Review: ‘True West’ Hilariously Kicks Off Hub Theatre Company of Boston’s 6th Season

Review: ‘True West’ Hilariously Kicks Off Hub Theatre Company of Boston’s 6th Season

‘True West’ was written by Sam Shepard in 1980, and yet his understanding of family dynamics and the volatility of stage and screen producers, allows this play to burst from the page decades later when his characters are portrayed with boundless energy and charisma. What makes them all the more believable is when passionate, seasoned actors are partnered with a visionary director to present a realistic look at a tumultuous relationship. That is what I have found with Hub Theatre Company of Boston’s production of ‘True West’.

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Review: ‘ART’ at Hub Theatre Company of Boston

Angelica Potter

OnStage Boston Critic

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BOSTON, MA - The multi-awarding winning play ‘ART’ by Yasmina Reza, having premiered on Broadway in 1998, is currently being performed by Hub Theatre Company of Boston. The play takes place in Paris in the mid-1990’s and through the eyes of three best friends who attempt to answer the question:  “What is art?”.  In the small theatre space with an audience on three sides, they invite us into their living rooms, their friendship, their beliefs and conflicting ideas as to what art is. Their varying opinions make this colorful play a highly amusing night at the theatre. 

Photo Credit: (from left to right) Bob Mussett, John Geoffrion, Victor Shopov (Photo courtesy of Hub Theatre Company)   

Photo Credit: (from left to right) Bob Mussett, John Geoffrion, Victor Shopov (Photo courtesy of Hub Theatre Company)

 

Fantastically directed by Daniel Bourque, the perfectly cast trio was dynamic, humorous, and played off each other very well throughout the production.  John Geoffrion as Marc, Bob Mussett as Yvan, and Victor Shopov as Serge were captivating from start to finish. The audience was immediately engrossed in the play and the characters before them. The trio had wonderful chemistry and their lively banter was naturally believable and not over-rehearsed. They were comfortable in their space, in their characters, and in their story so much so that the continued laughter of the audience mere feet from them was never distracting.

At the core of this play are three friends who don’t know exactly what holds them together; yet, they decide after much fighting, that art will not tear them apart.

The lighting, designed by Christopher Bocchiaro, and sound and music composition, by Kyle Lampe, blended exceptionally well and led to seamless transitions. The effects of lighting and sound aided in the amplification of the emotional changes experienced by the characters and the ever-increasing tension between them.

This 90 minute, immensely enjoyable production of ‘ART’ is being performed through April 23rd at First Church Boston located at 66 Marlborough Street, Boston, MA.  For more information and tickets visit http://www.hubtheatreboston.org/. Tickets for all shows are set as “pay-what-you-can”; therefore there is no reason not to go see this production!


For more of my reviews and theatrical thoughts check out: http://intheatresome1isalwayswatching.blogspot.com/

Review: ‘The Love of the Nightingale’ at Hub Theatre Company of Boston

Angelica Potter

 From Left to Right: Bridgette Hayes (Procne) & Lauren Elias (Philomele) courtesy The Hub Theatre Company

There are times when I walk into a production unsure of what I am about to experience and wondering if it will meet my expectations or fall short. Rarely does a show surpass my expectations, but the production of ‘The Love of the Nightingale’ I experienced this past weekend was one of those rare shows. I walked into the theatre knowing I would be seeing a darker drama, but what I didn’t expect was that it would be so compelling, thought-provoking and poignant in relation to today’s society. 

‘The Love of the Nightingale’ written by Timberlake Wertenbaker and fantastically directed by Rebecca Bradshaw is a play based on Book VI of the Roman poet Ovid’s epic verse narrative Metamorphoses; which was itself adapted from earlier Greek tales of people transformed by the gods. It focuses on the lives of King Tereus, his wife Procne and her sister Philomele and is a tale about love, lies, vengeance and the cost of silence. The show included original music created by Bahar Royaee which added depth and power to the production. Strategically placed choreography, by Tyler Catanella, not only enhanced, but when combined with the original music, was a driving force within the show. 

The entire cast was wonderfully unified, clearly showing just how much dedication they had for their characters and the story they were telling. My one critique is that multiple times during the performance certain actors seemed thrown off by the close proximity of the audience which resulted in them shifting their eyes and losing focus of their current scene. Nonetheless, they worked together seamlessly from the start to draw the audience into the world of the story.

Jeff Marcus (Tereus) & Will Madden (2nd Soldier/ Hippolytus/Male Ensemble) courtesy The Hub Theatre Company

One performer that never lost focus and was a fierce force to be reckoned with was Bridgette Hayes as Procne. From start to finish she was a powerhouse performer delivering a wide range of emotional depth and smart character choices. Other actors delivering notable performances were Jeff Marcus who was a cunning and deceitful Tereus and Lauren Elias as the sweet and naïve Philomele. The cast also included Liz Adams (Niobe), Aina Adler (Helen/Nurse), Rachel Belleman (Hero/Aphrodite), Blyss Cleveland (Iris/Chorus), Scot Colford (1st Soldier/Thesaus/ Male Ensemble), Jenny Leopold (Queen/ June), Ryan MacPherson (Captain/Male Ensemble), Will Madden (2nd Soldier/ Hippolytus/Male Ensemble), Eric McGowan (Greek Chorus/Male Ensemble), George Page (King Pandion/Male Ensemble), Shanie Schwartzman (Echo/Phaedre/ Servant), and Edan Zinn (Itys). 

Overall, this production was well put on by a consistently connected cast. The message about the high cost of silence and the need to find the power of one’s voice was clearly portrayed by this talented group of actors. The 90 minute, thought-provoking play ‘The Love of the Nightingale’ is being performed through November 21st at First Church Boston located at 66 Marlborough Street, Boston, MA.  For more information and tickets visit http://www.hubtheatreboston.org/. Due to the complex and adult subject matter it is a play for a mature audience. Tickets for all shows are set as “pay-what-you-can”; therefore there is no reason not to go see this production!

For more of my reviews and theatrical thoughts check out: http://intheatresome1isalwayswatching.blogspot.com