‘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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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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Ellis A Revelation in Speakeasy’s “The Bridges of Madison County”


by Michele Markarian


‘The Bridges of Madison County’ – Book by Marsha Norman. Music and Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. Based on the novel by Robert James Waller. Directed by M. Bevan O’Gara. Music Direction by Matthew Stern. Presented by Speakeasy Stage Company, Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street, Boston, through June 3.

From the opening strains of a sole, mournful cello, you get a sense that the story about to unfold is a sad one. Let me clarify by saying I may have been the only person in the audience unfamiliar with the book or film. Which is a good thing, because I find musical adaptations of films in general to be lackluster, pallid affairs. But M. Bevan O’Gara and the cast of Speakeasy Stage Company’s “The Bridges of Madison County” do such a great job creating an alternate reality that I was truly transported. Adding to the magic is the score, which is very, very intriguing.

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