Tag Archives: SpeakEasy Stage

SpeakEasy Stage presents ENGLISH

This Friday, The SpeakEasy Stage of Boston opens with their second production of the 2022/23 season, ENGLISH. The play has received numerous accolades and is described by the New York Theater guide as, “a stunning play about hope, belonging, and desire.”

Set in an English language class in a suburb of Tehran, the student’s teacher, Marjan, insists they speak “English Only!” as she struggles to prepare them for their Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The implications and opportunities for the students can be life changing if they pass this exam but of course it isn’t all that simple or straightforward with one student set on derailing the lesson plan.

October 21 – November 19, 2023
More Info Here

As someone who has struggled to learn a second language off and on over the years, I can relate to the challenge as well as the humor that comes from mispronounciations, mistakes, and misunderstandings, and I look forward to seeing this show which runs from October 21 – November 19, 2022.

Make plans with friends to see this production or make it a date night, but be sure to get your tickets.

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.

SpeakEasy Stage presents: The Inheritance

The Inheritance
Apr 22 – Jun 11, 2022

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

Content Advisory: play contains sexual content, nudity, violence and graphic language.

SpeakEasy Stage presents Once on This Island

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.

Once on This Island
March 11 – April 16
Tickets & Show Information

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.

SpeakEasy Stage presents The Sound Inside

Brilliantly intense. Go see The Sound Inside.

Last week, Sergio and I attended our first live theater performance since late 2019. The SpeakEasy Stage Company’s first production in front of a live audience is the drama The Sound Inside by Adam Rapp. The play premiered at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2018, and opened on Broadway in 2019, and was nominated for six 2020 Tony Awards.

SpeakEasy Stage presents: The Sound Inside
September 24 – October 16, 2021
Get Your Tickets Here

The 90-minute play (no intermission) opens with a monologue by Bella Baird, a tenured, creative writing professor at Yale who is a loner and prefers the company of her books to people. The audience is quickly introduced to the only other character in the play, a Freshman named Christopher.

The play centers around the unlikely relationship between Bella and Christopher. Their riveting and intense dialog is brilliantly delivered by both actors. The dialog is sprinkled with humor (e.g. Bella’s retelling of a one-night stand). But even these funny moments are tinged with an itensity and loneliness, which is a theme that runs through the play.

Sergio and I both really liked the play and encourage you to see it and let us know what you think. However, don’t take our word that the play is excellent and worth seeing. Both The Boston Globe and WBUR give rave reviews. Go see this production before it closes on Saturday, October 16th.

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.