Trigger warnings: depiction of rape and gun violence, smoking
(Boston, MA) Bruner/Cott & Associates, Inc. is turning our beloved Factory Theatre into a gym (to be absolutely clear, I am painting them as the greedy, black-hatted bad guys because they are, hats or not.). Because what Boston really needs is another dank, dark basement gym that draws in rich tenants. Tenants who will pay a monthly membership fee as part of their rent but may never actually step into the gym they pay for.
(Boston) Maiden Phoenix Theatre Company puts on the sort of historical play I love. Playhouse Creatures looks at the Restoration Era with new eyes, examining the lives of actors Mary Betteron (Christine Power), Ms. Marshall (Janelle Mills), Nell Gwyn (Emily White), and Ms. Farley (Emma Goodman) as they take to the English stage once women are lawfully allowed to act again. Their agendas diverge wildly: they do it for money, fame, or unbridled joy. Regardless, the show is a delicious exploration of what women looking to make art do when faced with a patriarchal society. Continue reading →
(Boston) Fortune’s Favored almost works as theatre. It is so close to being a very well-written, sensitively acted play that it is devastating that it doesn’t achieve the success it’s capable of. The premise is quite clever, the small cast is capable and Zach Winston’s direction is sympathetic to the actors’ needs but the combination of the elements is mismatched. They are crafted pieces from three different puzzles. They don’t fit.
Eudora Redden (Annie Hochheiser) is running the Redden Arcade in Big Ugly, West Virginia for her drunk father. It’s been the family business for three generations. Her cousin Luann O’Hare (Lauren Robinson) has recently crawled home with her tail between her legs from Washington, DC after getting involved with a political scandal. They both meet Davis Milford (Conor Walsh) when he expresses interest in purchasing the business centerpiece, the fortune teller game, and in getting to know Eudora better. Things go south when business and family tangle over the potential sale. Mikey DiLoreto is the recorded voice of John Barrymore. Continue reading →
This review is for mature audiences only: While the review is relatively safe for work, the production is not. The Geeks of the New England Theatre Geek are all adults. We sometimes review productions with “adult themes*”. The title of the production is a clear indicator of both the subject matter and performance content. If this is not something for you, please help yourself to another review.
February 14-22nd, 2014
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 8 pm, Saturdays 4 pm, Sundays 3 pm The Factory Theater
791 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02118
Happy Medium on Facebook
Review by Gillian Daniels
(Boston) Happy Medium Theatre’s Baby with the Bathwater is searing, cruel, and weirdly loving. A lopsided family portrait, the play is a satire on abusive upbringings dramatized for entertainment. The show appears to take place in a warped alternate universe where new parents John (Jeremy Towle) and Helen (Denise Drago) are too dimwitted to understand one holds a baby when it cries or that children aren’t allowed Nyquil. Their misnamed son, Daisy (Mike Budwey), endures a home life so skewed but with parents so achingly human, it becomes chillingly akin to real dysfunction. Continue reading →
“Psycho Beach Party is an affectionate homage to the beach party movies of the ’60s and Gidget as well as a spoof of psychological suspense films. By that I mean movies such as Hitchcock’s Marnie and Spellbound, or The Three Faces of Eve and The Snake Pit: films where someone has a deep-rooted neurosis and after five minutes of hypnosis a childhood trauma is revealed and the patient is well enough to buy a house in the suburbs and live happily after. Oh, I love them all.” – Charles Busch
(Boston) Adults of a certain age may recall Psycho Beach Party (2000) as a movie staring Buffy the Vampire Slayer heartthrob Nicholas Brendon as Star Cat. The movie also featured Lauren Ambrose as Chicklet and playwright Charles Busch as the sexy Captain Monica Stark (the movie was rewritten to give Mr. Busch a role as he had aged out of his original role as Chicklet). It is an homage to the swinging beach party movies of the 60’s and incorporates the quick and dirty psychology of an Hollywood-type gimmick to redeem the unladylike antics of a female lead. Alas, things have not changed too much for women in 50 years. Ladies still aren’t of conventional value to the public unless they can fill out a top and outwit a room full of boys. In that order. Continue reading →
(Boston) Einstein’s Law of Thermodynamics states that “energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.” This quote from a beloved theoretical physicist describes the natural state of constant flux in the world around us. This quote is often bastardized by Religion* to explain the existence of God, a Super-creator from whence all the energy of life flows. God must exist, they paraphrase, because the energy to create the universe must have come from somewhere… It must have come from God! Ladies and Gentlemen, God and Science can sit at the same table but this isn’t the room they sit in. Continue reading →
(Boston) Seeing a new or unfamiliar play always gets your imagination rolling in new ways. That’s the beauty of the experience, almost regardless of the play. But Charlotte Meehan’s Real Realism – playing at the Factory Theatre this weekend and next – is so rich in its unpredictability that it takes your imagination on a joyride. Continue reading →
(Boston) New drama is a tricky game that needs to be practiced over and over again. Even after all of that practice, the playing field is the only true test of its mettle. Girls’ Sports has gone to court to test itself and it’s come up short. Continue reading →
Melanie Garber has a dancer’s sensibility of direction with Heart & Dagger Productions’ A Dream Play, but this is not a surprise. She has shown this intricate direction in Actor’s Shakespeare Project’s Medea, Fresh Ink Theatre Company’s Priscilla Dreams The Answer, and Heart & Dagger’s Crave. Not only does Ms. Garber make words come alive, but she also brings life to words. From the initial moments of each of the productions, she chooses specific, distinct movements that create the environment of the play. Continue reading →