Mar 23

Book Release and Online Event:”There Must Be Happy Endings” by Megan Sandberg-Zakian is Released Today!

There Must Be Happy Endings: On Theatre of Optimism & Honesty
By Megan Sandberg-Zakian
Published by The 3rd Thing Press
Olympia, 2020
Available on Kickstarter with a $24.00 pledge
Paperback, 230 pages

LIVE ONLINE EVENT!
Megan Sandberg-Zakian in conversation with Melinda Lopez
March 23, 2020, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Free on the HowlRound website! More info below.
Event on
Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

“An ending doesn’t have to be happy to be satisfying. A good ending, happy or not, draws a line around the experience of story hearing and telling. It picks the story up, holds it in its hands, and offers it out, whole. It gives us the opportunity for a collective breath. A good ending is honest: a boundary we can feel, the knowledgable edge of a reliable container. It is a ritual threshold between story and not-story.” 

— Megan Sandberg-Zakian, “There Must Be Happy Endings,” There Must Be Happy Endings: On Theatre of Optimism & Honesty, 2020.

Somerville, Mass — There Must Be Happy Endings by Megan Sandberg-Zakian is an exploration in the personal dramaturgy of the mind and spirit. In her first book of essays, the author takes a deep dive into the works that have made a lasting impression upon her. They are an extension of her need to share stories through theatre. Whether by quoting Homer, The Dark Knight or Annie, these essays draw the reader into the author’s personal story by circumnavigating the landscape of the greater western narrative. She tells us why happy ends are important and why they are especially important to her. Her title essay isn’t demanding sappy closure but commanding a divine right to culminate our narratives with an end to the suffering within them.  Continue reading

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Feb 03

Now with Bonus Toilet Goblin: “Vanity Fair”

Presented by Underground Railway Theater
By Kate Hamill
From the novel by William Makepeace Thackeray
Directed by David R. Gammons
Fight coordination by Victor Ventricelli
Dialect coaching by Erika Bailey
Dramaturgy by Hilary Rappaprt

January 23 – February 23, 2020
Central Square Theater 
450 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Central Square Theater on Facebook

Critique by Kitty Drexel

Cambridge, MA — William Makepeace* Thackeray’s Vanity Fair postdates Voltaire’s Candide by almost 100 years. Kate Hamill’s Vanity Fair now at Central Square Theater compares strongly to the famed Bernstein operetta. One could expect the human race to have evolved to squabble over different intersocial problems after nearly a century. One would be wrong. Continue reading

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May 07

“black odyssey boston”: Greek Myth Meshes Beautifully with African Diaspora

Brandon G. Green & Johnny Lee Davenport. Photo: Nile Scott Studios.

Presented by by The Front Porch Arts Collective & Underground Railway Theater
Written by Marcus Gardley
Directed by Benny Sato Ambush
Choreographed by Melissa Alexis
Music Directed by Alyssa Jones

April 25 – May 19, 2019
Central Square Theatre
450 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
black odyssey boston on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Cambridge, MA) Brandon G. Green is Ulysses Malcolm Lincoln, a soldier who’s unmoored. Not just unmoored on the sea, but unmoored in time, place, and personhood. We follow him on a journey as episodic as The Odyssey with as much raw, mythic power. The classic epic has been broken down and rebuilt with a mosaic of African diaspora culture. black odyssey boston is truly an epic in that it is three hours of fantastical and strange adventures. It finds its way home, however, not when it tries to piece together every popular touchstone it can lay its hands on, but when it focuses on the human relationships of its characters. Continue reading

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Oct 11

Frankenstein was the Monster: “Frankenstein”

Produced by The Nora Theatre Company & Underground Railway Theater; A Catalyst Collaborative@MIT Production; Design by Bird Graphics.

Presented by Central Square Theater
Produced by The Nora Theatre Company & Underground Railway Theater
By Nick Dear
From the novel by Mary Shelley
Directed by David R. Gammons
Dramaturgy by Hilary Rappaport
Ensemble: Remo Airaldi, Omar Robinson, John Kuntz, Ashley Risteen, David Keohane, Debra Wise

Oct. 4 – Nov. 4, 2018
Central Square Theater
Cambridge, MA
CST on Facebook

Trigger warning: rape, violence, body horror, strobe effects, spoilers

Critique by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge, MA) Prometheus stole fire from Mount Olympus and gave it to mankind. For his indiscretion, Zeus condemned the Titan to an eternity of epic liver failure (a complication of eagle hunger). Shelley’s novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus warns a relatively modern audience not to play with fire lest one get burned. It plays out similarly in contemporary Halloween favorites such as The Rocky Horror Show and Prometheus that frustrating movie by Ridley Scott. It takes new form as Central Square Theater’s current production. As long as there is science, there will be humans poking around where they shouldn’t be poking. Continue reading

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Sep 12

Hoping That the Next Leap Will Be Their Leap Home: “Constellations”

Nael Nacer & Marianna Bassham in CONSTELLATIONS. Photo: A.R. Sinclair Photography

Presented by Underground Railway Theater
Written by Nick Payne
Directed by Scott Edmiston

Sept. 7 – Oct. 8, 2017
Central Square Theater
Cambridge, MA
CST on Facebook
Go here to learn more about how humans are killing bees at an alarming rate
MassBee.org
Follow the Honey for delicious local and beyond honey products

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge, MA) The ancient Greek believed that bees were the messengers of the Gods. Bees could divine the future, and acted as emissaries to Olympus. Keeping bees was and still is a sensitive vocation. It requires a gentle hand and a hardy constitution. Human beings require bees to live, but not vice versa. Continue reading

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Dec 24

Monkeys On My Mind: JOURNEY TO THE WEST

Presented by The Nora Theatre Company & Underground Railway Theater
Adapted by Mary Zimmerman from the translation by Anthony C. Yu of “Hsi Yu Chi”
Directed by Lee Mikeska Gardner
Choreography by Judith Chaffee
Fight choreography by Andrew Moss
Composition, Percussion & Music Collaborations by Ryan Meyer

Nov. 25 – Dec. 31, 2016
Central Square Theater
Cambridge, MA
Central Square Theater on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warnings: gender fluid casting, non-Christian religions that existed before the birth of Christ

(Cambridge, MA) Journey to the West is excellent family theatre. It has joyful storytelling, runs a little long, but delivers an epic myth in child-sized bites. There are bouncing monkeys, kings and queens, educational morals, and integrated behavioral psychology lessons. It has a little something for every intelligent, open-minded liberal.   Continue reading

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Oct 26

The Opposite of Hell Freezing Over: “When January Feels Like Summer”

Photo courtesy of CST Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of CST Facebook page.

Presented by Underground Railway Theater
Written by Cori Thomas
Directed by Benny Sato Ambush

Oct. 20 – Nov. 13, 2016
Central Square Theater
Cambridge, MA
CST on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Cambridge, MA) Spoiler alert: No one dies in When January Feels Like Summer. No one even gets beaten up. In fact, everyone gets a happy ending. Thomas’ play is extraordinary because sweet but nosy Indira gets to be happy. Thomas’ POC characters get to live their lives without some white person causing unnecessary trouble. It shouldn’t be unusual that a play about POCs or a trans woman isn’t about the violence inflected on them, but it is. It shouldn’t be revolutionary for a person to go about their business. Yet, here we are.       Continue reading

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Oct 14

Poetic License: “Einstein’s Dreams”

A.R. Sinclair Photography

A.R. Sinclair Photography

Presented by Underground Railway Theater
Part of the Catalyst Collaborative@MIT
Based on a book by Alan Lightman
Adapted and Directed by Wesley Savick

September 24 – November 15, 2015
Central Square Theatre
450 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge, MA
Central Square Theatre on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Cambridge, MA) Even as I sit here staring at a blank page, I am having trouble putting into words the experience of seeing Einstein’s Dreams at Central Square Theatre.  What I know for a certainty is that I can extend to the piece the highest comment that this reviewer can give: it sparked discussion, and it made me think. Continue reading

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Jan 24

“At the Mountaintop” Delivers Unexpected, Unwelcome Twist

Presented by Underground Railway Theater

Presented by Underground Railway Theater

Produced by Underground Railway Theater

By Katori Hall
directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian

January 10 – February 3, 2013
Central Square Theater
450 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Central Square Theater Facebook Page

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Cambridge) Sometimes, there’s a moment in a show that can make or break it. When that moment comes, the audience will divide accordingly. Maybe this turn is cheesy, too scary, or just a little off-kilter with the rest of the story. When it happens in At the Mountaintop, and the audience will know when it does, it redefines the sort of narrative being watched. The show starts out smart but softens into a peculiar if interesting mess.

Katori Hall’s two-man play concerns the late and well-loved Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Maurice Emmanuel Parent) and his conversations with a hotel maid, Camae (Kami Rushell Smith). Like A Picasso by Jeffrey Hatcher, performed by The Salem Theatre Company last year, Central Square Theater’s At the Mountaintop concerns two personalities bouncing off each other in a contained space. Also like A Picasso, one happens to be famous and respected while the other, an intrigued woman, has slipped
through the cracks of history. Continue reading

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Jun 25

ADHD NPR – CAR TALK: THE MUSICAL

The cast in a scene from Underground Railway Theater’s and Suffolk University’s co-production of Car Talk: The Musical!!! running from June 14 – August 12 at Central Square Theater, 450 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA. Tickets & Information: 866.811.4111 or CentralSquareTheater.org. Photo: A.R. Sinclair Photography.

Car Talk: The Musical, book and lyrics Wesley Savick, original music by Michael Wartofsky, Underground Railway Theater & Suffolk University, Central Square Theater, 6/14/12-8/12/12, http://www.centralsquaretheater.org.

Reviewed by Craig Idlebrook

Charisma can carry a show a long way. Just look at what it did for Tom and Ray Magliozzi, a pair of goofball (and genius) brother-mechanics who talked their way into a hit show on National Public Radio. For 35 years, the pair has giggled their way through thousands of calls from car owners with mystery questions, strewing terrible puns and corny humor on the road as they went.

And now, on the eve of the brothers’ retirement from “Car Talk”, they have gotten themselves involved in a musical, written by Wesley Savick, with music by Michael Wartofsky. Continue reading

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