Tag Archives: American Repertory Theater

Boston’s theater: Fall productions

As the summer comes to a close, I like to promote Boston Theater comanies and their fall productions. This fall, Boston area theater companies have a crop of interesting and engaging productions – something for everyone. For those who may not be familiar with the local theater scene, check it out and for those of you who haven’t seen a live performance in a few years, make plans to catch a show.

Tickets to shows from local theater companies are far more affordable than the national tours that come through Boston, and they make for an excellent date night or evening out with friends.

The Huntington || Sing Street
August 26 – October 2, 2022

It’s Dublin, 1982. Sixteen-year old Conor tries to impress a mysterious girl, Raphina, by asking her to star in a music video for his band. If only he had a band. Teaming up with a group of schoolmates, Conor and Raphina use music to bring them together, escape their troubles at home, and carve out a place in their struggling community. With a score that embraces the new wave sounds of the 80s, Sing Street is an ode to the thrill of young love and a celebration of the power of music to lift us up.

American Repertory Theater || Twighlight Los Angeles, 1992
August 28 – September 24, 2022

A searing examination of racial injustice, police brutality, and social tumult, “Twilight” was drawn from 320 interviews Smith conducted after the 1992 Los Angeles riots ignited by the acquittal of white police officers who were caught on videotape brutally beating a Black motorist named Rodney King.

SpeakEasy Stage Co. || Heroes of the Fourth Turning
September 9 – October 8, 2022

One week after the Charlottesville riots in 2017, four young conservatives gather in a Wyoming backyard to gossip and reminisce. They’ve assembled to honor Gina, their mentor and the newly inaugurated president of a far-right Catholic university. But as their celebration runs deep into the night, the reunion explodes into vicious insults, political accusations, and stunning revelations.

Lyric Stage Co. || Fabulation or, The Re-Education of Undine
September 16 – October 9, 2022

Undine has it all until her husband steals her hard-earned fortune, sending her tumbling down the social ladder. Pregnant and penniless, with life unraveling at every turn, she is forced to return home to Brooklyn and the family she left behind, in a complicated new reality. While her life unravels, Undine learns that hope can be found in small victories and in the discovery of finding happiness within.

North Shore Music Theater || Little Shop of Horrors
September 20 – October 2, 2022

Meek flower shop assistant Seymour pines for co-worker Audrey. During a total eclipse, he discovers an unusual plant he names Audrey II, which feeds only on human flesh and blood. The growing plant attracts a great deal of business for the previously struggling store. After Seymour feeds Audrey’s boyfriend, Orin, to the plant after Orin’s accidental death, he must come up with more bodies for the increasingly bloodthirsty plant.

Central Square Theater || Ada the Engine
September 22 – October 23, 2022

It’s 1830 and Britain’s Industrial Revolution has dawned. The fiery, brilliant Ada Byron Lovelace, is the author of the first computer program and daughter of Lord Byron, and at 17 she befriends Charles Babbage, salon host and inventor of the first mechanical computer. What follows is a tempestuous collaboration wherein they envision a future where a “thinking engine” completes complex calculations.

Escape the cold see a show

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.

Some of the show dates above have changed due to COVID

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.

January 13th – February 6th. Tickets start at $25. Get your tickets here.

The Huntington: The Bluest Eye

Synopsis: Based on the first novel by Toni Morrison, it tells the story of Pecola, a young Black girl who believes everything in her world would be made wonderful if only she had blue eyes. .

January 28th – March 13th. Tickets start at $25. Get your tickets here.

Central Square Theater: Young Nerds of Color

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.

February 3rd – March 6th. Tickets start at $25. Get your tickets here.

SpeakEasy Stage: People Places & Things

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?

February 11th – March 5th. Tickets start at $25. Get your tickets here.

American Repertory Theater: Ocean Filibuster

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.

February 18th – March 13th. Tickets start at $25. Get your tickets here.

Support local theater! Make plans to see one or more of these shows. They make for an excellent date night or evening out with friends.

WILD: A Musical Becoming opens

Courtesy of A.R.T., photo credit Maggie Hall

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.

American Repertory Theater’s 2021 / 2022 season is shaping up to be one of their best yet

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.

Macbeth In Stride Production Photo Phoenix Best, Reggie D. White, Whitney White, and Kira Sarai Helper perform “Reach For It”in Macbeth In Stride. Photo: Lauren Miller

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.

Boston theater companies new fall shows

Each September I like to share the upcoming crop of live theater performances by Boston Theater comanies. The past 18-mos has been especially hard on Boston’s theater companies and I would really like to encourage everyone to show their support for these local companies who don’t enjoy the same level of financial support as the national touring shows that come to our Theater District.

While this list is not exhaustive, it does share in-person shows this fall from some of my favorite local theater companies. Attending these local shows is far more affordable than the national tours and they can make for an excellent date night or evening out with friends.

SpeakEasy Stage || The Sound Inside (Sept 24 – Oct 16)

In the seventeen years since she was last published, novelist Bella Baird has almost completely isolated herself from the world. But things change when she meets Christopher – a brilliant but enigmatic student in her creative writing class at Yale. As their friendship deepens, their lives and the stories they tell about themselves become intertwined in unpredictable ways, leading to a shocking request. Intensely intimate and deeply moving.

Lyric Stage Co. || Be Hear Now (Sept 24 – Oct 17)

Bari, a misanthrope who has returned to her hometown of East Cooperville, NY as she struggles to finish her thesis on nihilism. Working at a local fulfillment center, her despair has reached new heights When Bari begins experiencing emotions she never has felt before, she begins to have a different outlook on life. And when she discovers that the cause of these feelings may be killing her, Bari is forced to ask if she wants to go back to a life of nothing.

Central Square Theater || Queens Girl in the World (Sept 30 – Oct 31)

This Motown-infused story of Jacqueline Marie Butler, a Black teenager coming of age in the 1960s. Her joys, challenges, and heartbreak play out against the backdrop of the civil rights movement as she journeys from her familiar Queens neighborhood to a progressive, predominantly Jewish private school in Greenwich Village. Queens Girl in the World is a funny, heartfelt tour de force solo show with one actor portraying over a dozen characters.

Huntington Theater || Witch (Oct 15 – Nov 14)

This fiendishly funny new play follows an alluring devil named Scratch as he arrives in the country village of Edmonton, and he promises to make the darkest dreams of its locals come true in exchange for their souls. When he meets Elizabeth Sawyer, she should be the easiest to convince — she’s an outcast, branded as a witch for years. So why does she resist Scratch’s deal? This subversive, inventive work is a free adaptation of a 1621 Jacobean comedy recreated with a modern sensibility, and is “devilishly clever and deliciously laugh-packed”.

American Repertory Theater || MacBeth in Stride (Oct 23 – Nov 14)

WORLD PREMIERE – A dazzling theatrical event created and performed by Obie Award-winning artist Whitney White with a live band, Macbeth In Stride examines what it means to be an ambitious Black woman through the lens of one of Shakespeare’s most iconic characters. The first of White’s five-part series commissioned by A.R.T. excavating the women from Shakespeare’s canon, the production uses pop, rock, gospel, and R&B to trace the fatalistic arc of Lady Macbeth while lifting up contemporary Black female power, femininity, and desire.

NOTE: Proof of vaccination is required to attend many of these perrformances!