Jan 23

A Pleasant Romcom: “Shakespeare in Love”

Shakespeare at Viola’s feet. Photo by Nile Hawver/Nile Scott Shots

Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Co.
Based on the screenplay by Mac Norman & Tom Stoppard
Adapted for the stage by Lee Hall
Directed by Scott Edmiston
Original music/music direction/sound design by David Reiffel
Choreography/period movement by Judith Chaffee
Fight direction by Ted Hewlett

Jan. 12 – Feb. 10, 2018
Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
SpeakEasy on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) SpeakEasy’s production of Shakespeare in Love is okay. People who loved the movie will get a lot out of attending. Anyone expecting a revelatory experience from their theatre will be disappointed. Aside from the lighting design by Karen Perlow (which made Jennifer Ellis look like a gilded angel floating down from Heaven, and the set look like a theatre in a night forest) and the compositions by David Reiffel, this production is good but unremarkable.    Continue reading

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Apr 20

Two Reviewers, One Play: ARCADIA

The Cast of ARCADIA. Photo: A.R. Sinclair Photography

The Cast of ARCADIA. Photo: A.R. Sinclair Photography

Presented by Central Square Theater & and the Nora Theatre Company
Written by Tom Stoppard
Directed by Lee Mikeska Gardner

Current-May 15, 2016
Central Square Theater
Central Square, Cambridge, MA
Central Square/Nora Theatre on Facebook

Noe and I attended this performance together. We were impacted differently so we both wrote reviews. One follows after the other below.  Continue reading

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Nov 14

You Know It’s Love When You Want to Stab* Your Partner but Don’t: THE REAL THING

Photos by Paul Cantillon, Lidec Photo.

Photos by Paul Cantillon, Lidec Photo.

Presented by Bad Habit Productions
By Tom Stoppard
Directed by A. Nora Long

November 8-23, 2014
Deane Hall
Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA
Boston, MA
Bad Habit on Facebook

*Figuratively

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) The Real Thing reminds us that mature, adult relationships are back breaking, hard work. Henry (Bob Mussett) is a playwright using his real life as fodder for his scripts. He’s having an affair with Annie (Courtland Jones), an actress and activist, for whom they’ve both divorced their spouses. In this play, Henry and Annie grow out of their patterns of selfish, abusive neglect and into a mature partnership. Henry and Annie barely survive with their sanity intact. Continue reading

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Jul 23

Hub Theatre’s Shakespeare Crowd-Pleaser: “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)”

Picture

Presented by Hub Theatre Company of Boston
by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield
Directed by Lauren Elias

July 18 – August 2, 2014
Club Café
209 Columbus Ave
Boston, MA

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston) The working hypothesis for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) appears to be this: when at his most serious, the Bard is the most unintentionally hilarious. It’s darkly comic, in a way, that a pair of lovers would die passionately together despite knowing each other for a few days. And there’s something ridiculous about a prince putting off the assassination of the uncle who stole his crown because he doesn’t believe the ghost of his father. In Hub Theatre Company’s take on the parody, Patrick Curran, Adam Lauver (alternating with Will Moore), and Brooks Reeves seek to both compress and skewer Shakespeare’s body of work. Continue reading

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Apr 06

Don’t Hate the Player: “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead”

The pretty, pretty cast.

Presented by Theatre@First
By Tom Stoppard
Directed by Elizabeth Hunter

April 4th – 12th
Davis Square Theatre
Theatre@First on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Somerville) So, weird thing about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, it makes Beckett slightly more palatable and Shakespeare slightly less.

Stoppard’s play riffing on Beckett’s infamous Waiting for Godot is, on the surface, a glance at what’s going on behind the wings during the course of the greatest play ever written in the English language. If we begin to look at life as Stoppard’s head tragedian does (that is a world in which every exit is an entrance somewhere else), we begin to see how this Hamlet fan-fic took shape. Take Gogo and Didi, slap them into some verse poetry, give them tabards and a letter to the English King and wha-bam; there’s Stoppard’s piece. Continue reading

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Mar 05

Theatre@First: ROSENCRANTZ & GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD AGAIN!

ROSENCRANTZ & GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD AGAIN!
Theatre@First celebrates 10th Anniversary with a return to Stoppard’s masterwork

Theatre@First kicks off their second decade of providing local audiences with superlative live theatre at affordable prices with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at the Davis Square Theatre, April 4-12.

In 2004, a small group decided to put on a show in a church basement in Davis Square.  That show was Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and that group has become Theatre@First, Somerville’s own community theatre.  Now founding Artistic Director Elizabeth Hunter returns to the beginning with a new production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

Tom Stoppard’s Tony Award-winning script focuses on two minor characters from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, imagining their confusion at being caught up in the tragic plot. Full of some of the greatest wordplay in English drama, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead examines the meaning of death and the questions of life from an absurdist perspective that leaves audiences laughing at their own folly and gasping at the truths revealed.

For tickets and more information about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and Theatre@First, visit www.theatreatfirst.org.

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
7pm evening shows:                                            4pm matinee shows:
Friday April 4                                                      Saturday April 5
Sunday April 6                                                    Saturday April 12
Wednesday April 9
Thursday April 10
Friday April 11

PERFORMANCE SPACE
Davis Square Theatre
255 Elm St, Somerville
Wheelchair accessible space

TICKETS: $20 for adults
$15 for students/seniors.
brownpapertickets.com & goldstar.com
Group discounts available.

 

 

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Nov 16

Music to Rock a Revolution: “Rock ‘n’ Roll”

Photo credit: The Longwood Players; the cast does not headbang in this production.

 

Presented by The Longwood Players
By Tom Stoppard
Directed by Kaitlyn Chantry

Cambridge YMCA Theater
820 Mass. Ave.
Central Square, Cambridge MA
November 9 – 17
Longwood Players Facebook Page

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge) If you enjoy rock legends such as The Doors, The Velvet Underground, or Pink Floyd (Sid Barrett) with a dollop of political science philosophy, Rock ‘n’ Roll is for you. If not, I suggest skipping this heady production by The Longwood Players. There is a lot to value here but the cerebral participation necessary to enjoy Tom Stoppard’s work may overwhelm the audience goer expecting a lighter devotional to Rock. Continue reading

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Jul 23

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead: Black Comedy in the Park

photo credit: Apollinaire Theatre Company

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
by Tom Stoppard

Apollinaire in the Park 2012

Performances run July 11-28 at 7:30,
in English on Wed. Thurs. & Sat. and Spanish on Fri. & Sun.
Mary O’Malley Parkhttp://www.apollinairetheatre.com/productions/productions.html.

Reviewed by Gillian Daniels

(Chelsea, MA) In a twist on Shakespeare in the Park, the Apollinaire Theatre Company has chosen to perform a free production of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead during the most gorgeous time of year. Each act is in a different location through out Mary O’Malley Park with the audience following the actors during intermission. The sunset, view of the river, docks, mural, and brilliant staging make a surprisingly fitting backdrop for Stoppard’s clever script. Continue reading

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Feb 02

The Real Thing: An Infidelity Play in Capable Hands

Joseph O'Meara, Mark O'Donald and Sarah Carlin (© 2012 Jon Sachs)

The Real Thing by Tom Stoppard, Salem Theatre Company, 1/28/12-2/18/12, http://salemtheatre.com/on_stage.htm.

Reviewed by Gillian Daniels

(Salem, MA) Much ink has been devoted to the subject of infidelity and romantic betrayal.  Whether in songs, books, or plays, it’s a well-worn trope.  Tom Stoppard recognizes this early on in The Real Thing, establishes that it’s a literary convention in the first scene, and spends the rest of the play dissecting what it really means to the characters. Continue reading

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Aug 17

Arcadia: The Paradise of Pursuit

Arcadia, by Tom Stoppard, Bad Habit Productions, Virginia Wimberley Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts, 8/11/11-8/28/11.
http://www.badhabitproductions.org/shows/season/arcadia.html.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

Bad Habit Productions avoids pretension as it follows the serpentine path of thought from enlightenment to romance.  The witty exchanges bounce from the actors’ tongues to all four walls of the theatre.  The characters learn that the journey is more important than the definition of terms.  The production dances with little hesitation through the rhythmical patterns of Stoppard’s language. Continue reading

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