Trigger Warnings: Graphic depiction of rape and violence, controversial and political arguments, full-body hugging
“Turn him to any cause of policy,
The Gordian Knot of it he will unloose,
Familiar as his garter”
(Shakespeare, Henry V, Act 1 Scene 1. 45–47)
(Boston) Alexander the Great is famous for marching through Asia and Africa in the name of Greece when he was 18 years old. He was a merciless conqueror and much of his work shaped the known BCE world. According to popular myth, in 333 BCE Alexander was shown a intricate knot in tying a chariot to a pole left by the sloppy founder of the city of Gordium. It was foretold that only the future ruler of Asia could untie the knot. Alexander, being the sensitive and thoughtful boy he wasn’t, instead hacked through the knot with his sword. Earlier versions of the myth imply Alexander first tries cunning to sort out the mess but eventually uses the pointy end of a sword to solve the riddle. These are the origins of the term “cutting the Gordian Knot.” It has come to mean using creative measures (cheating) in order to solve an convoluted problem. Continue reading →
(Lowell) The Reduced Shakespeare Company have long been proprietors of abridged histories and this touring production of The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) will deliver everything that you expect from the boys at the RSC: a three-man team dishing out biting satire, poignant historical and social commentary, and a dude in a really bad wig. Continue reading →
Whew! Thanks for sticking with me, readers! Welcome to the Epic Conclusion of Dani’s Grand Bardopalooza Adventure: 2K14. Over three days, I have attended and reviewed three different American Shakespeare remixes. Tonight’s grand finale: Romeo Juliet presented by The Hypocrites at Club Oberon.
(Cambridge) Let’s start here: this is probably best titled a “remix” of Shakespeare’s play rather than a straight-up performance or adaptation. Sean Graney took the original text, cut it, cropped it, zoomed in on some things, and re-arranged everything else to befit the story he wanted to tell. And, as I said in my review of 12 Nights, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that treatment. As an audience member, you should just be aware that you’re not going to be seeing Shakespeare on this stage; you’re going to be seeing work inspired by a timeless story. As such, I think familiarity with the source text is a must. I definitely saw plenty of kids in the audience, but I wasn’t certain that this was the best vehicle for introducing our well-known story to them. The story itself, in this form, felt rushed and improbable; like Graney was trying to slot too many elements into his slim sixty-minute time window. There were moments that even I barely followed (and that’s saying something). Continue reading →
Welcome back dear readers! I am reporting to you from day two of Dani’s Grand Bardopalooza Adventure: 2K14. Over three days, I will attend and review three different American Shakespeare remixes. Tonight’s Oreo filling show: 12 Nights presented by The Hypocrites at Club Oberon. Stop back later this week to catch the stunning conclusion of this Epic Shakes-Series.
(Cambridge)Watch out, Boston; The Hypocrites are back in town.
After their stunning production of The Pirates of Penzance (first performed at Oberon in June 2012, then again on the A.R.T. main stage this past May), I had high expectations for 12 Nights. The Hypocrites excel at high-octane performance which engages and illuminates for audiences who might otherwise have given this style of theatre a miss. As such, I thought that Shakespeare was a perfect fit for this Chicago-based company. What better way to interest people in the Bard than to introduce them at a Hypocritical party. Continue reading →
(Watertown) Some projects require a special touch. There are, for instance, people who implicitly understand Musicals. The musical form requires things that other theatre does not: an eye for choreography, an ear for music, an interest in balancing ham and legitimate acting…
Directing Shakespeare is a very specific task that requires a very specific skillset: an ear for rhetoric, an understanding of verse, a knowledge of history, an eye for embedded stage directions… F.U.D.G.E.’s Joey DeMita has none of these skills. Continue reading →
(Charlestown) Exit, Pursued by a Bear is a complicated show. The topic of domestic abuse is a sensitive one. Most media outlets using it as a subject twist reality to create good and evil characters out of common humans. In truth, an abuser isn’t all evil and the victim isn’t all sugar and spice; they are people with flaws like everyone else. Women and children aren’t the only victims of domestic violence (but are the majority of victims), men aren’t the only perpetrators of abuse (again, they are the majority), and abuse isn’t exclusive to heterosexual couples. Exit is a rare jewel of a show because playwright Lauren Gunderson pays proper respect to victims of domestic abuse while spinning a hilarious tale. Her victim isn’t the butt of jokes and her villain isn’t pure, concentrated evil. Continue reading →
(Boston) We are so insane for love that we co-opt works of art that vilify love and turn them into romantic propaganda. It happens with every generation. I grew up with The Police song “Every Breath You Take” as the best love song of 1983, even though it was clearly about a stalker
Romeo and Juliet has become a stand-in for romance, so much so that Bugs Bunny and Pepe LePew could do the balcony scene and 4-year-olds would get the joke. But while any college freshman with a dye job can enjoy the irony that this iconically romantic story could easily be considered a black comedy, few theatre companies can stage “R + J” productions that can cut through the “Will U Be Mine” ethos we smear on the play. Continue reading →
Aug. 23 – Sept. 1, 2013
Children Wharf’s Park, outside the Boston Children’s Museum
Brown Box Theatre Project on Facebook
Can’t attend these performances in Boston? You’re in luck! Following their Boston performances, the Brown Box cast and crew will pack up their set and continue their tour on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Delaware.
Review by Gillian Daniels
The last production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream I saw before Brown Box Theatre’s was The DonkeyShow at the Oberon. Where the Oberon’s version was a show infused with drugs, sex, the excesses of 1970’s disco culture, and go-go dancer boys with body glitter, Brown Box Theatre fills its show with the excesses of Elizabethan fairies and water basins liberally placed around its stage. The long-running Donkey Show may be the toast of Cambridge, but Brown Box Theatre has captured a more vibrant energy in its traditional telling. Continue reading →
“Two Gents” tells the tale of two friends who leave their hometown of Verona to find their happy fortunes in Milan. Instead, they find temptation, trickery, and trouble as they vie for favor with the high-society Duke… and his debutante daughter. All are drawn into a web of disguise and secrecy where the last thing anyone wants is for the truth to surface — least of all the dog.
Inspired by Rat Pack-era Vegas — the glamor, the hedonism, and the morning after agonies — the production brings new meaning to the line “what happens in Milan, stays in Milan…”
SPECIAL PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS:
JULY 18TH: AUDIO-DESCRIBED PERFORMANCE
JULY 21ST: ASL-INTERPRETED PERFORMANCE
JULY 26TH: “FAMILY DAY” AND “FREE FUN FRIDAY”
JULY 27TH @ 2PM: ASL-INTERPRETED PERFORMANCE