Praxis’ “Jesus Hopped the A Train” a Tense, Provocative Journey

 

by Michele Markarian

 

“Jesus Hopped the A Train”. Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis. Directed by Dayanne C. Byron Walters and Daniel Boudreau. Presented by Praxis Stage at the Dorchester Art Project, 1486 Dorchester Avenue through May 21.

 

Walking into the tiny, bare bones space at 1486 Dorchester Avenue, where Praxis Stage is performing “Jesus Hopped the A Train”, I was immediately filled with a stab of homesickness for those theater spaces that used to thrive in Boston and Cambridge before the gentrification of theater prevailed – The Leland Center. The Piano Factory. Little Flags Theater. Without large budgets and grants, theater artists had to rely less on production values and more on sheer energy and talent – which this production has an abundance of.

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“YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN” (Norton Singers, Wheaton College)

“YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN”

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

 

Norton Singers summer musical this season is “Young Frankenstein”, the musical. Based on the classic film directed by Mel Brooks and written by Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder, the tribute to the Frankenstein movies of the 1940’s is an hilarious spoof of this genre. The story follows bright young Frederick Frankenstein (that’s Fronkenstein) as he attempts to finish his grandfather’s unfinished masterwork of bringing a corpse back to life.

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“THE DINING ROOM” (The Arctic Playhouse – West Warwick, RI)

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

 

The latest show at The Arctic Playhouse is the “The Dining Room” by A.R. Gurney from 1982. This comedy is set in a dining room of a well to do household and covers decades of upper middle class families in New England starting in 1930. The action is comprised of 18 brief vignettes where 6 performers,3 women and 3 men play 57 multiple roles.

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SPRING AWAKENING (Wilbury Theatre Group – Providence, RI)

“SPRING AWAKENING”

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

 

Wilbury Theatre Group’s closing show of their season is “Spring Awakening”, the 2007 Tony Award winning musical by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater which won 7 Tonys. This musical ran for 888 performances on Broadway and is a fusion of morality, sexuality and rock n’ roll that explores the journey from adolescence to adulthood. The musical is an adaptation of the controversial 1891 play with the same name by Frank Wedekind which was banned in Germany due to its portrayal of abortion, homosexuality, rape, child abuse and suicide.

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Stoneham’s “Gabriel” is Gripping Theater

by Michele Markarian

 

‘Gabriel’ – Written by Moira Buffini. Directed by Weylin Symes. Presented by Stoneham Theatre, 395 Main Street, Stoneham, through May 14.

 

It’s a rare piece of writing that immerses you in its world so intensely that to leave it is almost a shock to the system. Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend series is this kind of writing. Throw in a five-star cast with superlative direction, lights, sound and set, and you have Stoneham Theatre’s masterful production of “Gabriel”.

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“King Elizabeth” at the Gamm (Pawtucket, RI)

 

By Richard Pacheco

 

The Gamm is doing a new version of Frederich Schiller’s “Mary Stewart” adapted and directed by Gamm Artistic Director Tony Estrella. While there are some slow moments in it, the acting is excellent and vibrant.

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WFT ‘s Spins Delightful ‘Charlotte’s Web’ with New Staging

(Glenn Cook photo)

 

By CJ Williams

‘Charlotte’s Web’ by E.B. White in adaptation by Joseph Robinette;  Scene Design by Jim Byrne; Directed byEmily Ranii; Stage Management by Katie Graves;  Choreographed by  T. Lawrence-Simon;  Costume Design by Zoe Sundra; Lighting Design by Frank Meissner Jr; J Sound Design by Josh Northcutt, playing at Wheelock Family Theater, 80 Riverway, Boston, MA 02215 through May 14th

‘Charlotte’s Web’, now playing at Wheelock Family Theater, is a delight up and down. But just because it’s delightful, doesn’t mean it doesn’t run deep. In fact, anyone who knows E.B. White’s charming classic knows the themes dance from levity to despair, new life to the ever-threatening shadow of death, humor to poignancy. All the same, if you’ve seen a story, you’ve seen it, right?

 

Maybe not.

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“The Best of Everything” at 2nd Story (Warren, Rhode Island)

 

By Richard Pacheco

 

“The Best of Everything” at the 2nd Story Theatre is a play based on the Rona Jaffe controversial best selling novel about sexual politics in 1960’s Manhattan. Set in the pre-women’s liberation era, “The Best of Everything”, tells the story of five young and impressionable secretaries who are new to Manhattan and publishing and their adventures to find a nice boy to take them out to dinner, and possibly lasting love while dodging the garter snappers and lotharios at Fabian Publishing. While it was highly provocative and controversial at the time, it seems rather tame and mild today.

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“VICTOR VICTORIA” Ocean State Theatre Company

 

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

 

The current musical at Ocean State Theatre Company is “Victor Victoria”, the 1995 musical which is based on the 1982 movie starring Robert Preston and Julie Andrews. The 1982 movie was a remake of movie from 1933 called “Viktor Viktoria”, a German film comedy. A penniless soprano, named Victoria Grant, colludes with a struggling gay impresario to disguise herself as a man named Victor, who entertains as a female impersonator known as “Victoria.” This down on her luck singer finds fame as a drag queen.

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