PreviewStage

Boston Stage Preview: Thirteen Boston Performances To See In 2014

Emily White ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Boston theatre has been rapidly growing in both diversity and excellence these past few years, and 2014 is no exception. Perhaps this is the year of the Russian, with Chekhov’s plays being highly popular around the city, from Russian legend Man in a Case, starring Mikhail Baryshnikov to the Seagull. But if you’re not into the Russian classics this year, fret not! From fringe to foreign to Shakespearean theatre, Boston has enough “something” for every curious audience member.

House/Divided

Jess Barbagallo, Phil Garrett, LaToya Lewis, Moe Angelos and Sean Donovan in ArtsEmerson's House/Divided. Photo Credit: Jay LaPrete.
Jess Barbagallo, Phil Garrett, LaToya Lewis, Moe Angelos and Sean Donovan in ArtsEmerson’s House/Divided. Photo Credit: Jay LaPrete.

Company: The Builders Association (ArtsEmerson)

Run Dates: January 30 – February 2

Venue: Cutler Majestic Theater

This show uses an innovative and highly technical set built from the remains of an actual foreclosed house. This construction helps to juxtapose the recent mortgage crisis in America with John Steinbeck’s portrayal of The Great Depression in his novel, The Grapes of Wrath. This “modern theatrical allegory” is expected to be an interesting and worthwhile performance.

Watch Video Preview:

The Cherry Orchard

The Cherry Orchard. Photo Credit: Liz Linder Photography.
The Cherry Orchard. Photo Credit: Liz Linder Photography.

Company: Actor’s Shakespeare Project

Run Dates: February 12 – March 9

Venue: The Dane Estate at Pine Manor College

Directed by Emerson Performance Art Faculty member, Melia Bensussen, this play explores themes of isolation and confusion prevalent in today’s society through Chekov’s text. A stunning cast and crew rounds out the production which seeks to find “the silliness and sadness of recognizing [them]selves on stage.”

The Flick

Peter Andersen and Alex Pollock in Company One's The Flick. Photo Courtesy of companyone.org.
Peter Andersen and Alex Pollock in Company One’s The Flick. Photo Courtesy of companyone.org.

Company: Company One

Run Dates: February 20 – March 15

Venue: Suffolk Univeristy Modern Theatre

This award-winning play makes its New England debut under the direction of Shawn LaCount, winner of the prestigious Boston-based Elliot Norton Award. The show realizes the trials and tribulations of an independent movie theater as it shifts from film to digital showings. Set in Massachusetts, The Flick will hit close to home and deliver solid performances throughout.

Man in a Case

Tymberly Canale and Mikhail Baryshnikov in Man in a Case. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson.
Tymberly Canale and Mikhail Baryshnikov in Man in a Case. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson.

Company:  Baryshnikov Productions (ArtsEmerson)

Run Dates: February 25 – March 2

Venue: Cutler Majestic Theatre

Starring the legendary Mikhail Baryshnikov, this show combines two of Chekov’s plays, The Man in a Case and About Love. The production combines dance, theatre, music, and video to fuse contemporary society with the 19th century world of Chekov.

The Seagull

Photo Courtesy of Huntington Theatre Company's Facebook page.
Photo Courtesy of Huntington Theatre Company’s Facebook page.

Company:  Huntington Theatre Company

Run Dates: March 7 – April 6

Venue: BU Theatre

A classic Chekhov piece, the Huntington Theatre Company will provide a traditional interpretation of this masterpiece, exploring what it means to be an artist in the presence of difficult love.. Despite tradition, these themes still resonate today.

Stupid F**king Bird

Company:  Apollinaire Theatre Company

Run Dates: March 28 – April 27

Venue: Chelsea Theatre Works

Try to see the Huntington Theatre Company’s production first, and then catch a viewing of this one soon thereafter. Aaron Posner’s adaptation of Chekov’s The Seagull, turns the classic upside down and reimagines the relationship between main characters Nina and Konstantin in several innovative ways. Posner is also co-directing The Tempest at the A.R.T., another must-see this year!

Not By Bread Alone

The Cast of Not By Bread Alone. Photo Courtesy of artsemerson.org.
The Cast of Not By Bread Alone. Photo Courtesy of artsemerson.org.

Company:  Nalaga’at Theater Deaf-Blind Acting Ensemble (ArtsEmerson)

Run Dates: April 1 – April 6

Venue: Paramount Center Mainstage

This Israeli ensemble, based in Tel-Aviv, is the only one of its kind in the world. Deaf and blind actors take the audience on a sensory journey through their world. The actors bake bread in real time onstage, and as it rises, they tell their stories in a magical and beautiful way. The run is short, but it may be one of the most groundbreaking shows of the season, so get those tickets!

The Shape She Makes

The Shape She Makes August Workshop. Photo Credit: GretjenHelenePhotography.net.
The Shape She Makes August Workshop. Photo Credit: GretjenHelenePhotography.net.

Company:  American Repertory Theater

Run Dates: April 5 – April 27

Venue: OBERON

Created by choreographer Susan Misner and writer/director Jonathan Bernstein, this new work was workshopped over the summer and will be making its world premiere this April. Combining dance and theatre, it tells the story of an 11-year-old girl, and how her life is shaped by “the echoes of childhood.”

As You Like It

Company:  Actor’s Shakespeare Project

Run Dates: April 17 – May 18

Venue: TBA

No year is complete without a traditional Shakespearean comedy. As You Like It is a pastoral romp of mistaken identity and who better to handle the master of words than those who love Shakespeare so well? The Actor’s Shakespeare Project, of course. Also of note will be Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s free “Shakespeare on the Commons” play which, as of yet, remains unannounced.

Carrie the Musical

Carrie The Musical. Photo Courtesy of the Speakeasy Stage Company Facebook page.
Carrie the Musical. Photo Courtesy of the Speakeasy Stage Company Facebook page.

Company:  SpeakEasy Stage Company

Run Dates: May 9 – June 7

Venue:  Calderwood Pavillion at the Boston Center for the Arts

Based on the classic Stephen King novel, Carrie was originally adapted for the stage in 1988, and after an unsuccessful run was revised then, in 2012, revived off-Broadway. With killer pop-rock anthems such as “Carrie” and several strong female roles, it is a very apt show for today’s audience.

The Tempest

Company:  American Repertory Theater

Run Dates: May 10 – June 15

Venue: Loeb Drama Center

Adapted and directed by Aaron Posner and Teller (of magic duo Penn & Teller), this adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic utilizes the music of Tom Waits with the innovative movement work of Pilobolus, and Teller’s performance magic. This show is definitely not one to be missed.

Eugene Onegin

Company:  Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre of Russia (ArtsEmerson)

Run Dates: June 6 – June 7

Venue: Cutler Majestic Theatre

This adaptation is the winner of the Crystal Turandot, Russia’s most prestigious theatrical award. It brings a cast of 45 actors together and uses both the original text and French song to create a modern adaptation. It has been considered a “modern masterpiece.” This legendary theatre group rarely performs in Boston, so this brief run is a real treat.

XX PlayLab

XX PlayLab. Photo Courtesy of the Boston Center for the Arts Facebook page.
XX PlayLab. Photo Courtesy of the Boston Center for the Arts Facebook page.

Company:  Company One

Run Dates: June 6 – June 8

Venue: Plaza and Black Box Theatres at the Boston Center for the Arts

A festival of female Boston playwrights, this showcase features three new works by talented women writers. Miranda Craigwell’s Shelter deals with the power of water in a mixed community in New Orleans. Obehi Janice’s Fufu and Oreos explores the craziness of life for a twenty-something Nigerian American. Lastly, Natasu Onoda Power’s Astro Boy and the God of Comics will be performed as a full production from July 18 – August 16 at the BCA.

Tags

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close