Mar 22

“MBTA Musical”: For the T-Hating Bostonian in All of Us

Photo from the 2012 production at Oberon.

Photo from the 2012 production at Oberon.

Presented by ImprovBoston
Music and Lyrics by Melissa Carubia
Directed by John Michael Manship
Musical Direction by Shannon Jacob

February 26-May 20, 2016
Cambridge, MA
ImprovBoston on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Cambridge, MA) When I found out that the MBTA was going to cut Friday and Saturday extended hours, I wept for at least 5.5 seconds. My displeasure quickly morphed into absolute fury with the board members for making such a rash decision that effects hundreds of workers, students, and other Bostonians. I was revved up to come see the performance of ImprovBoston’s T-shaming show, T: An MBTA Musical and it was the perfect slap-in-the-face comeback to Boston’s poor excuse for public transit that I could’ve received. Continue reading

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Mar 19

One Lick of “Bootycandy” and You’re Hooked

Photo credit: Glenn Perry Photography

Photo credit: Glenn Perry Photography

Presented by Speak Easy Stage Company
Written by Robert O’Hara
Directed by Summer L. William

March 12-April 9, 2016
Stanford Calderwood Pavilion
Boston Center for the Arts
Speak Easy on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) Growing up gay and black is a very specific experience, and not one with which I will ever be able to identify. But Robert O’Hara’s hilarious and honest show gives the closest to an authentic experience anybody could possibly get. Continue reading

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Mar 19

“Lesbians”: Living in an Elementary School Near You

Photo credit: Jake Scaltreto

Photo credit: Jake Scaltreto

Presented by Flat Earth Theatre
Written by Gina Young
Directed by Mariagrazia LaFauci

March 11-26, 2016
Arsenal Center for the Arts
Flat Earth Theatre on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Watertown, MA) This play is super gay. I mean, yeah it’s really funny, and mega 90s, but it is super gay. And that is why it was pretty damn amazing. Continue reading

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Feb 16

“Baltimore”: Damn Straight it’s About Race

2/9/16 Boston Center for American Performance and New Repertory Theatre present BALTIMORE, A BU New Play Initiative Production by Kirsten Greenidge - Directed by Elaine Vaan Hogue - After she’s dismissed from her job in the athletics department, Shelby Wilson becomes Resident Advisor to a group of freshmen—after all, it’ll look good on her resume. She soon discovers that a racially charged incident has set student against student, and it’s up to her to mediate the situation. In this world premiere production, playwright Kirsten Greenidge explores the complexities of racism from the perspective of eight culturally diverse college students. Boston University Theatre, 264 Huntington Ave. (Lane-Comley Studio 210) 2016-02-09-BALTIMORE_033.nef - Photograph By Kalman Zabarsky

2/9/16- Photograph By Kalman Zabarsky

Presented by Boston Center for American Performance and
New Repertory Theatre at the Boston University Theatre
By Kirsten Greenidge
Directed by Elaine Vaan Hogue

February 10-28, 2016
Boston University Theatre
Lane-Comley Studio 210
264 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA
New Rep on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) I know what you’re thinking. Oh great, another play about race. And yes, this is a play about race. But the problem people don’t see in this thought process is that art exists as a response to society and our experiences living in it. Plays about race would not need to be written if we did in fact live in a post-racial society. So yes, this is a show about race, and if that bothers you then you are exactly the person that needs to see this play. Continue reading

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Feb 09

No Day But Today to See “Rent”

6-Full Cast - (C)Eric Antoniou

(C) Eric Antoniou

Presented by Fiddlehead Theatre Company at the Back Bay Events Center
Book, Music and Lyrics by Jonathan Larson
Music Direction by Nathan Urdangen
Directed by Stacey Stephens

February 5-21, 2016
Boston, MA
Fiddlehead Theatre Company on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) Rent has a very special place in my heart, and the hearts of many musical fans. I’ve been criticized by various people who point out their faults with the show, including the childish mentality that you can live in New York City (center of the universe) without paying rent for an entire year and expect zero consequences. Whatever shortcomings in its plot, it’s a fantastic rock musical and I was excited for all the nostalgic feels during the Fiddlehead Theatre Company’s production this past weekend, and while I wasn’t blown away, I wasn’t disappointed either. Continue reading

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Jan 26

Manni on “Sondheim on Sondheim”

Photo credit: Mark S. Howard

Photo credit: Mark S. Howard

Presented by Lyric Stage Company of Boston
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Conceived by James Lapine

Directed by Spiro Veloudos
Musical Direction by Jonathan Goldberg
Choreography by Ilyse Robbins

January 15-February 21, 2016
Lyric Stage on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) Stephen Sondheim is a widely cherished American lyricist and composer of countless musicals. His resume is both expansive and impressive, so a man named James Lapine decided to create a biographical show that incorporated musical numbers interspersed with videos of Sondheim talking about his life and influences, and it was ok I guess. Continue reading

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Jan 26

Keeping House and Conversing with Ghosts in “The Housekeeper”

Photo credit: Amanda Sheehan

Photo credit: Amanda Sheehan

Presented by Fresh Ink Theatre at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre
By Ginger Lazarus
Directed by Shana Gozansky

January 15-30, 2016
Fresh Ink Theatre on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) Fresh Ink Theatre has the sole mission of allowing playwrights to shape their craft through the production and workshop processes to produce art that is professional and refreshing. I was excited to see The Housekeeper because of this mission, and I was not disappointed. Continue reading

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Jan 19

Music, Puppetry, and Nonverbal Communication: LOLLIPOPS FOR BREAKFAST

Photo credit: Liz Linder

Photo credit: Liz Linder

Presented by The Gottabees at the Charlestown Working Theatre
Created by Bonnie Duncan / The Gottabees
Music by Brendan Burns & Tony Leva

January 16-17, 2016
442 Bunker Hill Street
Charlestown, MA 02129
Charlestown Working Theatre on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Charlestown, MA) To think with a critical eye as a small crowd of children turns around to stare at (and silently judge) you and your small bag of goldfish and kids-sized juice box that you bought from the humble concession stand is no small feat. My friend and I may have arrived sans children and unchaperoned, but we were up to the challenge. Continue reading

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Dec 07

“It’s Not About My Mother”: It’s About Fleetwood Mac

Photo credit: Nile Hawver

Photo credit: Nile Hawver

 

Presented by Fresh Ink Theatre
By Lizzie Milanovich
Directed by Cassandra Lovering

December 4-12, 2015
The Plaza Black Box Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts
Fresh Ink Theatre on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Boston, MA) Location, location, location. That was the thought that crossed my mind as I took a seat at the Plaza Black Box Theatre, and just from looking over the set the placement of It’s Not About My Mother was perfect. Not only does the show itself take place in a basement, the theatre is located in a similar setting, which was welcomingly orienting. Continue reading

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Dec 01

“The Little Mermaid” Makes a Little Splash

Courtesy Fiddlehead Theatre Company/©Eric Antoniou

Courtesy Fiddlehead Theatre Company/©Eric Antoniou

Presented by Fiddlehead Theatre Company at The Strand Theatre
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater
Book by Doug Wright
Musical Direction by Charles Peltz

November 27-December 6, 2015
Dorchester, MA
Fiddlehead Theatre Company on Facebook

Review by Travis Manni

(Dorchester, MA) Disney musicals are the foundation of almost all happy childhoods, so I was excited to see an extended version of the undersea fantasy that entranced my youthful eyes and ears. But the problem with Disney’s staged version of The Little Mermaid, the same part that left me slightly disappointed after seeing the show, is that it expands on something that is already so perfect in a way that feels forced and unnecessary. Continue reading

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