NSMT’s EVITA is Magnificent


Reviewed by Tony Annicone


North Shore Music Theatre’s fourth musical of their 62nd season is “Evita” by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. This rock opera is about Eva Peron, bit actress, mistress and wife to Argentine dictator, Juan Peron. This show is a collage of Eva’s rise to power and her early death. It is a look at a woman loved by the poor, hated by the rich and powerful and who was not above taking matters into her capable hands, whether it be charity funds, colonels on the rise to political power or, finally, political power itself.

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MRT’s Provocative ‘THE ROYALE’ Pulls No Punches


By Sheila Barth

BOX INFO: Merrimack Repertory Theatre presents Marco Ramirez’s award-winning, 80-minute, one-act play through October 8, Nancy L. Donahue Theatre, 50 E.Merrimack St., Lowell.$26-$73. Senior, student, group, military discounts. Also additional events. mrt.org., 978-654-4678.


A superlative ensemble cast, under the direction of IRNE and Eliot Norton award-winner Megan Sandberg-Zakian, packs some powerful one-two punches and societal-racial jabs in playwright  Marco Ramirez’s award-winning, 80-minute, one-act boxing drama, “The Royale”.  The play is currently making its New England premiere through October 8 at Merrimack Repertory Theatre.

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‘Men on Boats’


By Sheila Barth 


BOX INFO: Almost two-hour, one act gender-flipping play by Jaclyn Backhaus, presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company through Oct. 7: Wednesday,Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 4,8 p.m.;Sunday, 3 p.m.; also Oct. 5, 2 p.m., Roberts Studio Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St.,Boston.  Tickets start at $25; senioor, age 25-under, college students with ID, discounts. SpeakEasyStage.com. 617-482-3279.


Either you like it, or you don’t.

I didn’t.


While Jaclyn Backhaus’ gender-flipping, time-bending, play, “Men on Boats,”  has garnered public and media praise, SpeakEasy Stage Company’s season-opening, almost two-hour, one-act production doesn’t reflect this theater company’s usual outstanding performances.
Press information touts “MEN ON BOATS” as “a rollicking adventure tale brought thrillingly to life by a gender-bending cast of diverse 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 “

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“Home” Brings Magic to the Familiar


by Mike Hoban


Home – Written by Geoff Sobelle; Directed by Lee Sunday Evans. Presented by ArtsEmerson at the Emerson Paramount Center at 559 Washington St. Boston through October 1.

Home – the theatrical experience built around the onstage construction of a home and the lives of its multiple inhabitants – is like nothing you’ve ever seen before, although you’ve certainly experienced everything in it over and over and over in your own life. Absurdist actor, illusionist, and playwright Geoff Sobelle has devised a work that takes the most familiar parts of our lives, from getting out bed, brushing our teeth, taking a shower (which includes brief nudity) and yes, going to the bathroom, and turns it into a symphony of movement in the comfort of a kind of “every-home”.

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A.R.T.s “WARHOLCAPOTE” An Entertaining Diversion


by Mike Hoban


“WARHOLCAPOTE”Adapted by Rob Roth from the Words of Truman Capote and Andy Warhol; Directed by Michael Mayer; Starring Stephen Spinella and Dan Butler; Scenic Design by Stanley A. Meyer; Costume Design by Clint Ramos; Lighting Design by Kevin Adams; Sound Design by John Gromada; and Projection Design by Darrel Maloney. Presented by the American Repertory Theater at the Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St, Cambridge through October 11.


The A.R.T.s Broadway-bound WARHOLCAPOTE is making its much-anticipated world premiere at the Loeb Center, and while there’s a lot to like about this “non-fiction invention”, it’s really less of a fully developed play and more of a series of outtakes from conversations between the two 20th century icons. Which – considering the colorful nature of the work’s subjects – makes for an entertaining 90 minutes.

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MRT’s “Royale” Packs A (Emotional) Punch


‘The Royale’ – Written by Marco Ramirez; Directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian; Scenic Design by Lawrence Moten; Costume Design by Miranda Kau Giurleo; Lighting Design by Karen Perlow; Sound Design by David Remedios; Fight Choreography by Kyle Vincent Terry. Presented by the Merrimack Repertory Theatre at 50 E. Merrimack Street, Lowell through October 9


If you’re not a fan of the sweet science – boxing – or sports in general, please don’t let that deter you from seeing Merrimack Rep’s emotionally engrossing season opener, The Royale, playing now through October 8th at the Nancy L. Donahue Theater in Lowell. The Royale is not only a great play with sports at its heart, it’s quite possibly the best drama I have seen on any of Greater Boston’s large stages this year. It also manages to create all of the excitement of an epic championship fight without a single punch being landed.

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Speakeasy’s ‘Men on Boats’ A Turbulent Ride


By Michele Markarian


Men on Boats. Written by Jaclyn Backhaus. Directed by Dawn M. Simmons. Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company, Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, through October 7


My husband always accuses me of not liking history, but he’s wrong. It’s not the retelling of the past I find uninteresting, it’s history, experienced through men and their deeds. Women are part of this history, too, although not in ways that mainstream books and coursework deem important.  Maybe that’s why girls are drawn to the “Little House” books – history experienced through the eyes of a woman.

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‘From Silence’ at Marblehead Little Theatre


By Sheila Barth


Versatile Anne Marilyn Lucas never fails to surprise audiences with her theatrical prowess, whether she’s singing, acting, directing, or, in this case, with the newest play she wrote and successfully debuted off-Broadway.

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Reviewed by Tony Annicone


Providence College’s Blackfriars Theatre’s first show of their season is “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” which is a one act musical  with music and lyrics by Massachusetts native William Finn and a book by Rachel Sheinkin. The show centers around a fictional spelling bee in a fictional  middle school in Putnam County. While the title tells you the plot, the show is character driven. Six quirky adolescents compete in the Bee, run by six quirky adults. The children are in the throes of puberty, overseen by adults who barely managed to escape puberty themselves.


Huntington’s “Merrily We Roll Along” A Winner


Reviewed by Tony Annicone


Huntington Theatre’s opening show of their season is “Merrily We Roll Along” Stephen Sondheim’s, musical of friendship and ambition. It is based on the 1934 play with the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. “Merrily We Roll Along” has a book by George Furth that opens in 1976 and travels back in time to tell the story of Franklin Shepherd, a successful Broadway composer who leaves his theatre and songwriting career behind him to become a Hollywood movie producer.

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