Rosner’s reactionary recitativo resuscitated
A “fusion of seemingly incongruous elements” is an apt description of Arnold Rosner’s style. Add to that his eschewing of Mozart as laughably overrated and his strong iconoclastic tendencies, and you make a classical music lover want to approach the man’s work with a nine-foot poker.
In the belly of the whale
In the spirit of the novel it’s based on, this musical, organized into four parts, packs in an absolute bonanza of bizarre and beautiful things into a 3.5-hour multi-genre extravaganza.
The adventures of Omelette and the gang
Had the acting been bad, this show would have been downright painful to sit through, but instead, it was delightful and hilarious thanks to the incredible skill of the ASP actors.
God’s Rottweiler meets God’s Labrador
The centerpiece of the film is a series of sometimes heated, sometimes touching tête-a-têtes between the two seminarians. The spotlight is trained on Bergoglio, the “lowly but chosen” Argentinian bishop and our current Pope, whose life story we are privy to through a series of flashbacks.
‘The Iliad’ according to your bitter, well-oiled uncle
Pulling off a two-hour one-man show is no mean feat, requiring endurance, a compelling character and/or a killer storyline. When the storyline is one of the most familiar in existence, every other aspect of the production needs to pull its weight.
How to dupe a queen
A queen finds herself powerless, an orphan finds herself a duchess, and someone finds themselves without a head. Odyssey Opera’s revival of Pacini’s Tudor drama is an unexpected musical delight further enhanced by tasteful staging.
Boston Lyric Opera tries its hand at ‘bread and circuses’
The Boston Lyric Opera opens the season with its take on an “immersive” ‘Pagliacci’, a play-within-a-play centered on a love triangle between members of a commedia dell’arte troupe. The result: a bite-size opera with a festive preamble that makes up in spirit what it lacks in substance.
‘Cleave to no faith when faith brings blood’
"The Crucible" is a poignant reminder that the villains are not only those who yell the loudest, but those who bestow their sanction on the accusers. Bedlam makes this play shine through its thoughtful, textured realization of the characters, its sustained suspense, and its intimate engagement with the audience.
Dancing with the blood
No printed words can do justice to the hypnotic experience created by the Batsheva Dance Company. Rather than anonymizing the individual in the troupe, each dancer bursts like a ray of sun through a quartz prism.
Lustful princes, or the proximate cause of the rise of the Republic
There is much that entrances the viewer in Boston Lyric Opera’s production of 'The Rape of Lucretia,' despite its heavy thematic content. The BLO presents high-caliber singing, aesthetic costume design, and an orchestra that breathes life into Britten’s score, all at unprecedentedly close quarters.
Roll over Pushkin
If you’re looking for a sincere adaptation of Alexander Pushkin’s novel-in-verse, then this is not the production for you. However, if you are looking for humorous, light-hearted musical parody of a classic Russian story, then hitch up your troika, grab your palliative bottle of vodka, and direct your driver to the faraway land of Stoneham.
The squashed cabbage leaf prevails
Professor of phonetics, Henry Higgins (Eric Tucker), and his friend, Colonel Pickering (James Patrick Nelson), take up the challenge of teaching a flower girl, Eliza Doolittle (Vaishnavi Sharma), to speak like a duchess. This production of Pygmalion will make you laugh and will make you think — I recommend it wholeheartedly.
Corrupt with virtuous seasoning
This production of Measure for Measure, put on by Cheek by Jowl in collaboration with Moscow’s Pushkin Theater, has a hypnotic grace that will keep you transfixed throughout, whether you speak Russian or not (don’t worry, there are English surtitles).
Shakespeare’s Gunpowder Plot twist
Before you get the wrong idea, this is not a Spark Notes rendition of the Scottish play, nor is it a hip, new adaptation set in the Bronx or L.A. This modern verse translation is the result of a concerted effort to make Shakespeare more accessible by to translating his plays into contemporary English.
Telling the truth in difficult times
Shagspeare is commissioned to write a play about the “true history” of a failed attempt to blow up Parliament that is valiantly uncovered and quashed by king — in other words, a good, clean piece of propaganda.
Fine wine in a faience lion
For time periods from which extant written records are few, drinking and serving vessels can serve in an illuminatory capacity. Assembling an exhibition dedicated to such artifacts, as Susanne Ebbinghaus has done at the Harvard Art Museums, provides an unparalleled opportunity for cross-cultural and cross-temporal analysis of the tradition of animal-shaped vessels that persisted over three millennia, from Greece to China.
Two rooms and a sea of troubles
'Hamnet' is a raw, intimate portrait of William Shakespeare’s only son who died at the age of 11 and has ever since been shrouded in mist. It paints in broad, metaphysical strokes the relationship between father and son, while skirting around explicit literary analysis.
Audience ‘Members Don’t Get Weary’
Chances are, if you’re picturing modern dance, you’re imagining something that drew its inspiration from choreography by Alvin Ailey, who is credited with popularizing the art form while simultaneously blazing his own trail.
‘Let X equal the cold’
With a previous run on Broadway, a Best Play Tony Award, a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and a movie adaptation, this run of Proof has some very strong antecedents to live up to.
I volunteer as tribute!
There was quite a bit of excitement when L’assedio di Calais, which hadn’t been performed since 1840, was revived in 1990 in Europe at the Bergamo Festival and just last year in the United States at the Glimmerglass Festival.
A gut feeling
Soon, the empty stage, with a beautiful, defunct organ for backdrop, would be graced by the presence of the most well-known and widely praised period-instrument quartet of the day. Quatuor Mosaïques, an Austrian ensemble that came together 30 years ago, distinguishes itself with its singular use of gut-stringed instruments, specializing in the music of the 18th century.
Everything you’ve ever, and never, done
We define the moment and, reciprocally, the moment defines us. Constellations explores the infinite possibility that inhabits such a moment.
Tiger Style follows two siblings as they explore their identites
The myth of the “tiger mom” took flight in the American imagination with the publication of Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, which sparked a nationwide controversy about the merits of Asian vs. Western parenting styles. Playwright Mike Lew “felt that it wasn’t being represented [fairly] in the media,” so he decided to write a play about it. He explores not only the myth of tiger parents and the question of what happens after the alleged Carnegie Hall recitals and Ivy League college graduations, but also the identity conundrum that faces Asian-Americans in the 21st century.
The crazy pug lady and life-changing granola
The restaurant will capture a wide variety of experiences: it will have a coffee bar with a delectable selection of pastries throughout the day; it will offer lunch; and in the evening, Tracy’s experience in fine-dining will provide the ultimate experience, whether you’re ordering drinks, pinchos, or dinner.
Carmen sets out to shock: opera for millennials
“Love” and “death” sound remarkably similar in French: l’amour and la mort. This near-homonymity is the thematic core of the opera Carmen. The titular main character is inexorably drawn to the two.
Connecting the dots in Sunday in the Park with George
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, displayed at the Art Institute of Chicago, served as a theatrical and musical inspiration for Stephen Sondheim, who has been described as “the greatest and perhaps best-known artist in the American musical theater.” For actor Chanler-Berat (Broadway's Peter and the Starcatcher and Next to Normal) and director Peter DuBois (A Little Night Music), who hopped on a plane to view the original painting, it was a source of creative energy.
The pains of reality
Natalie Portman, in her debut as a director, has adapted Amos Oz’s A Tale of Love and Darkness, a coming-of-age memoir by one of Israel’s most celebrated authors.
Much Ado About Nothing: hormones and humor run rampant in Messina gaming lounge
Taking a theatrical journey to Messina, the traditional setting of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, was exactly what I needed by the end of this past week. It turned out to be a rather unexpected kind of Messina — a gaming lounge rather than a small Italian town. But hey, “all the world’s a stage,” and the Shakespeare Ensemble does a fantastic job of adapting one of the Bard’s most beloved comedies to ours.
The Embrace of the Serpent: a song, a prayer, a symphony
Deep in the Amazonian rainforest, we embark on a journey with Karamakate (Nilbio Torres), a shaman who is one of the only survivors of his tribe. Colombia is being torn apart and pillaged by the rubber plantation barons who control the country during the colonial era. Director Ciro Guerra’s The Embrace of the Serpent is an intricate and mournful examination of the ravages that this period in history wrought upon the indigenous peoples of Colombia. It is based on the travelogues of two explorers, German ethnologist Theodor Koch-Grünberg (Jan Bijvoet) and American biologist Richard Evans Schultes (Brionne Davis), who wrote some of the only existing accounts of many of these indigenous tribes.