Earlier this weekend The SpeakEasy Stage production of The Inheritance opened at the Calderwood Pavilion in the South End. The 6+ hour play, which won the 2020 Tony Award for Best Play, is told in two 3+ hour seatings.
Based on E.M. Forster’s novel Howard’s End, which delved into social codes of conduct and relationships in Edwardian England, The Inheritance takes place nearly a hundred years later (a generation after the peak of the AIDS crisis) in New York. The play explores what it is like to be young gay man, the legacy left by previous generations, and the legacy of AIDS impact on gay men.
“The Inheritance is not as embracing of all humanity, living and dead: Its characters are too shallow, too narcissistic, too selfish, too grounded in time and space. Nonetheless, it will not easily be forgotten, either. The play is a remarkable slice of life in a time of war and a beautiful remembrance, “a haunting, a necessary haunting” of both the victims and the survivors of that war.” -Broadway Review by Marilyn Stasio in Variety
Boston Lyric Stage was founded nearly 50 years ago, and thanks to a new long-term lease they will be able to remain in the Back Bay for many more years. While the details, including the duration of the lease weren’t shared, the release says this lease will ensure that the Lyric Stage will remain a vital and essential part of the cultural fabric of Boston for decades to come.
The building that houses the theater was purchased for $51.25 million by the Mount Vernon Company and Beacon Communities and while it was expected that the theater company would remain, it is now guaranteed with this long-term lease. In addition to securing their home, the building will undergo some significant changes. The floors above the second story theater will be remodeled to create 200+ affordable rental homes – half reserved for people exiting homelessness, with the assistance of the Pine Street Inn.
If you’d like to see what’s playing at the Lyric Stage Company or what will be playing later this season visit their website at lyricstage.com.
Sergio and I will be attending the matinee showing of the SpeakEasy Stage latest production, Once on This Island. The musical won a Tonay Award in 2018 for Best Revival of a Musical. Candidly, I don’t know much about the production or the history of this musical but the story centers on Ti Moune, a peasant girl’s determination to follow her heart and the remarkable journey that takes her on to find her place in the world.
In recent years, many local Boston theater companies have produced a number of excellent musicals SpeakEasy Stage’s Choir Boy from 2019 was a personal favorite so I’m looking forward to seeing this production, which runs through April 16th. Tickets to see this show at the Calderwood Pavillion in the South End start at $25.00.
Tickets to see Trixie & Katya at the Wang Theater on Monday, September 19th go on sale today at 12:00PM. For more information about the show and to purchase tickets visit the Boch Center website or click on the button below which will take you directly to the event page.
March can be a tough month in New England. The winters are long and cabin-fever starts to set in (big time), so I wanted to give a shout out to several events that Sergio and I have either attended or are planning to attend later this month.
If you have an event you’ve attended or are looking forward to attending later this month, please share it in the comments section.
Imagine Van Gogh: The Immersive Exhibition
Located at the SoWa Power Station. This exhibit first opened in December and will wrap close on March 19th. Sergio and I went to this in December and really enjoyed ourselves. It makes for a great date night option. I’d recommend grabbing a drink or dinner (or both) nearby after you go. More info here.
What the Constitution Means to Me
Sergio was not pleased when I told him we would be going to this play at the Emerson Majestic Theater. His response, “I hate political plays”. Fast forward 90-minutes later and Sergio was one of the first people to jump up from his seat to cheering and applauding Cassie Beck with tears in his eyes. I was blown away and wish everyone would see this show. Who knew Constitutional history was so fascinating and funny? More info here.
The Art of Banksy
This exhibit which opened last month in Harvard Square runs through April and is really amazing. It includes approximately 100 pieces by the mysterious / notorious artist. While Sergio was not familiar with the name Banksy, he did recognize some of his more iconic images. The exhibit has a fun wall of reproductions at the end for fun interactive selfies with his artwork. More info here.
I am excited to see this ballet of five ChoreograpHERs, five voices, five world premieres. This female-led program celebrates the innovative talent of women including New York City Ballet Principal Dancer and choreographer, Tiler Peck. More info here.
Coco Peru is Bitter Bothered & Beyond
Sergio and I have convinced a few friends to join us for Coco’s show on Friday evening at Club Cafe and I’m very excited. Coco never disappoints and is always entertaining. I understand the Friday show is now sold out but a few tickets may be available for her Saturday performance. More info here.
One of my favorite drag personalities is returning to Boston for two shows at Club Cafe. Miss Coco Peru’s show, Bitter, Bothered & Beyond, is certain to be hilarious and will certainly sell out in a hurry so talk to your friends, make plans and get your tickets which are currently on sale.
Tonight is opening night for The Huntington’s production of Heidi Schreck’s Tony nominated play, What The Constitution Means to Me.
Directed by Oliver Butler and starring Cassie Beck, the funny play introduces the audience to Shreck as a fifteen year old teenager. In the play, she shares the profound relationship between four generations of women and the impact the Constitution had in shaping their lives.
The Huntington Theater’s production runs from February 22 – March 20, 2022 at The Emerson Majestic in Boston’s Theater District. Tickets to in-person performances start at $35. For more information about the play or to purchase tickets visit, The Huntington.
Boston’s theater companies have some great productions this winter
Boston’s local theater companies returned to the stage with some amazing live performances. While this is not an exhaustive list, it does share in-person shows from some of my favorite local theater companies.
Boston’s “B Together” policy is in effect and will require you show proof of vaccination to allow you to enter. For more information visit B Together.
Lyric Stage: Mr. Parent
Synopsis: This one-man performance based on actor Maurice Emmanuel parent’s real-life adventures of teaching in an urban public school system.
Synopsis: Assembled from over 60 interviews with scientists – established and emerging, rock stars and renegades – playwright Melinda Lopez weaves together their challenges, successes, and wildest dreams. Told from the perspective of those most underrepresented in science, their stories are amplified with rich harmonies to bring us together and break down the boundaries of science.
Synopsis: Emma is a 30-something actress who thinks she is having the time of her life, until she finds herself in rehab. Her first step is to admit that she has a problem – but therein lies the problem. Will she ever sober up?
Synopsis: Inside the Senate chamber of a global governing body, Mr. Majority introduces an “End of Ocean Bill” designed to shrink Earth’s oceans into a more manageable (and marketable) collection of inland seas. When the floor is opened for debate, the Ocean arrives to speak in its own defense…and so begins an epic Human-Ocean showdown.
Sergio and I are excited to see the American Repertory Theater’s (A.R.T.’s) newest production, Wild: A Musical Becoming, that just opened and will run through Sunday, January 2nd.
The new musical is a fable about a single mother struggling to hold on to her family farm and connect with her teenage daughter, whose determination to save the planet endows her and her friends with powers. The fantastical sounding musical was created by Tony and Obie Award-winning playwright V (formerly Eve Ensler – think Vagina Monologues) and has Broadway star-power with Tony Award-winning performer and songwriter Idina Menzel (Rent, Wicked and Frozen) and Javier Muñoz (In The Heights and Hamilton). The Boston Globe published an article about the show, the creative forces who contributed to the show and its underlying messages, here.
Sergio and I have plans to see the musical on Friday, which affords us the chance to see Idina Menzel who is only performing in the musical through Thursday, December 23rd. Ticket prices start at $25. You can learn more about Wild: A Musical Becoming, and the remainder of the A.R.T.’s fantastic season here.
Like an obsessed and shell-shocked St.Nick from quarantine, John Waters is back with his annual Christmas show. Bad little boys and girls and everybody in between and beyond, will be thrilled to take a sleigh-ride-of-sleaze down the slopes of good taste and over the ski jump of religious beliefs to a snow drift of candy cane anarchy.
Tickets are now on sale for “A John Waters Christmas”. He will be in Boston for one show only on Friday, December 10th at the Berklee Performance Center in Back Bay.
Finally! Live performances are back. It was really cool to see the Boston Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker broadcast on NBC last November but it isn’t the same as sitting in the Boston Opera House, and I’m thrilled to see that the Boston Ballet will be back this season with live performances of this holiday classic.
The Boston Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker opens in a little more than two weeks, and tickets are on sale. Each year I like to give this classic ballet a plug, but after the past 18+ months I feel like grabbing a bullhorn and shouting it out from atop the Newbury’s rooftop restaurant, Contessa, for everyone to pay note.
Show your love and support for this wonderful ballet company. Make plans to see this year’s production of The Nutcracker. It is certain to be an emotional return after all the performances that were cut short in March 2020.
Boston Ballet presents The Nutcracker Nov. 26 – Dec. 26, 2021
Consider picking up tickets for a show this holiday season with friends or someone special. It makes for an excellent date night and is guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit. Tickets are affordable, starting at $40.
Across the river and down Brattle Street in Harvard Square is the American Repertory Theater. This award winning theater company consistently produces innovative, new shows that attract some of America’s most talented actors from Broadway to Hollywood and this season is no exception.
Recently I was able to attend MacBeth in Stride which will be closing Sunday, November 14th. This world premiere rock musical written by and starring Obie Award and Lilly Award winning director, actor, and musician, Whitney White had me as enthralled as when I saw Jagged Little Pill world premiere in the same theater in the spring of 2018. This isn’t the Shakespeare you learned in school. Whitney deconstructs the play from the point of view of Lady MacBeth. However, I think WBUR’s review sums up the show best saying, “Part theater, part concert, part real-talk — the show is a fascinating deconstruction of “Macbeth” that reimagines its leading lady as a boss Black woman angling for power.”
The ever so easy on they eyes, Charlie Thurston, who plays a backseat in this play as King MacBeth, is believeable in his role as he descends into madness after killing King Duncan at the urging of his manipulative and power hungry wife. The sassy three witches singing their version of “double, double toil and trouble” had my pulse racing and felt more like a rock concert than a play but like WBUR wrote “it works”. While the opportunity to see this show draws to a close, this powerhouse show will hopefully be taken on the road – if it does be sure to see it.
Don’t be bummed if you can’t see this show because in a few weeks time, the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) will world premiere another show that is going to be a must see (and perhaps work its way to Broadway) called, Wild: A Musical Becoming. The show which opens December 5th will star Tony Award Winning actress, Idina Menzel, Javier Muñoz (Broadway’s In the Heights and Hamilton), Deborah Craig (Broadway’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), and many more. Here is the full list of cast members.
The A.R.T.’s line-up for the spring of 2022 looks to be equally exciting, including an environmental showdown in Ocean Filibuster and their final production of the season, a new production of the Tony Award-winning musical, 1776.
You heard it from me – make plans and get your tickets today.
This fall Varla Jean Merman has taken her popular summer show in Provincetown, Little Prick, on tour. She is currently wrapping up a successful tour on the West Coast and will be coming to Boston to perform for two nights at Club Cafe on Friday and Saturday, November 19th & 20th.
Be sure to get your tickets, because Varla’s shows will sell out.
Cacophony Daniels and Sutton Lee Seymour bring their HalloWICKED drag cabaret show to Club Cafe for one show only on Saturday, October 30th where they will perform songs from Wicked, Hocus-Pocus, and Rocky Horror Picture Show to name a few.
Seating is limited and tickets cost just $30. This show will sell out quickly so make plans with friends and get your tickets today.
A Grinchley Christmas Carol runs from December 2 – 19th
The always hysterical and wildly inappropriate Ryan Landry and his cast of misfits better known as The Gold Dust Orphans will be returning to the stage in Boston this Christmas, after nearly a two year absence.
Returning to the Iron Wolf Theater in South Boston’s Lithuanian Club, Ryan Landry and the Gold Dust Orphans will host their annual Christmas spectacular with “A Grinchley Christmas Carol”. The media release describes the show as “All new, fun loving, fast paced fruitcake, full of all things ‘holiday’ (spiced with naughtiness that could only come from the Orphans), based on the holiday classics of Charles Dickens and Dr. Seuss.“
A Grinchley Christmas Carol will feature Orphan favorites Ryan Landry, Scott Martino, Delta Miles, Tim Lawton, Bubbles Goldberg, and many more familiar faces! Tickets start at $50.00 before service charges and are on sale now. These shows will sell out so make plans today to get your tickets.