Oct 17

Life Smells Weird: “SpongeBob the Musical”

National Tour Cast of The Spongebob Musical. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

Presented by the Boch Center Wange Theatre
Based on the series SpongeBob Squarepants by Stephen Hillenburg
Book by Kyle Jarrow
Music by Tom Kitt
Original songs by Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alex Ebert, The Flaming Lips, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, Rob Hyman, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants, T.I., Domani, Lil’ C, David Bowie, Brian Eno, Andy Paley, Tom Kenny, Derek Drymon, Mark Harrison, Stephen Hillenburg, Blaise Smith & Tom Kitt
Additional lyrics by Jonathan Coulton
Production conceived and directed by Tina Landau
Choreography by Christopher Gattelli
Music direction by Patrick Hoagland
Music supervision by Julie McBride & Timothy Hanson

October 15 – 27, 2019
Boch Center Wang Theatre
Boston, MA
SpongeBob and Wang Theatre on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) A theatre professor-friend of mine teaches what she calls the “Parking Lot Rule” to her first level theatre students at New York State college. She says that, if they are reviewing a production, her students should wait until they are in the parking lot to discuss their thoughts on the performance they just watched. It’s a good rule to live by. You don’t know who is listening.

I was taught the “Walls Have Ears Rule” as a wee tot at theatre camp. It’s stayed with me for 25 years. A majority of my performing colleagues know a version of this rule. Its concept is simple and easily taught. The consequences of not heeding the rule can be harsh. Cruel words travel faster than kind words and words travel fast. More on this in a bit.   

The SpongeBob Musical currently playing at the Wang Theatre is great fun. The musical is intended to be consumed by fans of the widely popular, dank meme incubating Nickelodeon TV series. It is a heartening comedy that teaches important lessons about friendship, generosity and civic duty. Anyone who isn’t at least peripherally aware of the TV show won’t be able to follow the musical’s fastpaced introduction of characters and subplots. A YouTube search before attending will prepare most adults for the innocent wackiness that the show is known for.  Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Nov 09

“Next to Normal” a Next to Average Production

Photo provided by CCT Publicity

Photo provided by CCT Publicity

Presented by Curtain Call Theatre
Music by Tom Kitt
Book & Lyrics by Brian Yorkey
Directed by Jim Sullivan
Musical direction by Jose Merlo

November 6-8, 12-14, 2015
Braintree, MA
Curtain Call Theatre on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Braintree, MA) From my own upbringing, I thought I understood the definition of dysfunctional, but nothing could have prepared me for the family dynamic put on display in the rock musical Next to Normal. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Apr 28

Idina At the Crossroads: “If/Then”

The New England Theatre Geek occasionally reviews theatre outside of our typical jurisdiction. Reviewer Kate Idlebrook attended If/Then while on vacation in The Big City.

Photo by Joan Marcus

Photo by Joan Marcus

Presented by The Richard Rodgers Theatre
Music by Tom Kitt
Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey

Richard Rogers Theatre
New York City, New York
If/Then on Facebook

Review by Kate Idlebrook

(NYC) If you have been in the vicinity of a kid under the age of 12 in the past six months, you probably know Idina Menzel, or at least her voice. She’s the star behind the Disney phenomenon Frozen. But if you’re a Broadway aficionado, you already knew her name and have been following her since she came on the scene as Rent’s Maureen Johnson in 1995. Or, perhaps you remember her best as Wicked’s original Elphaba. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience
Mar 17

We Have Mental Illness: NEXT TO NORMAL

A woman (Kerry A. Dowling) fantasizes about her psychopharmacologist (Chris Caron) in a scene from the SpeakEasy Stage Company production of Next to Normal, running now thru April 15th at the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street, in Boston’s South End. Tix/Info: 617-933-8600/www.SpeakEasyStage.com. Photo: Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo.

Next to Normal; Music by Tom Kitt, Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Boston Center for the Arts Roberts Studio Theatre, 3/9/12-   4/15/12,   EXTENDED THROUGH 4/22/12 (Second and Final Extension)!!! http://www.speakeasystage.com/doc.php?section=showpage&page=normal.

Read Rebecca’s interview with Kerry Dowling here.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

(Boston, MA) Break a toe and you might end up with a sore back.  Twist an ankle and your knee might have trouble compensating.  A family is like that.  It is a group of humans that moves in concert and is much more adaptable than a body, for better or worse.  When a part of the social organism is injured, the other parts imperfectly try to take up the load.  What else can you do, amputate?

Speakeasy’s production of Next to Normal provides a clear window into the holistic impact the mental illness of one member of the family has on the family-body.  It realistically and powerfully illustrates how we all soldier on when there are pieces of us missing.  But this isn’t an “Eat-Your-Vegetables-and-Learn-About-Mental-Illness” production.  Next to Normal provides pitch-perfect comedic timing, layered action, great music and a stunning set.  Life flows through this play; though it is heartbreaking, it is not a requiem.  Tissues are a must, however. Continue reading

Share with Your Audience