Apr 02

Properly and Honestly: MASTER CLASS

Amelia Broome as Maria Callas; Photo: Rob Lorino

Presented by New Repertory Theatre

A play with music by Terrence McNally
Directed by Antonio Ocampo-Guzman

Charles Mosesian Theater
Watertown, MA 02472
March 31 – April 21, 2013
New Rep Facebook Page

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Watertown) Amelia Broome doesn’t use a Greek accent in her portrayal as international treasure and opera superstar, Maria Callas. The audience doesn’t have the luxury of knowing why Broome chose not to use an accent. Broome’s performance is effective without one so the reasons don’t matter.

Master Class is a grand opportunity for non-Classical singers (plebes) to experience the horror and joy that is operatic study. It is a (relatively) cheap vocal coaching for its length and history wrapped in a convenient package. The dialogue is only slightly dramatized for the benefit of the audience. The majority of Callas’ lessons and helpful hints are comments that any voice teacher could and would give her student. The majority of these same lessons and hints are conveyed in a similar manner as well. Continue reading

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Oct 01

“Ragtime”: Bravo to the Cast and Crew!

The Company in “Till We Reach That Day”
Photos by Matt McKee

Presented by Fiddlehead Theatre Company in conjunction with The American Civil Liberties Union

Book by Terrence McNally
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
based on the novel Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow

Directed by Meg Fofonoff
Musical Direction by Matthew Stern
Choreography by Anne McAlexander

September 28 – October 7, 2012
The Strand Theatre
543 Columbia Rd, Dorchester, MA

Fiddlehead Theatre Company Facebook Page
The American Civil Liberties Union Facebook Page

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Dorchester) Ragtime is an enormous success for The Strand Theatre and Fiddlehead Theatre Company! Bravo to the entire cast and the artistic staff! Your interpretation of the Flaherty/Ahrens/McNally script and music is spot on. You should be very proud of your performances. Continue reading

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Apr 28

When Crowd-Pleasing Isn’t Always A Good Thing: THE FULL MONTY

teve Gagliastro (as Harold Nichols), Nick Sulfaro (as Malcolm MacGregor), Michael Timothy Howell (as Jerry Lukowski), Corey Jackson (as Dave Bukatinsky), Andrew Oberstein (as Ethan Girard), David L. Jiles, Jr. (as Noah "Horse" T. Simmons); photo credit: Carla Donaghey

The Full Monty; book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by David Yazbek, Stoneham Theatre, 4/12/12-5/6/12, http://stonehamtheatre.org/.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston, MA) I remember once going to see Gremlins 2 as a child and thinking immediately afterwards that it was just as good as the original. It had so much that was…fun!  Continue reading

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Nov 30

Love in the Moonlight

(front to back) Anne Gottlieb (Frankie) and Robert Pemberton (Johnny) in FRANKIE AND JOHNNY IN THE CLAIR DE LUNE. Photo by Christopher McKenzie.

Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune by Terrence McNally, New Repertory Theatre, 11/28/10-12/19/10.  Nudity and Mature Themeshttp://newrep.org/frankie_johnny.php

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune is a difficult play to stage.  The tight, witty, intelligent romance by Terrence McNally requires a comparable production that will not fall flat; New Repertory Theatre’s current production rises to the challenge.

A two-person play needs two strong actors.  Anne Gottlieb and Robert Pemberton deliver beyond expectations.  Not only are they strong individual actors, but they also thrive as a couple.   While Terrence McNally has said that the play is a “romantic fairytale”, the play would not hold an audience’s attention if it was not grounded in genuine, believable characters.  As Robert Pemberton speaks every line, his eyes reveal the sincerity of his heart.  Over the span of one night, Johnny’s profession of love could seem ludicrous, even threatening—except for the fact that this Johnny is truly sincere and truly loves Frankie.  Ann Gottlieb walks the delicate line between being fragile and resilient.  If she does not display strength, the character of Johnny would crush her; at the same time, the character of Frankie has been hurt and the vulnerability still has to be there to create the tension.  As Frankie, Gottlieb has found this balance so that the character can hold her own against Johnny, but still fear the pain of heartbreak.  Gottlieb and Pemberton completely draw the audience in to Frankie and Johnny’s struggle where one can’t help but fight with them for the connection to something that can last.  They ARE Frankie and Johnny—trying to be more than just a couple of “bodies bumping around in the night”. Continue reading

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