Jun 25

Sometimes A Snuggle is Just A Snuggle: “The Baltimore Waltz”

The Baltimore Waltz

presented by Theatre@First
by Paula Vogel
directed by Kamela Dolinova

June 20 – 29, 2013
Unity Somerville
6 William Street
Somerville, MA
Theatre@First Facebook Page

Review by Kitty Drexel

Warning: This production contains graphic but hilarious simulations of sexual acts, and bastardizations of European clichés.

(Somerville) As a playwright, Paula Vogel has the unique opportunity to dedicate herself to exploring and understanding her brother Carl’s end of life circumstances. Carl tragically died of AIDS. Rather than use the written word to metaphorically weep bitterly and openly, Vogel instead channeled her uncommon sense of humor and tender affections for Carl into The Baltimore Waltz, an ode to love, loss and healing.

In the context of the play, Anna has contracted Acquired Toilet Disease (ATD). In “real life,” outside the context of Anna’s fictional imagination, Carl has contracted AIDS. By narrating a character living with a pretend disease created for comic relief, playwright Paula Vogel examines the urgency of life through the lens of incurable disease.While her characters “dance” through a trippy, Noir-influenced trip to Europe, life as we know it continues with its disastrous choreography. Continue reading

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Mar 18

“Lysistrata”: Adorably Filthy

The lovely ladies of Lysistrata refusing to get sexy. Photo Credit: Theatre@First.

The lovely ladies of Lysistrata refusing to get sexy. Photo Credit: Theatre@First.

Presented by Theatre@First

Written by Aristophanes
Directed by John Deschene
Choreographed by Alex Nemiroski

Unity Somerville
6 William Street
Somerville, MA
Theatre@First Facebook Page

Review by Gillan Daniels

(Somerville) Comedies, especially those that depend on references contemporary to when they’re written, don’t often age well.  Plays survive on the universal quality of their themes, like mortality, revenge, and hope, most of which belong to the sphere of drama. For a long shelf life, they must be built on ideas that resonate down the ages. It certainly says something about the nature of humor that Lysistrata, produced in 411 B.C.E. and one of Aristophanes few surviving plays, continues to be well remembered and celebrated for its bawdiness. Continue reading

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Sep 14

Bent, Not Broken

BENT
Presented by Theatre@First
A Play by Martin Sherman
Directed by Nick Bennett-Zendzian

Theatre@First Facebook Page

Performances: Friday, September 14 – Saturday, September 22
Unity Somerville, 6 William Street at College Ave.
TICKETS – $15 for adults, $12 for students/seniors. Group discounts available.

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Somerville) When the stakes grow to dizzying heights, Theatre@First’s production of Bent has the power to draw its audience as tightly as a bowstring. The air crackles expectantly as viewers wait for the other shoe to drop.  As its characters are fenced in with barbed wire and SS guards, they are left with nothing but the hope that things can’t get any worse.  It certainly will, especially when that backdrop is the Holocaust and the principal characters are homosexual. Continue reading

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