Next to Normal, The SpeakEasy Stage’s latest production, explores a family that is anything but what its name implies. This rock musical centers around a mother who struggles with bipolar disorder, and how she and her family are impacted. This musical which opened on Broadway in 2009 and went on to receive 11 Tony nominations is making its Boston premiere at the Calderwood Pavilion on Tremont Street in the South End.
SpeakEasy Stage’s production is compelling. Kerry A. Dowling’s performance as Diana – the housewife struggling with bipolar disorder – is reason enough to see the show. However, Dowling is not forced to carry the show on her own, the entire cast comes together. In particular, I found myself extremely sympathetic to the high school daughter, Natalie, played by Sarah Drake who’s struggling to make sense of her life which lacks love and attention from her ill mother and her father too obsessed with “saving” his wife to notice her. More than once I could hear sniffles from the audience so I know I wasn’t the only one touched by this performance.
Next to Normal was extended and now runs through Sunday, April 15th. I dare you to step out of your “normal” routine and make date to check out this new show. Be sure to bring along some friends, because after the curtain drops you’ll want to talk about what you just saw. You can read more about the show and purchase tickets online here.
Tonight Boston’s SpeakEasy Stage production of Next to Normal opens at the Calderwood Pavilion on Tremont Street in the South End. This play won 3 Tony Awards and received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama so I know the story line will be compelling. According to the website the show has a pop rock musical score which should add an element of drama to this story of a suburban family dealing with the direct and indirect effects of mental illness.
The cast of six includes three handsome faces who are making their debut with the SpeakEasy Stage. Native New Yorker – Chris Caron, Northeastern University graduate – Michael Levesque, and Boston Conservatory’s very own – Michael Tacconi.
Look for my review of the show early next week, and in the interim start talking to friends to line up a date to step out and enjoy this show.
I love getting a good deal so when I saw this offer from The SpeakEasy Stage last night, promoting their spring musical comedy, Xanadu with a one day sale, I knew I had to post this. Tickets for the first week of performances of Xanadu (May 11-17 shows only) will be only $29 (not including phone or online handling fees).
This is a GREAT deal so snag a pair of tickets to see the show, which looks as if it will marry nostalgia with humor. Sale hours are today from 9:00am – midnight (online at www.SpeakEasyStage.com) and from 12:00pm – 7:00pm by phone (617-933-8600 ) or for walk-up sales.
This past weekend the SpeakEasy Stage invited me to see their latest production, RED. I was happy to go, although I will admit I wondered if a 2-person play about a famous abstract expressionist artist living in NYC in 1958 would be too deep or too intellectual for me to grasp.
I should have realized that a play that won five Tony Awards in 2010 would be compelling to see. However, the reason the story comes alive on stage here in Boston is because of the chemistry between the two actors Thomas Derrah who plays the lead (Mark Rothko) and Karl Baker Olson who plays his new young assistant (Ken). The play is filled with quick, spirited dialog and (to my surprise) many funny lines. The dialog is expertly delivered by both actors. One of my favorite lines is when Rothko shouts at his assistant Ken. “You are an employee! This is about me.” The line sums up the artist as portrayed in the show better than I ever could.
RED plays through February 4th at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts at 527 Tremont Street in Boston’s South End. Looking for a great evening out? Support Boston’s local art and theater scene by coming to see this Tony Award winning play. You’ll be happy you saw this New England premiere. Check out The Boston Globe’s glowing review by Terry Byrne here.
You can purchase tickets over the phone at 617-933-8600 or online at SpeakEasyStage.com
In early September I wrote about all the great local theater companies in Boston in my post, 2011-2012 season (which was at the time just starting). The productions these companies pull together are not as elaborate as travelling Broadway and the National touring companies that come to Boston’s Theater District, but they can be surprisingly entertaining and tickets are half the price.
On Friday, I’m off to see The Divine Sister, which closes this weekend and is playing at the Roberts Studio Theatre in the Calderwood Pavilion. The program which was written by Charles Busch is probably more bawdy and lewd than anything playing currently in Boston’s theater district and that suits me just fine. We’re going to be joined by two other couples and make a night of this which is a welcome change from hitting the same bars or restaurants.
Have you attended a local theater production lately? There are so many good shows playing right now; support your local arts community.
The Divine Sister is now in its final week at the Roberts Studio Theatre (at the Calderwood Pavilion) in the South End.
I’m not sure if I completely understand the write up below which I swiped from the SpeakEasy Stage Co. website, but I’m intrigued.
The Divine Sister - written by Charles Busch, the comic genius behind such classics as Die, Mommie, Die!; Psycho Beach Party; and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, is a gleefully twisted tale that tells the story of an indomitable Mother Superior trying to cope with a young postulant experiencing “visions,” a sensitive schoolboy in need of mentoring, a mysterious nun visiting from Berlin, and a former suitor intent on luring her away from her vows.
Interested? The show closes one week from today, Saturday, November 19th. Tickets may be purchased online here.
Tonight I’m off to see The Great American Trailer Park Musical
from the SpeakEasy Stage Co. at the Calderwood Pavilion. According to the website, the show is about agoraphobia, adultery, spray cheese, road kill, hysterical pregnancy, kleptomania, flan and disco. When Pippi, a stripper on the run, comes between Dr. Phil-loving, agoraphobic Jeannie and her toll-collector husband, neighbors Betty, Lin and Pickles team up to save their friend’s marriage.
Sound like something you would enjoy? Grab tickets online here or call the Boston Theatre Scene box office at 617-933-8600, but do it quickly as the show is only here until Sunday, May 30th.
Friday, May 15th, I am going to see Jerry Springer-The Opera. This is the latest production from The SpeakEasy Stage. The show which opened May 1 runs though the 30th so if you think you might find this interesting, get your tickets now before the show sells out or ends. The performance is at the Calderwood Pavilion and tickets can be purchased at the box office on Tremont Street or online here.
About Jerry Springer – The Opera
The only work in history to earn “Best Musical” honors from all four major British award groups, Jerry Springer – The Opera, is a fascinating mix of high art and low culture. Witness America’s favorite talk show host as he suffers the worst day of his career in the funniest, most talked-about musical ever.
Starting this past Friday (January 16th) The SpeakEasy Stage opened their latest production, The New Century. The 90-minute show at the Calderwood Pavilion runs through Valentine’s Day and is described on the SpeakEasy Stage website as an “hilarious collection of four short gay-themed comedies. A wealthy Jewish matron with at least three gay children, a flamboyant public access TV host and a Midwestern scrapbooker/competitive cake decorator each have their say, then meet, in this outrageous look at where society is headed in the new millennium.”
I’ve purchased tickets for their final performance on Saturday, February 14th. If you have not had the chance to check out the peformance or would like to find out a bit more about the show the SpeakEasy Stage website has a video trailer you can link to view here.
This weekend “The Seafarer” opens in the Roberts Studio Theatre at the Calderwood Pavilion. The 2008 Tony nominated play is the latest show from the SpeakEasy Stage Company and will run from November 14th – December 13th.
I hope to get a chance to see the show, but the calendar may not work in my favor. With travel plans later this week that will keep me out of Boston until the show’s run is nearly complete, it seems like I might miss the play so if anyone reading this attends, please send an e-mail or leave a comment and share your thoughts.
If you would like to learn more about the SpeakEasy Stage Company or would like to purchase tickets to see The Seafarer, link to the theater company’s website here.
Earlier this month I finally got around to signing up as a subscriber to the SpeakEasy Stage Theater. The SpeakEasy performances are held at the Calderwood Pavilion in the SouthEnd and I consider it my local theater although in truth it is a bit more than that. The Company is recognized throughout the area as one of a handful of excellent theaters that consistently earns praise for presenting top quality productions of plays and musicals. Over the years I’ve seen countless shows.
This past Friday, I went to see their current production of a Tony Award winning musical, A Light in the Piazza. The musical is about a mother coming to grips with her own mistakes in life and learning to let her daughter live her own life. The epiphany is set against the backdrop of a mother / daughter visit to Florence. In truth, my favorite part of the show was the beautiful staging and the Florentine, Fabrizio, who falls in love with the daughter, Clara.
I look forward to seeing more shows from this theater and want to encourage others to support local theater. A good story, told live by actors is so enjoyable and such a social way to spend an evening with friends or someone special.