Plays about real-life human dramas often plumb deep cultural roots. For the first time in earth’s history, massive climate change is taking place in the presence of a terrestrial species that expresses itself in cultural artifacts. Human activity threatens the natural world, but humans are also able to study and to project the probable outcomes of that activity. Human society will also determine whether the mass extinction of species currently underway will bury it as well.
Cambridge, MA - When audiences give performers a standing ovation, sometimes it feels obligatory rather than congratulatory. In the case of the four actor/musicians performing in "Woody Sez" at the American Repertory Theater in Harvard Square, the applause and accolades heard at Wednesday’s press opening were not only well deserved, they were rewarded with an encore.
It’s not really right to skip the theatre when in London, so out of all the possible shows, I choose to see the revival of Mike Leigh’s “Ecstasy,” which has now closed.
Mike Leigh is a director I often admire; he is frequently called “a darling of the Left.” He is not a big campaigner, but when asked if he feels he is a political director has said, “You can't not be political. It's like asking if I consider myself a human being.”
Music by Si Kahn, book by Amy Merrill
Musical theater, noted singer/songwriter and activist Si Kahn in a recent radio interview, has often tackled serious issues in our lives. The personal and the comedic have often been used to confront real problems. Think race in “South Pacific,” oppression and identity in “La Cage Aux Foils.” These are plays that confront big issues and do it with a smile and some style.
One of the insufficiently highlighted treasures of the Boston area is the wealth of student theatre productions. I’ve discovered this because Sheriden Thomas of the Tufts drama faculty invites me to the productions she directs. (Full disclosure: I met her and her partner when, years ago, they took a few dance lessons from me.) How impressive that she has pulled off a slam-dunk with her present show, Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest at the theater-in-the-round Balch Arena Theater, Feb17-19 and 24-26.
Naomi Wallace’s The Fever Chart: Three Visions of the Middle East, is three one-act plays, set in the Gaza Strip, West Jerusalem, and Baghdad. The pieces were separately written and performed over five years and first combined in 2008; the play runs at the Central Square Theater in Cambridge through December 19. The first piece, “A State of Innocence,” is the most ambitious. Yuval, an Israeli soldier, is a Zionist Beetle Bailey, who fell asleep on duty and was made keeper in the zoo in Rafah, southern Gaza. There he meets Um Hisham, a Rafah woman, who knows his name.
"The Fever Chart" Opens Underground Railway Theater's PowerPlays and Possibility Series at Central Square Theater
Cambridge, MA - The definition of the word intractable says a lot about the situation in the Middle East: “a problem that is so hard…that it cannot be solved; resistant to treatment.”
The parties to the conflict – the governments of Israel and the U.S., the Palestinian Authority, and Hamas – often exacerbate the crisis by encouraging debate over which group is right or wrong rather than towards the search for a reasonable political solution.
With a promise of puppets, dancing, political subversion and free bread, Bread & Puppet Theater’s fourth annual installment of their Boston residency attracted a crowd Friday, the second night of the “Tear Open the Door of Heaven” performance. Audience members braved the cold to come out to The Cyclorama building, part of the Boston Center for the Arts in the South End, which proves to be a perfect venue for the visually arresting style of this Glover, VT based theater troupe.
BOSTON/South End - This week, for the fourth winter in a row at the Boston Center for the Arts Cyclorama, the Glover, VT based Bread and Puppet Theater troupe present their subversively entertaining brand of politics and punditry.
Members of the year round Bread and Puppet collective again will be joined this week by scores of local actors and performers (a mix of pros and mostly amateurs who have been rehearsing all week at the BCA) who responded to the annual call for volunteers.