Soup Can Theatre’s production of Marat/Sade is packed full of great ideas, but they’re not always perfectly realized. Sarah Thorpe’s eloquent director’s note reveals the brilliant intellectual backbones of her interpretation- how she’s modernized the text to explore the themes in ways that are both nationally historic and hauntingly current. But her setting of 1957 […]

  Kelly Bedard

We were working hard this Toronto Fringe, taking in a total of 16 plays ranging from dance to drag to one-man displays or neurosis. There were companies of one, companies of ten, staged readings, fully-mounted musicals, lots of laughs, a couple of tears and grades ranging from A to D. Read on for the skinny […]

  Brian Balduzzi

The Independent Drama Society (IDS) closes its final season in good health with Neil Simon’s The Good Doctor at the Factory Theater. Director Christine Toohey guides the production alongside a surprisingly large and diverse fleet of assistant directors, setting the tone for the collaborative piece. The Good Doctor is a collaboration in every sense- not […]

Peter Shaffer’s Equus has seen many notable productions since it was written in 1973, including a 1976 Broadway production featuring Anthony Hopkins and Peter Firth playing Dr. Martin Dysart and Alan Strang, respectively. Most recently, I saw the 2009 Broadway revival with Richard Griffiths and Daniel Radcliffe tackling the same roles. While appreciating the production […]

The stage adaptation of E. Nesbit’s story The Railway Children (onstage now with Mirvish Productions) is all bells and train whistles with very little to sustain it. The relatively small story feels like it takes hours to tell as the cramped audience waits patiently for the inevitable conclusion, or at the very least for the […]

  Kelly Bedard

My love for Urban Bard Productions has been well documented on this site. So, naturally, I was incredibly excited to see what director Scott Moyle has come up with for the uber popular and oft-insane comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The first thing to note when going to see Urban Bard’s Dream is that you […]

I love new theatre companies, their first productions always pulse with a brilliant first-time energy. Can’t Wait Productions’ Oleanna by David Mamet opened with this same raw verve. Upon arriving at the First Church Somerville venue, the audience was ushered not into a proper theatre but into a small office with the name John displayed charmingly […]

The Boston Conservatory Theater Ensemble has never failed to impress me, and its recent workshop production of Factory Girls proved no exception. The level of effortless performance delivered time and again by their students always seems to come as a surprise. Guided by an excellent faculty who recognizes the importance of the theatrical process, the […]

  Kelly Bedard

The Red Light District’s most recent production appeared daring. Staged at Toronto’s notorious Club Wicked, it featured a brave ensemble caught in various compromising positions as they navigated what was supposed to be a boundary pushing mashup of turn of the century Vienna and modern Toronto nightlife. Going in, I knew I’d be very out […]

  Kelly Bedard

Propeller Shakespeare Company, performing through June 19th at the Huntington Theatre in Boston, is a damn cool company. This UK group’s respect for the text, their return to basic themes and their bold all-male casting make them somewhat traditional in their approach to Shakespeare. But then there’s masks and shiny suits and sombreros and heads […]

  Kelly Bedard

Boston University had a lot of faith in Ellie Heyman’s surrealist interpretation of Hedda Gabler, mounting it on the BU main stage instead of in a standard CFA space like any other masters thesis project. As such, Ibsen’s remarkable text about a caged, trapped woman appeared on an enormous proscenium, played out to hundreds of […]

  Kelly Bedard

This spring I had the privileged of seeing many of Boston University’s School of Theatre productions. If you read this blog regularly you’ll have read my accounts of the all-female Julius Caesar, the award-winning original play Fallujah, the student/professional collaboration Walking the Volcano and the fascinating thesis projects from the senior Theatre Arts majors. Still […]

  Kelly Bedard

A couple weeks ago, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre presented their Ground Floor New Play Series. I had the pleasure of seeing 3 of the 4 readings in the series, work from Boston University’s MFA candidates. Unfortunately, I missed out on Reginald Edmund’s South Bridge on the second night, but the three readings I did see left […]

  Kelly Bedard

The weekend of  April 21-23rd was a phenomenal weekend of theatre in the BU community. I was lucky enough to see 3 excellent shows in two days on Thursday and Friday, all very different. Here’s a quick rundown of the awesome: Fallujah has become something of a huge success story for BU theatre in the […]

  Kelly Bedard

I love The Actors’ Shakespeare Project, I really do, but this will prove a very short review because I far from loved their Antony & Cleopatra (playing until May 21st at The Modern Theatre). I could write for hours about Adrianne Krtansky’s clunky direction, the snail-like pacing and strange focus. I could complain loudly about […]

  Kelly Bedard

I went to see Eurydice with a friend who has never seen a show by the Independent Drama Society. The show was set to begin at 8pm. It took him until 7:58 to declare “I’m in love with this company”. My fandom for IDS has been growing exponentially with every production they’ve done, but, as […]

  Kelly Bedard

BU On Broadway’s Sweeney Todd premiered last night and will continue all weekend in the Tsai Performance Centre at 8pm. The production was a breath of fresh air in BU theatre as it united some of the school’s absolute brightest talents against the backdrop of a challenging and entertaining piece from Stephen Sondheim. Directors Jillian […]

  Borah Coburn

Flat Earth Theatre’s production of The Underpants (by Steve Martin) was a pretty enjoyable way to spend an evening. It was an interesting ride: sometimes I was totally enamored with the actors, and sometimes I was thoroughly underwhelmed by the technical aspects of the show and select performances, but the script saved the day. I […]

  Maddi Chapin

Theater For a New Audience’s The Merchant of Venice, a restaging of a New York version of Shakespeare’s famously controversial “problem play”, is an odd duck of a production– a whack-a-mole of quality that pulls concepts and character arcs off stage just as they begin to fully form. The production is nowhere near a loss– […]

  Kelly Bedard

The final production of The Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s Winter Festival was Living in Exile. The production hit roadblock after roadblock on its way to the stage, including an actor’s major injury, a weeklong postponement and the death of the playwright, Jon Lipsky. But when I finally got to see the show last Sunday, it was […]

  Kelly Bedard

Truth be told right out of the gate, I don’t consider Billy Elliot a great musical. It’s a wonderful story, I’ll grant you that, but Elton John is capable of so much better than the derivative music he puts forward for this adaptation of the hit film. The choreography is lovely but the direction somewhat […]

  Kelly Bedard

BU’s School of Theatre took on Julius Caesar last weekend, staging the homosocial epic in the unique Studio 102 space in the College of Fine Arts with a fifteen person all-female ensemble. It was an uneven production that made good use of space (the wonderfully dressed up studio was a feast for the detail-oriented eye) […]

  Kelly Bedard

I wasn’t so sure I wanted to see The Hotel Nepenthe. The description in the program sounds bizarre; it sounds scary and pretentious and weird. But I have never been so happy to have spent my night at the theatre. The Hotel Nepenthe is brilliant. Absolutely, positively, insanely (in all senses of the world) brilliant. […]

  Kelly Bedard

The Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s Winter Festival kicked off this month with Shakespeare’s excellent if obscure romance Cymbeline. There are only 3 performances left (tonight- Saturday Feb 19 at 8pm; and tomorrow- Sunday Feb 20, at 2pm and 7pm) but if you get a chance, this is not a production to be missed. The bench depth […]

  Kelly Bedard

The Independent Drama Society started on shaky ground. Founded by a bunch of BU grads newly ineligible for the theatre groups they’d come to love in college, IDS cobbled together its earliest productions, recruiting inexperienced players and volunteer tech teams to put on plays with few resources and small audiences. The result was some very […]

  Kelly Bedard

In Jane Carnwath’s production of Hedda Gabler this fall at Alumnae Theatre, Ibsen’s complex play about a caged animal of a woman was done excellent justice. Using Judith Thompson’s clever translation, the company effectively turned the beautifully intimate studio theatre into a claustrophobic den of domesticity in which Sochi Fried’s Hedda spiraled into fascinating madness. […]