The Normal Heart: Once Upon A Theatre Critic

Photo: Joan Marcus

“We must love one another or die”

The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer, The Golden Theatre, Broadway, 4/27/11-7/10/11. http://www.thenormalheartbroadway.com/. Winner of Tony Award for Best Revival, Best Featured Actress, and Best Featured Actor.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

WH Auden’s poem “September 1, 1939” (from which the title of the play is derived) states that “no one exists alone”. That statement reaches to the heart of the AIDS movement as we acknowledge the thirtieth anniversary of the first diagnosed case and continue to strive for full equality for every human being. Larry Kramer’s revolutionary play not only remains wholly relevant since its original production in 1985, but also challenges us to see that we have not gone far enough and there is still much work to be done. The cast shows that the only way we’re going to get through all the struggles is together. Read more “The Normal Heart: Once Upon A Theatre Critic”

Breaking The Code: Once Upon A Theatre Critic

Dafydd ap Rees (Mick Ross) and Allyn Burrows (Alan Turing) in Hugh Whitemore’s BREAKING THE CODE through May 8. Presented by Catalyst Collaborative@MIT. Performances at Central Square Theater at 450 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge. Tickets and Information: http://CentralSquareTheater.org or 866-811-4111. Photo by A.R. Sinclair Photography.

Turing Passes The Test

Breaking the Code by Hugh Whitemore, Underground Railway Theater and Catalyst Collaborative @ MIT, Central Square Theater, 4/7/11-5/8/11. http://www.centralsquaretheater.org/season/10-11/code.html.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

Intelligence is a prized commodity that governments and businesses appropriate for their own needs, but don’t always appreciate the ones who provide it. Alan Turing was loved by Great Britain for his decoding work during World War II and was derided for his failure to conform to social norms after the war. Breaking the Code masterfully explores the isolating nature of “polite” society.

Underground Railroad Company and Catalyst Collaborative@MIT bring the audience into the world of Alan Turing’s mind and memory. Performed in the round, the audience literally steps into Janie Howland’s set of inverse geometric spirals as they take their seats. Strings across the walls and ceiling connect formulas and ideas. Following the idea of the spirals, director Adam Zahler has Turing (played by Allyn Burrows) follow these patterns as Turing moves through the various moments of his life. The set and the action become an extension of Alan Turing’s personality. Read more “Breaking The Code: Once Upon A Theatre Critic”

Sons of the Prophet: Once Upon A Theatre Critic

Yusef Bulos (Bill), Kelsey Kurz (Joseph), and Dan McCabe (Charles) in the Huntington Theatre Company’s SONS OF THE PROPHET by Stephen Karam, directed by Peter DuBois. Playing 4/1/11 – 5/1/11 at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. huntingtontheatre.org. Photo by Paul Marotta.

On Brilliance

Sons of the Prophet by Stephen Karam, Huntington Theatre Company, 4/1/11-5/1/11, http://www.huntingtontheatre.org/season/production.aspx?id=8754.

Reviewed by Becca Kidwell

“Happiness does not await us all. One needn’t be a prophet to say that there will be more grief and pain than serenity and money. That is why we must hang on to one another.” Anton Chekov qtd. by Stephen Karam in the program.

If Roundabout Theatre Company and the Huntington Theatre Company takes Stephen Karam’s Sons of the Prophet to Broadway next year, in June 2012 we will likely hear, “and the Tony Award for best play goes to…Sons of the Prophet.” Taking the seemingly sombre subject of pain, Karam has written a comic masterpiece. Add to that the talented cast, direction, and set design and the result is a fast-paced night of laughter and poignancy that should not be missed. Read more “Sons of the Prophet: Once Upon A Theatre Critic”