of success.  A boy, given wings made from feathers and wax, is given the ability to fly.  Once airborne, Icarus flies so close to the sun, the wax that holds his wings together melts.  He plummets into the sea, a metaphor for the deadly foolishness of egotism and youth.

Liars & Believers is a mainly experimental troupe, one that prides itself on integrating different artistic pursuits into unique, chimera-like productions.  Their shows often include dance, song, aerial gymnastics, spoken text, and numerous interdisciplinary forms. Previous efforts this year include Lunar Labyrinth, a show loosely based on a short story by Neil Gaiman. Lunar Labyrinth combined and rejoiced in different storytelling methods, knotting its plot and themes into dreamy contortions.  Icarus promises to be a show in a similar mold.

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Dec 11

Priscilla Dreams The Answer–And The Answer Is 42

The ensemble of Priscilla Dreams the Answer. Left to Right: Bob Mussett (Harry), Dakota Shepard (Zop), Caroline L. Price (Priscilla), Michael Caminiti (Simon), Emily Kaye Lazzaro (Zip). Photo Credit: Sarah E. Farbo

Priscilla Dreams The Answer by Walt McGough, Fresh Ink Theatre Company, The Factory Theatre, 12/8/11-12/17/11,  http://www.freshinktheatre.com/on-stage.html.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

(Boston, MA) Douglas Adams would be proud of Walt McGough.  While Priscilla does not have to deal with a world that is already destroyed, she does have to find the answer to save both the Earth and another planet that has a close relationship with the Earth.  This clever and witty play takes the audience on a journey through space and time but never loses sight of the core humanity, which is the test of well-crafted science fiction. Continue reading

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Nov 24

Arabian Nights: Colorful Storytelling

The Ruhk and the Cast in a scene from The Nora Theatre Company and Underground Railway Theater’s production of Arabian Nights running from November 17 – December 31 at Central Square Theater, 450 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA. Tickets & Information: 866-811-4111 or CentralSquareTheater.org. Photo: A.R. Sinclair Photography.

Arabian Nights, adapted by Dominic Cooke, The Nora Theatre Company and Underground Railroad Theater at the Central Square Theater,  11/17/11-12/31/11,  http://www.centralsquaretheater.org/season/11-12/arabian-nights.html.

Reviewed by Anthony Geehan

(Cambridge, MA) The ancient civilizations of the Middle East where a progressive and highly advance set of empires and people, making large strides in the studies of mathematics, astronomy, and architecture. Many of these contributions have had a phenomenal affect on the modern world, including their ancient stories that have influenced the structure and tone of a wide range of stories throughout Western civilizations, from King Arthur and the Nights of the Round Table to Loony Tunes. Many of the more influential stories from the area were collected within the famous book 1001 Arabian Nights, a series of tales and legends of ancient Persia, ranging from epic adventure tales to short comedies told around the central focus of a young woman named Scheherazade attempting to quell the rage of a wronged king and save the woman of his kingdom. A selection of these tales, as well as the story of Scheherazade and the king is the focus of The Nora Theatre Company and Underground Railway Theater’s first combined effort Arabian Nights; a grandly staged yet minimal production of classic tales of adventure, morality, and humor. Continue reading

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Sep 08

Big River: A Journey of Human Nature

Jordan Ahnquist as Huckleberry Finn and De'Lon Grant as Jim. Photo by Mark S. Howard

 

Big River, Music and Lyrics by Roger Miller, Book by William Hauptman, Lyric Stage, 9/2/11-10/8/11.  https://lyricstage.com/now_playing/big_river/.  Family Friendly.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

(Boston, MA) Lyric Stage’s production of Big River celebrates the imagination of Mark Twain.  Based on the novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the show explores the American landscape of the 1800’s.  The production shines a light on the various forms of humanity that Twain observed in his own travels.  His words come alive through a rousing score, talented cast, and innovative staging. Continue reading

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Jul 22

1001: Do we make the stories or do the stories make us?

1001 by Jason Grote, Company One, Boston Center for the Arts, 7/15/11- 8/13/11,  http://www.companyone.org/Season12/1001/synopsis.shtml.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

Clockwise from left: Ruby Rose Fox, Ben Gracia, Hampton Fluker, Lonnie McAdoo, Lauren Eicher, Nael Nacer

Scheherazade is back with new tales to tell. Based on 1001 Arabian Nights, Jason Grote takes the ancient tales and reworks them within a twenty-first century context.  The frame story and first inner story remain close to the time and arrangement of the original tales, but the further Scheherazade takes us in, the closer we get to our own reality.  Stories make up a large part of our lives from the fairy tales of childhood to the novels of our adulthood.  Is it what we bring to them that gives them life or what they bring to us that give us life? Company One’s 1001 attempts to answer these questions. Continue reading

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