Tag Archives: SpeakEasy Stage

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!

The Boton Project podcast presents: The Usual Unusual

SpeakEasy Stage, The Usual UnusualThe inaugural production of this new podcast series is an audio recording of writer MJ Halberstadt’s play, The Usual Unusual. The first two installments are now available. Take a listen to the introduction and subscribe today.

The Usual Unusual centers on a scrappy, quaint LGBTQ  bookstore in Boston.
The future of the bookstore, which has served the community since the 70s, comes into question when the store’s charismatic founder announces his retirement. But rather than close the doors, the owner is persuaded to let the staff run the store, but this is easier said than done.  The staff’s efforts to unite – or simply coordinate a weekly reading night –stoke generational disputes about identity, community, and trauma.

Listen and Subscribe Here

About The Boston Project and podcast series: The SpeakEasy Stage Company has developed a podcast series as an extension of The Boston Project, The Company’s new works initiative that supports local playwrights in the creation and development of new plays set in and around Boston. Developed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the podcast is a safe way to give voice to local playwrights and continue the development of new works until it is safe for artists to be back in the theatre.

SpeakEasy Stage presents, Pass Over

SpeakEasy Stage opens the New Year with a powerful new play called Pass Over.  The play which centers around two young black men, crafts everyday profanity into poetic and humorous riffs, as Moses and Kitch share their dreams of deliverance, until an ominous stranger changes their world forever.

The play opens tonight in the South End and will run through January 25th. Tickets are incredibly affordable, starting at just $25, but it only runs for a few weeks. Make plans with friends to see this production and get your tickets today.

Pass Over
January 3 – 25, 2020
Click here for more information and to buy tickets

SpeakEasy Stage presents Choir Boy

Boston Theater, BosArtsThe SpeakEasy Stage Company is opening their 2019 – 2020 season with a powerful coming-of-age story filled with soaring harmonies of live gospel, spiritual, and R&B performances that was written by Tarell Alvin McCraney, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Moonlight. 

choir boy extended to run thru oct 19

About Choir Boy: For fifty years, the elite Charles R. Drew Prep School has been dedicated to the education of strong, ethical black men; its legendary gospel choir an emblem of all it holds true. But for Pharus Young, the opportunity to take his rightful place as the leader of these talented vocalists comes at a price. Can he still earn his place in these hallowed halls and sing in his own key?

Sept. 13 thru Oct. 19
Click here for more information and tickets
Tickets start at $25 so make plans today!

Make plans with friends or for a night out with someone special to enjoy this production. Sergio and I will be seeing the show next Wednesday but Choir Boy opens on Friday, September 13th and will run through Saturday, October 12th.

SpeakEasy Stage presents The View Upstairs

bosarts, boston theaterSpeakEasy Stage Company is closing out their 2018 – 2019 season with the musical, The View Upstairs, which opened on Thursday, May 31 and will run through June 22 at the Calderwood Pavilion in the South End.

The musical, which coincides with Boston Pride and Pride Month, is based on the real-life events of the 1973 arson attack at the UpStairs Lounge, a gay bar in New Orleans. The musical centers on Wes, a young fashion designer from 2017, who buys an abandoned building in the French Quarter and finds himself transported to the UpStairs Lounge, a vibrant seventies gay bar. As this forgotten community comes to life, Wes embarks on an exhilarating journey of self-exploration that spans two generations of gay history. Featuring a gritty, glam rock score and a tight-knit ensemble of unforgettable characters, The View UpStairs asks what has been gained and lost in the fight for equality, and how the past can help guide us through an uncertain future.

The View Upstairs
click here to Purchase Tickets

Want to know more? Read The Boston Globe’s review of The SpeakEasy production and it’s impact on us today in Byrne’s article, In revisiting a tragedy, ‘The View UpStairs’ opens a window to ’70s gay culture.

SpeakEasy Stage presents ONCE

bosarts, boston theater, calderwood pavillion

Tonight is opening night for Boston’s SpeakEasy Stage production of Once. Based on the 2007 film by the same name, Once first came to Broadway in 2012 and went on to receive an amazing eleven Tony Award nominations, ultimately winning eight of those nominations, including Best Musical.

SpeakEasy Stage presents Once
March 1 – 30 at the Calderwood Pavilion
Tickets and More Information Here

SpeakEasy Stage has pulled together an exceptional ensemble of actor/musicians who promise to bring to life this enchanting tale of an unexpected romance between a down-on-his-luck Dublin street musician and a lively, determined Czech immigrant.

SpeakEasy Stage presents Small Mouth Sounds

boston theater, bosartsIt is opening night for SpeakEasy Stage Company’s production of Small Mouth Sounds, which runs through February 2, 2019. Small Mouth Sounds was a 2015-2016 Off Broadway hit that had two sold out, extended runs in New York City and is now being produced by the SpeakEasy Stage where you can see it at the Calderwood Pavilion in the South End.

The show includes a cast of seven and runs for one hour and forty minutes without intermission. It takes place in the overwhelming quiet of the woods. Six runaways from city life embark on a silent retreat, and as these strangers confront internal demons both profound and absurd, their vows of silence collide with the achingly human need to connect. Filled with awkward and insightful humor, the play captures the unique eloquence of a silent retreat and asks how we address life’s biggest questions when words fail us.

Find time to make plans with friends and see this production. Not only will an evening out for dinner (or drinks) and a show be a great way to pass an evening but it will also support a local theater company that is worthy of your patronage.

Small Mouth Sounds – Tickets and Show Information

Fun Home runs through November 24th

bosarts, theaterI wanted to give a shout out to one of my favorite local theater companies, SpeakEasy Stage, which currently is performing Fun Home. I’ve not had a chance to see this production as work has become fairly intense since I’ve changed roles, but I wanted to give their latest production a shout out and encourage people to show the local theater scene some love by planning a night out to see this production before it closes on Saturday, November 24th.

Tickets remain available for shows and the prices are very reasonable making it a great date night or night out with friends option.

Fun Home – SpeakEasy Stage

Boston Theater options: Check out one or more of these shows before they close

Applause, gify, giphyMany of Boston’s local theater companies seasons will be concluding in the next few weeks so I wanted to encourage you to get tickets to one or more of the following local productions. Boston’s local theater scene continues to mature and get better but this doesn’t happen in a vacuum and local support is crucial.

If you’ve not been to a show from a local production company this season, make it a point to show your support and get tickets to one or more of these shows.

zeitgeist stage, boston theater, bosartsZeitgeist Stage present, Love! Valour! Compassion! Tickets remain available for most shows. Sergio and I will be going to see this on Saturday night – maybe we will see you there. Tickets remain available for Saturday’s show but if you can’t make it, hurry up because this show closes on Saturday, May 19th.

BosArts, Boston TheaterCentral Square Theater present, The Women Who Mapped The Stars, is about five women in the late 1800s who worked at Harvard College Observatory and made discoveries that changed the way astronomers saw the universe. This show closes next weekend so don’t delay in getting tickets.

BosArts, Boston TheaterThe Huntington Theatre present, Top Girls Originally written in the early 1980s, the show still resonates and continues to draw rave reviews so check this out before it closes next weekend.

BosArts, Boston TheaterThe NewRep Theatre present, Two Jews Walk Into A War  This Vaudeville-inspired play is about the last two Jews in Afghanistan who are on a mission to save Judaism in Kabul by rebuilding their synagogue and keeping the faith alive, but only if they don’t kill each other first closes next weekend.

BosArts, Boston Theater, Ryan LandryThe Gold Dust Orphans present, Brokelahomo! Ryan Landry and his Gold Dust Orphans treat all of Boston with their raucous musical set in Brokelahomo. Sergio and I saw this show and loved it. If you miss it in Boston, Ryan Landry will be bringing this to Provincetown this summer.

BosArts, Boston TheaterSpeakEasy Stage present, ALLEGIANCE is inspired by the true childhood experience of George Takei (Mr. Sulu on “Star Trek). It tells the story of the Kimura family, whose lives are upended when they and 120,000 other Japanese-Americans were forced to leave their homes following the events at Pearl Harbor. ALLEGIANCE  follows the family as they fight between duty and defiance, custom and change, family bonds and forbidden loves.

lyric stage company, bosarts, boston theaterLyric Stage Company present The Wiz Opening May 18th this much loved musical will run through June 24th at their theater in the Back Bay.

American Repertory Theater, A.R.T., Alanis MorissetteThe A.R.T. presents, Jagged Little Pill This world premiere and original story was inspired by the themes and emotions laid bare in Alanis Morissette’s 1995, Grammy Award-winning album. Sergio and I will be seeing this show on the 17th. Although this show runs through July 15th – hurry up before this show completely sells out.

SpeakEasy Stage presents Allegiance

SpeakEasy Stage

Sam Tanabe plays Sammy Kimura in SpeakEasy Stage Company’s production of ALLEGIANCE

On Friday, May 4th The SpeakEasy Stage Company will open with their fifth and final production of their 2017 / 2018 season, ALLEGIANCE.

Inspired by the true childhood experience of TV/film actor and social media icon George Takei (Mr. Sulu on Star Trek), ALLEGIANCE tells the story of the Kimura family, whose lives are upended when they and 120,000 other Japanese-Americans were forced to leave their homes following the events at Pearl Harbor.

This show is an uplifting testament to the power of the human spirit. It follows the Kimura family as they fight between duty and defiance, custom and change, family bonds and forbidden loves. Be sure to check out this show. You’ll find it difficult to take your eyes off of the very handsome actor Sam Tanabe who you can also follow on Twitter at, @tanablems.

boston theater, bosartsALLEGIANCE
May 4 – June 2
Get Your Tickets Here

Book by Marc Acito, Jay Kuo & Lorenzo Thione
Music & Lyric by Jay Kuo | Directed by Paul Daigneault

SpeakEasy Stage presents Allegiance

BosArts, Boston TheaterSpeakEasy Stage Company’s next production, Allegiance, opens Friday, May 4th. The play is inspired by George Takei’s (Mr. Sulu on “Star Trek) childhood experience when his family’s lives were upended, when they and 120,000 other Japanese-Americans were forced to leave their homes following the events at Pearl Harbor in WWII. ALLEGIANCE  follows the family as they fight between duty and defiance, custom and change, family bonds and forbidden loves.


Shakespeare In Love will make you smile and laugh

SpeakEasy Stage, Boston Theater, BosArts

Shakespeare in Love || Photo by Nile Hawver / Nile Scott Shots

Set in the larger and more comfortable Wimberly Theater at the Calderwood Pavilion, SpeakEasy uses the stage brilliantly to recreate a 16th Century theater in London that effectively transitions from playhouse to bar to bedroom with the same ease as the co-leads who portray their parts. Lead roles are played by the handsome Netwon native George Olesky and the beautiful Jennifer Ellis who I loved in SpeakEasy’s spring 2017 production of The Bridges of Madison County.

SpeakEasy Stage, Boston Theater, BosArts, Nile Hawver, Nile Scott Shots

Shakespeare in Love || Photo by Nile Hawver / Nile Scott Shots

The play is rife with witty lines that reference Shakespeare plays and funny scenarios; like in the beginning of the play depicting the Bard as suffering from writer’s bloc and incapable of writing even a sonnet until he unwittingly meets his Juliet. One needn’t be a fan of Shakespeare to appreciate the humor anymore than one needed to know it to enjoy the movie, but it certainly did make me laugh hearing famous lines turned on their head like using one of Lady MacBeth’s most guilt-ridden lines as a humorous punch line for a dog.

Tickets to see Shakespeare In Love are reasonably priced with tickets starting at $25.00. Performances run Wednesday thru Sunday until February 10th.

Buy Tickets Here

Sound like a great show but don’t live in Boston? The SpeakEasy Stage joins fourteen other theater companies in the United States, that have productions of this comedy in their 2017 / 2018 season, making Shakespeare In Love the most produced show in the country so check your local theater companies – who knows? Perhaps a production of this comedy is taking place nearby.

SpeakEasy Stage presents Shakespeare in Love

boston theater, bosartsSpeakEasy Stage’s production of Shakespeare in Love which opens on Friday, January 12th looks like a delightful stage adaptation of the late 1990s Academy Award winning movie.

Shakespeare in Love
January 12 – February 10, 2018
Ticket Information Here

George Olesky

Photo of George Olesky by Nile Hawver / Nile Scott Shots

The play portrays a young Shakespeare, who is suffering a severe case of writer’s block as the deadline approaches to deliver his new play, Romeo and Ethel, The Pirate’s DaughterLike the movie, the play is fraught with mistaken identities, intrigue and backstage bickering in this raucous romantic comedy of errors.

Tickets for this play start at $25 (roughly the price of a movie ticket) so come down to the Calderwood Pavilion in the South End and support the local theater scene while at the same time enjoying a beautiful story unfold live on stage.

Final week to see Men on Boats

Boston theater, bosartsIt is the final week to see The SpeakEasy Stage Company’s production of Men on Boats, currently being performed at the Calderwood Pavilion in the South End.

If you are looking to make plans for later this week consider picking up tickets to see this gender-bending cast of performers who use carefully exaggerated theatrics to tell the story of an actual 1869 expedition led by John Wesley Powell to chart the Colorado River.

I want tickets to SpeakEasy Stage Co’s Men on Boats

SpeakEasy Stage presents The Bridges of Madison County

bosarts, boston theaterThe SpeakEasy Stage Co. closes their 2016-2017 season at the Calderwood Pavilion in the South End with their production of The Bridges of Madison Countywhich opened this past weekend and runs through Saturday, June 3rd.

The Pulitzer and Tony Award winning musical tells the story of a chance meeting between a farm wife and a world-weary photographer, that leads to a soul-stirring affair.

The Bridges of Madison County
May 6 – June 3, 2017
Get Your Tickets Here