Feb 17

Violence and Its Aftermath Explored in “Interference”

Icarus

Presented by Liars and Believers
Directed by Steven Bogart
Created by Many Collaborators

February 12, 2014
Club Oberon
Cambridge, MA
Liars and Believers on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

Does Interference work as a play?  No, but I’m not sure if it’s meant to cohere as the kind of story with a single start and finish.  Liars and Believers have created an immersive experience with mixed results, one that works well enough when staged at a fantastic venue like the Oberon.  Similarly to Lunar Labyrinth, though, the last effort I saw by Liars and Believers, Interference is a series of vignettes inspired by a single work.  Here, the theater group takes its cues from Pablo Picasso’s 1937 painting, “Guernica.” Continue reading

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Nov 20

Kissinger Would Have Cried: MISS SAIGON

http://www.nsmt.org/images/Press/2013/MissSaigon/production/NSMT-MissSaigon-Engineer.jpg

Francis Jue (Engineer) in North Shore Music Theatre’s production of Miss Saigon running through November 17, 2013. Photo © Paul Lyden

­Presented by North Shore Music Theatre
Music by: CLAUDE-MICHEL SCHONBERG
Lyrics by: RICHARD MALTBY, JR., and ALAIN BOUBLIL
Original French Lyrics by: ALAIN BOUBLIL
Additional Material by: RICHARD MALTBY, JR.
Directed and Choreographed by: RICHARD STAFFORD

November 5th – November 17th, 2013
North Shore Music Theatre
Beverly, MA
NSMT on Facebook

Review by Craig Idlebrook

It’s not often that a soap opera can double as a critique of American foreign policy, but North Shore Music Theatre’s production of Miss Saigon succeeds in creating a surreal love story in which American exceptionalism finds its gory limits. Continue reading

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Oct 30

Separating the Political from the Familial: NOW OR LATER

Photo: Paul Marotta; with Tom Nelis and Grant MacDermott.

by Christopher Shinn
directed by Michael Wilson

presented by Huntington Theatre Company
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
South Boston
October 12 – November 10
Huntington Theatre Company Facebook Page

Review by Kitty Drexel

(South Boston) John, Jr. (Grant MacDermott) is a college student who has pissed off the Muslim Student Association of his University in the name of free speech. He was incredibly insensitive at a privately hosted but publicly monitored “naked’ party thrown by a fellow college student. He firmly believes that he is entitled to behave in an offensive manner because he is an American citizen. Unlike many kids in his situation, he cannot just let his act of emotional terrorism blow over; he is the son of Presidential nominee John, Sr. (Tom Nelis). Amidst the tumult of election night, Jr. comes to the slow realization that his action affects more than just his immediate circle of friends and family. It has the potential to affect the entire nation. Continue reading

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Sep 17

His Girl Friday: Justifiable Laughter

Left to right: Angela Brazil as Hildy Johnson, Stephen Thorne as McCue, Lovell Holder (Brown/Trinity

His Girl Friday by John Guare, adapted from The Front Page by Ben Hecht/Charles McArthur & Columbia Pictures Film, Trinity Repertory Company, 9/9/11-10/9/11, http://www.trinityrep.com/on_stage/current_season/CAB.php.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

(Providence, RI) John Guare lends his wry wit to his newest creation: His Girl Friday. With the talented cast, masterful direction, and clever design, the pre-World War II press room. With the black and white realities mixed in with the comedy, the play shines a light on the present ambiguities of justice, media manipulation, and political diversion. Continue reading

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Apr 26

The House of Blue Leaves Taunts Us One More Time

The House of Blue Leaves by John Guare, Walter Kerr Theatre, 4/4/11-7/23/11.  http://www.houseofblueleaves.com/flash.php?version=standard.   Contains stage violence, including an explosion.

Ben Stiller as Artie, Edie Falco as Bananas, Jennifer Jason Leigh as Bunny. Photo by Joan Marcus

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

Like Jay Gatsby, the characters of The House of the Blue Leaves long for love and notoriety.  But also like Jay Gatsby, their shallow dreams are based upon delusions.  David Cromer’s revival uncovers all the darkness and pain hidden in the recesses of a middle class home into the light of day with laughter and cruelty.

Scott Pask’s institution-like set provides the perfect environment for an evening of madness.  But who mad?  The housewife who feels that she is nothing more than the humiliating joke of celebrity?  The zookeeper who dreams of becoming a successful movie songwriter?  Or perhaps it’s the nuns? Continue reading

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